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Message Discussion Questions

From April 21, 2024

Getting Started

Where have you seen suffering and sacrifice pay dividends in your life? In other words, how is sacrifice and suffering tied to really making a difference?

 

Quick Reactions from the Message

How would you summarize/paraphrase the message in your own words? What point/idea resonated most with you? Why?

How does what Paul say about the supremacy of Christ in 1:15-20 frame Paul’s mission and ambition for the church? Why is this important?

How can we mistake what really makes a church work and grow apart from what Paul says? Why?

If we were to emulate Paul’s prescription for growing the church…

In shared suffering and sacrifice for the gospel tied to our bodies, Christ’s body and the church body
Taking responsibility for what has been revealed to us in Christ
Sharing our faith from the outflow of Christ in me
For me to struggle/agonize to be tied together in love and grow in confidence in Christ

What would I need to stop, start or do differently?

Explore the Passage (Colossians 1:24-2:5)

(Yes, these questions can seem silly, however, good discussion and interpretation of the Bible begins with having a proper understanding of the basic facts; who, what, when, and where in the text.) Work through this quickly, the answers are fairly obvious.

Why did Paul rejoice? (1:24)
What did Paul do for the sake of the church? (1:24)
What commission did God give Paul? (1:25)
To what mystery did Paul refer? (1:26)
To whom had God chosen to make known a mystery? (1:27)
How did Paul help believers become spiritually mature? (1:28-29)
What kind of effort did Paul expend in his ministry? (1:29)
What did Paul want his audience to know? (2:1)
What was Paul’s stated purpose? (2:2-3)
What is hidden in Christ? (2:3)
How would a commitment to the full knowledge of Christ protect the Colossians? (2:4)
How was Paul unified with the church at Colosse? (2:4)
What delighted Paul? (2:5)

Questions that help understand the signficance of the text

Paul had never met the Colossian Christians; how could he have suffered for them?
How is suffering an essential part of the Christian life?
Why did Paul work so hard for the Colossians?
What results did Paul expect from his work for the sake of the gospel?
What can you do for the church of Christ?
What makes a church encouraged and united?
What does it mean, if being deceived by well crafted arguments involves thinking as a Christian that following Jesus means never having to suffer or sacrifice, taking responsibility, sharing our faith, and all of us struggling for the church to be tied together in love and growing in Christ-centered confidence (Christ is enough).
What can we do to grow in our understanding of Christ?
What can you do to grow in your understanding of Christ?

 

Apply the Passage

What do we learn about God and about ourselves in this passage?
What do you need to stop, start or do differently as a result of reading this passage?
How can we pray for each other?

Message Discussion Questions

From April 14, 2024

Getting Started

What was the last big thing you attempted alone before realizing you needed help?

 

Quick Reactions from the Message

How would you summarize/paraphrase the message in your own words?
What point/idea resonated most with you? Why?

Discussion Questions

  1. When was the last time you had to be rescued?
  2. Why couldn’t we purchase our own freedom?
  3. Col. 1:18 says we are the body of Christ! How have we been handling the body (our body)?
  4. What do we need to do differently starting today to better handling the body?
  5. According to Col. 1:22, how does God see us now as a result of Christ’s death on the cross?
  6. When you describe how you view yourself now does it line up with verse 22?
  7. Are you being your own worst enemy by speaking about yourself contrary to what the word says about you?
  8. In Col. 1:22, what does “drifting” look like?
  9. Are YOU still assured of your salvation?
  10. Are you trying to work your way back toward assurance, or do you still truly believe that Jesus’ death as payment for your sins was enough?
  11. Is there a sin or habit that you think is too big for the blood?
  12. Have you started to drift toward a lack of faith?
  13. Are you now ready to once and for all just accept what Christ did on the cross as enough??? 

Apply the Passage

What do we learn about God and about ourselves in this passage?
How can we pray for each other?

Message Discussion Questions

From April 7, 2024

Getting Started

When is the last time you received some encouragement (text, letter, phone call, conversation) that really encouraged you in your walk with God? What happened? Why was it encouraging?

 

Quick Reactions from the Message

How would you summarize/paraphrase the message in your own words? What point/idea resonated most with you? Why?

Why is it important for us to understand that Paul’s encouragement and prayer is set against the backdrop of his concern for the Colossians not to be carried away by “empty philosophies”?
In what way do we struggle with having enough? That something is missing? If only? And not be satisfied that Christ is enough?

