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?

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Walking with God (Genesis 5)

 Read Genesis 5:22-24.

Make a list of people from the Bible who "walked with God."

Walking with someone requires SHARED DIRECTION and CLOSE PROXIMITY.

How can someone make sure they are moving the same direction as God?

Read Psalm 119:105. What gift has God given us so that we can know the proper direction to walk?

How has the Bible helped keep you moving in the right direction? What is a Bible verse or passage that serves as a guide for you?

How can someone make sure they are staying close to God?

Read James 4:8. What does this verse teach about staying close to God?

What do you think it means to "wash your hands" and "purify your heart"? How can these activities help you stay close to God?

Read Jeremiah 33:3. What do you think it means to call on the Lord? How does calling on God help you to stay close to Him?

What will you do this week to walk more closely to God? How can you encourage others in their walk with God?

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

When God Doesn't Meet Our Expectations (Ruth)

Talk about a vacation that did not live up to your expectations.

Read Ruth 1:1-2. What do you think Elimilech and Naomi hoped would happen for their family when they moved?

List some of the hopes and dreams most parents have for their children.

Read Ruth 1:3-5. What do you think were the emotions Naomi felt most strongly? How do you think Naomi felt about God?

How would you have responded if you were Naomi?

When have you been disappointed that life didn't match up to your expectations?

Is it okay for a Christian to be disappointed? Why or why not?

Often life disappoints us because we expect more from God than what He has promised us. Read the following verses about what we can truly expect from our Heavenly Father.

Read Romans 8:38-39. How should God's love change the way you think about yourself?

Read Matthew 28:20. How should God's presence inspire courageous living?

Read John 14:1. How should the future God has for you give you patience in the present?

What expectations do you need to let go of?

What promises of God do you need to hold on to?

How can this group help you?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Does suffering lead to joy? (John 2)

What are you looking forward to in the coming week?

Read John 2:1-11. Have a few people talk about their favorite verse in this story.

This event happened on "the third day".  What else happened on a third day? How might this event be a symbol of Jesus future resurrection?

In ancient cultures, wine often represented joy. As a group, create a list of ten reasons you have joy today.

Read Romans 15:13. How does our faith in God provide us with hope, peace and joy?

What events in life can cause our joy to run out? How have you experienced suffering which threatened to steal your joy.

Re-read John 2:3-10. As you read, substitute the word "joy" for "wine" and substitute the word "suffering" for "water". How does this help you think about the connection between suffering and joy?

If this story is also a symbol of the future, how does the resurrection create the "best joy"?

Because we currently live in a broken world, our joy is sometimes tainted with sorrow. When we experience resurrection, though, our joy will be made complete.

Read Revelation 21:1-7. When the final resurrection is complete, what are you most looking forward to?

How does your confidence in the future enable you to have joy in present?

What will you do this week to encourage one another and to fill one another with joy?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

What is your life's direction? (John 1)

What would be your ideal vacation destination? Why?

How would you describe your life’s destination?

How do you know whether or not your life is headed in the right direction?

Read John 1:43-51. How do you think Philip felt when Jesus said, “follow me.”

If Jesus said, “Follow me” to you, how would you respond?

What was Philip’s first action as a follower of Jesus? Is he a good or bad example for other followers of Jesus? Why?

Followers of Jesus should think like Jesus. How can you improve the way you think about other people so that your thoughts will be more like Jesus’ thoughts?

Followers of Jesus should talk like Jesus. How would you describe the way Jesus talked? How can your words (and their tone) be more like His?

Followers of Jesus should act like Jesus. Jesus’ actions were characterized by love, kindness, grace and servanthood. What can you do this week to act more like Jesus?

What direction do you think Jesus wants your life to go in?

Read John 15:4-5. Use as many different versions as possible and have a few people summarize the verses in their own words.

Following Jesus means staying close to Him. What can you do this week to stay close to Jesus?

How can this group help you stay close to Jesus?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

How To Avoid A Spiritual Crash and Burn (John 18)

Who do you know that has demonstrated great loyalty to you? How did they do that?

Read John 18:7-10. How would you describe Peter in these verses?

Why do you think he acted so violently? Was he right or wrong to defend Jesus?

When has your loyalty to another person caused you to act emotionally in their defense? What was the result?

Read John 18:15-18 & 25-27. How would you describe Peter in these verses?

Why do you think he acted so cowardly? What changed between the scuffle and the garden and this moment in the courtyard?

Do you think it is normal for a person to be passionately loyal to Jesus at one point and then completely removed from him a short time later? Why or why not?

When have you experienced a spiritual high that was shortly followed by a spiritual low? What do you think caused the shift?

How did Jesus feel about Peter after Peter's denial?

How does Jesus feel about you at your spiritual low point?

What habits can you form that will help you avoid spiritual low points? What relationships can you nurture that will help you avoid spiritual low points?

What is one step you can take this week to avoid a spiritual crash and burn? How can the people around you encourage you in this pursuit?