It's About To Get Real • Part 1

The Golden Rule is great—if you live life in a perfect world. But we live in a world where people irritate us and mistreat us. What do you do when you have had enough, you feel wronged? Is there a way to deal with the difficult people and issues in our life that actually brings peace and healing? Is there a better way to handle the situation?

1. Most everyone in their childhood had a time when they were hurt or angry or saddened by what other kids around them did to them. Share a time when this happened to you.

2. Fast forward to your adult years. What is something someone did to you that you still carry with you and the hurt just doesn’t seem to go away?

3. Read 1 Samuel 25:2-39. In verse 13, we read how David, a man after God’s own heart, was ready to take revenge for being shunned by Nabal. Many would be killed if David carried out his plan. But Abigail stepped in and interceded and in doing so, saved hundreds if not thousands of lives. What would have been your reaction to Nabal’s rejection if you were David? If you were Abigail?

4. Have you felt the need for revenge when treated wrongly? What was your reaction to the hurt you experienced?

5. Pastor James said, “Your desire to get even is never even.” What does this statement mean to you?

6. If you are allowing the hurt of the past to dictate your life, you are only hurting your future. You don’t have to take matters into your own hands because you matter to God. Does this statement change the way you have or will deal with those who offend you?

7. It’s all about trust. Can we truly trust that God will take care of us? What situation are you facing right now when you need to trust God for the outcome?

8. If we don’t focus on what was done to us, we can focus on what God wants to do through you. Has there been a time in your life when you let go of the hurt, anger or disappointment and concentrated on the path on which God has placed you? What did that look like?

Print Friendly and PDF

*Print, PDF & Email does not work on the App.

I Decided

Ever wish you could erase your past and start over again? If you answered yes, you are in good company. If only we could undo all the wrong we’ve done or move forward where we should have but chickened out. There is great news for you! Jesus Christ has all authority to forgive your old life through His death and resurrect your new life through His resurrection.


1.  We have had great excitement these past two weeks as we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection and witnessed many get baptized. How were you impacted when seeing so many follow His command to be baptized once they decided to follow Him?

2.  How have you seen God move over these past few weeks? What is God personally teaching you?

3.  Read Matthew 28:18-20. What is your understanding of the biblical relationship between salvation and baptism?

4.  Christ is alive in you but you have to decide to allow Him to live through you. Baptism symbolizes that your old life is gone and your new life has come because you have decided to follow Christ. If you have decided to be a Christ-follower, but have not been baptized, share what it is that holds you back?

5.  Whoever would like to do so, share your own baptism experience.

6.  Read Romans 6:8-11. What does it mean to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ? What does that look like in your day-to-day living?

Print Friendly and PDF

*Print, PDF & Email does not work on the App.

40 Days {2018} • Part 6

Life Group Leaders: Be sure to take time at the end to pray for our Easter services and for the people who have been invited by your members through #WorkYourCircle.

When Jesus invites us to follow Him, He knows that if you are going to follow Him, you have to change your focus to where He is leading you. He invites you not to just look at what is happening in the moment, but also where He wants to bring you. Not just now, but for eternity. It’s all about changing your focus.

  1. Share a time in your life when you focused so much on your circumstances--what was immediately in front of you--that you weren’t able to see the big picture of what God was doing in your life or where He was leading you?
  2. Read Mark 8:34-38. As we’ve studied these verses over the past six weeks, has there been a special way these verses have spoken to you? Share with the group.
  3. Read Philippians 3:11-14. What you focus on will determine the extent of your faith. How does Paul encourage us to keep our focus on our ultimate goal in these verses? 
  4. The pull of the moment will never exceed the promise of your future in Christ. What does this mean to you and how has this played out in your life?
  5. How does Romans 8:31-32 give you courage to radically follow Christ daily despite your circumstances?
  6. How can changing our time-frame to focus on the future give us the courage to radically follow Christ, to endure, no matter what? 
  7. How are you doing with #WorkYourCircle during these past few weeks? Is there someone in particular we can pray for that you’ve invited?
Print Friendly and PDF

*Print, PDF & Email does not work on the App.

