Dr. E. Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston
Sermon Series: We are Family
Week 3: Seein’ To It!
What we’ve learned so far….
• You can’t count on random – You need to be intentional about building a support network of relationships around you.
• You can’t count on random because rip currents don’t just happen at the beach – You never know when something difficult might come into your life that you may need some help to get through.
• Sometimes, when you’re out of the water, you’re not really out of the water – Sometimes we need specialized help for a challenging season of life. This is why COH offers our Empower Groups. Check those out at http://communityofhope.church/ministries/groups/empower-groups/ These are for people who attend our church, but also for those who don’t attend our church. So invite people you know who could benefit from one of these groups, especially if they don’t have a church home.
1. The New Testament book of Hebrews is about finishing well. It’s a great thing to start the Christian life. But it’s even more crucial that we continue on our faith journey and finish well. Have you ever seen someone start well with the Lord, but then drift away? If so, what were some factors that contributed to this?
2. Read Hebrews 3:12-15: See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
What questions or comments do you have from this passage?
We’re focusing on 4 phrases out of this passage:
See to it…
This phrase is actually plural. The writer is talking to Christians as a group. We need to “see to” each other and help each other finish the Christian life well. This is intentional, not random. It’s active, not passive. It’s risky, not safe. Here are three areas where the writer of Hebrews said we should “see to” each other.
3. Why do we admire both Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino for what they did at the Rio Olympics, even though they didn’t win their race?
…That none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart
4. Sin isn’t just an action. It begins with a wrong belief. And as we act on that wrong belief, it moves us further away from God. We see this in Genesis 3:1 & 4: Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”…. 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.” What was the serpent trying to do here?
5. Greg Boyd wrote in his book Letters From a Skeptic: “We tend to become the decisions we make. The more we choose something, the more we become that something. We are all in the process of solidifying our identities by the decisions we make. With each decision we make, we pick up momentum in the direction of that decision…. The difference between Hitler and Mother Teresa started somewhere with a small decision.”
Have you ever observed someone making numerous small choices that were gradually moving them in the direction of becoming a bitter, mean-spirited person? Describe what happened.
6. What systems are you building into your life to help prevent this from happening to you?
7. Pastor Trevor quoted Sun Tzu from his book The Art of War: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
What was Pastor Trevor’s point in quoting this?
…Encourage one another daily
8. The word “encourage” here means to “urge someone strongly.” What are some reasons why people need regular, ongoing encouragement?
When I live in community with others, it helps me challenges my assumptions…
• …About God
• …About Myself
• …About my circumstances
9. Give an example of a false assumption you have had in any these three areas. What helped you move away from that false assumption toward truth?
…hold our original conviction fimly to the very end
10. What plans do you have in place that will help you hold onto your convictions firmly to the very end of your life?
11. If you’re not yet in a group, come to GroupLink! Be sure to register at http://communityofhope.church/grouplink/