What would it look like for us if God answered Paul’s prayer for us?
To be filled with complete knowledge of His will to give us spiritual wisdom and understanding? To produce every good fruit? How is fruit tied to knowing God and being satisfied, pleasing Hiim?
That we are learning to grow as you learn to know God better and better?

What would it look like for us if God answered Paul’s prayer for us?
To be strengthened so that we will have all the endurance and patience you need?
How can we long for the wrong things?
How can we pray for strength, but not strength that produces endurance and patience? Why is this important in walking with God?

What does it mean that in Christ we have all that we need?
How would looking at our lives with an eternal perspective shift our wants and needs?

 

Explore the Passage (Colossians 1:1-14)

(Yes, these questions can seem silly, however, good discussion and interpretation of the Bible begins with having a proper understanding of the basic facts; who, what, when, and where in the text.) Work through this quickly, the answers are fairly obvious.

Who wrote the letter to the Colossians? (1:1)
Who was with Paul when he wrote this letter? (1:1)
How did Paul address the Colossian Christians? (1:2)
How did Paul greet his audience? (1:2)
Why did Paul offer prayers of thanksgiving for the Colossians? (1:3-4)
From what source did the believers’ faith and love spring? (1:5)
What did Paul stress about the gospel? (1:5-6)
Who taught the gospel to the Colossians? (1:7)
How did Paul describe Epaphras? (1:7)
What did Epaphras tell Paul and Timothy about the Colossians? (1:7-8)
What was Paul’s primary prayer for these Christians? (1:9)
What results did Paul want for the Colossians? (1:10)
How could the church at Colosse have spiritual strength? (1:11-12)
How does God enable believers to share in His inheritance? (1:12-14)

Questions that help us understand the significance of the text

What do you find appealing about the way Paul started his letter to the Colossians?
Why did Paul praise a group of Christians he had never met?
How are the results of faith, love, and hope evident in your life?
How is the gospel bearing fruit in your life?
What can we learn about praying for others from Paul’s prayers for the Colossians?
If Paul were to write you a personal letter, what might he say to you?

 

Apply the Passage

What do we learn about God and about ourselves in this passage?
What do you need to stop, start or do differently as a result of reading this passage?
How can we pray for each other?

Message Discussion Questions

From March 24, 2024

Getting Started

Why or how is “home” such a powerful image for us?
What does it mean to you that God, through the Spirit has made His home in you?

 

Quick Reactions from the Message

How would you summarize/paraphrase the message in your own words?
What point/idea resonated most with you? Why?

Discussion Questions

Dave walked us through 5 scenes in Exodus 25-40; God commanding Moses to build a holy sanctuary (25:8), the people build a golden calf (32:1), God describes who He is in response to their rebellion (34:6-7), Moses’ responds to God relenting (34:8-9), and the inability for Moses to enter the tent (40:35).

Which scene disturbs you the most? Why?
What did you think of the actual physical space (tabernacle) that God asked Moses and the people to build?
How can we desire God to be impressive and miss His presence?
Do you have a physical reminder that God is present with you (home, office etc…)? Do you think this is important or overrated? Why?
How do you explain the impatience of the Israelites when they decide to make and follow an idol? What does this say about us?
Where can we grow restless and impatient with God’s presence and desire something better? When God passes before Moses and describes who He is (34:6-7)…how is this consistent with God throughout Scripture?
What does it mean that God both “lavishes” on us and “lays” sins on us? Does God curse or hand us the responsibility for our sins?
In Ex. 34:8, how can it be true that God travels with us, even though we are a stubborn and rebellious people? How have you seen this to be true in your walk with God?
Why is Moses prevented from entering the tent? How is this remedied in the book of Leviticus, but ultimately in Christ?
What does it mean for us that Jesus “tabernacled” among us? (John 1:14)
How do you experience the presence of God and the Holy Spirit?

 

Apply the Passage

What do we learn about God and about ourselves in this passage?
What do you need to stop, start or do differently as a result of reading this passage?
How can we pray for each other?

Message Discussion Questions

From March 17, 2024

Getting Started

How do you tend to react when someone “commands, or makes demands” of you? Why?
In what way has the 10 commandments influenced your walk with God?

 

Quick Reactions from the Message

How would you summarize/paraphrase the message in your own words?
What point/idea resonated most with you? Why?

