Better Connected

2 Kings 5:1-14

We all have blind spots, especially in the areas that direct our life, and we all have the propensity to be oblivious to things that seem obvious to those around us. Do you wish that there was something that could have prevented you from making foolish decisions that only become obvious as foolish after you made them?

  1. Has there been a time in your life when you believed you knew what the correct decision was for you to make, and found out later that your friends or family had seen the obvious pitfalls that you missed?
  2. Read 2 Kings 5:1-12. How do our feelings have the power to make us oblivious to the things that are incredibly obvious to those around us? Can you think of a time in your life where you trusted your feelings and acted on them, and experienced regret?
  3. How was Naaman’s life impacted in 2 Kings 5:11-14 by someone who was willing to bring clarity to him? What do these verses tell us about the importance of the clarity that is brought to us through those in our community?
  4. How does Hebrews 3:12-13 illustrate that living by faith is more of a “we” thing than just a “me” thing? What are some of the ways you guard yourself from missing the obvious?
  5. Who are some of the people around you who have permission to bring clarity into your life? Have you ever considered that you might also be the person to bring clarity into someone else’s life?
  6. As a group member what has been the biggest impact of Life Groups on your life? Do you have friends or family members who would benefit from joining biblical community?

the Book of Mark – Part 6

Fear can feel like an unwelcomed, constant companion in our lives, paralyzing our actions, damaging our relationships and hindering our faith.  Everyone has to deal with fear, but how can we handle fear in a way that strengthens our faith and helps us see who Jesus really is?

  1. Thinking back to when you were a child or a teenager, can you share an experience of when you were afraid? 
  2. As an adult, what are you afraid of right now? What situation or experience are you going through that keeps you up at night because you know it’s too much for you to handle?
  3. Read Mark 5:21-24. How does fear wake you up to the reality that you can’t handle what you were certain you could?
  4. How does Mark 5:25-34 show us that fear can be used as a launching point for faith? Has there been a time in your life when fear brought you to the point that you realized that Jesus was the only one who could help you?
  5. Read Mark 5:35. Are there times when uncertainty tells you that there’s no point in taking steps of faith to go where God is calling you? Can you share a time when you listened to that uncertainty and missed out on what God had for you, or a time when you ignored that uncertainty and saw God work mightily in your life?
  6. Read Mark 5:36. Jesus’ words in this verse seem so simple, but what is it about the tension that fear brings that makes the experience of trusting God seem anything but simple.
  7. Mark 5:37-43 tells us that Jesus is the one who can handle what we can’t. What would it look like for you if every time fear wants to keep you where you are, you claimed that truth over your fear? Is there a practical step you can take this week to respond to fear with faith?

the Book of Mark – Part 5

  1. Name a time in your life when you looked forward to something so much that it consumed nearly all your thoughts.
  2. Read Mark 16:1-8. Which part of this narrative strikes you as the most profound? Which part do you find most interesting? What questions does it raise in your mind?
  3. Have you ever placed your hope in something, only to have it fail? If so, describe what happened and how you dealt with it.
  4. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central event in history that restores hope to humanity. The first way hope is restored in the resurrection is through forgiveness. How does forgiveness help restore hope inside us?
  5. The second way the resurrection restores hope is through the promise of heaven and being with Jesus again. How does this promise restore hope inside us?
  6. The third way the resurrection restores hope is through the power of purpose. The power of purpose simply means that there is purpose in our lives, that we do not live meaningless lives. How does the power of purpose restore hope inside us?
  7. Looking at questions 4, 5 and 6 above, which one of the three ways the resurrection restores hope is most helpful to you in your present stage of life?

