Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on September 27, 2020
Passage: 1 John 2:12-17
This Sunday, Cole continued our journey through the book of 1 John as he talked about how our identity in Christ drives our behavior. He explained that when we accept our true identity, we will be less inclined to settle for the internal desires, external temptations, and “all about me” mentality of the world. Instead, we will live for those things that last forever.
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
What titles or positions have you held at school, on teams, at work, or in your community? Which one are you most proud of? How did that title or position make you feel about yourself?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. This Sunday, Cole showed us how John urged his readers to go back and remember their identity in Christ. Even though we know who we are in Christ, there are times, however, that we may struggle with seeing our value and acceptance before God. How do the following verses reinforce your view of your value and worth to God?
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (ESV)
18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Luke 12:6-7 (ESV)
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Psalm 8:1-9 (ESV)
1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. 3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, 7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
- Why do you think it’s so important to understand and accept our true identity in Christ?
- What are some reasons why you might doubt your value and significance to God?
- What are some ways that you’ve been successful in overcoming any doubts you’ve had concerning your value, acceptance, and worth before God?
2. The world is filled with enticements to draw us away from our love for the Father. Solomon was someone who tried all the world offered and learned some valuable lessons. As you read the following passages, write down the things Solomon did to satisfy his deep longing for identity and the conclusions he arrived at.
Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 (ESV)
1 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. 2 I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” 3 I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. 4 I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. 5 I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. 6 I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man. 9 So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 4:4-8 (ESV)
4 Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. 5 The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh. 6 Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind. 7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun: 8 one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.
Ecclesiastes 5:10-16 (ESV)
10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. 11 When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? 12 Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep. 13 There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, 14 and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. 15 As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand. 16 This also is a grievous evil: just as he came, so shall he go, and what gain is there to him who toils for the wind?
- Can you identify with what Solomon observed and concluded? How?
- Why is basing our identity on the things of this world – appearance, skills, wealth, and position/status – a misguided approach?
3. Cole concluded the message with a challenge for us to pursue God’s will and live for eternity. How do the following verses help you understand what’s on God’s heart and motivate you to continue pursuing those things?
Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT2)
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT2)
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
1 Peter 4:7-11 (NLT2)
7 The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. 8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. 10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
- Which of these verses caught your attention most and why?
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from the message and this study?
2. What action step can you take this week to invest in your relationship with your Heavenly Father and see that your love for Him grows?