A Consistent Life August 31. Think About It … What are some characteristics of a person you would classify as a “chameleon”? Today we look at the concept.
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Presentation on theme: "A Consistent Life August 31. Think About It … What are some characteristics of a person you would classify as a “chameleon”? Today we look at the concept."— Presentation transcript:
Think About It … What are some characteristics of a person you would classify as a “chameleon”? Today we look at the concept of consistency. Our actions as believers should substantiate what we say we believe. How can we be more consistent in our Christian walk?
In light of the recent Olympics, listen for references to sports in this passage. Hebrews 12:1-4 (NIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set
In light of the recent Olympics, listen for references to sports in this passage. before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Remove Hindrances What words and phrases do you find that are athletic imagery? What warning is given to the Christian “athlete”? Why would an endurance race be an appropriate analogy for living the Christian life? What kinds of things in our lives would hinder us and need to be gotten rid of, set aside? W hat things do athletes make sure to include in their lives to improve their performance?
Remove Hindrances How would this apply to our spiritual lives? What things would God want us to include in our lives to make us effective Christian “athletes”? What kinds of things did we see that distracted some of the Olympic athletes during their competitions? What happens to an athlete when he/she is distracted in the midst of the competition? According to this passage, why is it important to keep focused on Jesus? Being a winner in the Christian life is less dependent on our innate abilities and more dependent on our focus on Jesus
Listen for references to the concept of discipline. Hebrews 12:5-11 (NIV) And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,  because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."  Endure hardship as discipline
Listen for references to the concept of discipline. God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?  If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.  Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!
Listen for references to the concept of discipline.  Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Accept Discipline Why is discipline of children basically a good thing? Caveat: too much or too negative discipline is counter productive According to this passage what measures does the Lord sometimes take toward those who are His “sons”?
Accept Discipline What does the passage say about the results of God’s good discipline? What are some specific ways in which God disciplines us? What is the wisest way to respond to His discipline when we are going through it?
Listen for the commands given in this passage. Hebrews 12:12-15 (NIV) Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.  "Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.  Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Put Faith into Action List the commands or words of encouragement found in these verses. What could you do to strengthen your tired hands and weak knees (figuratively speaking)? What are some ways you could pursue peace with (pick one) a cranky co-worker, an unforgiving relative, an offensive neighbor, an angry spouse?
Put Faith into Action What is dangerous about bitterness? Note the responsibilities to other believers in these warnings Make level paths for your feet, so the lame may not be disabled, rather healed. See to it that no one misses the grace of God What are some ways to make sure no one misses the grace of God?
Application Ask God to show you if there is any dead weight or ensnaring sin in your life Confess it, repent of it Set it aside so you can run the race of faith Increase your spiritual endurance with less “baggage” to carry around
Application Consider areas of your life where you are experiencing God’s discipline Be aware that God is raising you to a mature faith Knowing that these issues are God’s training ground Allow that knowledge to improve your perspective
Application Who is there around you with whom you need to live at peace? Or is there anyone in your circle of acquaintances that is missing the grace of God in their life? Trust God for His help and empowering in these situations
Prayer of Commitment Lord, Thank You that You do not waste any trial or challenge, but you use them to raise me up like a loving Father raises His son or daughter. Help me to embrace everything You are doing in my life, so I can share in Your holiness and experience a harvest of righteousness and peace.