the Book of Mark – Part 4

  1. Have you ever made an assumption about someone or something that turned out to be wrong? How did it work out for you? Share some examples.
  2. False expectations can blind us to the reality about a person or situation. Why is this the case?
  3. Everyone has some idea about who Jesus is. What are some of the most common answers you’ve heard people give about the identity of Jesus?
  4. Jesus clearly told the disciples He would die. Why do you think it was so hard for them to believe this? What assumptions did the disciples make about Jesus?
  5. Read Mark 11:7-10, Mark 11:15-17 and Mark 11:27-33. In what ways did these instances seem to go along with their expectations of how Jesus would show He was the Messiah?
  6. Read Mark 15:33-38. When Jesus died, the curtain in the temple was torn. What is the significance of this? What did Jesus’ death accomplish?
  7. Read Mark 15:39. Why is it surprising that a Roman Centurion declares the truth about Jesus’ identity, even when the disciples still didn’t get it?  
  8. Jesus’ purpose was to redeem even those who don’t make sense. Why is this good news for us?  
  9. How should this truth about Jesus’ purpose motivate us to reach those in our life who seem like they would never believe in Him?
  10. What is one false idea/expectation you once had about Jesus? In what ways did this keep you from understanding who He truly is? What led you to see the truth about Him?  

the Book of Mark – Part 3

  1. Who was your favorite super hero as a kid? What specifically did you like about him or her?
  2. How is Jesus similar to a typical hero or rescuer?
  3. How is Jesus different from a typical hero or rescuer?
  4. Read Mark 8:31-38. Why was it so shocking to the disciples when Jesus taught them that He must suffer and die?
  5. Read Mark 9:33-37. When we see the disciples arguing about who is the greatest disciple, it can cause us to roll our eyes in amazement that they were so self-absorbed. But in truth, we often struggle with the same thing. Describe a recent time in which you struggled with the reality of being self-absorbed.
  6. Read Mark 10:17-22. This young man went away sad because he was unwilling to follow Jesus by giving up something precious to him. This proved that he loved his riches more than Jesus. Do you struggle with loving anything more than Jesus? What is it? What do you think God wants you to do about it?
  7. What, in your opinion, is the most difficult part of following Jesus?
  8. What, in your option, is the best part about following Jesus?
  9. Read Mark 10:13-16. Why do you think Jesus loved children so much? What did He mean when He claimed that His followers must come to Him like a child?

the Book of Mark – Part 2

Large Group

  1. Which of the five characteristics of Jesus would you say you struggle with the most -- to ultimately accept? Explain. (Compassionate Healer, Profoundly Powerful, Victorious Over Darkness, Anti-Religion and Lord)
  2. When you or a loved one is sick, is your first inclination to cry out for healing from the Lord or call your doctor? Explain.
  3. Why should God's power be good news for us and lead us to live fearless lives? How can we train ourselves to renew our mind of God's goodness and power the moment we begin feeling fear and anxiety?
  4. Who in your life do you struggle to pray for regularly that you know you are called to pray for regularly? How does knowing that Jesus is ultimately victorious over the darkness affect your prayer life?
  5. Would you agree that Jesus is "Anti-Religion" and came to establish something different? Why do you think we struggle with basing our relationship and standing with God on our performance?
  6. Read Mark 8:34-38. What has been the most satisfying thing for you, personally, about living in submission to Jesus Christ? What has been the most difficult thing about living in submission to Christ?

Small Group

  1. What would the results of your "spiritual audit" be in the way you spend your time and the way you spend your money? Would the results reflect clearly that you believe Jesus is Lord?
  2. What is one step you can take this week to align yourself with living for the Kingdom of God in the way you spend your time and or your money?

the Book of Mark – Part 1

There are countless books out there on every imaginable topic on earth. Biographies can be very insightful as they will often not only describe someone’s life but will tell of their struggles and victories. They also tell the incredible people and events that changed their life. What if there was a biography that had implications for everyone on the planet and for you specifically? What if it had the potential to determine the direction of your life, no matter where you are right now?

Large Group

  1. What has been one of your favorite biographies or documentaries? Why? Did it impact your life and if so, how?
  2. Read Mark 1:1. The book of Mark is not only a book of the Bible but it is a historical document as well, an eyewitness account by those who were alive at that time. Why is it important to know this?
  3. Any document you read can be read out of context. You may have done that yourself and found yourself in a little trouble. Why is context important when reading the book of Mark?
  4. Jesus had a house full of siblings who didn’t believe He was who He said He was, at first.  What would your sibling or friends have to do to convince you that they were God?
  5. The question we all have to wrestle with is “Who is Jesus?” Does your life reflect your response to this statement? If not, what is keeping you from living your life for Him?
  6. Read Hebrews 1:3. Now read it again. How does the writer of Hebrews describe Jesus? What does this mean to us who live here and now?

