Archive for November 2016

Going Further

Grace-centered Giving

2 Corinthians 8:1-9
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  1. Read 2 Corinthians 8-9 (also Romans 15:25-27, 1 Corinthians 16:1-4) to get a full context on the specific need Paul is teaching about. What does this teach us about how Christians should give?
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  2. Why is responding to grace received more of an effective motivation than guilt is in being a generous giver?
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  3. Why do we feel like we need more money in order to be a more generous giver?  Why is gracious giving more about our joy in Christ and understanding His grace than how much money we have?
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  4. Why do we feel like we have to hoard our resources during times of affliction and poverty?  How does Paul challenge that in this passage?
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  5. Why are we not eager to give generously? Memorize 2 Corinthians 8:9.
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  6. Reflect on how much you spend on helping poor believers and the advancement of the gospel compared in relation to how much you have.  How can more wealth make unnecessary things “necessary?”
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  7. Spend some time reflecting on the richness of Christ (Isaiah 9:6,Micah 5:2, Colossians 1:15-20, Hebrews 1:3, John 8:58 and 10:30), how He became poor (John 1:14, Luke 9:58, Mark 10:45, Romans 8:3, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 4:4, Philippians 2:5-8), so that we could become rich with spiritual blessings (Romans 8, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians 1:3-14 and 2:4-10, 1 Peter 1:3-4).  How is a deeper understanding of this a motivation for generous, grace-centered giving?
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  8. In what ways can you sacrifice your normal giving patterns and traditions to free up your resources to give generously to those in need and the advancement of the gospel during this Christmas season?

Going Further

Jesus Will Build His Church

Matthew 16:13-18
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  1. Read Colossians 1:15-20.  How does this passage affirm in depth Peter’s confession of Christ in Matthew 16:16?  How does our understanding of who Jesus is affect how we follow Him?  Explain.
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  2. Why do people get an incorrect or incomplete idea of who Jesus is?  What are the potential results of that? Is it possible to defame Jesus by thinking nice thoughts of Him?  How?
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  3. To Whom do we really owe our understanding of Jesus and response to Him (See 1 Corinthians 2:14, 2 Corinthians 4:4-6, John 6:44)?  Why should that overwhelm us and lead us to worship?
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  4. Read Ephesians 2:19-22, Revelation 21:14, 1 Peter 2:4-8, 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, and Acts 4:11.  How does that help with your understanding of the “rock” mentioned in Matthew 16:18?
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  5. Read the following Scriptures.  Note the certainty of how God builds His church: Ephesians 1:4-5, Acts 20:28, Ephesians 2:1-10, 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 and 3:18, Philippians 2:13, Matthew 28:18-20, Philippians 1:6, Romans 8:30, Revelation 5:9-10, 1 Peter 2:9.
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  6. In what ways are you tempted to feel insecure and fearful of the future? How should we be encouraged knowing that nothing can stop God from building His church?  How should knowing that affect our personal response to Jesus, our peace and joy in an insecure world, the boldness of our witness, and the purpose of our lives?
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  7. This week: Memorize Hebrews 12:28.  Also, share the truth of Peter’s confession with someone who has a wrong or incomplete view of Jesus.

“Before and after America, there was and will be the church. The nation is an experiment. The church is a certainty.” (Mark Dever)