Honest Words

• January 15th, 2018

Main Point: Wise people recognize the power of honest words
Takeaway: Seek to be known for your honesty
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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. Lying is so common we have various other words that denote it. Words like “fibbing”, or “alternative facts”. What other words or phrases can you think of? Are there differences in meaning between them? (For example, what’s the difference between lying and fibbing?)
  2. Satan is called the “Father of lies” by Jesus (John 8:44). How does Satan utilize lies in an attempt to damage our relationship with God?
  1. Is it possible to be completely honest all of the time? How can we be honest people, and not unnecessarily hurt people’s feelings or seem callous?
  1. Jesus calls himself “The Truth” and says he sends us his Holy Spirit who is referred to many times in the New Testament as “The Spirit of Truth” (John 16:13, for example). How has your relationship with Jesus helped you to become a more honest person?

Table Discussion Question — Can you remember a lie you told as a child? Why do you think you told that lie? Was it out of guilt, or fear, or in order to get something you didn’t deserve? Or was there another reason?

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Helpful Words

• January 9th, 2018

Main Point: Wise people recognize the power that words have, and they use them carefully.
Takeaway: If what you are about to say isn’t helpful, then it also isn’t necessary. 
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Discussion Questions 
Is your natural tendency to be more of a talker or a listener? 
Do you agree that words have the power of life and death? How cognizant are you of the power of your words?
Which area do you need to focus on more? Sharing the good things that you’re thinking, or not sharing all of the bad things that you’re thinking? 
Are you conflict-allergic, conflict-driven, or somewhere in the middle? Would your spouse, or best friend, agree with your assessment? 
Table Discussion Question — What are some ways that you can consciously strive to only say things that are helpful?

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Three Simple Rules - A Vision for 2018

• January 4th, 2018

Memory Verse: John 15:8 - This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Takeaway: Let’s determine to follow these three simple rules in 2018, God helping us.

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Mighty God

• January 2nd, 2018

Scripture: Isaiah 9:6 - “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

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Wonderful Counselor

• December 20th, 2017

Main Point: When looking for the help we need to navigate life we need to look to Jesus first.  
Takeaway: Look to Jesus as your forever-faithful, forever-present, forever-truthful, forever-loving confidant, advisor and Savior.
(Suggested Memory Verse) – Isaiah 9:6 - For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

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Questions 

  1. Imagine entering Jesus’ office and sitting down across from him to have a conversation about what’s on your mind. What would you want to talk about today? 
  1. What qualities would you say go into making a good counselor? Which of those qualities do you have? How do you see them exhibited by Jesus?
  2. Pastor and author Timothy Keller has said, ““All change comes from deepening your understanding of the salvation of Christ and living out the changes that understanding creates in your heart.” What’s your take on that? How does a deeper understanding of our salvation, and living that out, change us?

Table Discussion Question — Read Psalm 16, and then look again at verse 11. How is God bringing you joy today? What is he teaching you about how to live?

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Prince of Peace

• December 12th, 2017

Main Point: Contentment isn’t about what I possess, but trusting God more and loving stuff less.  

Takeaway: This Christmas, give yourself the gift of contentment. 
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Discussion Questions 

1) What is one toy from a childhood Christmas that you thought you would die if you didn’t get? 

2) Are there circumstances in your life that you think make it hard to be content and at peace?

3) How does your perspective change when you make a concerted effort to “recognize the good”? 

4) Have you decided that you will only be happy when ________ happens? (What’s in that blank for you?) How can you find contentment and joy separate from that?  

Table Discussion Question — Share three practical things that you can do this Christmas to give yourself the gift of contentment. 

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Everlasting Father

• December 7th, 2017
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Dreams, Distress, Definites and Decisions

• November 27th, 2017

Main Idea: We can trust in what God knows and has shown to us
Take away: Since God has the future planned out, we can take better care of the present.
Memory verse: Daniel 12:3 - Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

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Questions

  1. Have you ever had a dream that had particularly strong meaning for you? Do you think God speaks to people in dreams today?
  1. What (waking) dreams have you had for your life? Have you ever gone from “dream” to “distress”? What causes distress to get hold of us and how can we fight back against it?
  1. Everyone experiences distress or anxiety sometimes. What one or two truths about God can you remember when those times happen to you?
  1. Daniel prays not only for himself, but for his nation and people. Read through his prayer (Daniel 9:1-19) and talk about what you see there. How does Daniel’s prayer inform the way we might pray? 
  1. Do you need to make a decision today about some aspect of your life with God, or something that God has been speaking to you about?

Table Discussion Question: If I really trust that God knows the future, including my own future, how will that affect my day-to-day life?

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Lions Den

• November 20th, 2017

Main Point: Integrity is found at the intersection of conviction and trust.
Takeaway: Live in such a way that even people who disagree with you will admire how you live.
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Discussion Questions
Have you ever known someone like Daniel who consistently rose to the top in whatever they were doing? What qualities distinguished that person among their peers?
How can being consistent lead you to being exceptional?
How is your prayer life these days? If improvement is needed, what changes can you make?
Is your heart clear? If not, what conversations do you need to have to get there?
Table Discussion Question — What does a life of integrity look like on a practical level? How do the people around a person of integrity view them? How do people treat someone that they’ve found to be lacking in integrity?

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Writing On The Wall

• November 13th, 2017

Main Idea: God has a message for those who reject him, and for those who don’t.
Takeaway: On our own we cannot “be enough” but God has not left us on our own.
Memory verse: But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-6
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Questions
1. Stories about people “falling from grace” seem to be a part of our news almost daily. What should be our attitude/response to these? (Read Proverbs 24:17 and Galatians 6:1 for some guidance.)

2. What are some ways we might start to show contempt for the things of God? What might be some warning signs that we are headed down that slope?

3. Have you ever had to speak a hard truth to someone with more authority or power than you? What was that like? If you’ve been on the receiving end of that (you were the one spoken to by someone in a lower position), what was that like?

4. None of us are perfect followers of Jesus. Left to ourselves we’d all be “found wanting.” How do you deal with feelings of not being “good enough”? Where or when do you most feel that way, if you do? How has your relationship with Jesus helped you, or not, with those feelings?

Table Discussion Question: Imagine that God sent you a message, not of warning, but of encouragement. What do you think he would say to you?

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