Psalm 145

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 145:1-3. What are ways you can bless the Lord and praise His name every day?
     
  3. Read Psalm 145:4-7. How can you intentionally commend God’s work in your life to the next generation? Can this be done even if you don’t have children? If so, how?
     
  4. Verse 5 says the Psalmist will meditate on the splendor of God’s majesty and on His wondrous works. Take time to meditate (pause and ponder) on verses 8-9. In what ways has the Lord shown these verses to be true in your own life? How should you respond to those truths?
     
  5. Read Psalm 145:10-21 aloud as a declaration of praise to God.Take note of God’s attributes and actions in these verses.

Psalm 34

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 34:1-3. What does it mean to boast in the Lord or to magnify the Lord? Is this something that every Christian should be doing? What hinders you from doing this more often? List some practical ways you can boast in the Lord and magnify Him.
     
  3. Read Psalm 34:4-7. When we face fears or trials, we’re often tempted to run from the Lord instead of seeking Him like David did. How can we condition our hearts to run to God in times of trial instead of away from Him? (See David’s example in Psalm 119:9-16.)
     
  4. Read Psalm 34:8-10. How do we reconcile these verses with the worldwide persecution and suffering of Christians? (See Psalm 34:19, John 16 verses 1-4 and 33.) 
     
  5. Read Psalm 34:11-18. What doe these verses reveal about the character of God?
     
  6. Read Psalm 19-22. What form of deliverance is verse 20 alluding to? (See John 19:33-37.)

Psalm 8 - The Majestic Lord

Discussion Questions

  1.  What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 8:1-2. How might verse 2 be an encouragement to you? (See also 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 and Matthew 18:1-4.)
     
  3. Read Psalm 8:3-4. How often are you intentional about pausing to reflect on the beauty of God’s creation? When you look at God’s creation, what truths are brought to mind about God and about man?
     
  4. Read Psalm 8:5-8. How do these verses affect your thoughts, words, and actions towards other people and towards creation? (See also, Psalm 24:1-2, Genesis 2:15, and Deuteronomy 8:17-18.)
     
  5. Read Hebrews 2:5-9. How does this passage shed new light on Psalm 8:4-6?
     
  6. Read Psalm 8:9. Take time in your community group to praise God for His attributes, for His creation, and for His provision for us - ultimately through Jesus Christ.

Psalm 58 - The Just Judgment of God

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 58:1-5. What are some characteristics of the wicked, based on these verses? Contrast those characteristics with the characteristics of righteousness in James 1:19-27
     
  3. Read Psalm 58:6-11. Does this prayer of David make you feel uncomfortable? How might a better understanding of sin, wickedness, and the havoc and heartache that they cause help us to better appreciate prayers like this? 
     
  4. What are some ways we ought to respond to the reality of God’s righteous judgment? (In your own life? In your interactions with believers? In your interactions with non-believers?)
     
  5. Read Matthew 16:24-28 and Revelation 22:10-15. What “reward” is there for the righteous and how to we attain it?
     
  6. Take time in your community group to pray that fellow members of GCC would be spurred to evangelism and evangelistic prayer by the reality of God’s judgment, their passion for God’s glory, and their love for the unsaved.

Psalm 137 - Remember the Promises of God

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 137:1-4. In what ways are we, as followers of Christ, like the people described in these verses? (See 1 Peter 2:9-11, and John 15:18-19)
     
  3. In Psalm 137:1 the people wept when they remembered their homeland. When you see the sin and brokenness of our world in contrast to the joy of citizenship in God’s kingdom, what causes you to weep? What are some Scripture passages you can use to remind you of your citizenship? (See Philippians 3:20)
     
  4. In Psalm 137:5 the psalmist again vows not to forget Jerusalem and to set it above his highest joy. Do you eagerly anticipate your home with Christ as your highest joy, or are there worldly “joys” that you’ve given higher priority?  Read Philippians 4:4-7.  What will such a joy-filled focus on Christ produce in our lives?
     
  5. Read Revelation 18:1-19:9. What is the future destiny of the godless world system symbolized by Babylon? What is the future destiny of those who serve and fear God?
     
  6. Read Daniel 9:1-19. What reasons does Daniel give in his plea for God to act? How can we apply Daniel’s example as we pray against evil in the world?

Psalm 88 - The Cry of the Hurting

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 88:1-2. Have there been times in your life where you’ve cried out to the Lord? More importantly, have you cried out to the Lord for your salvation?
     
  3. Read Psalm 88:3-7. Sometimes it may seem like God’s wrath lies heavy upon you, either as the consequence of sin, or because of a trial that is meant to grow you. In what ways is God’s wrath a mercy to his people? (See Proverbs 3:11-12) How does this perspective help us to run to the Lord in such times instead of running away from Him?
     
  4. Read Psalm 88:8-18. Where do you turn when you’re in the depths of despair or loneliness? What Scripture passages and/or biblical truths have been helpful for you in such times? What are some practical ways your community group can be an encouragement to people who are lonely or in despair?
     