40 Days {2018} • Part 5

If you are ever going to walk in the power, presence, and victory that God desires for you, then you have to understand who you have been invited to become in Christ. What gets us off track in following Christ is we forget who we are in Christ. We allow others to define us and shape us. Jesus understands this, this is why he invites us to follow him by challenging us to wrestle with the concept of who you are, and who or what will you allow to define you.

  1. Has there been a particular scripture from your 40 Days reading that has impacted you over the past few weeks?
  2. What are some of the people and things that have defined you throughout different stages in your life?   
  3. How have you seen the concept that “what defines you directs you” played out in your life?
  4. Read Mark 8:34-36.  What from this passage challenges you?  Is there a situation in your life right now that these verses speak to? 
  5. Pastor James said that it is your responsibility to determine what defines you.  Do you see any areas of your life where you are relying on others as a source of your purpose, security or belonging?
  6. If understanding how God sees you is key to embracing who you are in Christ, then what are some of the ways you can think of that God sees you that are different from the ways you see yourself?
  7. What does embracing who you are in Christ look like practically for you?  Which of the verses below speaks to a situation you are in right now or an area in your life that you are struggling with?

In Christ I am greatly loved. Ephesians 2:4
In Christ I am completely accepted. Romans 15:7
In Christ I am strong and courageous. Deuteronomy 31:6
In Christ I am wise. James 1:5
In Christ I am able to DO all things. Philippians 4:13
In Christ I am a citizen of Heaven. Philippians 3:20
In Christ I am seated in the heavenly realm. Ephesians 2:6
In Christ I am filled with power, love, and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
In Christ I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me. 1 John 5:18
In Christ I am filled with the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 6:19
In Christ I am healed and whole. Isaiah 53:4-5
In Christ I am forgiven and free. Colossians 1:14
In Christ I am righteous and blameless. 2 Cor. 5:21
In Christ I am complete in Christ. Colossians 2:10
In Christ I am a child of God. John 1:12
In Christ I am an overcomer. Revelation 12:11
In Christ I am more than a conqueror. Romans 8:37

Print Friendly and PDF

*Print, PDF & Email does not work on the App.

40 Days {2018} • Part 4

Over the past few weeks we have been talking as a church about what it looks like to follow Jesus Christ. There is way to follow that is freeing, liberating, and opens your life up to all that God wants for you, and there is way of following Christ that keeps you from all that God wants for you. You can accept the invitation to follow Christ in a way that is filled with great joy, but there is also a way to follow Christ that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and defeated. It centers around the difference between achieving or receiving.

1.  Can you think of a time when you did the right thing, but you did it for the wrong reason or in the wrong way?

2.  Read Matthew 26:6-16 and Matthew 27:3-5. What are some of the things from both Mary and Judas’ lives that stood out to you in these verses?

3.  How do you see the attitude of achiever and receiver played out in this passage? Which of these attitudes do you see yourself falling more easily into?

4.  While Judas is often maligned for the choices he made, do you ever see the struggles he had played out in your own life? Can you think of ways that you trade in Jesus for the things you want in the moment?

5.  Have you ever found yourself bargaining with God? What are you believing that pushes you into this mindset?

6.  Read Romans 5:8. The Gospel is about us receiving what Jesus has earned for us. Can you think of any areas of your life where you are still trying to earn from God things that Jesus has already earned for you?

7.  Was there something from your reading in the 40 Days devotional that stood out to you this week? Why did it impact you?

8.How have you been doing with your commitment to reading and memorizing the Scripture?

Print Friendly and PDF

*Print, PDF & Email does not work on the App.

40 Days {2018} • Part 3

Denying yourself deals with a willingness to surrender to follow Christ and coming to Him with opens hands. Taking up your cross is actually applying this surrender to your life and making decisions in the moment where you say “yes” to what God wants and “no” to what you want. There is sometimes a difference between what we intend to do and what we actually do in our lives. Without the decision to follow through and carry our cross, we can’t step into the things that God has for us. This is why He addresses a gap that develops in so many of our lives. The gap between our intentions and our decisions.

