- Everyone has a need.
- Thief #1: Unrepentant
Thief #2: Repentant
- Repentant means a change of heart.
- The Risen Savior meets my deepest need.
- Eternal Life
- What are your top three needs today? How have they changed from a year ago?
- In what area do you need a miracle this week?
- To which thief (Luke 23:32) do you best relate? Why?
- In what way can trusting Jesus give you hope for your immediate needs (relational, professional, family, health, etc.) as well as eternally?
- I will trust Jesus with my life.
You can love Him or you can hate Him, but you cannot ignore Him.
- People reshape Jesus to suit their prejudices.
- Jesus claimed to be God.
- People said Jesus was God.
- Jesus fulfilled the prophecies about the Messiah.
- The resurrection validates Jesus.
- What difference does it make?
- Only God can pay your debt.
- Changes the way we love others.
- Changes how we worship God.
- Describe when you first seriously asked the question, “Who is Jesus?” What were the circumstances of your life at that time?
- Is it difficult or easy for you to believe that Jesus rose from the dead and is alive today? Could you articulate your belief to a friend in a clear way?
- If it is difficult for you to believe Jesus was resurrected, what is the biggest hurdle to that belief?
- To which response of who Jesus is (Liar, Lord, Lunatic, or Legend) do your friends or colleagues or neighbors tend to gravitate?
- If Jesus is who He says He is, how will that affect your life on Monday?
- I will make a decision about who Jesus is today!
1 Corinthians 15:1-10
Regardless of your brokenness, God’s grace allows us to recover and pursue.
- Gospel means good news.
- Person & Work of Jesus Christ:
- Jesus is the Son of God
- Jesus died and rose again
- Jesus forgives sins
- I must believe in Jesus to be saved.
- I need the gospel of grace every day.
- What is the best way to tell a person some bad news? How might you tell someone good news?
- Practice telling the story of the three rings in your group. In what ways, do you find this method helpful? How can you incorporate your personal story in the three rings?
- How has the gospel enabled you to recover from brokenness?
- Describe your personal road to recovery. Describe your personal road to pursuing God’s design.
- I will practice telling my story via the three rings.
The lost and broken are not my enemies; they are captives of my enemy.
- Where does evil come from and what is it?
- Evil is a perversion of God’s plans
- Evil is a parasite of goodness
- Evil precedes some suffering
- How is God dealing with evil and suffering?
- How can I help others deal with suffering?
- What do I do when I am suffering?
- Trust God’s community
- Trust God’s capacity
- Trust God’s character
- Do you struggle with the concept of an all-powerful God allowing evil to exist? Why or why not?
- In light of the evil you’ve experienced or know of, do you believe God is just?
- Be honest, do you wish God would fight evil differently than He does?
- Do you consider yourself evil based on the message today? Why or why not?
- When you’re in the midst of dealing with suffering, what is the best way to remember Ephesians 6:12 (look it up)? Discuss reasonable ways to respond.
- I will be aware of how I can help someone suffering from the effects of evil.
God uses broken people to reach a broken world.
- Our world is broken
- Acknowledge my own brokenness
- Brokenness is not the end of my story
- God will use my brokenness
- Name one way you see the current world is broken.
- Why do we tend to justify initially our behavior that ultimately is wrong and leads to brokenness?
- If you are comfortable, share one way in which you have been broken or are in the midst of being broken.
- It is important to know that brokenness is not the end of your story. There is hope in the person of Jesus. Have you found this to be true? If not, have you tried having Him help you?
- How has someone else’s brokenness helped you? Or how has yours helped someone else?
- I will look for an opportunity to encourage someone else with my experience of brokenness.
Genesis 1 & Romans 1
Get to know the Who behind the what.
- The universe exists.
- The universe is intricately designed for life.
- People desire meaning.
- People believe in moral standards.
- Jesus shows us the Father.
- Describe the journey of your belief or unbelief in a higher power. What have been significant steps in that journey?
- In Pastor Steve’s outline, do you find #’s 1-4 compelling or not? Explain.
- Is it possible to demonstrate God is personal without using the Bible?
- If you believe God is personal, to what degree do you know Him? How much more about God do you believe you have yet to learn?
- Take time in your Small Group to pray for friends you want to invite to meet Jesus.
- Make specific time this week to get to know God a little better than you do today.
We can help others discover God’s design.
- I am created in the image of God
- I am created for…
A. Friendship with God
Friendship = Trust & Love
B. Friendship with others
C. God given responsibilities
- What current problem in your life are you trying to fix without God’s help?
- Do you daily think about the fact that you are created in God’s image? Does that change the way you view yourself? How so?
- Describe a true friendship you have in which you have not talked to the other person in several months. Why is it difficult to find time for this friend? Are these similar reasons on why you may not connect with God on a regular basis?
- Do you believe God wants to be your friend? If so, to what degree does that motivate you to embrace Him?
- Would you say you are slightly or greatly trying to embrace God’s design for your life right now?
- I will pursue God’s design for my life by:
Matthew 22:34-40 & 28:18-20
A Great Commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission makes a great Church.
Why make a commitment to a church?
- Biblical Reason: Christ is committed to the church.
- Practical Reason: Count on me.
- Cultural Reason: A place to make an eternal difference.
- Personal Reason: A place to grow.
Following through on commitments = Spiritual Growth
How can I make a commitment?
- Act like an owner by investing in people.
- Take personal responsibility.
- Find your niche and serve.
- Be supportive of the values and vision.
- What is your neighborhood like? How many of your neighbors do you know? How many are “annoying?”
- How are you the “annoying” neighbor? Be honest…
- With whom might you invest time in the next week in your neighborhood?
- Discuss Pastor Steve’s statement: You can’t be fully committed to Jesus and not be committed to a church. Agree? Disagree? Why?
- How have you experienced spiritual growth from following through on a commitment?
- I will choose to be committed to my church by:
- Sometimes God leads us to the front door.
- Vision Busters
- Nay Sayers
- Believe it before you see it.
- Vision must be connected to venture.
- As you hear GCF staff talk about the church’s vision, are you excited for where we’re going? How so? What part, if any, makes you nervous?
- With which Vision Buster (Outline #2) do you struggle with the most? Why?
- Describe a time when you felt in the minority (Num 13:30-33), but you knew you were right. Did you trust God and fight for your belief or did you retreat? Explain what happened.
- Even after seeing multiple miracles from God (Num 14:11), the Israelites complained and didn’t trust Him for the next step of their journey, which showed a lack of trust. Are you at the front door of a God-vision in your life (i.e., relationally, professionally, academically, logistically) that you need to pass through? If so, what is keeping you from moving forward? Is this a trust and courage moment for you?
- I will pray about my role in GCF’s vision and then take action.