  5. How does Psalm 88 challenge or encourage you in your response to difficult periods in your life as you observe where/when/how the psalmist cries, turns, and calls upon the Lord?  Where else in Scripture to we see a similar response by those in periods of turmoil in life?

Psalm 110 - King-Priest-Messiah

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 110. How does this Psalm impact your view of who Jesus is? 
     
  3. How is the portrayal of Jesus in Psalm 110 different than popular culture’s portrayal of Jesus? Why is it important to recognize Jesus as a conquering king?
     
  4. What are some of Jesus’ roles as our eternal priest? (See Hebrews 7:23 - 8:6.) In what ways is the priestly service of Jesus better than that of the Old Testament priests?
     
  5. Read Luke 22:31-34. In what ways are you encouraged by Jesus’ conversation with Peter in this passage, in light of His role as our High Priest? 

Psalm 2 - The Lord's Anointed King

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read Psalm 2:3. Does God really keep the nations enslaved in bonds and cords? Is this portrayal of the Lord and His Anointed accurate? Why or why not?
     
  3. Read 2 Samuel 7:12-17. How does this passage inform your understanding of Psalm 2 and the role of the Anointed Son?
     
  4. What does Psalm 2 reveal about where the Psalmist found hope (refuge) in a raging world? How do you respond when the nations rage and the peoples plot around you?
     
  5. Read Joshua 24:14 and Psalm 55:5. How do these verses inform your understanding and application of what it means for you to “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling?” (Psalm 2:11)
     
  6. Take time to praise Jesus as the Anointed King over all the nations, and to pray for one another in your community group.

James 5:13-20 - Prayer: The Enduring Evidence of Faith

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read James 5:13-20. Notice James’ emphasis on prayer and confession. Do you ever confess of your sins? In what ways could it be improved?
     
  3. Before studying this passage, what statement did you most agree with: sickness is always the result of personal sin, sickness is never the result of personal sin, or sickness is sometimes the result of personal sin? What statement do you agree with now, and why? And how might James 5:15; 1 Cor. 11:30; and John 9:1–3 factor into your thinking?
     
  4. How do you usually respond if someone “falls off the radar” due to sin and stops gathering with our church? Read James 5:19–20; how should this passage inform your actions if people do this?
     
  5. If someone asks you to pray for them to be healed, is it ever appropriate in light of James 5:16 to ask that person if there might be any unconfessed sin in their life that is contributing to their physical sickness? If you asked for prayer for healing and someone asked you this question, how would you respond? How should you respond?
     
  6. As we conclude our study in James, take time to review the book and discuss what truths have been most impactful for you. Read Romans 12:9-13 and note themes in James that are echoed in Romans.
     
  7. Take time to pray for one another in your community group.

James 5:7-12 - Living with an Eternal Perspective

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read James 5:7-12. What examples of patience does James give? What reasons does James give for being patient?
     
  3. In what circumstances do you find it most difficult to be patient? What examples in Scripture can be a reminder and encouragement to you during those times?
     
  4. Aside from exterior circumstances, what are some desires, motivations, or mindsets that might foster an attitude of impatience? How can we be on guard against such an attitude? (See 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
     
  5. Read Matthew 5:33-37 and 12:36-37. How do these two passages contribute to a right understanding and application of James 5:12? Consider whether you are someone who is known to follow through on what they say, or if you find yourself having to convince others that you mean what you say.
     
  6. Discuss how your community group can help each other cultivate greater patience in light of the Lord’s return.

1 Samuel 2:1-10 - “Not By Might Shall a Man Prevail”: Glorying in the God of the Underdog

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful?
     
  2. Read 1 Samuel 2:1-10. What is the focus of Hannah’s prayer? What themes do you see throughout her prayer?
     
  3. Hannah endured mocking and sorrow “year by year” (1:7) because “The Lord had closed her womb” (1:5–6). And yet, God did this to bring Hannah to a place of exulting in Him. How have you seen God’s sovereignty over your suffering, and how has God used your pain to bring you closer to him (Rom 8:28)?
     
  4. What attributes or characteristics of the Lord does Hannah mention in her prayer? Which attributes of the Lord are most meaningful to you? 
     
  5. What are some ways that this passage is similar to what we’ve been reading in James over the past several weeks? (See James 1:9-11, 4:6-10, 4:13-16, etc.)
     
  6. Take time to pray in your community group, praising God for who He is by focusing on His specific attributes.

James 5:1-6 - A Warning to the Rich

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
     
  2. Read James 5:1-6. What sinful ways did these particular rich people use their wealth? How does this compare to how you use your wealth?
     
  3. In what ways might you be like the rich people in this passage? In what ways might you be like the oppressed? 
     
  4. What truths in James 5:1-6 can be an encouragment to you if you are being oppressed, or treated unfairly?
     
  5. What does James 5:2-3 reveal to us about the nature of earthly riches? What are some ways you have seen earthly riches fail someone or do them harm?
     
  6. What does James 5:4 reveal to us about the nature of God?

James 4:13-17 - If the Lord Wills

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
     
  2. Read James 4:13-17. What are some ways people might misapply this text?
     
  3. How might James 4:14 affect the way you view your life, your goals, your accomplishments?
     
  4. James 4:15 reminds us that God is sovereign over our lives. How should this knowledge influence our prayers for our church, our own lives, and the lives of our unsaved friends?
     
