Grow Group Questions • The Gospel of Provision Part 2 • September 27, 2020

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Conversation Starter/Questions (10-15 minutes)

  1. Why is it, in your opinion, that we can talk about “God” generally all day and people will not be greatly offended, but if we talk about Jesus, there is often great uncomfortableness stretching even to animosity?
      1. Have you found it to be true that Jesus’ name can make people uncomfortable or upset?
      2. How do you think this has impacted modern day evangelistic efforts? How has it impacted your evangelistic mindset
  2. Pastor Thad used the old illustration of a telescope vs. a microscope in telling other people about Jesus. How have you been a telescope or a microscope in your presentation of the truth about Jesus or in how you are living your lives before others?

Sermon Review Questions (15-20 Minutes)

  1. What jumped out to you in the sermon this week? How do you think that will become a part of your life this week? (how will you apply this truth that caught your attention or how will this truth impact your life or other’s lives?)
  2. Read Colossians 1:15-23. What verse or verses strike you most powerfully or cause you to think more deeply about Christ and His provision? What is the “ah-ha action” or take home for you in this and how will you apply this to your life?
  3. In Christ, God has provided salvation, but not only salvation. In the sermon, Pastor Thad spoke about all that Jesus has provided for us. Which provision, other than salvation, most stood out to you? Why?
    1. How will this impact your life this week?
  4. Read Galatians 5:22-23. Pastor Thad communicated that when He looks for a person’s spiritual maturity, he often looks first for the fruit of the spirit rather than giftings of the Spirit. He said this primarily as the fruit of the Spirit is something all believers will be growing in whereas giftings will vary as well as their needed function. How did this statement impact you, if at all?
    1. Do you think that who you are in Christ in your character is just as important as what you do with and through Christ?
    2. How does that impact your coming week? Is there something you need to do differently this week?
  5. Read Galatians 6:2 and John 13:34-35. How well is the church universal or Bethany Church particularly doing at bearing one another’s burdens?
    1. Can you give an example while respecting the privacy of others?
  6. Pastor Thad spoke about why he so loved the church and why coming to church is important. Do you think the corporate gathering of the church is important? Why or why not?

Digging Deeper Questions (10-15 Minutes)

  1. Pastor Thad commented in his sermon that we must communicate not just what Jesus saves us to or provides for us positively in this life, but that we must also communicate what Jesus saves us from. What role do you believe hell plays in evangelistic practice and how does a belief in a literal, eternal hell have in regards to motivation? Should and when should hell come into a conversation about Jesus?
    1. How does this impact your evangelistic or witnessing motivation, activities or process of sharing?
    2. If you spent just 2 minutes in either heaven or hell, how do you think this would change your evangelistic practice, or even your prayer life?
  2. In Christ alone we have a righteous life before God. In fact, we have the excellence of Christ’s pure life imputed to us. Yet, we are called to continually move forward in maturity or sanctification. As these twin dynamics are true, how are we to be living in our day to day lives? What should we be shooting for in this life?
    1. What is one thing you need to remember or do in light of the answers given around this question? (Each person share, starting with Leaders)

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Grow Group Questions • The Gospel of Provision • Part 1

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Opening Questions (10-15 mins):

  1. Can you share of a time in your life where God provided for you in a surprising way, even if you didn’t recognize it initially? Small group leaders, here is a time we are letting people recognize how God has blessed them by meeting their needs. You share first your answer to this question. You might also share of a time where you didn’t think of something as a provision, but God it used in your life powerfully and looking back you now see his provision over the years. Watch the “After the Sermon Podcast” for some examples.

Sermon Review Questions (15-20 mins):

  1. Read Matthew 6:11, Matthew 6:19–21, Matthew 6:33, Philippians 4:19. How do these verses apply to the key phrase Pastor Thad is using as an anchor in the series? God is the perfect provider, within His purpose, for His people, to His glory.
    1. How do the verses correspond to each other?
  2. Read Romans 8:28-29. How did God provide for biblical characters in the Old Testament? Here are some examples:
    1. Joseph (Key Text: Genesis 50:20)
      1. He was provided:
        1. A caravan that helped save him from death at the hands of his brothers
        2. “rape” charge that sent him to prison
        3. A relationship in prison that allowed him to ascend in power in Egypt
      2. In Turn he…
        1. Saved many people from starvation (he was a “savior” to many people as Jesus would become)
        2. He provided a place where the nation of Israel would be grown (from 1 family to the size of a nation)
    2. Moses
      1. Moses was provided:
        1. The opportunity to live by being adopted by Pharaoh’s house
        2. Education and training in Egypt
        3. Education in a nomadic lifestyle
      2. In turn he…
        1. Lead the nation out of Egypt (a deliverer like Jesus)
        2. Lead the nation through the wilderness experience and set up the nation under God, under the law
    3. What other biblical figures can you see this principle applying to?

