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?

John 1:35-42 - What are you seeking?

+ Application Questions

  1. Read John 1:25-42. What does it mean to be a disciple? (See also Luke 14:25-33, John 8:21, John 15:1-11, and Matthew 16:24-25)

  2. John pointed his disciples to Christ. Who are people in your own life who look to you in some way? (children, students, employees, etc.) What are some ways you can point them towards Christ and disciple them?

  3. In this passage, Jesus is called, the Lamb of God, Rabbi, and Messiah. What is the significance of each of those titles?

  4. What are some ways you could disciple others in our church body? Who is someone you could ask to disciple you?

  5. Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter, symbolizing the change Jesus was making in Peter’s life. What are some things in your own life that knowing Jesus has changed? (See also Romans 6:6)

Daniel 1 - God, Are You Still There?: Loss, Favor, and Learning in Exile

+ Application Questions

  1. In Daniel 1:1-2, a pagan king captures God’s chosen people and loots God’s temple. What doubts or questions might have been in the minds of God’s people during this circumstance? Have there been circumstances in your life that caused you to doubt God’s power or goodness?

  2. Look at who is doing the action in Daniel 1, verses 2, 9, and 17. What does this tell you about God’s involvement in our lives? How might this be a comfort in circumstances like the ones mentioned in question 1?

  3. Like Daniel, we are living in a land that is not our home. In what ways do you feel the pressures of this most in your life? Consider memorizing Romans 12:1-2 to help in this area.

  4. Have you had a time when you were asked by a boss or supervisor to do something you knew would be displeasing to God? How did you respond?

  5. Daniel 1:17 serves as a good reminder that any learning, skill, or wisdom we have is a gift from God. What impact should that truth have on the way we talk about our abilities and how we use our skills? How does this truth impact the way you view accomplishments that you’ve worked hard for?

John 1:29-34 - Behold: God’s Ultimate Sacrifice for Your Sin

+ Application Questions

  1. Consider John 1:29-30 and 8:58. What is John proclaiming about Jesus?

  2. Read Isaiah 11:1-2 and Ezekiel 36:27. How do these verses relate to John 1:32-34? How does this emphasize who Jesus is? What does this mean for us?

  3. How might this text embolden you as you think of sharing the good news with others? How might it change the way you interact with co-workers, friends, or family members?

  4. Read Isaiah 40. Meditate on this passage and thank God for his kindness.

  5. John proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” What is the name of someone in your life who needs to hear this good news? Share this name with a close friend or family member, or your Small Group. Pray together that God would provide a gospel opportunity.

John 1:19-28 - Who Do You Think You Are?

+ Application Questions

  1. Read Isaiah 40:3-5. In John 1:19-23, John the Baptist claims to be the voice Isaiah speaks of. Why do you think he uses this text to explain who he is? Consider John 5:44-46. What can this passage reveal to us about John the Baptist’s answer?

  2. How does John’s use of Scripture inform the way we should read it, apply it, and proclaim it?

  3. John says, “Among you stands one you do not know.” Since the Pharisees were likely familiar with Jesus of Nazareth, why does John say this? What does he mean?

  4. Based on the above question, what does this teach us about the nature of salvation (See John 3:6-8; 6:44)?

  5. If someone were to ask who you are, how would you describe yourself to them? What Scripture passages would be helpful in describing your purpose?

John 1:14-18 - Jesus is the Visible Glory of the Invisible God

+ Application Questions

  1. Read John 1:14-18. When Christ took on human form, did this diminish or remove His divine nature? Why or why not? (See also Phil. 2:5-8).

  2. What truths and characteristics of God are uniquely revealed or emphasized through the earthly ministry of Christ?

  3. Although God was gracious to reveal His holiness through the Law, how is the grace revealed through Christ unique and superior to that of the Old Covenant (See Heb. 8:6-13)?

  4. What is one way that God has given you grace this week?

  5. Does God show grace to all people in the same way? How does God show grace to all people, and in what ways does He specifically show grace to His family?

  6. Since we have received grace upon grace from Jesus, we ought to seek to show that grace to others as well. In what ways do you need to show grace to others this week?

John 1:6-13 - Life’s Most Important Question: Will You Receive or Reject Jesus?

+ Application Questions

  1. Read John 1:6-8. What is the purpose of John the Baptist’s life and message? What message(s) might your own life be communicating, and how can you apply John’s example to your own life?

  2. Share about a time when you witnessed to someone, or share a fear or anxiety you may have that keeps you from witnessing. What can help you overcome those fears?

  3. Read John 1:9-13. The God of the universe, Jesus, came into His own creation. What does this say about the character of God? Would God have been righteous and good if He hadn’t sent Jesus to save anyone? Why?

  4. Before Jesus came into the world, how did people hear from God? Give examples from the Old Testament. Read John 5:39-46. What do these texts tell us about the relationship between the Old Testament and Jesus?

  5. John’s gospel includes examples of people “believing in Jesus” in a way that is self-centered ( John 2:23-25 or 6:26). How might you discern if your faith is true, or if you are simply using Jesus to get something from Him?

John 1:1-5 - The Life-Giving, Illuminating Word of God

+ Application Questions

  1. Read John 20:30-31: What does John state as the reason he is writing down the works of Jesus?

  2. When did you believe in Jesus and have life in his name? Consider sharing this with your discussion group.

  3. How have the words recorded in the Bible “given you life” – either at conversion or throughout your Christian walk? What specific verses have sustained you through various seasons?

  4. Read Romans 1:18-25. Why does the Bible assume that everyone knows that there is a Creator God? Give some examples of God’s character being seen through creation.

  5. Have you ever struggled with believing in the existence of God? What are some things that have helped you in these times?

  6. Since Jesus created all things, all things are for His glory. How can you use your money, time, and relationships for His glory? Give examples of things you want to use better for His glory.

Matthew 6:5–18 - Deepening our Dependence on God through Prayer and Fasting

+ Application Questions

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

  2. How has God used the truth of His Word from last week’s sermon in your life this past week?

  3. What point from today's sermon struck your heart the most? What needs to change in your life to apply this point more fully?

  4. What have you learned about the character of God this week and how should this truth cause you live differently?

  5. How does this week’s text point to Jesus and the Gospel?