Jesus Loves Me

For The Bible - Part 5


Introduction

Jesus Loves Me has been a powerful series. Please join me in thanking God for working powerfully this last weekend as John concluded our series. God has given us stability in an unstable world. John's teaching from Sunday about "For The Bible Tells Me So" reveals to us that we can be unshaken in times of personal, cultural or spiritual upheaval. We found that we also can be fruitful and flourish amidst chaos or constant change. 

GROUP CONNECTION: Target time: 5-10 minutes

Share about a time when believing and obeying the bible saved you from a decision that would have had significant long-term consequences. 

 

STUDY/DISCUSSION: Target time: 45-50 minutes

Small Group Leaders- Please always make the effort to have each person engage in the discussion. Also, as with every week, don't feel pressure to go in-depth on every question, or complete every question. Don't let the pressure of completing every question distract from what God might be doing in your group. 

Read 2 Tim. 3:1-5a and answer the questions below

  • Look at all of the negative attributes described in vs. 1-4. What parallels between today and this passage do you see? 
  • What does "the last days" mean?
    • See Acts 2:17 and 1 John 2:18 for further insight.
    • "The last days" is often used in scripture to refer to the present day (when it was written) until the time that Jesus will return and make all things right. in our day today, we see many (if not all) of the warning signs that are described in this passage. we, just like the early church, are living in "the last days".  
    • In 2 Tim. 3:5 Timothy says, "avoid such people". He clearly think of himself as living in the last days if he (and his audience) can actively "avoid such people". 

Read 2 Tim. 3:14-15 and answer the questions below

  • What does Vs. 15 say about the impact scripture can have on an individual?
  • John shared with us on Sunday that the same scriptures that led us to salvation will continue reshaping us and guiding us as we follow Christ. How have you found this to be true in your own life?

Read 2 Tim. 3:16-17 and answer the questions below

  • Share with the group one way in the last month that scripture has taught, rebuked, corrected, or trained you. what impact did this have on your life over these last few weeks? 
  • The goal is that we might be "complete, equipped for every good work". share with your group how scripture has equipped you for good works in your life.
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  • John shared these 4 truths with us this weekend. Which one has been most true in your life recently?

 

 

 

Live it out:

Look at the list from 2 Timothy 3:1-4 and pick one area that is especially challenging for you right now in your life.

Share ways that your group can help keep you accountable (be specific!). 

 

Prayer time:

Pray for each other and the area you each shared that is challenging for you. 

Pray for a supernatural ability to submit your pride and turn control over to God and His repair manual. 

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Me - Part 4

TEXT: ROMANS 5:17, GENESIS 1:27, JEREMIAH 17:9, 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17


This week John continued our series on Jesus loves me: Christian essentials for the head and the heart. He focused in on the personal this week; the "me". We were reminded that we are a glorious ruin being restored. There is glory and ruin in all of us. As Christ transforms our hearts and lives we find the "ruin" being restored to reflect the "glory".

GROUP CONNECTION

Target time: 5-10 minutes

Discuss your reaction to John sharing that the rusted out "car" (on the left) that is missing its engine and most of the body is worth more than 40k. What does this tell you about how worth and value is determined?

Discuss your reaction to John sharing that the rusted out "car" (on the left) that is missing its engine and most of the body is worth more than 40k. What does this tell you about how worth and value is determined?

STUDY/DISCUSSION

Target time: 45-50 minutes

Read Rom. 5:15-17 and discuss the questions below.

  • Discuss the phrase "but the free gift is not like the trespass [Adam's sin]". How is Jesus' free gift different than Adam's sin and its impact?

Read Rom. 5:18-21 and discuss the questions below.

  • Look at the phrase "so by one man's obedience the many will be made righteous". How would you explain (in less than 30 seconds) this phrase to a new believer?
    • Righteous means being in right standing with God. It could also be described as having the scales balanced in your favor.
    • Leaders- try something a bit corny (but impactful). Have your group members look to those on their right and left (if they are believers) and say, "You are righteous because of Christ".
  • Verse 19 and 21 say that you as a Christian, right now and for the rest of your life, are righteous. How do you believe this truth even when you do not feel that it is true?