Small Group “Thinking Deeper” Questions (10-15 mins)

  1. Pastor Thad said that in his opinion, much, if not the majority of the worlds suffering has to do with the heart of man more than the heart of God. How do you feel about this and what are Christians (the Church’s) responsibility in regards to this?

 

  1. Honestly, have we been, in the United States, more a part of the problem than the solution? (keep in mind the US and the Church in America are wonderful in foreign aid and disaster relief, but the question is still a good one for reflection).

Small Group Application Question (10-15 mins):

  1. Do you see any ways that God might be calling you to be a part of His provision for others?  Is there anything God is asking you to do in the next week?  (This could be a good question to ask in your smaller, gendered groups before prayer time)
    1. Take time to pray as a group that we would always ask God how would He want us to utilize His provision in our lives, and that he would show each of us how to do that.
  2. Action Item-Task for Married Couples: Take time to pray and have a conversation with your spouse about how you think about God’s provision and how this understanding will impact how you allocate your resources. Take time to write down anything that comes from the conversation and time with God as something to strive towards.
  3. Action Item-Task for Singles: Pray that God would show you ways this week to utilize His provision in your life, and that he would show you how to do that. Take time to write down anything that comes from this time with God as something to strive towards.

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Grow Group Questions • Philippians 4:4-9 • JoyFull

  1. (OPTIONAL Ice breaker. If your groups is ready to dive in skip to #2) Reflecting back over the book of Philippians: What has been something that might have stood out to you above anything else? What do you think impacted you the most personally?
  2. Read Philippians 4:4-9 in the CSB version and another version or two. Paul’s first command is to “Rejoice”. Read the definition of Joy we started with back in June and closed with today: “[Joy is not the absence of negative feelings, hurts, and pains.] “Christian Joy is an additional feeling, good feeling, produced by the Holy Spirit as he causes us to see who God is and respond in trust in what he says he will do.”  
    1. Based on this definition, what makes following this command to rejoice in any circumstance hard for you to do? What do you think in your life robs you of Joy or Rejoicing the most? (LEADERS: be willing to be the first to share to help lead this time)
    2. Read Psalm 118:23-24. What is the basis for God’s command to rejoice in these verses? Is that our natural perspective or something that we instinctively do? Why or why not?

  3. Let’s look at the first command in verse 6 (Read it again out loud). Compare that command with when Jesus said something similar in Matthew 6:25-34 and Matthew 10:19. Read each of them aloud. Along with these verses from Matthew, what do you see God telling us about what it means to not “worry” or “be anxious” about anything?
      1. What’s your natural response when you are worrying? 

      2. Read the rest of verse 6 and 7. What is the most significant things in these verses God is asking you to do in response to when we worry or feel anxious? How can you practically apply this to your life?

      3. Do you believe what Paul said at the end of verse 7? How have you experienced that kind of peace in your life?

  4. Let’s look at the last few verses of this section. Read Philippians 4:8-9. On Sunday, Pastor David highlighted the word “dwell” from the ESV. What do you think it looks like to dwell on these things in your own life?
      
      1. Read Luke 10:38-42. What does this section in Luke tell us about “dwelling” with Jesus versus “doing” for Jesus? Does this verse tell us where the best place to start is? What keeps us from starting here?
      2. How do you think this impacts our ability to “rejoice” and “do not worry”?
  5. As you go to prayer time, ask each person how the group can pray specifically for something God has shown them he wants to do in their life based on this week’s passage, message, and discussion time. Take time to pray for those specific requests.

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Grow Group Questions • Philippians 4:15-20 • JoyFull

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Open Questions (10-15 mins):

What is your favorite movie or movie series and why?

