From Pastor Brady

Greetings Church,

We are taking a short pause from the Gospel of Mark to linger on the topic of conflict, resolution, and what it means to be spiritual family.

Read Hebrews 12:1-29. Pastor Mark’s 3 main points from this passage were: 1) A Holy and Loving God, 2) A Holy and Loving People, 3) Love Leading to Holiness.

1. A Holy and Loving God.

Re-read v.18-29. How is God’s holiness described in these verses?

Contrast v.18-21 with v. 22-24. The author contrasts Mt. Sinai and Spiritual Mt. Zion. How are they different? What makes the difference (Hint: WHO makes the difference)?

What is your reaction to the idea of God being a “consuming fire?” Why would this idea be bad news for us? Why would it be good news for us? Is it bad news or good news for you personally?

For families: It’s easy to teach children that God is love. But teaching about God’s holiness can be trickier. This where the Old Testament stories can be quite helpful. Make sure you use the OT stories to show the holiness of God. For example, the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego can be about us (“be like these 3 guys”) or it can be about the holiness of God.

Another way to teach children about holiness is to relate it to something that is brand new, clean, unbroken, or undefiled. The next time your kids get a new toy or pair of sneakers, why not take a moment and use it to teach about the holiness of God.

2. A Holy and Loving People

Read v. 5-11. God disciplines us to make us holy. In what ways might a recent conflict you experienced be an example of something God uses to discipline you?

Pastor Mark talked about how conflict can cause us to get discouraged/bitter OR it can intensify your focus on Christ. When have you seen either or both of these happen in your life?

How can conflict actually be used to reveal sin, and drive sin out of our lives?

For Families: Think through how you handle conflict in your family. What strategies have you put in place for you and your children? Is it gospel centered? For example do you just stress separation when your kids fight? Or, do you teach your children to focus on God’s love and holiness when they react negatively? What about yourself? Do you just react in anger to your kids, or do you respond with the gospel- God loves you, we love each other, therefore we do not ____ (hit, bite, steal, cheat, lie, disrespect, etc.).

3. Love Leading to Holiness

What is your reaction to this statement: “The primary means for helping you grow in holiness and love is the church.”?

Are you in close community through your church? Close enough to help others grow in love and holiness? Have you invited others to be close enough to you to help you to grow in love and holiness?

How does God’s love for us allow us to pursue holiness without terror? How does our love for each other allow us to pursue holiness in the same way?

Fighter Verse Questions for Groups and Families.

Fighter Verse: Hebrews 12:14. “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”

1. With whom do you need to strive for peace? What conflicts are you involved in with others that need resolution?

2. How are “striving for peace” and holiness related?

3. Remember: This verse is exhorting us to strive for a holiness that we already have through Christ.

Hebrews 10:14. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

Why is it so important to know that we are already holy, BEFORE we can strive for holiness?

4. For families: Help your children talk through those that they struggle to get along with. God tells us to strive for peace with EVERYONE. How can they seek peace with those kids that they don’t like so much- the bullies, those who are different from them, etc.