For those meeting in Community Groups this week, here are the application questions for Study Three: The Choice we all Face.
God chooses to rescue his people not because they’re powerful, smart, talented, or good. But because he loves them.
1. Knowing that God already loves us despite our failures and successes, what sort of freedom does this give us? How does it change our expectations as Christians?
This kind of love that God has shamelessly lavished upon us is a non-returnable, undeserved, unearned love. It is blisteringly unconditional love.
2. How does this love make you feel? What does this kind of love make you want to do?
The problem with the Israelites is the same problem we ourselves have: hearts that don’t want to obey God. Which is why God tells them to ‘circumcise your hearts’. In other words, they, and we, are to opt for painful, permanent change. We are to do whatever it takes to make sure that we obey from this point on. And when we get to the New Testament, we see that this is in fact what Jesus does for us, because we cannot do it ourselves.
3. Read Colossians 2:9-12. Knowing we have everything we need in Christ, what do you think it would look like, for you personally, to live whole-heartedly for God? What’s one thing you could change in your lifestyle, routine, conduct, or speech that would be a step toward this goal?
For those meeting in Community Groups this week, here are the application questions for Study Two: In God We Trust?
Hearing God’s words has got to be a way of life for God’s people. That’s the key to making good choices: to allow every impulse, every idea, every decision to be shaped, corrected, and directed by God himself as he speaks to us.
1. Generally speaking, why do we find it so hard to listen? What makes it even harder when it comes to hearing God’s voice?
2. In 2 Timothy 2:8 Paul says to‘Remember Jesus Christ’. Why do you think he says that? What does it mean to ‘remember Jesus’?
Moses says that listening to God’s words leads to an attractive obedience – a way of life that will draw others in.
3. Thinking honestly about your life, how attractive do you think it is to outsiders? If someone would look in on your life from the outside, would what they see attract them?
The only way to ‘happily’ keep on sinning is if we first silence God. Repentance is essentially removing your fingers from your ears so that you can hear God again and start acting on what he says.
4. How can we make sure that we, as a community group, help on another stay saturated by God’s words – especially when we’re attempting to silence God?
It’s worth remembering that when we do pull our fingers out of our ears we’re not met with words of judgement from God, but rather words of mercy: “The Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you.” – Deut. 4:31
For those meeting in Community Groups this week, here are the application questions for Study One: Looking Back, Looking Forward.
Moses opens his speech by making Israel look back on their past in order to highlight the fact that they must learn to mistrust themselves.
1. Are you more likely to be blasé about your past (“let’s just forget that ever happened”) or be crippled by your past (unable to move on from your mistakes)? How can we learn to mistrust ourselves in ways that are healthy and lead to growth?
The other side of the coin for Moses is that mistrusting ourselves should lead us to trusting God – particularly trusting him to deliver on specific promises he gives to his people.
2. In what ways do we expect God to deliver on promises he never gave us? What has God promised us, and how can we have a realistic trust in God?
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
3. How do these words change how we view our successes and failures? What comfort (if any) do you find in these words?