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Date: July 18, 2021
Sufficient in Christ Alone
The Point: God provides all we need as we pursue Christ daily.
Get Into the Study
Use the following as an alternate introduction to today’s session.
The northwest US has recently experienced a record-breaking heatwave. Portland, Oregon, which typically sees temperatures in the 70s during June, reached 116 degrees June 28th, the third consecutive day of all-time highs. Some ice cream shops in Portland have had to close because they reported being unable to keep the ice cream from melting. Officials warned of dangers from the high temperatures, urging people to check in on others who might be at risk. Some COVID restrictions were even lifted to give people access to large air-conditioned spaces like movie theaters.
Ask: What is your favorite way to cool off in extreme heat?
Ice water is one of the most refreshing things when it is hot outside. However, in times of drought or heatwaves, even lukewarm water is better than no water. This could cause some confusion when we read Christ’s words to the church in Laodicea, where He condemned the church for being lukewarm. But in this session, we will study why Christ told the church at Laodicea that He would vomit them out for being neither hot nor cold.
Use the following to conclude today’s session.
Lead your group in a time of prayer for the people affected by this tragedy.
The cause of the collapse is unknown, but a report from 2018 indicated the building’s exterior may have hidden a dangerously deteriorating interior. There is concern about whether officials ignored warnings about the condition of the building or downplayed the potential danger.
Christ’s warnings to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation can be used today to evaluate the strength and stability of our own church and our personal relationships with Christ. Let’s not allow a good façade to mislead us into dismissing internal rot. Encourage group members to choose one of the Live It Out statements to implement this week.
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. After graduation, she enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor. Having returned to Tennessee with her husband, she is now thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom and writer.
Live It Out [Option from Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, play the song “Cornerstone” for the group. Encourage group members to listen for phrases that reflect a heart posture of dependence on Christ. Afterward, discuss: what phrases stood out to you? Contrast these with the attitude of the Laodiceans.
- Which knock-off brands do you really dislike?
- When have you been disappointed to find out something was not as good as advertised?
- When have you regretted “judging a book by its cover”?
- What are the dangers of self-reliance?
- How do we discern if our works on hot or lukewarm?
- What does it look like for a Christian to be “lukewarm” in today’s world?
- How does Jesus refine us?
- Do you find it difficult or easy to rely on Jesus in today’s world? Explain.
- Why is discipline important for our relationship with Christ?
- Why do we sometimes not invite God into every part of our lives?
- What does it look like to pursue a deeper relationship with Christ?
- What might prevent someone from opening the door when Christ knocks?
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:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.