Daniel 8 - ‘By No Human Hand’: the Invisible God and the Breaking of Evil Powers

+ Application Questions

  1. Read Daniel 8. This passage is difficult to understand, which can sometimes be discouraging or cause us to lose confidence. What are some things in this passage encourage you and grow your confidence despite its difficulty to understand?

  2. In what ways does this passage put into perspective current trials you may be going through? In what ways does this passage encourage you to worship Jesus more?

Daniel 7 - The Everlasting, International, Indestructible Kingdom of ‘One Like a Son of Man’

+ Application Questions

  1. Read Daniel 7:9-10. How does this description of God as Judge impact your own life? What thoughts or actions ought this reality prompt in the lives of believers?

  2. Read verses 13-14. What are some clues in this passage that point us to Jesus Christ?

  3. Reflect on verse 27. What implications or applications does it have for believers today? (In regards to our hope, or purpose, etc.)

John 5:19-29 - Jesus’ Authority Demands Obedience

+ Application Questions

  1. Read John 5:19-29. If Jesus, who is God, only did what he sees the Father doing, what implications does that have for us in our daily lives? What is a prerequisite for doing the will of the Father?

  2. Read verses 22-24. Contrast Jesus’ description of himself with the way our culture likes to think of Jesus.

  3. What does it mean to “honor the Son”? What are some specific ways God would have you honor the Son in your own life?

John 5:1-18 - Jesus’ Divine Power Confronts Manmade Religion

+ Application Questions

  1. Read John 5:1-18. In verses 1-8, what did the lame man do in order to be healed? How is this a picture of our own role in salvation?

  2. Some people, who do not believe in Jesus, will argue that Jesus never claimed to be God. Yet, in verses 17-18, we see at least one instance where Jesus’ claim was clear. What are some other places in scripture where Jesus claims to be God?

Psalm 119:97-104 - Fathers, Love God’s Law!

+ Application Questions

  1. Read Psalm 119:97-104. What do you think is the relationship between loving God’s law and meditating on it? What habits have you established to meditate on God’s law and grow your love for it?

  2. What benefits are found in following God’s law in verses 98-101? Have their been times in your life where this was shown to be true by the outcome your obedience or by your disobedience to God’s law?

  3. Are you able to honestly declare the truths of verses 102-104 from your own heart, or do some statements ring false for you? If needed, confess what statements are not true of you and ask God to show you what needs to change in your habits or in your heart. Take time to praise God for his law and its many benefits.

John 4:43-54 - Jesus' Powerful Words Confront Counterfeit Faith

+ Application Questions

  1. Read John 4:43-54. Consider that this official had to travel to make a request of Jesus. We can certainly be grateful to God that we have immediate access to Him in prayer, but sometimes we can take that for granted by only meeting with Jesus when it’s convenient. What are some ways you can go “out of your way” to meet with Jesus to help you remember the significance of such a privilege?

  2. In verse 48, Jesus tells the official that unless he sees signs and wonders, he will not believe. What kind of belief is Jesus referring to here? (See also v 53). With that in mind, why did Jesus heal the son?

  3. When Jesus told the official that his son would live, the man believed and went on his way, even though he had not seen evidence of answered prayer. Have their been times in your life when God gave you peace about something you’d prayed for even though you hadn’t seen the answer yet?

John 4:16-42 - The Gracious Savior Saves Great Sinners

+ Application Questions

  1. What comes to mind when you think of worship. Read John 4:20-25. What does Jesus say about worship? What does it mean to worship in spirit and truth?

  2. Jesus says in verse 34 ”my food is to do the will of him who sent me and accomplish his work” and in verse 35,”the fields are white for harvest.” How might these realities be applied to our own lives? (Think about what things you consider “needs”, about God’s promises to provide for his people, and about the task he’s charged each of us with - see Matthew 28:20.)

  3. Verse 39 says that many believed because of the woman’s testimony, and that many more believed because of Jesus’ word. Briefly share your own testimony. What are some truths in the Word that your testimony can point others to?

Daniel 6 - “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?”: A Living God Lesson for Every Man

+ Application Questions

  1. Daniel’s enemies couldn’t find any ground for complaint against him unless it was in connection with the law of his God. Is your conduct such that the same would be true of you? If not, what things hinder your testimony?

  2. When the king proclaimed that no one could pray to anyone else, Daniel continued praying three times a day as he had done previously. What God-honoring habits have you established in your life? What circumstances make it most difficult for you to be faithful in those disciplines, and what helps you remain faithful in those areas?

  3. God showed his great power and faithfulness by miraculously protecting Daniel. When is a time when God’s power and faithfulness have been evidenced in your life?