1.  What are some of the ways you see the breakdown between what you intend to do and what you actually do play out in your life?

2.  Read Galatians 2:20. If the direction of our lives is not determined by what we intend to do, but by the choices we make, how are your decisions impacting your walk with God? How do your choices differ from your intentions in this area?

3.  It can be easy to blame the lack of wise decisions on others, situations, backgrounds and busy schedules, so what kind of choices can you make to take responsibility for your actions and bring them more in line with your intention?

4.  Pastor James talked about how the pressure you are under is often how God is preparing and strengthening you to be used by Him. How does seeing the areas of your life where you are struggling as God preparing you change the way you view them?

5.  Can you think of an area of your life where you need to, by faith, “take up your cross” and follow where God is leading you? How does Hebrews 10:36 challenge you to make this decision?

6.  Was there something from 40 Days devotional that stood out to you this week?

7.  How have you been doing with your 40 Days commitments? What are you finding easy to incorporate into your daily schedule, and what is something that is more difficult? How can we pray for you and be an encouragement to you this week?

Print Friendly and PDF

*Print, PDF & Email does not work on the App.

40 Days {2018} • Part 2

Why does God want us to deny ourselves? When Jesus talked about denying yourself it was not as a punishment from a vindictive God who was withholding things from you. On the contrary, the invitation to deny yourself was always given as way to fully live. Jesus gave this invitation because He knew that the greatest blessing awaits those who lay down their desires. What if your purpose in life was connected to a commitment to deny yourself?

1.  What was your biggest takeaway from your reading in the 40 Days devotional this week?

2.  Read Mark 10:17-22. What are some of the things from this passage that stood out to you?  What do you think made this young man seek out Jesus?

3.  The young man in these verses came to Jesus with hope and left in sorrow, why do you think he could not do what Jesus asked in Mark 10:21?

4.  Read Galatians 5:24. How does the memory verse for this week challenge you? Did studying this verse make you more aware of how much the passions and desires of the flesh surround us in life?

5.  What does giving yourself fully to God look like to you? Is there something in your life that you feel keeps you from living this way?

6.  What does denying yourself look like practically for you this week? What is an area of your life (personal life, family, friendships, work) that you can see a need to deny yourself?

7.  How have you been doing with your 40 Days commitments? How can we, as a group, pray for and encourage you this week?

Print Friendly and PDF

*Print, PDF & Email does not work on the App.

40 Days {2018} • Part 1

Jesus never wanted a crowd. He wanted people to draw close to be with Him. He wanted for people not just to know about Him, but to really know Him. And He wanted to know them personally. His invitation was for people to step out of the crowd and be with Him, and that is still His heart today. His invitation is still open to whoever will listen, no matter where you are on your faith journey. He will always ask, “Do you want to pursue me?”

1.  What are you most excited about for this year’s 40 Days? How have you seen God work in your life during past 40 Days experiences?

2.  Read Mark 8:27-34. What in this passage stands out to you the most?

3.  Do you see a tendency in your spiritual walk to direct more than follow? What does it look like in your life when you stop directing and start following?

4.  The last part of Mark 8:33 makes it clear where we as Christians should have our minds focused. Do you see times where, like Peter, your mind has become caught up in the things of this world?  What are some of the things that keep your focus away from spiritual things?

5.  In Mark 8:34, Jesus is laying out what a Christ-follower looks like. Which part of this challenges you the most?

6.  In these verses, Jesus is saying that following Him will disrupt your life, how have you seen this played out in your own life? Are there areas where God is calling you out of your comfort zone right now that will be disruptive as well?

7.  Each year at the Journey, we challenge one another to sacrifice something during 40 Days, something that will help us move towards Jesus with a little more focus and discipline. As you begin this journey together with your Life Group, what do you believe God has led you to sacrifice during these 40 Days?