  • Look at this graph that John shared with us in service. Discuss the six areas and how you personally have seen them in action.

  • Thinking about your own life, look at the "Ruin" column. Which one of these six areas is the most challenging for you right now? Share with the group how they can support and encourage as you tackle this area this week.

Live It Out:

Who do you know that needs to be healed by Jesus' free gift of grace? Think about ways this week and leading up to Easter that you, by your life, words and actions, can be encouraging to them to become a glorious ruin being restored by Christ.

Prayer Time:

Thank Christ for what He has done in you (righteous, eternal life, etc...).

Pray for the person you thought of who needs to experience healing and restoration that can only come through salvation by believing in Jesus Christ.

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Loves - Part 3

Text: Romans 5:7-8

Last week John examined the most important question we will ever answer: “Who do you believe Jesus is?” We went over the importance of believing in both the humanity and divinity of Jesus, and we also examined the ways we access the power of Jesus.

This week John talked about how we can really know that Jesus loves us.

GROUP CONNECTION
Target time: 5-10 minutes

What does love mean to you? Allow each person to share.

STUDY/DISCUSSION
Target time: 45-50 minutes

Small Group Leaders, please always make an 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.

 

  1. What are some ways you show love to those closest to you?
  2. Read Mark 12:31 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. By looking at scripture, how would you redefine the word, “love?”
  3. Do you truly love strangers the same way you love those who are dear to you? Read Matthew 5:43-47. What does the Bible say about this?
  4. Read John 15:13 and Romans 5:8. Jesus laid down his life for us, “while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8). Some people are hard to love. Sometimes, if we’re honest with ourselves, we are hard to love. How do these verses demonstrate that loving someone else shouldn’t be about THEIR goodness or deserving qualities, but rather, about our own hearts?
  5. Read Zephaniah 3:17. For anyone who is a parent, or has affectionately cared for a child, you can read Zephaniah 3:17, and envision a doting parent checking in on their slumbering infant. One moment He is simply “in your midst,” the next minute, He is “[rejoicing] over you with gladness,” and the next, “he is [quieting] you by his love.” When you envision God as a doting parent over you, how does it alleviate any anxiety you might have in regards to pleasing Him, ideas of perfectionism, or striving?
  6. When Jesus was crucified, we tend to think the disciples were brave and knew exactly what was going to happen next, but they didn’t. In fact, they were scared for their own lives. While a couple headed out of town on the road to Emmaus to escape possible persecution, others like Peter, denied even knowing Jesus. That doesn’t sound like love, does it? And, even with the knowledge that Peter had denied him on three separate occasions, when Jesus saw Peter again, he merely asked, “Simon son of John, do you love me? (John 21:16a). In fact, because Peter had denied knowing Jesus three times, Jesus asks him three times, as if to negate Peter’s threefold denial.  
  7. In the sermon John Dickerson asked, “How can you really know if someone loves you?” With all that you’ve studied today, how can you really know that Jesus loves you?

Application:

Is there anything you are carrying that you think is too big for Jesus to forgive? Are there things about you that you think God could never love?

This week, make a conscious effort to see God as He sees you. He is your Heavenly Father and he longs to have a relationship with you. Read Zephaniah 3:17 again and let it encourage you. Also, consider the following, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are…” (1 John 3:1a).

Prayer Time:

Pray that each participant deeply knows the love of God and fully receives it. Also, pray that as the group departs they will conduct themselves, throughout the week, as those in whom God “[rejoices] over with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17b).

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Jesus - Part 2

Text: Matthew 16:15

Last week John discussed why getting Christianity right matters. Can you remember a few reasons? (It matters for society, our neighbors, our kids and grandkids, ourselves, when we face death and for eternity).

This week John will help us examine the most important question we will ever answer: “Who do you believe Jesus is?”

GROUP CONNECTION Target time: 5-10 minutes

In two or three words, describe Jesus. Allow each person to share.

STUDY/DISCUSSION Target time: 45-50 minutes

Small Group Leaders, please always make an 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.

