1. Have you ever been seasick or threatened by the possibility of drowning? How did those experiences shape you?
2. How have you grown in certainty that Jesus is who he said he is over the last few weeks or months? What has contributed to your growth? If you haven’t been growing in certainty, why might that be the case?
3. What storms, whether relational, economic, social or physical storms, have you endured in life, and how have they served to strengthen your faith in Jesus? How did you experience the peace of God during those storms?
4. What storms are you facing now and what habits do you have that help strengthen your certainty about who Jesus is and how he is caring for you?
5. What in life might be preventing your gaining greater certainty about Jesus, and what habits might be added to your daily routine that would increase your enjoyment of Jesus’ peace and rest?
1. Where have you observed the thinking vs doing spectrum in your own experiences? Which end of the spectrum do you naturally fall towards?
2. Describe some ways your natural wiring of thinking or doing has contributed to successes in your life? Describe some ways your natural wiring has contributed to struggles in your life?
3. How have you historically defined the family of God? In what ways did your definitions specifically include or subtly exclude people who hear AND do?
4. What’s an idea or topic you’ve felt confused or internal conflict around that you could spend some time investigating what God’s word may say? What’s a behavior or habit you’ve sensed is a next step for a belief you’ve held?
5. In what ways do you think you could become more of a practitioner of God’s word? How can your community, friends, small group, family help encourage you and keep you accountable to being a practitioner and not just a thinker or doer?
1. How do the women mentioned in Luke 8:2-3 inspire you?
2. Do you enjoy parables? Explain why or why not.
3. Have you ever tried on your own to make yourself “good soil”? Have you ever tried to produce fruit on your own? How did it go?
4. What kind of soil do you see yourself as most of the time?
5. Have you ever focused on the sower in this passage before? How can you be more like him? Who in your life needs to be sown the Word of God in their life?
1. Have you ever faced spiritual doubt in your life? If so, what were the circumstances? How did it impact your faith?
2. Difficult situations or trials (like John in prison) can be difficult for our faith. Have you experienced a season of trial like that? If so, how did it impact your faith? When you made it through that difficult season, and you look back, what did you learn?
3. Wrong expectations about who God is and what he does can also be hard on our faith. How do you keep your expectations accurate? How do you deal with the disappointment of your expectations not lining up?
4. What are some strategies or disciplines you use to keep your faith in Jesus strong?
1. Who do you know that lives wisely? What about their lives do you admire? How have you seen them successfully weather storms in life?
2. What storms have you faced in the past, or are you currently facing, and how have they challenged your faith? How have the teachings of Jesus buoyed you during quarantine, COVID-19 and the racial unrest in our nation?
3. Consider Jesus’ teaching, which do you “put into practice”?
- Seek reconciliation quickly (Matthew 5:23-26)
- Avoid temptation (Matthew 5:27-30)
- Keep your word (Matthew 5:33-37)
- Forgive when insulted (Matthew 5:39)
- Mend relationships eagerly (Matthew 5:40)
- Serve sacrificially (Matthew 5:41)
- Give generously (Matthew 5:42)
- Love your enemies (Luke 6:27-36)
- Live humbly (Matthew 6:1-6)
- Invest your financially in heaven (Matthew 6:19-24)
- Don’t be judgement toward others (Luke 6:37-42)
- Pray diligently (Matthew 7:7-11)
- Treat others as you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12)
4. Considering Jesus’ teachings, which do you want to put into practice more often in order to be ready for future storms?
5. How did Lazerick’s words encourage and challenge you?
1. How have you historically understood Jesus’ statement that “no good tree bears bad fruit” (Luke 6:43) and how ought this statement to be interpreted in light of John 15:1,5?
2. What about Luke 6:44 indicates that Jesus is concerned not about the quality of our fruit but rather the kind of tree we are? How would you describe the difference between a call to improve one’s fruit and a call to depend upon another man’s fruitfulness for salvation.
3. What about Jesus’ teaching in Luke 6:43 is often difficult for people to accept? Considering the bad news in Luke 6:43, how would you describe the good news of the gospel?
4. On a scale of one to ten, how confident are you that the gospel is the “power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16) What might help you grow in your confidence about the gospel’s power?
5. Considering the news stories of the last week, how do they prove that humanity needs more than education and effort to bring change in our world?