What was the purpose of God giving the law (10 commandments) to the people of Israel?
What did Jesus mean in Matt. 22:40 that, all the law and the prophets hang on these 2 commandments?
In what ways can we both misinterpret and misuse God’s law (word) in a way that conflict with Matt. 22? Consider how Jesus is reacting against the Pharisees
What does it mean for you that the law are not conditions for our salvation, but an invitation to live in relationship to God and one another?
Dave made this statement considering God’s law (rules or boundaries)

“God invites us into a relations hip with Him out of His s aving grace and into the boundaries that form us into His people.”
In what way do you see this playing out in God giving the law to Israel after their deliverance from Egypt and wanderings in the wilderness?
In what way is the law good, but fails to transform us? (Read Romans 7:14-21)

Explore the Passage (Exodus 20:1-17)

(Yes, these questions can seem silly, however, good discussion and interpretation of the Bible begins with having a proper understanding of the basic facts; who, what, when, and where in the text.) Work through this quickly, the answers are fairly obvious.

Who spoke these words? (20:1)
How did God describe Himself? (20:2)
*What are we commanded not to put before God? (20:3) *What did God tell us not to make? (20:4)
What is the consequence of bowing before false gods? (20:5) To whom does God express His love? (20:6)
How are we to consider using the name of the Lord? (20:7) How is the Sabbath to be honored? (20:8-11)
What is the benefit of honoring parents? (20:12)
How are we commanded to treat one another? (20:13-17)
*How were the Israelites to honor God? (20:24)
In what ways were the Israelites to act around God’s altar? (20:25-26)

Questions that help us understand the significance of the text

Why was God so specific in giving the Law?
Why does God not want us to commit sins against Him and others?
What people, things, and other loyalties sometimes captivate your attention more than God? How do we put space between us and God?

 

Apply the Passage

What do we learn about God and about ourselves in this passage?
What do you need to stop, start or do differently as a result of reading this passage?
How can we pray for each other?

Message Discussion Questions

From March 10, 2024

Getting Started

Remind each other of our simple expectations for meeting together.

What is the “wildest” place you have ever visited? Or is there some place you would LIKE to visit that is the least untouched by human hands?

 

Quick Reactions

How would you summarize/paraphrase the message in your own words?

What point/idea resonated most with you? Why?

Did you disagree with something said, or what do you think should have been added or expanded on?

Questions from the Message

Have you had a “mountain top” experience in your life? How about a wilderness experience? Have you had one back-to-back?

What lessons have YOU learned in your (or someone else’s) wilderness?

Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, even though it was the Spirit that led him there. (Matthew 4) What unique temptations do you see people experience in the wilderness?

Explore the Passage (Exodus 15:26, 16:2 and 17:2, Matthew 4:1-11)

Do you think it is significant that God is called, “the Lord, who HEALS you in Exodus 15:26.” What kind of healing have you received from God? Or what healing are you praying over our nation, your neighbors, a loved one?

The people seem to grumble to Moses a lot. Why do you think they went to Moses instead of crying out to the Lord? (Exodus 15:24, Exodus 16:2, Exodus 17:2)

Read about the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1-11. What stands out to you in this passage? What did the devil use to tempt Jesus? How do those temptations mirror our own temptations today?

What do we learn about God and about ourselves in these passages?

 

Apply the Passage

Share bravely, where do you find yourself today? Mountain top? Coming into a wilderness? Coming out of one? Where do you see yourself in this story of the Israelites?

How can we pray for each other?

Message Discussion Questions

From March 3, 2024

Getting Started

How has music, or singing been important in your walk with God? What is your favorite Christian worship song/hymn? Why?

 

Quick Reactions from the message

How would you summarize/paraphrase the message in your own words? What point/idea resonated most with you? Why?

  1. Take a moment (individually or as a group) to walk through the events of the Exodus (slavery, plagues, passover, red sea crossing etc…) In what ways do these events point us forward to what Christ has done and fulfilled for us?
  2. Dave pointed out three themes in the song of deliverance: worship is our response to rescue, with God there is no equal, and that God sees, will respond and judges evil/injustice. In what way is this our song too?
  3. What is the purpose of singing/worship in our lives and in our church?

Explore the Passage (Exodus 15:1-21)

(Yes, these questions can seem silly, however, good discussion and interpretation of the Bible begins with having a proper understanding of the basic facts; who, what, when, and where in the text.) Work through this quickly, the answers are fairly obvious.

How did Moses and the Israelites respond to the victory God gave them? (15:1-5)
What are some of the attributes of God described by the Israelites? (15:6-13)
What are significant differences between the people of Israel and surrounding nations? (15:14-18)
How did Moses’ sister, Miriam, respond to God’s deliverance of Israel from the Egyptians? (15:19- 21)

 

Apply the Passage

What do we learn about God and about ourselves in this passage?
What do you need to stop, start or do differently as a result of reading this passage? How can we pray for each other?

