Week 7: Robin Vs The Avengers

Read –

This past week, Scott discussed the idea of a moral circle. In Psychology Professor Richard Beck’s book, Unclean, he discusses how we all have a moral circle. Inside circle exists the people we would consider a part of our tribe. Traditionally, they look like us, act like us, think like us and even vote like us. Then there are those outside of our circle. Oftentimes, we treat those outside of our circle differently, but not necessarily intentionally. Scott shared how sometimes it happens at an unconscious level.

It happened in the first century just like it does today. The gospel of Matthew shares this story.

When the Pharisee saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” – Mathew 9:11

For first century Judaism, eating together was a sign of acceptance. You would only eat with those inside your moral circle. Even today, we operate in this way. We are cautious with who we share a meal and with who we hang out. In reality, our very own moral circle has a way of elevating ourselves at the expense of lowering those outside of our circle.

Jesus would lower himself in order to elevate others. Paul writes,

“...being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!”

Paul is saying Jesus is God. Because of that, everyone was outside of Jesus’ moral circle. Jesus didn’t live the way people of the first century lived. Jesus didn’t live the way we live. Instead, his circle was all about giving himself up for others.

Jesus flipped the idea of a moral circle upside down with the way he lived. It ended up permeating throughout the early church as His followers found themselves elevating those around them in the same way Jesus did.

Discuss –

Describe your moral circle? Who is in it? Who is outside of it?

Think back to Scott’s illustrations (gas station, Ikea). Share a time when you have seen someone intentionally or unintentionally treating people outside of their circle differently. Share a time when you have done it.

Go back and read Acts 2:42-47. What would it look like if we lived like this? What are tangible ways we can begin living a life without moral circles or barriers?

Scott said, “The person of Jesus, his life, his love, and his resurrection inspired the early Christians to change the way they lived.” What are some things we need to change in our lives in order to live the way Jesus lived?

The examples of Batman, Robin and the Avengers paint a picture for us. They help us understand how to live as a community, working together for the betterment of said community. How have you lived as a Batman or Robin? How have you lived as the Avengers?

In John 3:30, the author records John the Baptist as saying, “He must become greater; I must become less.” It is a choice to ultimately choose to see and treat others as if there is not moral circle. How can you make choices this week to live with a wider moral circle? How can you begin to eliminate your circle completely?

Who is one person you can invite to be a part of a group during the Freeway series?

Pray –

Pray for your Life Group
Pray that your group will begin to widen their moral circles or eliminate it completely. Pray that you will start to see people the way Jesus saw people. Pray that will change the way we live in community with those around us.

Pray of for FCC and Our Community
Pray for our upcoming GroupLink on September 16. We believe groups are the place to pursue healthy relationships and spiritual growth. GroupLink will be an event to connect people into our community groups for the upcoming fall season. Pray for those who have registered, for those on the fence and for those who show up to GroupLink.

Pray for our Global Partners
Praise God for continued healing for baby Silas with the B Family, FCC global field workers in India. Their baby boy was born stateside 4 months ago and they've continued to ask for prayers for his growth and development of his brain. He's suffered a brain injury but is continuing to exceed expectations. Pray that our field workers' ministry in India continues to thrive and impact people's lives despite our field workers' current absence.

Week 6: Suit Up


This week Scott talked about the fact that as followers of Jesus, we need to understand that our true enemy is the devil. This can be a real struggle for us in this age of secularism. If we believe what the Bible teaches about spiritual forces, it will reframe our worldview. We will no longer see people as our enemies. We will understand that our real enemy is not flesh and blood.

Ephesians 6:12

Many of us are familiar with this verse, but we feel more like our struggles are, in fact, against flesh and blood. Our present culture has rejected the spiritual, and when we do this, other people become our enemies. C.S. Lewis speculated that the secularization of modern society is all a part of Satan’s strategy. In his book The Screwtape Letters, a fictional demon writes to his protégé...

My Dear Wormwood,
I wonder you should ask me whether it is essential to keep the patient in ignorance of your own existence. That question, at least for the present phase of the struggle, has been answered for us by the High Command. Our policy, for the moment, is to conceal ourselves. Of course this has not always been so. We are really faced with a cruel dilemma. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and skeptics.

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist.” -From the movie The Usual Suspects (1995)

Regarding those who were plotting to kill Jesus, he said...

John 8:44

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Jesus consistently attributed evil to the devil. The fact is, that if we believe the words of Jesus, then we will understand the world around us as a spiritual battleground, where the enemy works against God and his purposes.


