Join us tomorrow for the second week of Shepherd's Heart as we look at the topic of bitterness, resentment, and forgiveness. Here are the study questions around this week's message for Community Group discussions and personal devotional times.
*Sermon and Study Questions*
Shepherd’s Heart is a four week series where the elders of Rainier Valley Church share their pastoral heart for the church family.
*Week #2 - “Free From Bitterness"* What are some popular songs, albums, movies, shows, and books that involve the theme of revenge? What’s your favorite revenge story and why?
Read Hebrews 12:14-15 and discuss why bitterness is compared to a root in the ground?
How would you define bitterness and how does it affect us relationally, emotionally, spiritually, and even physically? How have you experienced the terrible fruit of the roots of bitterness in your own life and in the lives of those you love?
For a root of bitterness to develop in your heart it takes two things: (1) a seed and (2) the right soil. What would the seed and the soil be in this biblical illustration? How is it that two people can go through the exact same situation but one can remain bitter, resentful, and depressed and the other person can grow and become more refined, humble, and hopeful? If the difference isn’t in the seed but in the soil, what different soils cause bitterness to take root and grow?
How do we cultivate in ourselves a soil that doesn’t allow bitterness to take deep root in our hearts? How have you experienced the seeds of bitterness taking root in your life? How can we identify where bitterness has taken hold of our hearts and our relationships?
How do you go about ripping out roots of bitterness in your heart?
How does the Gospel, both the past grace of Jesus on the cross as well as the future judgement of Jesus on the throne, liberate us to forgive and rip up roots of bitterness?
How did Jesus respond to the temptation towards bitterness?
If Jesus calls us to forgive seventy times seven, how are we doing at obeying that command? Are there people in your life that you haven’t forgiven? What possible good is there and becoming bitter and refusing to not forgive someone who has wronged you? Are there situations in your life that you continue to replay in your heart and mind to feed your bitterness? Where is there bitterness in your own heart that you need to repent of and rip out of your life?
How can we pray for, encourage, and support one another to work out this teaching in our lives over the next week?