Here are the discussion questions that accompany the message I delivered this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, “Difficulties at Work.” This is the second part of our series, “God at Work.”
- What are some of the most common difficulties we face at work? How have you dealt with one of those in your own life?
- We continue our “God at Work” series this weekend by looking at difficulties with work. Before beginning this study on your own or with a group, take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you.
- We work in a world impacted by sin, brokenness, and evil. In the Bible, this reality is known as the Fall, reflecting our fall from God’s grace and into sin. Read Genesis 3:14-19 and name some of the main effects of sin and evil upon our work.
- Jesus came to bring the good news that kingdom of God is near (Mark 1:13) and to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). This was, in one sense, the work that Jesus came to do (John 5:17). When you think of Jesus having work to do, what does that say to you about what it means to work?
- Read through Luke 22:39-23:56. As you read through this, take time to reflect on each episode of the story by asking the question: how is Jesus approaching His work here? This may take some time. You may want to take notes as you walk through this extended portion of Scripture.
- If Jesus worked His way through difficulties, how does that change your approach to working through difficulties? Maybe you want to consider one situation that is particularly difficult for you right now. How will you see or approach that situation differently because of Jesus?
- Sometimes we may feel that the distance between Jesus and us is too great for comparison on this topic. That begin said, we need to remember that Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are” (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to strengthen us to live in His ways. What is one way you are asking God to give you Holy Spirit power to work in the midst of difficulty this week? If you are alone, write it down and pray about that. If you are with your small group, share your answers with one another and then pray for one another about these things.
Here are the discussion questions that accompany the message I delivered this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, “God at Work.” This was the first part of our series, “God at Work.”
- When you hear the word “work” what comes into your mind?
- This weekend we begin a new series at Eastbrook entitled, “God at Work,” where we will explore vocation, the workplace, and approaching this all from a biblical perspective. Today, we will spend a lot of time in Genesis 1 and 3. Before starting this study, ask God to clearly speak to you in meaningful ways. Then, whether you are alone or with others, read Genesis 1 and 3 aloud.
- What would you say is the significance of the fact that the Bible begins with an example of God working?
- When you reflect on Genesis 1:1-25, what sort of activity and creativity do you see God involved with?\
- There is great meaning in humanity being made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). However, for our purposes in this study we want to focus on Genesis 1:28-30. This is sometimes called the Creation Mandate or Cultural Mandate because it expresses God’s intentions for humanity’s role and activity in the world. What do you see as the main elements of God’s calling for humanity in these verses? Why do you think this is important?
- What do you see in Genesis 1 about God’s original intention for work, reflected in His own activity and humanity’s calling?
- Now, let’s turn to Genesis 3. The disobedience of Adam and Eve leads to the natural consequences of God’s curse upon creation, including humanity. What are the main elements of that curse as seen in Genesis 3:14-19?
- What does the curse of Genesis 3 tell you about the realities we experience with work in our fallen world? How does this contrast with God’s original intention for work in Genesis 1?
- How do you personally struggle with work? What do your reflections on Genesis 1 & 3 tell you about that?
- What is one way God is speaking to you about your life at work or your understanding of work? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray about these things together. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone during the next few days.
[Next week: We continue our series, “God at Work,” by looking at the difficulties we face with work and how we deal with them. Ask God to speak to us through this series.]
Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Deep – Wide – Multiplied,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This was our ministry kick-off weekend as a church.
- What are you looking forward to most in your life as you move from Summer into Fall?
- This weekend we are focusing our attention on starting well with God as we kick-off our ministry year together at Eastbrook. We are anchoring ourselves in Psalm 1. Before starting this study, ask God to clearly speak to you in meaningful ways. Then, whether you are alone or with others, read Psalm 1 aloud.
- Psalm 1 describes the life that is “blessed.” From what you read here, or what you know about other parts of the Bible, what other words might you use to describe what it means to be blessed?
- Identify at least five specific ways – maybe more! – in which you have experienced the blessing of God in your life these days.
- Pastor Matt focused us in on three main words this weekend: deep – wide – multiplied. Let’s focus on the first of those words: deep. From Psalm 1:1-2, what would you say are some key aspects of going deep with God?