  5. James tells us in 4:15 that we ought to have a mindset of “If the Lord wills” before declaring future plans. How might saying this out loud benefit you and those around you? Who could you ask to help you grow in this area? 
     
  6. Read James 4:17. What is a truth that you have learned from James over the past several weeks? How can you put it into practice and do “the right thing”?

James 4:1-12 - Pursue Humility

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
     
  2. Why does James use such strong metaphors (murder and adultery) when referring to the proud?
     
  3. What are some ways a believer might unintentionally be embracing friendship with the world?
     
  4. How does James’ strong language in James 4:4 affect the way you view worldliness and sin in your own life? How can Hebrews 12:4 challenge you in your fight against sin? What do these passages reveal about the severity of the fight?
     
  5. According to James 4:6-10, how can a person draw near to God?
     
  6. What are some common themes that you’ve noticed so far in the book of James?

James 3:13-18 - Wisdom From Above

Discussion Questions

  1. 1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
     
  2. What are the differences James 3:13-18 points out between wisdom that comes from above and “wisdom” that does not?
     
  3. Some of the people James was writing to were self-deceived into thinking they were wise when in fact they were not. How can believers avoid being self-deceived into thinking we’re something we’re not? What role does your community group and church body have in helping to avoid self-deception?
     
  4. What do 1 Corinthians 1:30 and Colossians 2:2-3 tell us is necessary for being “wise and understanding”?
     
  5. Compare the values in James 3:17 with the things that our culture values. In what ways are the world’s values similar? In what ways are they opposed?

James 3:1-12 - The Power of Words

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
     
  2. Do you find it easier to honor God with your speech in conversations with Christians or with non-Christians? Who or what do your conversations tend to focus on in each of those situations (yourself, others, God, entertainment, etc.)?
     
  3. How have you seen the destructive power of the tongue impact your own life or the lives of others?
     
  4. When have you witnessed or experience the power of words in building someone up?
     
  5. How do the words you use reveal what is in your heart?
     
  6. When do you find it most difficult to control your tongue? What can you do to find victory over temptation in such situations? What are some ways you can prepare for such situations ahead of time by giving the Holy Spirit control over your speech?

James 2:14-26 - Faith and Works

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
     
  2. After studying James, what is genuine, saving faith based upon? What then does it lead to?
     
  3. Does this text challenge your thinking of your personal salvation? Based on the fruit shown through life, would you say you have genuine, soul-saving faith?
     
  4. How does the idea that even demons “believe” challenge our ideas of salvation?
     
  5. How can you grow in your good works this week? Is there an area of your life that the Lord is asking you, or providing an opportunity for you, to grow in, like He gave Abraham? Is there perhaps a way your community group, as a whole, could serve together and grow in good works together?
     
  6. Are there areas in your life that your behavior may not match your faith? How could a person evaluate this?

Genesis 1:26-31 - Race/Gender

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
  2. 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us that as we behold the glory of the Lord we are transformed into His image. Is there anything in your life that is competing with the Lord for your attention, and thereby hindering your conformity into Jesus' image? 

  3. What distinctions does the world use to determine a person’s “value?” What distinctions do you use? What does God say we should value in a person?

  4. How might a recognition of Imago Dei (image of God) impact the jokes you tell, change the way you think/talk about ethnicity, and influence your posture towards refugees, sojourners, and immigrants?

  5. Could an outside observer tell from your friendships that you recognize the dignity and worth of all kinds of people from all different ethnic, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds? If not, what might you do to grow in this area?

  6. People try to find a sense of identity in many different things (skills, accomplishments, possessions, relationships, etc.) How can this be dangerous? What does does finding your identity in Christ look like?

Luke 13:1-5 - A Christian Response to Tragedy

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
     
  2. How should we respond to someone who argues that suffering and evil prove that God does not exist?
     
  3. Is suffering always, never, or sometimes the result of personal sin? What are some Scripture passages that inform your answer?
     
  4. Do we have a tendency to look down on people who are going through difficult times as though they have somehow deserved it? What does Luke 13:1-5 say we have in common with those people, and how might that help change our attitude towards them? 
     
  5. What are some practical ways your community group can minister to those in our church body who are suffering?

Mark 5:1-20 - The Spirit Realm

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one truth or “take-away” from the sermon that you found particularly challenging/convicting/helpful? 
     
  2. When you think about the spiritual realm, what is your response? (Fear, fascination, etc.) How does/should knowing God is all-powerful, even over the spiritual realm, impact those thoughts?
     
  3. What are some similarities you see between the story of the demon-possessed man and the work of the Gospel?
     
  4. The formerly-demon-possessed man was told “Go to your home and to your people and tell them what the Lord has done for you.” Who are “your people” that God wants you to go to? 
     
  5. How have other people’s testimonies impacted your life? What has the Lord done for you in your life? How has he had mercy on you and changed your life? What are ways you can use the testimony of what God has done for you to impact the people he’s placed in your life?