A Place to Be Real

A Place To Be Real 
9 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else:10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector!12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” LUKE 18:9-12 NLT 
God is not interested in religious games 
… Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. MATTHEW 23:25 NLT 
God has always been about relationship and people always seem to settle for religion. 
I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. 
I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings. 
Meanwhile, the crowds grew until thousands were milling about and stepping on each other. Jesus turned first to his disciples and warned them, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees—their hypocrisy.” LUKE 12:1 NLT 
God is interested in people getting real
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. PSALM 145:18 NLT 
So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy… 1 PETER 2:1 NLT 
Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.” JOHN 8:32 NLT
This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” —and I am the worst of them all. 1 TIMOTHY 1:15 NLT
God has called Sandals Church to create a safe place for people to be real 
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” MATTHEW 11:28-29 NLT 
Community Group Discussion Guide
1. As you look at your life, have you been more like the Pharisee or the tax collector? How?
2. Why do you think it is easier for people who know they are broken than for people who are striving for perfection to be real?
3. How has God used the vision of being real to change your life?
4. What are some things that keep you from being real personally?
5. What can we do as a group to insure that this is a safe place to be real?
6. Take some time in prayer thanking God for saving you from your sins, and giving you a authentic spiritual family (the Church) as a place to be real.

My Notes