“Won’t You be my Neighbor: Throw a Party”

Week #4: Throw a Party!
 
-We aren’t neighboring until we tell each other where to shop or to get our cars repaired!
-We find ways to tell the people we love about the things that help us most.
 
BIG IDEA: I love my neighbors when I invite them to follow Jesus with me.
 
-The best invitations are personal, authentic & strategic.
-An Inviting Church gets more opportunities to be a Welcoming Church.
 
Further Conversation
1. What is your favorite restaurant in town? Why?
2. Read Luke 5:1-11. What does it mean to “fish for people”?
3. Read Luke 5:12-13. What do you think the lepor feared as he approached Jesus? How could we fix the bad reputation the church has for rejecting people?
4. Read Luke 5:17-20 What motivated these friends? How have you felt held back from bringing a friend to Jesus?
5. Read Luke 5:29-32 Why do you think Matthew threw a party? What was possibly Matthew’s strategy?
6. Why does an invitation to follow Jesus need to be strategic, personal, and authentic? How have you experienced this?
7. Restate the BIG IDEA in your own words. Who is someone you could invite to follow Jesus with you? What would be the best strategy to reach this person? How can Christ Church help you?
 
Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
 
Monday – Luke 4:42-44
The crowds loved Jesus and begged him to stay! I’m sure Jesus enjoyed the attention, but Jesus had a mission and he would not deny it. He was doing good work. He was honored. He was praised. Yet, Jesus found time to withdraw from the noise and pressure of the crowd to prayer in solitude. In the quiet God reminded him of his true mission and purpose: He must share the Good News with others. We too can find ourselves comfortable in our crowd. We like our group, our church, our community. But we must take time to hear God’s voice and be reminded that our mission is to share the Good News. Who do you need to love enough to invite to follow Jesus with you?
Pray: Heavenly Father, as I find a moment of quiet solitude, remind me of my mission and guide me as I share the Good News
 
Tuesday – Luke 5:1-11
“Now you will fish for people.” Peter could have done anything to help the people of this world. As a fisherman, he could have fed the hungry. Yet Jesus asks him to leave all of that behind to invite others to follow Jesus with him. The people of this world have serious needs: hunger, shelter, compassion. We can and should help others, but the main purpose is that we invite people to follow Jesus. “Fish for people” is our reminder that the biggest need people have is a savior. We invite people to Jesus because he satisfies their greatest need. Who needs you to invite them?
Pray: LORD Jesus, only you can satisfy our greatest need. Help me follow you closely and invite others to join me as I follow you.
 
Wednesday – Luke 5:12-16
A good fisherman knows that some fish you throw back. But Luke strategically follows the command to “fish for people” with the story of the unclean lepor. No one was more unworthy or feared in Jesus’ day. Yet Jesus extends his hand and is willing to love this man. Jesus doesn’t throw anyone away. He is willing. When we fish, we fish for all people. All are welcome! Who is hoping that Jesus will accept them? Invite them to follow Jesus with you.
Pray: Holy LORD, I am unclean. I am unworthy. Yet you love and heal me. I will extend my hand to all people and share your love.
 
Thursday – Luke 5:33-39
We like our wine aged. A bottle of Chateau Margaux from 1875 will run you a cool $225,000. That wasn’t the case in Jesus’ day. Old wine was mellow, soft, and easy. New wine was potent, powerful, even a little overwhelming. Jesus brings something new to the world, a power that the old system and old way can not handle. The old way is a way of comfort, familiarity, and ease. Jesus challenges us to go in power, to take risks, and to bring this Good News to others. Its challenging to always reach out to others, trying new things to reach new people. But we miss the power of Jesus when we stick with our “old wine.”
Pray: Holy Spirit, it is frightening when we leave the old behind. But do a new work in us! Move in us and through to reach others!
 
Friday – Luke 5:17-26
Nothing would stop these people from bringing their friend to Jesus. I can only imagine the outrage of the home owner as these friends tore through his roof. I imagine the crowd was deeply disturbed, angry that these men interrupted their moment with Jesus. But I imagine Jesus smiled. It was a small, hidden smile at first. But as chunks of ceiling fell to the floor, I imagine Jesus beaming with pride. We are called to fish for people, to invite others to meet Jesus through us and to follow him with us. Yet, our pride in our property or our desire for our special time often keeps others out. Luke tells this story to remind us that nothing should stand between us and bringing a friend to Jesus.
Pray: Loving Jesus, someone invited me to know you. Thank you for that person. Ignite a blaze in my heart to bring others to you!
 
Saturday – Luke 14:15-24
Heaven is a party! Throughout Scripture, the next life is often explained as a banquet, a wedding, a festival. And it should be! We will be perfected and perfectly loved in the presence of God. Thats a reason to party. But don’t let the lesson of this story escape you. When the invitation comes, we need to be ready and willing. Nothing should be more important. Our life’s purpose is to follow Jesus and to invite others to do the same. We invite them to the party! Who do you need to invite to church tomorrow?
Pray: Almighty God, may my life’s mission be to proclaim the Good News and lead others to their next step with Jesus.