A new year! New beginnings. New hopes. New opportunities. A time to leave the past behind and RECALIBRATE… physically, relationally, mentally, and most importantly, spiritually. Are you ready? Join us as we realign our most important personal dimensions. 2022 can be the best year of your life.
weekend in review
Today we challenge you to declare war on spiritual slippage in your life. God wants us to start well and finish well.
- What discipline did you sometimes resent as a child that you appreciate now? Learning to finish what you start? Practicing piano? Eating vegetables?
- Read Hebrews 11:1-12. The entire chapter is about a string of former heroes of the faith who kept their spiritual intensity, who persevered in the face of incredible challenges. Gene listed three things we can do to also persevere in faith: take inspiration from heroes of the past, anticipate struggles in the future, and concentrate on Jesus in the present. Why do we need them all?
- Read Hebrews 12:1. The first admonition in this verse is phrased a variety of ways in different Bible versions. One puts it “let us throw off everything that hinders.” Another puts it “let us lay aside every weight.” And another has it as “let us rid ourselves of every obstacle.” This is before mentioning “the sin that so easily entangles.” What is the difference between an obstacle or weight, versus a sin?
- Read Hebrews 12:1. Some of us may be more naturally perseverant than others of us. Yet here we are all urged to “run with perseverance the race” that God has set before us. Discuss what our part is and what God’s part is in our accomplishing this.
- Read Hebrews 11:36-37. Share how your life has changed because of your faith in God.
- Who is a spiritual hero in your life today who inspires you to persevere through hardships and challenges? Share one thing that person has said or done that has encouraged you on your journey.
- Play the song “Goodness of God”. Whether you are new to faith or have been a follower of Jesus for years, share one way you have seen God’s faithfulness to you. Why is it important to remember these?
- The second thing it takes to persevere for the long haul with Jesus is to anticipate the struggles in the future. Gene shared how marathon runners know the importance of pacing themselves for the long run. What is the race that we are in? What does it mean to you that this race is “set before us”?
- Gene believes that the sin mentioned in Hebrews 12:1 is a lack of faith or trust in God. Share, if you feel comfortable, when you have struggled to trust in God.
- Read Hebrews 12:2-3. How does considering the persecution Jesus faced help us not to grow weary? What can we do to set joy of things to come firmly in our minds and hearts?
- How has being in a small group strengthened your life and your faith?
- Identify one or two things hinder your race. What is a first step you can take to address this?
- What have you discovered that helps you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?
- What is the hardest thing you are going through right now? How is God using this in your life? What are you learning from it?
- Though we have different occupations and circumstances and personalities, we are all called to love God and love each other. Read Hebrews 12:1-3 again with this in mind.
WRAP UP & PRAYER
Share prayer requests and spend time praying for each other.
Spend time praying for any hard things people shared about. Thank Jesus for persevering all the way to the cross that we might have eternal life. Pray for each person in the group, that your relationship with God grows stronger day by day, that your spiritual intensity for God remains the primary passion of your life through thick and thin.