Living the Good Life (discussion questions)

Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Living the Good Life,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church as part of our series on Psalm 23 entitled “The Good Life.” I am preaching from the English Standard Version during this series, so here is the text of Psalm 23 from the ESV:

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Discussion Questions:

  1. This week we begin two weeks looking at “The Good Life” through Psalm 23. We want to explore what it means to live a Psalm 23 type of life all the time. Whether you are alone or with a small group, begin by asking God to speak to you and then read Psalm 23 aloud.
  2. The image of the shepherd is commonly used of God in the Bible. Read some or all of the following passages, then consider what it means that the LORD (Yahweh) is your shepherd:
  • Genesis 49:24
  • Psalm 77:20; 78:52, 70-72; 79:13; 80:1
  • Isaiah 40:11
  • Micah 7:14
  • John 10:11
  • Hebrews 13:20
  1. What would you say is the difference in meaning between the phrases “God is a shepherd” and “the LORD is my shepherd”? What does that communicate to you about your relationship with God?
  2. Sheep require certain conditions for peace, comfort and provision. What is significant about God’s actions and provision in verses 2 and 3?
  3. The end of verse 3 offers perspective on what God’s ultimate aim is. How do you think God’s presence and provision for us might relate with it being “for His name’s sake”?
  4. We will continue to look at verse 4 next week, but it is sufficient to mention that God’s presence changes the encounters we have with dark and fearful valleys. When and how have you experienced God’s presence in dark times in life?
  5. One notable thing about Psalm 23 is that it is attributed to David who, as a great warrior king, was both powerful and strong. What is the meaning and significance of David putting himself in the place of a sheep with God as his shepherd? What does it look like for you to live that way in your life?
  6. What is one specific truth or point of application that God is speaking to you through this study, and how will you live that out this week? Write it down. If you are in a small group, share your thoughts with one another.

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