James 4:6-8, Heb.2:1 & Heb:2:3, Heb. 12:1 & Heb.12:2
- In your opinion, is spiritual drifting an accidental thing? Why or why not?
- Why does pride make us drift away from the Lord?
- Doc talked about passivity as a trait of indifference & neglect. In what ways are you tempted to be inactive rather than active with your faith?
- Why is perseverance essential to a dynamic relationship with the Lord?
- Share with your group some things that inspire you to keep your focus on Jesus.?
- What are some of the spiritual or emotional ruts you’ve faced.?
- What excuses do we use to justify our ruts and why do we use them?
- Doc mentioned that it’s imperative for us to activate our faith. How would you advise a friend to activate faith in order to get out of a rut.?
- Why in your opinion did the man throw Jesus under the bus after he had been healed?
- What kind of defense do you have against falling into a rut?
Colossians 4:6, 1 Sam 24:12, 2 Tim 4:11, Ephesians 4:15
- Share a situation that has been difficult for you to practice biblical love.
- Why did David refuse to retaliate against Saul?
- Discuss the good that came from the difficult dissension between Paul and Barnabas.
- What does it say about the relationship between Paul and Mark if Paul wanted him during his last days?
- Doc said we must treat the LGBT community like Jesus would expect us to. So how can we speak truth dressed in love?
Phil. 3:7-9, Mt 13:44-46, Deut. 6:4-7, John 14:21, Phil. 3:12-15, Prob. 3:5-6, 11-12, Eph 6:1-4, Eph 6:18, & 1:16-19.
- Casting a vision of the value of knowing Christ is essential in leading our children well. In what ways do you think you are doing that well? In what ways could you do that better
- Learning and applying God’s Word is essential to spiritual maturity and spiritual health. What plans or strategies do you employ in your life and your family’s life to nourish yourselves with the Word?
- Cultivating a disciples heart is about more than just filling our heads with God’s rules. It means allowing our whole lives to be ruled by God. What areas of your life or your kid’s life are you struggling to surrender to the Lord? Which areas are you learning to submit to God and how is it changing your life or how you love and lead your kids?
- Discipline is meant to “bring them up” into the instruction of the Lord. How can we use discipline as a building block instead of a battering ram?
- Investing in our family/kids means devoting intentional time and prayer into loving and leading them well. How can you create more constructive time together?
- On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your prayer life on behalf of your family?
- “Just send them to Jesus” is a good motto for loving and leading people well. Who in your family or friends do you need to “send to Jesus?”. Finish by spending some time as a group praying specifically for those people.
Phil.2:3, Col. 4:2, & Prov.3:5-6
- Why do you think selfishness is so damaging to a marriage?
- Dr. Dean mentioned several styles of conflict. What style did you bring into your marriage.? In what areas do you need prayer?
- Sometimes a marriage fails when one partner has worked & prayed hard to make it succeed. Why is it crucial to “Trust Jesus” regardless.
- One of the things mentioned in the sermon were relationship killers. A major relationship killer is gossip.
Why do you personally think you gossip? What can we do to rid our lives of the poison of gossip?￼￼
- Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 aloud. Apply this scripture to your friendships instead of only marriage.
What character trait of love stands out to you as most necessary in your friendships? Why?
- Why, when people are supposedly as connected as they’ve ever been, (ex: social media),do you think that they battle depression and loneliness more than ever? ￼￼
- As we walk through this sermon on “Godly Relationships”, we find from the beginning that godliness in so many of our every day relationships may not even be a priority. Why do you think that is? How would it change our relationships if it were a priority?￼
- Doc said at some point every believer goes through a spiritually dry season. Share with the group about your dry time experiences. What did you struggle with?
- God told Ezekiel to do a hard thing & speak to a graveyard full of bones. In what ways has God challenged you to do hard things?
- Doc mentioned that we usually speak to God about the hard stuff but neglect to speak to the hard stuff about God and His authority. What hard things are you praying about this week?
- Why was it essential for God to breathe upon the bones?
- What do you need God to do in order to restore your joy?
In what ways do you pray for God to restore your spiritual passion for His Word? As you close your discussion, pray and encourage one another!
