March 28, 2021
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 14:12
Speak the phrase “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” How does it feel and what images does it evoke when you hear it?
How am I exchanging the way of life for the way of death? What is God calling me to repent of today?
- David thought Bathsheba was the way to life but it brought chaos and death to his household. Solomon was the wisest, richest and most powerful man in the world and found it all meaningless and empty. The prodigal son sought out an endless party and pursuit of pleasure and found himself financially and morally bankrupt and alone. Consider Ben’s example of his anger and powering up over his kids not obeying and being disrespectful as he is trying to leave for church. How do you personally choose the way of death that seems right in the moment but in the end it leads to death?
- Read Romans 1:18-32. The way of life is filled with joy, love, relationship, peace and contentment. The way of death is filled with shame, disconnection, fear, anxiety and chaos. Romans 1 lays out a three step process to the way of death. 1) Refuse to acknowledge and worship God. 2) Worship created things instead. 3) Moral confusion. How are you on this path currently? What has the Lord been speaking to you about that you need to turn away from and return to Him?“ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” Romans 1:18-32
- Read 1 John 2:15-17. Consider the categories of pleasure, possessions and position. God gave us everything in the Garden and in Jesus Christ. It is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom and is good to enjoy what we have been given. Do you receive from God in humility with gratitude, or are you tempted to worship the gift instead of the Giver? Discuss how this plays out in your life.“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
- Read Romans 10:8-10 and John 5:24. Consider the categories of repentance of enter, return and remember. Have you entered into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you lost your way and stepped off the way of life and onto the way of death and need to turn back? Do you need to remember the feelings of guilt you once had and let gratitude well up in you with a heart of humility because of what Jesus delivered you from? Take 5 minutes in silence to consider these categories personally and share what the Lord placed on your heart with the group.Enter into His rest. Hebrews 4Return to your first love. Revelation 2Remember all that He has done for you. Psalm 77
“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10:8-10‘Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” John 5:24
NOTES AND QUOTES
- Take some time to remember the Lord and His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the week that led up to His death, burial and resurrection.Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
5 “Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” Matthew 21:1-11
- Remember how the Lord was beaten, broken and gave up His life for you.“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-32