Thursday, November 9, 2023

God Rejoices Over You (Zephaniah 3:17)

 For this week's study, we're going to focus on one verse from Zephaniah. We'll break it down, phrase by phrase, and see how it impacts us and what it inspires us to do.

Read Zephaniah 3:17. Have each person share which single word in this verse seems most significant to them and why.

(the following questions are from the NIV version)

The first phrase in the verse is: "The LORD your God is with you,"

Is it important that this verse says "your" God instead of "the" God? Why?

How does it feel to be reminded that God is with you?

Are there times you wish God wasn't with you? Or that He couldn't see what you are doing or thinking?

The second phrase in the verse is: "the Mighty Warrior who saves."

What does God save people from?

What has He saved you from?

The next phrase in the verse is: "He will take great delight in you;"

Are there things in your life that cause you to doubt whether God actually takes delight in you?

What action are you inspired to take when you remind yourself that God delights in you?

The next phrase in the verse is: "in his love he will no longer rebuke you,"

You have probably already been thinking about some of the reasons God might rebuke you. This verse is a reminder that Jesus' work secured God's forgiveness.

How should people respond to God's forgiveness? How should you respond to God's forgiveness?

The last phrase in the verse is: "but will rejoice over you with singing."

Why do you think God rejoices over you?

As a group, share 2-3 reasons why God might rejoice over each individual in the group.

What is one thing you will do this week that will give God reason to rejoice over you?

Friday, October 13, 2023

Agents of Reconciliation (Micah 7:18)

Read Micah 7:18. What 3-4 words jump out at you in this verse? Have a few people use 4 words or less to summarize the verse.

How does this verse shape your understanding of God's character and mercy?

What does the term "God's remnant" mean to you, based on your understanding of the Bible verses provided?

Read Matthew 7:13-14. How does this verse describe God's remnant?

Why do you think God has left a remnant on earth? Why do you think He doesn't just take all of His people to heaven immediately?

Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-20.What is the main point of this verse? What is the job that has been given to God's remnant?

What do you think it means to be an agent of reconciliation with your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, etc.?

God's remnant should look like God. Micah described God as one who pardons and forgives. Why is it hard to forgive the people who have wronged us?

Take some time and share some practical hints with each other to help you forgive others.

God wants us to reconcile with other people and He wants us to help other people be reconciled to Him. How can you help more people be reconciled to God?

Have each person share the name of one person they know who needs to be reconciled to God.

Take a few minutes and pray specifically for each of these people.

Have each person in the group identify one action they can take in the next few days to be an agent of reconciliation.

Monday, October 2, 2023

What To Do When You're In A Mess (Jonah 1)

 Begin by having everyone share their favorite part of the book of Jonah.

As a group, read Jonah chapter 2. (have one person read the whole thing or take turns reading each verse)

Look at some of Jonah's descriptions of the mess he was in. Use the questions below to talk about how you have experienced the same kind of feelings:
- When have you been distressed?
- When have you felt like you were drowning?
- When have you felt like life was fainting away?

What would you say to someone who is feeling this way? How would you pray for someone who is feeling this way?

Read verse 9 again. Why is gratitude helpful in difficult times? How does it change our mindset or perspective?

Have you ever made a vow to God? How would your life be different if you simply vowed to be obedient to Him?

Think about the phrase, "Salvation belongs to the LORD"?
- How does it make you feel?
- What does it make you want to do?
- How should it impact your attitude?
- How should it impact your relationships?

What is your next step this week? How can this group help you and pray for you?

Friday, March 10, 2023

Call On The Name Of The Lord (Romans 10)

Talk about a time when something so good happened to you that you couldn't wait to tell others about it.

Read Romans 10:9-13.

How would you summarize these verses in one sentence?

Do you think that internal beliefs always produce external actions? Why or why not?

How would you describe the internal beliefs of Christianity?

How would you describe the external actions of Christianity?

