Go For It (Week 3)

Hebrews 11

Sunday, January 19

This week we read about a few hero’s of faith, specifically Abraham. Abraham’s family did not have perfect faith but they sought after and trusted in the author and perfector of faith (Heb 12:2). Our prayer should be for His kingdom to be on earth as it is in heaven because His name is hallowed.

  1. Am I seeking the promises of this world or God’s promises? What does my heart long for?
  2. What is God asking me to say YES to?
  3. Is there something that is keeping me from saying YES to God?
  4. How will I begin to sacrifice so I can follow Gods plans?

Go For It (Week 4)

Hebrews 11

Sunday, January 26

  1. What attributes am I instilling in my family/friends that are God honoring?
  2. What am I focusing on with my family/friends that is NOT God honoring?
  3. Do I make decisions based out of fear or faith? Why do I do this?
  4. I can not give to my family and friends what I do not have. What do I need to ask God for in order to see the gifts He has already given me (Life and Faith for example)?

Go For It (Week 5)

Hebrews 11

Sunday, February 2

  1. What is it in my life that seems impossible?
  2. What in my life do I feel trapped by? Do I see this trap as being part of God’s rescue plan?
  3. What impossible “title” am I carrying? What “title” does God want me to carry?

Go For It (Week 6)

Hebrews 11 and 12

Sunday, February 9

  1. Remember the illustration about our physical life being a small piece of tape on a long rope into eternity. What am I doing that is going to make an impact on eternity? What am I doing now that is NOT making an impact on eternity? Should I stop doing this?
  2. The beginning of Hebrews 12 says, “let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.” What are the unnecessary things slowing me down? What sin keeps tripping me up? Am I willing to get rid of these things?
  3. Are the “dreams” I have for my life God-centered or self-centered? How can I align a self-centered dream to a God-centered one?

Connect in Community (Week 1)

Gen. 2:18, Gen. 3:8, Acts 2:42, Prov. 27:17, James 5:16, Gal. 6:2, Eph. 4:15

Sunday, February 16

These next few weeks we will be diving into why God designed us to be in Community. We define Community as real relationships that move you closer to Jesus. When we are in biblical Community we will interact with God’s Word, His Spirit, and His People.

Big Idea: You were meant to be connected!

We find at least 3 things that Adam and Eve encountered with relationships in the book of Genesis. Let’s dive into these in our questions.

  1. Man and woman began to believe lies about God and each other. One lie was that God could not be trusted. Another lie was that God was holding out on them and a better life could be found outside of God’s instructions. Do I believe there are things I can not trust God with? Do I live in a way that shows a better life can be found outside of God’s instructions?
  2. Man and woman stopped listening to the voice of God. They began to listen to the voice of Satan, the voice of selfish desires, and later the voice of society. What voice am I listening to? Is there a voice that I am listening to more than God’s? How can I hear the voice of God clearly?
  3. Man and woman isolated themselves. They hid from God and each other. Before they were naked and felt no shame; now they felt shame and clothed themselves. The close connection to God and each other was all gone. What areas in my life do I keep hidden (isolated)? What is it that I need to share with God and His People?

Go For It (Week 2)

Hebrews 11

Sunday, January 12

  1. Do I find my faith comfortable, lazy, or selfish?
  2. What hard thing is God asking me to do that I don’t want to do?
  3. What am I holding onto that should be God’s first (week, wake, wage)? If God has my “firsts”, what else may I be holding onto that should be His?
  4. How will I practice heartfelt worship? (Like Abel’s worship/sacrifice)
  5. What is the next best step I can take to walking in faith with God?

Go For It (Week 1)

Hebrews 11

Sunday, January 5

  1. What are things that I put my faith in? (For example, a spouse will make me happy, the work that I do defines me).
  2. Where do I need to exercise faith? (finances, career, marriage, future spouse, enough money to pay bills, salvation of a family member)
  3. A Christians faith is the same as a building’s foundation. How strong/stable is my foundation/faith? If my foundation/faith has a weak spot what will I do to build up faith in that area?
  4. Where do I find evidence in my life of God’s faithfulness?

Chapter Two: The Problem of God’s Existence

My Problem With God Is…

Sunday, September 15

Clark begins by stating “If we are going to believe in God, then we must ask what the evidence is for his existence. What proofs and clues are there that an all-powerful, eternal, infinite being actually exists?” His arguments are then categorized into two primary areas, the morality of people, and the order of the universe. In short, why do we have an innate desire to do what’s right, to lay down our life for people we love instead of doing whatever necessary to advance ourselves. “The very fact that something within us is repelled by racism, sexism, and unequal treatment of the poor and disabled begs the question that such convictions would have to come from somewhere, for they are not natural.” The chapter goes on to provide evidence against the Big Bang Theory, as well as evolution, and supports evidence of an intelligent design.

Getting Started:

  1. Take a few minutes as a group and share what portions of the book or the Sunday morning message where interesting to you. What was most “eye opening” as you heard and read about an intelligent designer.
  2. On pg.58, Clark writes “The laws that govern physical matter would need to exist prior to the big bang. They could not come into existence at the same moment as the big bang itself or else they would not do their work.” Based on your faith and beliefs, what existed first? When did the laws of physics exist? Heaven? Hell? Angels? Jesus? Holy Spirit? Devil?
  3. Theories and opinions regarding creation are readily available today. How do you lead your kids, grandkids or young people through the discovery process to determine what they believe is truth vs theory? How do they do this while honoring God and loving people along the way?
  4. Based on the information you’ve read in this book, and the discussion that took place, do you feel your confidence in God has increased? Do you feel you have more questions than when you started? What is your next step with this new position? This may be intentional conversations with your kids, other family, friends, co-workers?

