NOTE: Following is the discussion guide we’ll use tomorrow (July 6) in our LIFE groups at MoSt Church. This guide will enable your follow-up of my sermon that morning. To find previous group discussion guides, look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous issues.
Stated in a single sentence, this is the purpose of this morning’s sermon.
To declare and underscore our complete dependence on God, the only true Power.
These Scriptures form some of the foundation of this sermon.
• The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. … The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. (Psalm 28.8; 29.11 NIV)
• No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33.16-20 NIV)
• The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. (Proverbs 21.1 NRSV)
• I am the vine, you are the branches. … apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15.5 NRSV)
• From one person God created every human nation to live on the whole earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands. God made the nations so they would seek him, perhaps even reach out to him and find him. (Acts 17.26-27a CEB)
• … it doesn’t depend on a person’s desire or effort. It depends entirely on God, who shows mercy. (Romans 9.16 CEB)
• … let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. … the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. … Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. (Galatians 5.16a,22-23a,25 NLT)
• … through your faith, God is protecting you by his power … (1 Peter 1.5 NLT)
Use one of the following icebreaker questions to prime the pump, to help the conversation begin. Choose one to discuss.
1. At what age would you say you became independent of your parents? Where were you in life?
2. Tell us of an instance in which you became keenly aware of your total dependence on God.
These exercises/questions are meant to help us grapple with the Scripture(s) related to this sermon.
1. As a group, read Ps. 23 aloud. For what does this psalm’s author sense his God-dependence?
2. Categorize each of the texts above as to what each specifies we’re dependent on God for.
These questions assist our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us in our encounter with God’s word.
1. How does a gathering of believers (e.g. a LIFE group or church) express dependence on God?
2. If a person seeks to live totally dependent on God what will they not do?
3. How is prayer tied to our dependence on God? Humility? Faith?
4. What steps can a person take to mature their awareness of dependence on God? A church?
These ideas/suggestions are for your use beyond the group meeting; to aid in living out today’s message in the coming days.
1. Itemize specifics in which you sense your God-dependence. Study the list for what’s missing.
2. Methodically pray through the Psalms of Ascent (Ps. 120-134) with your mind on dependency.