Be Still - Part 3

Verses:

Isaiah 55:3-4 / Mark 1:35-39 & Luke 4:42-44 / Matthew 6:5-8 Luke 5:12-16, 6:6-12 / Mark 6:30-31 & Matthew 14:12-13 Mark 6:46 & Matthew 14:34 / Mark 14:32-41 & Luke 22:39-44

Be Still - Part 2

Verses:

1 Kings 19:9-13a / 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Discussion Questions:

1. Have you ever gotten “suckered” into something by a clever sales-pitch? Why did it work?

2. Read 1 Kings 19:1-4. Why do you think Elijah had such a change in his tone from just moments earlier?

3. Read 1 Kings 19:5-13a. Why do you think God wanted Elijah to BE STILL & HEAR Him in the “still, small voice”?

4. How have/do you “hear” best from God?

5. Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. What can we learn from Paul’s simple approach to sharing the Good News of Jesus?

6. How do these things affect our own personal lives, but also how we behave as a church family at the Greenhouse?

7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world in everyday life?

Be Still - Part 1

Verses:

Psalm 37:7, 46, 62:5-6 / Exodus 14:10-20 / John 4:6-15

Discussion Questions:

  1. Are you a person who likes to & is comfortable being still & silent, or do you like to keep moving & have movement & noise going all the time?

  2. How much stillness/silence do you have in a typical day?

  3. What sort of things typically come to your mind when you’re still/silent? Dig deeper into those – what can you learn from this about yourself & your life?

  4. Do you commonly fill times of stillness/silence with something else? Why/why not?

  5. What are the biggest distractions in your life that keep from knowing God better?

  6. Take a few moments to think of how God is actually right there with you (Psalm 46:7,11). How does this comfort you in the middle of a chaotic world?

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world in everyday life?

In the Eye of the Storm - Part 5

Verses:

Job 42:1-6 / Genesis 32:24-28 / Matthew 11:1-6 / Romans 10:17

Discussion Questions:

  1. Did you ever play-wrestle with your Dad? If so (or if not), what effect did that have on your relationship?

  2. If you could ask God one question right now, what would it be?

  3. What have you been taught throughout your life in regards to questioning God?

  4. Read Matthew 11:1-6. How else could Jesus have responded to such a blunt question from John? What does Jesus’ response reveal about Him?

  5. Read Romans 10:17. How does understanding the “hearing” through the courtroom perspective help you learn more about growing your “faith”?

  6. Do you think it’s possible to balance the view that God is in complete control… and that it’s OK to “wrestle/struggle with” and question Him? Why or why not? How does this affect how you view & develop your relationship with Him?

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?

In the Eye of the Storm - Part 4

Verses:

Job 11:7-9, 9:3-15, 14:1-12, 21:22, 38:1-7, 40:2-9, 42:5-6 / 2 Corinthians 4:13-18 / Isaiah 41:9-10

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you know anyone who is a “control freak”? Are you one?

  2. How do you feel when you lose control of a situation or are in a group/setting that you’re not in control of?

  3. How do suffering & pain remind us that we’re not in control?

  4. How does the illusion that we’re in control actually imprison us?

  5. How does it distance us from God? Each other? Ourselves?

  6. Why is surrendering to & trusting God’s control a very freeing feeling?

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?

In the Eye of the Storm - Part 2

Verses:

Job 2:9-10 / Isaiah 55:8-11

Discussion Questions:

  1. What have you looked to for support during times of pain & suffering?

  2. Has pain & suffering ever affected your marriage or friendships in a good or bad way? If so, how & why?

  3. Have you ever seen any value to any of the pain & suffering that you’ve gone through?

  4. How does pain & suffering reveal the expectations for performance that we put on each other?

  5. Do you view/process pain & suffering similarly or differently than your spouse or friends?

  6. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world in everyday life?

In the Eye of the Storm - Part 1

Verses:

Job 1-2, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, 1 Peter 1:6-7

 

Discussion Questions

  1. What are some of the biggest struggles you've been through in life? How did you view the nature/root of those struggles?

  2. Have you ever blamed God for the struggles in your life? Why/why not?

  3. Have there been times where you had no idea where the struggles/suffering in your life came from?

  4. Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 & 1 Peter 1:6-7. how do these verses help you see a bigger view of the sufferings in your life?

  5. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?

Why Do We Trust the Bible?

Verses:

Matthew 5:17-18, 22:31  /  Ezekiel 26

Isaiah 7:13-14, 9:6-7, 23:17-18, 53  /  2 Kings 10:27, 25:27-30

 

Discussion Questions:

Q: What view(s) of the Bible did you grow up hearing? How does that impact you today? 

Q: Have/Do you ever research anything about the Bible or Christianity? If so, how has that impacted your faith in God? 

Q: Do you think it’s important to do research concerning validity of the Bible? Why or why not? Does it change anything for you either way?

Q: If you truly believed the Bible to be true, would anything in your life change? 

Q: How does viewing the Bible as true change the way you read the stories or teachings?

Q: How does analyzing the Bible’s validity help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people and serves the world?
 

Additional Resources:

Flood Accounts: Weld-Blundell Prism, Eridu Genesis, Simmonds Cuneiform Tablet, Gilgamesh Epic

Original Bible Languages & Translations: Blueletterbible.com

Interactive Great Isaiah Scroll: http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/isaiah#66:8

Biblical Archaeology:
www.biblicalarchaelogy.org
-Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology by Randall Price
-Archeaelogical Study Bible: An Illustrated WalkThrough Biblical History and Culture
 

When Grace is in Place (Conclusion)

Verses:

Galatians 5: 1, 25   /    Matthew 5:37

 

Chapters from "Grace" Book: 12-14

 

Discussion Questions

  1. How would you describe the difference between a Grace-Based system & a Shame-Based system?

  2. How have you seen or been involved in either/both systems?

  3. Review the principles of each system: which jumps out to you & why?

  4. Read Galatians 5:1. Why is this passage so foundational to the Christian faith? How does it change everything for us?

  5. Why would we ever want to "return to the yoke of slavery"?

  6. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?