Small Group

  1. Share with your group the moment you realize that Jesus really is who He says He is.
  2. Have you experienced doubts that every word in the Bible is completely true? How can you overcome your doubts?

Pick Your Flix • Part 4

Tearjerker :: Matthew 25:14-30

There is nothing more tragic and causes us more hurt, pain and frustration than lost opportunities. Perhaps you have had the “would of, could of, should of” tape playing in your head. In Matthew 25, Jesus actually shares a story of lost opportunity.

Large Group

  1. Describe a small choice that you made in the past that made a BIG difference later on. In retrospect, would you have made a different choice if you had known the outcome?
  2. Read Matthew 25:14-18. It’s not about what you have, but what you do with what you have that matters to God. What are the things that keep you from acting on the opportunities that God has placed in your path?
  3. A few weeks ago we learned that God has given every one of His followers gifts and abilities to complete the task He has called them to do. How do you see your gifts as instrumental in acting on the opportunities He has put before you?
  4. Read Matthew 25:20-23. Many of us struggle with the fear that we aren’t up for the task God has placed in our life. But the opportunities He gives us also give us opportunities to fully trust Him. How can we safeguard ourselves from letting the fear of our inabilities overpower trust in His abilities?
  5. Read Matthew 25:24-30. The challenge wasn’t that he did anything bad but that he did nothing at all. Jesus was not concerned with what they had but what they did with what they had. How can you faithfully seize the opportunity in every situation?
  6. What practical steps can you take this week to invest in what is essential?

Small Group

  1. A natural assumption is that bad actions bring on condemnation. But the servant with one talent was condemned because he did not take advantage of the opportunity he was given. Discuss a missed opportunity that you regret to this day.
  2. Reflecting on #1, what was your biggest fear that stopped you from obeying God’s direction to you in that opportunity? Have you overcome that fear? Pray for each other if fear is still paralyzing you from moving forward.

Pick Your Flix • Part 3

One of the most basic questions that people ask is, “What happens when you die?” whether they are religious or not. It may be a pretty intense, scary question. But Jesus actually shared a story of what happens when we die to give us some insight into life after death.

Large Group

  1. While a youngster, did you have a time when you were somehow separated from your parents, perhaps in a store or park? Describe what emotions you felt.
  2. The greatest tragedy is not losing your life, but experiencing life separated from God. Read Luke 16:19-23. What do these verses say about the choices the rich man made during his life?
  3. Read Luke 16:24-25. Your choices have eternal consequences. How does the way you live your life reflect your priorities? Do you like what your priorities say about you?
  4. Death is inevitable, but death is not the end. There is justice that comes after death. Hell is a literal place. Recall a time when the fear of hell gripped your being. Describe any of that fear that still remains in you.
  5. Read Luke 16:29-31. Sin is saying, “I want a life without God!” Hell is God honoring your choice to be separated from Him. But fearing hell will not keep you out of hell. BUT – when you place your faith in Jesus Christ, you will never experience hell because He experienced hell for you. Discuss with your group if you are still unsure of where your eternal home will be.
  6. Read Luke 16:26-28.  The rich man wanted his family spared his fate in hell, are there people in your life, family members or friends that need to hear about Christ? Does this story give you courage to find an opportunity to share with them?
  7. How does our understanding of hell change the way we interact with a lost world? Knowing that death is inevitable and that our choices have eternal consequences, is there someone who you are being called to speak to about Christ’s love and redemption?

Small Group

  1. In John 17:3, Jesus prays, “This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Share with your group how you came to understand that your salvation requires more than belief in God or fear of hell but it requires a living relationship with Jesus Christ.

Pick Your Flix • Part 2

Family Drama • Luke 11:5-13

We all have had times when we feel our prayers are bouncing off the ceiling. Why is that? Have we been missing something? How did Jesus teach His disciples and us to pray?

