Today's passage admonishes those who would be lazy in their faith, those not putting in the time and effort necessary to grow in God. Christianity is not a spectator sport or a consumer-oriented pastime--it requires hard work and training to bring about necessary results. God expects us to be hard at work, which is why He gave us the sabbath: to break and recuperate from all our work, which will enable us to then do more work. Just like building muscle, learning an art form, or studying a subject, Christianity requires regular, intentional effort to yield growth. Let the word of God drive you to be mindful or your Christian walk and to consistently put into practice what He is teaching you, not for your sake alone, but also for those in the church and community who will benefit from your faith in action.
The following guide is a resource for your personal time of abiding with the Lord and for your Community Group when you meet. It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.
VISION + STORIES
Take time to be reminded of our shared vision- We are abiding in Christ that we might experience Gospel Transformation in our homes, neighborhoods, work places and city.
+ Ask… What are you/we thankful to the Lord for? (e.g., how is he working in our community group or the lives of someone we are walking with to discover the gospel?)
+ What is one need in this circle/our Community Group and how can we meet it together?
SING + PRAY
Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community. A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
DISCOVER [ Hebrews 5:11-14 ] In Large group
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
+ What makes explaining more truths about Jesus hard for the author? [v11]
+ What should the readers have been doing? What did they need instead? [v12]
+ What type of person is one who lives on "milk"? [v13]
+ What are indications of those who are mature? [v14]
+ How do mature Christians train themselves? [v14]
PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)
+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time? (Below are a couple of ideas to help prompt responses if needed)
+ In what areas of your life are you still on a milk diet?
+ What do you need to do to allow God to ween you off your milk diet and onto solid food?
+ What steps can you take this weekend to train yourself as indicated in v14?
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., spend time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)
+ One of the indications of a mature Christian is that they ought to be teachers in the faith. Who can you teach what you have learned?