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How to Deal with What Scares You

Spiritual battles are real

A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered.
The story of what happened spread quickly all through Ephesus, to Jews and Greeks alike. A solemn fear descended on the city, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored. Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices. A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars.So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect. ACTS 19:13-20 NLT

Real power from God comes from a real relationship with God

You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. EXODUS 20:7 NLT

People misuse God’s name with their…

1. Hobbies/Passions

You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. 1 PETER 4:2 NLT

2. Business

May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you. PSALM 25:21 NLT

3. Dating

Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? 2 CORINTHIANS 6:14-15 NLT

4. Decisions

The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. PSALM 37:23 NLT

5. Actions

Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. MATTHEW 7:20 NLT

6. Christian leaders

Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. MATTHEW 7:15 NLT

People misuse God’s name as a cuss word

…God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. PHILIPPIANS 2:9 NLT

People use Jesus’ name and never share his message

For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? …That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” ROMANS 10:13-15 NLT

Community Group Discussion Guide

  1. Has there ever been a time where someone has misused your name to get ahead or get an in and how did that make you feel?
  2. Read Exodus 20:7. When you think about misusing God’s name, what is the first thing that comes to mind? What are some of the other ways people can misuse God’s name?
  3. When have you seen someone misuse God’s name to manipulate someone or something and what made that so damaging?
  4. In what specific ways have you or do you misuse God’s name?
  5. Read Romans 10:13-15. What is it about the sharing of our faith with others that separates those who pretend to believe in Jesus from those who actually follow him?
  6. What scares you about sharing Jesus with the people in your life who don’t believe? What steps can you take this week to overcome that fear and begin to share with them or invite them to church or this group?

Personal Reflection Guide

Set some time in your schedule to find a quiet, restful place where you can be silent and reflect. As you find your space, recognize that God sees you and is eager to meet with you and hear from you right now. Think about a time when you really connected with God. What was happening? What did you feel or experience? Allow yourself to sit with that memory for a few moments. The Bible says that God is “the Creator of all the earth.” (Isaiah 40:28). As you think about God as your creator, ask yourself if there are areas in your life where by your actions you have misused this aspect of God’s name, as Creator, and where you need forgiveness. Remember that God is always faithful to forgive us when we confess our sins to him (1 John 1:9). Knowing that you are forgiven, ask God to help you start to live differently in response to him as the Creator God. As you go into your week, connect someone you trust and share about this time you had with God, and see if the two of you can find a few concrete ways to let this experience change you.

My Notes