5/29 – Gateway North, Branson & Online
6/5 – at Gateway South & Central
Jesus didn’t come to add another religion to the many that were already present. He came to bring something different, a relationship with a loving God. Throughout history, people have tried to earn their way to God, but Jesus was coming to rescue us because He knew we couldn’t make it to Him. With this in mind, how can we engage with our neighbors of different religions and demonstrate Jesus’ love for them?
Work through the following questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group or friends and family around the dinner table to talk through what you’re learning!
- What types of religious views do you encounter in your daily life? Even for those you know who are “nonreligious,” what shapes their beliefs about life?
- What keeps us from engaging in new relationships with those possibly of a different religion?
- What are some of the things you’ve heard argued about regarding religion? Have you ever had a conversation with someone from a different religious background than you? How was that experience?
- Read John 14:6. What was the major point of contention between Jesus and those that said religious activity was the way to be right with God? How do you react to Jesus’ response in this verse? Is this message a challenging one for you? How is what He’s saying different from all other religions?
- Read Acts 17:22-27. What do you observe about how the Apostle Paul interacted with those who practiced a different religion? Despite possible religious differences, what common ground do you have with your neighbors that can help you cultivate relationships with them?
- What can you do to educate yourself about other religions in an effort to better understand those around you? Do you have a co-worker or neighbor that you could ask more about their spiritual background?
- People from around the world have been moving to Austin for years, many of different religions. What can you do to make time to get to know those in your workplace or neighborhood? What steps can you take to cultivate a relationship with them and demonstrate Jesus’ love, which is greater than religion?
John 14:6 — I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Acts 17:22-27 — Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship — and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.
The heart of this series is to encourage you to Love Where You Live regardless of politics, ethnicity, religion or offenses. Utilize these ideas to take next steps towards loving your neighbors.
- Be where others in your neighborhood, workplace or apartment are (pool, front yard, break room, dog park). Be intentional.
- Invite people to your home for dinner, coffee or a party.
- Look for opportunities to serve one of your neighbors.
- Invite one or two of your neighbors to Gateway with you.
- Not Like Me by Eric Bryant – Available at the Connect Spot or from online booksellers
SPIRITUAL GROWTH PATH
Did you know you can now track your progress working through the outcomes we include in Next Steps right on Gateway’s website?! Go to Spiritual Growth Path and create an account. You’ll get access to Spiritual Fitness Checks and training with the spiritual outcomes.
Spiritual Outcomes – Relationally Engaged & OUTREACH
Jesus said that “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Peace often seems in short supply in our world and country, but this is also often true in our local communities, workplaces and even our homes. How can we as Christ-followers love where we live?
- Learn more about loving where you live by working through the RELATIONALLY ENGAGED outcome.
- Learn more about loving where you live by working through the OUTREACH outcome.
BIBLE APP by YOU VERSION
If you’ve yet to do so, we encourage you to download the Bible App by YouVersion on your smart phone. Create a free YouVersion account. Tap Plans > Discover > Search: Outreach New Testament > Start Plan. Then you can read along each day with us!