Daniel 5 - “You Knew All This!”: The High Price of No Humility Before the God Who Gives Each Breath

+ Application Questions

  1. When was a time in your life where God gave you a warning or convicted you that you were sinning against him? Did you respond by repentance or did you ignore the warning and face consequences?

  2. God used Daniel to speak difficult truth into Belshazzar’s life - even though Belshazzar didn’t listen. Has there been a time when someone spoke truth that you didn’t want to hear into your life or a time when you had to speak truth into another person’s life?

  3. How should the reality that the Lord judges even the actions of kings impact your daily life? (In the way you prioritize your time, in what you do when nobody is watching, in your interactions with other believers, in your interactions with non-believers, etc.)

John 4:1-15 - The Source of Lasting, Life-giving Satisfaction

+ Application Questions

  1. Samaritans were frowned-upon by the Jews to the extent that many Jews would avoid going through Samaria even if it meant traveling further. How are Jesus’ actions in this passage examples we can apply in our own lives?

  2. What claims does Jesus make about himself in verses 7-15? See also Isaiah 55:1 and Revelation 21:6. What does it mean that Jesus is the living water?

  3. How is the woman’s response to Jesus in verse 15 a misunderstanding of Jesus meaning? What are some similar misunderstandings of the gospel in today’s culture?

Daniel 4 - High Kings, Presidents, Princes, and Sheikhs …and The Most High Who Rules Them All

+ Application Questions

  1. In Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar declares to all peoples what the Most High God has done for him. Take time to declare to your small group what the Most High God has done for you.

  2. In Daniel’s culture, people considered dreams to have great significance, and God sometimes used dreams for His glory. Our culture places a lot less significance on dreams, yet sleeplessness is a common problem among Americans. Do you struggle to fall asleep or to stay asleep at night? If so, how can sleeplessness be used for God’s glory?

  3. What is something God has done in your life to humble you? As you were humbled, where threre truths about God that you found joy or comfort in?

  4. Is today’s reminder (that God is able to humble those who walk in pride) convicting you of any pride or sin (which is prideful rebellion) in your life? If so, confess and repent from it. If appropriate, ask your small group to help you be accountable in this area.

John 3:22-36 - The Consuming Passion of Following Christ

+ Application Questions

  1. In John 3:22-36, John the Baptist’s disciples are fearful of Jesus’ ministry because it’s drawing followers away from John. It what situations might we be tempted towards jealousy like John’s disciples, and how can we apply John’s response to those situations?

  2. Notice that John’s joy is made complete not by succeeding in his own ministry, but by witnessing the ministry of Jesus. In your group, think of times this is true in your personal relationships and spiritual life.

  3. Read John 3:31-34. What do we see about Jesus’s identity in these verses?How is this encouraging to you?

  4. Read Isaiah 61:1 and Ezekiel 36:26-27. In verse 34 of this week’s passage, John says that Jesus gives the Spirit without measure. What does this mean in relation to these texts?

John 3:16-21 - The Free Gift at the Greatest Cost

+ Application Questions

  1. What are some barriers to people understanding the love of God? Do you ever struggle to believe that God loves you? If so, why? In what ways do the Bible, prayer, and church family reinforce the reality that God loves you?

  2. Scripture says only those who believe will receive eternal life. Why is faith necessary for salvation?

  3. Reread v. 19-20. What is the ultimate reason someone won’t believe in Jesus? Why should this encourage you to always be on mission for the gospel?

  4. If you aren’t already doing so, commit to praying for someone in your life who doesn’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Pray for them every day this week, that their hearts may be softened and that the Lord would open a door for you to share the gospel with them.

John 3:1-15 - You Must Be Born Again

+ Application Questions

  1. Nicodemus came to Jesus because he was curious about the things of God. Have you ever had someone inquire about your relationship with God? How did you respond to them?

  2. Jesus teaches many things regarding the kingdom of God. How would you define and describe the kingdom of God? What Scripture passages inform your definition?

  3. Read Ezekiel 36:25-27. What are a few signs that someone has been born again? (See also 1 John 2:3-6)

  4. Jesus rebukes the Pharisee Nicodemus in verse nine for not knowing that one must be born again, since he should have known the Old Testament. Why is it important for believers to have a good understanding of the Old Testament? Does the amount of time you spend reading from Old Testament passages reflect it’s importance?

John 2:13-25 - Knowing the God Who Knows You

+ Application Questions

  1. Read John 2:13-25. Why did Jesus act so strongly? Which characteristics of God are seen in Jesus’ cleansing of the temple?

  2. Romans 12:1 says our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. With that in mind, what truths can be applied to our own lives from John 2:13-25?

