BEYOND THE DAILY GRIND

Text: Ephesians 6:5-9

Series: Thank God It’s Monday

Before we are employees or employers in the marketplace, we are servants and followers of Christ. What kind of workers should we be, knowing that Jesus is our ultimate boss?

Discussion Guide

1) Work For the Audience of One (vv5-6)

Every adult comes under some form of authority at work. And to a large extent, the state of our work life is affected by the type of bosses we have. Were there any difficult situations you faced due to the demands of your immediate superiors? Share some of your personal stories. What are some typical behaviours subordinates tend to exhibit towards difficult bosses?
Paul tells us in Colossians 3:23 to work with all our heart in whatever we do, because ultimately we are working for the Lord, the audience of One. Since Jesus is our ultimate boss, what difference should it make in our attitude towards work? How will this translate to our behaviours at work? One way to work for the audience of One is to respect the authority placed over us by God. Reflect upon our own attitude towards the bosses over us. Is there proper respect? Does it reflect our desire to obey God? Discuss how we can grow in this aspect.
While we want to worship God through our work, we want to be mindful that we do not end up worshipping our work. What are some possible signs that reflect the latter? What are some safeguards we can put in place in order to not fall into this?

2) Know That What We Do Matters to God (vv7-8)

Share some instances at work where you encountered either injustice due to your boss’s decisions, or felt small / insignificant due to your boss’s response towards you. How did you feel during these moments? To what extent did these affect your attitude towards your work? How did you resolve these feelings and thoughts eventually?
What does Bible say in response to times where our work may not be appreciated by our earthly bosses? What is the right attitude to adopt in such situations? Our work is a gift from God, and how we treat it matters to God. How well have I been stewarding this gift so far? Think of how we can grow to be better stewards, and share to one another.

3) Seek the Good of Those We Work With (v9)

Most of us work within hierarchies, interacting with people of different job scopes and responsibilities daily. If we are not careful, it might be easy to naturally equate work position with a person’s value and dignity. As a Christian, what is the basis for us to see every person as equal? If there is no such thing as an unimportant person in God’s eyes, how should we be treating the people around us at work? What are some obstacles that make it challenging for us to seek the good of those we work with? What motivates us to love difficult people at work? How can we look out for their interests even if we experience conflicts or misunderstandings with them?
Would we describe ourselves as more task-oriented or people-oriented? Share some instances at work that shows our tendency towards either. How has being task-oriented / people-oriented at work been beneficial for those around us? Reflect on recent situations at work. Were there any instances where our tendencies led to strained relationships or hurt feelings? What did we learn from those experiences? Share with the LG. Identify 1-2 areas that we can grow in, in terms of our attitude and behaviour at work, so that we can glorify God and be a bigger blessing to the people around us. What steps are we taking to grow in these areas?

Reflection Questions

1) Work For the Audience of One (vv5-6)

Since Jesus is our ultimate boss, what difference should it make in our attitude towards work? How will this translate to our behaviours at work?

2) Know That What We Do Matters to God (vv7-8)

What does Bible say in response to times where our work may not be appreciated by our earthly bosses? What is the right attitude to adopt in such situations?

3) Seek the Good of Those We Work With (v9)

As a Christian, what is the basis for us to see every person as equal? If there is no such thing as an unimportant person in God’s eyes, how should we be treating the people around us at work? What motivates us to love difficult people at work?

BACK TO THE ORIGIN

Text: Genesis 2:4-20

Series: Thank God It’s Monday

Often, work is either seen as a necessary evil or a pursuit that gives us our worth. Both extremes should be avoided. If we want to have the right view of work, we need to know God’s purpose for it. 

 

Discussion Guide

1) Work is a Gift from God (vv. 4-15)

Many do not see work as a gift from God. Why do you think this is so? What are most people’s view of work? The fact that God included man in his work at the beginning of the world shows that work is a privilege and grace that man doesn’t deserve. Put yourself in Adam’s shoes – how do you think you would feel, knowing that the Creator entrusts to you his precious creation to care for it? God graciously provided everything Adam needed to do his work well. How has God provided for you so that you could do your work well? Reflect carefully on your work for the past week – do you see traces of God’s grace at your workplace? What are they? Since work is a gift from God, how should we approach the gift as a way to thank and honour the Giver? Some of us enjoy our work, perhaps to the extent of loving it so much that we work at the expense of our relationship with God. How does seeing work as a gift from God prevent us from prizing it over the Giver? What are some safeguards we need to establish so that our work, while a good thing, does not become our idol and become the centre of our lives? 

