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?

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?