Wilderness of Love of Enemy

intro (read aloud before the discussion)

There is one thing that we can count on in a wilderness season: ending up face-to-face with a person or group that will mistreat us. Let’s talk about the wilderness of being in the presence of an enemy.

SERMON DISCUSSION (Use as a guide for dialogue, let God lead, and read the verses aloud)

1.  Who was your first enemy? Who was the first person who mistreated, misunderstood, or misused power in your life?

2. Read Matthew 5:38-41. To a Jew, “forced to go a mile” meant submission to a Roman soldier. What person or group are you struggling with most in the midst of this wilderness season? Why does that person or group create such a struggle for you?

3. Read Matthew 5:43. It’s easy to hate/mistreat people who mistreat us. It seems to come naturally. What would your natural response be to the person you are struggling with most in the season? Go ahead and say it!

4. Read Matthew 5:44. What would it look like (specifically and practically) to love the person or group of people most difficult for you in the midst of this wilderness season?

5. Read Matthew 5:45. If we love those who are mistreating us and continue to become more like God, do you think that will ultimately be best for us and our relationships? Explain your answer.

MINISTRY TIME (Invite the Spirit of God to come – “Come Holy Spirit”)

Ask God for not only the strength but also the desire to love the one who is not loving you.

SPIRITUAL FORMATION (This is a weekly practice as we seek to become more like Jesus)

When we love our enemy, we do become more like God, and God is resting and free and alive in relationship. Often spiritual formation is about doing what seems unnatural so that we become what is truly natural: restful, free, and alive in our relationships–just like God!

daily reading (Tune into the daily “Together On Mission” podcast here and let’s start every day with Jesus)

Colossians 2 | Psalm 146

John 13 | Psalm 147

1 Samuel 24 | Psalm 148

Matthew 5 | Psalm 149

Romans 12 | Psalm 150

Catch up on daily reading or chose a passage, any passage

Tune in for Week 5 – “The Wilderness of Waiting”