Here’s a raw, real, & deeply encouraging peek into what God did this week in one of our Discipleship Groups.
D-group this week was amazing. Could anything centered around the holiness of God not be?
Actually, I had set my sights low and was not expecting much from the meeting. Since we had served in the nursery Sunday, I hadn’t even heard the sermon and had barely looked over the discussion questions. In my simple mind you get out what you put in to something, and with how many hours I had put in at the hospital already this week I had not invested enough to anticipate anything substantial in return. Also, I found out that Clete (the group leader) wasn’t going to be there because he was practicing his OB/GYN skills and delivering his dog’s puppies. And worse yet, my wife and I, who are both fairly Type A with regards to our personalities, spent the last hour before people arrived arguing over how things should be done around the house… But God is greater than my shortcomings and I am a part of an amazingly patient and forgiving group!
It was amazing to see how God brought the evening together with regards to a reflection on His holiness. We started the night with a delicious meal and time spent relaxing with each other and trying to catch up on with each other amidst our busy schedules. We cut this time short (actually we went over the scheduled time allotment but it certainly felt short) and then enjoyed a time of worship in song, led by some amazingly talented musicians. We even ended up attempting to sing Phil Wickham’s “Beautiful” – a great reminder of His power, His sacrifice, and the wedding party that awaits when we join Him as the bride. Then, upon Emily’s suggestion, we watched This Momentary Marriage, the story of Ian & Larissa. I hadn’t seen it before and I was simply hoping there would be some way I could tie it in with the sermon discussion about Ananias and Sapphira and God’s holiness (Acts 4:32-5:11).
It was just a short video, but there wasn’t a dry eye in the room when it finished and it certainly was related to the holiness of God. You should definitely watch it. This is a story of a couple that recognize what marriage truly is and that it represents the love Christ has for His bride the church. He, being fully God, can truly be described as holy. It came up later in our discussion but it ties in here too – the holiness of God does not allow sin to exist in His presence. So how can we as disgusting sinners hope to someday be found in His presence? The answer is reflected in the video where love leads to sacrifice. Larissa loved Ian so much that she sacrificed the typical marriage to embrace one full of suffering. God loved the world so much that He sacrificed His Son as a criminal on a cross to PAY the penalty for our transgressions. Love wins and we can be found in His presence, not by sweeping our sins under the rug but by doing the time for our crimes!
This was an incredible start to the discussion and God continued to show Himself throughout the evening as everyone in the group participated in our examination of the holiness of God and how we are called to pursue holiness in our lives. This led to a time of confession where we made ourselves vulnerable and repented of sin in our lives with each other, seeking forgiveness and encouragement. A lack of investment into the group, problems in our marriages, selfishness, the idols of our busy schedules, feelings of resentment towards the group, arguments with co-workers – all this was laid before the Lord and confessed in light of the cross. How could this not happen when you reflect on His holiness? When we finally finished we realized we had gone an hour past our target end time but no one seemed in a hurry to leave. I think it was 11 or 11:30 when everyone had left and I was able to reflect on what just happen.
He is holy. We are not. God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. D-group this week was amazing. Could anything centered around the holiness of God not be?
Do you want to be a part of what God is doing in our lives and in our community? Please join us as we walk through life together at 6:30 every Wednesday at 8228 John R St.