Focus 2 (of 5)-I Need Help

Focus 2 | I Need Help

Too often, a person doesn’t realize how weak they are until they find themselves in too deep to get out.
Consider this ice breaker as you gather for the Spotlight.
What is the best kitchen gadget or what kitchen gadget do you own that you think no one else in your group does?
See what this Spotlight—and series—is focused on.
Tap on the words "Focus 2" in the image below to read this Spotlight's summary.
Listen to a funny story about needing assistance.
Aparna Agarwal tells a story (listen from 3:36 until she is done) about being hesitant to ask for help and the unfortunate inconvenience it caused her.
Listen to this song on requesting help.
Lyrics for Oh, How I Need You by All Sons & Daughters

Lord, I find you in the seeking.
Lord, I find you in the doubt.
And to know you is to love you,
and to know so little else.

I need you.
Oh, how I need you.
Oh, how I need you.
Oh, how I need you.

Lord, I find you in the seeking.
Lord, I find you in the doubt.
And to know you is to love you,
and to know so little else.

I need you.
Oh, how I need you.
Oh, how I need you.
Oh, how I need you.

Lord, I find you in the morning.
Lord, I seek you every day.
Let my life be for your glory,
woven in your threads of grace.

I need you.
Oh, how I need you.
Oh, how I need you.
Oh, how I need you.

Light, glorious light, I will go where you shine,
break the dawn, crack the skies,
make the way bright before me.
In your light, I will find all I need—
all I need is you.

Light, glorious light, I will go where you shine,
break the dawn, crack the skies,
make the way bright before me.
In your light, I will find all I need—
all I need is you.

Oh, how I need you.
Oh, how I need you.
Oh, how I need you.
Oh, how I need you.

Oh, how I need you.
Oh, how I need you.
Oh, how I need you.
Oh, how I need you.
Welcome Perspective

Watch this video about the persistent widow.
Would that you’d believe in asking for help as much as she.

Jesus tells this story, which is a rather hopeless and cynical description of a broken dynamic of power between this unfortunate woman and this proud and uncaring judge, and serves with it just enough hope: God doesn’t treat you like the judge treats the woman. He calls you his chosen ones!

Nevertheless, he adds this question at the end: “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” This question is your challenge, your call-to-action, and your opportunity—but it is also a grace-filled reminder of all that’s needed, in better or worse, is faith.

Let’s consider how faith interacts with “asking for help” by looking at Psalm 38.

Read through Psalm 38 and consider the following questions.
I know, you’re right, we did read this same psalm last week, but there’s more here. Let’s read Psalm 38 again. Once someone has read it aloud, grab a piece of paper or note-taking app, and think through the following questions. (If you’re doing this on your own, feel free to ponder the questions internally, or even journal your thoughts.)

A psalm of David. A petition.

1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Your arrows have pierced me,
and your hand has come down on me.
3 Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
4 My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.

5 My wounds fester and are loathsome
because of my sinful folly.
6 I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
7 My back is filled with searing pain;
there is no health in my body.
8 I am feeble and utterly crushed;
I groan in anguish of heart.

9 All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
even the light has gone from my eyes.
11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
my neighbors stay far away.
12 Those who want to kill me set their traps,
those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
all day long they scheme and lie.

13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
like the mute, who cannot speak;
14 I have become like one who does not hear,
whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 Lord, I wait for you;
you will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat
or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”

17 For I am about to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
I am troubled by my sin.
19 Many have become my enemies without cause;
those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20 Those who repay my good with evil
lodge accusations against me,
though I seek only to do what is good.

21 Lord, do not forsake me;
do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my Savior.

Discuss the following questions…

  1. What have you done that you’re hoping God doesn’t punish you for? (Verse 1)
  2. From what “wounds” do you suffer that you need God to give you relief? (Verse 5)
  3. This Psalm, like most psalms, is a prayer. How open is your heart to the Lord when it comes to asking for help? Are there things you hold back from asking? (Verse 9)
  4. How are you “waiting” for God right now? (Verse 15)
  5. Where are you asking God not to forsake you? (Verse 21)
  6. In what way do you wish God felt closer to you? (Verse 22)
Learn about and listen to a song about how God provides.
The attitude of asking for help is an attitude of trust, and as the worship portion of this Spotlight closes out, notice how that trust—which comes in the midst of real, even dire need—actually leads to contentment.

