The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our September 30, 2018 message, Enjoying the Benefits of Your Faith.
Are you enjoying the benefits of your faith? Does your faith impact where you go, what you do, and your relationships? Teaching through John 6:1-15, JP asks three questions to help you know if you are using your faith for Christ or for yourself.
Do you use your faith to follow Jesus?
- What keeps you from God’s Word in the morning? From showing up to community group? From showing up to church?
- What do most people follow instead of Jesus? Our preferences. We want to do, say, and go where we want. We don’t take full benefit from our faith because we don’t feel like it.
- Don’t let your preferences rob you from paradise.
- Your feelings are real, but they aren’t always reliable. Your feelings can—and often do—lead you to sin.
- When you follow sin it seeks to make you a slave.
- If you are not intentionally doing everything you can to prioritize following Jesus, then you might have a faith, but you are not enjoying its benefits.
*Do you use your faith to forgo your plans?
- Can you think of a time where you were excited about your plans and it seems like God said “No”?
- Can you forgo what you think life is about in order to find out what God has for you? God has a great life planned for you…which you will find when you follow Him.
- We are often guilty of an “if/then” faith. The problem is, God doesn’t make deals and play games. However, He is a good God who gives good gifts to His children.
- Everything that does not come from faith is sin (Romans 14:23).
- Following Jesus might mean forgoing a higher paying job so you can spend more time caring for your family and being committed to church, or forgoing vacations you want to take so you can give more generously, or forgoing preferences and hobbies so you can spend more time serving.
- God is not ripping you off; rather, He’s trying to offer you more than you can ever imagine.
- No one gets to heaven and feels ripped off.
- If you are not forgoing your plans to seek God’s, you might have a faith, but you’re not enjoying the benefits of it.
*Do you use your faith to be forgotten?
- We don’t know anything about the boy in John 6…not his name, his family, where he’s from, etc….nothing.
- Everyone is going to be forgotten. Do you know your great, great grandfather’s name? That’s your family, and that was only 50 years ago!
- Once you accept the fact that you will be forgotten, you can stop trying so hard to be remembered.
- Don’t reach for things, let them come to you.
- Life isn’t about you. It’s all about Jesus. Make your life about Him!
- The goal of life is not to be known, it’s to be faithful.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- What are you tempted to follow as you think about your own life? Sleep/your bed, money, status, family, people, football, fitness, hobbies…what is it? Share this with your community group and develop a plan to forgo whatever it is and to follow Jesus instead.
- What’s one way you can be more generous and faithful with your time, talents, and treasure this week, rather than using them for your own plans and glory?
- How does it make you feel that once you are gone your name probably won’t be remembered by future generations of your own family a mere 50 years later? In light of this truth, how can you use your faith for eternal things instead of yourself
Mentioned or Recommended Resources
- Suggested Scripture Study: John 6:1-15; Romans 14:23; Luke 18:28-30; Judges 9:8-14
- Sermon: Faith (from the series 1 Peter)
- Sermon: The Truth About Genuine Faith (from the series The Book of James: Walk the Line)
- Book: Embracing Obscurity by Anonymous (available wherever books are sold)
- Real Truth Real Quick: If I Have Enough Faith Will God Heal Me