Part 1: Be Teachable | 02/20/22
1. Read Matthew 13:1-23. Parables typically have one main point. What was Jesus’ main point in telling this parable?
2. What does it mean to have callouses on your heart? How does this happen in someone’s life?
3. Read 1 Corinthians 2:12, 14. What are the implications of Gods truth being spiritually discerned?
4. Read Matthew 13:22. How can worries and temptations of our wealth and lifestyles choke out God’s Word from transforming our lives?
5. How can you actively engage with Gods word?
a) What habits might help you consistently absorb yourself in Gods Word?
6. What makes the difference between just “hearing” and “doing” Gods Word?
a) What can you do to cultivate those things?
Part 2: Be Humble | 02/27/22
2. What does it look like when we're “confident of our own righteousness”?
a) What’s the difference between standing firm in our new identity in Christ, and being self-righteous?
3. What makes us look down on people?
a) Contrast this with the description of Jesus in Philippians 2:5-8. Where does humility come from?
5. Read 1 John 1:5-9. Discuss how pride distances us from a healthy relationship with God and intimacy with others.
6. How is the path to self-esteem found through a knowledge of God’s truth and a humble view of ourselves?
Part 3: Be Trusting | 03/06/22
1. Read Matthew 19:16-30. Have you ever missed out on something significant in your life because of fear or failure to trust? If so, what did you learn from that experience?
2. Be really honest: what reward/s do you expect as a Christian?
a) What do you expect your reward to be based on? And why?
3. Read Matthew 20:1-16. What is the importance of the owner’s words in v4 “whatever is right”, and v15 “what I want”?
a) What difference does it make when we understand we will be treated in this life and rewarded in the next based on God's character—on His idea of what’s right, and what He wants, as opposed to what we think is deserved or fair?
b) Why were the workers’ offended?
4. What is your response to the idea in Lamentations 3:37-38 that God sometimes chooses to bring calamity on us?
a) What is at the root of you feeling that way?
5. Think of a situation in your life right now that seems difficult, confusing or unfair. How does trusting that God is good, loving and in sovereign control and that His perfect wisdom requires this for His purposes in your future, change your motivation?
6. Read 1 John 4:9-10. Spend time reflecting on the proof of God's love for you. You might like to take communion or spend time praying out loud together words of thankfulness.
Part 4: Be Obedient | 03/13/22
2. Read Numbers 32:23. In what ways does disobedience affect us through natural consequences?
a) In what other ways does our sin consistently cost us even when it's private and hidden?
3. Read John 14:23-24. How is loving God the only motivation for genuine obedience?
a) What other 'loves' can motivate disobedience?
4. What would you say to a friend who says they're a Christian and loves Jesus, but is no longer part of a church family and you sense a growing distance between you?
5. Read Hebrews 5:14. How is your level of personal spiritual maturity affecting others? How does this apply to you practically right now?
Part 5: Be Loving | 03/20/22
1. Read Luke 10:25-37. What motivated the lawyer to have this conversation with Jesus? How would you describe his attitude?
a) How did his attitude interfere with him truly loving and following Jesus?
2. How is loving others indiscriminately related to our desire to be in control?
3. Read Matthew 5:43-48. What does agape love demand, according to Jesus?
4. Read Luke 10:37. A disciple imitates their Master. What is the desired outcome of us having mercy?
5. What could be in your history—or someone else’s—that would make it seem impossible for you to love them?
6. What are some common situations in life and our society where there's tension between truth and grace (when we can think we're compromising the truth by loving and accepting someone)?
a) How is love the answer to that tension?
b) What might love look like in those scenarios?
Part 6: Be Forgiving | 03/27/22
1. Discuss how you feel when you’ve been offended. Do you think that forgiveness should be different depending on the other person’s willingness to apologize, or the degree of offense? Why/why not?
2. Read Matthew 18 verses 10-14. How does appreciating that the person who has offended you is completely loved by God impact your attitude to the command to forgive them?
3. Read Matthew 18:23-35. Consider the quality, sincerity, and timing of God’s forgiveness. How does that relate to the way you forgive?
a) Now consider why verses 1-5 precede this parable.
5. Read Matthew 18:35. What role does obedience to God have in forgiveness?
a) How is revenge related to control?
6. What is the difference between: a) forgiveness and forgetting, b) forgiveness and restitution, and c) forgiveness and restoration of the relationship?
Part 7: Be Expectant | 04/03/22
a) How is this different from the judge in the parable?
b). How does knowing God’s character motivate our prayer?
2. In the parable, the woman had an adversary, or an Accuser as well as a need. How are the two linked?
4. Share a personal experiences of when you’ve had to wait in prayer for something. What did you learn? How would you encourage someone who finds themselves discouraged because they’re praying but not getting answers?
5. Spend time thanking God for His heart, for His authority, and praying in faith for Eastpark’s mission in our community, and each other’s needs.
Part 8: Be a Good Steward | 04/10/22
2. Read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. What are the shared themes and principles you see in both parables?
3. List the resources has God given you. What does it look like to use each one a) strategically for God/eternal purposes, b) for ourselves/temporary purposes.
6. What impact could your life have if you lived strategically, understanding the eternal potential you could have with the things you have been given? Evaluate what’s in your life that will have eternal significance. Reflect on how you want to readjust things going forward.
7. How can you balance living for now with living for eternity?
Part 9: Be All In | 04/17/22
a) How does this compare with common western church views?
2. If you go by Jesus’ definition of a disciple, are you actually following Him?
4. Grace is undeserved mercy. It is ongoing mercy for those whose hearts are His. Spend time thanking Him for what He means to you.
5. Share communion together.