Shadow of a Doubt Week 5 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Worshiping God eventually leads to imitating God, which means giving with gladness.

Discussion Starter: What’s the most impressive gift you’ve ever seen given to someone else? (In person, not on YouTube!)

Introduction: This week, Pastor Chris talked about the spiritual forces that are behind our own desires, and how Jesus said that humans tend toward serving either God or Mammon — but never both.  (If you didn’t make it to the service, “Mammon” is an Aramaic word for “riches,” but was also the Chaldean name for their god of riches.)

Another important word to define is “worship.” Worship doesn’t mean singing or praying. Worship literally means “worth-ship” – or “to consider something of worth or value.”  When we value something, our lives tend toward centering around it.  Moreover, if we maintain our valuation of it, the very person we are changes, too.

Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Luke 16:10-13

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Luke16:10-13.  In verse 10, Jesus says that if someone isn’t faithful with a little, they aren’t faithful with a lot.  And in the same way, someone that is faithful with little is faithful with a lot.  Can you think of a time in your life when you’ve seen this in person?
  2. In verse 11, Jesus mentions “unrighteous mammon” and “true riches.”  What do you think he means by those words?
  3. Still in verse 11, what would it mean to be faithful with the unrighteous mammon?
  4. What is it that you value in your life? Would someone who didn’t know you be able to tell?
  5. If someone managed to see all the money you’ve ever spent, and that was the only thing they could ever see about you, what sort of conclusions would they come to about what you value?
  6. Like #5, but with time spent, instead of money.   What would someone think you value?
  7. When you think about people you admire, is there anyone on that list who is generous?  Do you tend to admire people who “give their all?”

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Luke 4:14-21  and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.

Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

This week, we talked about things competing for our allegiance to Christ.  In smaller groups of 2 or 3, discuss what there is in your life that tries to take the #1 spot in your heart.  If you have time, compare our passage in Luke this week to Matthew 6, where Jesus gives a different sermon, but includes and further explains “You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: All believers, together, make up the body of Christ.  That’s part of how we know that we are made to give: there is no body part that just takes and never gives.  There are plenty of needs here at Faith Promise.  Giving of your time is surely valuable. On Sunday, just walk up to someone who is doing something you think would be up your alley: taking care of kids, tending the coffee shop, greeting folks who come in, singing, or anything else and ask how to get involved.

Engaging in Community/ the World: There are plenty of people in the Knoxville area who need help.  Faith Promise can help you get in touch with many of those folks: God Behind Bars, KARM, and Emerald Youth Foundation, just to name a few.  Visit the Missions table on Sunday at your campus to find out how God can use you.  Additionally, think how your whole small group could participate.  There’s no reason that you can’t do more things together!

Expand God’s Kingdom

Have you ever seen someone whose main priority was money? What did their life look like?

Have you ever seen someone whose main priority was God? What did their life look like?

Have you ever seen someone whose main priority was money, but they wanted everyone to think that their main priority was God?  What did their life look like?

When we value something, we slowly become more like that thing. (After all, we tend to imitate those things we admire and willingly spend time around.)

Therefore, what happens to people who choose to spend time around you?  What happens to you when you’re around them?

Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.