Here is an interesting blogpost from a church that does small groups and missional life well. Take a few minutes to read this article.
- God’s Broken Heart
- Heart of Worship
- Heartfelt Invitation
- What images come to mind when you hear the word ‘prophet?’
- The prophets bring a message from the holy God of love. Why do you prefer a message from a nice God of love instead?
- Read Isaiah 1:1-9. Spend some time meditating on these words from a parental perspective. Does it change the way you understand God’s relationship with his covenant people?
- Jimmy said, “The biggest hindrance to our spiritual progress is the fact that we think we are healthy.” Spend some time talking about this statement. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?
- What does meritocracy in your relationship with God look like?
- Read verses 10-15. How does this description of satisfying and unsatisfying worship mesh with your understanding?
- Jimmy ended with these words: “I need the gospel every day, because I need cleansing every day.” Spend time as a group thinking about these words and using them as a springboard for your time of prayer.
It seems that everyone in our culture is talking about sex. Well, everyone except the Church. And often when the Church does speak, it conveys messages about sex that are just as dangerous as the culture’s. So this week, we’ll use the Song of Songs as a jumping off point to explore what the Bible really does say about sex. First, we’ll see that sex is good, a gift from our Creator, and something to be enjoyed and even celebrated. We’ll look at Genesis 1-2 and also read a number of passages from Song of Songs that celebrate sexual love. Second, we’ll see that sex is broken. In the middle of SoS, there is a tense moment when a relational conflict jeopardizes the sexual relationship. While a sexual relationship is good and beautiful, it is also difficult. And the greater something is, the more possibility for damage. We’ll briefly explore some of the ways in which sex is broken (extramarital sex, pornography, sexual or relational lust) and the pain it can cause both partners. Finally, we’ll bring some hope in two ways. First, hope for our sexual relationship. SoS doesn’t end in crisis – there is redemption, forgiveness, reuniting, and reconsummating. But there is a deeper hope: even the best sex is only a pointer to a more foundational, and more satisfying, relationship – with God and his people. We’ll end with this focus on Jesus, highlighted in the Wedding Supper of the Lamb (Rev 19).
Dave’s Main Points
- The Goodness of Sex
- The Brokenness of Sex
- The Hope of Sex
- We should not be ashamed to discuss what God was not ashamed to create. What thoughts went through your mind when Dave quoted this statement?
- Why is the book about sexual intimacy in the Wisdom literature of the Bible?
- Everyone is talking about sex. Spend some time evaluating where you, your spouse, friends, children hear about sex?
- Is your biblical understanding of sex a moral code of do’s and don’ts?
- Make sure each person understands sexual intimacy in light of the big story of Creation-Fall-Redemption-Consummation.
- What words and feelings would use to describe the brokenness of sex?
- Is sex the object of your worship or is it a means/pointer to the object of your worship? What is the difference?
- How should we walk with those who are struggling with sexual brokenness?
- Notice that sexual intimacy begins with a wedding (Genesis 2:23-25) in the Bible and ends with a wedding (the consummation of the wedding of the Lamb and his bride in Revelation)!
Jimmy‘s Main Points
- Losing Proposition
- Looking All Around
- Living It Out
- Discuss the following three statements Jimmy made in his sermon. Do you agree or disagree with each? What can you do in response to these statements?
- We cover up emptiness with distraction.
- We cover up loneliness with being social.
- We cover up futility with activity.
- The author of Ecclesiastes has issues with death (9:5f), do you? How does Christ’s death and resurrection address this issue? How should a follower of Christ view death (don’t give the expected Christian answer, remember Paul hated death and longed for its obliteration)?
- The main word in the book of Ecclesiastes gives the sense of the transitory nature of life, even the elusiveness of life. His one constant source of comfort is the reality of God. Spend some time discussing this thought.
- What do you treasure? How do you treat the things you treasure?
Ken’s Main Points
- What Is It?
- Why Does It Matter?
- How Do I Get It?
- What is your general understanding of the purpose of the book of Proverbs?
- How have you used Proverbs in the spiritual formation of your life and/or children’s lives?
- Identify the voices that you hear on a daily basis that conflict with the voice of Wisdom.
- What is wisdom? Why does it matter? How do you go about getting it?
- How is wisdom related to moral knowledge?
- In which areas of your life do you feel that you’ve applied wisdom consistently? I which areas is it hardest to apply?
- Ken was very clear that Wisdom is a type (shadow, pattern) of Christ, much like Isaac and ram in Genesis 22 are types of Christ. What is the benefit of understanding Wisdom as she is presented in Proverbs 8 as a type of Christ? What is/are the danger/s?
- What did you think of the understanding of the Fear of the Lord to mean having a fear from the Lord so that we will not run away from him to anything for refuge, hope, joy or hope? Ken illustrated this with the fear parents instill in their children concerning strangers. Does this help you understand and apply the Fear of the Lord?