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Small Group Questions (02/22/2015)

Feb 24, 2015   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments
Discuss the following statements made in Sunday’s message -
1.  Most of know that we are not the greatest, we just don’t want to be the least (last).
2.  Jesus taught that true authority (spiritual authrority) is a matter of function, not status.
3.  The discipline of service sets us free from the need to compare ourselves with others. (Comment on 2 Corinthians 10:12)
4.  One of the greatest dangers of religion is that it often leads to pride.
In the message, Pastor Dan listed six differences between self-righteous service and true service.  Take time to review and discuss these differences.
In the message, Pastor Dan iisted eight different kinds of service.  Review and discuss these.  Can you think of others?
True service teaches us humility.  Why is humility so important for those of us who follow Jesus Christ?

Small Group Questions (02/15/2015)

Feb 19, 2015   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments
1.  Discuss how the discipline of submission sets us free from the need to always get our own way.  How important is this in our individual lives?  How important is this in the church?
2.  Submission should never be practiced when it becomes desturctive.  Sometimes this is easy to determine and sometimes it is not.  What are some of the more difficult cirucmstances we may face regarding whether submission is destructive or not?  Example – A wife who feels trapped and unfulfilled due to an overbearing and domineering husband.
3.  How does the practice of submission bring true spiritual authority in our lives?  What is the price that we must pay to experience this kind of spritual authority?
4.  What are some ways we can encourage and help those who in positions of leadership in the church, but do not understand or practice submission – that is, those who no not understand spiritual authority.
5.  Share some issues or testimonies regarding submission issues in your life, past or present.

Small Group Questions (02/08/2015)

Feb 13, 2015   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments

1.  What are some things that discourage us from the practice of solitude?
2.  What are some ways you can relate to the story of Elijah at Mount Horeb as described in I Kings 19?
3.  Do you agree that many of our words/conversations are aimed at justifying our actions or inactions?  How does the practice of solitude help us to overcome this need to justify ourselves in the eyes of others?
4.  Discuss the needed balance between solitude and community.  Why are both important?  What are some pitfall associated with a lack of balance between community and solitude?
5. Review the Scriptures in the message detailing the practice of solitude by Jesus.  Take time to discuss and reflect on these passages.
6.  Review the practical advice on practicing solitude.  What are some things we can do to carry out this advice in our lives?
7.  Review the fruits of practicing solitude.  Which ones do you personally connect with?
Take time to pray and ask God to help with the discipline of solitude.

Small Group Questions (02/01/2015)

Feb 4, 2015   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments
  1. What does the phrase, “Simplicity is freedom” mean to you?
  2. Why is it important to understand that simplicity is an inward reality that results in an outward lifestyle?
  3. What are some pitfalls in our lives if we fail to understand this truth?  How do we cultivate this inward reality?
  4. What are some ways we can see ourselves set free from the desire for things?
  5. What does it mean to seek God’s kingdom first?  What does the promise of Matt. 6:33, “and all these things shall be added to you.” mean to you personally?
  6. Comment on the following statement – We buy things we don’t want to impress people we don’t like.
  7. How does a life of simplicity help us to recognize both the greed and lust of the world as well as the promise of God for his peace and provision in our lives?

Small Group Questions (12/14/2014)

Dec 18, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments
  1. In John 10:11, Jesus states that he is the good shepherd because he lays down his life for the sheep.  Compare this with the words of God to the religious “shepherds” of Israel in Ezekiel 34.
  2. Reread I Corinthians 1:26-29.  Why does God choose the things the world considers foolish?  (See verse 27).  What does this mean?  How does this shame the wise?  How significant is verse 29?  What does it teach us about God and his ways?  What does it teach us about fallen humanity and our ways?  What are some examples of this “boasting” in our world?
  3. Reread James 1:9-11.  How should this advice effect the church and our relaitonships with others in the congregation?  How important is this advice for those who are wealthy according to the standards of this world?  How important is this advice for the poor?
  4. Discuss the contrasts between the shepherds in the fields and the angelic host who announced the birth of Christ.  What are some lessons to be learned about the heart of God in this event?