Large Group

  1. What was your favorite family drama movie growing up? Why?
  2. Did your own family seem to have a lot of drama? Share if comfortable.
  3. Read Luke 11:5-10. If you were the man who was in bed, how would you have reacted? If you were the man in need, what would you have done to convince the neighbor to get up and give you what you needed?
  4. Can you think of a time where you prayed over a specific need in your life and not only did the situation not get better but it seemed like it got worse? Has that impacted how you pray or how often you pray?
  5. You are called to persist in prayer, not as a means of convincing God to act, but as a means of trusting God to act. Share a time when you tried to convince God to do things your way but He answered in a different way. In retrospect, how did His way show itself to be the best way?
  6. Are you currently asking God for a miracle in your life? What practical step of faith is God asking you to take as He works the miracle you’re asking Him to create?
  7. Read Luke 11:11-13. You will only go to God with child-like persistence when you view Him as a good Father. How does viewing God as the good Father He is make Him more approachable in prayer? Do you go to God with child-like persistence? Share some of the times when you have experienced the goodness of your Father.
  8. Why do you think God wants us to persist in prayer? How can prayer change how we trust God?

Small Group

  1. Perhaps your earthly father disappointed you many times while you were growing up or even as an adult. Has it been a challenge to you to view your heavenly Father differently, as someone who loves you unconditionally? How can you overcome this perception?
  2. What does child-like persistence look like? Get practical and share how you have done this in the past. Pray for each other to fully embrace this concept.

Pick Your Flix • Part 1

Mystery :: Matthew 20:1-15

We all love a good story. Jesus told many stories called parables. But He didn’t just tell them to make people feel good or to create a happy ending. His stories would be life changing, if the reader took heed.

Large Group

  1. Read Matthew 20:1-15.  What was your first impression of this story? Did you side with those who were grumbling or did you think the boss was right in how he handled the workers’ wages?
  2. Read Proverbs 14:30. Where have you seen this play out in your life? God wants us to guard against the powerful pull of envy.  How do you identify the mystery killer of envy in your own life?
  3. Discuss some ways you can stop envy before it kills you.
  4. Envy grows by comparing your life to others.  In Matthew 20:1-15, comparison was at the root of the discontentment the workers felt about their wages.  Can you see the ways in your life that comparison begins to change your feelings of contentment to discontent and then to envy?  Share with your group.
  5. Pastor James showed us that when unfairness works in our favor, we call it an answer to prayer. Can you describe a circumstance in your life where God was “unfair” toward you but it was for your benefit?

Small Group

  1. Envy begins with complaining that you deserve more.  It is really an issue you have with God rather than with others. Do you complain when you think you’ve been treated unfairly instead of praising God for the blessings He gives you? How have you seen envy develop in your heart?
  2. Envy can be a powerful weapon to keep you from the calling of God in your life. If you have had those moments and were able to overcome them, share how you were able to gain victory over envy.

Church is a Verb • Part 6

God has placed a calling on your life to make a difference for good. You have a unique purpose. You are personally equipped, and you have a specific influence. But how do you discover God’s calling for your life?

 

Large Group

1.     God wants to use you to accomplish what no one else can accomplish, and that is why He made you and called you. Do you see your purpose here on earth this way? What do you see as your calling? Do you struggle believing that as a child of God, He has a specific calling for you? 

2.     Read John 1:35-38. Your “Why” drives your “What.” How you are wired shows how God has created you and the calling He has placed on your life. What is the “Why” behind what currently drives your life?

3.     Read John 1:38-39. God’s wiring of you holds clues to God’s calling for you. If time, money or education were not an issue, what would you love doing? Why?

4.     What is it that breaks your heart? How does that relate to possibly being a calling God has placed on you?

5.     Is there an area you feel passionate about? Do you recognize your gifting as being tied in with your passion? What would others say are your strengths and weaknesses?

6.     Read Romans 12:6 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-7. God has wired you to fulfill your calling as the church. Perhaps you have no clue what gifts God has given you or what His calling is on your life. How do you discover the gifting and calling He has specifically designed just for you?