Describe your default worldview. Do you have more of a spiritual or secular way of seeing things?

Is it ever a struggle for you to believe what the Bible teaches about spiritual forces?

When you think about an enemy, is there a person, or group of people who comes to mind?

How is the perception of other people as our enemies changed, if we really believe and apply Ephesians 6:12?

If we believe what the Bible says, then all people have a common enemy. How does this reframe the conflicts you experience with other people?

Look up and read Ephesians 6:10-17. Is there a piece of gear in the “Armor of God” that you feel like you are missing? What can you do to grow in this area?

This section of scripture ends by encouraging us to pray. Why is prayer so important? How does an active prayer life affect your spiritual worldview?


Pray that we will see reality. Pray that we will understand that our struggles are not with people, but with the devil. Pray that we will reject the secular worldview that permeates our culture.

Keep on praying for our “Snow Way Event”. This is an opportunity for us to invite friends and neighbors to FCC, and connect with people who need Jesus. Pray about who you might invite, and that the event will be a success.

Spend a moment giving praise to God and thanking Him for the impact the FCC Mexico Global Connection Team had 2 weeks ago. They built a home for family that makes $177 a week and the team finished two other unfinished homes in Tijuana. Pray for the 3 families living in those new homes that they would be surrounded by an encouraging group of like-minded Christians and that they would be able to continue seeing positive transformation in every aspect of their lives.


Week 5: Take A Stand


This weekend Matt talked about Gideon from the book of Judges. Gideon took a stand against the false gods that his people worshiped. In doing so, he angered his friends and neighbors to the point that they were ready to kill him. In the next chapter, we see thousands of men ready and willing to follow him into battle.

When you take a stand, many won’t like it at first. Change is difficult for people to deal with, and change often threatens the things that people hold to be sacred. In the long run, we follow those who stand for something.

We learned about the progression of Gideon’s character. He started out in a place of cowardice. He initially took a small stand, and then went on to something bigger. Sometimes the stand we need to take is big, but smaller stands prepare us for what lies ahead. Gideon’s journey to leadership had it’s bumps and obstacles. In the end, he became the leader that he was because he was willing to take a stand.


Just for fun...
Sometimes we don’t choose our battles wisely. What is the dumbest thing you’ve ever taken a stand for?

Who is a person that you admire for taking a stand?
For you, what is the most difficult thing about standing up for what you believe? What do you wish more people would take a stand for?
What stand do you need to take? How can this group support you in it?

Pray that we will have the courage to take stands in our lives, and that God will bless our actions when we follow him.

Keep on praying for our “Snow Way Event.” This is an opportunity for us to invite friends and neighbors to FCC, and connect with people who need Jesus. Pray about who you might invite, and that the event will be a success.

Spend a moment giving thanks and praise to God for three baptisms that took place this week where FCC field workers work in the Middle East. Pray for those who committed their life to Jesus, to remain bold in their faith and encouraged by a surrounding body of believers.


Week 3: Kryptonite


James 1:15
Then, after desire is conceived. It gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

As people, sin is our Kryptonite. Sin is what brings death and destruction into our lives, dreams, and relationships. Sin damages our ability to love and trust others, and separates us from God.

God takes sin so seriously, that Jesus used extreme examples to describe what measures we should be willing to take to avoid it. While his statements are obviously hyperbolic, they are communicated this way to convey the severity of the destruction that sin can bring to our lives.

Matthew 5:29-30
If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Scott focused the second half of his message on the idea of “guardrails.” These are preventative measures that we can take to make sure that sin does not get a grip on our lives. Guardrails are in place to keep us “away from the edge.,”

In the book of Genesis, Lot is a man who could have used guardrails. In chapter 13, he separates from his Uncle Abraham, and chooses a new place to settle.

Genesis 13:11-13
So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.

Lot chose to live not in, but near a city full of wickedness. A few chapters later, where do we find Lot?

Genesis 19:1The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.

Unless our boundaries are defined and in place, they do not guard us from anything. It is easy to imagine that over time, Lot inched closer and closer to Sodom, until he was eventually a part of the wicked culture that he once only observed at a distance.


What are the things in your life that you value the most?
How can sin threaten these things?
Have you defined guardrails when it comes to protecting these things from sin?

What are some possible guardrails that we can put in place when it comes to the following sins?

-Drunkenness-Sexual Sin -Greed -Gossip

-Hate -Envy

What does it take for guardrails to work?
If we set boundaries in our lives, how are they enforced?


