Evaluating Success (Focus 2 of 4)

Focus 2 | Evaluating Success

Success is not “more than you asked for.” Success is “everything you needed.”
Consider this ice breaker as you gather for the Spotlight.
What sport do you enjoy watching the most?

Once you've broken the ice, get into the main idea of this Spotlight with another question, this one about whom you're beating. Use the video below for this. 
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.
Welcome Perspective: You can’t get ahead if you don’t understand who you are following.
Finish your time in the Worship section by singing the song "The Love of God." As you do, note in particular the final verse's observation that God's love is specific - it works toward a specific goal: reaching, saving, and sustaining you. 
Worship Perspective: Author, perfecter, pioneer, and champion: Jesus is success.
Learn Perspective: Follow Jesus well, and you'll find you've already crossed the finish line.
Read this story from near the end of Jesus’ life.

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he reclined at the table.

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant and asked, “Why this waste? This perfume could have been sold at a high price, and the money given to the poor.”

Aware of this, Jesus asked, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful deed to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. By pouring this perfume on me, she has prepared my body for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached in all the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

This is a beautiful story about the faith-filled relationship of Jesus and someone he saved, with the tragic twist of the selfishness of the disciples. It matters here because of a short quote from Jesus: “The poor you will always have with you.”

Discuss this question:
  • In what ways do you think this concept should affect the way one approaches working with those who are poor? Does it change the way you approach the chance to help?
Consider this question:
  • How does the idea that the poor you will always have with you affect the debate over the merits of “transitional housing”?
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 this ancient prayer together.
If you're doing this Spotlight in a group, have one member read the regular text and the rest of the group respond with the bolded sections.

Lord, your word tells us that there is great good in godliness combined with contentment;
that as we brought nothing into this world, so we can take nothing out of it. 
Help us, dear Lord, to be content with what we have;
to seek heavenly treasures rather than those things of this world which rust corrodes and moths consume. 
Grant that we might be people who share the wealth that you have provided;
that we might be ones who share both the bread and wine of earth and the bread and wine of heaven…

Father, we especially pray today for those who, like Lazarus, are ignored or neglected and left to suffer in our world;
those who live in poverty within our neighborhoods, and those who lie in great suffering at the gates of our nation…

O God, bind your people together and make us bright and shining witnesses to your compassion and your grace
qualities which are revealed in the law and the prophets and in Christ Jesus, the one you raised from the dead…

Hear too, we pray, the petitions and the intercessions of our hearts for those who govern and are in authority;
for those who lost in sin and despair; for those who need healing; and for those who seek to serve as Jesus served…

We ask these things and we give you our thanks and praise, and our minutes and our days, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Serve Perspective: Succeeding Jesus means loving people as much as you love him.

What gets talked about this week? 

Think back over the Spotlight. 
  • Are there things that were brought up that inform conversations you’re already having? 
  • Are there questions that the world is asking that might be asked by the information you just had the opportunity to consider? 
  • Are there parts of this Spotlight that you think might apply to conversations you’ll have this week? 
If the answer to any of these is yes, share your thoughts on them with those in your Spotlight Community. We’ll all be better prepared to be thoughtful conversation partners if we can think ahead a little! 
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: Success is not wrong, but like most of God’s good gifts, it's meant for sharing.
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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