Our prayer is that you would not read the first word of today’s passage. Rather, we pray you would meditate on the very first word, “Hear”, and deeply consider its implications. In Hebrew the word for hear is “Shema” and it can mean “pay attention” or “focus on”. When God directs us to hear, it means to obey. In fact, there is no Hebrew word for obey. Shema (hear) means you will listen and do (obey). As the Bible Project says “in Hebrew, listening and doing are two sides of the same coin”.
So what are the implications here? God doesn’t want us to just “hear”. The first word of today’s reading is an active command and in Mark 12:28-30, the Lord Jesus Christ says the content that follows is "the most important commandment of all.'' Take this first word as Hear/Listen/Shema/Obey…and meditate on everything else that follows through this lens.
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 [ Deuteronomy 6:4-7 ] 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)
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
+ What does “hear” mean?
5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
+ What are some of the reasons God is highlighting/calling out this additional step of obedience in verse 7?
+ Can verse 4, 5, 6 and 7 be read as “step one, step two, step three, and step four? How?
+ Bonus: read Mark 12:28-34
We’ve linked to the Bible Project video on the concept of “shema”, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KQLOuIKaRA
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)
+ Are you doing anything else outside of, or even before you “shema” this command? What activities can you reorder to place them far behind loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?
+ 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)