Message Discussion Questions

From February 25, 2024

Getting Started

What is one lesson from your past is a reminder of God’s mercy to you as a sinner in need of a Savior? How can this keep us oriented towards depending on God, and not ourselves?

 

Quick Reactions from the message

How would you summarize/paraphrase the message in your own words? What point/idea resonated most with you? Why?

God reveals three negative types or “shadows” from Israel’s history…

  1. Jacob’s deceitfulness and his blessing

  2. Israel’s wilderness rebellion

  3. Israe’s choice of King Saul

Dave said, if you refuse to deal with your past, often your past will deal with you. In what way is this true of Israel?
How can this be true of us?
In what way does Christ life, death and resurrection break the cycle of God’s faithfulness and our unfaithfulness?
What does it mean that “in Christ” we have been given a new name, a new identity and a new mission? How can we lose sight of this reality?
What do you think Dave meant when he said, Your history is a good reference, but a terrible residence?
What would it mean for you to pay attention to Hosea at the end of chapter 14…”let those who are wise understand these things, let those with discernment listen carefully”?

Explore the Passage (Hosea 12-14)

(Yes, these questions can seem silly, however, good discussion and interpretation of the Bible begins with having a proper understanding of the basic facts; who, what, when, and where in the text.) Work through this quickly, the answers are fairly obvious.

What lessons from history did God mention? (12:3-6, 12-13)
What fierce doom did Israel face? (13:1-16)
How could Israel avoid the fire of judgment? (14:1-3)
What was the promise of restoration? (14:4-6)
How would the Lord protect and prosper His people? (14:7-8)
What was Hosea’s concluding word of wisdom? (14:9)
What final challenge did Hosea leave the people? (14:9)

 

Questions that help us understand the significance of the text

How have past events affected your present walk with the Lord?
When has godly discipline been a blessing in your life?
What parts of Israel’s history was forgotten by Hosea’s time? In what ways is it important to remember our history (without living in it) to keep us receptive to God’s love?
In what way does the cross of Jesus reconcile God’s anger or wrath in the OT?
Why is God’s “loving kindness” and justice an important part of being a Christian?
What does God “require” most from His people?

Apply the Passage

What do we learn about God and about ourselves in this passage?
What do you need to stop, start or do differently as a result of reading this passage? How can we pray for each other?

Message Discussion Questions

From February 18, 2024

Getting Started

What ‘famous’ person or ordinary person like you and me started out life with great potential but squandered their opportunity? In what way does this correspond with Hosea’s message?

 

Quick Reactions from the message

How would you summarize/paraphrase the message in your own words? What point/idea resonated most with you? Why?

Dave offered two lessons from Hosea.

  1. God grieves unfulfilled potential, and…

  2. God’s love is a decision that overcomes His displeasure to restore defiant people to faith.

In what way does Hosea point us towards Christ?
In what way can we confuse “blessing”, ie. “Israel is a luxuriant vine loaded with fruit”, with being truly rich with God?
In what way can our pursuit for ‘security and safety’ outside of God become an idol in our life? How do you respond to the impassioned picture of God’s love in 11:1-3 and 11:8-9? What causes us to lose a sense of God’s unfailing love and faithfulness? How ought we respond?
Why is it easy to love someone or something that is “invisible and theoretical” than what is visible and imperfect? If God’s church is both invisible and visible, what would it mean for you to love the church as Christ loves the church?
What does repentance look like in your life?

Explore the Passage (Hosea 10-11)

(Yes, these questions can seem silly, however, good discussion and interpretation of the Bible begins with having a proper understanding of the basic facts; who, what, when, and where in the text.) Work through this quickly, the answers are fairly obvious.

What was at the heart of affluent Israel’s religion? (10:1-8)
How severe was God’s judgment against His people? (10:9-15)
Why did God hold out the possibility of repentance and blessing? (10:12)
How did God express His love for Israel? (11:1-4)
Why did the nation not deserve mercy? (11:5-7)
How did God show that He was torn between love and justice? (11:8-11)

 

Questions that help us understand the significance of the text

In what ways did Hosea show compassion and loyalty?
What lessons do you find in the prophet’s message?
How have past events affected your present walk with the Lord?
When has God’s discipline been a blessing in your life?
What place does the Lord have in the life, ministries, and focus of your church?
What good things happen in your life when you consistently walk in the ways of the Lord?

Apply the Passage

What do we learn about God and about ourselves in this passage?
What do you need to stop, start or do differently as a result of reading this passage?
How can we pray for each other?

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