 

2) Work is to be Done in God’s Way (vv. 16-17)

Do you think that some Christians may have the idea that “God is only present in the church building but not at the office”? What is wrong with that view? What happens if Christians separate their work life from their worship life? If we really believe that God is present at our workplace and cares about our work, why is it important to do our work God’s way? In the garden of Eden, God gave Adam freedom and yet He also set boundaries. Why do you think God sets boundaries for our work? Why do you think some people cross the line at times? What are some common temptations people face at work? In a hostile work environment, it can be challenging to do work God’s way when we face much pressure to do otherwise. How can Christians stand firm? What are some ways we can find encouragement or support to honour God at our work? Knowing how to do work God’s way can be complex with ethical dilemmas and tricky politics. What are some ways we can grow in wisdom at work?

 

3) Work is Meant to be a Partnership with God (vv. 5, 19-20)

When God created Adam, work is meant to be enjoyed in the garden of Eden together with God. Our relationship with God steers our view of work and our conduct at the workplace. What are some attitudes or behaviour a Christian who is walking right with God would exhibit at work? Which attitude would you want to grow in? It is God, not our work, who gives us our worth and purpose. What are some simple spiritual habits we can practise from now on to be more aware of God’s partnership in our workplace? How can we better partner with God at work? 

Reflection Questions

 

1) Work is a Gift from God (vv. 4-15)

Since work is a gift from God, how should we approach the gift as a way to thank and honour the Giver? How does seeing work as a gift from God prevent us from prizing it over the Giver?

2) Work is to be Done in God’s Way (vv. 16-17)

If we really believe that God is present at our workplace and cares about our work, why is it important to do our work God’s way? In a hostile work environment, it can be challenging to do work God’s way when we face much pressure to do otherwise. How can Christians stand firm? 

3) Work is Meant to be a Partnership with God (vv. 5, 19-20)

What are some attitudes or behaviour a Christian who is walking right with God would exhibit at work? What are some simple spiritual habits we can practise from now on to be more aware of God’s partnership in our workplace? 

THE BLESSING OF FINANCIAL FREEDOM

Many people pursue financial freedom. What exactly does financial freedom mean and how are we able to stop worrying about money?

HOW DO I KNOW I’M HEARING FROM GOD?
Series: You Asked For It

How do we hear from God in a world of noise and multiple, sometimes conflicting voices?

Discussion Guide

What are some reasons believers want to hear from God? What do you think are some fears or concerns that believers may have when it comes to hearing from God? For example, do you think people worry that they would miss out on God’s plan for them if they do not “hear” correctly? Where do you think these fears or concerns come from?

Psalm 23 depicts God as the shepherd who provides and cares for his people. The role of the shepherd is to guide the flock to food and water and keep the sheep safe from predators. What does Psalm 23 tell us about God’s willingness and ability to guide us as we navigate the challenges of life? How then should we respond to him as our shepherd? Think of the many characters in the Bible whom God took the initiative to communicate to so that he could lead them in his plan. Do you trust that God would also take the initiative to reach you and lead you? Why? How does knowing that God is willing and able to communicate to us enable us to seek his guidance with assurance that he will lead us? Why does knowing that God is bigger than our mistakes assure us that we need not be anxious that we may hear him incorrectly?

1) God speaks to us through the Bible

What do you think are the dangers if we ignore God’s will that is already revealed in God’s Word? If we can already hear from God through Scripture and yet we don’t bother to know and practise it, what does this say about our willingness to obey God in anything? How can we grow in our submission to Scripture? What can the LG do to encourage one another to obey all that God says in his Word?

2) God speaks to us through other means (eg prayer, life circumstances and godly counsel)

How can you cultivate spiritual disciplines such as prayer to draw closer to God and position yourself to hear from him? How can the LG support each other to do so? Who are some people you allow to speak into your life? How do you know you can trust them? If we are seeking God’s guidance for a certain decision, why does it benefit to hear from Christians who show signs of walking right with God?

