This is the insert and suggested answers for the Message Based Discussion Questions of the message that was given on February 10, 2013 and posted February 12, 2013. The entire insert is included for review and the answers are only a begining of considerations of how to answer the questions. The serious student will be able to add to these provided suggested answers. SDG.
Strategy of Grace – Pursuing the Role in Jesus
What kind of person does God require to do His work? One who:
· Knows and loves Jesus – The person is growing in relationship with Jesus to know and love Him. Matt 22:37-39; 1 John 2:13-14
· Practices Spiritual disciplines– This person is learning and putting into practice spiritual disciplines for growth and service. John 17:17; Rom. 8:28-29; 12:1-2; 2 Tim. 2:15
· Engages Discipleship – Matt. 28:18-20
These are the characteristics of a committed disciple we looked at several weeks ago from Matt. 4:19. These can be expanded in the acrostic FAITH
· Faithful – He humbly depends on God facing every challenge and joy of life. Matt. 25:21-23.
· Available – He’s humbly available because he has examined and reordered his life. Is. 6:8; Eph. 3:8-9.
· Intentional – He humbly goes before the sovereignty of God seeking God’s will each day in order to live that will out in his life. Phil. 3:9-14; 1:21
· Teachable – He is a humble student of God’s Word for life. Ps. 25:1-5; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16-17
· Holy Spirit controlled – He humbly depends on the Holy Spirit rather than his own talents, abilities or wisdom. Eph. 5:18; Luke 4:1-14
Jesus will raise you to accomplish His will
and become spiritual parents IF you pursue that!
· Jesus is a sovereign gentleman. He will not coerce you. You are not advancing only because you are not pursuing. All the resources of heaven are available to you in His Word and by His Spirit to raise you up.
· Jesus uses all circumstances to prepare you for His mission. Challenges of life are the crucible for pressing forward in His will. Your flesh will want to give up, but He will empower you to keep going.
· Every mindful person can be a spiritual parent to help others. Your humble submission to His Spirit to glorify Jesus will cause you to see His miraculous HOPE and growth in your life.
Message Based Discussion Questions
1) Who is someone you admire in the world? What are his/her characteristics?
a) This question is designed to involve everyone in the small group and each answer will be personalized.
b) The purpose is to allow each person to sense they have something to contribute and allow them to become transparent.
c) E.g. I admire Mike Pence because he holds to conservative values and the sanctity of life. He is interested in helping people take responsibility for their decisions, rather than just give people a handout.
2) What are some of the fears and excuses Moses had from Exodus 3:11- 4:17? _inadequacy_ ; _lack of credibility_; _doubting self_; _slow of speech_; __fear of looking like a fool____. Today, what are fears or excuses that prevent people from taking responsibility to do what God calls them to do?
a) Same as above with Moses’ examples
b) Listening to the devil’s lie that I don’t know enough
c) Comparing self to the “great” abilities of others
d) Not wanting to look like a fool if I say the wrong thing
e) Not knowing that God is able
f) Not trusting in an ability to help others
g) Not thinking that I can communicate well to others
h) Not knowing who I am in Christ, called to serve the Lord
i) Laziness to prepare to disciple
j) Distracted by the world instead of motivated by the eternal
3) What are several characteristics required of an overseer in 1 Timothy 3:1-7? _blameless_; _temperate_; _able to teach___; _not given to wine_; _not violent, etc._. Are these characteristics that should be true only of elders? Who else should spiritually grow into these? Why?
a) These characteristics should be true of anyone discipling others
b) All people should use these as a measurement for spiritual growth.
c) Why? Every husband and father, wife and mother should strive for these as they would apply. Every single should use these as a standard. If these are the characteristics of church leadership, they are the appropriate characteristics of any leader.
4) Read the letters written to the Church of Ephesus and the Church of Laodicea (Rev. 2:1-7; 3:14-22. What are characteristics of these churches? _laboring in word_; _intolerant of evil_; _patience_; _in sin_; _lukewarm_; _wretched, poor, blind, naked_. Which church do think would do a better job of fulfilling the Great Commission? Why?
a) Either church could fulfill the Great Commission if they repented and depended on the Holy Spirit
b) The issue is not the sin or failure of the church. The issue is will they repent and humble themselves to the fulfillment of the Word by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
i) The church of Ephesus had much more going for it, because they were knowledgeable and were intolerant of false teachers.
ii) However, Laodicea cold still make the right decisions to humble themselves and buy gold from Jesus, white garments and eye salve.
iii) The issue is who will not make excuses and press through the fear to do the right thing regardless of the challenges.
Making application from the message:
5) How has the angel of light deceived the church today (2 Cor. 11:13-15)? How has the Vision series challenged you in your thinking?
a) The angel of light deceives by convincing people only certain people (pastors) can lead in the church.
i) Deceiving people to think that a spiritual gift is required to lead in being a spiritual parent.
ii) Rationalizing that I’m not there yet and won’t be for a few more years.
iii) Reasoning that because some people are very good at it, the Lord doesn’t need me to serve and lead.
iv) It’s women’s work and I have a job in the world.
v) I don’t have time to lead others
vi) You have to have a certain amount of knowledge in order to lead others.
vii) The work will get done some time, I don’t need to be involved.
b) The vision series has helped me see that there are stages of spiritual growth. I didn’t know what stage I was in. Now I need to press forward and continue growing, while I take baby steps of serving and discipling. I need to take the steps of faith and try opportunities. I need to do follow-up with people and develop more relationships. I need to be more consistent in my quiet time. I need to be regular at coming to church. I need to be a spiritual parent, when others do actions of a spiritual infant or child.
6) Why do you suppose God doesn’t require you to have certain “degrees” to do His work? What kinds of things hold you back from taking the next step? What could you do to take the next step?
a) Human “degrees” are helpful for background and putting the pieces of God’s Word together, but the power is in what God’s Spirit will do through the available soul. Degrees can hinder a person because of pride and self-righteousness of having the degree. God will use the ordinary person more times than a person with degrees, because they often are more dependent on God.
b) Many things hold people back. Fears and excuses per question 2. Lack of motivation to please the Lord. Lack of understanding of God’s goodness. Lack of being a doer of the Word, instead of a hearer. Fear of failure. Fear of looking like a fool. Fear of someone finding out “I don’t have my act together,” because I didn’t so something just right. Wrong priorities. A schedule that is full of busyness, but not God’s priorities. Lack of compassion to reach people. Lack of knowledge of what that step will be or mean? Failure to trust the Lord with the step.
c) In order to take the next step, I could meditate on the Word, fast, or ask others what steps I could take. I could look for serving opportunities. I could ask to shadow another person who is discipling another person. I can be in a home group. I can read books related to discipleship and small groups. I can take the step in a small way. I can look for feedback and accountability. I could fast. I could choose a verse that motivates to leading others and memorize