  3. The people Jesus drives out of the temple were in the house of God, but for selfish reasons. What are your reasons or motivations for coming to the house of God on Sunday mornings? Are any of those motivations selfish? Read Psalm 84:8-12 as a prayer, asking for a greater awe of God that results in a more pure desire to gather in worship of Him.

1 Timothy 3:1–7 - Elders Who Care vs. Elders?... Who Cares! - by Pastor David Schrock

+ Application Questions

  1. As you look at the qualifications in 1 Timothy 3:1–7, keep in mind that, nearly all of these qualifications are attributes that are mentioned throughout Scripture as fruit that should be evident in the lives of all Christians. With that in mind, in what qualifications do you have the most room to grow? What things can you do in order to develop those qualifications further?

  2. We see throughout 1 Timothy that God has designed the Christian life to be done within the fellowship of the body of believers. How can you encourage the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1–7 in the lives of other believers?

  3. Do you know who the elders of GCC are? (If not, you can find out at geist.org/elders.) Take time to pray for each of them.

John 2:1-12 - God’s Purpose for Your Problems

+ Application Questions

  1. In John 2 we see Jesus performing a miracle at a wedding. While the problem of running out of wine at the wedding probably seemed like a big deal to the people involved, in the grand scheme of things we must recognize that this is actually a rather insignificant problem - and yet Jesus responds by performing a miracle. What is the reason Jesus performs the miracle? (See v 11)

  2. How does the rather insignificant problem of the wine and the purpose of Jesus’ miracle impact the way you view perceived problems in your own life? When was a time when you perceived a problem as being much bigger than it was, or when you felt that the problem was such a big emergency that God “had” to do something about it? How does the reminder that Jesus’ miracles are prompted not by the size of the problem, but by the opportunity to glorify God, help provide comfort and perspective in difficulties?

  3. When is a time when God used a difficult situation in your own life to deepen your belief in Him - either through a miraculous outcome or through the trial itself?

Daniel 3 - ‘We Will NOT Serve Your Gods’: The Christian Manifesto When Everyone Else is Doing It

+ Application Questions

  1. In Daniel chapter 3, King Nebuchadnezzar proclaims that everyone must worship the image that he set up. What are some “images” that our culture sets up and encourages us to worship today?

  2. The inclusion of the instruments and music (vs 5, 7, 10, 15) likely would have created a strong emotional compulsion to worship the image Nebuchadnezzar had set up. What things do you allow into your own life that impact your emotions? What emotions are you spending the most time nurturing and do they foster a focus on self or on Christ?

  3. We see in v 16-18, and ultimately in v 28, that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s faith in the midst of persecution brought glory to God in the end. How have your own responses to trials or persecutions brought glory to God or drawn attention to yourself?

  4. While the previous questions have focused on our response to images set up by the world, what are some images you have set up in your own life - things you’ve done or are doing to bring glory to yourself? Pray that God would reveal those things to you and repent from them.

Daniel 2 - The Best the World Has to Offer, the God Who Reveals Mysteries, and the Forever Stone Kingdom

+ Application Questions

  1. In Daniel chapter 2, king Nebuchadnezzar seeks wisdom from all different sources before finding them inferior to the wisdom of God. What sources do you go to for wisdom? Are they sources of earthly wisdom or godly wisdom?

  2. Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream shows the power of God’s kingdom over all the kingdoms of the world. This is a good reminder to us that our hope is in an eternal kingdom, and not in the leaders of this world. What are some examples of people putting their hope in politics or worldly leaders, and what are some examples of people allowing political happenings to cause fear or anxiety? Have you ever found yourself putting hope in politics or being anxious because of political happenings?

  3. Take time to write down characteristics of God that encourage you to place your hope in Him and cast your anxieties on Him. Then, use your list as a guide to pray a prayer of praise to God, exalting Him for who He is.

John 1:43-51 - Salvation: God’s Calling, Our Confession

+ Application Questions

  1. Of the people who followed Jesus in John 1:35-51, how many were seeking Jesus on their own, and how many were either pointed to Jesus by someone else or called by Jesus himself? What does this tell us about the nature of belief in Christ?

  2. In verse 45, Philip recognizes that Jesus is the fulfillment of old testament prophecies. What are some of the prophecies that Jesus would have fulfilled this early in His ministry?

  3. Read verses 47-49. What do these verses tell you about Jesus? What was it about Jesus that caused Nathanael to believe? (see also verse 50). What truths about Jesus cause you, personally, to believe He is the Son of God?

  4. Read verses 50 and 51. Jesus is referring to an event that took place in Genesis 28:10-17. How do these two passages help us to understand both of them? Who or what is Jesus claiming to be in this passage?