7 Churches | Week 3: It's the Subtle Things
Sometimes, we feel like everything is fine, we have it all under control and we are on track. But, in order to stay in that place, we must make deliberate decisions and actively manage our priorities. In the Song of Songs, the author warns the married couple to pay attention to the subtle things of daily life. There are always decisions and choices and things overlooked that can go unnoticed but eventually may become detrimental to a marriage. In SOS 2:15, the couple celebrates their relationship using the metaphor of a vineyard that is in full bloom. All the while, unnoticed by them, little foxes are eating away and destroying the vineyard. It’s the subtle things that sneak up on us. Like in a marriage, it is important to pay attention to the subtle things that creep into our relationship with Jesus. If we do not, we will find ourselves lost and unaware how we ever got there.
READ 1 Peter 5:8-9
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
READ this passage again and consider these related questions.
At what point does our enemy, the devil, look to devour us?
What are some of the best ways to “resist” the devil?
Why do you think Peter includes the part about the sufferings of the family of believers?
Read Revelation 2:12-17
1. Discuss how current culture/society may resemble a place where Satan has his throne?
2. How do you remain steadfast in your faith in Jesus in a world that seems to reject everything we believe to be true about God? Is it easy?
3. Verse 14 refers to the story in Numbers 25:1-3. In order to see Balaam’s connection you need to look to Numbers 31:16 for clarification. What are the 2 sins in question? How do those still affect us and the church today?
4. Consider Romans 12:2. How does this relate to what Jesus is pointing out to Pergamum and to the verse above, 1 Peter 5:8?
5. Again we see the call to repentance to both believers and non-believers alike. Link this to the recent sermon describing the grace found in both justification and sanctification?
6. In both v.12 and 16, John describes the double edged sword of Jesus. What does this describe?
7. The Word of God contains both great promises to anticipate as well as ones to fear. What does that mean?
8. The steadfast believer is promised “secret manna” and a “stone with a new name written on it.” There is no consensus on what these mean or represent. It is clear however that they point to a spiritual reward. What do you think these rewards represent?*
2. White stones in various circumstances represented special privileges to those who received them.