8.  Which of the five commitments from the 40 Days devotional do you think you will most struggle fulfilling? How can we as a group pray for and encourage each other to Participate, Read, Join, Memorize, and sacrifice over these 40 days?

Print Friendly and PDF

*Print, PDF & Email does not work on the App.

Centered • Part 6

We were all created to run after the purposes that God has for us, but in life, there’s a time for running and a time for resting. It’s finding the rhythm of rest that allows us to keep running in the right direction.  Many times, we just run and we forget what we are actually running after. We run without realizing that we need to rest. It’s in all the running that our lives get off-course and off-centered. Rest allows us to recalibrate our minds on what is really important, and what God desires for us to do.

1.     What does it look like when your life is at capacity? How often do you feel like you’re in survival mode rather than being intentional about how you spend your time?

2.     What does resting look like for you? How does that help you refocus on what’s important in life?

3.     Read Deuteronomy 5:12-14. Why do you think God commanded His people to take the time to rest? How do you see the need for this in our modern culture?

4.     How does fear play a role in keeping us too busy to rest? Whether it’s a fear of being “left out,” “left behind” or “left undone,” how do you see fear keep you from being centered on God’s Word?

5.     In Deuteronomy 5:15, we are called to remember what God has done for us. How does taking the time to remember the ways that God has delivered us in the past give us the trust we need to rest in Him?

6.     Why do we find it easier to trust God in the situations where we can’t see a path forward, more so than in situations where we think we’ve got it handled?

7.     What does resting look like practically for you this week? Can you think of one way that you are going to be intentional about trusting God enough to rest in Him?

Centered • Part 5

We all are looking to fit in, because it does matter to us what others think. However, when we begin to let that focus be the primary pull of our life, we allow affirmation from others to become what we think we really want and what we think is important. This pull of affirmation and approval begins to cloud our ability to make good and Godly decisions. It starts to actually compromise our integrity, when we work to make sure we have the approval of others, instead of basing our lives on what matters most and what God desires.

1.  What do you think most hijacks your time each week?  How much do you allow others opinions of you to alter the choices you make during the week?

2.  How have you seen the pull of popularity and belonging played out in your life? Has there been a time that you’ve seen your desire for affirmation and acceptance from others pull your focus away from what you should be doing?

3.  Read Hebrews 11:24-27.  What were some of the choices Moses made in these verses that showed where he was looking to find his acceptance?

4.  Hebrews 11:36-40 talks about some of the trials Christians faced for their faith. What would remaining centered on God and His promises look like during that kind of persecution? How do these verses challenge you?

5.  Read Hebrews 12:1. This verse lays out specific things that Christ followers should do to remain centered on God’s plan, how do these instructions fit into where you are right now in your spiritual walk?

6.  How does knowing your worth is found in Christ change the way you view yourself and others opinions of you? What are some of the ways you find your affirmation in God?

7.  Hebrews 12:2 commands us to “fix our eyes on Jesus.” What does that look like practically for you this week?

Centered • Part 4

So much of our dysfunction, when it comes to money and the way we handle it, is that we place the burden of responsibility on our shoulders to be the provider. We are not interested in living under God’s provision. Deep in our fractured heart, we genuinely believe that we can find what we are so desperately seeking on our own—and that is the ultimate lie of sin. There is a war being waged within us, between the Spirit of God fighting to center us upon the truth of God’s Word, and our flesh, which desires the things of this world.

1.  How do discussions of money and giving make you feel? If it makes you uncomfortable, can you think of a reason why?

2.  Read Psalm 23. What stands out to you the most from this passage? What are the promises that these verses make to those who choose to give their lives to God?

3.  Psalm 23:1 describes God as our shepherd. Is this how you view Him? Are you willing to continually live under God’s provision and not rely on yourself to be your provider?

4.  What are some of the examples you can think of from the Bible that show us God providing for His people?

5.  Read Psalm 23:4. How do you respond when you are going through a difficult time? Do you tend to ask God to get you out of dark valleys instead of resting in His promises?

