Week of March 31

Romans: The Power of the Gospel
In 2024 we are going to read someone else’s mail.  Paul wrote a letter to the church in Rome and gave one of the best and most thorough explanations of the Gospel of Jesus and details about how to live that out.  He was writing to people who were followers of Jesus in Rome, perhaps the toughest place to be a Christian at the most difficult time to be a Christian.  Perhaps Paul’s letter to them can give us insights into how to live out what you believe when the world is indifferent or even hostile to your beliefs.  Let’s dive into God’s Word together as we read and reflect on Paul’s letter to the Romans. 

Easter: The Compassion of God (Lamentation 3:22-26; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Romans 8:11)  This Easter we talked about what could be a game-changer for you, for me, for us, and maybe for our world as we looked at the God of compassion and His surprising solution to the hurt in our world. 


   

DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

  • Did you have any Easter traditions growing up?
  • Talk about a time in the past when you were hurting and needed God’s compassion.
  • Where in your life do you need to experience the compassion of God right now? What is a challenging situation where you need God’s compassion?
  • On Easter we considered the compassion of God in a world full of pain, suffering and loss.  Doug said, “God EXPRESSES His compassion TO YOU, so He can EXTEND His compassion THROUGH YOU.  Read & discuss the following verses one by one as you consider that quote: 

READ: Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”What does this tell us about the compassion of God? 

 READ: Matthew 9:35-38 What are your observations about this passage? 

 READ: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4  What are your observations about this passage? How does the speak to the idea that “God EXPRESSES His compassion TO YOU, so He can EXTEND His compassion THROUGH YOU.” 

 READ: Romans 8:11 What are your observations about this passage? How does the speak to the idea that “God EXPRESSES His compassion TO YOU, so He can EXTEND His compassion THROUGH YOU.” 

 READ: Laminations 3:22-26 What are your observations about this passage? How does the idea that “God EXPRESSES His compassion TO YOU, so He can EXTEND His compassion THROUGH YOU.” 

  •  What are the action steps we are shown here about leaning into the compassion of God?
  • Doug briefly told a story about doing some things tangibly to remind Him of the promises of God (memorize scripture, meditate on scripture and “opening the drapes”). What are some tangible things you could do to remind yourself of God’s promises?
  • What steps can you take specifically this week to EXPERIENCE God’s compassion?
  • What are the challenges to EXPRESSING compassion to others who are hurting?  What makes it so hard?
  • What are some steps you could take to get equipped to be better at extending God’s compassion to others?
  • Who do you think God wants to express his compassion to as He EXPRESS His compassion through you? How will you take steps to extend compassion to them?
  • What steps can you take specifically this week to EXPRESS God’s compassion? 

 NEXT STEPS: 
Everyone has a next step to apply what we have learned. What is your next step?  Be specific. 

 MEMORY VERSE: *Challenge yourself or your group to commit this verse to memory: 

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 

PRAYER:  
Spend some time praying for each other.   Especially focus in on some of the areas people shared they need to experience God’s compassion and the steps they are taking to express God’s compassion this week. 

Scripture References 

Lamentations 3:22-26; Matthew 5:4; John 11:35; John 19:25-27; John 21:15-25; Romans 5:8; Titus 3:4-5; Matthew 9:35-38; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Romans 8:11