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Message Discussion Questions

From June 9, 2024

Getting Started

How did you find Westwood Church? What made you first begin attending? Have your reasons for attending changed since you started?

 

Quick Reactions from the Message

How would you summarize/paraphrase the message in your own words? Was there anything that was difficult or anything you disagreed with?

Have you found it difficult to ask for help, or do you know someone for whom it is difficult? What do you suspect makes it difficult?

Have you had people in your life from whom you can ask for help? What things make up a good friendship?

Do you know anyone who is angry with God? Or have you ever seen someone (or even yourself) who had grown bitter eventually heal from the bitterness? If yes, what were the steps needed to heal?

In what ways have you held both grief and gratitude in both hands?

Explore the Passages (Ruth 1:6-22, 1 Cor 15:19, Proverbs 14:10, Deuteronomy 23:6, Rev 21:3-4)

Why do you think Ruth continued on with Naomi?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:19. Why do you think Paul says we should be
“pitied above all peopleif Christ has not risen?
Read Proverbs 14:10. Have there been times where you have felt alone in your joy or your sorrow? Did you feel that God met you in those times? If yes, how so? If no, how did you get through that time?
Read Deuteronomy 23:6. What does God
s ultimate acceptance of Ruth into not only the FAMILY of God, but the LINEAGE of Christ tell you about God?
Read Revelation 21:3&4. How does this verse help us live today?

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 June 2, 2024

Getting Started

Have you had an experience that feels like “moving to a foreign land”? What was difficult about that? 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?

What is the significance that God is not specifically referenced in the book?
What does this mean for how God provides for us, or how we provide for others?
What are Elimelech and Naomi willing to do to provide for their family? What would you do in order to provide for your family?
Dave said, sometimes we won’t change until we are forced to change. How have you seen this in your life or someone else’s life?
What would it mean for someone like Naomi to lose both her husbands and her boys?
In what way do the first four verses of Ruth set the table for us to understand how God provides in the midst of tragedy or suffering?
In what has Christ provided for us even we face tragedy or suffering?
In what way are we the vehicle by which God provides for others?

Explore the Passage (Ruth 1:1-5)

(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.

What is the setting of this story? (1:1-2)
What was Naomi’s background? (1:1-2)
Who are the significant characters in the story? (1:4)
What is the significance of being in Moab and that Naomi’s sons married Moabite women? What is the significance of verse 4 that ends with…and the other woman named Ruth?
What does it mean for Naomi that her sons died (1:4-5)

Questions that help us understand the text

Stepping into Naomi’s shoes for a moment—how can you imagine she is interpreting the events that have happened in her life?
How do her questions, fears, and anxieties relate to our experiences?
In what way has a “Ruth” stepped into your life, or you have been a Ruth to someone else?
Who do you know in your life that is a Naomi? What small thing or big thing could you do in that person’s life right now that may be a part of God’s provision?

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 May 26, 2024

Getting Started

How did you hear about the good news of Jesus? Who has made a difference in your life (a gospel impact) on your life?
How was prayer, living wisely and someone’s speech “full of grace and seasoned with salt”(NIV) made a difference in your life? Why/how?

 

Quick Reactions from the Message

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

READ THE PASSAGE—COLOSSIANS 4:2-6

1. How could you imagine devoting yourself to prayer with an alert mind and thankful heart be connected to opportunities for us to proclaim the message clearly to others? Who are our prayers mostly directed for?

2. What simple way could you begin to devout yourself to pray that God would open up opportunities for you to share your faith?

3. How does knowing that Paul is speaking from prison for his faith about how we are to share our faith inform your attitude towards others and circumstances around you?

4. What does it mean for you to live wisely among those who are not believers? In light of our culture (everything this is wrong), what would it look like for you to live wisely in your workplace, family, neighborhood?

5. In what way do we and the church need to look with new eyes on how to make the most of every opportunity to share our faith?

6. Why does Paul emphasize how we talk/have conversation with others? 7. In what way have you seen other believers do this unwisely? Wisely?

8. In what way would taking notice of, asking questions of, being interested in those around us increase our opportunities to share the gospel?

9. What do you fear most thinking about sharing your faith? How do Paul’s commands give you a new strategy to share your faith?

 

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 May 19, 2024

Getting Started

Have you seen God deliver someone from something immediately? How about things that took a fight?

 

Quick Reactions from the Message

How would you summarize/paraphrase the message in your own words? Was there anything that was difficult or anything you disagreed with?

Why is it important to stay rooted in the supremacy of Jesus Christ, his authority and power and ability to make peace through his blood, shed on the cross? Are there practices that help us stay rooted in this?

Dave last week said there are two ways to experience transformation: 1. Putting to death our old nature and 2. Putting on our new nature. What makes this practice difficult for you? For those you know? What are the things that bring us back to our old nature?

Is there a couple whose marriage you admire? What are the qualities you see in a “strong” marriage?

Is there someone that you know who displays integrity in their work? What are the character qualities you admire and how do they mirror Christ?

Based on the two questions above, who can you encourage? Maybe tell the couple with the good marriage what a gift that has been to you? Perhaps tell the person with integrity that you noticed and were encouraged by it!

Explore the Passage (Colossians 3:18-4:1 & Ephesians 5:21-33)

Read Ephesians 5:21-33. What differences do you see in Colossians? What similarities?
How are marriages a picture of the gospel of Christ? (Ephesians 5:31-32)
Why does it matter that a slave has both “sincerity of heart and reference for the Lord”? Can you have one without the other? (3:22)
What do you think Colossians 3:25 means?
How can Masters model God? (4:1) In what ways does God give us what is “right and fair”?