Here is a link to help you find out. God’s Wiring: theJourney.cc/read

Be prepared to share next week what you have discovered after taking these assessments.

Small Group

1.     A big aspect of your faith journey is not only learning more about God, but learning more about yourself. What have you discovered about yourself through this series?

2.     Can you think of specific ways you can begin using these gifts to bring honor to God and further His kingdom?

Church is a Verb • Part 5

God has placed in each of us a longing for meaning. It’s a desire to not only know what to do, but to actually do it. Deep in our hearts is a desire to know why we are here, why we were created.

Large Group

  1. Read Matthew 28:18-20. Your calling reveals what God wants to do through you to make a difference around you. How does this scripture clarify our purpose as followers of Jesus? What are the ways that you can implement this into your life right now?
  2. It’s easy to get consumed on what you do that you forget why you do it. What happens if all you do is focus on what you have to do each day instead of why you are doing it?
  3. Your calling in life is defined by the question of why. What do you think of when you hear that God has a calling for your life?
  4. Think over the past week and your everyday activities. If you had the mindset that God was calling you to make a difference in each of those activities, how could you have viewed them or approached them differently?
  5. God’s calling was never intended to be divided into the “sacred” and the “secular.” Yet, many still believe that it’s the preacher’s or elder’s job to do the work of the ministry. How has your view changed after hearing this message?
  6. Read Ephesians 2:10. You have a unique purpose. Only you can accomplish God’s plan for your life. What has God called you to do? Where has He placed you to do His work? Are there areas of your life that need to feel a greater impact for His kingdom?

Small Group

  1. Does it amaze you that God’s desire is to equip you and use you to accomplish His work here on Earth? Have you felt you are inadequate or unworthy to be used by Him? Do you now see things differently since hearing this message? Share with your small group.
  2. God has equipped every one of His followers with spiritual gifts to accomplish His work in you and through you. What gifts has He equipped you with? What are some practical ways you can use your gifts and talents for God’s honor and glory? Share a time when God used you with the spiritual gift He placed within you.

Church is a Verb • Part 4

Going to church without loving like the church is not being the church. Let’s explore how Jesus intended for His church to walk out their faith. 

Large Group 

  1. Read John 13:1-17. Jesus had full authority and power; yet He chose to serve. What would you do right now if you had full authority and power? How can you leverage your influence right now for others? 
  2. When you think of boldness, do you think positively or negatively? Why? Have you exhibited boldness by saying what needed to be said, by hearing what needs to be heard, by giving what needed to be given or doing what needed to be done? What was the result? 
  3. Read John 13:34-35. You make a difference by the way you love. What are some of the challenges to living a life of love the way Jesus wants us to live? Share a time when you did meet the challenge head on and what the results were. 
  4. As a follower of Christ, what are some of the ways you are called to sacrifice your comfort in order to serve and love those around you? 
  5. How can your life group get involved in loving and serving together?  

Small Group 

  1. Before  the message, you may have been worried that being bold meant you had to confront people and witness boldly to them. How does bold love differ from bold witnessing? 
  2. We know from Jesus’ teachings that love is a way of life but it is also a choice. Are there situations in your life right now that you should be asking, “What would love do?” Perhaps you have been aggressively confronted by another. Is there an action step that you know you should take this week to reach out in love? 

Church is a Verb • Part 3

Large Group

  1. What part of the message impacted you the most? Why?
  2. Read Acts 4:13. Peter and John’s boldness and confidence caused people to pay attention to their message. What role does boldness about God play in your life?  How are people aware that you have been with Jesus?
  3. Boldness is moving with confidence, believing that Jesus is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. Before hearing this message, what would have been your definition of boldness? Has it changed since hearing this truth?
  4. Read Acts 4:16-18. Notice how the religious leaders didn’t challenge Peter and John’s belief; they challenged them to do nothing with their belief. Have there been times you’ve boldly shared God with others and you weren’t certain of your reception or maybe you were told not to speak about God? Is there an area of your life that needs you to be bold about God, in spite of the possible opposition?
  5. Read Acts 4:24-29. What would be different if we, like the apostles, trusted that God really was working in our lives, even though we couldn’t see it? How would it change the way we approach God and what we request of God? 
  6. Bringing boldness back means we must:
  • Remember that God’s power is greater.
  • Live aware that God is always working.
  • Ask God to do the extraordinary.

