1 Peter 4:7-11 - How to Live When the End is Near

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. In light of 1 Pet 4:7, is there anything in your life right now that tempts you to live only for the moment, without any regard for eternity? If so, how does this happen, and what ought you to do in order to foster a more eternal mindset?
     
  4. What hinders people from showing hospitality without grumbling (1 Pet 4:9)? What hinders you? Who in the church or out of the church would you like to exercise hospitality towards this summer? 
     
  5. Peter mentions in 4:11 stewarding the gifts God has given to us. Looking at Rom 12:6–8 and 1 Cor 12:8–10, 28, what is at least one spiritual gift you have?  How ought you steward your spiritual gift(s) for the edification of others in our church? 
     
  6. Which of the instructions in verse 8–11 do you find easiest to follow? What is one that you find more difficult?
     
  7. Share a time that another believer was a good example of these qualities. In what ways did their example glorify God?
     
  8. Take time to pray for yourself and for others at GCC, that we would be self-controlled and eagerly anticipating Christ’s return. Pray that our hospitality, service, and gracious speech would cause God to be glorified in our own life and by those around us.

Genesis 35:1-15 - Deal With Sin in Your Life

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. When God spoke to Jacob, he responded by putting away all of the foreign gods (idols) that were in his household. 
    a. What are some culturally accepted “idols”? (ie. work, leisure...)
    b. How would a believer recognize idols in his own life?
    c. What are some idols that you could see your own heart being drawn towards? How can you guard against this?
     
  4. In verse 5 we see God’s protection over Jacob. When was a time in your life when you recognized God’s protection over you?
     
  5. In verses 9-15 God reiterates to Jacob (Israel) the promises He’d already spoken to him and to his father and grandfather. What is a lesson that God has had to remind you of at various times throughout your life? 
     
  6. Take time to pray for yourself and for others at GCC, that we would rid ourselves of anything that acts as an idol in our lives and to ask God to protect us from anything that might hinder our spiritual journeys.

Genesis 32:22-32 - Brokenness is the Path to Blessing

Application Questions

  1. Since it’s our Community Group kick-off week, pick one (or two or three!) of the following questions to share with your group to get to know each other a bit better:
     
    1. What are you reading right now, outside the Bible? What is your opinion of it?
    2. Do you have any vacation plans this summer?
    3. How has God encouraged you recently in your life?
    4. What’s one of the biggest stressors in your life right now? 
      How has God shown His faithfulness to you?
       
  2. What have you been reading in your Bible recently? What has been meaningful from this?
     
  3. What was a main take-away from the sermon that you found particularly helpful/convicting/encouraging?
     
  4. Have you ever felt you have “wrestled with God,” perhaps with understanding a certain Biblical truth, or in your prayer life?  What happened? What was the outcome of this “wresting”?
     
  5. The Lord humbled Jacob by touching his hip and making him limp. Have you had a situation or season in your life where you sensed the Lord taught you about humility? Share how the Lord used this situation in your life.
     
  6. Jacob says in verse 30 of Genesis chapter 32, “I have come face to face with God.” In what situation in your life have you sensed the Lord revealed himself to you in a more distinct way? 

Genesis 28:10-22 - God Comforts us in Our Darkest Moments

Application Questions

 

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Read Psalm 119:50,52.  Think of a time when you were going through a dark or difficult time in your life. How did God’s Word point you to the comforting presence of the Lord? What Scripture passages have been particularly meaningful to you during those times?
     
  4. What “memorials” have you established in your life to remind you of God’s faithfulness? How do your “offerings” to God reflect your reverent awe of God’s work in your life? 
     
  5. Think of someone you know who may be going through a dark or difficult time. What is something you could do this week to offer them encouragement or comfort?
     
  6. Take time to pray for yourself and for others at GCC, that we would find our hope in the promises of God and draw near to Him in difficult times.

1 Samuel 2:12-36 - How Much Does Your God Weigh?

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Eli was cursed because he cared more about honoring his sons than honoring God (2:29). In the list of your life priorities, what are a few of the most important things to you? Do any of these things come close to rivaling God in the significance you give them in your life?
     
  4. Eli’s passivity towards his sons’ behavior and towards his temple responsibilities brought judgment from the Lord. What responsibilities has God given you? How can you guard against being passive in those areas?
     
  5. In 1 Samuel 2:30 God says to Eli, “...those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” How and where have you seen this verse true in your life on either side of the equation? (Keep in mind that the material blessings in the Old Testament are not extended in the same way into the New Testament.)
     
  6. Take time to pray for yourself and for others at GCC, that we would not be passive in our God-given responsibilities and that we would have a testimony of honoring the Lord and not showing contempt for His worship.