Joshua 513-6:7, 20-21
- Wes reminded us that we are in a Spiritual battle. How has that battle been evident to you?
- Obedience sets us up for spiritual victory but can be hard at times. In what ways do you find obedience hard? And easy?
- Wes stated that God likes us to be “in over our heads” when it comes to the plans He has for us. How has this been true in your life?
- Wes mentioned that God’s power works most evidently when we participate in God’s plan. What are some ways you can participate with what God is doing at CP and in your community?
- Doc referred to Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. In what I ways is the Good News about Jesus a spiritual Emancipation Proclamation?
- Describe some times (good or bad) when you faced mistreatment.
- What are some ways you can pray for others who are going through suffering.
- Do you suppose the Philippian Jailer overheard Paul & Silas praying and praising God? What did Paul tell him to do?(hint: believe on the Lord Jesus).
- Biblical “belief” refers to a willful surrender to Jesus. In what ways did the Jailer demonstrate true belief.??
- Doc mentioned that some believers & churches are like cruise ships, but we should resemble a battleship on a rescue mission. What are some ways we can pray about reaching others so Jesus can rescue them?
- Encourage one another and dismiss in joyful prayer!
- Doc challenged us to embrace a spiritual “Wake Up” call. So what steps do we need to take to ignite a fresh passion for Jesus?
- How can we “Wise Up” to fight temptation? What opportune moments do we need to seize.?
- Doc indicated that God’s Will never contradicts God’s Word. What does that tell us about comprehending and applying God’s Will personally?
- Why is it important for us to be “Filled Up” with the Holy Spirit? Just as alcohol can take control of our decisions what does it look like for the Holy Spirit to control our decisions? Conclude with encouragement and prayer.
- In what ways can we worship unashamedly today?
- Share a time or an experience when you felt the tension of being ashamed to profess your devotion to Jesus.
- In your opinion do believers today make extravagant sacrifices for The Lord? Why or Why Not? What other gifts would you have offered Jesus if you were on the Magi team?
- Do you think the Wise Men struggled with the issue of obedience? Wrap up with encouragement and prayer.
1. How do you describe the difference between happiness and joy?
2. “Salvation deserves Celebration”. What is your favorite way to celebrate the goodness and grace of God?
3. Take a few moments as a group to let those willing to share their salvation experience or another time in their lives when the joy of salvation was vividly present?
4. Who do you know that you really want to see come to faith in Jesus so you can celebrate with them? (Write these names down and make a point to pray for them as a group.)
5. “The Best is Yet to Come!”. What are some areas of your life where you long to see Jesus bring hope and joy? (These can be great prayer matters too!)
6. What excites you and or what scares you the most about Jesus coming back soon?
7. How do you want to see CP invest in and grow the Kingdom? In what ways could you engage and help this mission?
- What scares you or hinders you the most when it comes to sharing about your faith? And why?
- What would you give, or how much would you sacrifice, if you knew that the next person you told about Jesus would get saved?
- What steps can you make to be more intentional in using your life and voice to share the Good News of Jesus?
- Spend some time praying for God to open our eyes to the opportunities around us to share Jesus and ask him to give us the courage and faith to do so.
- Doc mentioned in his message that the Bible does not separate thanksgiving from thanks-living. What does that truth look like in our daily life?
- Psalm 100 is full of exhortations (commands). How can we make our joy for the Lord heard apart from singing?
- Why do you think worship attendance has dropped to an all time low in our nation? Can the trend be hanged so that more people will connect to a church family? How?
- When you stop to realize God’s reaction how does it stir you to worship? Do you think Americans are tempted to worship God’s created things more than to worship Him as creator? In what way?
- Sine we have a Shepherd Redeemer in our Savior how does He lead us back when we wander off like wayward sheep?
- What thoughts and feelings do you wrestle with when you’re in a serious dilemma? How can you practice gratitude in such situations.
- Doc mentioned in his sermon that all the wickedness in the world had its root in the pride of ungrateful hearts(see Gen.3:1-5). In what ways are we ungrateful today? What holds us back from living with a “gratitude attitude”.?
