Weekly questions and information
Thessalonians 4 marks a shift in focus from the theological to the practical. Paul taught the Thessalonians how to walk and lead a life that pleases God. They were heeding his instructions, but needed to continue doing so. His message is meant to both encourage and motivate.
The Christian life is not a single step which instantly brings a believer to spiritual maturity. Instead, it’s a lifelong journey. Romans 13:13 commands us to “walk properly as in the daytime.” Galatians 5:16 and 25 exhort us to “walk by the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:2 commands us to “walk in love.” Ephesians 5:8 tells us to “walk as children of light.” These kinds of walks last a lifetime or until we see Jesus face to face. So the focus of this week’s discussion is walking in a way that is pleasing to God, and what that means.
1) What challenges or comforted you in this weeks message?
2) Read again 1 Thessalonians 4:1. What does it mean to walk in a way that will “please God”? Does the Creator of the universe really care about how we behave?
3) How can our actions actually “please God”?
4) What is the difference between accepting Jesus as Savior vs Jesus as Lord?
5) Bill said, “Your job is not to model perfection but to model growth”. What do you think that means for you personally?
6) Read Philippians 12. Paul says he has not obtained “all this,” and that he “presses on.” What has Paul not obtained…what is he pressing on for?
7) What is the danger of thinking that we have “arrived” or “completed” our spiritual journey?
8) What is the value of “pressing on” in our spiritual journey?
In this weekend’s message, Kellen made the case that the Bible is our surest guide through life.
This week we’ll talk about the reliability of scripture and be benefit of being guided by the word of God
Jesus summarizes the entire Decalogue (the 10 commandments) in two sentences: Love the Lord with your whole heart soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. This week Bill focused on Jesus’ words “Love your neighbor as yourself”. The point Jesus is making is there are no limits to our duty to love other people, even the most unlikely. The love of one’s neighbor must transcend all natural or human boundaries such as race, nationality, religion, and economic or educational status.
Some key points in the passage are:
* The essence of discipleship is to love God and to love other people.
* The “neighbor” whom we are to love is not limited to members of our own group.
* Jesus chooses a Samaritan, one of the group most hated by the Jews, as the model of neighbor love.
* The Samaritan’s love for his “enemy” is practical and costly.
The focus of this week’s discussion is on what it means to be a neighbor.
1) What’s stood out to your from this week’s sermon?
2) How would you describe the main point of the parable in your own words?
3) What does it mean to love God with all your heart? What about loving your neighbor as yourself?
3) Jesus’ parable about the Good Samaritan shows that the Lawyer was asking the wrong question. Rather than asking “Who is my neighbor?” (an attempt to limit his responsibility under the law). He should have been asking “How can I be a good neighbor?”In what ways have you or have we as a church been asking the wrong question? Are you trying to lessen our responsibility or are we open to loving and caring for everyone in our community?
4) Bill said there are 5 ways to look at people
vs 25 As a topic to be discussed
vs 29 As an object to exploit
Vs 31 As an inconvenience to avoid
Vs 35 As a customer to serve
Vs 33 As a person needing to be loved
Which of these best illustrates you? Explain.
5) How does God see each of us? Does loving your neighbor as yourself help explain how Jesus loved? Explain
6) Have someone read 1 Corinthians 13? How can you exhibit this kind of love to those around you?
Spend time as a group praying for the issues brought up by group members and encourage one another as you strive to show love to others in your life.
Putting on the full armor of God
- What was your major take away from Bobby’s teaching on Ephesians 6?
- Read Ephesians 6:10-20 – Which piece of amour do you tend to neglect the most?
- What piece of armor do you not fully understand its means?
- Belt of Truth
- Breastplate of Righteousness
- Feet prepared with the Gospel of Peace
- Shield of Faith
- Helmet of Salvation
- Sword of Truth
- What do you think would be different in your life if you prayed on the Armor of God every morning?
Faith is not just an intellectual concept or an emotional experience. Neither is it something we construct by talking. Faith in God is a conviction that we can trust God’s word about things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1-6). To trust Him is a decision of the will which results in confident action.
The focus os this week’s discussion is dynamic faith. Dynamic faith is faith that is real, faith that has power, and faith that results in a changed life. This week’s discussion is how to put faith into action.
We live in a very tumultuous time right now. Many are gripped with fear and/or anger. The antidote to fear is faith and the cure for anger is love. Our focus needs to remain upon a sovereign God who is in control. That will determine how the followers of Christ will navigate this uncertain time.
We will focus on three areas that are most effected in tumultuous times: Love, the Church and government
1) What stood out or challenged you from this weekends’ message?
2) Read John 4:7-30. Bill said, “Jesus didn’t treat people as groups (black or white—conservative or Liberal) but as individuals. Because of that He was able to respond in grace and love. Comment on that statement. How does that statement challenge you or change your perspective towards people you disagree with?
3) Read Matthew 22:24-40.We can tend to think of “love” as a word on a Hallmark card. What do you think was Jesus’ understanding of love and how did he apply it in his ministry? How can we follow his example?
4) Bill said “we tend to think of church as a building and not a body but as something we go to on weekends. Read Acts 2:42. Is that an accurate description of the first church? As you think of TRF, do you experience the unity described in these passages. Why or why not? What is missing from you or from the church?
5) Read Romans 13:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-14; and Matthew 6:33.
Comment on Bill’s statement, “Christians are more invested in government than the kingdom of heaven. When the government goes upside down so does their world”
*What’s required for us to take seriously Jesus’ instruction not to worry about the necessities of life?
*When we worry, what are we saying about our view of God and our relationship with Him?