Father's Day 2018 // Making Faith A Priority
- If there were a headline about you in the local newspaper this week, what would it be?
- Do you want to be someone known for your words or for your actions? Why?
- How do people view us when our words and actions don't line up?
Our lives should reflect that we’re followers of Christ. Transformation through Jesus leads us to desire His ways, not our own. That doesn’t mean we are perfect, but it does mean that we live according to the Bible and His teachings. In his message this week, Pastor Mike discussed the importance of prioritizing our faith if we want to be people who grow spiritually and change the world for Christ. Jesus spoke on this in the Sermon on the Mount where he discussed the importance of building your house on a solid foundation. This week we are exploring Jesus' words and how they challenge us to focus on our own faith.
Spend a few minutes recapping Pastor Mike's sermon together. Click here to view the sermon notes.
- What was one takeaway from this week's sermon for you?
- Were there any stories, ideas, or points that stuck out?
- Was there anything that challenged you?
Have a volunteer read Matthew 7:24-27.
This passage comes at the end of Jesus' most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus concluded his sermon with a simple illustration. A man with good sense would build his house on the rock. He would be aware that the most important element in building any structure is the foundation. Without a strong foundation, any structure is liable to collapse. Only a foolish person would build on unstable, shifting sand.
- How do you know whether someone is wise or foolish?
- How might the definitions for what a person considers “wise” and “foolish” differ between Christians and non-Christians?
The builders in the parable shared similarities. They had similar houses in similar neighborhoods and even desired similar success in life. And the same storm ravaged the houses both men built. One thrived through the storm. One collapsed—the direct result of a substantial difference in foundation.
- Do you think people purposefully choose to establish their lives on “shifting sand” or do they simply not think about their purpose in life? Why?
- Prior to turning to Christ, each of us built our house on the sand. Did yours “collapse” at some point? Briefly share that experience, how you felt, and what helped you survive.
Both builders had heard the words of Jesus, but what they did with them was very different. One builder acted on Jesus’ teachings, thus basing his life on a solid foundation that would not collapse. The other man did not live by Jesus’ words. Of course, Jesus was not talking about actual houses but lives. Every life needs an adequate, firm foundation that will not fail; a foundation rooted in Him and His truth.
- How is God similar to a solid foundation for a building?
- What differences do you see between people whose foundation is Christ and those with other foundations?
- How would you talk about the truth of these verses with someone whose life is not built on Christ?
Some listen to sermons and read the Bible but rarely act on God’s Word. To hear and then ignore God’s words is foolish indeed. Some people who go through life without building their lives on Christ’s teachings seem to get along nicely. They put hope in other things, but the storms of life will reveal they didn’t build on the right foundation.
- Jesus lists only two outcomes in this parable. Why is there no middle ground?
- Jesus could have ended His Sermon on the Mount in many ways. Why do you think He chose this specific parable?
Christianity isn’t just about what we know; it’s about what we do with what we know. God instructs Christians to build their lives on Jesus and His teachings rather than on things that sound good. Your life should give evidence of your walk with Jesus in a personal relationship.
- What helps you to maintain a strong, firm foundation in your relationship with Jesus?
- What are ways to take every situation, circumstance, decision, or choice and bring it under the authority of Jesus and God’s Word?
- Who can we pray for right now whose life is built on sand? What can we do this week to help them?
Ask God to show you ways your group can better build their foundations on His rock and not on the sand. Pray that when the storms of life take us by surprise that we would trust in Him and His Word.