Warning Signs | Don't Reject Christ, Day 3
Hebrews 3:13-15; Ephesians 5:15-17
Because the Lord is speaking today, we cannot put off obedience until tomorrow.
VERSE OF THE DAY
'But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. ' Hebrews 3:13 ESV
What is a day-to-day task you tend to procrastinate and why do you procrastinate this task?
In general, what are some reasons people might give for putting things off until tomorrow?
In what sense is procrastination a spiritual issue?
How does procrastination affect our relationship with God?
We always assume we will have another chance. We think tomorrow will be another opportunity to get our hearts right, mend a relationship, make an important decision, or get rid of a sinful habit.
Scripture teaches us over and over again that God is looking for immediate obedience to His commands.
Read Psalm 90:12 and Ecclesiastes 11:4
' So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. ' Psalm 90:12 ESV
'He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. ' Ecclesiastes 11:4 ESV
How might procrastination stunt our spiritual growth?
Why is pressing on despite uncertain conditions an act of faith?
What does a refusal to procrastinate on important issues reveal about what we value?
We make time for what is truly important to us.
When we procrastinate we assume that we will always have another chance to do the right thing, when in reality we are never guaranteed another chance.
Choosing to press on shows our faith in God, His timing, and His status as priority in our lives.
Read Hebrews 3:13-15
'But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” ' Hebrews 3:13-15 ESV
What is the purpose of fellowship according to this passage?
Does it surprise you that one of these purposes is to warn each other? Why or why not?
How does this warning from Hebrews relate to the wisdom from the above passages in Psalm 90 and Ecclesiastes 11?
According to this passage, what might be the effect of continuing to procrastinate what should be done today?
Why is responding immediately when you hear the voice of God an act of faith, and how does this show what you believe about His character?
When you hear God speaking, you must respond in obedience immediately because you are never guaranteed another chance to obey.
When we respond faithfully without procrastination we show that we believe God is right, His Word is true, and that He always knows what’s best.
As with the story of the Israelites, when we disobey the voice of God and allow our hearts to become hardened, this will result in divine judgement and we will be unable to enter God’s rest.
Read Ephesians 5:15-17
' Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. ' Ephesians 5:15-17 ESV
What parallels do you see in this passage and the others we have studied today?
Why do you think the first sign of wisdom that Paul gave was the careful use of time?
What does it mean to “be careful” or “look carefully” when it comes to time and living? How is that different from procrastination?
We should never assume we will have more time than right now. When God provides us an opportunity we should take it rather than waiting for another opportunity that may never come.
Proceeding with caution is not the same as disobedient procrastination. Just as we should count the cost to be aware of an expense, we should proceed with caution but proceed nonetheless when and where we are called.
Living wisely is to live in accordance with God’s principles made clear in His Word, which includes to make the best use of the time you are given and remain committed to the Lord’s will.
The unwise have no strategy for disciplined use of their time and a lack of regard for God’s commands.
Until Christ’s return, evil spiritual forces run rampant in our world and as followers of Christ we must pay close attention to our tendency to procrastinate in order to remain faithful to Christ, our calling, and to combat these forces.
Once we have fully committed to following God’s will for all believers, He will then reveal His personal calling for our individual lives.
Prayer, spending time in God’s Word, fellowship with believers, and seeking counsel from spiritually mature Christians can strengthen one's approach to worldly and spiritual situations.
Have you been procrastinating getting serious about your spiritual life?
What is one practice that you need to integrate in your life this week instead of waiting?
Today is a blessing, may we not take it for granted. What are some practical ways we can keep ourselves focused on the time we are given today?
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 NIV
Pray and thank God for the moments you have been given up to this point. Commit yourself again to making the most of the opportunities that will come your way. Ask for the wisdom and insight to hear the voice of God this week and the courage to put action to what you hear.