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We’ve seen that Christ-followers are all called to serve in the church. But where? How can we find the right place to serve? Pastor Luke preaches from Romans 12:1–8 in “Where Do I Go?,” part 6 of his 7-part series “Signs of Life.”
Talk It Over
GETTING STARTED. What is the first job or career that you can remember wanting to have? How old were you then? Did you get it?
EXPLORE THE PASSAGE. Read Romans 12: 1-8.
1. In verses 1-2, Paul makes an appeal on the basis of God’s mercies. What is the opposite of an appeal? If not because of God’s mercies, what are some reasons people might try to please God? How does this verse illustrate the difference between the Gospel and religion?
2. Read Amos 5: 21-24. What is wrong with the sacrifices that God spoke about through Amos?
3. In the Romans 12 passage, what are the sacrifices? What are some ways that they are different from the ones in Amos 15:22?
4. The word “conformed” in v. 2 means to acquire a particular shape from being molded. The word for “transformed” is literally to be “metamorphosed,” like when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. How is being conformed different from being transformed?
5. In v. 3, Paul cautions church members not to do something. What is that? When have you seen church members fail to obey him? When have you seen them succeed at living it out well?
6. Read Philippians 2: 3-11. Look at verse 3. For the following words, give a word that is its opposite: selfish, ambition, conceit, humility.
7. According to Philippians 2: 6, which of those words apply to Christ?
[8. There is no Question 8.]
APPLY THE LESSON. 9. What is a skill or capability that you have which nobody else has at your church?
10. What is a skill that you definitely lack which you see in someone else at your church?
11. How might someone who is truly gifted in one area be ineffective in another area? Can you think of an example in your church? Who are some people who do have skills or gifts in that deficient area?
12. What is one problem in the world that you wish someone would do something about? What is special about that problem for you?
Food for Thought
Monday. Read 1 Samuel 15: 10-23. God says he “regrets” doing something (v. 11). What is it? Why does God regret it?
Tuesday. Read Matthew 9: 9-12. Why would it have been difficult to show mercy to the people that Jesus did here? What would it have been difficult to let Matthew do in the church? (Consider John 12: 6.) What are some people it would be hard to show mercy to? If one of them joined your church, what might be a good role for them?
Wednesday. Read Mark 12: 28-34. How would you summarize what God wants from you and for your church? What is one concrete thing you could do to make it a reality?
Thursday. Read Matthew 21: 28-32. What should someone do when they realize they have been disobedient to God?
Friday. Read 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11. Where do gifts come from? For what purpose? Does everyone get the same gift? Is anyone left out? For each gift listed here, how could you know whether it was your gift?
Saturday. The word “leader” in Romans 12: 8 may mean the people who “have charge over you” (1 Thessalonians 5: 12-13) or it may refer to a “benefactor” (as of Phoebe in Romans 16: 1-2). How are they different? How are they similar? Which one is most needed in your church? Why? Who in your church are some people in each category?