6.  Read Psalm 23:4-6. Has there been a time in your life where your relationship with God deepened as a direct result of relying on Him during a difficult time? Why do you think that is?

7.  What is a practical step you can take this week to live in a way that acknowledges that all you have already belongs to God, and live with gratitude for all He has given you? How would this change the way you view your time and money?

Centered • Part 3

When your life is out of balance, there is a pull to only focus on what you see and feel in the moment. This is what gets us off track. We look at all that has to be done and all that is going on, and we start to freak out, and become overwhelmed. Life is just going too fast in the wrong direction and we are being pulled in a thousand different directions. How do we get the clarity to become centered when our circumstances leave us feeling hopeless?

1.  What are some of the things that typically stress you out? Have you ever experienced a time in your life when your stress was more about waiting for something to happen rather than what was actually happening?

2.  In a situation where you are waiting for God to work or praying for something specific, have there been times where the amount of time you have been waiting has discouraged you? Are there ways that you struggle during these times that are different?

3.  Read Philippians 1:12-21. What in this passage stands out to you the most? What was striking to you about Paul’s attitude?

4.  What are the ways that hope and optimism are different? How does choosing to have hope based on Christ change your focus in a way that optimism doesn’t?

5.  How can we come to a place where we see the struggles we have in the same way Paul does in Philippians 1:18? Is there something that has to change in your heart in order to see your circumstances this way?

6.  How does Philippians 1:6 encourage you? Is there a situation in your life, right now, that needs the kind of hope this verse promises?

7.  If our hope is fueled by making the choice to rejoice, then what are some of the ways you can choose to rejoice in the waiting? Is there a practical way you could choose hope this week and let go of some of the anger and worry that pulls you away from being centered on God’s word?

Centered • Part 2

Life is complex, full of moving parts. This is what causes us to feel overwhelmed, stressed out and leaves us wanting to give up. When you start getting pulled in a thousand different directions, your life gets out of alignment. Life is no longer whole and balance needs to be restored. Many times, what we want in the moment is in direct conflict with what we really want. So, to get what we really want, we have to discover what is actually important to us.

  1. What does a balanced life look like to you? Do you worry that the direction you are heading might not be the right direction relationally, financially, academically, professionally, or spiritually?
  2. What does Psalm 1:1 tell us about those we allow to speak into our lives and who we spend our time with? How does this verse challenge you?
  3. Read Psalm 1:1-2. These verses focus specifically on what a person who wants to be blessed should avoid and what they should pursue. Which of these two things do you find to be the most difficult? Is there one specifically that you need to move towards as you try to be more balanced?
  4. Read Psalm 1:2-3. What role does meditating on God’s Word play in your spiritual walk? What are some of the blessings these verses promise come from knowing and meditating on scripture?
  5. How do these verses help you shift your focus from asking the question, “What do I really want?” to asking “What does God really want?”
  6. Has there been a time in your life where you’ve seen your decisions push you off balance? How did those decisions lead you away from what you actually wanted?
  7. How is being centered more about the choices you make, rather than the circumstances you face? What is a way you’ve seen this play out in your own life?

We want to take the next 30 days as a church to read God’s Word for at least 10 minutes each day. If you haven’t started yet, there’s still time to join with us. For more information head over to theJourney.cc/bibleresources.

Centered • Part 1

Ever feel like your life is out of control? Most of us have at one time or another. At those times, we tend to focus on the immediate and the urgent and lose sight of the things that keep us balanced and ultimately happy. But how do we get to the peaceful and healthy life that we all desire?

1.  It’s a New Year! Perhaps, like many others, you decided this was a great time to begin eating healthier. Then a picture came to your mind of a mammoth cinnamon roll. What will you do? Will you head to Cinnabon to satisfy that longing or grab some veggies from the fridge instead?

2.  What we want in the moment drags us away from what is important. What are some reasons why it is difficult for us to prioritize what we really want ahead of our immediate desires?

3.  Read Genesis 25:29-34. What caused Esau to lose sight of what was important? Can you identify with him at all? In what way?

