This is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching in this series is discussed outside the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.
I’d suggest using the following questions in two ways:
1) in your personal devotions
2) in discussion with your family, spouse, close friend or friends, LIFE group
Begin in prayer, inviting the Holy Spirit to come and show you what you need to see about yourself, your community or your church.
Read aloud the letter to the church in Sardis in Revelation 3.
The church in Sardis had the “reputation of being alive”, but was dead.
1) Suggest some practical ways in which a church may gain a good reputation within a city.
2) What would motivate a church to become involved in these various activities?
3) What can happen to people’s motivation when they gain a good reputation?
4) Brainstorm some practical suggestions as to how a church could guard against being motivated by reputation alone.
5) When we check to see if a person is alive or dead, we often check their vital signs (Airway, Breathing, and Circulation). What might some indicators be of spiritual vitality within a church body? Be specific about the behaviours that would be present or absent.
“Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent.”
John Stott wrote: “The shortest road to repentance is remembrance. Let someone once recall what they used to be and reflect on what by God’s grace they could be, and they will be lead to repent, turning back from their sin to their Saviour.”
6) How will being a church (or a family or a LIFE group) of remembrance lead to being a community of repentance? List some practical ideas for how this may take place.
7) “Repentance requires greater intimacy with God than with our sin.” Do you agree or disagree? Discuss.
8) If you are discussing this in a community setting, brainstorm some ways that you can keep each other from being a people of pretense and instead be a people of repentance.
The following questions can be used to discuss as a group or for personal reflection. The basis of these questions has been taken from “Gospel in life: Grace Changes Everything” by Tim Killer with Sam Shammas & John Lin.
1) What does Christ mean in your life on a daily basis? In what way is Christ having a significant impact? In what areas should He be having a greater impact?
2) When is the last time you were convicted by the Holy Spirit? For what did you repent? What was the impact of your repentance on your heart? How did it change the way that you lived?
3) Do you admit your limits, mistakes, sins, and weaknesses to God, others and to yourself?
4) Is your life marked by a growth in spiritual fruit? In what measurable ways have you changed over the last year? Challenging yourself to discuss this with someone who knows you well would be a great start toward growth in these areas.
a. Are you more loving?
b. Are you more joyful?
c. Are you more peaceful?
d. Are you more patient with people? With circumstances?
e. Are you kinder?
f. Do you take criticism better?
g. Are you bolder, more courageous, and more confident in following Christ?
h. Are you less angry and gentler?
i. Are you a more self-controlled person? In what areas?
It is God’s desire to be gracious to us. Isaiah 30:18 says:
18 Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”
Lamentations 3: 22-24 says:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
Take some time in prayer to praise the steadfast, patient and loving nature of God our Father as He desire intimacy with children and His church.
Check out http://bethelkingston.com/unleashed and be sure to come to our last Unleashed today (March 13th) at 4 pm in the Upper Room.
Amanda Van Halteren