- The 4 lepers found gold & silver and abundant food. If you have found the riches of grace and the bread of life, in what ways can you share that with others? Will you be pray that God will give you opportunities to share with someone how He has invaded your life?
- Share with your group a time when you felt a deep gratitude to the Lord.
- How would you describe the personality of the “unnamed woman” who anointed Jesus feet? Why?
- How would describe Simon’s face when she wiped Jesus feet with her hair?
- Is your love for Jesus more like Simon or like the woman? Or both? Why?
- Doc mentioned that he baptized a man who committed a horrible crime. Can Jesus forgive such a blatant sin as conspiring to murder someone?
- To what extent do you rejoice over Jesus forgiving you?
- Why do we sometimes get disappointed with God? Share a time when you were disappointed and what you learned from it?
- How can anger distort your perspective? What does the Apostle Paul mean when he says “be angry but don’t sin”? (Eph 4:26 – Is it okay to be angry about injustice, sexual trafficking and child abuse? Why?
- How can we keep our feelings from driving our actions? How can we leverage our feelings to line up with God’s mission? Why do you think God concludes the Book of Jonah with a question? Why is Jonah everybody’s story?
- God gave Jonah a second chance. Share a moment when you sensed that God was giving you a “second chance” or perhaps a second chance for the “tenth time.” In what way are you encouraged when you consider God’s mercy in giving us extra chances?
- Jonah’s message highlighted God’s divine judgment. We don’t hear anything about God’s judgement from our news outlets or secular culture, but do you think America is ripe for God’s judgement? Why or why not?
- when God’s Word was proclaimed to the people of Nineveh responded with profound belief. Even their king led the way in humble repentance. What would it look like if you experienced a personal revival of adoration for the Lord? What would it look like Congress and our President repented and believed God’s truth?
Wrap up the meeting in confession and prayer. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
- In the sermon “Rethinking Repentance,” several common misconceptions about repentance were mentioned. Which of these sounded most familiar in or around your life or circles of people?
- Repentance as a Bargaining Chip (Bail men out God and I’ll never do it again)
- Repentance as a Dull Duty (I have to follow the rules and if its fun or life giving, Jesus probably doesn’t want me to do it)
- Repentance as a Bootstrap Boost (I need to GET MYSELF together and act right before I can be useful to the Lord)
- Jonah repented with thanksgiving because he recognized the opportunity as a Gift of God’s Grace. Have you ever thought of repentance as aa gift? In what ways have you reaped the benefits of repentance in your life?
- Wes mentioned that everyone who follows the Lord has a people to love and a people to lead. We know that to be true because Ephesians 2:10 says that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.” And since Jesus affirmed that the 1st and 2nd primary commandments are to love God and to love people whole heartedly, we should see the call for use all to love and lead others like Jesus. In what ways can walking in our repentance help us love and lead better?
- While in the belly of the whale, Jonah came to realize that his disobedience had not led him to blessing and freedom, but rather to distress and bondage. Jesus similarly warned in John 10:10 that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but that He came to give life to the full. So freedom isn found in repentance instead off rebellion. But Galatians 5:13-14 teaches us to guard how we use that freedom to ensure it bears righteous fruit. In what areas of life do you feel that tension the most? How does viewing repentance as a gift help with the tension?
- Jonah said that when his life was “fainting away”, he “remembered the Lord” and “with the voice of thanksgiving” he affirmed the Lord’s faithfulness and recommitted himself for the Lord’s purpose. (2:7-9) This is what repentance looks like! And it is the only appropriate response when we remember the redemption that God has provided us. Describe a time when you were so overwhelmed and grateful for the grace of Jesus that you gladly changed your direction and turned back to the Lord.
- Jonah’s journey to repentance was marked by God’s ever-present grace. Jonah could testify that the Lord never stopped pursuing him and never gave up on him. God provide Himself to be the God who hears and answers in times of distress (2:2) and the God who raises us up to life when we deserve death. (2:6,10) But still, we often run from His presence and His purpose. And yet He remains faithful! He pursues us and offers us life to the full. He doesn’t invite us into a second rate kingdom! He invites us into eternal peace and rest. so really, repentance is forsaking a life of running for a life of resting. How can you stop running and start resting more fully in the finished work of Christ this week?