Weekly questions and information
Regardless the physical and political environment we live in, we must still be faithful to serve God’s desires and relate to that environment in the way that he would find most appropriate rather than being influenced by it. This week’s discussion will focus on the sovereignty of God, living as aliens and strangers in a foreign land, and trusting him during challenging times.
- Review the message. What stood out to you from the weekend message?
- In your own words what does it mean that God is sovereign?
- How do you see the sovereignty of God in the history of Israel?
How does this bring comfort and perspective to your worldview and our current world situation?
- Knowing God has His hand in our lives and world events at all times, why is it difficult to trust His sovereignty in our present situations?
How does it make you feel to know that neither you nor anyone else can keep God’s purposes from being accomplished?
- Read 1 Peter 2:11&12
What does it mean to live as an alien and stranger?
Why do you think Peter stresses this?
- Read Jeremiah 29:7.
What do you think the phrase, “Seek the welfare of the city” means?
How can you seek the welfare of the city?
- Read Mathew 5: 14-16.
What did Jesus say about living good lives and the impact it can have on a non-believing world?
Paul is in prison facing the real possibility of death. The Philippian church is concerned for him, but Paul encourages them by saying, “Thanks. But I want you to know something. ‘For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.’” That was Paul’s mission statement. And it shaped and dictated his life regardless the circumstances.
When we focus on Jesus Christ in our day-to-day lives, we discover our life has purpose and meaning that outweighs any accomplishment.
Note to LifeGroup facilitator
At the end of the discussion allow some time for your participants to write out a mission statement for their lives. Have them share it.
- What stood out to you from this weekend’s message?
- What does it mean to live for Christ?
- Read Philippians 1:19-26. How do these verses show us about how Paul lived for Christ? How can we apply these principles to our lives so we can also really live for Christ?
- What are practical ways we can live for Christ today? What can we do in our lives to make Jesus look all-satisfying and our ultimate source of joy?
- In what ways has God been challenging or teaching you to trust his plan for your life and not your own plans? How can we learn to faithfully trust and obey God’s plan for our life even when it leads to trials and suffering?
- What is something that you would like to accomplish before you die? How can Christ be exalted in that goal/accomplishment?
Take a few minutes to write out your own personal mission statement. Make sure it’s personal, practical and purposeful.
As you close in prayer have each individual pray about their future, and ask God to use their mission statement for His purpose.
In John 14, Jesus is at the end of His earthly ministry and is preparing His disciples to carry the message of salvation throughout the entire world. As He prepares to go to the cross and eventually leave the earth He wanted His disciples to know that just as He gave them comfort in life, the Holy Spirit would be coming to bring that same peace and comfort.
People today spend lots of money on vacations, trips to the spa, and any number of things to help them relax. All these things are good and can help out with stress. But God provided His children with the ultimate stress buster. God sent His son Jesus to the earth to minister to people and to take away their sin at the cross. Jesus was a great comfort to people, but He could only be in so many places at any given time. When God sent the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, He provided a 24/7 source of comfort and peace for every believer. You will help remind your students of this wonderful gift that’s inside of them and ready to help at any time. So this week we’ll talk about this peace, what it looks like in a believer’s life and what can get in the way of experiencing it.
- What do you think Jesus meant when He promised to leave us His peace?
- What does Jesus’ peace look like? Feel like?
- Read Colossians 3:15. To what extent should we have peace in our lives? Why do you think Pauls says to let it “rule” in our lives?
- Does having Jesus’ peace mean we’ll never have troubles? Why or why not?
- What can disturb the peace that God gives us? Is there an area in your life where your peace is disturbed? Is there an area in your life where your peace is gone? What do you need to do to have God’s peace ruling in those areas?
- Is it difficult for you to believe that peace with God is possible? Why or why not?
- What is something that stands in the way of your peace with God? What is one thing you can do this week to begin to surrender that area of your life? What can this group do to support you?
Peace with God is possible because God has made peace with you. Your heavenly Father is looking for you whether or not you are looking for him. Why refuse God’s offer of peace? You can experience that peace when you stop resisting and striving, and begin to surrender. Peace with God begins by faith in Christ. Peace with God is sustained by submission to Christ.
