Group Guide

This Week's City 7:

2. Are there sources outside the Bible that confirm the Biblical account of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead? Many Roman and Jewish historians have confirmed that the apostles died as martyrs for preaching that they saw Jesus risen from the grave. No one dies for something they know to be a lie.
(Luke 1:1-4; Acts 26:26; 1 John 1:1-4, Josephus, Clement, Hegesippus, Tertullian, Origen, Polycarp)

Ice-Breaker:

What's the most beautiful thing in nature that you've ever laid eyes on (and don't say your wife/gf)?

Discussion Questions:

  • In Psalm 8, David is in absolute awe of God. He seems to be marveling at the all the stars in the night sky and is blown away. On Sunday, Brandon told the story behind "The Pale Blue Dot". Have someone look it up real quick and pass it around. This is an image taken, at Carl Sagan's suggestion, by Voyager 1 on 14 February 1990. As the spacecraft was departing our planetary neighborhood for the fringes of the solar system, it turned it around for one last look at its home planet. Voyager 1 was about 4 billion miles away when it captured this portrait of our world. Caught in the center of scattered light rays (a result of taking the picture so close to the Sun), Earth appears as a tiny point of light. Here is an excerpt from Sagan's book. “Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” Does this description, along with the realization that we are so small, leave you more in awe of God? Like David, does it leave you saying, "Oh Lord! How majestic is your name in all the earth!"?

  • In verse 5, David starts to answer the question he asked in verse 4, "What are mere mortals that you should think about them?" Verse 5 tells us that God made us only slightly lower than himself! And he placed all of creation under our authority. Even though we are just a speck of dust on that pale blue dot, he has elevated us far beyond our weakness and seeming insignificance. Think about that... GOD chose this for us. HE made the heavens, HE crowned us with glory, HE gave us things to rule over. Our worth coms from HIM. What are the things in life that we usually get our worth from? What can be the potential pitfalls of getting our value and worth from something other than God?

  • The Big Idea on Sunday was, "Your view of God is inadequate." Sometimes the God we've contrived in our imaginations is very small. Limited power, holiness, righteousness, grace, attention span, etc. In Psalm 8, David is trying to lift our lid; raise our view of God to invoke awe in us. When you're in awe of something, words fail you. You have a hard time trying to describe it. This is most likely the reason there are so many different descriptions of God and his glory from people in Scripture that have seen him. They are trying to put words to something that cannot be described. When was the last time you were truly in awe of God? When was the last time you were blown away with what you've experienced in his presence?

  • Even though people use different adjectives to describe God in Scripture, the result is always the same. When people actually see the glory of God they faint, fall, throw themselves down on the ground. We're human so we have no capacity to fully comprehend God. We are like a cheap camera trying to capture the glory of a sunset. The answer to almost any problem we have in this life is a more accurate view of the majesty and glory of God. We talk about him, casually toss up these flippant little prayers.  We forget that if we actually SAW him, we'd say nothing! We'd be speechless. Think about this... what if God gave you a glimpse of himself? What if you got to see him, in person, for just 10 seconds? During those 10 seconds, what do you think you'd be thinking about? What would you be feeling? How would it change your perspective on your life and your struggles?

  • When we have a small view of God, we get arrogant. We can start to become ungrateful. We can start thinking that God exists for us, and that his love for us depends upon how much he gives us. Sunday's challenge was "Raise your gaze!" Brandon challenged us to lift our eyes. We need to learn to live in the great paradox of the Gospel and of Psalm 8. God is indescribably amazing, I am nothing, yet he gave me everything. THIS way of living leads to walking in humility. It keeps our life and faith on track. He is amazing, I am nothing, yet he gave me everything. We are like the pale blue dot... a speck of dust on a speck of dust, caught up in the light beam of God's love. In which situations in your life do you need a perspective shift? What issues have dominated your field of vision and taken your eyes off him? What needs to change? 
 

Prayer Topics:

  • That we would live in awe of God. 
  • That we would find our value and worth in him.
  • That we would raise our gaze and fix our eyes on him.

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