LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of January 26, 2020
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
These notes are designed to be a resource as you lead your Life Group each week.
Go over the Covenant with anyone who missed the first week. Remind anyone who hasn’t signed the Covenant to do so. Email it to your Life Group Admin, turn it in by mail, or drop it off at the office or Welcome Booth on your campus by Sun, Feb 2.
MAKE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL & SERVICE PROJECT
Check our Community Service website for some options: northcoastcommunityservice.org You can also check out the Leader Tools page for social ideas. lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/suggestions-for-socials/
LEADER TIP FOR WEEK #3
Your group time together is valuable! The key? Making sure you find time to hear from everyone in your group and make sure they feel valued and heard. Don’t forget the basics; have drinks ready when people arrive, work on building relationships and praying together. If you have new people in your group, don’t forget to use nametags.
Submit your group’s attendance online at northcoastchurch.com/attendance. If you’re not sure how to post attendance, you can check out the guide here. Don’t forget to let us know of any roster updates that you know of, or changes to your meeting day, time or location for the Fall quarter when you submit your attendance.
Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time, caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
1. Interacting with God’s Word is an important part of the Christian life. Put a check mark next to the following descriptions that best describe how you are currently doing or feeling about learning the Bible.
- Going through the motions
- Needing more direction
- Don’t know where to begin
- Not getting much out of it
- Only reading the Bible to do Life
- Group homework
- Miss it when I don’t read it
- Learning a lot of helpful things
- What have been some ways you’ve found helpful in interacting with the Word besides simply reading it?
- How has your interaction with the Word changed over time?
Additional Question: What are some of the reasons people come up with for why they don’t think the Bible is true or reliable?
2. Despite the facts the Bible is accurate, reliable and has the power to transform our lives, it still seems many Christians struggle to make it a regular part of their lives. Why do you think that is true?
- What has been your biggest struggle with making the Word a regular part of your life?
- How have you addressed that struggle?
The following passages all deal with the positive impact the Word can have in our lives when we are willing to obey it. Make a list of all the benefits you find in the following passages that come from doing what God’s Word says to do.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Have you ever sensed God’s word to be as refreshing as David did?
Have you ever felt confined by the Word?
Psalm 1:1-3 – 1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
The result of living according to the Word is a fruitful life.
Psalm 119:97-104 – 97 Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
98 Your commands are always with me
and make me wiser than my enemies.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.
100 I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from every evil path
so that I might obey your word.
102 I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.
2 Timothy 3:14-17 – 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The Word is useful for teaching (which way we should go), rebuke (letting us know we’re off track), correction (telling us how to get back on track), and training (telling us how to stay on the right track).
Looking back at your list of benefits, which of these have you experienced in your life?
Additional Question: When and how have you experienced them?
Which of these benefits do you need the most right now?
Which of these benefits motivate you most to pursue the Word?
This would be a good question to hear from everyone on. It will give you good insight into the needs of people in your group.
Are there any changes you could make to experience even more of these benefits?
Additional Question: What would it look like if a person was experiencing that benefit in his/her life?
We heard this weekend that the Bible has the power to transform lives. Scripture uses various metaphors to explain this transformational power. For each verse below, jot down how the metaphor used to describe the Bible can impact people.
Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Double edged sword – This image is pretty graphic because it paints a picture of a sword that is able to slice people open and expose our internal organs. God’s Spirit can use the Bible to expose our deepest thoughts and secrets.
Jeremiah 23:29 – “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
Fire and hammer – The Word is powerful and destructive to the things that are opposed to it.
Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Lamp and light – The Word provides guidance both very personally (a lamp = flashlight to illuminate a few steps on the path we’re walking on) and in a more general sense of giving insight in general.
Ephesians 6:17 – Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Sword of the Spirit – The Word is the offensive weapon the Spirit uses to reveal things that need to change in people’s lives.
How have you seen the Bible have this kind of impact on your life or someone else’s life?
Additional Question: What would it take from us for the Word to have this kind of impact in our lives?
The Bible tells us to be doers of what it says and not just hearers. Solomon, King David’s son, is an interesting case study of someone who experienced God’s blessing and knew a lot, but still chose to disobey God. Read 1 Kings 4:29-34 and 10:23-25. Write down how God blessed Solomon.
1 Kings 4:29-34 – 29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.
1 Kings 10:23-25 – 23 King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. 24 The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. 25 Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift—articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.
Now read 1 Kings 11:1-13 and list as many reasons as you can find for why Solomon stopped being a doer of God’s Word.
1 Kings 11:1-13 – King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2 They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done. 7 On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods. 9 The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. 11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. 12 Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”
Obviously the big one is that Solomon stopped listening to the Lord when he married all the foreign wives and built the high places for worship of other gods. The reason he didn’t listen to the Lord is “because his had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel who had appeared to him twice.” (verse 9) Solomon was not simply ignoring the commands of God written down somewhere but the commands of a God he had seen with his own eyes.
Additional Question: What do you think was the biggest reason that Solomon became disobedient?
What were the consequences of the bad decisions Solomon made?
Solomon apparently forgot that decisions have consequences and bad decisions have bad consequences. The consequences of his decisions were significant especially to Solomon’s family. He failed to follow the instructions in his own Proverb 27:12 – “The prudent (wise) see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” He ignored the danger and he and his family suffered the consequences.
Can you think of any specific reasons that lead a person to do the opposite of what he/she knows God wants him/her to do?
Additional Question: What have been some of your reasons for doing the opposite of what you know God wants for your life?
Have you seen any consequences in your life from decisions you’ve made that were clearly against God’s Word? If so, what were they?
Note: The answer to this question could be really personal and painful to share for people so be sensitive. This would be a good question to save for your men’s and women’s time if you split up for prayer.
Take a moment to evaluate the level of attention you’ve been giving the Bible and how you’re getting it into your life regularly. Are there any changes you need to make?
Looking back on this week’s sermon and study, what is most important for you to remember?