1. Before this morning, how would you have responded to the statement, “Christians shouldn’t judge”?
2. Considering the passages below, what should “tolerance” look like in the life of a Christian? (Romans 1:17, Ephesians 4:15, Galatians 6:2)
3. How do you feel that you do at speaking the “truth in love”? (Ephesians 4:15)
4. Considering these passages of Scripture, describe the proper way to judge. (Matthew 7:1-6, Romans 2:1-4, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13)
5. How do you do at loving the sinner and hating the sin? In what types of situations/circumstances is it difficult for you to separate sin from sinner?
6. How are you growing in your ability to spot the log in your own eye, and remove it?
1. What would it look like for you to “turn the other cheek” in your family, or with friends and professional relationships? Does that seem like a reasonable goal? Why or why not?
2. How does giving, whether it is your other cheek, your coat, or your resources, benefit the giver as well as the relationship?
3. How would some of your key relationships change if you were to put into practice what Jesus taught in today’s passage?
4. When, if ever, have you confused being loving with being passive and permissive with regard to sin?
5. How can others be praying for you this week, as you look to live out what you have learned from this passage? Spend time praying with/for one another.
1. What, if anything, about this morning’s passage and/or sermon did you find comforting, and what did you find challenging?
2. How much time do you spend thinking about heaven as a motivation for enduring hardship as a disciple? What do you felt motivated the first apostles and disciples to endure hardship, and how might we gain motivation similarly?
3. On a scale of 1 to 10, how successful do you feel you are at avoiding the temptation to live for this world (i.e. riches, satisfaction, entertainment and popularity)? How did today’s passage provide guidance for you going forward?
4. How might today’s passage impact the way you share the gospel with others? What will you emphasize differently when presenting the gospel, whether more or less, because of today’s passage?
1. Jesus prays all night before having to make a huge decision, perhaps the most important decision of his of ministry life. How often do you pray like that when making big decisions? What would have to change in your life to dedicate more time to prayer?
2. Why do you think there is so little information given in scripture about the lives of the 12 Apostles?
3. Does it bring you comfort or frustration that God can use anyone, even nobodies, for his Kingdom?
4. God wants to use you, today, whether you are a nobody or a somebody, what steps do you need to take to be that “empty vessel” that God can fill up and use?
1. Did you grow up in a home that kept the Sabbath? If so, what did
that involve and how was the experience for you?
2. How do you currently keep the Sabbath, and what challenges do
you face in keeping the Sabbath? If you don’t currently keep the
Sabbath, why is that?
3. What core issue did Jesus seem to be confronting in this passage,
and how does it relate to your life?
4. In what larger realities do you think Jesus was inviting people to
see and participate?
5. Why do you think we so often put on the burden of religiosity?
What’s at stake for us if we miss the message of Jesus in this passage?
1. Jesus greeted his first disciples saying “Peace be with you.” (Luke 24:36) Have you had peace during this time of quarantine? Why, or why not? If you were to do one thing to increase your sense of peace, what might that be? How is the peace that Jesus offers different than what the world offers? (John 14:27)
2. What objections to the resurrection have you heard? How are the proofs of resurrection that Jesus offered his disciples in Luke 24:36-53, helpful in answering the objections that you have heard? What lingering questions or doubts about the resurrection do you have? How might you get answers to those questions or resolve those doubts?
3. What is unique about Jesus’ raised body? (Luke 24:36-53) What is “normal” about Jesus’ raised body? What does Jesus’ bodily experience in the resurrection mean for all those who are trusting in him? (Romans 6:5)
4. What does it mean that Jesus “opened their minds”? Why was it necessary that Jesus open their minds, and to what did he open their minds? Why is it necessary that God open our minds in order for us to believe the Scripture? (1 Corinthians 2:14)
5. What indication is there in today’s passage that Christians are a people sent out to preach? According to today’s passage, what power is made available to us in order to preach? To whom have you preached most recently?
1. On a scale of 1 to 10 how familiar are you with the Old Testament? What barriers exist for you to become more familiar with the Old Testament? What questions would you like answered about the Old Testament?
2. What are some of your favorite Old Testament stories or passages of Scripture? Can you think of Old Testament references to Jesus’ life, death and resurrection that were not mentioned in today’s sermon?
3. Jesus chastised the disciples on the road to Emmaus for being “slow to believe.” How would you describe the growth of your faith in Jesus? When did you first believe and what was involved in the process?
4. Why do you think the disciples on the road to Emmaus were initially “kept from recognizing him” and then later had their eyes “opened and they recognized him”? (Luke 24:16, 31) How might this be a description of every journey of faith?
1. Is there anything about the details of Luke’s account of the Triumphal Entry that stood out to you, anything unique that caught your attention? If so, what was it? Why do you think Luke included this in his letter?