|Ingratitude||February 12, 2017||Listen|
|Pride||February 19, 2017||Listen|
|Greed||Rusty Wirt||February 26, 2017||Listen|
|Disengagement||Rusty Wirt||March 5, 2017||Listen|
6.02 – Church Attendance
TALK IT OUT
1. Throughout the centuries of Christian history, certain disciplines have helped sustain believers in their faith. Those disciplines include church attendance, worship, fasting, giving, water baptism and the Lord’s Supper among others. What benefits have you personally experienced from these disciplines? How important would you say these disciplines are to your walk with the Lord?
2. Current church growth research indicates that people – even believers – are attending church less often today than they have in the past. What are some of the reasons you have heard people give for why they don’t attend church more often? If you attend church less often than you used to, what are your reasons?
3. Read Hebrews 10:19-23. These verses remind us that because of the sacrifice Jesus made for us, we now have direct access to God and we can approach Him with total trust and confidence. Is this how you see yourself approaching God? Why or why not?
4. Read Hebrews 10:24. Give some examples of how our church family spurs you on toward love and good deeds. In what ways have you spurred others on toward love and good deeds recently?
5. Read Hebrews 10:25. As persecution increases and the time of Jesus’ return draws nearer, the greater our need for fellowship with other believers. Why is that fellowship important?
LIVE IT OUT
1. Take a few moments to reflect on the busyness of your life and how that affects your church attendance and opportunities for Christian fellowship. What, if any, changes need to be made? Ask God to help you make any necessary adjustments.
2. Make a list of two or three ways you could encourage others toward love and good deeds. Pick one and share it with someone you know this week.
6.09 – Worship
TALK IT OUT
1. The book of Psalms can be thought of as a collection of songs related to God. Some of the major themes in this book include: the universe is God-centered; God demonstrates His glory through His creation; although man has fallen from his original state and the world is broken, God reveals Himself to and connects with humans; God is our ultimate hope; and history begins and ends with God. Pick one of these themes and tell why it is meaningful to you.
2. We sometimes see people in positions of authority indicate by their words and actions that they don’t need anyone, that they can do whatever they want, that they don’t have to be accountable to anyone. Read Psalm 145:1. How does David address God in this verse? If we acknowledge God as our King, what does that suggest about His right to influence our words and actions?
3. Many people tend to define “worship” as simply the time that we sing praises to God during church service on Sunday morning. Read Psalm 145:2. How often does David say we should praise God?
4. Worship includes the following ideas: praise (to express approval or admiration for), adoration (to love and respect deeply, to hold dear, to treasure) and thanksgiving (to express gratitude for). Read Psalm 145:9-20. In this passage, what attributes of God call out for our worship?
5. Read Psalm 145:4-7,11-12. These verses speak of one generation passing down their knowledge of God to the next generation. Why is this important?
LIVE IT OUT
1. How often do you take time to personally express your praise, adoration and thanksgiving to God? Take a few minutes right now to do that. Be specific.
2. When was the last time you talked with someone of a younger generation about the goodness and greatness of God? Ask God to give you an opportunity to do so this week.
6.16 – Fasting
Isaiah 58:1-9, Acts 13:1-3
TALK IT OUT
1. Biblical fasting is abstaining from something (usually food) for a period of time in order to better focus on God and open ourselves up to His message and mission. What other things besides food could we fast periodically to create more time for God in our lives?
2. Read Isaiah 58:6-7, Matthew 22:36-40, 1 John 3:16-18 and 1 John 4:19-21. What do these verses reveal to us about the connection between loving God and loving people?
3. Read Isaiah 58:1-5. In this passage, the prophet Isaiah confronts some of the fake religious practices of his day. What are some of the inconsistencies he observed? What are some of the fake religious practices evident in today’s church world?
4. Read Matthew 6:16-18. What do these verses tell us about the proper motivation for fasting?
5. Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-4, Ezra 8:21-23, Acts 13:1-3 and Acts 14:23. In these passages, what were the reasons people set aside time to fast? What reasons might lead you to fast today?
LIVE IT OUT
1. Is there any area of your walk with God in which you feel you are “faking it” or just going through the motions? Take a few moments to ask Him help you begin living your life more authentically in that area.
2. Is fasting a regular part of your walk with God? If so, check your motives and make any necessary adjustments. If not, consider fasting at least one meal this week and spend that time focusing on God and His plan for your life.