 

Reflection Questions

How does knowing that God is willing and able to communicate to us enable us to seek his guidance with assurance that he will lead us? Why does knowing that God is bigger than our mistakes assure us that we need not be anxious that we may hear him incorrectly?

1) God speaks to us through the Bible

If we can already hear from God through Scripture and yet we don’t bother to know and practise it, what does this say about our willingness to obey God in anything? How can we grow in our submission to Scripture?

2) God speaks to us through other means (eg prayer, life circumstances and godly counsel)

How can you cultivate spiritual disciplines such as prayer to draw closer to God and position yourself to hear from him? If we are seeking God’s guidance for a certain decision, why does it benefit to hear from other Christians who show signs of walking right with God?

WHY FOLLOW JESUS WHEN IT’S HARD TO?
Series:You Asked For It
Jesus calls us to follow Him, which is often filled with challenges. Is it worth following Jesus when the cost is high?
 
Discussion Guide
 
Following Jesus can be difficult
What are some common reasons why people find it hard or restrictive to follow Jesus? Do you agree? What are some areas you struggle to follow Jesus in? Following Jesus may create tension between us and our closest friends and loved ones because they do not understand our commitment to Jesus (Matthew 10:34-36; Luke 14:25-27). Share an instance where your faith led to a problem in your relationships. How do you think you had grown through the incident? Why do you think being a Christ-follower is often filled with challenges? Was there ever a time you felt like compromising or giving up on your faith when the going got tough? Who or what helped you to tide through that period? What did you learn from that experience?
 
Discipleship is essentially a relationship
Why do you think some tend to see discipleship as a bunch of rules and regulations or a set of do’s and don’ts? At the heart of discipleship is not our ability to put on our best behaviour but our willingness to commit to Jesus. Why do you think this personal commitment is important? How would it help the believer to hold onto God when hardships or afflictions come? If we acknowledge Jesus as our Lord then we are His servants who do God’s will as we are empowered by the Holy Spirt. How can the LG cultivate such dedication to Jesus together? How can you cooperate with the Spirit who wants to empower you for godly living and for ministry? How are you being receptive in allowing the Spirit to guide you? What tangible steps are you taking to draw closer to God this week? How can the LG help you?
 
Jesus is worth it
Read Rom 12:1. How has God shown His mercy to you? To what extent has He displayed grace towards you? Sometimes we may think that God only wants to take from us or that He is not faithful in giving us what we want. But what does the cross tell us about how much He has already given to us or the love that He has already poured out generously on us? When we compare Christ’s sacrifice for us with what we go through in order to follow Him, which do we think weigh more? Why? This doesn’t mean we belittle or disregard our suffering. Jesus understands our difficulties because He also went through suffering in His obedience to God. How can the LG point each other to Jesus when the going gets tough? How can we learn from Jesus’ example when coping with hardships (1 Pet 2:21-25)?

Reflection Questions

 
Following Jesus can be difficult
What are some common reasons why people find it hard or restrictive to follow Jesus?
 
Discipleship is essentially a relationship
At the heart of discipleship is not our ability to put on our best behaviour but our willingness to commit to Jesus. Why do you think this personal commitment is important? 
 
Jesus is worth it
Sometimes we may think that God only wants to take from us or that He is not faithful in giving us what we want. But what does the cross tell us about how much He has already given to us or the love that He has already poured out generously on us

IF GOD IS GOOD, WHY IS THERE SUFFERING
Text: Genesis 3:14-19
Series: You Asked For It

Suffering is certain in anyone’s life – we may be able to mitigate suffering but we cannot escape it. During such moments, we may question God’s goodness. Since suffering is inevitable, how should we make sense of it?

Discussion Guide

Where does suffering come from?

Briefly share what is one suffering that you are currently going through or have gone through in the past? If not, what is one suffering that you see in the world right now? When man first sinned by rebelling against God and disobeying his command (Gen 2:16-17; 3:6), God who is holy and righteous punished their sin. Read God’s judgment pronounced in Gen 3:14-19: 1) Constant struggle between the forces of evil and the human race (v15), 2) Mankind will experience physical and mental suffering on this earth until they die (v16-19), 3) The ground is cursed, bringing imbalance to all creation (v17-18). How do the above-mentioned play out in the suffering we experience and/or witness today? How do you feel about living in a fallen world?