Genesis 26:1-16 - Cling to God's Promises in Perilous Times

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. In Genesis 26:1-6 Isaac faced the reality of starvation due to a famine in the land. Yet, God commanded Isaac to stay in the land and trust His promises. When have you faced desperate circumstances in your life and how has God used the promises in His Word to sustain you? 
     
  4. In Genesis 26:5 God used Isaac’s father’s obedience to God as an example of His commitment to God’s promises. In the New Testament what reveals our commitment to God and His Word? (See John 14:15; James 2:17)
     
  5. Isaac lied about his wife because he was afraid of what others would do to him. What are some other situations where a fear of others might tempt someone to lie? How does a proper fear of God help guard against such temptations? (See Galatians 1:10; Psalm 118:6)
     
  6. Take time to pray for yourself and for others at GCC, that we would fear God instead of fearing others, and that we would be faithful to trust God’s wisdom and timing in difficult situations instead of relying on our own wisdom or cleverness.

Genesis 25:19-34 - God’s Divine Reversal

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Read Genesis 25:21-22. When was a time when you asked God, “Why is this happening to me?” What was something God taught you in that situation?
     
  4. What does Genesis 25:23 tell you about God, His purposes, His attributes, and His character?
     
  5. What are some evidences that Esau is more concerned about worldly things than about spiritual things? (See Genesis 25:29-34) Are there areas in your life where this may be true of you?
     
  6. What are some practical steps you can take to guard against making rash or emotionally-driven decisions and to grow in godly wisdom? How can your community group and other believers help in this?
     
  7. Take time to pray for yourself and for others at GCC, that we’d be a people who value spiritual things above earthly things, that by our actions or words we would not despise God’s blessings in our lives, and that we would be careful to seek godly wisdom when making decisions instead of acting rashly. 

Genesis 22:1-19 - The Father Who Gave His Son

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Have you ever had a circumstance in which you felt like the Lord was asking you to sacrifice an “Isaac” in your life?
     
  4. In being willing to sacrifice his son, Abraham demonstrated a desire not to withhold even the things most dear to him. How does this idea of “not withholding” anything from God encourage and/or challenge you?
     
  5. Is there a certain situation in your life that is causing you to feel like you’re sacrificing for the Lord? How can your community group, your friends, your church help and encourage you in this situation?
     
  6. In what areas of your life can Abraham’s example of faith encourage you?
     
  7. Abraham could trust the Lord for the specific promise of an heir. What promises of the Lord can encourage you right now? What promises of the Lord could encourage someone in a season of difficult trial?

Genesis 17:1-14 - The Sign of God’s Work in Your Life

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 

  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Read Genesis 17:1-2. What command did God give Abram? What similar command are we given in 1 Peter 1:14-16? How does God describe Himself in each of those passages? How do those attributes about God give you assurance that His promises can be trusted?
     
  4. In Genesis 17 God gave circumcision as the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant. Today, God has given us baptism as the initiating sign of a person’s entrance into the New Covenant (Colossians 2:11-12). If you have been baptized, share your baptism story with others in your group. If not, then prayerfully consider what is keeping you from walking in obedience to Christ. (See Matthew 28:19-20)
     
  5. Read Deuteronomy 3:24. What are some of God’s mighty acts recorded in the Bible? What were some times that God showed himself to be mighty in your own life? 
     
  6. When was a situation when you had to wait for a long time for God to answer your prayer or provide according to His promises? What verses help you to trust in God and His timing?
     
  7. Take time to pray for each of the members in your community group by name, praying that God would grow their trust in His provision and timing, and then take time praising God for His power, faithfulness, goodness, and holiness.

Ephesians 6:10-24 - We Are At War!

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Read Ephesians 6:10-12. How do the truths of this passage affect the way you respond to sin your life, things that tempt you, trials you face, or conflict you may have with others? Is there a Scripture passage that you can think of that would be helpful for a particular “battle” in your life right now?
     
  4. Read 1 Peter 5:8. When you consider that our lives are part of a spiritual battle, and that the devil is seeking to devour you, are there any areas of your life that come to mind where you might have your guard down? What would it look like to strengthen your armor in those areas?
     
  5. What godly characteristics are mentioned in Ephesians 6:13-17 and should be evident in the life of a believer? Is there any characteristic that you have questions about. Which characteristic do you find is the easiest to identify in your own life? Which one is the most difficult?
     
  6. Having put on the armor, we are told in Ephesians 6:18-20 to pray at all times and to keep alert with all perseverance. Consider how much more vulnerable a soldier is (even in full armor) if they are not alert. What are some ways that “praying at all times” can help you stay alert against the devils’ attacks?
     