Going Deeper:

  1. Prior to reading this chapter or listening to the message, how would you explain our society’s desire to live by a moral code or a desire to “do the right thing”? In your own words, how do you explain the fact that we as a whole are against murder, or racism, or other “wrong things”?
  2. Many people believe that the creation of the universe was simply a “lucky”, single occurrence (Big Bang Theory). Clark shares a poker analogy where the odds of the universe being created consistent with the Big Bang is equivalent to being dealt a perfect royal flush in poker every hand, forever. Why do you believe so many people feel it is easy to believe in the Big Bang, when they would never believe in the poker analogy?
  3. If someone came to you and argued that the Grand Canyon was created millions of years ago, how would you began to use your faith in God to defend the creation story? What are other examples of theories people share and we accept as facts when it relates to creation and the universe?

Chapter Three: The Problem of the Bible

My Problem With God Is…

Sunday, September 22

Is the Bible historically legitimate or is it filled with folklore? Has the Bible changed over time? Does it contradict itself? How do we know we have something even close to the original text? Why have some writings been left out of the Bible? Do you really expect me to take every word as truth and not merely as a general guide to help me live a better life? Clark provides evidence that “the Bible is actually one of the most, if not the most, reliable and credible documents from antiquity.” He systematically tackles many of the toughest questions, including issues related to slavery, women and even polygamy in the Bible. Not only is it accurate, complete and true, the scriptures have power to speak. “And if we listen, and heed them and let them take us over, they will transform us, forever.”

Getting Started:

  1. What are the hurdles or questions you have had to confront in relation to the Bible, and why? Do you relate to any of the questions raised on pg 65? What issues do you hear most often from people regarding their hurdles with the Bible?
  2. How literal do you believe the Bible is? For instance, was the universe created in 6 days? Was the entire Earth under water in the flood? Was Jonah in the mouth of a fish? Are there parts of the Bible that are difficult to accept?
  3. Take a few minutes as a group and share what portions of the book or the Sunday morning message helped build your trust in the Bible? 
  4. Do you give the same weight or reliability to the Old Testament as you do the New Testament? Are there areas of the Bible you hold tighter to than others? Why is that so?

Going Deeper:

  1. In developing your trust, or mistrust of the Bible, how much have you considered the historical scrutiny it has been placed under? Does this level of scrutiny render it more valid that other historical documents?
  2. On pg. 80, Clark shares his personal experience and states, “I began to realize that there’s a world of difference between the Bible explaining what is happening and God affirming and encouraging what is happening.” Does this distinction help you with issues related to slavery, polygamy, the treatment of women and children, etc.?
  3. Why do you believe it is easy for others to dispute the accuracy of the Bible, yet they accept other ancient texts with far less legitimacy? Is it simply a lack of knowledge, or an intentional decision to refute scripture as it would require life change to live out the Christian faith?

Chapter Four: The Problem of the Christ Myth

My Problem With God Is…

Sunday, September 22

Chapter 4 tackles many conspiracy theorists who have taken the position that Jesus never existed, was simply a mythical character created by the culture of the time, or at a minimum, existed but did not raise from the dead. Clark writes “Under the persecution of both the Jews and the Roman Empire, Christianity grew from a group of twelve disciples to over 33 million people in just 350 years, and by 400 AD, 56% of the entire population of the Roman Empire were Christians.” This tells us that those closest to the life and resurrection of Jesus may have been more likely to place their faith in Jesus than many people today. He shares that time has allowed the truth to be mystified in some way. What is most surprising, is this distortion hasn’t taken place with the most scholarly historians, but instead with those who do not take an honest look at the actual evidence that exists. Because of great evidence, we can know “that he (Jesus) was a real flesh-and-blood Jewish teacher in first-century Israel”, who was crucified and raised from the dead.

Getting Started:

  1. Take a few minutes as a group and share what portions of the book or the Sunday morning message increased your confidence that Jesus really walked on this Earth.
  2. If “The Christ Myth” were true, that Jesus never existed, or that he was not raised from the dead, what ramifications would this have for Christianity? For humankind?
  3. When do you believe Jesus was born, and why do we currently celebrate it on December 25th? Why do we assume there were three kings at his birth? Why is it important to know scripture when engaging skeptics?
  4. Clark writes “Historians continue to debate the nature of Jesus, the exact date of his birth, what he did and taught, etc., but they almost unanimously affirm that he existed.” Knowing this, why do you believe so many have taken the position that he never existed?

Going Deeper:

  1. What have you done, or what will you do, if someone makes a claim that Jesus was not real? Do you pursue original texts, or rely on secondary sources? What benefit does critical study play in developing our faith position?
  2. Can you imagine how Christianity could grow so rapidly without the documented eyewitness accounts of the physical resurrection of Jesus? Can you relate this to a situation in your life, where it would be impossible to convince so many without eyewitnesses, and simply telling a story?