4.  Read James 1:14 aloud as a group. We often make decisions based on our immediate desire. Share a time when you made an ‘on the spot’ choice to satisfy that desire but later found out it was not the wisest or most beneficial thing to do?

5.  Most of us have dreams or plans that we wish to pursue. What conflict do you find between what you actually value and what you are currently pursuing?

6.  When you discover what is important in life, you are more likely to remain centered in life. Commit as a group to answer the following:

  • What do I really want?
  • Why is that important to me?
  • What keeps dragging me away?

Why God • Part 5

Throughout Scripture, we see Jesus as emotional, hurting, suffering and grieving. He is not superman with nerves of steel, He enters our real world, and feels the sting of it all. He has gone through the craziness of life. He has been hurt. The more you really believe this, the more you will run to Him when life hurts, not away from Him. If you believe this, you will turn to Him knowing that God is actively working to bring life and healing to our darkness.

1.       What do you think the average person would claim is the basis of the Christian faith? Why do people believe that Christianity is based on things other than Jesus?

2.       Read John 1:1-4. How do these verses give us hope in our times of uncertainty, fear and disappointment? What specifically do you find encouraging about these verses?

3.       How does John 1:14 illustrate the idea that “God is not a concept to be learned, but a person to be known”? How does understanding this change the way you interact with God?

4.       Read John 14:6-11. What does Jesus give as evidence in these verses to show us why we should have faith? How do these verses give us confidence that our trust in Him is not just blind faith?

5.       What is reassuring to you about the idea that God is with us in the midst of our brokenness, and not just a bystander? Has there been a time in your life where you have seen Him give you comfort and confidence to face your problems?

6.       What are the ways that you have carried out the #WorkYourCircle challenge this week?  

7.       Is there someone you are praying about inviting to one of the Journey’s Christmas Eve services? How can we, as a group, pray as you approach the person who God has laid on your heart?

Why God • Part 4

How can we be expected to believe in a just and good God when there often seems to be little justice or goodness in the world He created? More people have stepped away from God because of their inability to reconcile a good and loving God with the injustice, pain, and suffering in the world around us. There is no rational argument against the existence of God based on the injustice we see in the world. Christians have never made an argument for God’s existence based on a world where bad things never happen to good people. Injustice in the world calls into question the justice of God, the goodness of God, the love of God, not the existence of God. Injustice does not prove whether or not God exists.

1.  What was your biggest takeaway from the message this weekend?

2.  When you look at the world around you and see injustice, pain and hurt, do you struggle reconciling what you see with your belief that God is good? Why or why not?

3.  How do you answer the question: “If God is good, then why doesn’t He rid the world of injustice?”

4.  When you think about your concept of what is just and unjust, where do your values come from? What framed your understanding of these concepts? (Family, friends, religion, etc.)

5.  Why does the injustice you see around you call into question the moral character of God, but not the existence of God?

6.  What is so radical about John 3:16-18?  How do these verses show us that God is both just and good?

7.  When Pastor James said that justice requires judgement, what did he mean by that?  How does John 3:18 illustrate this?

8.  How are you continuing to #WorkYourCircle to invite people to one of our Christmas Eve services? Who have you invited so far? Spend some time praying for the people your group has invited that they would attend one of our Christmas Eve services.

Why God • Part 3

1.  What’s your favorite mystery or crime show you like to watch or book you loved to read?  What is it about these shows or books that you like?

2.  In many mystery stories, detectives learn to “follow the evidence” instead of jumping to conclusions.  Can you think of an example of this? Why is it so easy for us to simply jump to conclusions?

3.  Why is it significant that the New Testament, as an ancient document, is so well preserved compared to other ancient texts?

4.  Read 1 Corinthians 15:3-6.  What is so significant about the claims of the New Testament writers?  Why do you think these claims led to such widespread distribution and preservation of these documents?

5.  Everyone makes assumptions about the world.  Our assumptions shape the conclusions we make.  What are some ways modern people try to explain away the claim that Jesus raised from the dead?

