D-Groups

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Go therefore and make disciples of all nation (Matthew 28.19)

 

Like every gospel driven church, we believe that Jesus has commissioned us to make disciples. We strive to make disciples who are developing the mind of Christ, who are obeying the commands of Christ, who are being transformed into the image of Christ, and who are participating in the mission of Christ.

 

We believe that each disciple needs to be sinking deep roots in the marvelous grace of Christ in order to grow eternal fruit. We grow in our faith by practicing the spiritual disciples of corporate worship, daily bible reading, meditation, scripture memory, and conversational and intentional prayer. To encourage the development of these disciplines, we challenge each member to be part of a Discipleship Group (D-Group)

 

D-Groups are groups of three to five people who meet weekly for the express purpose of becoming disciples who are making disciples.

D-Group Reading Plan - Spring 2022

Week 1

Ecclesiastes 1-5

Week 2

Ecclesiastes 6-10

Week 3

Ecclesiastes 11-12

John 1-3

Week 4

John 4-8

Week 5

John 9-13

Week 6

John 14-18

Week 7

John 19-21

1 John 1-2

Week 8

1 John 3-5

Hebrews 1-2

Week 9

Hebrews 3-7

Week 10

Hebrews 8-12

Week 11

Hebrews 13

Hosea 1-4

Week 12

Hosea 5-9

Week 13

Hosea 10-14

Discussion Questions - Spring 2022

Week 1

What is one thing in your life that you strive after that according to Ecclesiastes is vanity?  

The Hebrew word for Vanity is “Hebel” (used 38 times in Ecclesiastes) and refers to a mist, vapor, or smoke. Why does the author use this metaphor to describe what we strive after (Vanity)?  

How does Chapter 5:1-3 instruct us of how we are to draw near to God?


Week 2

What truth does Ecclesiastes 8:11 say about us in relation to our rebellious nature in light of judgment? What does this say about God and his mercy and justice?  

The author of Ecclesiastes wants the reader to realize all the ways we build our meaning and our purpose in life in things that are fleeting. Why is this important to us today?

How should we look at the mysteries of this life in light of “all is vanity”?

How did Jesus model Ecclesiastes 9:17 during his life on earth? 


Week 3

Why does Ecclesiastes end with verses 12:13-14? What is the difference between this truth and the “Vanity” described throughout the book of Ecclesiastes?  

Why and in what ways do we look for meaning and purpose apart from God?

In light of the popularity of John 3:16, what do we miss about the picture of the gospel by not including John 3:17?


Week 4

How does reading the Samaritan Woman's story and seeing the impact of her testimony (John 4:39) on the village cause you to reflect on the power of your personal testimony to the lives of those around you? Why does God use our testimony as a powerful witness tool?

Discuss John 6:60-69 and how we see this lived out today.

One common argument that is made against the diety of Jesus is that he never says specifically that he is God. In light of reading John 8:58, what do you think of this argument? Why is the "I am" statement so powerful? Who used this statement in the Old Testament and where?


Week 5

Repetitively in scripture we see Jesus perform miracles only to have those witness the miracles still doubt. Not all miracles Jesus performed were recorded in scripture (John 20:30, John 21:25). Why does seeing a miracle not translate into instant faith? Why do we still want to see miracles to believe? Discuss Romans 10:17 and what causes us to believe.

Discuss why the analogy Jesus uses of the Shepherd and his sheep (John 10:7-18) is such a powerful example of our relationship with him. What is the goal of the Shepherd when it comes to his sheep? How do sheep act on their own? How do they respond to a Sheppard who they trust and know?

John 12:42-43 showed how even back then people loved mans praise more than the glory of God. Discuss ways that this still happens today in your life.


Week 6

John 14 is a picture of marriage (the betrothal) in the Jewish culture that Jesus was teaching. A groom would give a gift of great price to his bride and her family and leave to go prepare a room for her in his fathers house and return to get her. We are in the longing process for our groom (Jesus) to return to get us. The gift Jesus gave us is the Holy Spirit. In what ways do you neglect and forget this gift while we are together yet apart from Jesus? Why did Jesus give us the Holy Spirit?

John 15:18-19 speaks of the believers relationship with the world. Why are we shocked when we are hated and persecuted? Why do we seek for acceptance from the world more than obedience to God? Why should we take heart even when life is hard (John 16:33)?

