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CONNECT GROUP QUESTIONS Worship is Holy, Sin is Serious

INTRO: After a faithless decision at Kadesh-Barnea, followed by a presumptuous plunge into the land which ended in defeat [Numbers 14:39-45], the nation of Israel was reeling. What now? Graciously, God provided hope midst the experiences of failure. God encouraged his people to anticipate the joy of bountiful worship, while reminding them sin is serious stuff. So how can we apply these lessons to our lives?

Begin with Your HEART Imagine you are in a debate with friends over Cokes in an informal setting. Someone insists, “America is declining, especially morally!” Another counters, “I don’t think so…there’s a lot of good people out there, despite the headlines.” On which side would you be, and what would you cite to support your view? Share together for a few moments. Then, follow by answering this question together: What can Christians do to humbly demonstrate to others that they belong to a holy and promise keeping God?

In the WORD Today’s teaching stressed 3 characteristics true of the God who has redeemed us. 1] Despite our failures, God keeps his promises to us. [Numbers 15:1-2] • What promises has God made [found in His word] that you count on, promises He will keep no matter what you do? [cite some…then check these out: John 3:16-17, 5:24, 10:7-11, 27-30, 14:1-6…and how many promises can you find in Ephesians 1:3-14?] 2] Positively, God challenges us to be generous when we worship [Numbers 15:3-21] • Israel was urged to “bring extra” when offering an animal sacrifice at the altar. What do these passages teach about being generous with the Lord: Mark 12:41-44, Luke 6:38, Acts 4:32-37, 1 Corinthians 16:1-3, 2 Corinthians 8:6-8 3] Negatively, a holy God vividly reminded His people that sin is serious stuff [Numbers 15:22-36, 16:1-50]. • Today, often God does not immediately judge us for sinning [other than allowing us to experience the consequences of it]. He is patient and gracious. Do you think we abuse this kindness? Discuss • Still, the New Testament has its clear warnings: Matthew 5:28-29, 7:24-27, Acts 5:1-11, Romans 6:1-2, James 4:17, 5:16-20.

My LIFE - our MISSION The principles cited above come with the blessings of obedience or the consequences of disobedience. How important is it that [3 life questions]… GOD MAKE YOUR DAY: Spending time with the Lord in His Word to know His wonderful promises. Which of God’s promises have you discovered recently in your time with Him that has anchored your heart and reassured your faith? YOU KNOW HOW YOUR INVESTMENTS ARE DOING: How would you assess your “investment” strategy when it comes to being generous with your Kingdom-giving [time to serve, giving “the first fruits [or dough]” to the Lord, or investing in someone else’s life]? SHARING YOUR TOUGH STUFF: Are you being honest with a spiritual accountability partner about any sin issues in your life? Again, read James 5:16-20. Think about it. Talk about it with someone.