6.  If we “follow the evidence” of the New Testament, why do these common explanations fall short?

7.  In the past, have you ever thought of faith in God as “blind” faith?  What evidence has helped build your faith in God over the years?

8.  Read 1 Corinthians 15:17-19.  What does this passage teach us about the importance of the resurrection of Jesus to the Christian faith? 

9.  How does it encourage you that our faith is truly reasonable and grounded in evidence?

10. How are you carrying out the #WorkYourCircle challenge? Who are you praying about inviting to one of the Journey’s Christmas Eve service?  If needed, how can this group encourage you to be bold to make the ask?

Why God • Part 2

  

As you got older, perhaps you began to ask some adult questions about a childhood faith. The more you asked, the more you were confused. Maybe you believe in God, but you don’t really know why. Your faith is based on tradition or personal experience. Perhaps you were told and believed that you had to stop thinking about it and just have “blind faith.”

1.  What was your biggest takeaway from this weekend’s message?

2.  Do you consider yourself to be more scientifically  minded or geared more towards the arts? How has this been a challenge to you in your journey of faith?

3.  Have you taken a moment when out walking a trail or sitting by a lake and noticed how everything seems to be orderly and laid out perfectly? How would you explain this to others? To yourself?

4.  Why is the fact that we can rationally understand the universe so remarkable? Do you think this was by chance or design?

5.  How does understanding that the universe is fine-tuned in order for life to exist help you answer the question “Why God?”

6.  If the fine-tuned universe that surrounds us speaks strongly of God’s existence, what does it say to us about His character?

7.  Read Matthew 10:29-31. Jesus points to the heart of the Father in regard to His children. Share a time when His love and protection for you was very real in your life.

8.  How does knowing that God is interested in every detail of our lives and our world affect you personally?

Why God • Part 1

It’s essential for us to know what we believe about God, but also why we believe in God. We’ve all struggled with doubts and sometimes wonder if it is all true. The more we study, the more evidence we find that points to God. Not just any God, but the God that Jesus Christ taught about and came to reveal to us. We come to have faith, not just faith because we were told, not faith that is just based on personal experience, not just faith because of some life altering encounter with God, but faith based on reason, logic, philosophy, and science.

 

1.  What was your biggest takeaway from the message this weekend?

2.  Have you ever been asked “Why do you believe in God”?  How would you answer someone who doesn’t believe or is struggling to believe?

3.  Pastor James said that everyone puts their faith in something. What do you see people putting their faith in, other than God?

4.  What are the ways you see faith in God as a commitment to trust based on evidence and reason, and not just a leap in the dark?

5.  Read Genesis 1:1. How does creation give us overwhelming evidence that something or someone was behind everything we see, touch, taste, hear and smell?

6.  What does active trust mean to you?  How is faith in God something we have a good reason to believe in?

7.  Read Romans 1:19-20.  What are the ways that creation reveals to us not only that there is a God, but also what kind of God He is?

Grace Beyond Walls

1. How ethnically diverse was the area in which you were raised as a child? What was the general attitude in that community about ethnic diversity?

2. As you watch the events in our culture over the last few years when it comes to racial divisions, what are your personal reactions to what you see?

3. Why do you think these issues are so polarizing in our current time?

4. Read Ephesians 2:11-18. According to verse 15, for what purpose did Jesus Christ die? 

5. What divisions were the early church battling?  How were these similar to what we face today?

6. What does it mean that Jesus came to “break down the wall of hostility,” and “create one new man instead of two?”

7. Read Ephesians 2:19-22. What parts of this text demonstrate the fact that God wants all believers to be unified?

8. In what ways does the analogy of God building a house show the beauty of His vision for His people?

9. Read Revelation 5:9-10. What clues do we see from this text that demonstrate the fact that Heaven will be a place of diversity?

10. Why do you think ethnic diversity glorifies God?

11. When someone looks at God’s people, they should see a picture of Heaven. What keeps us from living out this kind of unity and diversity as God’s people today?

12. What are some practical steps we can and need to take in order to make progress in this area?