Read the text: Philippians 4:15-20

Small Group “Review” Questions (15-20 mins):

  1. Was there anything generally or specifically that just stood out to you or impacted you from the sermon that you wanted to ask a question about or discuss?
  2. What do you think is the hardest part of being a farmer? (I am looking to get to a place where they say something to the effect of, “It would be waiting on God to send the rain, but not too much rain, etc.”). I am looking for the group to see that it is a step of faith to first “sow” (cf. Heb 11:6)
  3. Read verses 18-19. Had you ever heard of the “circle of grace in giving” or the principle of sowing and reaping? What was your first thought when you heard this stated and then after the sermon and you thought about it, what is your thoughts now? Do you think you will join this circle if you are not already in it?
  4. Pastor Thad was really excited about pleasing God from verse 18. What other ways can we please God? (cf. Rom. 12:1; Heb 11:6. 13:6; Ps 147:10-11; Gal 1:10; Rom 8:8; 1 John 3:22; Col. 1:10; Phil 2:13)

Digging Deeper (10-15 mins)

  1. In alluding to our next series, pastor Thad gave us the following statements. What do you think about these?

God is the great provider, who provides perfectly, according to His purposes, for His people, for His glory.

Or

He is the perfect provider, within His purpose, for His people, for His glory.

Small Group Application Question (10-15 mins):

  1. Consider and take time to pray about joining the circle of grace in giving or allow God “permission” to challenge you more in this if it is His will!

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Grow Group Questions • Philippians 4:10-14 • JoyFull

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Opening Question

  • Tell of a time you were a true friend and met someone’s real and challenging need or a time in which someone met your real and challenging need.
    • How did that make you feel?
    • How do you think that made them feel?
    • How if at all, if you remember, did that make you feel about God?

Discussion Questions From Sermon

Read Phil. 4:10-14

  1. Did anything jump out to you regarding the sermon this last week? Or did God speak to you about something during the sermon this week?
  2. (Read Quote and then ask question) Pastor Thad used this quote in his sermon: “Friendship is never more beautiful than when it is applied to meet the need of another. True friendship is a friend who dies to his own want or need in order to meet the need of another. This is the heart of Christian brotherhood in following Christ and His example”.
    1. Is it easy or hard for you to be a true friend? Why or why not?
  3. What relationships do you need to most invest in and how do you need to invest in them? Examples include: Marriage, Kids, Family, Small Group/Church

Key Thought:

Make sure that at some point you stress the importance of communicating needs so that others can meet those needs and so that you can meet needs. Communication and communication of needs are so important in relationships. The Philippians could meet Paul’s needs because they knew of them!

  1. How have you in your life learned of Christ’s sufficiency in hard times? Share your story.
  2. Read 1 Timothy 6:6–8 (ESV). Are we content with food and clothing? Why is that so hard in America? How does that impact contentment?

Digging Deeper 

  1. Read 1 Kings 17: 1-7; 1 Kings 19:4-8; Luke 10:38-42. In these stories there is a common theme, a theme of resting and abiding in the presence and peace of God. A theme of abiding and gaining strength for our journey. Why is it so hard to stop and abide in God, when we know we must do this?

Challenge

  1. At least once this week, find a “brook” or a “broom” tree place to rest and be refreshed. Elements of this rest must include a Scripture to encourage you and relaxation, if possible, even take a nap!

Pray


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Grow Group Questions • Philippians 3:12-4:1• JoyFull

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Open Questions (10-15 mins):

Pastor Thad spoke Sunday about Frank Wright and how he gave glory to Christ in his success, as he became a hero by leading the Buffalo Bills to achieving the greatest comeback in NFL history.

  • When has there been a time where you were impacted by someone’s testimony or public adoration/public mentioning of Christ?
  • (Think Tim Tebow; VP Pence at a rally; some TV personality; or someone’s testimony at church)
  • Where would you like to live, other than dear old La Crosse County and why?

Read Text or Portions of Text to Group: (Phil 3:12-4:1)

Small Group “Review” Questions (15-20 mins):

Pastor Thad commented that the apostle Paul desires us all to strive in our Christian walk.

  • What are your thoughts about striving to know Christ in the 3 areas mentioned?
    • Know experientially as Lord and Savior-fully committed heart and mind to Christ as Lord-your great treasure
    • Know experientially in living out a Christ-following life, even if suffering is involved (sanctification)
    • Living life looking forward to heaven or the resurrection and glorification of our bodies

According to the sermon, pastor Thad said Paul, “never got over Jesus saving him” and that allowed Paul the motivation to strive for Christ.

  • Do you think we “get over” our salvation too quickly and if so why and if so, how do you think we can get our fire of gratitude back?
    • How does focus and thinking or meditation play into this?
    • How might giving to the church play into this?
    • How might serving in the church play into this?
  • Do you think the church should speak more about “future grace” or “heaven” or “end times” as a way to encourage thinking positively about the future and “stoking the fire” of seeing Jesus again? If so, why? If not, why not? What are the positives and negatives?

