effort

NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow (Sun., Oct. 16). This guide flows out of the sermon that I’ll preach that morning. You’ll find these LIFE group discussion guides categorized each week here on my site under the category title LIFE group guides.

Aim

To remind us that we are given grace to grow and are being saved to serve.

Scripture

“Make every effort to enter through the narrow gate.” (Luke 13:24 CEB)

“… it doesn’t depend on a person’s desire or effort. It depends entirely on God, who shows mercy.” (Rom. 9:16 CEB)

“I pray that the eyes of your heart will have enough light to see … the overwhelming greatness of God’s power that is working among us believers.” (Eph. 1:18-19 CEB)

“… work … comes from faith, … effort … from love …” (1 Thess. 1:3 CEB)

“As the lifeless body is dead, so faith without actions is dead.” (James 2:26 CEB)

“… you must make every effort to add moral excellence to your faith …” (2 Pet. 1:5 CEB)

“Watch yourselves so that you don’t lose what we’ve worked for but instead receive a full reward.” (2 John 8 CEB)

“I know your works …” (Rev. 2:2 CEB)

Open

Icebreaker questions are meant to simply get us all talking. Choose one of the following to discuss as a group.

1. Tell us of something you’re proud of that you’ve had to work especially hard at doing.

2. Tell us about something you’ve flubbed up because you didn’t ask for help from others.

Dig

These questions are intended to help us grapple directly with some of the sermon’s primary Scripture texts.

1. Which of the preceding passages gives you the greatest pause? Why?

2. How do you reconcile Romans 9:16 with James 2:26?

3. Just how does God’s power work among us as believers (Eph. 1:18-19)?

4. Comment on 1 Thes. 1:3. What do you hear God saying to you through this Scripture?

Reflect

These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us through his word.

1. Which is the biggest challenge for you: getting started or following through?

2. What thoughts and feelings arise when you consider God “know your works” (Rev. 2:2)?

3. As a group, brainstorm a list of harms that come from neglecting to put effort into faith.

4. Complete this sentence: “What I most need to work at in developing in faith is ____________.”

5. A fellow Christian says to you, “I just don’t really want to do anything.” What do you say?

6. Tell us something of the blessings God gives you as you serve others with faith in Christ.

7. Name something you see other Christians doing to develop or serve that truly blesses you.

8. Pray together silently, then audibly, as to your actually working out faith in your life.

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