  7. Paul concludes his letter to the Ephesian believers by expressing his desire to encourage them. What is a practical way you could encourage another believer this week?

Ephesians 6:5-9 - God's Design for Work

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Read Ephesians 6:5-9. What does this passage say your motivation for work should be? What things typically motivate your work? Does this passage strengthen or challenge those motivations?
     
  4. How can your specific work accomplish God’s purposes for others? Give examples for your family, church, company, coworkers, customers, etc.
     
  5. How do you respond to or exercise authority in your work? How do you exercise authority? How does working under God’s authority affect your attitude towards those over you or under you?
     
  6. Read 1 Timothy 6:17-19. Does the way you approach work reveal that your hope is in uncertain things? How does hoping in God and working to store up godly treasure allow you to work joyfully?
     
  7. Read Philippians 2:14-16. What are some ways you could apply the principles in this passage to your work? What impact might that have on the people you interact with while working?

1 Samuel 1 - The God of Our Asking

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. God is the one who is attributed as closing Hannah’s womb in 1 Sam 1:4–5, and yet, He did this in order to work His sovereign power in human weakness to accomplish His good purposes—for Hannah, and also for the rest of Israel (and ultimately to the world). How might this understanding that God uses human weakness and sorrow for His glorious purposes help a Christian in the midst of trials?
     
  4. What keeps you from pouring your heart out to God more in prayer? Would you be willing for God to do anything in your life in order to increase your neediness to come before Him in prayer? 
     
  5. Read 1 Samuel 1:12-18. How did the assumptions Eli made about Hannah’s actions reveal his own spiritual condition? Are there assumptions you’re quick to make about other believers? Do those assumptions reveal areas in your own life where spiritual growth is needed?
     
  6. God used someone who was weak in the world’s eyes to accomplish His purposes in bearing the prophet Samuel who would raise up king David (who foreshadowed the blessing of King Jesus). Where else in scripture has God worked in nearly impossible situations through weak people in order to accomplish His purposes? How does your own weakness qualify you for being used by God? (See 1 Cor 1:26–31)

Ephesians 6:1-4 - God's Design for Parenting

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Read Ephesians 6:1-4. What command is given to children and by whose authority? Whose instruction are fathers to teach their children? How does the reality that God is the ultimate authority impact the way you instruct and discipline your children?
     
  4. Based on verses 2 and 3, how significant is it to God that children obey their parents? (See also Romans 1:28-32, 2 Timothy 3:1-5). How does the truth that discipline and instruction are not just  culturally or socially important, but are spiritually significant, impact the way you instruct your children?  
     
  5. Parents, does the way you spend time and the emphasis you place on various activities show your children that you value the instruction of the Lord? How are these values modeled in the way your children’s time is scheduled?
     
  6. What are some practical ways an adult child could honor her parents? What does I Timothy 5:3-4 say about this?

Ephesians 5:22-33 - God's Design for Marriage (Part 2)

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Read Ephesians 5:25-27. What kind of love is described in this passage? What are its motivators and its goals? Husbands, what are some practical examples of how displaying this kind of love towards your wife is different than worldly expressions of love?
     
  4. Husbands, what are some ways you can encourage holiness in your wife by your own words, actions, or example? Is holiness something you desire in your marriage?
     
  5. Read Ephesians 5:28-30. Husbands, consider the way you talk about your wife among your peers. (Such as at work or with other guys.) Do you speak as highly about your wife as you do about yourself? Does the way you talk about your wife convey that you cherish her, or are you tempted to build yourself up at her expense by complaining about what you have to put up with at home? What are some ways you can be intentional about cultivating in your own heart the kind of love mentioned in these verses?
     
  6. Read Ephesians 5:31-33. When you consider that marriage is meant to be a picture of Christ’s sacrificial and unceasing love for us, how does that impact the way you view your own responsibility in your marriage? How does it impact the value you place on your marriage and on the marriages of other believers you know?

Ephesians 5:22-33 - God’s Design for Marriage (Part 1)

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Read Ephesians 5:22-24. What are some cultural expectations that are in opposition to this passage?
     
  4. In what ways is marriage a testimony to others? What are some ways that marriage is a picture of our relationship with Christ? What implications does this have for the significance of the marriage covenant?
     
  5. Wives, how should this passage impact your attitudes and thoughts towards your husband, even when he frustrates you? How does it impact the way you speak about him in front of your friends or your children? 
     
