BE RICH PART 1: BE RICH IN GRACE
DISCUSS THE CALL TO ACTION
BEING RICH IS NOT ABOUT MONEY, IT’S ABOUT A MENTALITY.
In reviewing the patterns and words of God through the Bible, it becomes clear that being rich has nothing to do with money. Instead, it is about a mentality that views the gifts God has given us and applies them toward the benefit of others. Understanding this means that there are multiple ways that we can be rich, if we are willing to have the attitude and perspective needed to see what God has placed in our lives and how we can use what he has given us to benefit others.
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
In the passage above, a dramatic scene plays out. Christ, the savior of the world, was confronted by the religious establishment of the day with a test designed to discredit Him in front of the people. The test presented was in the form of a woman caught in the act of adultery. The law, presented by God in the time of Moses, stated that this woman should be stoned. Christ, while not ignoring or discounting the law of God, introduced something greater into the equation: Grace.
The definition of Grace is this: To give dignity or honor to.
In this woman’s worst moment, the savior of the world made a decision to be rich in Grace. Grace in our society is often misunderstood, as it can be easily assumed that to show grace means to live without boundaries with harmful people, or to ignore truth, or just to live passively. None of these scenarios are true.
Instead, at its core, Grace is a mentality that always allows room for God to work His redemptive story even in the middle of people’s worst moments. No one is ever too far gone, and it is possible to be rich in Grace just like Christ.
But in doing so, Grace asks three questions of us…..
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? (…brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery / … . Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman)
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? (…brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery / … Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman)
For the religious leaders to find a woman caught in the middle of adultery they would have to be intentionally looking for it. Christ, on the other hand, was intentionally looking for people to value and love, even in their imperfection.
What we choose to look for is what we will find. If we wake up looking for flaws and weakness in the people we will interact with we are guaranteed to find it. Grace, on the other hand, looks past just what people do and instead looks to who they are as people and as valued children of God. Do actions matter? Yes! But we can spend our entire lives looking, and finding, the flaws and weaknesses in people or we can choose to be rich in grace and love people right where they are at.
The person who is rich in grace is the person that finds the good, because they are seeking it.
Question for group
How does what we look for change what we will find? Give examples…
WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO? (….They put her in front of the crowd / …. “Where are your accusers?)
Both the religious leaders and Christ agreed on one thing: What the woman did by committing adultery was wrong. Where they differed was in how to address it. The religious leaders brought her failure and shame out into the public. Christ, on the other hand, dispersed the crowd before addressing her sin. By doing this he was rich in Grace, and we are called to do the same.
As we bump up against the weakness, failures, and humanity of others there will always be a temptation to expose what they do to a crowd. The “crowd” can take a variety of forms: from people we know intimately, to people we barely know, to even people we interact with on social media platforms. When faced with their faults, we then have a choice to expose them publicly or tell the truth privately. When we make a choice to keep the crowd off their backs while loving them enough to tell the truth in person we are rich in grace.
When we are rich in grace this way, we will find deep and meaningful relationships even with the people that we might have disagreements with.
Question for group
Why is it easier to expose someone to a crowd? Why is it more risky to tell truth personally?
HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF? (…They kept demanding an answer / … let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone)
The religious leaders lived in two extremes. At first, they took the perspective that they were “superior” than the woman because they had not committed adultery. Then, when Christ exposed their own sin, they viewed themselves as “inferior” and walked away from the Christ that could have redeemed them.
If we are going to be rich in grace, we must answer the question of how we view ourselves. Do we view ourselves as superior, and place ourselves above people who have made mistakes that we haven’t? Or, because of our own choices, do we view ourselves as inferior and too far gone to be a recipient of God’s Grace? Both extremes are dangerous.
We can be rich in Grace because we receive Grace from Christ himself, and then can in turn pour out his Grace on those who least deserve it.
Question for group
Talk about how we must be both the recipient and distributor of God’s Grace. Why can’t we just be one or the other?
NOV 9 | 12-4p
College Football Rad Social
150 Essex Place, Forsyth
We are invited any and all men to join us for some college football and fun community building! We will be watching the UGA / Missouri game, but also other national games on as well. We will also be cooking some great food!
NOV 9th | 2-4p
Ladies Crafting Rad Social
360 Heritage Drive, Macon
Our ladies will be painting and spending time with each other at one of our most popular Rad Socials. Please reach out to Marquita Self for more information and cost.
NOV 16 | 5:30 – 8:30p
Radiant Kids Family Fun Night
79 Pinewood Drive, Forsyth GA 31029
Bring the whole family for an Outdoor Movie Night! Popcorn, drinks, and fun all included for free!
NOV 17 | 12- 1p
Sonny Carter Elementary School
Interested in Next Steps with Radiant? Plan on joining us for this one week class that covers our history, our mission, and how to get involved. Lunch is provided!