  1. In Matthew 16:15, Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say I am?” If Jesus were to ask you this, what would you say?
  2. What are some ways the world around you gets this answer wrong?
  3. Read the following verses to help you with this question: 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, Matthew 28:19 & 2 Corinthians 13:14. Considering the verses you just read, how would you explain the Trinity to someone else?
  4. Read Romans 10:9 & 2 John 1:7. Considering these verses, why is it imperative to believe in both the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ?
  5. In the sermon, John mentioned accessing Jesus’s power. We don’t oftentimes think of ourselves as being able to access Jesus’s power, but in scripture we are introduced to a woman who, in her desperation to be healed of a long-term illness, “thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well”” (Mark 5:28). In touching Jesus’s cloak, Jesus felt the “power proceeding from Him” (Mark 5:30a). Even though Jesus was the source of the power, what does Jesus say actually made the woman well? Read verse Mark 5:34.
  6. How does knowing about this relationship between Jesus’s power and our faith affect your faith?

Application:

We are oftentimes like the father of the demon possessed boy in scripture who said to Jesus, “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9.24b). We believe, but we lack something deeper at the heart of our faith.

As John asked in his sermon this week, what do you need to believe about Jesus to access his power? This question is not asking you to test Jesus, for it says in scripture, “And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” (Luke 4:12); Rather, this question asks what you need to understand more clearly about Jesus so that you may believe and have a deeper, more abounding faith and access to the divine Creator of the Universe.

Consider this and commit to it this week.

Prayer Time:

Before praying, read Romans 10:8-9 aloud. Pray for each person to be committed to gaining better and deeper understanding of Jesus Christ this week, so that they may gain access to his holy, incomparable power.  

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Does It Matter? - Part 1

Text: Romans 1:16, Matthew 16;13-15

Pastor John Dickerson launched a new series this last weekend that is all about good news! Each week he will be unpacking the core essentials of the Christian faith—those beliefs that bring power, joy and good news into our lives and our world. Each week we will be re-anchoring ourselves in what Jesus’ Good News is, and what it means for you and your loves ones today.   

GROUP CONNECTION
Target time: 5-10 minutes

Thinking back over the last couple of weeks, what is something (or someone) that has been really encouraging to you personally?  

STUDY/DISCUSSION
Target time: 45-50 minutes

Read Romans 1:1-16 and discuss the questions below.

  • How do you access the “power of God” described in Romans 1:16?

Pastor John discussed the significance of the term “Post-Truth”. Oxford Dictionary chose it as the word that best summarizes 2016. They define the word this way: “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. Instead of discussing an objective truth; we are often discussing individual ideas of truth, and people often take great offense if someone disagrees with their individual idea of truth.

Read Romans 1:18-23 and discuss the question below.

  • How does this passage differ from the idea of “Post-Truth”?

  • Christians are still required to commit to objective, unchanging standards about Jesus (who he was/is, what he taught). What does someone absolutely need to believe in order to be a Christ follower?

    • Pastor John shared it this way"

      • “Jesus”- Fully man and fully God

      • “Loves”- Died on the cross for the sins of the world and rose again

      • Why? To provide a way to humanity to be re-connected to God.

      • “Me- this I know”- Humanity is a glorious ruin… made in the image of God, but marred by sin. Every single person can be made right to God, by believing in Jesus’ work on the cross.

      • “For the Bible tells me so”- Everything we do and believe will be based- not on our feeling or changing society- but on the unchanging Word of God.

  • Discuss how can you communicate these objective truths of Christianity in a way that will be heard and understood even by those who might completely disagree.

  • Does it matter if we get Christianity right? Why?

    • Pastor John stated that Christ’s message is the power to change our world and ourselves.

  • Think about each of the following areas that he mentioned in his sermon. Discuss the impact, that Christianity has had and will continue to have in each area.
    • It matters for our society

    • It matters for our neighbors

    • It matters for our kids and grandkids

    • It matters for you personally

    • It matters when we face death

    • It matters when for eternity

Prayer Time:

Pray for the courage and wisdom to communicate the truths of Christianity to those around you who desperately need to hear it.

Live It Out:

This series is the perfect time to invite someone to church with you. This series will answer many of the questions that they will have to ask in order to understand, believe in, and follow Jesus. Pray about who to invite. Take a bold step and invite a friend or co-worker to join you.

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