Sermon Follow-up August 22, 2021

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1 Sermon Follow-up August 22, 2021 Focus Passage: Joel 1:1 14 Recover from Idolatry Other Passages Referenced: Genesis 6:5; 1 Samuel 2:1; 1 Chronicles 12:38; Psalm 37:4; Joel 2:12 16, 32; Luke 23:44-46; Acts 2:21; 1 Corinthians 13:12 Interpretive Helps: The OT prophets used a term familiar to their audience, a term by which the audience expected light and salvation (Amos 5:18), but the prophets painted it as a day of darkness and judgment (Isa. 2:10 22; 13:6, 9; Joel 1:15; 2:1 11, 31; 3:14 15; Amos 5:20; Zeph. 1:7 8, 14 18; Mal. 4:5). The OT language of the Day of the Lord is thus aimed at warning sinners among God s people of the danger of trusting in traditional religion without commitment to God and His way of life. 1 Sermon Recap The natural disaster described in Joel took place after the people of Israel had returned from exile in Babylonia to the Promised Land. To return from disaster we must return to the LORD. That involves turning to God s character (2:12 13) turning to trust God while letting go of our demand for a specific outcome (2:14) turning to gather with God s people (2:15 16) God is present, even in our most painful circumstances. Joel makes clear that it was God who sent the devastating locusts. At times, God uses disasters and our painful circumstances to accomplish what would otherwise not happen. He is always working out His purposes in and through our pain. We are to turn to Him with our entire hearts. Greek scholar Robert Mounce explains, The heart denotes the seat of emotion (1 Sam. 2:1), desire (Ps. 37:4), thought (Gen. 6:5), and decision (1 Chr. 12:38). More than just our emotions or affections, the heart speaks to our entire being. We are called to trust God even when the outcome is uncertain or not one we would choose. Verse 14 indicates such uncertainty of the outcome, Who knows whether he will not turn and relent and leave a blessing behind him? In turning to gather God s people, we see that no one is too old (elders) and no one is too young (infants). We also learn that no one is left with an excuse to not gather, even the newly married bride and groom are to give priority to the special gathering above their own conjugal relationship. The good news of the gospel is that God has already turned to us in Jesus the Messiah. Whatever disaster or pain you need to recover from, be it financial, health, broken trust, damaged relationships, moral failure, or disconnection from God and community, the Spirit invites you to turn to the LORD. Turn to God s character. Trust in God without demanding a specific outcome. Turn to gather with God s people. Receive God s recovery from disaster. 1 Chad Brand et al., eds., Day of the Lord, Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003),

2 Group Gathering Group Check-in Care, Celebration, Encouragement (About 1/3 of meeting time) 1. Informal conversation to allow individuals to catch up with one another. 2. Ask if anyone would share how they ve been hearing and obeying God s direction. Allow the Word to Speak Be Hearers of the Word (About 1/3 of meeting time) READ Joel 1:1 14; 2:12 16, HIGHLIGHT the verses that speak to you a. Write out the name of the book and the passage. b. Which chapter and verse numbers stand out to you? c. Write down any questions you have about the passage. d. In just a few of your own words, write a title that describes the passage. 2. EXPLAIN what the passage means? a. To whom was it originally written? (A study Bible or Bible introduction may be helpful) b. Why was it written? c. How does it fit with the verses before and after it? d. Write a short summary of what you think the passage means. e. Why do you think the Holy Spirit included this passage in the Bible? 3. APPLY what God is saying in these verses to your life. a. What is God saying to me through this passage? b. How am I to apply this passage to my life? 4. RESPOND to what you ve read in one or more of the following ways: a. Write out what you are going to do because of what you have learned or sense the Spirit leading you to do. b. Write out a prayer in response to what you have learned or sense the Spirit saying. Put the Word into Practice Be Doers of the Word (About 1/3 of meeting time) 1. How have you personally experienced God s recovery from disaster or great pain? 2. Do you need to make one of the three turns mentioned in the sermon: turning to God s character (2:12 13) turning to trust God while letting go of our demand for a specific outcome (2:14) turning to gather with God s people (2:15 16)? 3. Jesus endured the wrath of the Day of the LORD on our behalf. He is the means of recovering a right relationship with God. Have you received Jesus as LORD and King of your whole heart/being? If not, we d love to walk you through anything keeping you from that life-changing step of turning to God. The Big Question: What do you sense God's Spirit saying to you and what concrete action will you take in response? Share your answer with the group or another trusted Christian and ask them to pray for you. 2

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