Last week we talked about practicing silence, solitude, and Sabbath. I really hope you are preparing ahead to set aside Sunday for reflection, rest and relationship with God and others. If you don’t plan to make the Lords day, the Lords day it won’t happen. Please use this material as part of your preparation plan to gather for worship and fellowship.
Jesus gave us certain practices that under God’s grace are essential for deep change and renovation. When we do what, He says we are built up. When we neglect His teaching, we will collapse under the storms of life and judgment. This Sunday we will learn three practices and how we are to do them in our journey to be more like Jesus. The go from easiest to hardest for most people.
Please read the scriptures and consider what Jesus taught about each. This was part of Jesus core teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. Don’t think for a second He didn’t expect us to apply this in the context it was given in.
Mat 7:24-27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.”
God wants you built up. I know He will change us as we follow His word.
I can’t wait to see you.
STEPS TO PREPARE AND HOW TO GET READY
PRAY FOR THE SERVICES AND FOR YOURSELF
AND ME AND THE OTHER TEACHERS.
PRAYERFULLY READ THE SCRIPTURES
AND CONSIDER THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.
MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND A PREACHING SERVICE AND A SMALL GROUP.
INVITE SOMEONE TO COME WITH YOU.
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY: SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
- How can we know Jesus expected all his followers to be givers?
Mat 6:1-4 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
- Why is giving in a way that is not for show important?
- Why does God trust some believers with more riches than the poor?
Mat 6:3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.2 Co 8:14-15 at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; 15 as it is written, “HE WHO gathered MUCH DID NOT HAVE TOO MUCH, AND HE WHO gathered LITTLE HAD NO LACK.”
- In Jesus’s teaching, how often should someone pray?
Mat 6:11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
- How big of a part does forgiving and being forgiven play in Jesus’s teachings on prayer?
Mat 6:12-15 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 14 “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions
- What is the biggest obstacle to daily prayer for you?
- Why is fasting from food seldom mentioned in cultures of plenty?
- Does Jesus expect this?
Mat 6:17 “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face
- Why is being able to say no to food so hard yet so important?
Php 3:18-19 There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. 19 But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.