Wisdom: Wise Work

Ephesians Series: Wisdom

Ephesians 6:5-9

Questions for reflection:

1. Read Ephesians 6:5-9. What qualities of an employee and an employer does God expect?
2. Discuss the video testimony entitled “Jesse’s Story.” What did Jesse learn from being unemployed? What “strange” thing did he do during his interview? How did God use that after he was hired?
3. Read Ecclesiastes 3:11-13. What does Solomon consider a gift? Do you agree? Why or why not?
4. Why was Nehemiah a successful leader according to Nehemiah 4:6? What does every boss need to realize according to Exodus 18:18?
5. Share one major challenge you face at work that you’d like prayer for then pray for each other.
Ask for wisdom to turn that challenge into an opportunity to make much of Christ.

Wisdom: Wise Parents and Children

Ephesians Series: Wisdom

Ephesians 6:1-4

Questions for reflection:

1. What is the “Parent Ownership” view of parenting? What dangers does it create? What is the “God Ownership” view of parenting? How does it impact your “house rules”?
2. If you can, watch together the video clip of Michael Jr. entitled “Know Your Why.” Discuss the
“what” and the “why” renditions of “Amazing Grace” by the audience member. How does that
impact the significance of your children learning the “why” behind obedience and respect?
3. What differences exist between the “Parent Ownership” and the “God Ownership” views of
parenting have on discipline?
4. What does your spouse do which helps you remember the big picture when the immediate
demands of parenting seem overwhelming?
5. Pray for each other’s children by name. Ask the Lord to show them reasons Jesus is worth living for.

Wisdom: Wise Husband - July 16th 2017

Ephesians Series: Wisdom

Ephesians 5:25-33

Questions for reflection:

1. When did you first fall in love with your spouse? What about your spouse attracted you to them?

2. Read the lyrics to J. J. Heller’s song “What Love Really Means.” Then, read Romans 5:7-8; John 3:16; and John 15:13. How does Jesus show us what love really means?

3. Read through Ephesians 5:25-33. Discuss this statement: “Marital love is meant to be a living parable of Christ’s love for the Church.”

4. What is something your spouse does that helps you feel closer to God?

5. Pray with urgency against the enemy’s attack on marriage and family. Have a “spiritual warfare” mindset as you ask the Lord to help you tattoo Ephesians 5:33 on your heart for one another.

Wisdom: Wise Wife - July 9th 2017

Ephesians Series: Wisdom

Ephesians 5:22-24

Questions for reflection:

1. If you’re married, share in your life group how the two of you met, how long you’ve been married and the trait you most appreciate about your spouse.

2. How would you define the kind of submission a wife should have for her husband? What are some distortions of submission you’ve seen?

3. Why is a growing relationship with the Lord the essential ingredient to a Biblical marriage?

4. Discuss this statement: “When a wife domineers over her husband he will react in one of two ways. Either he will fight against her unwillingness to be submissive or he will abdicate his role as leader in the home and remain a ‘boy’ in his marriage.”

5. Spend time praying for each other’s marriages. Have a sense of vigilance and urgency in doing so because you realize that the enemy’s attack on families is ruthless and relentless.

Men and the Lives They Shape - June 18th 2017

Father's Day

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Questions for reflection:

1. How has pop culture’s view of manhood changed over your lifetime? Would you consider those changes mostly good, mostly bad or just sort of neutral? How has the view of womanhood changed?

2. Read 1 Corinthians 16:13-14. How has the spiritual disciplines of daily prayer and Bible reading helped you become the man or woman God wants you to be?

3. For wives: what interaction does your husband have with your kids that you enjoy watching (i.e. roughhousing, playing, etc.)? Why is that special to you? For husbands: what is your wife better at with your kids than you are? Why are you thankful for that unique quality she has?

4. Read 1 Corinthians 13. Why is this passage on love so valuable?

5. Spend time in prayer for one another’s marriages and children. Pray specifically that the men of GEFC will answer God’s challenge to be men worth following.

Ethics: The Light of Truth - June 4th 2017

Ephesians Series: Think

Ephesians 5:6-14

Questions for reflection:

1. What are common justifications for sinful behaviors you hear today? Read Ephesians 5:6. How are those rationales “empty words”? What does it take for people to see them as deception?

2. Read through Ephesians 5:6-14. What benefits to the “light of truth” do you see? How do they help you “walk as children of light”?

3. Why do you think we sometimes prefer the darkness than the light?

4. Is there some issue you’ve wrestled with recently while “trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10)? How has that process benefited you?

5. Do you think it is possible to “sleep walk” as a church-goer? What dangers are there in doing that? Describe what it is like for the light of Christ to wake you up (Ephesians 5:14).

6. Pray for courage that we as a church would be willing to witness the Gospel even to church-goers and other “decent” people who might be asleep to the life of Christ.

Ethics: The Beauty of Love - May 28th 2017

Ephesians Series: Think

Ephesians 5:1-5

Questions for reflection:

1. You can find the Gallup survey cited at the sermon’s start here. Article Link. Talk about this as a group. Any surprises? Why do you think these trends are happening?

2. Using Ephesians 5:1-2 as well as any other passages, what do you find pleasing and beautiful about God’s love for you? How is God’s love distinctive from the more common expressions of love in popular culture?