God’s attributes and suffering

Sometimes we suffer because of our own sins. Sometimes we suffer through no fault of our own but from the sins of others. Why do you think people’s experience or witness of suffering might cause them to doubt God’s goodness? How does knowing that God is all knowing and eternal help you to understand suffering? From the Bible, we learn of accounts where God used suffering and evil for the good of those who put their trust in Him. Can you recall some of these accounts? What do they say about God’s character in times of hardship and how his people should respond? What is a word or encouragement or comfort you can glean from the Bible?

Coping with suffering

When we have God in our life, suffering can be meaningful. We may not have all the answers to why we suffer, but we have God who walks with us in our pain and works in us for His glory. Which of the points resonates most with you: Through suffering, (i) God draws us closer to him, (ii) God trains us in his holy character (Heb 12:10), (iii) God offers us the opportunity to trust in his sovereignty (Isa 55:8-9). Why? How can we learn from the example of Job when we wonder why bad things happen to good people (Job 42:1-3)? How does knowing that there will be an end to suffering and evil (Rev 21:1-4) help us to cope with present afflictions? How can we encourage for one another during times of suffering? How will we respond when our pre-believing friend asks: If God is good, why is there suffering? Looking to the cross where Jesus suffered and died for our sins, how can we gain strength and courage to persevere in faith through our hardships?

Reflection Questions

Where does suffering come from?

When man first sinned by rebelling against God and disobeying his command (Gen 2:16-17; 3:6), God who is holy and righteous punished their sin. Read Gen 3:14-19 – how does God’s pronouncement of judgment in these verses play out in the suffering we experience or see today?

God’s attributes and suffering

Why do you think people’s experience or witness of suffering might cause them to doubt God’s goodness? How does knowing that God is all knowing and eternal help you to understand suffering?

Coping with suffering

How can we learn from the example of Job when we wonder why bad things happen to good people (Job 42:1-3)? How does knowing that there will be an end to suffering and evil (Rev 21:1-4) help us to cope with present afflictions? Looking to the cross where Jesus suffered and died for our sins, how can we gain strength and courage to persevere in faith through our hardships?

THE WAY TO END WELL
2 Peter 3:14-18
Series: End Game – Becoming Future Ready

Being future ready believers means we are able to face the Lord with confidence when He returns, joyful that He has come to vindicate us. How can we remain in the faith to the very end?

Discussion Guide

1) Be determined to live right before God (14-15a)

In verse 14, believers are exhorted to “make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace” with God. Making effort here refers to a ‘determined’ effort and not a ‘casual’ effort. Reflect on the choices, decisions and actions in your life. How does being determined to live right before God in your own personal life look like? Being determined to live right does not mean that salvation is based on our own effort to be good in order to be saved. It means we are intentional to respond to God’s grace to us by being above reproach in our conduct. What is one area that the Spirit may be prompting you to consider your ethics? What are the challenges you face? Who can you approach for advice? How can you rely on the Spirit’s empowerment to resolve your dilemmas? What are other steps you can take to be more intentional to live right before God? How can the Life Group play a role?

2) Be on guard against false teaching (15b-17)

False teachings are rarely a blatant lie, it is often a mixture of truth and lie. What are some false teachings you have encountered? How can you tell what is true and false? What do you think are some ways that believers can guard themselves against false teachings? We develop our ability to discern truth and false by cultivating a biblical worldview through the understanding of Scripture. Reading the Bible thoroughly from cover to cover is one way to know God’s Word more. Have you read the Bible from cover to cover before? If not, would you consider to start doing it? Why? Read 2 Timothy 4:3, the Bible warned believers about being a selective hearer of God’s Word. Are there some biblical truths that you find yourself particularly receptive and open to? Are there also some biblical truths that you find yourself ignoring or paying less attention to? How can the Life Group work together to avoid becoming selective hearers and instead, embrace the totality of God’s truth? Another way to cultivate a biblical worldview is to not just read but also study the Bible. Grow season 3 is here. Is there a class you can attend to go deeper into the Word?

