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Showing posts from November, 2009

Great Expectations: LIFEgroup Questions from Luke 1

What is the most unbelievable experience you have ever had? Would you want to do it again? Why or why not?

Read Luke 1:26-35.

Have different group members tell what is (in their minds) the most unbelievable part of this story.

Read verse 29. Why do you think Mary was troubled/confused? What do you think were the thoughts racing through her head?

Time-Out for Doctrine: (More about Mary in a minute) Why do you think it was important that Jesus was born through a normal pregnancy? Why do you think it was important that He was born from a virgin? (warning: these issues have been debated by theologians for centuries!)

If you were Mary, what is the first thing you would have done when the angel left? Why?

What difficulties can you imagine Mary faced during her pregnancy (check out Matthew 1:18-19)?

If God sent an angel to you to deliver a message that you were about to enter a 9 month trial which would be worse than anything you'd ever been through, how would you respond?

Read Mary's…

Why Small Groups?

Beginning today, I'm going to be posting a few times a week summaries of chapters from books I've read over the past few years. These are the books that have really informed my thinking on discipleship and small groups. Hopefully, they'll provide a good opportunity for you to think through some of these same thoughts.

Today, I'm looking at chapter one from the book "Why Small Groups". This chapter is an essay written by C.J. Mahaney entitled, "Why Small Groups."

He begins by discussing the centrality of relationships in the Christian life. Early in the chapter, he quotes J.I. Packer on this topic.

J.I. Packer writes, "We should not think of our fellowship with other Christians as a spiritual luxury, an optional addition to the exercises of private devotions. Fellowship is one of the great words of the New Testament; it denotes something that is vital to a Christian's spiritual health, and central to the Church's true life... The chur…

Having the Heart of Jesus: Discussion Questions for 1 John 5

Who were your "idols" when you were growing up? What kinds of things did you do because you were their fan(wear their clothes, talk like them, go to concerts, etc...)?

Read 1 John 5:20-21.

Why do you think John ends this book with a command to "keep yourselves from idols?"

What idols do you think the Christians to whom he was writing were worshiping?

What do you think he means by "idols"? What kinds of idol worship do people in our society struggle with?

In verse 20, John seems to emphasize that God and Jesus are the "TRUE" God. What makes something a false god?

Talk about the following four statements from 1 John. What idols do these statements confront?
"If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie...""Do not love the world or anything in the world""Do not be like Cain, who... murdered his brother""Whoever does not love does not know God" John says "keep yourself from idols"…

Having the Heart of Jesus: Discussion Questions for 1 John 4

When have you given up something you really loved for the good of someone else? What did you give up? What benefit did your sacrifice provide?

Read 1 John 4:10. In the middle of the verse is the word "sacrifice" or "propitiation". Use the following questions to discuss what Christ's sacrifice/propitiation really meant.

What did Jesus' death satisfy?
What did Jesus' death pacify?
What did Jesus' death alleviate?
What did Jesus' death settle?

What does Jesus' death teach us about true love?

According to this verse, God's act of giving up His Son is the definition of love. Can you imagine anything or anyone for whom you would put your child/children to death? What does this teach us about God's love?

1 John 4:7-8 make it clear that anyone who claims to be God's child must love like God does. Loving is not as simple as just saying, "I love you." What kind of sacrifices are required to love the people in your life (spouse, children,…