The Breakfast that Changed Everything

John 21:1-19

                                                                              

Take-Home Truth: The God of all creation deeply cares to restore you back to Him. 

Christ-Connection: Christ mercifully calls his people back to fellowship and rest for the purpose of future ministry and sacrificial living. 

Hook: (Ice-breaker question. Get the group talking!)

  1. Have you ever attempted to restore something (house/car/furniture/relationship, etc.) What did you learn? What was the result?

 Engage: (Observe the passage and engage with the text)

  1. Read Luke 22:54-62. Discuss Peter’s denial of Jesus and his need for restoration. 
  1. Refer back to the passages of John 21:1-19, Luke 5:1-11. Compare the two calls of Peter in these accounts.

 Reflect: (Reflect upon the key take-aways from the sermon)

  1. According to the message, Jesus is the initiator of gospel restoration. In what ways does this stir your affection for Christ? 
  1. How did the sermon help you see that the pointing out of sin is a call to fellowship and rest with Christ?
  1. Peter outright denied Jesus in his darkest hour. What evidence do we see of Peter’s restoration in the New Testament and the history of the church? What is the implication for your heart?

Respond: (Apply the truths of God’s Word to your heart, affections, and actions)

  1. Gospel restoration points us forward to future ministry and sacrifice. In what ways are you resisting his call to follow? What new areas do you see him moving you to follow?

 

 

 

Do You Belong to the True Israel?

Revelation 7:1-8

 

Take-Home Truth: Revelation teaches the purified Church (the True Israel) to never stop sharing the Gospel and to continue through the tribulations of this world until Christ returns.

Christ-Connection: Christ is the True Vine, the fulfillment of God’s promise of redemption, and the only question that matters is whether we are part of the True Israel that have placed our faith in the True Vine. 

Hook: (Ice-breaker question. Get the group talking!) 

  1. Briefly share about a time where you disagreed with another Christian over a biblical doctrine. What did you learn from this experience?  

Engage: (Observe the passage and engage with the text)

  1. (Note: Don’t spend too much time on this question since it could easily dominate the discussion) Richard was careful to point out that there is room for disagreement on this passage’s meaning. Do you prefer the Dispensationalist view that the Church will be raptured before the tribulation and not be part of the end times? Or do you gladly accept the view that the purified church will be called to share the Gospel through the Tribulation?

 Reflect: (Reflect upon the key take-aways from the sermon)

  1. If reasonable Christians can disagree on the interpretation of this scripture, what does this teach us about learning to “disagree agreeably” on matters that are not essential to our faith? How must we protect our hearts when this happens? 

Respond: (Apply the truths of God’s Word to your heart, affections, and actions)

  1. Many people falsely believe that attending church, going to community groups, or following church traditions equates to salvation. At the end of the day, what is your assurance of salvation? In other words, is the root of your assurance connected to what you do for God (religion) or is it grounded in what God has already done for you through Jesus Christ your behalf (the gospel). (Note: No “churchy” answers allowed. Honestly assess your own heart, asking God to help you see blindspots or areas where you may be prone to trust in your own righteousness.)
  2. What price are we willing to pay and how much are we willing to suffer to live out the gospel message and share it with the world?

Seeds, Soils, and Souls

Matthew 13:1-23

 

Take-Home Truth: Our hearts have a tendency to be hard, shallow, and divided, but humble hearts receive God’s word and bear much fruit.

Christ-Connection: Christ reveals the truth to those who are willing to listen. 

Hook: (Ice-breaker question. Get the group talking!)

  1. Share a puzzling experience you just couldn’t figure out. How did you solve it? (This question is a set up for the concept of a “parable”…puzzling to some, truth revealing to others) 

Engage: (Observe the passage and engage with the text) 

  1. As a group, read Matthew 13:1-23 together aloud. Make observations. Discuss and unpack these verses together. 
  2. This parable shows Jesus revealing truth to some and concealing truth from others (vv. 11-17). How does this reality shape your understanding of God’s heart for people?

 Reflect: (Reflect upon the key take-aways from the sermon)

  1. Ronny elaborated on the four types of soil/soul (vv. 18-23). 
  • Hard heart – sees Jesus as irrelevant
  • Shallow heart – sees Jesus as a trend
  • Divided heart – sees Jesus as an accessory
  • Humble/fruitful heart – receives the word, accepts it, and bears much fruit

Which of the four soils most commonly describes your heart? Why?  

  1. Different messages (seeds) from God’s Word bring out different responses from his people. What types of seed from God’s Word elicit the hard heart in you? The shallow heart? The divided heart?

Respond: (Apply the truths of God’s Word to your heart, affections, and actions)

  1. What are some practical steps you can take this week to cultivate a humble and fruitful heart? 
  2. One verse Ronny alluded to for heart cultivation was Jeremiah 29:13. What other Scriptures encourage/challenge you towards a humble and fruitful heart?

