Till Then, What Now? (Part 1) – 5/3

Till Then, What Now? (Part 1) – 5/3

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May 3, 2015

Hebrews 12:28-13:6

This Week’s Take Home Truth: 

“Till God’s kingdom is consummated, Christians are to demonstrate acceptable worship in their actions and attitudes…”

 

This Week’s Resources:


Learning contentment can be one of life’s more challenging disciplines. Yet, at the same time, true contentment can bring some of the most fulfilling, long-lasting fruit. We live in a culture whose economy is driven by turning wants and desires into cash. Very few Americans truly understand what it means to need something and go without it. We don’t see starving children dying on our streets or sick, infected people dying around us. For the most part, even the poor in America have their basic needs met.

This leads to a life where luxury can be afforded. The question most of us wrestle with on a regular basis is “where do we want to eat?” or “what do we want to eat?” not “how can we feed our children today?”

Never has the biblical challenge to live a contented life been more necessary or more difficult for Christians. In tis week’s lesson, we will examine the discipline of biblical contentment and learn how to rely on God’s amble provision rather than fall prey to the materialistic trappings of our consumer culture.

Introduction

  • Looking back at your notes from this week’s sermon, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
  • What is one thing you would buy tomorrow if money was no object?
  • Can you recall a time when you longed to purchase something, and after you had it for a while, you found yourself amazed at how much you wanted something, and how much you actually use it?

Read the Text (Hebrews 12:28-13:6)

This week, we begin the final chapter of Hebrews. The writer is summarizing and concluding his sermonic letter, and he offers several small, bite-size instructions for Christians who are waiting for the Kingdom of God, yet live this life as an offering of acceptable worship to God. (Till Then, What Now?)

It is not the quantity of our sacrifices that express our worship to God as in Old Testament times, but the quality of our life as holy, set apart people that matters. We are called to live as examples of God’s grace and mercy to those with whom we are privileged to live this life. Read Hebrews 12:28-13:6.

Digging Deeper

  • Read Philippians 4:11-12 and 1 Timothy 6:6-8. Based on these verses, what does the Apostle Paul believe and teach regarding contentment?
  • The writer to the Hebrews addresses the need for contentment, too. Read Hebrews 13:5-6 and note what he instructs us to do in this area of contentment.
  • Read 1 Timothy 6:10. What does this verse teach us about wealth and materialism?
  • Based on what you know and have read, how would you define “contentment” as it is taught in the Bible?
  • What is the importance of the assurance in Hebrews 13:5 that “He will never leave you nor forsake you”?
  • In spite of the assurance in Hebrews 13:5, what earthly things do we tend to put our confidence in as we strive for security and contentment?

Here is a wise saying when it comes to learning contentment: If it has a price tag, it won’t bring lasting satisfaction. The answer to financial restlessness is contentment.

Concluding Thoughts

  • Take some personal time and evaluate your life in light of this week’s lesson on biblical contentment.
    • How content are you with your income? Are you always one of the critical voices complaining that your employer doesn’t pay you more, that your Christmas “gift” was too small, that your employer is greedy and stingy?
    • How content are you with where you live? Are you thankful for the home you live in or do you find yourself always longing for a bigger place, with more of everything?
    • How content are you with your possessions? Do you find yourself buying more things while you never even use the things you currently have? Do you find yourself in debt with little to actually show for your debt?

Remember, contentment comes not in the accumulation of things but from the assurance that God will never leave or forsake you. And lest we forget this, it’s stamped on every U.S. coin and printed on every piece of U.S. currency: In God We Trust.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear, nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a comer, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”–Henry David Thoreau

Here is how the Psalmist summarized contentment: 

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p class=”p5″ style=”text-align: center;”>Whom have I in heaven but thee?
And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee–Psalm 73:25 (KJV).

By |2015-05-09T22:10:21-05:00April 30th, 2015|Group Homework, Weekly Resources|Comments Off on Till Then, What Now? (Part 1) – 5/3

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