Small Group “Thinking Deeper” Questions (10-15 mins)

Read Phil. 3:18-21

Consider the internal struggle we all have with our minds being on earthly things verses heavenly things as our citizenship is there and then share with the group the challenges that we all have.

  • How practically, can we begin to address our mental focus?

Leaders: consider and utilize Matt 6:21 and Matt 25:14-30, in that it speaks to our resources, both physical (money) and our time and talents (things of great value and virtue) and how our utilization of them can hone our heavenly focus or kingdom focus.

Small Group Application Question (10-15 mins):

  • What is one thing that we, as a group, can hold you accountable to do between this meeting and the next, regarding this sermon?
    • Is there something you need to think more about? How will you do this, how can we hold you to this?
    • Is there something that you need to do?
    • Is there someone you need to talk to?

Close:

Pray over the group and be specific as you can as you pray about the group applying the text based on your conversation.


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Grow Group Questions • Philippians 3:7-11 • JoyFull

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NOTE TO LEADERS:  Please manage your discussion time so that you can discuss 4) a

  1. Let’s start with reading the text from last week and this week, Philippians 3:1-11. 
      1. How do you think his statement in verse 1 to “Rejoice In The Lord” connects to verses 7-11?
  2. Let’s focus on Pauls’s statement in verse 8 that he considers everything else a loss compared to “knowing Christ as Lord”. What do you think it practically looks like in daily living to consider everything else a loss compared to knowing Christ as Lord?
      1. Read James 2:19. How would you describe knowing who Jesus is compared to knowing him as Lord?
      2. Paul shares that because of Christ being his Lord he has suffered the loss of things and now he thinks of everything else as dung. When you read this verse, how does it make you feel about your relationship with Christ?
          1. How can you make steps toward this mindset? Discuss the struggle.
          2. Read these verse to help discuss this question: Philippians 2:8-11, Hebrews 11:6, Matthew 4:10, Romans 10:8-10
  3. In verse 10 Paul said his goal was to Know Jesus. Look up the Greek words for “knowing” from verse 8 and “know” from verse 10. (Use www.blueletterbible.org. After looking up the verse there, use the interlinear tool to look up both words and their meanings) What stands out to you about the differences between the meaning of these two words? 
      1. Why do you think Paul uses two different words in what he is telling us about his relationship with God?
      2. What do you think it means to “know God intimately”, as the Greek word from verse 10 describes for us?
          1. What makes this a struggle in your life?
      3. Paul says he wants to “know the power of His resurrection.” How does knowing God and his power affect your daily life.
  4. Leaders, instead of a normal prayer request time, please focus your prayer time to pray for each person’s response to this last question. Please allow time for the answers and prayer time. 
      1. If there was one thing God was asking you to change in your own relationship with him right now in your own life, what would that be and how can we as a group pray for you to see that happen?

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Grow Group Questions • Philippians 3:1-7 • JoyFull

  1. Read Philippians 3:1-7. Did anything in these passages capture your attention?
      1. How could rejoicing in the Lord be a safeguard for believers? 
      2. How are joy and what we put our confidence in connected to each other?
  2. In the first verse, Paul calls us to “rejoice in the Lord”. His very next thought is to “Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.” How might the influence of these people keep the Philippians from rejoicing in the Lord?
      1. What things do you think tend to keep you from rejoicing in the Lord? 
      2. Why do these things have so much power over our ability to rejoice?
  3. Pastor David shared on Sunday that anything that we rejoice more than rejoicing in God is an idol and robs us of fully worshiping God. Do you believe that is true? Why or why not?
      1. Personally, what do you think might be things in your own life that you might rejoice in more than directly rejoicing in God?
      2. Why do you think we all find ourselves battling with things that we cling to more than God? How can we truly combat that?
      3. We live in a time of constant change and uncertainty in our world right now. Have you struggled with the changing of certain “Church rituals” or even the “American Dream” expectation that have changed in the midst of COVID? Why do you think that is? 
      4. Are you able to show the world right now that you can rejoice in the Lord in the middle of these very hard times? What stops you? How can you fight against that?
      5.  What are things we can and should cling to as a Church during this time?
  4. What does it mean to “put no confidence in the flesh”? Why do you think Paul gave himself as an example of this? 
      1. Do you see things that the Church has elevated or added as a requirement of salvation? What is actually required of us for salvation? Read Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Romans 10:9, John 14:9.
      2. Look over Paul’s credentials in verses 5-6. What “gain” was he previously deriving from them? Why does he now see them as a loss?
      3. How do you think that we as Christians sometimes elevate the methods we use to grow closer to God above God himself? How do we then practically help each other counter that?
      4. The things Paul refers to in verses 4-6 are ethnic, religious, and theological marks, memberships, and behaviors. Can we think of any things in our own ethnic, religious, or theological world or community that we ourselves might be tempted to regard as “gains”? What would those be? How do you feel about that? Why?
  5. Do you feel like your full confidence and hope is in Christ, or are you struggling with having hope and confidence in other things? How can we as a group support and hold each other accountable in this?