3) Be committed to keep growing in the Lord (18)

The risk of being a stagnant believer is the tendency to fall. Backsliding doesn’t happen overnight but takes time and often happens without our realisation. What do you think are some signs of someone drifting away from God? What may be some contributing factors? Take some time to reflect on your spiritual life, describe your hunger for spiritual growth from a scale of 0 to 10 (10 being very hungry). Explain why. We can look at growth in 2 areas – our being (worldview and character) as well as our doing (ministry or service). What are some steps you can take to be more intentional to grow in these 2 areas? Our relationship with God is vital to our being and doing. How can we prioritise our relationship with God in the midst of many other things that are calling for our attention? How can the Life Group play a role?

Reflection questions

1) Be determined to live right before God (14-15a)

Reflect on the choices, decisions and actions in your life. How does being determined to live right before God in your own personal life look like?

2) Be on guard against false teaching (15b-17)

How can you tell what is true and false? What do you think are some ways that believers can guard themselves against false teachings?

3) Be committed to keep growing in the Lord (18)

We can look at growth in 2 areas – our being (worldview and character) as well as our doing (ministry or service). What are some steps you can take to be more intentional to grow in these 2 areas? Our relationship with God is vital to our being and doing. How can we prioritise our relationship with God in the midst of many other things that are calling for our attention?

THE IMPACT OF HIS FUTURE ON OUR PRESENT
Text: 2 Peter 3:11-13
Series: Endgame – Becoming Future Ready

We know the endgame that is Christ’s return, so how should we conduct ourselves until it happens? Some may be obsessed with knowing when the world will end because they want to be prepared. Yet Jesus is clear that the time is unknown though He will certainly come. How then can we as believers be prepared?

Discussion Guide

1) We live in expectation of His coming (11-12)

What do you do when you’re expecting something, like a baby, promotion or good results? How is it similar to how you would prepare for Christ’s return? What does Christ’s second coming mean to you? Do you look forward to it, and why? What does our anticipation (or lack of it) for Christ’s return say about our attachment to the world? How does Christ’s return affect your desire to live holy and godly lives? When you think about holiness, what comes to mind? In the Bible, holiness means that we as God’s people are set apart for God for His purpose and to reflect His character. This includes being upright in our ethics, for God possesses superior moral qualities. How does holy living look like in our workplace, school or home, especially when the majority culture adheres to different values? How is it different from the licentious lifestyles of some who do not know God? What struggles do Christians normally face in holy living? Godly living is living in a way that acknowledges the God we worship and fulfils His expectations of His people. How can we demonstrate our devotion to God in our dealings with people, career, money etc? Why is it important to not just do the right thing but to do it out of a heart of devotion to God? How can we grow in our understanding of what God expects of us? What usually hinders Christians from godly living? In light of Christ’s return, how can the Life Group encourage one another in holy and godly living?

2) We live in hope of His promised new world (13)

We have all faced hurts and disappointment in our lives. How do we view these scars? When we face other tough times, how do we usually deal with it? Meanwhile, there are others who seem to be carefree and unaffected by troubles. Why do you think they behave this way? How do you think they view the world? Should we emulate their worldview? Why? Peter urges believers to “look forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” How does this encourage those of us who are going through difficult times in this world? What does this tell us about hope? How is hope different from wishful thinking? By looking at the things/areas that we have invested our resources and energy in, it is easy to spot what some of us may have placed our hope in (e.g. wealth, achievements, social status etc). Take some time to consider these things and evaluate them side by side with the promised new world. Which is more permanent? Which is more secure? Why? Why can we be certain that the righteous new order will definitely come to pass? In other words, how do we know that God will keep the promise of ushering in the new world? Instead of placing our hope in things of this world, how can we place our hope in God who keeps His word? How can the Life Group spur one another on to look forward to the new world?

Reflection Questions

1) We live in expectation of His coming (11-12)

What does Christ’s second coming mean to you? Do you look forward to it, and why? How does Christ’s return affect your desire to live holy and godly lives?

2) We live in hope of His promised new world (13)

How do we know that God will keep His promise of ushering in the new world? How does this encourage those of us who are going through difficult times in this world? Instead of placing our hope in things of this world, how can we place our hope in God who keeps His word?