If You Had Been There - John 11:17-46

Week of Oct 6th

Questions for Discussion:

  1. “The tricky thing about miracles is that not everyone gets the one they prayed for”. Think/Share of a time that you did receive the miracle you had hoped for. Then, a time when you did not. How did each time affect your view of God / His character / your faith?

  2. Jesus proclaims, “I am the Resurrection and the Life” prior to performing this miracle - why do you think that is? How does it impact your faith in the here and now?

  3. Despite not always receiving the miracles or results that we are looking for, how do we continue to pray and live with hopeful expectation when we find ourselves in the midst of another difficult circumstance?

  4. We must stay focused and grounded on what is true about God so that in the midst of difficult circumstances we are not tempted to let them dictate the character of God. How do you do this? What specific practices do you already have in place?

  5. In a world of so much brokenness, pain, and suffering, how can our faith, as the people of God, be a testimony to the character of God?

Soul Care

Weekend of September 29

This message reminds us of the importance of taking care of our souls, just like we take care of our bodies and our minds.

Discussion Questions:

  • How would you define soul care? Why do we often neglect thinking about caring for our souls and spirit?

  • The message mentioned four specific things that can have a negative effect on your soul.

    -Comparing yourselves to others.

    -Seeking approval of others

    -Digital and technological addictions

    -Toxic thoughts

    Are any of these specific things an issue for you? How can they drain you?

  • Are you filling your spiritual bucket or do you allow things to drain your spiritual bucket? What things drain you and what things fill up your soul?

  • What practical things can you do to help you take better care of your soul?

Great Books Rarely Opened - 2 & 3 John

Weekends of September 22 & 29

2 & 3 John are short letters written in order to address congregational issues. John is asking the people in the congregation to speak truth in love to some difficult situations.

Discussion Questions:

  • Have you heard much teaching from these two books? Why do you think they are included in the New Testament for everyone to read?

  • Both letters emphasize love and truth. How difficult do you find it to keep the emphasis of BOTH LOVE AND TRUTH? How doe this change our interactions with others when we keep both in mind?

  • We spoke about the two sides of the church - the Divine side (called and formed by God) and the human side (human frailty and shortcomings). How can we better live with the tension of understanding both sides of the church so that we don’t live in disappointment and disillusionment?

  • 3 John speaks plainly about Diotrephes who loved to be first, gossiped about John, and competed for authority in the church. The sermon talked about three things we should ask ourselves as we learn from this situation:

    Do we walk in love AND truth - OR

    -Are we controlling a situation out of pride (wanting to be first)

    -Are we gosipping about others (to make ourselves look better)

    -Are we competing with others instead of cooperating (to be in power)

    How can we apply these questions and other applications that we have learned from these books?

Great Books Rarely Opened - Philemon

Weekends of September 1 & 8, 2019

Discussion Questions

Philemon is a short letter of appeal by Paul to Philemon. Paul’s asks Philemon to receive Onesimus (Philemon’s former slave) back and welcome him as a brother in Christ. This dangerous request not only requires reconciliation between the people and church, but also upsets the standard hierarchy of relationships in that day.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Isn’t it interesting that this little letter made it into the New Testament as Scripture? What do you make of the fact that this short letter of appeal that is so different than many others is included in the letters of Scripture?

  2. Notice the theme of love in the letter. Paul applauds Philemon for being known as a man of love. And Paul prays that Philemon will be motivated by love to do the right thing. What role do you see “love” playing in this letter and in the “day to day” interactions of our lives?

  3. We stated that Philemon can be considered a “dangerous gospel in action”. How is this little letter dangerous for Paul? Philemon? Onesimus? The Church in Colossae? The Institution of Slavery?

  4. What practical ways can we apply the teachings of this important little letter?