Life’s Questions – Week 37 Study Guide

By September 29, 2019Small Group Study Guide

How do Faith and Reason Work Together?

With all your mind: Our need for one another in order to think and live well…to love God with our heart, soul, mind.

OPENER

There’s a tension people typically find themselves in when it comes to helping people.  

Most of the time our minds go two to extremes: My efforts alone are enough / My effort don’t matter, they’re not effective. This oversimplification is wrong, it’s “stinking thinking.” Both extremes are wrong, it’s not either this /or that. The truth is, life is often both/and. There are multiple possibilities.

The tension we want to hold on to in order to thrive is this: we cannot change people and we can profoundly help people change.

Think: think about this tension. How have they lived within this tension? Do they tend to lean towards one tension or the other? Have them tell why lean that way.

(Reminder)

The Goal for 2019: Confidence in God’s word to speak with authority in all the important aspects of our lives. This Month: Loving God with our entire beings, particularly our minds.

Read: Matt. 22:37-40  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Key point to remember: We are to love God with the totality of our beings, we can’t really parse out heart, soul, and mind separately. It’s a full life commitment. Love God and Love people. Remember that love for others flows from God and love for God is seen most readily in love for others.

OBJECTIVE

The objective for today is to understand our need for one another in order to think and live well, to love God with our heart, soul, and mind.

STUDY

Read: Heb. 3:7-19   So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Note: WE are designed by God to live and thrive in community…we are not made to live solo any more than a hand can live without the rest of the body. Everywhere I go in secular training situations…places that don’t mention the Scripture or the gospel…I hear over and over…the fact that connectedness…committed relationships are the number one protective factor for human thriving and living. The Evidence is clear…living connected is essential for human thriving.

*Three points regarding the Protective factors of a life lived in Community

1. A Challenge: Take responsibility for your own heart and mind

See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Question: Who’s job is it to make sure you don’t turn away? What about committed community, isn’t it someone’s responsibility to make sure I don’t struggle or fall away?

Important point: There are no factors outside your control that can move you away from God…God is all for you believing him.

2. A Commitment: Take responsibility for the hearts, minds, and lives of others

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Questions: What is the key strategy in this passage?

Question: When are we most prone to becoming hardened (to the truth) by sin? Who can we prevent this hardening?

Key point: There are many ways to encourage people and wisdom knows the right thing to say or not to say at the right time. But at the bottom of all transformational encouragement is “Belief God”

3. A Specific Content: Believe God

John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

Trust me…was Jesus’ most essential and basic encouragement. It covers all circumstances.

  • Tempted to sin—trust Jesus (his way is better)
  • Dealing with doubt—trust Jesus (he is alive and faithful)
  • Struggling with pain—trust Jesus (He will not leave or forsake you)

APPLICATION:

Think about where you are at personally. Are you right with God and right with other?

Make it your to love God with your entire beings…heart, soul, strength…minds.

Hebrews 3:7-14

A personal challenge: “see to it”

A relational commitment: “encourage one another”

A specific content for our encouragement: “encourage one another toward confidence in God”

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