Theme: As we begin our series “Re-engage”, it is our hope that the people of God would have a renewed zeal for a relationship with Jesus. The year 2020 has been a difficult time for many Christians. The isolation we have experienced has revealed the true health of many of our relationships with Christ. In light of that, our response should be to lean into the word of God, saturate ourselves in prayer, and begin to step toward obedience & away from isolation. As we walk through this series I encourage all of you to reflect well, be transparent, and re-engage.
(Surround ourselves w/ witnesses) Many people in the Christian faith have drifted to a place of isolation in recent times. If we’re honest with ourselves, this has certainly had an impact on the spiritual health of God’s people. We were not created to do life alone. In our passage this week we see a reference to the “great cloud of witnesses” that surround us. That didn’t end with the book of Hebrews. In God’s grace he has provided us with brothers and sisters in the faith to continue pushing and spurring us on to good works. As we think about spiritually mature brothers and sisters around us we should be surrounding ourselves with those people in order to push deeper into our love for Jesus. Your parents have probably said before “you will become like who you hang around” (or least some version of that) and I couldn’t agree more. If we want to become righteous and obedient then we have to surround ourselves with people who will hold to those same values. This is a call for us to step back into Gospel community in order for our faith to flourish.
(Fix our eyes on Jesus) When farmers in the old days would plow a field they would put blinders on the mule. This was done so the mule would focus simply on what was in front of him and not get distracted by things around him. When the blinders were on the mule would always make it to his destination on the other end of the field. We are no different. If we don’t put the blinders on and focus our eyes solely on Christ, then we get distracted by the things of this world. This passage calls us to throw off anything that hinders us and the sin that entangles us. It’s time for the people of God to take stock in their life of the things that are hindering them from engaging with Jesus, throw off those things and put the blinders on so we can fix our eyes on Jesus.
(Consider the Gospel) Although we celebrate the resurrection of Christ on a particular day, we should live everyday in light of his death, burial and resurrection. Have you ever wondered how some people keep their zeal and joy alive even when things are difficult? The answer is: the Gospel. When we come to a place that we meditate daily on what the Gospel has made possible for us, there we find a reason to not lose heart and grow weary. In the Gospel, we are reminded of God’s love for his children. In the Gospel, we are reminded of the hope created for us by God himself. In the Gospel, we find the perfect version of joy in the only thing that remains for an eternity: a relationship with our God & savior. When we reflect on the Gospel daily we have a reason to re-engage with Jesus and his mission!
How has your week been spiritually? / What is God teaching you?
What sins are you struggling with that you need to confess?
How have you disengaged with the witnesses God has placed around you?
Name the effects of that isolation.
What can we do to help others re-engage in Gospel community?
What have your eyes been fixed on if not Christ?
What is the biggest thing hindering your spiritual growth?
How do we throw these things off in order to fix our eyes on Jesus?
What is your daily rhythm of “considering the Gospel”?
Explain the Gospel in your own words?