James 1:22-25 (ESV): “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
YHC was looking forward to the next lesson in the 4-part All-In series. At one point, consideration was given to canceling this week’s session given that it was scheduled only two days before Thanksgiving, but YHC decided to charge rather than retreat (which coincidentally was the theme of last week’s lesson). YHC hit the twitter machine heavily in the days preceding, challenging the PAX to commit for one of the limited seats in the living room. EH’ing by text for those PAX who don’t frequent the Twitter Machine, seemed to have some positive effect as well (with the side benefit of getting some texting humor from King Pin at the expense of Charlie Brown). Added benefit was having YHC’s Father-in-Law in town for the holiday and my 2.0 Gold Digger home from college as well. Both were planning on posting. PAX rolled in, beagle sounded the alarm, and we launched.
Disclaimer: Respect the opinions of others, I am not a professional seminary-trained pastor, but just a Christ-follower trying to change for the better and grow in faith. Feel free to share or not share as you are comfortable. Remember, not everyone is at the same place in their spiritual journey or experiences.
Warm Up: YHC opened the session in prayer and passed out the lesson outline and printed scriptures. DigaHole reviewed the main points of the lesson from last week for the PAX who hadn’t attended.
- Played Session 3 Video “Rim Huggers”. Theme was on making a distinction between hiking a “canyon” versus being an observer up on the rim. The comparison was that we need to experience things rather than just observe or know about things. This is the challenge for us with our walk with God. We have to get into the arena and step out in faith to DO / act.
- Time was spent on a story in the Old Testament that contrasted King Saul’s passiveness in a wartime situation with the boldness of his son Jonathon who stepped out very boldly, exposing himself to the enemy but ultimately being honored for it by God who empowered him to set in motion a major battlefield victory.
- Tremendous conversations amongst the PAX began as we reviewed key points from the video presentation. FNG Fred Stubbs (later named Cow Bell), shared at length his thoughts about Christ-followers needing to be missionaries first to their spouses, children, and neighbors – modeling Christ’s prime directive of showing love to those around us. Genuine love – which involves sacrifice.
- Other comments included making the important distinction between not just doing actions/activities to try and “earn” status or salvation, but taking actions courageously to be about God’s purpose for our lives as a natural response to accepting Christ as our LORD and wanting to engage our world for His glory.
- Many other great observations and comments were shared by the PAX. YHC abandoned the second half of the study guide questions as the conversations were rich and on point.
- Named FNG: Fred Stubbs, named Cow Bell due to his graduating from Mississippi State
- Prayer Requests: Multiple
- Announcements: One more week in All In study, then decision will be made on what the next topic will be and when/where the study will resume after the Christmas break. YHC will coordinate with 3rd F Q Gazelle to seek input/guidance and then inform the PAX
Moleskin: It was good to see many RESPECT PAX there, and the sharing of wisdom and conversations about nuances of the topic and scripture was fantastic. Many PAX lingered after we closed to continue conversations. YHC can’t emphasize how much the gathering together in a small group setting is beneficial for those who do.
Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.
Quit holding out. Quit holding back.
Push all of your chips to the middle of the table. It’s time to ante up all of your faith.
It’s time to go all in. It’s time to go all out.
See you next Tuesday. Seats are available. Take the step.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (ESV)
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Luke 10:27 (ESV)
27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
1 Samuel 14:1-23 (ESV) Jonathan Defeats the Philistines
One day Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. 2 Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah in the pomegranate cave[a] at Migron. The people who were with him were about six hundred men, 3 including Ahijah the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. 4 Within the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistine garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side and a rocky crag on the other side. The name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. 5 The one crag rose on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba.
6 Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” 7 And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish.[b] Behold, I am with you heart and soul.” 8 Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will show ourselves to them. 9 If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place, and we will not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the Lord has given them into our hand. And this shall be the sign to us.” 11 So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines. And the Philistines said, “Look, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” 12 And the men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armor-bearer and said, “Come up to us, and we will show you a thing.” And Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Come up after me, for the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.” 13 Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, and his armor-bearer after him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed them after him. 14 And that first strike, which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, killed about twenty men within as it were half a furrow’s length in an acre[c] of land. 15 And there was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even the raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic.[d]
16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude was dispersing here and there.[e] 17 Then Saul said to the people who were with him, “Count and see who has gone from us.” And when they had counted, behold, Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there. 18 So Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here.” For the ark of God went at that time with the people[f] of Israel. 19 Now while Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the camp of the Philistines increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” 20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and went into the battle. And behold, every Philistine’s sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion. 21 Now the Hebrews who had been with the Philistines before that time and who had gone up with them into the camp, even they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 Likewise, when all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they too followed hard after them in the battle. 23 So the Lord saved Israel that day. And the battle passed beyond Beth-aven.