Life Group Studies


1. Based on the message this week, what surprised you most about the ancient Jewish education system?
2. Do you feel that we value the education (discipling) of our children in the same way that they did?
3. Consider this quote from a Mishnah sage – “May you be covered in the dust of your rabbi.” What does this tell us about discipleship and following Jesus?
4. Read Matthew 4:18-22. With a better understanding of Jewish history, how do you see these verses today? What changed in your perspective or understanding? Why would Simon and Andrew drop their nets and “immediately” follow Jesus?
5. Read John 1:43-44. Phillip was from Bethsaida, a small fishing village of 400 people. Understand where and how Phillip died, why would the text emphasize the town he was from? What does this tell us about the kind of people God chooses to use to accomplish his purposes?
6. Read John 15:16. Jesus is preparing His disciples for his death and ascension in reminding them that He chose them. Why was this choice important? How did it differ from other 1st century rabbis? What does it tell you about the faith that Jesus had in his disciples – and, in turn, you!
7. What is your “Hierapolis”? The place where you feel that you’ve lost all influence and there is no hope for restoration? How does this week’s message encourage you as you go back into those environments?
8. What dust are you covered in? The dust of of marital struggles, broken family, culture, fear of rejection, or need for acceptance? What does it look like for you to be covered in the dust of your Rabbi, Jesus?


1. What does the face of God look like to you in your head? Is He smiling, scowling, confused, etc?
2. How would your life or faith be different if you truly believed that you were perpetually accepted and approved by God? What’s the difference between acceptance and approval?
3. Read 2 Corinthians 4:6. What does Paul tell us about the face of Christ in this verse? Why does He is he using light and darkness as a metaphor in this text? How does the face (countenance) of Jesus give us the “knowledge of the glory” (essence) of God?
4. Read Exodus 33:18-23. Moses asks to see God’s glory (‘kavod’ or essence) and and God responds by saying that He will show him His goodness instead. What is the “goodness” of God? Why is this story important in understanding the story of Jesus and the woman in Matthew 9 and Mark 5?
5. Read Matthew 9:18-22. Why did this woman come up from behind Jesus in this story? What does this tell us about her social status and why she was afraid to be seen?
6. Read Mark 5:22-36. Why does Jesus call this woman “daughter”? Why was her display of faith important for Jairus to see?
Pray: Ask God to give you faith to believe that you, as a redeemed child of God, are approved by God.


1. Be honest: When was the last time you found yourself comparing your life to someone else’s? How did you feel?

2. Read 2 Corinthians 3:13-15. According to this verse, why did Paul say Moses wore a veil after his encounters with God? How was this different from the Jewish folklore of the day?

3. How were their minds made “dull” or “hardened”? What veils do we have in our lives that keep us from experiencing the fullness of God in Christ?

4. The statement was made, “When comparison begins, contentment ends.” Do you believe that to be true? If so, where have you experienced this in your own life?

5. Read 2 Corinthians 3:16-18. What does verse 16 say about the presence of the Spirit of God? Is it in the past, future, or now? What does the Sprit’s presence bring?

6. According to these verses, what happens when we give ourselves space to contemplate the glory of God? How does comparison keep us from contemplation?

7. Pray: Pray that God would forgive us for the sin of comparison. Ask God to open our hearts to contemplate His glory in this season of our lives – and the life of our church – so that we may be transformed by His Spirit.


1. Read Genesis 3:1 & 2 and consider this statement: “When you start to question the goodness of God, it’s easier to disobey the will of God.” How can you relate to this statement? Has there been a time in your life where you’ve questioned God’s goodness? How did you respond to that feeling?

2. What do you feel that the enemy wants you to believe about God?

3. Talk about the difference you’ve experienced between Satan’s accusations and the Spirit’s conviction? How can you distinguish between the two?

4. Read 1 John 2:1. Do you live like you believe that Jesus is your advocate who pleads your case? How can this change your perspective?

5. Read Luke 22:54-62. Put yourself in Peter’s shoes for a moment. What kind of shame do you think he felt in that moment?

6. What role does shame play in our relationship with Jesus? What’s the difference between shame and conviction? Why is it important to be able to discern between the two?

7. Consider this statement: “The great mistake made by most of the Lord’s people is in hoping to discover in themselves that which is to be found in Christ alone.” A.W. Pink. Where do you struggle in the battle to look inward for answers versus looking toward Christ?

Pray – In your prayer, reflect on Sunday’s confession: I will not be deceived or accused, because I have an Advocate. Thank God for his advocacy through His Son Jesus.



Scripture: Acts 27:13-44, Acts 28:1-5, 2 Timothy 1:6-7 NLT,  Matthew 14:29-30

1. What are some of your biggest fears? These fears can range from serious/significant to light-hearted and funny. Either way, share with the group and talk about why they exist and what role they play in your life.

2. Read Acts 27:13-44 as a group. Discuss what it means to be “driven along” by your fear, like the ship in Paul’s journey. Has fear ever driven you along? If so, how?

3. If you had to make an evaluation, how much time do you spend focusing on fears in your life?

4. Read Matthew 14:29-30. How does “fixing your focus” impact how we decide between fear and faith? How does our focus effect our courage?

5. Read Acts 28:1-5. How has the enemy revived “snakes” which have been dormant in your life whenever God has “lit a fire” in your heart? How much of your fear is based in regret, things that you did or didn’t do? Are you afraid that these regrets will come back to bite (haunt) you or be used as a weapon of the enemy to weaken your faith?

6. Read 2 Timothy 1:6-7 from the NLT. How can we be encouraged by Paul’s admonition to Timothy in these verses? What does this verse tell us to do with our fear (phobos)?

7. Consider the statement from Sunday’s message: “So what if it does happen? What if your worst case scenario plays out? What does that say about God? Do you believe that He is both the God of the valley and the mountaintop?”