In today’s passage, we hear of three types of rest: rest for Israelites after entering the promised land, our Creator’s rest after He finished creation, and a third kind of rest all believers can look forward to because of the work of our great High Priest. The author was talking to Jews who had come to recognize that Jesus was the cornerstone, and that trust in Him and belief in His Lordship would lead to eternal life (and peace). He was encouraging them to remain unburdened by the pursuit of holiness through law-keeping. While this Hebrew audience was being warned not to conform to the past, were the author writing to Downtown Hope today, he would quite likely tell us to hold fast and not conform to the future...environmentalism, scientism, relaxed moral stances, political allegiances, and rampant individualism are among the many newly intensifying idols. Let us be diligent to keep our eyes focused on this future rest we cannot lose so that we may bear fruit pleasing to our God.
Amy and Todd Smith
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 4:8-11 ] 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)
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.
+ What is the special rest for the people of God?
11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.
+ “Enter” has the distinction of being included in every major translation we could find, including Hebrew versions. Why is that word so important to key in on?
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)
+ We can boldly cling to and look towards entering into the most important form of rest we will ever know. What does this free us up to do here on earth?
+ 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)