When Grace in in Place (Part 8)

Verses:

Matthew 18:1-6    /    Galatians 1:6-7

 

Chapter from "Grace" book: Chapter 11

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever gone into "momma/papa bear" mode when your kids (or someone close to you) were endangered? How & why? 

  2. Re-read Matthew 18:1-6. Why is Jesus' use of describing His followers as "little children" so accurate & compelling? 

  3. Why does Jesus use such harsh language when it comes to causing the "little ones" to "stumble"?

  4. Have you ever heard someone add their own details as they retell someone else's story, only to ruin the story? How did it ruin it? how is this like trying to change the Gospel of Jesus?

  5. How is Jesus calling you to become more like a "little child"?

  6. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people and serves the world?

When Grace is in Place (Part 7)

Verses:

Ephesians 3:14-19   /   Colossians 2:5-7   /   Deuteronomy 6:4-9 

1 Corinthians 11:1   /   Philippians 3:7-9

 

Chapter from Grace Book: 7

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. As a child did you experience more of a "reward & punishment, behavior modification" system, or an "identity/value" based system?

  2. How else have you seen the "rewards & punishment" system in your life? (school, sports, friendships, work, church, etc.)

  3. The statement was made that "rewards & punishment creates a performance & fear-based life." Would you agree or disagree?

  4. Why is the "identity & value" based parenting/relationship model more effective in the long run, yet harder than a simple "behavior-modification" model?

  5. What are some ways you can implement the "along the way" approach to speaking the truth about people's identity & value into the lives of the people around you?

  6. If you know someone who struggles with their identity & value - or if you see them striving to find them in things other than God - how can you "speak truth" into those situations & relationships?

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?

When Grace is in Place (Part 6)

Verses:

Ephesians 4:26-27 & 6:4    /    Galatians 5:19-21

 

Chapter from "Grace" Book: 7

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Share about a time when you became angry or someone else was angry at you. Why was there anger & how was it handled? 

  2. What do you think Ephesians 4:26 means when it says to not sin in your anger?

  3. How have you seen anger progress from "orgizo" (natural responses) to "thumas" (explosive) to "perigismos" (hidden, seething)?

  4. Why do you think Ephesians 4:26 says to not let the sun go down while you're still angry (perigismos)? How could this principle help you & those around you?

  5. How have you seen religious culture teach that pushing anger underground is a good thing? How have you seen this in parenting, marriage, friendships, neighborhoods, communities, work, churches, etc.? Does it work?

  6. How does grace fit in with the discussion on anger & self-control?

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?

When Grace is in Place (Part 5)

 Jason dancing with his daughter.

Jason dancing with his daughter.

Verses:

Ephesians 5: 18-21    /    Galatians 5: 25

 

Chapter from "Grace" Book Chapter 7

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What sort of things do we try to "fill" ourselves with? How do they work?

  2. Why do you think verse 21 immediately follows the section in Ephesians 5:18 about being filled with the Spirit?

  3. What are some tangible ways God is calling you to surrender the core of your being to Him?

  4. What would it mean for grace to be at the core of your being? What is holding you back?

  5. Read Galatians 5:25. What has caused you to walk out of step with the Spirit so far? How can you "walk more in step" with him? 

  6. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?

When Grace is in Place (Part 3)

Verses:

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why are escape stories so powerful, entertaining, compelling & evening inspiring?

  2. What sorts of things do you look to for escapes?

  3. What do you think about the statement that "God grieves over divorce, but He also grieves over loveless, empty marriages"?

  4. What insights/thoughts do you have as you review the 2 "escape" diagrams?

  5. What are some socially & even religiously "acceptable" forms of "adultery" that are still destructive & even devastating?

  6. How do these same concepts apply to other relational settings? (i.e. parent-child, friends or co-workers)

  7. Slowly read Jeremiah 17:7-8 a few times. Let it sink in. Interact with what God is trying to say. How does this truth connect with, challenge, disrupt &/or encourage you & your relationships?

  8. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?

When Grace is in Place (Part 2)

Verses:

Matthew 23:25-26, Ephesians 4:31-32, 4:14-15

 

Chapters from "Grace" Book:

Chapters 2-4 (pages 26-62)

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does Jesus' example of the cups (1 clean outside/dirty inside & 1 dirty inside/clean outside) speak to you?

  2. How do you see evidence of the C.U.R.S.E. in your relationships? (family, friends, work, community, church, etc.)

  3. Do you ever feel like people have expectations of you or are you trying to control you? Why & how? Does it work? What are the effects?

  4. Do you ever see how you have expectations for people or try to control them? Why & how? Does it work? What are the consequences? 

  5. When you see problems in relationships, how do you normally handle it?

  6. Is it ever OK to "fix" someone else? Why or why not?

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?

When Grace is in Place (Part 1)

Verses:

Genesis 2-3

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some things in your life that you'd like to change?

  2. More specifically, what relationships or things about certain relationships would you like to change?

  3. Even more specifically, what are some things about people around you (spouse, parent, children, friends, co-worker, etc.) that you'd like to change or control?

  4. How would you make all of these changes? How has this worked so far? What have the effects been? 

  5. Does your happiness, joy, peace, contentment, meaning & fulfillment rely on the people around you? Why/how or why/how not?

  6. Look at the diagrams of our relationships with God & each other. How do these help us understand our brokenness & our need for something different? 

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?