Monday, September 6, 2010

1 Peter 1:1-12 - Praise to God for a Living Hope

1 Peter 1:1-12 - Praise to God for a Living Hope

     1. Complete this sentence any way you'd like: I hope that . . .

     2. To whom did Peter address his letter? (1:1)

     3. How had Peter's readers been chosen? (1:2)

     4. What had God given Peter and his readers? (1:3)

     5. By what are believers shielded? For how long? (1:5)

     6. What did Peter tell his readers they may have to suffer? (1:6)

     7. Why had trials come to Peter's audience? (1:7)

     8. What benefit is there in suffering? (1:7)

     9. What did Peter say was the goal of their faith? (1:9)

     10. What did the Spirit of Christ predict? (1:11)

     11. What did the angels long to do? (1:12)

     12. When did God give you new birth?

     13. What trials are you or have you suffered recently?

     14. How have the trials you've been through strengthened and refined your faith?

     15. What is the goal of your faith?

     16. How do you need to adjust your attitude about the trials in your life?

     17. What can you do this week to welcome the present trials in your life?

     18. How will you rejoice in your salvation today?

Luke 7:1-10 - The Faith of the Centurion

 Luke 7:1-10 - The Faith of the Centurion
     1. When you hear the word "authority," who first comes to mind?

     2. In what town did Jesus heal the centurion's servant? (7:1-2)

     3. Whom did the centurion send to present his request to Jesus? (7:3)

     4. What different character qualities were demonstrated by the centurion? (7:3-8)

     5. What message did the centurion send when he discovered Jesus was actually coming to his house? (7:6-8)

     6. How did the centurion understand the concept of authority? (7:6-8)

     7. How did Jesus react to the centurion's words? (7:9)

     8. To whom did Jesus remark on the uniqueness of the centurion's faith? (7:9)

     9. What happened to the centurion's servant? (7:10)

     10. What characteristics of the centurion's attitude and request would be helpful to remember when we ask God for help?

     11. Why is it difficult for us to be as dependent on God as the centurion was?

     12. Why is it important to be encouraged about the quality of our faith, even as Jesus affirmed the faith of the centurion?

     13. What are some of the ways in which Jesus is Lord of your life?

     14. How could you affirm the faith of someone who has been an example to you?

     15. How can you strengthen your friendships with other Christians this week?

Luke 15:1-7

Luke 15:1-7 - The Parable of the Lost Sheep

     1. As a child, when was a time you got lost from your family or a group?

     2. What were the Pharisees and teachers of the law doing? (15:2)

     3. What does a conscientious shepherd do when one of the flock is lost? (15:4)

     4. What happens when a shepherd returns to his home and flock after finding a lost sheep? (15:6)

     5. How does heaven react when a sinner repents? (15:7)

     6. What kind of people do not need to repent? (15:7)

     7. Why did the religious leaders miss the point of what Jesus' ministry was about?

     8. Why did Jesus choose a parable about sheep to make His point?

     9. In what ways do we go astray?

     10. How does the picture of "rejoicing in heaven" over repentance make you feel?

     11. In what situations are you most tempted to stray from God?

     12. What can you do this week to help a fellow believer who may be straying from God's ways?

     13. What practical step can you take to avoid tempting situations?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Seven steps that bring a small group to a healthy end

1. During the last meeting,talk about your experience as a group and what the group meant to you. Use affirmation questions to get the conversation flowing:
  •  If you could give a gift to anyone in the room,what would you give and to whom?
  • Pick someone in the room and name a characteristic they have that you are most thankful for.
This ends the group on a positive note and helps members leave with good feelings about their small group experience.
2. Fill out a written evaluation or survey, answering questions like, What did you like most about eh group? What did you like least? In which area of your spiritual life do you feel you grew the most as a result of meeting with this small group?
3. Plan to keep in touch in the future. (Set up a fellowship time once a month after your last meeting, just to see how everyone is doing.)
4. After the group closes, have the leader(s) and host or hostess write a note of appreciation and encouragement to each member.
5. Be sure your church's co-ordinator of groups has a complete list of all the participants for future reference.
6. Make sure that the group leader lets everyone know about alternative small group opportunities. This way interested people can get involved in new groups.
7. At the final meeting the leader should exhort members to continue to pray for each other. The leader can also encourage them to continue getting together- as prayer partners, for example.

  • Contributed by Judy Hamlin, Prestonwood Baptist Church, 15720 Hillcrest, Dallas, TX 75248

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hebrews 13:1-25 - Keep on Loving

Hebrews 13:1-25 - Keep on Loving

     1. What would you want to say to your loved ones if you could write them a last letter or make a final videotaped message?

     2. What is one change you'd like to make but don't think you can right now?

     3. What kind of love are Christians to demonstrate? (13:1)

     4. What kinds of people does God want Christians to try to help? (13:3)

     5. Why is sexual purity important? (13:4)

     6. What attitude toward money ought Christians to have? Why? (13:5)

     7. How can we learn to be content? (13:5)

     8. How should Christians view their spiritual leaders? (13:7, 17)

     9. What kind of sacrifices should we offer to God? (13:15-16)

     10. What did the writer pray would happen to his readers? (13:20-21)

     11. Why do you think is it so difficult to be content?

     12. How can we draw contentment from God's unchanging nature?

     13. What does hospitality mean or entail?

     14. What are some practical steps we can take to avoid temptations to immorality?

     15. What can you do to show love to a person who is in prison or being mistreated?

     16. What Christian friend or friends can you encourage to continue walking with Christ? How?

What does God say about the environment?

A sampler of Bible texts & articles for discussion :

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hebrews 12:4-13 Warning Against Refusing God

Hebrews 12:4-13  Warning Against Refusing God

     1. What do you think was good or bad about the way you were disciplined as a child?

     2. When did you endure difficult or arduous circumstances only because you knew you would later be rewarded?

     3. What measures does the Lord sometimes take toward those who are His "sons"? Why? (12:5-6)

     4. What do we learn about God from the fact that He disciplines us? (12:6-7)

     5. What sobering truth can be inferred by those who never experience the discipline of God? (12:8)

     6. Why does God discipline His children? (12:9-10)

     7. In what sense does discipline have two sides? (12:11)

     8. What are some specific ways God disciplines us?

     9. What state might your life be in if God neglected to discipline you when you went astray?

     10. How has God's discipline made positive changes in your life?

     11. Why should we not lose heart when the Lord rebukes or corrects us?

     12. What step of obedience can you take beginning today to eliminate the need for God to discipline you?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hebrews 11:23-12.3 Keep Running the Race

Hebrews 11:23-12.3 Keep Running the Race

     1. What is your favorite sporting event? Why?

     2. What do you consider the greatest example of faith you have ever seen? Why?

     3. What hard choices did Moses make because of his faith? (11:24-28)

     4. What "secret" enabled Moses to persevere through rough times? (11:27)

     5. What were some of the victories enjoyed by faithful Old Testament believers? (11:32-34)

     6. How does this passage disprove the notion that faith always leads to earthly blessing? (11:35-38)

     7. What happened to a great many Old Testament saints who exercised faith in God? (11:39)

     8. What should motivate followers of Christ to live for Him? (12:1)

   9. What should be the focus of those who would live for Christ? (12:2)

   10. What is the benefit of remembering what Christ has done? (12:3)

     11. Why do you think God sometimes leaves us in the dark about His will?
     12. How well are you running the Christian race?

     13. Which characters named in this chapter would you most like and least like to trade places with? Why?

     14. With what do you need to trust God even though you can't see what the future holds? How can you show this trust?