John 17 is what is called the "High Priestly Prayer". It is the prayer of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ serving as mediator between us and God. What stands out to you that Jesus prayed over you or for you?


Week 7

Throughout the Gospel of John the disciple John repetitively refers to himself as "the disciple that Jesus loved" (John 19:26, 20:2, 21:20). When you first read this it seems like an arrogant statement that John was making about himself. Discuss what you have noticed about John and his intimate relationship with Jesus and how we should all view ourselves as the "one that Jesus loves" (Present tense).

Thomas has been given a bad rap and is often referred to as "doubting Thomas" (John 20:24-29). Discuss how radical it was to the disciples that Jesus was raised from the dead, even though he told them he would, and would you in that moment have acted more like Thomas or believed without seeing.

Discuss the similarities between John 1 and 1 John 1.

An advocate is someone who "pleads on behalf of someone else". What does it mean to have Jesus as our advocate?

Discuss how the love of the world (1 John 2:16 - the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life) goes against the will of God. Which of the three things of this world do you struggle the most with and how do you fight against it?


Week 8

John contrast those that practice sinning with those who practice righteousness (1 John 3:4-10). What role does abiding in Jesus play in our relationship to sin? If "practice" is meant to make us better at something, why does John use this terminology to speak of the purpose of practicing sin? Why as Christians are we called not to practice sin?

Discuss examples of how false spirits and prophets might lead someone away from Jesus. How do you test the spirits to see if they are off God (Note: confessing Jesus Christ, 1 John 4:3, is not always easy to see / realize in the moment)?

Ephesians was written during a time of false teaching called "Gnosticism". Gnostics taught about a special "knowledge" and believed false teachings about Jesus. John writes in 1 John 5:13 that he wrote this letter so that "you may know that you have eternal life." The "know" seems to be a jab at the Gnostics teachings. What did you take away from this letter that gives you confidence in Christ about eternal life?

The writer of Hebrews claims in Hebrews chapter one that Jesus is greater than what and why?

Read Hebrews 2:14-18 out loud as a group. What resonates with you about your creator who lived a life like you and is able to understand what you are going through in your own lives?


Week 9

The writer of Hebrews states in Chapter 3:1-6 that Moses was faithful over God's house as a servant, but Jesus was faithful over God's house as a son. In what ways do you praise the house (person who God used to accomplish his will) over the builder, God himself? Why do we elevate the "heroes of the faith" and ascribe the miraculous work of God to them instead of seeing them as weak servants that God used for His glory? What happens to your faith when the servant of that house fails? What gives you confidence in Christ's faithfulness over his house?

Jesus as our high priest goes before God on our behalf, Hebrews 4:14-16. Jesus is able to "sympathize with our weaknesses" and was "tempted as we are". How does this give you confidence to draw near to God and receive mercy, find grace, and get help in times of need?

Hebrews 5:8 states that Jesus learned "obedience through what he suffered". Discuss why suffering as a Christian is often viewed negatively as a believer. Why did Jesus suffer, not only on the cross, but during his ministry on earth? Share how suffering has helped you grow in your faith.


Week 10

The role of the high priest (Hebrews 8, 9:11-28) is a foreign concept because we never lived under the Old Covenant. However, discuss why Jesus taking the role of our high priest is a better covenant. How is the new covenant better than the old one? What promises do we rejoice in because of the new covenant? In what ways are you thankful that you don't live under the old covenant?

Hebrews 10:1 states that the law is but a "shadow" of the good things to come. What does that mean? If what cast a shadow is greater than the shadow how does that change how you read the Old Testament shadow?

Hebrews 11:1 is a clear definition of the Christian faith. Discuss what this passage is saying. Do we have a "blind faith"?

Of all the "by faith" stories in Hebrews 11, what sticks out to you as the greatest display of faith and why? What stories of "by faith" have you heard about someone you know that builds your faith?

Hebrews 12:5-11 reminds us that God disciplines us out of love. Why is discipline a sign of love? Why do we not view what happens in our lives as discipline and so often blame it on the enemy? What is God our Fathers goal in disciplining us according to this passage? Have you ever experienced God's discipline and then were able to look back and see the fruit of what his discipline produced (Hebrews 12:11)?