- How are you growing deep now? What is one way that you want to grow deeper with God individually or with other during these next twelve months?
- The second word, “wide,” conveys the sense of God’s blessing moving out from our lives into the lives of others. Read Abraham’s call from God in Genesis 12:1-3. What does this passage remind us about the intention of God’s goodness and joy in our lives?
- One area of focus for us this year is actively sharing our faith with others. Who is one person with whom or what is one sphere of your life where you sense God calling you to boldly enter conversations with others who are far from God?
- The seeds of the fruit remind us that the good and happy life God gives to us should be multiplied into the lives of others. What do you think it looks like for you to help develop others around you into fruitful, life-giving trees of God?
- What is one way God is speaking to you about your life with Him in the coming year? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray about these things together. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone during the next few days.
Here are the discussion questions that accompany the message that Kelly and I delivered this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, “Sexuality and Marriage.” This was the fourth and final part of our series, “Holy Sexuality.”
- What was your view of marriage growing up?
- This week we conclude our series, “Holy Sexuality,” with a focus on sexuality and marriage. We will look at various passages in this study. Before you begin, take some time to pray, asking God to speak to you and transform you through this study.
- Whether you are studying alone or with a group, read Genesis 2:20-25 aloud. What level of commitment do you see in these verses about the marriage relationship before God?
- How is this similar to or different from the view of marriage in our world today?
- Now read Song of Songs 8:4-14 aloud. This passage is a richly poetic and almost surprising expression of the joys of love in marriage. What are the different aspects of love that you see in these verses?
- How does the community celebrate and guard love in this passage?
- What are one or two ways in which the example of the lovers in Song of Songs is helpful to you right now?
- Next we want to look at the challenges to married sexuality from Proverbs 5:1-23. Read that passage aloud and identify a few of the main challenges to holy sexuality in marriage.
- What antidotes to these challenges are presented in these verses?
- After looking at the challenges, it is clear that we cannot live this out from our own resources. What are some of the keys to committed sexuality in marriage from Ephesians 5:1-2, 21-33?
- What is the “profound mystery” that Paul connects to the marriage relationship in Ephesians 5:31-33? Why is this important?
- What is one major takeaway you have from this week’s study? If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone this week. If you are in a group, take time to pray for one another about these things.
Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “God’s View of Sexuality,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the first part of our series, “Holy Sexuality.”
- As we approach this new series, “Holy Sexuality,” what do you most hope to learn and how do you most hope to grow with God?
- This first week in our “Holy Sexuality” series we will look at God’s view of sexuality. We will explore a number of Scripture passages. Before starting this study, take some time to pray, asking God to clearly speak to you and praying for the Holy Spirit to work in your life.
- In Genesis 1:27-28, we read that Adam and Eve were made “in the image of God.” What do you notice in these two verses about what that means, as well as their responsibilities in the world?
- Genesis 2:21-25 recounts the creation of Eve with Adam. What stands out to you about the purpose and plan of God in this unique female-male relationship?
- Read Genesis, chapter 3. This chapter tells of Adam and Eve’s temptation and the first act of sin – disobedience to God – in human experience. In light of this chapter’s events, look at Genesis 2:25 again. How would you describe the power of sin and shame in these first few chapters of Genesis?\
- In what ways do you think that sin and shame affects our sexuality? How have you seen this in others? How have you seen it in your own life?
- The power of the gospel, which literally means ‘good news’, is that in Jesus the Messiah, our sin is forgiven, shame is removed, and brokenness is healed at the Cross. Read the story in John 7:53-8:11. What happens for the woman in this story?
- How does this story provide a picture of Jesus’ work in our own sexual brokenness and sin? What sin in thought, word, or deed needs to be forgiven in your life? Where do you need freedom and release within your sexuality through Jesus today in order to move forward in life?
- Revelation 21 paints a beautiful picture of the ultimate restoration of the cosmos in Jesus. Read verses 1-5 aloud. How does this give you hope today? What hopes do you have about the new heaven and new earth related to sexuality?
- What is one way God is speaking to you through this study? How might your thinking about, words about, or actions with sexuality need to be changed? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray about these things together. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone during the next few days.