Heroes Wk 1 // Becoming a Hero

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Icebreaker

  • Go around the room and have everyone name their favorite movie superhero.
  • Whose hero would win in a fight?
  • What qualities define a movie superhero?
  • Who is a real-life hero to you?
  • What qualities do they share with your favorite movie hero?
  • Whose real-life hero would win in a fight? Just kidding.

Introduction

This week we kicked off a new series called Heroes: Using Your Life To Pay It Forward. We all have heroes in this world. People we look up to. People we admire. People we strive to be like. In this series we are looking at where those heroes come from. The Bible says we are supposed to become those very heroes. God has made us to be heroes to other people.


Point #1

God’s not done. He needs you and we need you to continue to pay it forward.

  • What does the phrase “pay it forward” mean to you?
  • What are some simple examples of paying it forward?

Read

Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 13.1-3

Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Hebrews 13.1–3 NIV
  • How does a person’s social standing affect the way others treat him or her?
  • How does this passage encourage you to love people as God does?
  • How would your words or actions change if you treated strangers the way you treat your family?

 

Leader Note
There are two ways of showing hospitality in this passage: meeting the needs of Christian workers as they traveled (v. 2) and helping those who are suffering because of their commitment to Christ (v. 3). Believers are encouraged to serve regardless of the identity of the person being helped. Verse 2 refers to Genesis 18-19, where Abraham entertained strangers who were actually angels.

Point #2

Prepare, pray, and participate every week. Come to give love, not just receive love.

  • How does being a part of Medway Church allow us to receive love from others?
  • What does it mean to give love in addition to receiving it?

“The devil will hide your kids’ shoes and try to stop you from going to church.”


  • What are some things that distract us from participating together in the ministries of the church (worship, small group, serving)?
  • What are some practical steps we can take to prioritize church in our lives?

Point #3

Show you care by making a connection and going the second mile.

Pastor Mike shared that this is the most important point in the message. Our goal at Medway Church is to show RADICAL LOVE to ALL PEOPLE.

  • What do we mean when we say RADICAL love?
  • What do we mean when we say ALL PEOPLE?

“People don’t care what you know until they know you care.”


Read

Ask a volunteer to read Matthew 5.38-42

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Matthew 5.38–42 NIV
  • How did Jesus’ life display His teaching?

  • How do we communicate to God and to others that we take Jesus’ command in this passage seriously?

 

Leader Note
This command about revenge is in Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20; and Deuteronomy 19:21. Without a law like this, the loss of, say, one tooth, could lead to the revenge of knocking out two teeth, which could then escalate further. The command is included in the Old Testament in order to make payback proportional to the damage caused. In its Old Testament form, this law kept legal judgments from being over the top.

In the first century, some people used this law as an excuse for taking personal revenge. Some religious teachers—forgetting the principle of mercy—thought equal payback was always required. Jesus, however, taught a better way for His followers.Those whose hearts He has cleansed have no need to fight back. They don’t need to get even. They can give up the right to vengeance, believing that ultimately the Lord will judge all evil. When God’s people refuse to retaliate, they show they trust God to judge all things fairly in the end. In verses 39-42, Jesus offered four examples of what it means not to fight back when evil is done. In each instance, the natural tendency to fight back is overcome by a heart changed by Christ, a heart rooted in mercy, grace, compassion, and love.

Read

Ask a volunteer to read Mathew 25:31-40

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me

Matthew 25:31-40
  • What did “radical love” look like to Jesus?
  • What did “all people” mean to Jesus?

 

Leader Note
Palestinian shepherds frequently had to separate their flocks similar to the way Jesus describes. Sheep and goats freely intermingled and often looked quite similar in appearance, at least from a distance. Similarly, we could probably not guess from superficial knowledge and external appearance who are truly God’s people, but Jesus knows.

Wool made sheep more valuable than goats, so naturally Jesus chose the sheep to represent those individuals who are blessed by God and inherit His kingdom. The sheep are blessed because of their good behavior. They cared for Christ, feeding Him when He was hungry, giving Him drink when thirsty, providing adequate clothing when He was ill-clad, showing Him hospitality when he was a foreigner, and visiting Him when He was sick or imprisoned. Here are three basic human needs, apart from salvation—food, shelter, and companionship.

Many of the sheep are understandably surprised. No doubt several of these conditions did characterize Christ at various stages of His earthly life, but the vast majority of the “righteous” will not have been present then and there to help Him. So how did all this happen? The texts says that they were surprised because they did not understand how they had ministered so directly to Jesus.


Point #4

Be a hero and use your life to pay it forward.


Read

We love because he first loved us.

1 John 4.19 NIV


Action Steps

  • Will you commit to being in church every week, pray before church and participate in a weekly ministry?
  • Every week look for opportunities to make a connection and go the second mile and be a hero.
  • Are you fully committed to God where you know you want to be a hero and use your life to pay it forward?

Prayer

Ask your group to share prayer requests and close in a word of prayer.



 

Brian Otte