Week 11

Hebrews 13:2 reminds us of the importance of showing hospitality to strangers, and then says "of thereby some have entertained angels unawares". This was referring to Abraham's encounter with the three men in Genesis 18:1-8. (It is believed that God was one of the three because of LORD, in all caps, which represents the name of God - Yahweh verses 10 and 13). As a group re-read this passage. How did Abraham act? Repetitively the scripture states that Abraham "ran" as he was serving. In that culture men like Abraham don't run. How is this a picture of how we should show hospitality as we are serving the LORD God himself?

Hosea was commanded by God to marry a "wife of whoredom" and have children with her. Gomer bears him three children that God names Jezreel "God sows", Lo-Ruhama "No mercy", and Lo-ammi "Not my people". When God names people in the Bible their names carry great meaning and/or purpose. Discuss what God was telling his people through the marrying of Hosea to Gomer and the names of their children. What had the people of Israel and Judah done that God called Hosea to tell them?

Hosea 2:2-13 speaks of the judgment of God against the kingdom of Judah and Israel. God uses this imagery of marriage to describe the covenant God made with his people. God as the husband and his people as his wife, God states that "she put away her whoring from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts" (Hosea 2:2b). This is in reference to what his wife looked too and what her heart was focused on. God's response was that he would shut down the access to her lovers, specifically Baal (Hosea 2:6-13). Why does God use such strong imagery and words to describe his wife and her actions? Was God justified in his anger? Why does God place strong importance on our covenant marriage relationship to him? How do you look at adultery now in light of how God sees it in our relationship with him when we chase after other idols?

Hosea 2:14-3:5 speaks of God's redemption of his people to himself. It's hard not to read this section and see the love of God for his people in spite of their sin and turning from him towards Baal. What stood out to you in this section? How did this section of scripture encourage you in your relationship with God on this side of the good news of Jesus and the cross? What about God's faithfulness can you give thanks to him in our times of adultery?


Week 12

In Hosea 6:6 God says that he desires steadfast love and not a sacrifice. He then states that he desires "knowledge" rather than burnt offerings. The knowledge that is referred to here (yada in Hebrew) is not that you intellectually know someone but that you have a deep relational knowledge with them. Israel and Judah knew God, but their hearts and actions were far from God. So God tells them that he wants their hearts and not the vain sacrifices they made. In what ways do you offer sacrifices to God but not give him your everything? How do you guard your heart and affection to not just go through the "motions" of Christianity? Why does God desire our heart above any outward expression of our relationship to him?

Hosea 8 teaches us that Israel and Judah sought out kings and rulers for protection instead of turning to God. God says that he will judge Israel and Judah and show them that the rulers they made allies with cannot protect them. In what ways do you turn to things of this world for protection and safety instead of trusting God? What allies do you make with the world because you think that God might not be faithful in your situation?

One of the sins of Israel and Judah is the continued worship of Baal. In Hosea 9 we see the worship of Baal and the judgment of God. Baal was believed to be the god of fertility. What about the verses about children in Hosea 9 surprises you? Why would God who is the author of life be upset when his people worship a false god looking for life from a dead god? How do you look to other "gods" of this world to do what only God can do?


Week 13

In Hosea 11 we see God's love for his people. His compassion and tenderness towards the people who he has walked with since Israel was a child. We see that in verses 8-9 the anger and judgment of his people turn to compassion and mercy. He tells Israel that he is God and not man and will not come in wrath. When have you felt God's tenderness and compassion even though you know you deserved his wrath? Talk as a group about how God's love for his people is proven in his faithfulness to us even in our rebellion? How is the judgment of God and the love of God compatible?

God sought to remind his people of three stories. The first one is Jacob's deceiving of Issac for the blessing (Hosea 12:2-3), then Israel's rebellion in the wilderness (Hosea 13:2-8), and finally Israel's desire for an earthly king in Saul (Hosea 13:10-11). Why did God remind his people of these stories? What do these stories show us about God's people? What stories in your life can you look back and see your rebellion of God in your life?

Hosea ends in Chapter 14 with a plea to return to the Lord. Verse 4 tells us that God will heal their apostasy. Apostasy is backsliding, wandering away from God, waywardness. His people will continue to be wayward children, but God is faithful to the end. God's ultimate goal is to heal us from wandering from his great love. His ways are right and those who truly know God walk in them (Hosea 14:9). What did you learn from Hosea? What did it reveal about yourself? What did it reveal about God?

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