Mary Magdalene was no stranger to turmoil and pain. Jesus had delivered her from 7 demons. Her demons represent the weight of her despair and oppression. After Jesus transformed Mary’s life, she became one of Jesus’ most faithful followers. The best description of Jesus and Mary’s relationship is seen at His resurrection appearance to her. Of all the people Christ could have revealed Himself to after His resurrection, He chose Mary Magdalene. Despite her broken past, He knew her heart and because of that He entrusted her with the good news of the gospel to reveal to the world.
- What stood out to you from this weekend’s sermon?
- How has the truth of the resurrection impacted you personally?
- John said Mary failed to recognize Jesus because of her tears, wrong focus and that she didn’t expect to see him. How are we like Mary?
- What was the cultural significance of Christ being revealed first to a woman?
What does it say about God’s value and purposes for women?
- Mary would have spent a lot of time in Jesus’ presence.
What would have been some of the things she may have witnessed that would help her to understand the heart of God?
How can we grow in our understanding of the heart of God?
- Mary takes the message of the resurrection to disciples. Imagine Mary coming to your LifeGroup and telling you the good news of Jesus’ resurrection.
How would you respond?
What questions would you ask?
What action would it prompt you to take?
Like Mary Magdalene, we are given the privilege of sharing the good news of what Christ has done in our lives to others, and to speak of His resurrection and power. May we draw near to God in a way that we too would recognize His voice, live a life of grateful service to Him, and proclaim the Good News of His resurrection.
John wants his readers to know that Jesus died for our sins but his death on the cross was a torturous death. The cross was primarily an instrument of torture rather than an efficient means of execution. While we love the scene of the babe of Bethlehem in a manger, We must never minimize the horror and humiliation of the cross. He came not to be served but to serve and give his life a ransom for many
If you ever want to see God’s love for you, look no further than the suffering that Jesus went through so that you could be saved. We see the wounds of Jesus, and as Christians we understand that those are our wounds. We are healed by his stripes and through his blood that was spilled as he suffered and died for us. Today, the world may see a defeated Jesus, who is still mocked and ridiculed. But Christians see a glorious Lord and Savior who loves us
- What stood out to you from this week’s message from John 19?
- Why is it important to understand the torture and humiliation Jesus experienced on the cross?
- What is the significance of these three statements of Jesus spoken from the cross?
“Woman here is your son, son your mother”
“It is Finished”
- Why is it important we understand the words, “It is Finished!”?
- How do you as followers of Christ obey his teachings without falling into the place of striving or legalism?
John records the crucifixion so we might know that Jesus really did suffer; he really did die; and he really did rise again. As you go about your life this week, remember that Jesus bore the cross for you so that you could have life and be a part of his eternal kingdom. May the cross be central to everything that you are and do this week!
In these verses Jesus prays for all believers throughout history. It was His intent that his followers would be one and live not just intersecting lives, but intertwined lives; that we would invest in each other’s lives rather than meet together once a week. When we do that, people catch a glimpse of the unity and love of the Godhead.
This week’s discussion will focus on understanding and applying two key words found in Jesus prayer for all believers: Unity and Love
- What stood out to you from this weekend’s message? What challenged you?
- What has been your perspective of church? A football stadium? A hospital? Something more than that?
- Read Acts 2:42-47 and Acts 4:32-37 How do you think the first followers of Christ interpreted and applied Jesus’ prayer for unity?
- Read 1 Peter 4:10, Romans 12:3-8, and Ephesians 4:12-13. God has given each other “gifts”. For what purpose? Do you know your gift? What happen to a church body when your gift is not utilized?
- What do you think God thinks when he thinks of you? Read Romans 5:8,10; Romans 8:35. What are His true thoughts about you?
- Read Ephesians 1:3-14. How is it God can love us unconditionally (Clue: Note the number of times Paul uses the words “In” or “In Him” — meaning “Christ”)
- Why do many Christians go through seasons where they struggle to believe that God really loves them?
- How should Christians deal with the differences that exist between them? How do you deal with those differences?