3. Why is it better to reserve sex for marriage? How would you convince an unmarried couple to wait until their wedding night? What help do you find in Ephesians 5:3-4 to answer that?

4. How does Ephesians 5:5 make you feel? What does it mean? Why do you think Paul was so blunt?

5. Share a testimony of how your Father in Heaven has reminded you of His love for you recently? Let these testimonies guide your prayer time as a group.

Think: Members of One Another - May 21st 2017

Ephesians Series: Think

Ephesians 4:25-32

Life Group Questions:

1. How do you feel about the statement, “How we think about relationships tends to create a lot of unnecessary drama”? Explain.

2. Read Ephesians 4:25-29. What are the reasons behind each command? How does that impact your thinking about church integrity, anger without sin, working so you can be generous and using words to build up?

3. Discuss from Ephesians 4:30 reasons to take our relationship with God seriously. Can you envision Ephesians 4:31 as a downward spiral from bitterness to malice? If so, what might each loop look or feel like to the embittered person?

4. Read John 8:34-38. How does God’s adoption of us as His children (and the Spirit’s sealing) make it possible for us to forgive others?

5. Ephesians 4:32 tells us we forgive others as God in Christ has forgiven us. Why does the Gospel make such profound difference in how we can handle offenses?

6. Spend time thanking the Lord for the Gospel and its power to turn seasons of offense into “joy, praise and gladness” (Zechariah 8:19).

No Greater Joy - May 14th 2017

Mother's Day 2017

3 John 1:2-8

Life Group Questions:

1. John says in 3 John 1:3 that Gaius is “walking in the truth.” Discuss what he means by that. What does that look like? What does walking in something other than the truth look like?

2. Read Psalm 15. Verse 2 commends the person who “speaks truth in his heart.” Why is that so important? How can you make sure you are telling yourself the truth? How do you help your children be honest with themselves?

3. The sermon discussed the cultural context when John wrote the letter of Third John. What stands out to you about those times?

4. Sometimes “walking in the truth” requires we put ourselves in danger for the sake of God’s will. That may end up being true for your kids as they get older. Are you okay with that? Talk about the challenge of letting your kids go as they approach adulthood.

5. Spend time praying for one another. Be sure to express gratitude for your family regardless of its shape.

Think: Renewing a Once Futile Mind

Ephesians Series: Think

Ephesians 4:17-24

Life Group Questions:

1. What did you think about Jeri’s story—the mother who lost a son to a drug overdose? What did you think about the analogy she drew between spiritual and physical drunkenness?

2. Read Ephesians 4:17-19. Why is it dangerous to leave your mind unguarded from “Gentile” or “Group-think”?

3. Read Ephesians 4:20-24. What habits do you have in your life right now which specifically help you walk with God? What activity makes you feel closest to God?

4. Read through the five points from the outline under the heading “What does it take to have a renewed mind?” Discuss each in light of the corresponding passage.

5. When you pray for each other as a group, ask the Lord to help you renew your mind by walking with Him daily. If you need to alter a priority or two to make that happen, don’t be afraid to ask for the prayer support and accountability of your life group.

Connecting: The Church's Model

Ephesians Series: Walking with God

Ephesians 4:7-16

Life Group Questions:

1. Read Ephesians 4:7-10 along with Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; and 1 Corinthians 12:28. Which gift or gifts do you feel you have? If you don’t know, ask your life group to help you develop a strategy to discover your spiritual gift.

2. Discuss in your life group what you value the most from serving in a church.

3. While you want to avoid unhealthy criticism, it can be helpful to identify ways church leadership may better equip you and your ministry team. Be sure to pass these things along to a pastor or board member.

4. Read Ephesians 4:11-17. How has serving with your gifts helped you to grow closer to God?

5. Pray for one another and also pray for people you know whose salvation you’re not certain of. Ask the group to seek the Lord for wisdom on your behalf as how you might bring the Gospel to bear in their life.

Connecting: The Church's Bond - April 23rd 2017

Ephesians Series: Walking with God

Ephesians 4:1-6

Life Group Questions:

1. When do you feel closest to God? How do you “walk” with Him?

2. What differences have you experienced in the way you relate to your church when you are walking with God from when you haven’t been close to Him?

3. Read through and discuss the four commitment to preserve peace. What is your “takeaway” from them?

4. Do you come to church expecting for your heart to be rallied by the cry of God? How do you do that?

5. Ask if there is someone in your life group who feels a special calling to do something for the Lord, but not sure how to follow it. How can you as a group come alongside and resource them to chase God’s desire for them?

Easter Sunday - April 16th 2017

Easter Series 2017

Luke 23:26-31, 24:1-12

Life Group Questions:

1. Read the lyrics to Odd Thomas’, The Reality of the Resurrection (or show the YouTube video—easy to find with a Google search). Think through the people in your life who are not followers of Jesus. Do they fit any of the categories of people in the opening lines of Thomas’ poem? Do you know why they feel as they do?

2. Read Luke 23:26-31. What “bursts of grace” do you discover?

3. Think about Mary Magdalen and her past. How did Jesus prepare her to be the first eyewitness of the Resurrected Messiah? What does that tell you about how Jesus instills hope?

4. What’s your “takeaway” been from this past Holy Week season?

5. Spend time praying for the salvation of lost family members and friends. Ask the Lord for direction of how you can connect with them for the sake of the Gospel.