Imagine More Part 3|Acts 3:1-11| March 18, 2018

Warm Up:  Duty or delight? Obligation or opportunity? We’ve all had times when following Jesus felt more like endurance than enjoyment.  The truth is that we were created to enjoy God. We were made to find our highest happiness in Him! The mood of the early believers was one of gladness and joy. They were fully alive for the first time, filled with the Spirit, joyfully willing and excited to participate in the life of Jesus’ new community. Is this how you feel about life in the body of Christ? If not always, what are some times you can remember feeling particularly excited to be involved in God’s family and God’s work?

  • Read Acts 3:1-11 aloud. The healed man teaches us at least three things: 1. He held tightly to the Apostles (wouldn’t you!) 2. He used what he was given — walking and leaping! and 3. He expressed it all through gratitude and praise.
    • What do you personally learn from this man’s response to healing?
    • On the spectrum from “reserved” to “ecstatic,” how comfortable are you expressing emotion when you worship and/or are celebrate what God is doing?
    • What factors do you believe have mad you the way you are in this regard?
  • Talking about the early church, Bob Deffinbaugh writes, “It was not a morbid sense of duty or obligation which motivated the conduct of the church but a deep sense of gratitude and of praise.”
    • Many Christians seem to be motivated not by joy, but a cold sense of duty. Why is this so common? What strikes you about these people?
    • When have you experienced gratitude to be a motivating force in life? Why?
    • How do we grow in gratitude and praise so that the kind of joy experienced by those early believers becomes our joy?
  • On Sunday it was shared that if we want to grow in enjoying and praising God together we must tend to the root — the power of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    • What are the contexts in which we experience the power of Jesus’ resurrection in daily life?
    • Does experiencing Christ’s power require anything of us? If so, what’s required?

Wrap Up: Share ONE step you plan to take this week to increase your delight and enjoyment of the Lord and His church this week. Share and hold one another accountable to your plan!