What would it look like if we brought boldness back, both as individuals and as the church?

Small Group

  1. It is this boldness that propels us forward to do what God has called us to do. Share a time when you sensed God was leading you to be bold in a situation but fear gripped you and you remained quiet.
  2. Now share a time when you did move forward with confidence in Him and shared with another. What were the results?
  3. Take a moment and reflect on how you usually pray. Now answer who would have benefited from your prayers. Pastor James challenged us to begin praying BIGGER prayers, BOLDER prayers. As you close your time out with prayer, begin to practice bigger and bolder prayers.

Church is a Verb • Part 2

Large Group

  1. What was your biggest takeaway from this week’s sermon?
  2. When you think or hear about the Holy Spirit, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
  3. Read Genesis 1:1-2.  What do these verses tell us about the Spirit of God?
  4. Read Exodus 40:34-35 and 2 Chronicles 7:1-3. Scripture shows us that God’s Spirit represents His presence and power. How do these visual representations of God’s Spirit compare to the ways you see His Spirit work in the midst of your life? How is it different? What are some of the ways you’ve seen His personal presence and power at work?
  5. Read Acts 2:1-4. It’s not about sacred places, but sacred people. Does this change the way you view the church and yourself? Explain your answer. If God’s Spirit indwells inside of you, then why would some followers of Christ say they don’t feel close to God at times?
  6. God can accomplish extraordinary things through you because God’s Spirit lives in you.  What would happen if you woke up to the reality everyday that God’s presence and power is in you? How should this change your perspective this week?

Small Group

  1. You are the church because through you, God’s presence is invading the darkness. How has He used you to bring light to someone else’s life?
  2. You are the church because through you, God’s power is healing brokenness. How have you been aware of brokenness around you lately?
  3. You are the church because through you, God’s love is restoring goodness. How has God used you to restore goodness to your workplace/household/neighborhood?

Church is a Verb • Part 1

1.     What was your biggest takeaway from the service this weekend? Share your thoughts and experiences.

2.     Generally speaking, do people view the church positively or negatively? Share the reasons why you have this opinion.

3.     Read Matthew 16:15-18. The church launched as a movement. What comes to mind when YOU think about the term “church”? How do these verses challenge us to see the “church”?

4.     Pastor James explained how the word Ekklesia (an assembly of people called out around a certain event) was translated into Kirche (a sacred place where you gather for religious purposes) in the Middle Ages. How have you seen the affects of this bad translation today?  What are some of the ways that people think about the “church” that aren’t correct?

5.     Read Acts 2:22-24 & 36-39. Real belief will always require a response. Why is declaring outwardly what you have believed inwardly important?

6.     If applicable, share with the group your baptism experience, whether this past weekend or years ago. Why did you decide to be baptized? What did you experience when you went under the water and when you came up out of the water? How was life different in the days following your baptism?

7.     Read Acts 2:40-41. Every movement begins with a step. Pastor James shared, “If you’ve not taken a step, then you probably don’t really believe.” Do you agree with this statement?  Why or why not?

Small Group

1.     Share with the group, if any, what action step you need to take that tells others that God is changing you on the inside?

2.     How can this group pray for you this week to help you take a step to grow in your relationship with Jesus…no matter where you are on your faith journey?

40 Days • No Longer Slaves • Part 6

We can live a life of victory despite our circumstances.

Consume -- On Friday, April 14 (6:30 pm, on both campuses) we will come together for a powerful night of intense worship and prayer as we focus on the events of Good Friday. Consume is the pinnacle of our 40 Days journey together and the perfect way to prepare for Easter weekend. Make sure you’re there. Doors will open at 6:00.

Large Group

  1. What was your biggest takeaway from the service this weekend?
  2. If comfortable, share a time in your life when you were really discouraged and were living in defeat.
  3. Read Romans 8:36-37. Despite your circumstances, what does it mean to live with the mindset of “more than a conqueror”?
  4. Share something from Karen’s testimony that resonated with you.
  5. What are some practical steps you need to take to begin to live a life of victory? How can this group help you?
  6. Spend some time praying for the upcoming Easter services and the people you have invited.

