Life Group Studies

Life Group Study: Aug 5, 2019 – Take Heart? When You Are Broken, Take Heart

1. What do the words “take heart” mean to you? Discuss the different ways we interpret and apply this phrase to our lives.

2. Read Luke 24:13-20. Set the scene for the passage of Scripture. What events have just taken place? What were these disciples wrestling with in this moment?

3. Why is it significant that they were leaving Jerusalem (the place where the other disciples/believers were gathered and waiting) and going back to Emmaus? What does this tell us about their hope in Jesus’ resurrection?

4. Even though they are going in the wrong direction (leaving Jerusalem), Jesus appears to them. When has Jesus stepped into your life when you were going the wrong way? How did he redirect you in that moment? How did you respond?

5. Read Luke 24:21-35. Why did Jesus “act as if he were going farther”? How does God provoke us to pursue and understand our need for Him in certain situations? In the message, John said, “The reason it seems like God is playing hide and seek with you is not because He doesn’t want you to find him, but because he wants you to learn to look for Him and see him in a new a deeper way in the pursuit.” How have you experienced this in your life?

6. It says they recognized Jesus when He took, blessed, broke, and gave the bread. John went on to discuss how this is God’s pattern for how He has always worked and does always work in the lives of those whom He chooses to use. He explored this further by looking at Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and Jesus. Which stage are you in right now (taking, blessing, breaking, giving)? What do you believe God is teaching you in your stage?

7. John ended by saying that, “God does not give away bread to the world that He has not not broken.” Why is the breaking essential to the giving?

8. No matter the stage you’re in, it’s important to remember that the bread never left Jesus’ hands. How can you find comfort and hope in that this week?



Life Group Study: July 29, 2018 – Take Heart: Straining or Significant?

1. What’s the most recent storm experience in your life? A season or moment where you felt like the “winds were against” you and you were rowing and couldn’t see the shore? Explain what you felt during that time and what you learned or are learning.

2. Read Mark 6:45-52. When the “winds are against” us in life, it is easier to believe that God is against or for us? What do you believe and why?

3. If Mark’s gospel is the recollection of Peter, why would he leave out the part about him stepping out of the boat and walking on water? Read Matthew’s account in Matthew 14:22-29 for context.

4. In Matthew 14:29-30 it says that Peter heard the word of the Lord to “come” but when he “saw” the wind he began to sink. Why does Matthew use the words “heard” and “saw” when describing this experience? Read Romans 10:17 and 2 Corinthians 5:7.

5. The wind died down when Jesus got into the boat. What does this tell us about the power of his presence? How does this impact our understanding of the gospel?

6. John ended the teaching by encouraging people to remember the lesson of the loaves. When we’re in the storm, how can we remember the provision of God in the past to help us when it feels like the winds are against us?

7. If you are in a storm right now, recall a time when God provided for you and rescued you in the past. How can you find hope in your current situation based on the past provisions of God?



Life Group Study: July 15, 2018 – Abounding in Steadfast Love and Faithfulness

1. Who is someone in your life who is an example of steadfast love? Why?

2. Exodus 34:6-7 tells us that God is “abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Steadfast love, or hesed in Hebrew, is the only trait of God mentioned twice in this text (it surfaces again in the next verse). What does that tell us about this attribute?

3. Hesed in Hebrew Scripture (aka: Old Testament) is the kind of love given with nothing expected in return or when the person doesn’t deserve. With that understanding, how does hesed tie into our understanding of grace? How are they similar?

4. Emet is the Hebrew word for faithfulness. It can also mean “truth” or “trustworthy.” On Sunday we discussed the idea that God’s faithfulness is an extension of His love. Why is it important to understand faithfulness in relation to love? How does that impact your understanding of God’s faithfulness or trustworthiness?

5. Read 2 Timothy 2:13 and John 16:33. We often view bad situations in life (broken marriage, illness, loss of job, etc.) as a sign that God is not faithful. After walking through the idea of a covenant in the Bible, how do you now see God’s faithfulness even in difficult seasons of life?

6. For the New Testament authors, hope was the absolute expectation of coming good based on the character of God. Where have you misplaced hope in your life? Is it in a person, relationship, job, or social status? How can your Life Group encourage you to redirect your hope back to God?



Life Group Study: July 15, 2018 – Abounding in Steadfast Love and Faithfulness

1. Who is someone in your life who is an example of steadfast love? Why?

2. Exodus 34:6-7 tells us that God is “abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Steadfast love, or hesed in Hebrew, is the only trait of God mentioned twice in this text (it surfaces again in the next verse). What does that tell us about this attribute?

3. Hesed in Hebrew Scripture (aka: Old Testament) is the kind of love given with nothing expected in return or when the person doesn’t deserve. With that understanding, how does hesed tie into our understanding of grace? How are they similar?

4. Emet is the Hebrew word for faithfulness. It can also mean “truth” or “trustworthy.” On Sunday we discussed the idea that God’s faithfulness is an extension of His love. Why is it important to understand faithfulness in relation to love? How does that impact your understanding of God’s faithfulness or trustworthiness?

5. Read 2 Timothy 2:13 and John 16:33. We often view bad situations in life (broken marriage, illness, loss of job, etc.) as a sign that God is not faithful. After walking through the idea of a covenant in the Bible, how do you now see God’s faithfulness even in difficult seasons of life?

6. For the New Testament authors, hope was the absolute expectation of coming good based on the character of God. Where have you misplaced hope in your life? Is it in a person, relationship, job, or social status? How can your Life Group encourage you to redirect your hope back to God?



Life Group Study: July 8, 2018 – Slow to Anger

1. When was the last time you truly lost your temper? When you weren’t “slow to anger” or patient? Who is someone that you know well who is truly slow to anger?

2. Read Exodus 34:6-7. “Slow to anger” in the Hebrew is erek apayim which literally means “long of nostril.” It seems a bit bizarre at first, but think about the implications of this Hebrew idiom. What came to mind when you heard that phrase? How did you picture this on a physiological level?

3. The gods of Moses’s day were angry and short-tempered. Why would this picture of Yahweh as slow to anger been important for the Israelites? Why is it important today? How is God’s anger or wrath skewed in modern culture?

4. It takes a lot to make God angry, but He does get angry. Read Psalm 7:11-12, 5:5-6, and 11:5. What does this tell us about God’s anger? What makes him angry?

5. How does our anger compare to God’s? In the teaching on Sunday, John said that our anger typically comes from a wounded ego (someone hurts us, makes us feel stupid… or simply didn’t do what we wanted). Is this true in your experience? Is our anger, as John said, typically disproportionate to the offense once we’ve had time cool off and sit and think about it?

6. How did the conversation about God’s passive and active wrath impact you? Paul wrote about God’s passive wrath in Romans 1 when he said that, “God gave them over…” to their wicked and sinful desires. We also see this in the destruction of Ninevah by the Babylonians.

7. God is love. God is not wrath or anger. When God returns and restores our broken earth there will be no anger or wrath. So, God’s wrath is born out of His love. Love, mercy, and compassion are His baseline emotions toward us. How does that idea sit with you? Do you believe that God is truly loving and exercises great patience (long suffering) towards us?

8. End by reading James 1:19-20 and 5:7-11. The context of James’s letter is relationships. What does this say about how we are to relate to one another? Who do you need to make amends with in your life because of being quick to anger or unforgiving of theirs?