Small Group Questions (12/07/2014)

Dec 11, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments
  1. Bethleham was a place associated with many Biblcal events.  Discuss the following events and how you think they related to God’s choice of Bethlehem as the birth place of his son . . .
    1. The death of Rachel and the birth of Ben Oni (Son of My Sorrow) or Bejamin (Son of My Right Hand – Jacob’s name for the son born to Rachel)
    2. The choice of young David as King of Israel in I Samuel 16.
  2. Augustus Caesar issued the decree that fulfilled the prophecy of Micah 5:2.  What does this tell us about the sovereignty of God in the history of our world and in our own lives?
  3. Take some time and talk about Advent in general.  What does this tradition mean to you?  What are some ways we can celebrate advent and keep our focus on the birht of Christ during this time of year?
  4. Share with members of your group times when the light of Christ has seen you through times of darkness.

Small Group Questions (11/30/2014)

Dec 4, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments
  1. The prophecy candle speaks of expectation and hope.  Discuss the importance of these two things in our lives in general.
  2. Read Romans 5:3-5 and discuss the progression of growth and maturity that takes place through suffering.  Answer the following – How does endurance in trials build character in our lives?   How do you define character?  How does character give birth to hope?  Does this imply that godly character produces hope while a lack of godly character leads to despair?  Discuss.
  3. How does the first coming of Christ lead us to think more about his second coming?
  4. What are some ways we prepare for the Christmas season and celebrate its true meaning?
  5. Read and discuss Psalm 27:14.  Why is waiting so hard?  What lessons does waiting teach us?

Small Group Questions (11/23/2014)

Nov 28, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments
1.  What are some things that you are thankful for?  What are some things that you are not thankful for, but have learned to be thankful in?
2.  Ash heaps or trials are a part of God’s will for our lives.  While God does not delight in our suffering, it clearly accomplishes his purposes.  What do you believe were some of the purposes of God in Job’s suffering?  What are some of the purposes of God in the suffering we experience?
3.  2 Corinthians 5:7 says we “live by faith and not by sight”.  How important was this for Job?  How important is this in our lives, especially when we suffer?
4.  Read James 1:2-4 and discuss the purpose of trials.  What kinds of trials does this passage tell us to expect?  What does the testing of our faith produce?  What happens if we do not endure during the testing?
5.  Read Job 1:1-5 and Job 42:12-17.  What lessons can we learn from the story of Job and his blessings and long life.  Read Hebrews 11:36-40.  Compare and contrast with Job.  What is our ultimate reward for faithful, godly living?

Small Group Questions (11/16/2014)

Nov 19, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments
1.  Read Hosea 6:6.  Describe the ways in which the religious leaders differed from Jesus regarding “sacrifice” and “mercy”.  Does this verse mean that sacrifice is not important?  How can we maintain both sacrifice and mercy in our lives and churches?
2.  Read Mark 2:27 – How should this truth guide us in ministry both in our churches and individual lives?  Discuss some benefits that come to those who observe the Sabbath?  Side question – Why did God rest on the seventh day? (Gen. 2:1-3)
3.  Read 2 Cor. 3:1-6.  Discuss the contrasts between “ink and Spirit”, “tablets of stone” versus “tablets of human hearts”, and “the letter kills” versus “the Spirit gives life.”   What difference do these two kinds of approach to ministry make in providing churches where healing and encouragement take place instead of burn out and discouragement.
4.  Discuss this statement – Restoration of hearts and lives matters more than religious observance and right doctrine.   Also discuss – How important is religious observance and right doctrine?

Small Group Questions (11/09/2014)

Nov 12, 2014   //   by Timothy Stephen   //   Small Group Questions  //  No Comments

Straight Talk

  1. Was Paul’s message:
    • of his own invention
    • adapted from the Mystery Religions
    • given to him by God
  2. Give reasons for your answer to Qu.1. (Consider also: Galatians 1:13-24: )
  3. Can you find four descriptions for the Judaizers from Phil.3?Give a reason why Paul uses each particular description of the Judaizers?
  4. Was Paul a fitting candidate to refute the Judaizers? Why?
  5. What was so different about the message that Jesus and Paul preached
  6. Jeremiah 31:31-34 gives an important prophecy of the New Covenant:“…they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” How does this prophecy relate to Christian water baptism?
  7. How does Colossians 2:11-12 relate to the Judaizers in Philippians 3:1-11?
  8. People do not add circumcision or other Old Testament ritual to the Gospel today in our churches. What are the modern counterparts to this in our lives today? That is to say, what do people, including Christians, trust in to give them meaning and purpose for living?
  9. In the following verses, what advice does Paul give Christians regarding our lives in this world?
  10. How have you let these exhortations of Paul guide your life so far? How could you follow this advice of Paul more closely in the future

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