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Date: February 14, 2021
Maintaining Focus on God
The Point: Fasting and confession keep us rightly focused on Christ.
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to introduce Question #1.
With the arrival of the pandemic, suddenly people who had always worked in offices found themselves working from their homes. A December 2020 survey showed that 1 in 4 Americans will be working remotely from home in 2021. And while it seems nice to ditch the stressful commute and wear sweatpants while working, many people have found there are quite a few distractions when working at home.
The MoneyCrashers website offers suggestions for people trying to tune out the distractions of home while working at home. Some of their suggestions include creating a dedicated office space, staying on task (away from television or social media), and investing in noise-canceling headphones to muffle the sounds of home.
Say: Distractions are everywhere – in the workplace, the home office, the car while we are driving. Then call attention to Question #1 (How do you tune out distractions when you really need to focus?) and invite volunteers to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
Study the Bible
Use the following information to supplement Question #5.
Gloria Scott is a senior adult whose income is limited. When a light fixture in her house went out, she called an electrician named John Kinney to come fix it. Kinney fixed the light, but while he was in her home, he noticed that many repairs were badly needed – Scott just did not have the money required to keep up with all the repairs. Kinney was concerned about what he saw. “No lights, running water… I [saw] her on a Friday and it stuck with me over the weekend… I said, ‘I got to go back there.’”
So Kinney returned to Scott’s house and began to do some of the repair work, free of charge. Next, he set up a Facebook page, seeking the help of other tradespeople. The Woburn, Massachusetts community sprang to action. By the time the volunteers had finished, Scott’s home had new electrical and plumbing systems and new windows. The volunteers made much-needed repairs to walls, ceiling, front steps, and porch. Other volunteers worked in her yard or brought food to feed all the helpers. The project was such a success that Kinney is now working to encourage volunteers in other communities to look out for the needs of seniors who might need repair work done.
Say: John Kinney saw a big challenge and knew that he could not handle it working by himself. So he recruited his town to help and the job got done beyond his expectations. In church life, there are things that can happen when we work together as a community that could never be achieved by an individual believer working alone. Then call attention to Question #5 (What are the benefits of praying, confessing, and fasting as a community?) and invite volunteers to respond.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
— Donna McKinney wrote this Leader Extra. Donna is retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in North Carolina.
- What are some things that easily distract you when you’re trying to focus?
- Where do you go when you need to really focus on a project?
- What kinds of things most easily pull your focus off Jesus and His kingdom?
- What life events might cause us to seek the Lord through prayer and fasting?
- How did Daniel prepare himself for an encounter with God?
- What role has fasting played in your spiritual life?
- What can we learn about genuine confession from Daniel’s prayer?
- What are some excuses that we may make for our mistakes?
- What can we learn about sin from Daniel’s prayer?
- How does confession of sin affect our relationship with Christ and with others?
- When have you felt like God was far off and out of focus?
- How have you experienced the power of fasting and confession to boost your spiritual focus?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
The Benefit of a TV/Social Media Fast
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.
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