Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on May 9, 2021
Passage: Mark 12:28-31; Hebrews 11:24-28
This Sunday, Mike brought us part two of our series on the greatest commandment called “Love God. Love People. Repeat.” Mike explained how Moses defeated four rivals that competed for his love for God: Power, Pleasure, Possessions, and Praise.
Looking back at your notes from Sunday’s message, was there anything you heard for the first time, caught your attention, or challenged you?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
What saps or drains your love for God the most? On the other hand, what inspires you to love God more?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. When you think about, Moses had it made! He was adopted out of a slave family as a baby and brought into the King’s palace in Egypt and raised on the best food and education around. Not only that, Moses had great power because of his adoption into that royal family. Yet, despite all the apparent advantages, Moses knew that his people’s God was the one true God. He knew that serving any other so-called “god” would rival God’s place in his heart and life. Therefore, Moses left the palace for the pasture and became a shepherd.
Have you ever left something or someone behind in order to devote yourself more fully to the Lord? Explain.
What are some of the false “gods” you see in the lives of others today? Why are these things so attractive to the world?
2. After reading through the following two passages, describe the things that were deemed by Paul to be worthless. Is leaving false “gods” in order to love God more an easy thing to do? Why or why not?
Philippians 3:4-8 (NLT2)
4 though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! 5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. 7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ
Acts 19:21-29 (NLT2)
21 Afterward Paul felt compelled by the Spirit to go over to Macedonia and Achaia before going to Jerusalem. “And after that,” he said, “I must go on to Rome!” 22 He sent his two assistants, Timothy and Erastus, ahead to Macedonia while he stayed awhile longer in the province of Asia. 23 About that time, serious trouble developed in Ephesus concerning the Way. 24 It began with Demetrius, a silversmith who had a large business manufacturing silver shrines of the Greek goddess Artemis. He kept many craftsmen busy. 25 He called them together, along with others employed in similar trades, and addressed them as follows: “Gentlemen, you know that our wealth comes from this business. 26 But as you have seen and heard, this man Paul has persuaded many people that handmade gods aren’t really gods at all. And he’s done this not only here in Ephesus but throughout the entire province! 27 Of course, I’m not just talking about the loss of public respect for our business. I’m also concerned that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will lose its influence and that Artemis—this magnificent goddess worshiped throughout the province of Asia and all around the world—will be robbed of her great prestige!” 28 At this their anger boiled, and they began shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 Soon the whole city was filled with confusion. Everyone rushed to the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, who were Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia.
3. Which one of the four rivals that Mike talked about in his message gives the Lord the most competition for your devotion? Explain.
- Power/Desire to be in control, don’t want to be told what to do
- Pleasure/Cave to whatever looks good, feels good, tastes good, smells good (Krispy Kreme donuts anyone?!?)
- Possessions/Money, overspending, debt, coveting what others have
- Praise/Need for the approval/acceptance of others
4. According to the following passage in the Amplified Translation, how does John portray the “end game” for those who serve the values of this world? How does he contrast that to those who love God and carry out God’s will in their lives?
1 John 2:15-17 (AMP)
15 Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. 17 And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever.
5. What steps can you take this week to defeat the things that are taking away your love for the Lord? What are some things you can do this week to stoke the fires of your love for the Lord?
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?