 

The Sealing of the Servants of God

Revelation Chapter 7

 

Take-Home Truth: We have been sealed for battle and God will bring us home.

Christ-Connection: “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.”

Hook: (Ice-breaker question. Get the group talking!)

  1. Have you ever participated in something where you were not fully prepared? How did that make you feel? Why is it important that God prepares us for the suffering that we go through?

Engage: (Observe the passage and engage with the text)

  1. As a group, read Revelation Chapter 7 together aloud. Make observations. Discuss and unpack these verses together using the next 3 bullets.
  2. v 1-3: Discuss why the 4 winds are held back. For example: What can happen if a container is not fully sealed?
  3. v 4, 9: Discuss the literal vs symbolic nature of this passage (being sealed is like a down payment on a house or an engagement ring).
  4. v 9 – 17 Discuss why we are sealed and what it means to be sealed. 

 Reflect: (Reflect upon the key take-aways from the sermon)

5. How do we know that we are sealed? How does being sealed allow us to make it through pain and suffering?

6. Life on earth is hard. Take a moment to reflect on the trials and tribulations you have been through in your life. How does this compare to what we will experience in v 14 – 17?

Respond: (Apply the truths of God’s Word to your heart, affections, and actions)

7. Richard said “We know we have been sealed by loving Jesus and hating sin”. How do you show this in your own life?

8. What are ways that you can improve in both of these areas?

 

 

My Life-Shaping Influences 

 

Take-Home Truth:  God uses people and events to shape our lives.

Christ-Connection:  Jesus is the perfect example of how to live consistently despite the challenges and confusion in this world. 

  1. What have been the primary influences/ events that have shaped your life? 
  2. Who have been the primary people God has put into your life that have shaped you the most? 
  3. What verse in Scripture has been an anchor to your soul both in your mountain tops and your valleys? 
  4. How has your view of God changed the longer you have walked with Him? 
  5. Considering your sphere of influence, how is God using you to encourage and/or challenge others towards Christ?

 

 

The Wrath of the Lamb

Revelation 6:12-17

 

Take-Home Truth:  The Lamb forgives and the Lamb Judges. 

Christ-Connection: The only way to be saved from the wrath of the Lamb is to place your trust in the blood of the Lamb.

Hook: (Ice-breaker question. Get the group talking!)

  1. Describe a time when you trembled at the sight of something truly amazing.

Engage: (Observe the passage and engage with the text)

  1. Read Rev 6:12-17 together.  What observations / questions / concerns come to mind as you read this text? Where is God’s character on display in this passage? 
  2. Read Col. 3:5-6 together. How is man’s worship of sin in this age worse than it has been in past ages?

 Reflect: (Reflect upon the key take-aways from the sermon)

  1. What is your initial reaction to the judgment of God? (Fear, tension, comfort, etc)
  2. Why is it necessary for God to be a God of judgment and a God of grace? How do you reconcile the tension in those differing attributes?

Respond: (Apply the truths of God’s Word to your heart, affections, and actions)

  1. Richard gave 5 reasons culture does not fear God’s wrath. As a believer, which of these reasons are you most prone to believe? How can you guard against this?
  • Reason 1: We do not consider unbelief in Scripture to be a significant spiritual offense. 
  • Reason 2: We don’t consider ourselves to be enemies of God (Col. 1:21)
  • Reason 3: We don’t see the sinfulness of our own inconsistency (Romans 3:10)
  • Reason 4: We believe God will give us personal favoritism because of who we are (Rev. 6:15)
  • Reason 5: We consider our death to be very far away.
  1. Richard taught the believer has nothing to fear in the coming wrath of the Lamb. Is that true in your life, or is there anxiety about the coming judgment? What are ways we can turn that anxiety over to God?

Dying To Speak For Christ

Rev 6: 9-11 

 

Take-Home Truth:  God’s justice will prevail even if the world’s events appear random and hopeless.

Christ-Connection: Christ is planning His return and our future deliverance from suffering and pain.

Hook: (Ice-breaker question. Get the group talking!)

 Option 1: What are you willing to suffer and die for?

Option 2: BRIEFLY describe a time where you longed for justice but it never came. 

Engage: (Observe the passage and engage with the text)

 (Rev 6: 9-11)  Read this passage together.  What observations / questions / concerns come to mind as you read this text? Where is God’s character on display in this passage? 

 Reflect: (Reflect upon the key take-aways from the sermon)

  1. At the root of it, why do we as Christians long for justice in this world?
  2. Describe God’s response to the martyrs’ prayer for justice in Rev 6: 10-11.  How does that inform our faith regarding God’s sovereign promises?

Respond: (Apply the truths of God’s Word to your heart, affections, and actions)

 Read Luke 9:23.  How can we prepare now (today) to remain faithful to the truth of Christ?