Why is it important to believe in the resurrection? Why does the resurrection matter?

What do you think it means to "confess that Jesus is Lord"?

Talk about what it should look like if Jesus is Lord in the following areas of your life:
- Mind
- Word
- Attitude
- Choices
- Finances
- Career
- Relationships
- Future

Which of these areas is the greatest struggle for you? Why?

What steps can you take this week to submit every area of your life to Christ's lordship?

How can this group pray for you? 

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Love the Lord your God (Mark 12:29-30)

What is a good change you made in your life this past year?

What is one change you want to make in your life in the new year?

On a scale of 1-10, how aligned are your priorities with God's priorities?

From the following list, which area is the one in which you struggle most with priorities?

  • Money 
  • Time 
  • Family 
  • Work 
  • Entertainment 
  • Fitness/Leisure Time 
  • Friendships 
  • Conversations 
  • Attitude

Using the above list, in which area would you most like God to help you?

Read Mark 12:29-30. Why do you think this command is always preceded by the statement that God is "one"? 

We often think of "love" in terms of relationships. What do our relationships with spouses, parents, children, and friends teach us about God's love for us and our love for Him?

Have each person share a practical example of how they can demonstrate love toward God?

Why is this command easy to follow? Why is this command difficult to follow?

Spend some time discussing WHY God is worthy of our love.

What is one commitment you can make this week to prioritize God in an important area of your life?

How can this group pray for you?

Friday, November 4, 2022

Exiles and Strangers (1 Peter 2:11-12)

 Read 1 Peter 2:11-12 and have everyone give a one-sentence summary of these verses' main point.

Talk about each of the following words and have group members share why they are important, what they mean in this passage and how their meaning should be applied in our lives.
- Abstain
- Passion
- Flesh
- Soul
- Honorable
- Gentiles
- Glorify God

Make a list of the passions of the flesh. Talk about why it is sometimes difficult to abstain from these.

Why is it sometimes difficult to balance abstaining from the flesh and living honorably among the Gentiles? Talk about situations when abstaining might cause the world to be offended or make accusations.

Spend a few minutes talking about the people in your lives that need to turn to Jesus. Have each person identify one thing they can do to help that person think more positively about God.

Spend time praying that your friends would see the truth and turn to Jesus.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Life In Christ: The Path, The Roots, The Foundation. (Colossians 2)

 What clothes do you put on when you are cold?

What clothes do you put on when you are hot?
What clothes do you put on when you are going out to eat?
What clothes do you put on when you go to work?
What clothes do you put on when you lounge around the house?

What clothes do you put on when you want to grow spiritually?

Read Romans 13:4.

Putting on clothes can't help us grow spiritually, but putting on Christ is the secret to spiritual growth. What do you think it means to "put on Christ?"

Read Colossians 2:6-7. Being "in Him" is the same idea as "putting on Christ" or being "clothed with Christ". In these verses, Paul gives three pictures to help us understand what it means to be "in Christ".

What do you think it means to "walk in Him"?
Read Matthew 7:13, Proverbs 3:6, and Psalm 119:105. What do these verses teach about the path we choose to walk through life?

How would your next steps in life change if your greatest priority was to imitate Jesus?

What do you think it means to be "rooted in Him"?
Read Psalm 1:1-3, John 15:5, and Galatians 5:22-23. What do these verses teach about roots, branches, and fruit?

If you allow Jesus to be the primary source of authority in your life, what kind of fruit should your life be bearing?

What do you think it means to be "built up in Him"?
Read Matthew 7:24-27 and 1 Corinthians 3:11-13. What do these verses teach about the foundation of our life?

If Jesus is the foundation of your life, how should that impact what you think? How should it impact what you say? How should it impact the way you treat and talk about others?

Which of these areas is most challenging for you?
- Walking Jesus' path?
- Being rooted in Jesus?
- Allowing Jesus to be your foundation?

What is your next step?

How can this group pray for you?