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Grow Group Questions • Philippians 2:19-30 • JoyFull

  1. When you think of the word intimacy, do you think of friendship? How would you define intimacy?
      1. Read Ecclesiastes 4:7-12. Does the idea of intimacy in a friendship make you uncomfortable? 
  2. Read Philippians 2:19-30. Reflecting on these verses, what strikes you most?  Why?
      1. Paul uses many words to describe Epaphroditus & Timothy. Which one resonates most with you right now, and why? 
      2. What stands out to you about how Paul describes these two men? 
      3. Paul clearly has high esteem for both Timothy and Epaphroditus. What caused Paul to esteem them so much?
      4. What about your life would cause those in your life to conclude your concern for Jesus and others was genuine?
  3. Do you think there is a difference between earthly friendship and biblical friendship? Why or why not? 
      1. In his sermon on Sunday, Pastor Billy asked the question “What does it take to be a Godly friend?”. What are some qualities of a Godly friend? Think of some qualities you have seen in people you know. Read John 15:13, Proverbs 27:17, Proverbs 27:9.
      2. Read Proverbs 16:28, Proverbs 17:9, Job 6:14, What are some things you’ve seen that prevent intimate friendships?
      3. Read Proverbs 27:17, Proverbs 27:5-6. What role does rebuke have in an intimate friendship? Why is it important?
  4. In what ways is friendship with God similar to friendship with other believers? In what ways is it different?
      1. Read Proverbs 18:24. Do you tend to think of God as your friend, or do you think of other adjectives first? Why or why not?
      2. Read Job 29:4, John 15:11-17, James 2:23, James 4:4-5. How would you describe what an intimate friendship with God should look like? Why is friendship with the world and friendship with God incompatible?
  5. Do you feel like you have a true friendship with God? Why or why not? What is a step you can take this week to be closer to Him?  Take some time to pray as a group that God would continue to show us what it means to be His friend. 

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Grow Group Questions • Philippians 2:12-16 • JoyFull

  1. Read Philippians 2:12-16. What is most challenging in these verses? Encouraging? New?
      1. What does this section of scripture tell us about God? What does it tell us about humanity/us?
  2. On Sunday, Parker explained the differences between Justification vs Sanctification. Before the message, do you feel like you had a good understanding of those concepts, or were they new to you? How would you explain what they are and the differences? 
      1. Does God require us to change as a pre-requisite to salvation? Why or why not?
      2. Parker defined Justification as Freedom from the Power of Sin, Paid for by Christ. Our repentance and faith take hold of this gift, but they do not earn it. Do you agree with that definition? Why or why not?
      3. Parker defined Sanctification as freedom from the presence of sin. The process of being saved from sin’s presence. Do you agree with that definition? Why or why not?
      4. Do you think the difference between justification and sanctification matters? Why or why not? 
      5. Do you think Paul is talking about justification or sanctification in Philippians 2:12-18? Why would that matter? 
  3. Paul tells us to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” in verse 12. What do you think that means? Why should a fear of God motivate us to not sin?
      1. Read John 15:11-17. How can we be afraid and tremble before God and still love him? Do you think love/friendship and fear/trembling are incompatible with each other? Why or why not?
      2. How can we feel fear, trembling, friendship, and love towards God at the same time? 
      3. How does Jesus’ definition of friendship in John 15:13-14 help reconcile friendship and fear together?
  4. Paul instructs the Philippians to not “grumble or dispute.” Do you struggle with either of those things? Why are grumbling and disputing ultimately against what God wants for us?
      1. Do you think “grumbling and disputing” are linked to pride? Why or why not?
      2. How would not “grumbling and disputing” set us apart from the world? 
      3. Do you think that Christians are doing a good job of looking set apart in the world right now? How can each of us as individuals improve?
  5. What did Paul mean by “the word of life”? 
      1. How would “holding fast to the word of life” enable the Philippians to remain joyful as the obeyed God?

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