To help you find rest in this concept, Illume’s Production Director, Drew Sonnenberg, interviewed Matthew Borck about his song, “I Am Content.”
Listen to the song, “I Am Content.” (Now that you know the story behind it, enjoy this brand new recording of “I Am Content,” sung by Tim Babler.)
Lyrics for I Am Content by Matthew Borck

Time is filled, gruel laboring just to survive.
Many tasks to complete with no time to retreat just to keep ourselves alive.
But the Father says that our toils are hours well spent.
It’s a blessing that we’ll employ our simple skill to get by. I am content.

Gilded style, drape our shoulders in self-centered show.
And the food is gourmet at each meal every day.
Yet, who makes these blessings flow?
It’s the Father’s hands clothing lilies in garments unbent.
And the ravens are fed, given their daily bread. So are we. I am content.

Black as night are my sins like a permanent stain.
So unable to cease, my bad habits increase in my life of grief and pain.
But the Father gave his own Son through a humble descent.
All my sin disappeared. My whole record was cleared when he died. I am content.

And the Son he rose, saved my soul to the fullest extent.
First my body be raised, then my God will be praised since he lives. I am content.
Worship Perspective

Kids, what would you do if you saw a man lying in the street? 

The Good Samaritan | Luke 10:25–27

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Continue your interactive experience about journeying into weakness.
The Apostle Peter had a unique perspective on weakness due to a series of significant events in his life. Let’s get into part two of his journey. (We went through part one in the last Spotlight.)

Click the arrow in the frame below to begin navigating through the experience.

In the first Spotlight of this series, you got a brief primer on “spiritual assessment.” One of the assessment tools you looked at was the 7x7 Assessment. Today, you’re going to perform a 7x7 on a fictional character from one of Jesus’ parables. 
Listen to the audio to meet the person you’ll be assessing today.

Divide and conquer to work through this task.

Imagine that, on the day he longed to eat the pig’s slop, the prodigal son came to you for a Spiritual Assessment.

Open the PDF in the link below and work your way through each question. (If you’re in a group, split the group in half—have half the group work through the first page and the other half work through the second page. After both groups have worked through their sections, come back together to compare notes.)

Learn Perspective

Watch this video to continue our Seattle Parents of Preemies partnership.

If you didn’t catch the previous Spotlight yet, Illume is partnering with “Seattle Parents of Preemies” throughout the month of January. As you consider “letting the weak say I am strong” this month, please add preemies and their parents to your prayers.

This week, we hear from a couple who have been in the NICU with premature babies—twice. Listen in as they share what was most helpful and encouraging for them during that process. (Many thanks to Rachel and Lucas Boehm for their willingness to share their story.)

Pictured above: a recent photo of the Boehm’s sons, Ian (right) and Micah (left). Ian, who was born at 27 weeks, can also be seen (in the other picture) shortly after his birth.
Feel free to submit a prayer request by filling out the below form.
(If you choose to make your request public, you'll see it display in the Current at the end of the Spotlight along with anyone else who did the same.)

Prayer Requests

Pray through your requests—together—as a group.
After submitting your requests in the above form, take some time to share with your group whatever requests the group might have for this week.
Serve Perspective

Use this interactive prayer experience to pray for others.
(You can scroll horizontally within the frame below to see all of the categorical columns. Use the plus symbols to add your own to the lists.)

Made with Padlet
Sing along with (or listen to) this song to close out this Spotlight.
Feel free to sing along or simply listen. Do what makes you comfortable—but do whatever helps you focus on the song's meaning best.
Farewell Perspective

Let's wrap things up by taking a look at what's Current at Illume.

Tap on the buttons in the frame below to see what’s currently happening at Illume—information on everything from current and upcoming online content to live events and opportunities to serve in the community can all be found here.                          

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