Sometimes our own cures can end up worse than our ailments. In fact, most of the times our cures are part of our ailment. This is our topic Sunday.
A lot of religious practice does not turn people into happy, peaceful, loving, Christlike individuals.
If we are honest much of religious effort can make people miserable, mean, tedious, and judgmental. You may know people or find yourself wondering where all this joy you were promised? You may secretly find yourself deeply troubled or discontent. You are discontent not because you don’t have something you want but because you are empty joyless and stressed.
I hope you will listen with an open heart this Sunday. I can’t give you what your heart needs, but I can point you in the direction of the one who will.
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
Please consider the scriptures and questions.
Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
What does it mean to really hunger and thirst and thirst for what only God can give?
What religious ambitions and practices can be substituted for hungering and thirsting what only God can give?
How can religious knowledge and activity become a substitute for God?
Philippians 3:6 As to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.
Romans 10:2-3 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
How can religion make some people miserable and miserable to be around?
How can the Holy Spirit make us miserable in a good way?
Joh 16:7-8 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.
What does God the Holy Spirit want to do in us by convicting us?
Joh 14:26-27 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do, I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful
Gal 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
What are common ways people respond to conviction of the Holy Spirit?
Why should we never draw conclusions from ours or others first reaction to being convicted?
Act 7:54 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him.
Act 26:9-11 “So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 “And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 “And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities.
Describe how we can avoid and run from conviction and divine discontent.