Text: John 18
Last week Chip examined John 18 and Jesus’ assertion, “For this I have been born…to testify to the truth.” He also explored the common struggle of many Christians, regarding sharing our testimonies with others, and the ideas of courage and cowardice.
Target time: 5-10 minutes
What does courage mean to you? What does it mean to be a coward? Allow each person to share.
Target time: 45-50 minutes
Small Group Leaders, please always make an intentional effort to have each person engage in the discussion. Remember, all Small group discussions are meant to “…[build] others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29b).
Also, as with every week, Small Group Leaders should never feel the pressure of having to go in-depth on every question, or completing the entire outline. The purpose of these questions is to enhance your group time, and to encourage people to seek a deeper personal relationship with God. Do not let the pressure of thorough completion of the questions distract from what God might be doing in your group, at a deeper level.
Question 1 – What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done? What compelled you to engage in such an act of bravery?
Question 2 – On the far less comfortable side of the coin, what is something cowardly that you’ve done? This does not need to be soul-bearing, but in the scope of something that is shareable. (Perhaps as a child, you allowed someone else—a sibling or friend—to take the blame for something you did; You didn’t speak up for someone when you should have, etc.).
Question 3 – What was the motivation for your response to Question 3? (Example: Fear, Pride, Greed, etc.).
Question 4 – Read Hebrews 11:1-2. In this verse, Paul says that “the men of old gained approval.” It’s good to realize that “men of old” refers to the Saints in the Old Testament (Abraham, Sarah, Noah, Moses, Rahab, etc). Good and bad, valid and invalid, what are some ways current-day Christians strive to gain God’s approval?
Question 5 – Take turns in your group reading through Hebrews 11:8-38. Consider some of the “men of old”—a list that contains women as well—and go around your group and discuss which ones stand out as the most courageous to each person. Answers will vary, based on individual definitions of courage.
Question 6 – Considering the saint(s) you deemed most courageous, what would it take for you to behave in the same courageous manner?
Question 7 – What is the most fearsome thing you face regarding your faith? How does it differ from the things the “men of old” faced?
Live It Out:
When we read about “men of old,” we tend to think that we could never attain such bravery, and because we don’t live in the same times, our acts of bravery tend not to be as perilous; however, we all face our own moments of decision—where the rubber meets the road, so-to-speak.
With this in mind, what is your Goliath?
Consider that before David killed Goliath, he said to the giant, “…the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47).
How can this verse bolster you to be courageous enough to face your Goliath this week? Sharing with the group, what conscious effort are you committed to take in overcoming your Goliath?
Before you pray, read 1 John 4:4, “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
And, read Luke 12:4, “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do.”
Pray that each participant in the group accept the courage given to them by the greatness of God and the mightiness of the Holy Spirit. Also pray for contentment “with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when [we are] weak, then [I am] strong” 2 Corinthians 12:10.