April 30 – May 6

Weekly Reading for April 30 – May 6

Preparing for Next Week’s Message

Sermon Series: 7 Deadly Sins
Sermon Title: The Limitations of Laziness

This reading plan will get your heart and mind set for the next message on May 7, 2023:

Reflecting on the Most Recent Sermon

Sermon Series: 7 Deadly Sins
Sermon Title: The Cost of Vengeance
Delivered On: April 30, 2023


Memorize and Reflect

Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Prayer Direction

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where vengeance is churning in your heart and under the surface where you don’t see it. Confess to God where you are dealing with anger toward others and where you might even wish ill on those who have wronged you in some way. Pray for a mind that meditates on God’s amazing grace toward you and ask for God to give you power to show grace to others.

“Live It!” Challenge

The Where and When of My Vengeance – Take time to prayerfully and humbly look back through your life. Make a list of the situations and times where you have been prone to retaliate, seek revenge, or “get back” at others through words, actions, silence, or some other overt or subtle retribution. Ask God to help you recognize when you are going to do one of these things and pray for strength to stop.

Small Group Discussion

  1. Tell about a time when someone unleashed vengeance or wrath on you or someone you love. What were some of the consequences that came from this expression of wrath?

  2. If you are going to unleash your anger and take vengeance on someone, what forms might it take? Remember, there are many subtle and also obvious ways vengeance can be expressed and none of us is above it.

  3. Read: Matthew 5:38-42. If you had grown up in an “eye for eye and tooth for tooth” world, how might you have responded to Jesus’ new way of treating a person who had hurt or wronged you?

  4. What could happen if a person really tried to live out what Jesus teaches in this passage?

  5. Read: Matthew 5:43-48.
    What might it look like if a person consistently prayed for and expressed love toward someone who saw them as an enemy?

  6. Jesus seems to be calling us to express love toward those who are “hard to love” and not just those we find it easy to care for. Without using a name, talk about someone you have a hard time loving and let your group members know how they can pray for you to grow in your ability to love this person.

  7. Read: Romans 12:17-21. What are some of the specific things God calls His people to do in this passage and why are they so challenging?

  8. How are each of the behaviors listed in this passage an antidote to vengeance?

  9. Which of these actions (virtues) can you seek to grow in your life to help you move away from vengeance and toward a life that looks more and more like Jesus? Choose one, share it with your group and describe one way you can infuse this in your heart and life:
    - Trust in God’s ability to judge and make things right
    - Self-Control when you feel anger boiling in you
    - Grace that remembers God’s kindness and shares it with others