  6. Husbands, do you lead in a sacrificial way that makes it easier for your wife to submit to your leadership, or in a selfish way that makes it aggravating or uncomfortable to submit to your leadership? What are some practical indicators of this in your marriage?
     
  7. What limits are put on the wife’s submission in Colossians 3:18 and Acts 5:29? How do these passages act as a guideline for what husbands and wives should desire from and encourage in one another?

Acts 19:21-41 - A War of Worship: Artemis of the Ephesians Vs. the Risen Christ

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Read Acts 19:21-27. What are the primary motivators (idols) in Demetrius’ life? What are the primary motivators in your life? Are any of them in opposition to the work of Christ in you? If so, confess them and ask your community group to help you stay on guard against such motivators.
     
  4. Read Acts 19:28-34. Have you experienced any times when living as a Christian brought opposition from your peers? What are some truths/values in Scripture that are an affront to our culture?
     
  5. Read Acts 19:35-41. Notice how God protected the disciples, both from being attacked by the rioters, and from being involved in the riot. How can this reminder of God’s protection be applied to our own lives in situations where we feel the urge to stand up for ourselves or prove that we’re right?
     
  6. Take time to pray that God would help you to be a light to the people around you and a testimony to non-believers, even those who loudly oppose the Gospel.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10 - The Thorn of Paul and the Power of Christ

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-5. What is something God has done in your life that is so clearly an act of God that you can testify about it to others without boasting? (See Ephesians 2:8-9)
     
  4. Read 2 Corinthians 12:6-10. What trials has God used in your life to humble you and remind you of your dependence on Him?
     
  5. What are some areas in your life where you may be weak? (In regards to spiritual disciplines, disposition, personality, etc.) How might God grow you in those weaknesses or use them to bless others? What are some practical ways you can exercise reliance on God through those weaknesses?
     
  6. Take time to pray that God would use His work in your life to bless others, even if it means using you in ways that you feel weak or don’t feel especially gifted.

Ephesians 5:15-21 - Be Imitators of God (Part 3)

Application Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Read Ephesians 5:15-21. What commands are given in this passage and which ones do you find most challenging to live out in your life?
     
  4. What is one specific way you could personally apply verse 15 by making better use of your time this week? Consider asking someone else (community group member, family member, someone else in the church, etc.) to help keep you accountable in your daily schedule.
     
  5. People often wonder what God’s will is for their lives. Yet, verse 17 commands us to understand what the will of the Lord is. Based on everything in Ephesians 5 that leads up to this command, what is the will of the Lord for your life?
     
  6. Take time to pray that God would help you to grow in thankfulness towards Him and in humility, according to Ephesians 5:20-21. Then, think of a couple practical ways you can intentionally cultivate those attitudes this week. What’s one area that you need to humbly submit to others in order to show your reverence to Christ? 

Ephesians 5:1-14 - Be Imitators of God (Part 2)

Discussion Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Read Ephesians 5:3-4. What six sins are we instructed to “put off”? What light does 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1 shed on this idea of putting off filthiness?
     
  4. Consider Ephesians 5:4 along with Matthew 12:33-37. Why is it so crucial to be holy even in our speech? (See also James 3:1-12)
     
  5. Read Ephesians 5:5-6. What warning is given in this passage? 16. Paul gives a similar warning in I Corinthians 6:9-11. Based on these two passages, why would a sexually immoral person, an impure person, someone who is covetous, have no inheritance in the kingdom of God?
     
  6. Read Ephesians 5:7-14. When you consider the contrast between light and darkness in this passage, ask yourself whether there are certain areas of your life – your thought processes, your attitudes, your social media habits – that are living in darkness or perhaps living in a “gray” zone. Are there changes you need to make in your life, based on Paul’s admonition to live in the light? How can your community group help you make these changes?

Ephesians 5:1-14 - Be Imitators of God (Part 1)

Discussion Questions

  1. What is something God has been teaching you through your Bible reading this week? 
     
  2. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  3. Read Ephesians 5:1-2. How do we imitate God as we walk in love? (See John 10:11 and Philippians 2:4)
     
  4. Read Ephesians 5:3-4. What six sins are we instructed to “put off”? What light does 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1 shed on this idea of putting off filthiness?
     
  5. Consider Ephesians 5:4 along with Matthew 12:33-37. Why is it so crucial to be holy even in our speech? (See also James 3:1-12)
     
  6. Read Ephesians 5:5-14. When you consider the contrast between light and darkness in this passage, ask yourself whether there are certain areas of your life – your thought processes, your attitudes, your social media habits – that are living in darkness or perhaps living in a “gray” zone. Are there changes you need to make in your life, based on Paul’s admonition to live in the light? How can your community group help you make these changes?