Today we’re talking about shattering the myth of comfort. What does that mean?
Perhaps it’s best to first talk about what it is that makes us comfortable. In your life (personal, familial, vocational, spiritual, experiential) what things have you put in place to ensure comfort? Maybe a better way to explore this is to ask, what are the discomforts you actively, consciously avoid in your life?
Looking at the personal cost of the early Christian mercy ministries, Pastor Jeremy pointed to Rodney Stark’s excellent book The Rise of Christianity. We’ve ordered this for the church library if you’re interested in taking a look. (This book also comes with Pastor Brennan’s personal thumbs up!)
Hospitality - Inviting Because We Were InvitedHebrews 13:1-6
1. Go around the room and have each member share a positive memory of having a meal in someone’s home. It could be a meal with a family member or a friend.
2. What is it about sharing a meal together that creates conversation and a “closeness”?
3. Hebrews 12:28-29 speak of acceptable worship and Hebrews 13:1-2 speaks of brotherly love and hospitality to strangers. What is the connection between those two passages? (Remembering that chapter divisions didn’t come about until the 13th century.)
4. Hebrews 13:1-5a speaks of time, money and our sexuality as stewardship issues and matters of acceptable worship. How do we view each of these as gifts from God that he has given us stewardship of? Go through each of the three separately.
5. Viewing those gifts through the lens of stewardship, how do they encourage hospitality and fellowship?
6. How does verses 5b and 6 encourage or strengthen our ability to be hospitable and to increase our “brotherly love”?
7. In order to encourage the churches to be hospitable and generous, the writer of Hebrews uses a quote from Joshua 1:5 that God gave to Joshua. What does it do to your understanding of the Old Testament to see that the writers of the New Testament used Old Testament promises to encourage them in their day?
8. Read Deuteronomy 10:17-22. This passage shows how God has always loved the sojourner, the exile, the stranger. The Hebrews people were in this place when they went down to Egypt and we were in that place before we responded to God’s call on our lives. God has brought us in and asks us to bring others in through hospitality and fellowship - what are some ways you can do this in the weeks ahead?
We are called as Christians to live a baptized life. This is a state of relationship with God which begins at conversion, is confirmed in baptism, and continues unto our death. This week in your group, spend some time sharing with each other about what living the baptized life has meant for you.
Try to share a brief version of your story of justification and sanctification with someone who is not a believer this week. This could be as simple as saying, “God is has been so faithful in my life….” and let the Holy Spirit lead from there.
The second part of this is telling your group about what happened. If you have a group chat, or text, throw your story in there. Otherwise, lead off next week with some story telling.
This week we tackled the themes of Conversion, Consecration, Celebration, and Commissioning in the 5th chapter of Joshua.
Opener: What is the worst job you’ve ever had? Or, what is the worst job you can imagine doing? How does it measure up to the task God gave Joshua in Chapter 5:2-7?
Just in case you would like a hip hop break down of the theme of circumcision in Scripture, check out this epic piece by rapper Timothy Brindle. Click here for the lyrics.
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