Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on September 20, 2020
Passage: 1 John 2:3-11
This Sunday, Mike delivered the second message in our series through the book of 1 John. Mike explained that we will know that we have a relationship with God when we obey His commands and love each other.
Looking back at your notes from Sunday’s message, was there anything you heard for the first time, caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Has your view of obedience changed from when you were a child to now? If so, explain how and what has contributed to that change.
LET’S GO DEEPER
This weekend Mike looked at two evidences of our faith in Jesus: obedience and love. This week’s homework will focus mainly on the first of the first evidence of obedience.
1. Joseph’s experience after he discovered his fiancée Mary was pregnant is a good example of the obedience Mike spoke about this past weekend. After reading Matthew 1:18-25, list some of the possible ways that Joseph’s obedience in marrying Mary was inconvenient, didn’t make sense, or brought temporary pain.
Matthew 1:18-25 (ESV)
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
- Have you experienced a time in your spiritual journey when you obeyed God even when it was either inconvenient, didn’t make sense, or brought temporary pain (or all three)? If so, can you think of one significant thing you learned about yourself or God through the process?
2. The Apostle Paul was a man who lived a life of obedience even when it was challenging and difficult. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-29, Paul lists some of the things he had to endure in order to carry out the ministry God entrusted to him.
- What do you think motivated Paul to willingly go through so much to be obedient?
- How does 2 Corinthians 4:13-18 help explain what motivated Paul?
2 Corinthians 4:13-18 (NLT2)
13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. 16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
- What is most helpful in this passage for motivating you towards obedience?
3. The story of King Saul is the story of a man who repeatedly failed to obey God completely. One such incident is recorded in 1 Samuel 13:5-14. After reading it, answer the following questions:
1 Samuel 13:5-14 (NLT2)
5 The Philistines mustered a mighty army of 3,000 chariots, 6,000 charioteers, and as many warriors as the grains of sand on the seashore! They camped at Micmash east of Beth-aven. 6 The men of Israel saw what a tight spot they were in; and because they were hard pressed by the enemy, they tried to hide in caves, thickets, rocks, holes, and cisterns. 7 Some of them crossed the Jordan River and escaped into the land of Gad and Gilead. Meanwhile, Saul stayed at Gilgal, and his men were trembling with fear. 8 Saul waited there seven days for Samuel, as Samuel had instructed him earlier, but Samuel still didn’t come. Saul realized that his troops were rapidly slipping away. 9 So he demanded, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!” And Saul sacrificed the burnt offering himself. 10 Just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet and welcome him, 11 but Samuel said, “What is this you have done?” Saul replied, “I saw my men scattering from me, and you didn’t arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle. 12 So I said, ‘The Philistines are ready to march against us at Gilgal, and I haven’t even asked for the LORD’s help!’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering myself before you came.” 13 “How foolish!” Samuel exclaimed. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you. Had you kept it, the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom must end, for the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart. The LORD has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.”
- What do you think could have been going through Saul’s mind while he waited for Samuel?
- What excuses did Saul use to rationalize his actions?
- What are some other excuses/rationalizations people come up with for not completely obeying what God wants?
- Like Saul, most people struggle at times with selective obedience (picking and choosing what they’ll obey). Are there any roadblocks that might hinder or keep you from moving away from selective obedience? If so, what are they?
TAKE IT HOME
1. In 1 John 2:6 it says, “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” Can you think of something from Jesus’ life or from this weekend’s sermon that could serve as an example you would like to follow?
2. How would you complete the following statements?
Forgiveness can be a challenge when …
Obedience can be a challenge when…