Gateway North, Branson & Online
4/24 – GOD LOVES LGBT PEOPLE
Throughout history, faith and culture have clashed. Society today is no different. Who do we listen to as we navigate two different voices that try to mold, shape, and transform us?
This week’s Next Steps are focused on helping us navigate the often confusing waters of same-sex relationships, but really, this applies to every area of life. How can we not condemn people, not compromise Scripture, yet offer hope to all? As you work through the questions, pause to consider what areas of your life God is longing to restore and transform with His way of hope.
- Read Matthew 5:17-19. What’s Jesus saying about the Scriptures? How do you view the Scriptures? When Scripture and culture clash, how do you determine what’s right? What’s something that God, through Scripture, says “no” to that’s been challenging for you and why?
- Describe a time you struggled with thinking or feeling like you were an outsider or were different? Have you ever felt judged or condemned and how did that feel? Why do we do this to each other?
- Read John 3:16-17. As you reflect on your past and present, who have you been tempted to judge and condemn, and why? How can this passage help you see God and others differently?
- “The monster you try to hide in the closet never dies.” How does this statement strike you? Read 2 Corinthians 3:16-17 & 1 John 1:5-9. How could opening the door to allow God and other Christ-followers into your pain and struggle free you?
- Read 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 & John 15:5. How does anyone grow / change according to these passages? In what area of your life would you like to see transformation? This says that we create the environment / soil where God causes the growth as we stay connected to God. How can we create this environment for each other to help us better stay connected to God?
- Read Matthew 19:3-6. As we have been discussing sex and sexuality, Jesus indicates God’s intent for sexual expression from the beginning had a context. Describe the ways our culture clashes with this perspective. Do you believe the limits God puts on our sexual expression are motivated by God’s love for us? Why or why not? How does God’s perspective of eternal rewards for honoring Him sexually make a difference?
Matthew 5:17-19 — ”Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
John 3:16-17 — For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
2 Corinthians 3:16-17 — But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 John 1:5-9 — This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 Corinthian 3:6-7 — I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
John 15:5 — I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Matthew 19:3-6 — And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
We recognize that for many sex and intimacy can be a difficult topic — it’s a place where most of us have wounds or scars of some kind, but there’s hope! God wants to help us, heal us and make us sexually whole people who are free of the sexual insanity of our culture, and instead find something better. We’ve put together some classes and groups to help you, and we hope to add a few more as the series progresses.
THE MINGLING OF SOULS — God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex & Redemption
- Class for Gateway Singles on Sundays, May 1st – June 5th, from 2-4 PM. Childcare is available.
- Class for Gateway Marrieds on Sundays, May 1st – June 5th, from 2-4 PM. Childcare is available
AFFAIR RECOVERY — This is a 13-week course that will walk married couples through the critical steps required to address infidelity and reconnect as a couple starting Sunday, May 15th, at 6:30 PM.
WOUNDED HEART GROUP for Women — Wounded Heart is a 14-week, adult women’s support group for victims of sexual abuse. Starts Monday, May 16th, from 7-8:30 PM. Childcare is available.
SEX ADDICTION GROUP for Men — Starts Tuesday, May 17th from 7-8:30 PM.
CROSS CURRENT — Cross Current is a safe and open group for those who would like to process unanswered questions about their relational and sexual brokenness. It runs for 8 weeks starting Monday, May 2nd, from 7- 9 PM. Childcare is available.
Additional details & registration info will be posted in the upcoming weeks!
Questions? Email Restore@GatewayChurch.com
And PARENTS, our NextGen team has put together some great resources for you to start the conversation with your kids. Just text the word THETALK to 80123, and you’ll get a link to a PDF resource. DOWNLOAD THE PDF RESOURCE HERE.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH PATH
Did you know you can now track your progress working through the outcomes we include in Next Steps right on Gateway’s website?! Go to Spiritual Growth Path and create an account. You’ll get access to Spiritual Fitness Checks and training with the spiritual outcomes.
BIBLE APP by YOU VERSION
If you’ve yet to do so, we encourage you to download the Bible App by YouVersion on your smart phone. Create a free YouVersion account under Settings. Tap Plans > Discover > Search: Outreach New Testament > Start Plan. Then you can read along each day with us!