There have been a few verses from Scripture that have strongly resonated with me at different times during my 40+ years of following Jesus. Early on, it was John 3:16-18 and Ephesians 2:8-10. As I started a career and a family, it was Philippians 4:6-8 and Deuteronomy 6:6-7. As I matured in my faith, it was Acts 4:13 and 1 Peter 3:15. These two verses from Hebrews struck me in a profound way as I read them this week. These are strange and perilous times in which we live today. When confronted with difficult topics posed in today's culture, it is a great comfort to know that we have the Word of God on which we can make a stand!!!
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 4:12-13 ] 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)
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
+ What is the word of God? How/why is it living and active? (The Amplified Bible adds the adjective "powerful"). Read and contemplate John 1:1-18.
+ Why does the author use the term "two-edged sword" to describe the word of God? What do soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and thoughts and intentions have in common? Read and contemplate Ephesians 6:10-17.
+ Compare verse 13 to Adam’s encounter with God in Genesis 3:8-13. Does verse 13 frighten/intimidate you or give you comfort? Why or why not?
+ What is your interpretation of verses 12-13 in context of what we’ve learned so far in Hebrews, especially 3:7 through 4:11?
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)
+ I would consider 2 Timothy 3:16-17 as a companion verse to Hebrews 4:12-13.
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
The Bible is the main way God communicates with humanity today. Let us repent from being lax in our daily devotion and meditation on the Word of God. In it, we have everything we need!!!
+ 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)