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Simplicity

Happy New Year!

Would you like to declutter and uncomplicate your life? This Sunday I will begin a twelve-week series on simplicity. In almost every area we move from simplicity to complexity. It seems we easily end up just piling on more stuff, weight, good ideas and recommended tasks. Religious thinking and practice are not exceptions.

We are warned about more than sin. We are also warned about weights, things that encumber us.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Sin can certainly trip us, but encumbrances will turn our journey with Christ into a draining trudge through life. Encumbrances are often ideas and practices that we think we need but in fact, may be hindering or not helping us. These are often given by sincere people to help but they, in fact, distract you from loving Jesus. This Sunday I will give you four simple things to begin to declutter and simplify your love for Jesus.

Please come and listen.

Blessings,
Joe

STEPS TO PREPARE

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

 

Describe something that is not necessarily sinful, but it hinders your love for Jesus.

Hebrews 12:1  Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
What does it mean when people say, “keep your eyes on Jesus”?

 

 

Why is having a deep daily love for Jesus central to being his follower?

Mat 10:37-39 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39  “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

1 Peter 1:8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

 2 Corinthians 5:13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Revelations 2:1-5 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this: 2 ‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3  and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4 ‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 ‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place–unless you repent.

 

 

Why is leaving your first love for Jesus so common is serious well-intended Christians?

 

 Why is leaving your first love for Jesus so destructive?

 

How can religious activities complicate and dilute your simple pure love for Christ?

 

Describe an example if possible.

 

How can we pray for you?

Joe Martin

Senior Pastor - Click Here for full profile

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