· Hebrews 6:12 “Be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
· Slothful (3576 Strongs) = something that has lost its momentum, passion, fire.
a) Choose to believe the Word of God, stand, act upon what God says. (Hebrews 11:6)
b) Choose to persevere – rejoice in difficulties and keep going. (Hebrews 10:36)
c) Choose Godly examples – people who can inspire you by their lifestyle.
· God desires that you be productive; fruitful in extending His Kingdom.
· God never intended for us to live the life of faith alone.
Deuteronomy 25:17-18 Amalek “…smote the hindmost of you, even all that were feeble behind you, when you were faint and weary.”
· Feeble (2826 Strongs) = to become unsteady, weak.
· Faint (5889 Strongs) = thirsty, to lose vitality, lose alertness, live under depressing conditions.
· Weary (3023 Strongs) = to be tired, exhausted, to gasp.
· Amalek = fierce desert nomads, attacked those who became isolated, separated.
· Hindmost = those lagging behind, separated, isolated from the body.
Exodus 17:8-16 Amalek was overcome by a team effort.
· If the enemy can succeed in isolating you, he can stop you being productive.
i) Wrong thoughts – nobody likes me, wants me, has my problems.
ii) Hurts and offences – holding anger and unforgiveness.
iii) Rejection – resistance from others as we pursue God’s plan.
· Faith and ability to endure, suffer tremendously if become isolated/disconnected.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one … woe to him that is alone when he falls ...”
· Everyone needs relationships that stir up faith and patience.
Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
· Sharpen = to restore the cutting edge of a knife or axe.
· You need to distinguish three types of people:
People that pull you up
People that pull you down
People that pull you along
i) People that pull you up – Examples
· These are people who inspire you to pursue God’s purpose.
· Hebrews 6:12 “… be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
· Hebrews 13:7 “Remember them that have the rule over you, who have spoken to you the Word of God, whose faith follow, considering the end.”
Response: Follow = to imitate, mimic, study closely and copy.
· Leaders are people, real people with real problems – easy to draw back.
· If God found them faithful you should find their faith worthy to imitate.
ii) People that pull you down – Energy drainers
· These are people who drain away your faith and confidence in God by negativity.
· Deuteronomy 1:28 “Where shall we go up? Our brothers have discouraged our heart, saying …”
· Ten men brought an evil report of the land of promise – all were infected.
· An evil report – speaking which causes you to doubt God’s Word and character.
Response: Withdraw from these kind of people
· 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 “Now we command you, to withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly … (vs 15) don’t count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”
· Disorderly (814 Strongs) = not arranged in God’s order and pattern.
· Too much contact with negative, defeated people, drains your faith and confidence in God Þ Limit your contact!
· This does not refer to the unsaved but to “every brother”. It refers to Christians who are lazy, half hearted, resistant to taking up responsibility.
iii) People that pull you along - Encouragers
· These are people who come alongside you and strengthen your faith and patience.
· Cell groups are relational groups to encourage you and stir your faith.
· We need people around us to stir our faith and keep us accountable.
Response: Don’t forsake gathering together
a) People that support you
Galatians 6:2-5 “Bear one another’s burdens.”
· (vs2) Burden (922 Strongs) = a crushing weight that presses you down.
· Not an everyday burden but some pressing crushing load.
· Example: Habitual sin that has weighed you down – need support and help of others.
· Need to deal with it privately – open life to someone.
· Example: Dreams – can weigh you down when facing overwhelming obstacles. We need others to help overcome those obstacles.
· (vs5) Burden (5413 Strongs) = task, service.
· There are some responsibilities you must carry, your work, your decision.
b) People that stir you up
Hebrews 10:24-25 “Let us consider one another and provoke to love and good works.”
· Consider = to think about, fully observe, perceive.
· Help others have a realistic view about life.
· Provoke (3947 Strongs) = to come alongside very closely and to sharpen.
· Speak words that stir up fresh hope, confidence, activity.
c) People that exhort you
· Depart Þ step by step withdrawing from God, deserting, change position.
· Exhort (3870 Strongs) = to call near, to call forth so become near again.
· We need others who are close enough to sense if you are withdrawing and who will call you back to faith, patience and destiny.
Isolation: An enemy to be conquered!
Ask your group members to briefly describe their most memorable experience from the year 2001.
· As cell leader go first to allow members time to think and for you to model in terms of time and depth of sharing.
· Sum up at the end by noting the significance of relationships in the experiences people shared. Relationships are vital to our lives.
1. Who did Amalek attack?
2. What condition were the people in when the attack occurred?
3. Why do you think Israel was commanded to remember this experience?
4. How did Israel overcome Amalek?
5. Think of a time when you have been under intense pressure. What happened and how did you survive it?
6. What can we learn personally from the experience of Israel and Amalek?
7. How would you describe your relationships with others in the church currently (strongly connected, connected, loosely connected, disconnected) and what do you think you need to do to take yourself to the next level of connectedness?
8. What do you think is your greatest barrier to connecting with others in the church and what do you think you can do to overcome it?
Encourage everyone from Hebrews 10:24-25
We need others to keep sharp and our faith alive!