Small Group Lesson
Vision Sunday Review
The Road to Glory
In this small group lesson, we're going to look back on the Vision Sunday we had in February. On Vision Sunday, we’ll think about how the destination changes the journey, and look at the fact that how we understand where we will ultimately arrive changes the way we live our lives. We Christians will ultimately arrive at God’s glory. That road which leads to God’s glory is the same “Road to Glory” Mustard Seed Christian Church - Osaka has laid out as our theme for 2018.
Q: What is “God’s glory”? Discuss together.
[Prayer] Let’s pray our eyes would be opened by God’s mercy, and we would understand God’s glory more.
The Vision and Journey of the Church
Mustard Seed Christian Church - Osaka has the following vision.
To glorify God by guiding people to know Christ and grow in Christ
Mustard Seed Christian Church - Osaka is aiming at becoming a church where all the people who belong to it proactively lead others to Christ. The journey brought up on Vision Sunday is made of the following two points:
- Follow Jesus
- Fish for people
Read Mark 1:14-20:
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” 16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
When Jesus’ disciples believed in the Savior Jesus Christ, they left their nets (their work) and father (their families / loved ones) and followed Jesus. This doesn’t necessarily mean we who live in the present day have to leave behind our work or family, it means we make our Savior Jesus Christ a higher priority than our work or families.
Q: What do you think it is to make the Savior Jesus Christ a higher priority than your work or family?
Q: Other than your work or family, what do you think you need to prioritize the Savior Jesus Christ over?
[Prayer] Let’s pray to be able to follow Jesus more than we are now.
Jesus’ disciples prioritized Jesus over their work or families and became “fishers of men.” This means guiding people around us to know Christ, be saved by Christ, and to follow Christ. To say it another way, it means evangelizing.
Q: What concrete/specific actions do you think evangelizing entails?
In many cases, sharing about Jesus Christ in Japan is perceived as a religious activity, or in the worst case, as brainwashing or an invitation to a cult. However, believing with all your heart (following unconditionally) in the only Son of God Jesus, who is God, Love himself, the Truth sent by God the Father, is to produce the fruit of the Spirit, and there’s no group, company, region, or country which denies this kind of good thing. Galatians 5:22-23:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.
The Spirit is God, and He is given to us by believing in Jesus as our Savior. God is with us who believe in our hearts. In other words, it’s not by our power or effort, but through faith that God works and by God’s power love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are produced in us. This is an extremely important thing related to actually sharing the gospel in this country with a less than 1% Christian population.
Q: Are you able to show this fruit of the Spirit which comes from following Christ in your home, workplace, school, and places you frequently go? Through that, do people feel like you are somehow different than others around you?
[Prayer] Let’s pray for the Spirit, not your own power, to work in your home, workplace, school, and the places you frequently go.
As you produce the fruit of the Spirit and people come in contact with you, many of them will become interested in your personality and character. Let’s try inviting those people to church or doing First Steps with them.
We who belong to Mustard Seed Christian Church - Osaka bring glory to God through following Jesus and fishing for people (like fishermen). This is the road leading to God’s glory, the “Road to Glory”.
[Prayer] Let’s pray that we who belong to Mustard Seed Christian Church - Osaka encourage each other and help each other walk the road to glory.
This time there is no “God’s Word” or “God’s Mission”.
Encourage One Another:
What opportunities has God provided to lead others closer toward knowing Christ?
How have you seen God working in the lives of those you want to lead to Christ?
Pray for One Another:
Share at least one name of someone you want to win to Christ. If you know, share your next action step in leading them closer to knowing Christ (for example: invite them to church, take them out to dinner and share your testimony, study First Steps together, give them a Bible or Christian resources, etc.).
Commit to praying for one another every day: (1) For boldness and wisdom, (2) for opportunities, (3) for other’s open hearts.
Other Prayer Requests:
How can we pray for you?
Pray together about God’s Mission and other requests and thanksgivings.