Sunday, May 7th
We put our faith in people and things every day: the mechanic who fixed our car, the payroll clerk in our office, the labels on the food we eat. Do you consider faith in those things a blind leap in the dark, or are you confident there are good reasons to believe those things? What about faith in God and His promises? What does it look like to truly trust?
Work through the following Scriptures and questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning!
- Think about the most trustworthy person in your life. Why do trust this person? Was it always that way, or did it take time?
- Jesus said that the work God requires of us is to believe in [have faith in] the one He sent, who was Jesus himself. Why do you think it’s hard for people to place their faith in God
- Read Hebrews 6:11. Which idea is more challenging for you to accept: that it is impossible to please God without faith in Him, or that He rewards anyone who earnestly seeks Him (including people who may have hurt you or done other terrible things)?
- Some people believe that everyone is basically good and that they would probably get into Heaven because the scale of their life weighs more heavily towards good as opposed to bad. But the Bible tells us very different things about what’s required to spend eternity with God – it starts and ends with faith. Why is our faith more important to God than our good works
- Read Romans 3:21-30. Even people who have gone to church all their lives struggle with misconceptions about God’s character and assume they have to earn His love and forgiveness with right behaviors and actions. Does it make Christianity too easy if all you have to do is sincerely believe in Jesus as your Savior?
- We heard a modern-day version of a prodigal child story. How have you run away from God? What did it take before you took that first step back towards Him? And if you haven’t yet turned back to God, what’s keeping you from returning to Him?
- Baptism is perhaps the most visible outward sign of putting our faith in God. What are some other things you can do in the weeks ahead to reaffirm your commitment to developing and exploring a deeper trust in Him?
Hebrews 6:11 — And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Romans 3:21-30 — But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.
Looking to dive deeper into the topic of faith? Check out some highlights from a great online article about daily steps you can take to trust in the Lord with all your heart, published by biblestudytools.com. It lists seven great ways to do just that. Some examples include:
Don’t depend on you.
- “Most of us have faced disappointments, which have taught us that we can only depend upon ourselves. But living the life God has called us to means unlearning that lesson. Instead, we’re meant to rest in God’s understanding.”
Cry out to God.
- Surrendering to God begins with our lips and our thoughts. We need more than a commitment to depend on Him; we need to cry out to Him to show that dependence…When we pray, we admit that His ways are higher than ours. We show that we’re leaving our troubles and burdens and dreams in His capable hands. In fact, the Bible promises that when we reach out to Him in prayer, He hears us…”
Check yourself by God’s Word [the Bible].
- “Let’s be honest. We aren’t so good at evaluating ourselves. We will go to great lengths to excuse our behavior, our actions, and our sins. Who needs a defense attorney when we can pretty much find a reason for any bad thing we do?…If we’re ever going to truly trust in God…, we have to know exactly where we stand. We have to find an objective measure that tells us the truth. And that truth comes from God and His Word.”
To read the article in its entirety, go HERE.
Spiritual Outcome — Trust God