  1. Richard stated, “We pray for justice not because we want to see evil people suffer, but because we want evil people to stop causing pain to others.”  Read these biblical examples of prayers for justice:  Ps 35:1; Ps 35: 17; Ps 74: 10; Ps 94: 2-7.  How does this encourage you to pray for justice in this world?

The Lamb Opens the Seals

Revelation 6:1-8

 

Take-Home Truth: Jesus unleashes the wrath of God on the world. 

Christ-Connection: The judgment of Christ is sent as a means of grace to point sinners to repentance.

Hook: (Ice-breaker question. Get the group talking!) 

  1. Have you ever experienced a close call, narrowing avoiding disaster?

Engage: (Observe the passage and engage with the text) 

  1. As a group, Read Revelation 6:1-8 out loud as a group and identify repeated words, phrases, and patterns. Discuss similarities and differences.
  2. What are the horses? What is being carried by the riders? What is the judgement brought by each? How do they fit together as one? 

 Reflect: (Reflect upon the key take-aways from the sermon)

  1. How do you reconcile discomfort about a God of mercy with a God who will bring final judgment?
  2. How is God’s goodness revealed in his judgment? (See the 5 statements about judgment from the sermon)

Respond: (Apply the truths of God’s Word to your heart, affections, and actions)

  1. Read Revelation 22:17. The Spirit and the Bride (church) say “come”. This is a call to action. Take a few moments to pray individually, and as a group about tangible ways to invite those facing judgment to “come”.
  2. Based on question 7, develop a plan of action for your group to discuss next week.

“Eternal Magnet”

John 12:32-33

 

Take-Home Truth: Jesus’ death raises His influence and brings hope to the world!

Christ-Connection: Jesus is the only One who has the ability and authority to change lives for eternity.

Hook: (Ice-breaker question. Get the group talking!)

1. Describe some things (events, people, places, etc) that have attracted you and drawn you to them.

Engage: (Observe the passage and engage with the text)

2. As a group, read John 12:32-33 together aloud. Make observations. Discuss and unpack these verses together.

3. People don’t generally talk about how their death will result in bringing hope, but they do when talking about Jesus’ death. As a group share some words you use to describe death and then share some words that describe Jesus’ death.

4. Read the following scriptures that address how God transfers our sins to Jesus. How do these truths enhance your appreciation of what God did through Jesus taking on your sin?

  • 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • Isaiah 53:5

Reflect: (Reflect upon the key take-aways from the sermon)

5. The cross lets us see just how big God’s love is for us. Richard shared that it is through Christ’s death that He has the greatest impact. Share with the group how Jesus has changed your life (be as specific as you are comfortable).

6. Reflecting on the miracles we say, “That’s what He did for them,” but reflecting on the cross we say, “That’s what He did for me.” How does knowing Jesus has done something for all change the narrative of your story? How does knowing Jesus died for ALL impact the way you treat others?

Respond: (Apply the truths of God’s Word to your heart, affections, and actions) 

6. In light of v. 32 Richard said “God never drags out of guilt or drives out of fear.” How does this inform your approach to sharing God’s love and the gospel with others? And everyday life encounters with family and friends?

The Cure for Spiritual Amnesia

Deuteronomy 4:1 – 9

 

Take-Home Truth: The Holy Spirit helps us remember as we actively dig into His Word to remember God’s statutes, His deeds and His global purpose.

Christ-Connection: Christ’s light shines through us as we keep the pattern of His sound teaching and guard the deposit He has entrusted to us.

Hook: (Ice-breaker question. Get the group talking!)

  1. Can you remember a time when you forgot something that was very important for you to remember?

Engage: (Observe the passage and engage with the text)

  1. As a group, read Deuteronomy 4:1-9 together aloud. Make observations. Discuss and unpack these verses together. How do these verses focus on who God is, what He has done and His global purpose?
  2. Pick out the action words in the text and discuss how they might help us to remember. 

 Reflect: (Reflect upon the key take-aways from the sermon)

  1. Caleb said “We must actively choose to remember or we will passively choose to forget.” How have you seen this to be true in your life in regards to your relationship with Christ?
  2. If it’s true that “there is no love without obedience and no obedience without love”, what can we do to increase our love and obedience to God and His ways?

Respond: (Apply the truths of God’s Word to your heart, affections, and actions)

  1. Deuteronomy 11:18,19 directed the children of Israel on how they might remember God’s Word. Give some examples of how this scripture has played out in your life. How can you make this scripture part of your daily life to help you remember who God is and what He has done?
  2. One of the main points of the message was that through Christ we are part of God’s witnessing nation and an important part of sharing His light in this dark world (Mt 5:14,16). What can you do this week to remember who you are in Christ and be more active in sharing His light with others?