Pray that we will guard our hearts by setting appropriate boundaries in place that will protect us from the destructiveness of sin.

Continue to pray for our “Snow Way Event.” This is an opportunity for us to invite friends and neighbors to FCC, and connect with people who need Jesus. Pray about who you might invite, and that the event will be a success.

Pray for FCC field workers in the Middle East as they run a second center to help give aid to marginalized people groups and refugees. Pray for many to sense the presence of God in our workers and their programs and to then have the boldness and courage to ask faith questions and pursue following Jesus.



Week 2: You Were Born For This


As we continued through our “Heroes” series this past weekend, Scott talked about our identities as follower of Jesus. We were born to be the heroes of this world.

Ephesians 1:4-5
For He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship in Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-

We have been adopted into the family of Jesus. His holiness belongs to us. His sonship belongs to us. His selflessness and self-sacrificial love also belong to us. Our lives are to be lived in response to what Jesus has done through us. In this way, we are called to be heroes.

In the same way that Jesus went to the cross to give all he had for us, we are called to lay down what we have for others. If I don’t live my day-to-day life like this, it is because of a lack of understanding about who I am. If I look into the mirror and don’t see a hero, then when the opportunity to do something heroic arrives, I won’t behave like a hero. The more we view ourselves as who we really are, the more we will behave in a way that is consistent with our heroic reality.


Just for fun...
Who is your favorite superhero, and why?

Look up the following verses and share what they say about our identity as followers of Jesus...

2 Corinthians 5:17 1 John 3:1-2

1 John 3:16

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

John 15:15 Galatians 4:7 Ephesians 1:7 Genesis 1:27
1 Peter 2:9 Philippians 3:20 Romans 8:31-38

When you look into the mirror, do you see a hero? If not, who do you see?

If the Bible is true, then we should be defined by what God says about who we are. Sadly, most of us allow our society, or our self-perception to define us. What keeps you from allowing God’s words to define your identity? Why do we allow anything else to define us?

If you really understood yourself as a hero, how will this effect the way you handle day- to-day situations?


Pray that we will begin to see ourselves as the heroes we really are. We are all called to a life of loving and serving others as children of God.

Next month we will be having a huge Summer event called the “Snow Way Event.” This is an opportunity for us to invite friends and neighbors to FCC, and connect with people who need Jesus. Pray about who you might invite and that the event will be a success.

Pray for the FCC Global Connection Team to Southeast Asia departing Monday, July 16. Pray that our field workers will feel encouraged and rejuvenated by our team. Pray for many people who do not follow Jesus to be impacted by the team and to feel comfortable and bold in asking questions about who Jesus is and the hope he brings.



Week 1: What Is A Hero?


We just started a new series called Heroes. During this series, we are having some fun talking about superheroes and what it takes for us to be heroes. Scott focused us on a very short verse that tells us the story of a hero named Shamgar.

Judges 3:31

After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.  

Although this verse doesn’t seem like much, it reveals a lot of truth about what it takes to be a hero. Shamgar was not a hero because of some incredible superpower, or laboratory accident. Shamgar was a hero because he used what he had and where he was, to do what he could. 

God places a high value on the idea of people using the resources that we are blessed with. 

1 Peter 4:10

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

 Read Matthew 25:14-30

In this parable, the servants are not judged by what they have been given, but by what they did with what they were given. The servant who buried his money was called wicked and lazy. 

The greatest thing that we can do with what we have been given, is to place it into Jesus’ hands. When we give our time, money, talents, energy, skills, aptitudes, and efforts over to God, He can do great things with them. We have to decide each day if we will put to use what we have been given, or if we will use it for our own advantage.


Scott shared these three simple ideas, that reflect Shamgar’s success…

1.   Start where you are.

2.   Use what you have.

3.   Do what you can. 

We are going to take a few minutes to think about these three things and how we can follow Shamgar’s example.

Where are you? How would you describe your present situation, circumstances, and phase of life?

What do you have? What has God blessed you with? What are your assets, skills, talents, passions, and resources?

What can you do? Dream about what you could possibly do with what you have in your present situation. Dream big. Have fun imagining what you might accomplish.

Prayerfully consider if God may be leading you to be a hero for others in a new way. 



Pray that we will be open to God’s leading, and that we will look at our place, resources, and potential with a fresh sense of vision.


Pray that FCC will effectively be a hero to our community; using what we have to serve and love others in a way that consistently reveals God’s love.


(Jericho will provide this)