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?

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Found People Find People (John 1)

What was the first thing that attracted you to Jesus?

Read John 1:35-39. What do you think the disciples were hoping to see when they followed Jesus? If you could see one thing from Jesus what would it be?

Why do you think the disciples stayed with Jesus for so long?

Read John 15:4. How can we remain/abide/stay with Jesus today?

Read John 1:44-46. Philip chose to use the same words as Jesus had. What do you think he wanted Nathanael to see?

Read John 1:42. What does Andrew do in this passage?

Read John 6:1-8. What does Andrew do in this passage?

Read John 12:20-22. What does Andrew (and Philip) do in this passage?

After Andrew met Jesus, the rest of his life was spent bring people to Jesus.  Why do you think this became the focus of his life?

What are some practical steps someone could take to bring a person to Jesus?

Why do you think more Christians don’t bring people to Jesus more often? What gets in the way?
Who do you know that needs to meet Jesus?

Spend time as a group praying for the people you all know who need to meet Jesus.

Spent time as a group praying that each person in the group will be filled with courage and will find a way to invite others to “come and see.”

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Those Who Have Seen Jesus, Share Jesus (John 1)

What is the most exciting invitation you have ever received?

Read John 1:35-51. Based on what you see here, which of the new disciples is most like you? Why?

What is the one word you would use to describe each person (Andrew, Peter, Philip, Nathanael)?

Why do you think Jesus' first words in the book of John are a question? Why did Jesus use questions so often to teach? What question do you think He would ask you right now?

Jesus gave the disciples an opportunity to get to know Him before He asked them to follow Him. Why?

What are the questions some people need to have answered before they are willing to follow Jesus? What questions did you need answered before you were willing to follow Jesus?

Both Jesus and Nathanael invited people to "come and see". What do people around you need to see that might encourage them to follow Jesus?

What can you show people that might encourage them to follow Jesus? What can a church show people that might encourage them to follow Jesus?

In these verses, Jesus uses three statements to invite others into a relationship with Him ("What are you seeking?", "Come and see" and "Follow me."). Which of these statements would be most convincing or inspiring to people you know? Why?

How can you change your life so that you will be able to more effectively invite people to follow Jesus?

What will you do this week to be a "come and see" person?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

All I Want For Christmas: Generosity (Matthew 2:9-12)

What gift are you most excited about giving this Christmas?

How would you define “generosity”?

Read Matthew 2:9-12. Make a list of the five most important words in these verses. Talk about what makes these words significant.

Do you think the Wise Men were generous? Why or why not?

Why do you think the Wise Men gave gifts to Jesus? How do you think these gifts were used by Jesus and his family?

Did Jesus deserve these gifts? Why or why not?

Did Jesus need these gifts? Why or why not?

Does Jesus need gifts from you? Does Jesus deserve gifts from you? Why or why not?

What gifts do you have that you can give Jesus?

Read Matthew 25:31-46. What do these verses teach about generosity?

Read verse 40 again. According to this verse, our treatment of others is a gift we give to Jesus.

How would your relationships change if you began thinking of your treatment of others as a gift to Jesus?

How can you treat your spouse and/or children (or parents) generously this week? How can you treat your co-workers generously this week? How can you treat your friends generously this week? How can you treat your neighbors generously this week?

How can you treat your enemies generously this week?

Thursday, December 6, 2018

All I Want For Christmas: Contentment (Matthew 2)

What are you searching for in life?

Read Matthew 2:1-12. What was everyone searching for?

How do people search for God today?

What can you do to help people find God?

Why did the Wise Men want to find Jesus?

Why did Herod want to find Jesus?

When was the last time you searched for someone so you could give them something?

When was the last time you searched for someone so you could honor them?

When was the last time you searched for someone so you could get something from them?

Do most people search for God so they can give something to Him or so they can get something from Him? Give examples if you can.

How does giving help develop contentment?

What do you have that you can give to God? What does it mean to give your trust to God?

Read Philippians 4:11-13. How did Paul give his trust to God?

Read Philippians 4:19. Does this promise encourage you to trust God? Why or why not?

What can you give away to God or to others this week?

What will you do this week to cultivate more contentment in your life?

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

All I Want For Christmas: Gratitude (Luke 1)

What is the most unexpected event you have experienced this week? How did you respond? Did it cause you to be grateful? Why or why not?

This story has three pieces. The first piece is Mary's conversation with an angel. You can read this portion in Luke 1:26-38. The second piece is Mary's conversation with her cousin, Elizabeth. You can read this portion in Luke 1:39-45. The final piece is Mary's conversation with God. You can read this portion in Luke 1:46-55.

How would you describe the swing in emotions Mary was experiencing during this time? What might have caused her to be anxious or afraid? What might have caused her to be joyful? What might have caused her to be angry? What might have caused her to  be at peace?

How would you describe Elizabeth's conversation with Mary?

Who do you know that blesses you whenever you are around them?

What can you do this week to be a blessing to the people around you?

What is your favorite phrase in Mary's prayer (vs.46-55)? Why?

Which phrases recognize God's strength? Which phrases recognize God's mercy? 
 
How have you experienced God's strength and mercy in your life?

What did Mary say in her prayer about God's provision for her and for Israel?

How has God provided for you this week? This month? This year?

Have everyone in the room share 2-3 reasons they are grateful to God.

Challenge everyone who is willing to take a gratitude challenge in which they commit to contact one another every day (text, email, call, etc.) for the sole purpose of sharing one reason they are thankful.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Spirit Filled People Submit To One Another (Ephesians 5)

When you think about the Holy Spirit, what are the first thoughts you have?  How do you think the Holy Spirit works in people's lives?

The word for spirit in the New Testament is "pneuma" which also means "breath" (think "pneumonia"). Is it okay to call the Spirit of God the "breath of God?"  Why or why not?  How does the idea of breathing help explain our relationship with the Holy Spirit?

What other types of "spirits" can replace the Holy Spirit in our life?  (influences, urges, thoughts, desires, inclinations, other people, etc...)

When have you found yourself in a difficult situation because you weren't paying attention?  How did you fix it?  What did you learn?

As a group, read Ephesians 5:15-21.

What do you think it means to "be careful how you live?" (some translations say, "pay attention to your life")

How can someone make the most of every opportunity in life?  How should a Christian do this differently than someone else?

Verse 18 is a comparison between two ways of living.  Being controlled by "wine" leads to evil deeds.  What does being controlled by the Holy Spirit lead to?

Read verses 19-20. Use your own words to describe what these verses say about the spirit-controlled life.

What do you think it means to "submit?" What are some negative responses people have to the idea of submission?

Someone who is controlled by the Holy Spirit will submit to others.  Discuss the following questions about submission.
  • To whom should you submit?
  • To whom should you not submit? Why not?
  • Are there times when submission is wrong?
  • Why is it difficult to submit to someone else?

Read Philippians 2:5-11.  How did Jesus submit? How can submission make us like Jesus?  How does our submission demonstrate our relationship with Jesus?

What is one area of your life that would benefit from a more submissive attitude?  How will you work on this?