Stressful Lives - Fearless Teaching #11

Stressful lives, as used here, is a reference to our day to day routine being filled with things that make us uneasy.

Introduction: I believe this series of studies will help us be stronger disciples of Jesus Christ. A key idea throughout this series is to be fearless (i.e., in relation to this world) and faithful (i.e., in relation to God’s will). This series of teachings is based on the above mentioned book (By Max Lucado. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2009).

The format of the teaching will feature summary highlights of the chapter, some discussion questions and points, and pastoral comments. Students are encouraged to purchase the book; however, these class notes will be sufficient for the intended studies.

Chapter Eleven – Caffeinated Life

Summary Highlights -

- Fear of What's Next (see John 14:27). We may request a decaffeinated life – carefree and predicable. But it normally comes caffeinated with modifications, transitions, and alterations. In other words, we have stressful lives. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 teaches that life is changing. Therefore, we should not be so afraid of change.

Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit to comfort us, in that which is to come (see Jn. 14:16, 26-27). The Holy Spirit is like Jesus and will be our friend, counselor, helper, intercessor, and advocate (p. 129).

- From II Corinthians 4:16-18, learn to treat the troubles of this world as preparation for the blessings that are to come.

Discussion Questions and Points –
1. Discuss your desire for having a "decaffeinated life" but actually having a "caffeinated" one.

2. How does having the Holy Spirit as your comforter, friend, and advocate help you with the stress caused by change?

3. How does II Corinthians 4:16-18 help you face the stress of change?

Pastoral Comments –
- A great hymn of the church mentions that "Time is filled with swift transition, naught of earth unmoved can stand, build your hopes on things eternal, hold to God's unchanging hand!" If we keep on living, we will have to keep on changing. This is more comforting, when we are in a bad situation and believe that we are changing to something better.

However, changing from what is comfortable to what is unknown can contribute to our stressful lives. Let's learn to trust that the same God who has taken care of us and worked things out for us up to this point is still doing the same. There is a text in Matthew 8:21-22 that urges us to be willing to leave that which is comfortable to remain a faithful follower of Christ.

Conclusion: It is my prayer that this material has not simply been interesting. The hope is that you have prayerfully studied it and engaged in some serious soul searching. The ultimate aim is for us to be doers of God’s will – mature disciples of Christ.

Let’s continue to work on being both fearless (i.e., in relation to this world) and faithful (i.e., in relation to God’s will). God has much for those who obey His will.  

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921391: Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without FearFearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear
By Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson

Fear is like an invisible prison. It holds you captive, influencing your choices and perceptions about life, God, and other people. Can you imagine what your life would be like without fear? With so much going wrong in the world it can seem hard to picture. In Fearless, Max Lucado author of 3:16: The Numbers of Hope, and pastor of Oak Hills Church, shows you how life can be lived with confidence and joy, when you replace your fear with faith. Let this inspiring and timely message encourage your heart today!

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