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Date: July 4, 2021
Vigilant Against Complacency
The Point: Stay alert and focused on the things of God.
Get Into the Study
Use the following to introduce today’s session.
People in Essonne, France, can view an original Picasso painting while grocery shopping. One supermarket is hosting artwork from the National Museum of Modern Art in an effort to make art more accessible. People can experience the art without traveling to a larger city or to a museum. Shoppers have wondered whether the painting titled, “L’Atelier,” is a true Picasso piece, given that extremely valuable art isn’t usually found in grocery store aisles. Although the painting can be easily viewed, the piece is guarded by undercover security, police, and other emergency workers to protect the priceless artwork.
When something is valuable, we protect it. Like someone standing guard, we must remain alert, keeping our focus on the things of God. Jesus reminded the church in Sardis to stay focused on Him.
Get Into the Study [Option from Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, play a video clip of someone getting easily distracted. Then ask Question #1.
Use the following to conclude today’s session.
Global law enforcement just revealed the details behind a three-year sting operation that resulted in the arrest of 800 people. Organized crime groups had been buying encrypted phones on the black market and using a messaging app to communicate. The users could only get these special phones from other criminals. According to reports, the users were confident in the work they had done to secure the phones and became lax in their messaging protocols. The users often dispensed with the use of codes or pseudonyms and instead sent exact details about crimes and locations. However, law enforcement agencies were monitoring the encrypted app, receiving and storing every message.
These criminals were resting on the work they had done to secure the phones instead of staying vigilant about protecting themselves. As Christians, we shouldn’t become complacent in our spiritual disciplines, resting on previous time spent in prayer and Bible study. Instead, we must remain focused and alert striving to follow Jesus faithfully every day.
Encourage group members to choose one of the Live It Out statements to implement this week.
Nikki Wilbanks wrote these Leader Extras. Nikki 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.
- What’s your favorite halftime/morale-boosting speech?
- What are some things that easily get (or keep) your attention?
- When have you seen something’s reality not measure up to its reputation?
- What words come to mind when you think about being alive for Christ?
- How do we let our guard slip in matters of faith?
- How would you describe the reputation of Christians in today’s culture?
- How would you describe Jesus’ tone in this verse?
- What are the consequences today of not being spiritually alert?
- What are the benefits of being spiritually alert?
- How do even Christians defile their garments today?
- What does a pure life look like?
- How do we model purity in a culture that celebrates sexual impurity?
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.