Embrace -Discussion Questions
God made us for community, a place where we realize our full potential in Christ.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome in order to join a small group?
This weekend Pastor Josh continued in our series, Embrace, by addressing the HARDEST people to get in small group. He reminded us that God created community and created us to function in community. We can grow exponentially in our relationship with Christ when we enter a small group community with other Christ-followers. But in our culture, we value control. It is all about us. We are deluded to think we can grow spiritually by only attending church services one hour per week. The #1 reason married women do not attend small group is their HUSBAND. In the Old Testament, David knew that in order to honor God, he needed to prioritize community with godly people, but his fatal mistake happened when he was not in community- when he stayed in Jerusalem alone instead of leading his men into battle. We learned the greater a person’s isolation, the greater their temptation. We may believe that our isolation will not hurt us, but over time, isolation separates us from God’s best for our lives. We tend to isolate ourselves from the very people who could help us, and we make terrible decisions in isolation.
ENCOUNTERING GOD THROUGH BIBLE STUDY:
Read Acts 2:42-47
1. Discuss some of the things the believers did.
2. How often did they get together?
3. How did the Lord bless them?
Read Psalm 101
4. David penned this psalm at the beginning of his reign. What does this tell you about his priorities? Whose opinions and advice did he value?
Read 2 Samuel 11:1-5
5. What happened when David was not surrounded by his godly supporters ( his “small group”)?
6. Place David’s actions into the order in which they occurred. You will have to read to the end of the chapter.
a. He sinned deliberately.
b. He committed murder in an effort to cover up his sin.
c. He focused on his own desires.
d. He abandoned his purpose by staying home from war.
e. When temptation came, he looked into it instead of turning away from it.
f. He tried to cover up his sin by deceiving others.
7. What were the consequences of David’s sin?
8. When David laid aside his armor, he took the first step towards moral defeat. Can we apply this principle to our lives today? Read Ephesians 6:10-18. What happens when we are not wearing the full armor of God?
9. David could have chosen to stop and turn away from sin at any stage along the way, but once sin is started, it is difficult to stop. Discuss practical steps you can take to avoid entering into sin.
Read 1 Peter 5:8b
10. The devil is described as a prowling lion that is looking for someone to devour. Lions attack victims who are alone and not alert. Describe some of the emotions you feel when you are in the midst of a trial?
11. These emotions make us vulnerable for Satan’s attacks. What should a Christ follower seek when they are suffering times of trouble?
1. Studied the Word, had fellowship, broke bread, prayed.
3. They enjoyed the favor of all people, and the Lord added to their numbers daily those who were being saved.
5. He had an affair with Bathsheba and had Uriah killed to cover it up.
6. d, c, e, a, f, b
7. Yes! “God does not allow His children to sin successfully.”(Charles Spurgeon) Although the Lord forgave David when he turned back to Him, David’s son, conceived in sin, died. David’s bad example also affected his sons (Ammon, Absalom), he later had problems with his generals, and he was betrayed by one of his trusted counselors, Ahithophel.
8. Without the helmet of salvation, we don’t think like saved people. Without the breastplate of righteousness, we have nothing to protect our heart. Without the girdle of truth, we believe lies. Without the sword of the Word and the shield of faith, we are helpless before the enemy. Without prayer, we have no power.
9. Flee from temptation- stay away from people, places, and situations that may tempt you. Go to the scriptures- find verses that can help you fight against your weaknesses. Be in community- a place you can safely share your struggles, where there are people you can call on when temptation strikes.
10. Alone, helpless, weak, suffering, focused on our own problems, feeling like it will never end.
11. We need other Christ followerers! They can support us and remind us to keep our eyes upon Jesus, so we can resist Satan’s attacks.