By now, everyone should have had an opportunity to share their spiritual journey and model a 20-minute time of personal worship using PRAISE. If not, you should make a phone call to anyone in your JG who needs an opportunity to complete these exercises. Don’t let anyone miss the benefit of doing this in the JG setting.
A few people may be ready to recite the books of the New Testament. Continue recruiting people to recite in the next two meetings.
TRUTH – The focus this week is on making a grace-motivated commitment to observing the Lord’s Day. You want to guide your JG toward understanding what a real commitment to this law would mean for their lives, while helping them avoid the errors of legalism. The unit includes a brief discussion of the difference between obedience to law and legalism. You may have to discuss this further with your group to equip them with a practical understanding. Your group may have many questions about what is “ok” or “not ok” on the Lord’s Day. Your answers should reinforce the general lines of a grace commitment to the Lord’s Day (i.e. replacing work with spiritual reflection and worship), while encouraging them to submit their consciences (and thus, their choices about the Sabbath) to the Lord. Be careful not to bind their consciences to any human interpretation of the law as the Pharisees did concerning the picking of grain on the Sabbath. Try to reinforce these main points from Unit 2:
God intended the Sabbath to be a blessing for humanity.
Jesus is an example of how to respect and observe the Sabbath. His Lordship over the Sabbath indicates that He knows best how to keep the Sabbath.
Obedience to God’s Law is righteous. Legalism is unrighteous. Legalism often takes the form of binding one’s conscience to a man-made law, or to an interpretation of God’s Law. (e.g. The Pharisees’ insistence that picking grain on the Sabbath constituted a breaking of the Sabbath).
Works of mercy, necessity, and piety are exceptions to the Sabbath.
Despite the change to Sunday and the modern pace of life, the Sabbath command still applies to Christians, and remains a relevant blessing today.
EQUIPPING – The equipping questions are designed to get your JG thinking about the specific decisions they may have to make in order to adopt a lifestyle that is committed to the Lord’s Day. Be sure to use the circle diagram as a focal point of discussion. Also be sure to discuss the different ways your JG members can prepare for the Lord’s Day.
MISSION – Allow time for people to share their experience talking with people on their prayer lists.