Weekly questions and information
Life isn’t always easy. But crisis is nothing new to humanity. Almost from the beginning of time people have faced trials and difficulties and struggled with how to deal with them. But in God is control of everything and crises have have purpose and meaning.
This week we’ll look at the purpose of trials and how to navigate them and learn from them.
- What stood out to you from this weekend’s message?
- What is the difference between happiness and joy. How can we experience joy even in affliction?
- Read James 1:2-4. How often does your attitude reflect James’ teaching when facing trials? What hinders you from adopting such an attitude? What helps?
- Bill said “Problems don’t break us they reveal the condition of our faith”. Do you agree with that statement? Explain.
- In this pandemic, what do you think God is revealing in you? In TRF?
- How will you stand in this moment? What affect could we have on our community if our faith holds fast in this pandemic?
Bill presented part two of the 7 characteristics of our salvation that if lived out will change our community:
- They Extend and embrace grace and peace
- They live their faith
- They understand their identity in Christ
- They experiences the conviction of the gospel
- They Imitate Jesus
- They have turned from idols to a living God
- They wait for the coming of Jesus
Last week we looked at the first 3. This week we’ll discuss numbers 5,6, and 7 and answer the question are we as believers in Christ doing these three things and if not, why?
- What from the weekend sermon stood out to you?
- What is a definition of the word “gospel”? Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 what is the gospel of Jesus Christ? Explain.
- What is the greatest obstacle we face in trying to make the gospel clear? How can we overcome it?
- Read Philippians 3:17—4:1. What is the value of imitating Christ and following the example of those who imitate Christ in their lives? Would anyone think of following your example as you imitate Christ in your life? What, if anything, would have to change in order for you to be a good example to follow?
- Most of the idols we worship are idols of the heart. The things we value and cherish most are what we dedicate our time to. What do you spend your time on? What we invest our money in is often an indicator of what we love most. What do you spend your money on?
- Idols often become our refuge, and what we turn to for help and hope. What do you trust in to make your life better?
- How are you doing in these areas? How can we honestly evaluate where we’re at in developing these virtues?
Note to LifeGroup Leaders and Participants
As you know TRF held worship services the weekend of March 14th and 15th but due to the Corona virus, strongly recommended that people, especially the elderly, stay home and watch the live stream on Youtube or our web page. We will be making decisions about future services week by week and will do our best to keep you appraised of what’s going on. LifeGroups are an important part of our lives. But we all have the responsibility of helping mitigate this virus, to protect the flock, and to keep our LifeGroups safe. Some will choose to suspend their LifeGroup for a season. Some will continue to meet. Regardless, I will continue to provide discussion questions each week. And whether you meet or not I would encourage to go thru the discussion questions on your own.
And finally, please pray for our church and the Rogue Valley in this time of uncertainty.
Thanks and God Bless you
Pastor Steve Hopkins
Bill shared the first of two messages on 7 characteristics of Christians, that if lived out, will change our community:
- A church that will change a community extends grace—unmerited favor
- A church that will change a community lives out their faith
- A church that will change a community knows their identity in Christ
When we place our faith in Christ, we receive a new identity as a child of God because of what Christ has done. We have greater security, confidence, and freedom because we don’t have to perform for others to be liked, accepted, or known. And those who know their identity in Christ, and are secure in God’s love for them, have the ability to extend grace, live out their faith an as a result, affect their community. So today we’ll look at our identity in Christ.
- What stood out to you from this weekend’s sermon?
- Who has modeled the Christian life for you and how has it impacted your walk with Christ?
- How could extending grace, living out our faith and knowing our identity in Christ affect your relationship with friends or people who you may have a rough relationship with?
- Read Ephesians 2:4-10. What does it mean to you that God thinks of you as a masterpiece?
- Read Ezekiel 36:25-27. What are some changes that happen when we come to know God?
- Do you usually think of yourself as having this kind of worth? How does it affect your life if you’re a follower of Jesus but don’t believe the truths of your new identity?
- Read Ephesians 1:3-14. Count how many times Paul uses the words “In Him” or “In Christ”. What does it mean to be “In Christ”? What holds you back from wholeheartedly believing this truth?
- Can you think of specific strongholds or issues you may be facing where you may be saying, “I am a child of God, BUT…”? Share it with your LifeGroup.
Bill focused on 6 words: Work, Labor, Endurance, Faith, Love and Hope. The focus was work produced by faith, labor prompted by love, and endurance inspired by hope.
- What stood out to you from this weekend’s sermon?
- In verse 3, Paul writes “We remember before God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- What are “works” and how do they produce faith?
- What is “labor” and how is it affected by love?
- Why does hope build endurance?
- Describe personally how your faith, love, hope, manifest themselves in your work, labor and steadfastness
- What is the difference between earning your salvation by works and how your faith transforms you to do work?
- How did Bills distinction between justification and just-a-vacation strike you?
Every believer already has peace with God. But the peace of God is a free-will choice. In this week’s discussion, you’ll talk a little about peace with God, but spend a majority of the time about how to experience the peace of God. You’ll draw from Romans chapter 5:1-5 and Philippians 4:6-8.
Your group will explore the root of worry, analyze God’s remedy for worry, then apply God’s Word in regarding worry, in practical terms for daily life.
- What stood out to you from this weekend’s study on peace?
- What is the difference between peace with God and the peace of God?
- Read Romans 5:1-5.
What does it mean to be “justified”?
Can you think of something to illustrate justification?
- Read Philippians 4:6-8.
What things can we do when our feelings and fears tempt us to live in anxiety and worry?
(Hint: a) Worry about nothing; b) pray about everything; c) Thank God in everything d) vs 8. Think about the good things, and e) vs 11 Be content)
- When you feel anxious or depressed what do you do to feel better?
How would your attitude change if you used the 5 tools?
What prevents you from doing them?
How can you be proactive in these areas?
- How is it possible to make prayers and requests with thanksgiving?
What is the mindset that makes thanksgiving like this possible?
- So what does it look like in real, practical ways this next week to put this prescription into practice and experience the promise of peace with God?
- What are the concerns you need prayer for right now?
Share them with the group.
What are the things which occupy your mind that you need to give up?
What should replace them?
While the Law is the standard of righteousness, grace is the source of righteousness.
Randy gave a follow up message on God’s grace. From it we learned that God’s Amazing Grace
This week’s LifeGroup discussion revolves around these 3 aspects of God’s grace.
- What stood out to you from Randy’s message on grace?
- If you were God, would you save people who are convinced that they don’t want to be saved?
If you weren’t willing to save those who refused your grace, where would you draw the line? And why?
- God has loved his people since before the creation of the world, and he has planned for their salvation.
How does knowing that God has chosen to love you and has planned “all things to work together for your good” change how you view difficulties and uncertainties in your life?
- Read Ezekiel 36:24-27. What does this text reveal about God’s work inside a believer’s heart?
- Read Ephesians 2:10 — God has written a specific story for you, tailor-made good works for you, and gifted you with certain skills and interests for a reason.
How does this knowledge change your approach to your workday?
Your family and how you function in your daily life?
- Read Romans 8:32-39. Name the things you fear might cause God to turn away from you?
Read John 10:27-30 and Jesus’ promise to those who believe.
To your ears, what are the best words or phrases in Jesus’ promise here?
Pray, thanking God for his amazing grace. Then, conclude the evening by singing “Amazing Grace” as a group.