Focus 3 (of 4)-Revisioning Salvation

Focus 2|Revisioning Salvation

What God has saved you from is nothing compared to what God saved you for.
Consider this ice breaker question to get started.
Would you rather go to the beach or the mountains?
See what this Spotlight—and series— is focused on.
Tap on the words "Focus 3" in the image below to read this Spotlight's summary.
Let’s talk about vaccines.
Listen to this audio clip when you’re ready to begin today’s Spotlight.
(And welcome, by the way! It’s great that you’re here!)
Recount a time when crisis reshaped what was important to you. 
Have you noticed how it seems almost everybody knows the word “epidemiologist” at this point in the pandemic? Don’t you wish you didn’t have to? Crises, emergencies, and disasters can turn your attention toward things you never thought you’d care about or need to understand.

“I never thought I’d know so much about __________, but when…”

If you have an experience like that, please share it with your group. This is a good chance to share a  part of your past in a safe space to help your Spotlight Focus group get to know you a little better.
Welcome Perspective
What shouldn’t have been, but now that we need it, is more precious than gold?
Start to recognize the different versions of sin.
While a person (with a limited perspective) can feel tossed about from crisis to crisis, God (with his total perspective) sees that all of the problems you deal with stem from one great crisis called sin.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
Isaiah 59:2

Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”?  
Proverbs 20:9

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.
1 John 3:4

“Sin” can be a hard concept to pin down, but you can think of it as separating that which should be united. By this definition, if you are sinning, you are pulling something apart that should be united. If you are experiencing the effects of sin, you are dealing with the consequences of this separation as they exist all around you.

Your wrongdoings have kept these away; your sins have deprived you of good.
Jeremiah 5:25

It is not disobedience to a law which makes an act sinful but the fact that it is an expression of man's estrangement from God, from men, and from himself.

Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology

Here’s a quick way to think about this definition of sin: if you’re doing the Spotlight in a group, work together to find one news story that represents each of the versions of separation that are listed below.
  1. Sin as Separating from Self
  2. Sin as Separating from People
  3. Sin as Separating from God
  4. Sin as a Broken World Separated from its Maker
Gratefully enjoy what God does with [every version of] sin.
You’ll think more about the realities of sin’s crises in a minute, but right now let’s deal with this: sin is awful, but God has not left you alone to be overwhelmed by it.

While humanity has engaged in a destructive practice of separation and estrangement ever since sin came on the scene, God has engaged in the opposite: the pursuit of unity and connection with all people. Psalm 32 is a beautiful expression of that contrast. Meditate on it using this video.
Praise Christ for making this possible.
If you’re doing this Spotlight in a group, work together to retell the story of what Jesus did to save everyone as if you were telling it to a kindergartner.

In fact, use this Pre-K story map as you do, filling in each space.

Now that you’ve retold the story that brought salvation, celebrate it with the song Forgiven by Crowder.
Worship Perspective
In Jesus, you are split apart by sin no more. God has pursued you.
Discuss the tension between what you want and what God is doing.
It can be hard to embrace God’s salvation because while he saves you from that which he knows is most important, he may not address what you think is most important.

The poem Dear God by Joanah Madzime explores this.
While you watch, note two things:

  1. Your favorite line or turn-of-phrase. 
  2. One person you know who might love this poem.
Discuss the poem with your group using these questions:

  1. Come up with at least 3 ways to fill these blanks: This poem divides into two clear halves. The first half is about __________ and the second half is about __________. 
  2. How does the poem help you as you deal with the frustrations of sin’s affects on life? 
  3. How does this poem help you as you encourage others who are frustrated by sin’s affects on life?
After your discussion, pray together this prayer written by Soren Kierkegaard.
Great is Your kingdom, O You who bears the weight of the stars and governs the forces of the world.

Numberless are those who have life through You, yet You hear the cry of all creatures. You hear the cry of all without confusing their voices and without playing favorites. You hear not only the voice of one who is responsible for many others. You hear not only the voice of one who prays for dear ones. No, You also hear the most miserable, the most abandoned, the most solitary person—in the desert, in the multitude.

If the forgotten one has become unknown in the crowd, having ceased to be anything more than a number on a list, You remember the person and the name. If in the thick shadows of dread, in the prey of terrible thoughts, we are abandoned, abandoned almost by the language we speak, still You would not have forgotten us. You would understand our language, You who hears the cry of all. You find a way to us which is prompter than light and more constant than the stars.
Learn Perspective
Christ is salvation, but faith to trust it’s enough comes from the Spirit.
Walk through the numbers.
Salvation is meant to be shared, and not sharing it is devastating. Before you walk through the presentation below, guess at a few numbers.
  1. How many people could be fed by the amount of food produced worldwide each year?
  2. What is the global population? 
  3. How many children will die of starvation this year? 
  4. How many Christians are in the world today?
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
Salvation hoarded is condemnation. Ergo, pursue communion.
Listen to this song about the changing power of salvation.
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
God stops at nothing, which is proof positive of what you're truly worth.
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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