Small Group

  1. How has the time of sacrifice over 40 Days helped you grow in your relationship with Jesus?
  2. Has there been a devotional reading that God has used to impact your life through this year’s 40 Days? If so which one? 
  3. Overall, how have you grown in your relationship with Jesus through 40 Days? What has God been revealing to you?

Due to the nature of our Easter Services there will be no Life Group questions for the following week.  Please plan a social gathering and go do something fun with your Life Group together.

 

40 Days • No Longer Slaves • Part 5

Our brokenness from our past sometimes takes over how we view ourselves and God in the present. Can we ever be truly free? What is your freedom worth?

Consume -- On Friday, April 14 (6:30 pm, on both campuses) we will come together for a powerful night of intense worship and prayer as we focus on the events of Good Friday. Consume is the pinnacle of our 40 Days journey together and the perfect way to prepare for Easter weekend. Make sure you’re there. Doors will open at 6:00.

Large Group

  1. What has God been teaching you through 40 Days so far?
  2. Read Hosea 1:2. Describe a time when you felt you were too far gone or too far broken for God, where you felt the extent of His love for you couldn’t cover your past? Do you live thinking that you are still enslaved to sin?
  3. Read Hosea 3:1-3. God does not discard you when you are broken, but longs to restore you. He tells us throughout scripture that His love is far different from our love, that it is ever present and doesn’t depend on our performance. But do we truly believe this?
  4. Read Romans 3:10-12, 16-17, 23. Let’s face it: we’re a mess! How do we deal with continuing, repetitive sins that are in our lives now? What is God willing to pay to redeem you from your brokenness?
  5. Now for the good news. Read Romans 3:24. What does it mean to you personally that you are justified, that God has redeemed you and set you free? If you are a follower of Christ Jesus, do you live in that freedom, believing you have been redeemed through Christ?

Small Group

  1. Has there been a particular scripture you have read during 40 Days that has impacted you? Share with your group.
  2. What are you still struggling with that you just can’t believe that God has forgiven you for? Share with your group and pray for one another, that this message of redemption will become a reality in your life.
  3. Easter’s coming! Who have you been praying for to come to one of our Easter services?
  4. How have you been Working Your Circle?

40 Days • No Longer Slaves • Part 4

You relate to God based on who you are in Christ, not on what you do. The greatest command of the Bible is not to obey God but to love God like a Father.

Large Group

  1. What was your biggest takeaway from the 40 Days Devotional? From the weekend sermon?
  2. Read John 1:12 and 17:25-26. Jesus set us free to relate to God, not as Judge or Slave master but as Father. Describe your relationship with your father or male guardian growing up. Was your relationship based on your obedience or your admiration? What struggles do you have with relating to God as a loving Father? If this question is too painful to discuss in Large Group, consider sharing in your Small Group time.
  3. Read Romans 8:15. Slavery is defined by the rules and motivated by fear. Describe your first awareness of God. Was it based on fear or on acceptance? How has your perception of God changed over the years? Did it evolve toward a loving relationship or to a fear of messing up?
  4. Romans 8:15 talks about how believers are adopted by God. Adoption is defined by the relationship and motivated by acceptance. What does it mean to you that God wants to adopt you as a child of His? How does knowing that God relates to you with acceptance affect how you see Him?
  5. Read Romans 8:31, 38-39. You relate to God based on who you are in Christ, not on what you do. If you really begin to accept this, how would you live for God? How would you approach God? How would you talk to God?

Small Group

  1. How have you been doing with your commitment to reading and memorizing the Scripture verses?
  2. Share what you have been sacrificing and how you are doing with it.
  3. If you have been a Christ follower for a while, you may have become involved in serving in a ministry. When you served, did it feel more like you were free or more like you were obligated? Honestly share what your motivation to Serve has been.
  4. What will you do this week when the thoughts bombard you that God is more of a Judge than a loving Father? How will you fight this battle that goes on in your mind?