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 May 12, 2024

Getting Started

Describe someone you know (even if that’s you) that has “changed their life”? How did they change? What happened?

 

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. What does Paul mean when he says “put to death what is earthly in you?
  2. As you read through the list of things that must die in us… a. what do they have in common?
    b. is this an “exhaustive list” of things that we put to death, or are there other things?
    c. How is putting to death these things not just a one-time event, but an ongoing process
    (see Phil. 3:12- 14)

3. In what ways should our “fellowship” be a place we can help “put our old nature” to death?

4. As you look at the list of what Paul characterizes as putting on our new nature in Christ (vv. 10-17)

a. How is this list different from Paul’s other list?
b. What do these things have in common?
c. How is this list in some ways much more difficult to “put on”?
d, How would your life and the life of the church look differently if we put these things on? e. What would this communicate to the “world” around us?

Explore the Passage (Colossians 3:5-17)

(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.

What must die? (3:5)
Why is God’s wrath coming? (3:5-6) READ ROMANS 1:18-25 (This is only place in the NT that outlines what God’s wrath/anger at sin is)…take note of the phrase “God abandoned or handed them over” What does this say or mean about God’s wrath/anger?
What had the Colossians taken off? (3:7-9)
What had the Colossians put on? (3:10)
What distinctions are removed in Christ? (3:11)
What virtues does God seek to put in us? (3:12, 14)
How were the Colossian believers called to clothe themselves? (3:12-17)
Why did Paul call on the believers to be peaceful and thankful? (3:15-16)
What should we do? How? (3:17)
What is one principle that ought to guide everything we do? (3:17)

Questions that help understand the signficance of the text

What spiritual process is involved in “putting off” and “putting on”?
What is involved in replacing old habits with new ones?
How should life in Christ affect the way you treat others?
How are all your relationships to be built around Christ?
Why do we need to be loving toward others?
Why is a thankful spirit an important part of holy living?

 

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 May 5, 2024

Getting Started

What currently occupies your worries, concerns and anxieties about the future? 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?

From Colossians 3:1-4 Dave asserted that your future is hopeful for three reasons… [READ the passage again and in different versions…]

1. In Christ, we have a new line of sight.

Paul, says since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven.
What is Paul inferring about us in that you have been raised to new life in Christ?
How can setting our sights, raising our eyes above change how we see the here and now?
How can we begin to stare at the things that don’t matter, instead of setting our sights on things
above?
Who is sitting in our line of sight? What does this mean for us? What does it mean that Jesus
drops anchor and is at the right hand of the Father?

2. In Christ, you can think about what is beyond

What have you always imagined heaven to be? How has that changed or is changing for you?
How do you respond to the quote from John Piper that says, “Could you be satisfied with heaven
if Christ was not there? What is the implication?

3. In Christ, you have a new identity

Why do you think in our current culture people are struggling to find an identity? What could you imagine the apostle Paul saying to them?
What does Paul mean when he says, “you died to this life”?
What needs to die in me?
How does our culture define “the good life, or real life”? In what way are these definitions
hollow?
What does Paul mean when he says “your real life is hidden with Christ”?
In what way does my sight, and thoughts need re-alignment?

 

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 28, 2024

Getting Started

Why/how are marketing campaigns so effective at convincing us we need something, or are missing out on something that we really aren’t? How is this similar to Paul’s letter to the Colossians?

 

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. According to Paul we grow up in Christ by growing down? (2:6-7)
What does this mean for you?
In what ways does religion/tradition/human inventions teach us to do just the opposite?

2. In Christ, we have a new relationship to the old rules as we find completion in Christ, not someone or something else.
How does the world, religion, well meaning friends, empty philosophies, high-sounding nonsense attempt to convince us that we can find completion apart from Christ?
What would the apostle Paul tells us to do instead?

Explore the Passage (Colossians 2:6-23)

(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 Paul tell the Colossians to continue in Christ? (2:6-7)
What false teaching was Paul concerned about? (2:8)
What did Paul affirm about Christ? How? (2:9-10)
What did God give the Colossian believers? (2:10)
Why do “Gentile” (non-Jewish) Christians have no need to conform to Jewish rules and regulations? (2:11-12)
How did the Cross cancel the written code? (2:13-14)
From what did Christ deliver us? How? (2:15-17)
How did Paul encourage the Colossians to practice their freedom in Christ? (2:16)
How did Christ fulfill what the Old Testament foreshadowed? (2:17)
Whom did Paul accuse of trying to rob believers of their spiritual rewards? (2:18)
What were the characteristics of the false teachers? (2:18-19)
How did Paul challenge the legalism that had infected the church? (2:20-21)
What are the failings of human commands and teachings? (2:20-23)

Questions that help understand the signficance of the text

What “additions” to faith in Christ have you encountered from other Christians or non-Christians?
How are you affected by popular religious rules (or unexamined things Christians say to each other) floating around today?
What does “fullness in Christ” mean to you?
Paul’s advice kept the Colossians growing in their faith:
– What keeps you grounded and rooted in your faith in Christ, and not just rules of faith

What, in Paul’s message do you need to be challenged by, encouraged by, or to stop doing?

In what way is it easy to mistake fullness with emptiness? To mistake zeal, strong devotion with being “on fire” for Christ? How can we confuse rules not to handle, touch, taste, be associated with as a spiritual badge and has nothing to do with Jesus? Why? How can we keep ourselves in check?

 

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 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?

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