05 – Get Out of the Bunker!

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Excerpt 1: What are you afraid of?

  1. PRAYER: Ask the Lord to give you the wisdom to discern the times in which we live.  Discern the unique challenges are we facing now. Discern from history what can help us now.
  2. Meditate upon Proverbs 28:1; 29:25
  3. READ: Jeb Golinkin is a 3L at the University of Texas School of Law and writes about U.S. politics and policy for TheWeek.com. He wrote: Physical safety matters. But our collective obsession with protecting our children from harm threatens to turn out a generation of children ill-equipped spiritually or emotionally to deal with the brave new world order in which only the tough and the persistent will thrive. Children in modern America are growing up in a country paralyzed by complacency and fear. Our political leaders are hardly great, and our economic power is sputtering. Life is not going to be easy, or safe, even for the competent. We would do well to remember that spiritual development is every bit as important as physical safety…. When the time comes, let your kid play football, or hockey… or whatever, and let him decide for himself. He may break his leg or suffer a concussion, but he will be far better off for it over the course of his life than if he stays inside and plays video games.” http://theweek.com/article/index/239586/why-parents-should-let-their-kids-play-dangerous-sports
  4. What is your response to Jeb Golinkin’s opinion?

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Excerpt 2: Get Out of the Bunker!

  1. Pastor Jason believes that in recent days a great many believers—individually and in the church—have developed a “bunker mentality” of retreat into defensive exile. This is cowardly, and it represents the church as a bunch of “losers.” True faith not only forsakes the world; it conquers it. Do you agree or disagree?
  2. What can you personally do to move forward with the gospel?
  3. How can you and our church represent Christ’s victory over the world in a way that makes a difference where you live?

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Excerpt 3: The Only Thing that Matters

  1. READ the following stories of faith, courage, and conviction:
    • Abraham leaving home in Gen. 12:1–9;
    • in offering Isaac, Gen. 22:1–14.
    • Joshua and Caleb boldness Num. 13:30; 14:6–12.
    • Othniel smiting Kirjathsepher, Josh. 15:16, 17.
    • Deborah led Israel’s armies, Judg. 4.
    • Jael slew Sisera, Judg. 4:18–22.
    • Gideon destroyed the altar of Baal, Judg. 6:25–31.
    • Gideon’s small army, Judg. 7:7–23.
    • Agag faced death, 1 Sam. 15:32, 33.
    • David faced Goliath, 1 Sam. 17:32–50;
    • David took Saul’s spear, 1 Sam. 26:7–12.
    • David’s captains, 2 Sam. 23.
    • Joab reproved King David, 2 Sam. 19:5–7.
    • Nehemiah’s refusal, Neh. 6:10–13.
    • Ezra unguarded journey, Ezra 8:22, 23.
    • Esther’s bravery, Esth. 4:8, 16; chapters 5–7.
    • The three Hebrews youth, Dan. 3:16–18.
    • Daniel’s prayer life, Dan. 6:10.
    • Joseph’s of Arimathea actions, Mark 15:43.
    • Thomas’ resolve, John 11:16.
    • Peter’s and John’s peaceful civil disobedience, Acts 4:19; 5:29.
    • Paul’s persistence, Acts 20:22–24; 24:14, 25.

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Excerpt 4: Why is Life so Difficult?

  1. Read and meditate upon Deuteronomy chapter 8.  In this chapter notice that God “led” His people through the difficult wilderness.  He never forsook them.  In fact, the 40 year trial was His will to teach them important lessons.  According to Deut. 8, what did God want His people to learn during their hardships?
  2. Jared Wilson, in Gospel Deeps, writes that “while we may not be satisfied with what God has revealed about his purposes in suffering, we cannot justifiably say he has not revealed anything about his purposes in suffering. We may not have the answer we are laboring for, but we do have a wealth of answers that lie in the same field.” Here’s an outline of ten reasons he identifies in God’s Word:
    1. To remind us that the world is broken and groans for redemption [Rom. 8:20-23].
    2. To do justice in response to Adam’s (and our) sin.
    3. To remind us of the severity of the impact of Adam’s (and our) sin.
    4. To keep us dependent on God [Heb. 12:6-7].
    5. So that we will long more for heaven and less for the world.
    6. To make us more like Christ, the suffering servant [Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 1:5, 4:11].
    7. To awaken the lost to their need for God [Ps. 119:67, 71].
    8. To make the bliss of heaven more sweet [Rom. 8:18; 1 Pet. 4:13; Ps. 126:5; Isa. 61:3].
    9. So that Christ will get the glory in being our strength [John 9:3; 2 Cor. 4:7].
    10. And so that, thereby, others see that he is our treasure, and not ourselves [2 Cor. 4:8-9].

See Jared C. Wilson, Gospel Deeps: Reveling in the Excellencies of Jesus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), pp. 114-120 for an elaboration of each point.

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Excerpt 5: There is No Recession in God’s Economy

  1. Do you agree that a sense of entitlement is what makes many people these days grumble and be stingy?
  2. How have you been negatively impacted by the recession?
  3. God intends to relocate the roots of our joy in his grace rather than in our goods, in his mercy rather than our money, in his worth rather than our wealth. READ 2 Corinthians 8:1-2. It describes the roots of the joy of the Macedonian believers in their “recession.” Did they view their hardship as a recession or an opportunity for revival? This is Pastor Jason’s hope for MVC, to be a generous people filled with joy in serving God.
  4. How have you been positively impacted (spiritually) by the recession?
  5. PRAYER: Thank God for the pain and hardships in your life. Not only thank Him for the mountain-tops but also for the valleys in your life, where your faith is tested.

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Excerpt 6: God Does Not Call Us to Cowardice

  1. Do you agree that God does not call us to cowardice?
  2. Why is the spirit of timidity actually generated by selfishness?
  3. Have you felt paralyzed by fear and unable to obey God’s will in your life?  Why or why not?
  4. READ AND PRAY: Read 2 Timothy chapter 1. How did Paul encourage Timothy to be brave? Ask God to increase spiritual power, love, and self-control in your life.