1. Deny Self

In making the decision to receive Jesus into our lives, believers recognise the old sinful selves that ought to be crucified and put to rest. What is this old self that you left behind when you became a Christian? Share some recent experiences of God speaking to us to deny ourselves in our life situations. Why would some Christians struggle to deny the self? What helped you to choose obedience?

2. Take Up Cross

While it is common for Christians to wear a cross as an accessory, its real significance lies in the choice to bear the cross in our hearts on a daily basis. What does taking up the cross mean to you personally? How has this influenced the way you lead your life? Think and share some ways we can remind ourselves to make this decision daily.

3. Follow Jesus

Jesus surrendered Himself to the Father in every situation, doing only what the Father wills. Reflect on the various reasons why Christians may find it difficult to surrender to God. Share one time you chose to submit to God – what made you do it and how has it impacted you? What could be some areas God wants believers to surrender to Him today? Surrender comes not from coercion but from a trusting relationship – how can the community encourage one another to trust God that He knows what He’s doing?

True surrender is a joy when we realise we are handing over control of our lives to Jesus, in exchange for a life that is truly life. Make a commitment as a Life Group, to continuously spur one another on in this journey of denying ourselves, taking up the cross and following Jesus all the way till the end of the race.

Hear Pastor Jeff share his personal reflections and learnings from his time away with God!

THE PRIDE BEFORE THE FALL (Esther 6-7)

While God’s sovereignty is good news for those who humbly rely on Him, it is bad news for those who proudly reject Him. Why is pride dangerous? How should believers deal with pride in their lives?

1) Pride is deceptive (6:4-11)

What is pride? Think of someone whom you would consider prideful. What kind of characteristics does this person have? How does his or her pride manifest itself on a daily basis?

As Christians, we are not exempted from the influence of pride. While we may not say outright that we don’t need God or that we are against Him, we could exhibit pride in subtle ways, such as self-sufficiency. How does self-sufficiency look like? Conversely, how does living in God-dependency look like? Reflect upon your life. What are the areas you tend to be more dependent on God, and others seemingly more reliant on our own strengths and abilities? We are usually more prideful in areas we are strong or successful in. Would you agree? Why? How can we grow in our
strengths and yet be humble?

Pride can manifest in a sense of superiority towards people and complacency towards the commands of God. What are some warning signs that we may be holding such attitudes? Are some of these signs currently present in your life (for example, in the way you think about people who are weaker than you in a particular area)? Set aside some solitude time for everyone to invite the Holy Spirit to come examine our hearts. Encourage the LG to use the time to repent for specific prideful moments that God reveals to us. How can the LG support one another to live a life ‘of dependence on God i.e. intentionally seek His will in how we do our work or relate with people?

2) Pride is destructive (6:12-7:10)

Take some time to think about people or public figures you know whose pride led them to some form of destruction. What are some lessons we can draw from these stories? How has pride led to the destruction of reputations or relationships? What happened to people who had to deal with the aftermath of such destruction?

How can the LG warn or alert one another to guard against pride and its destructive effects? Commit to work on a few practical ways together as a group.

Instead of being caught in pride, how can the LG spur one another on to imitate the humility of Christ (Phil 2:3-8)? Humility is not thinking lowly of oneself but valuing oneself less than others. In other words, humility is not saying, “I’m lousier than you in everything” but “I see your needs as more important than mine. How can I serve you?” How can we build a culture of valuing others above ourselves?

From childhood to adulthood, we deal with the pressure to excel at school and at work. No wonder “thank God it’s Friday” is a popular catchphrase, while “Monday blues” describes the dread many of us feel when the week begins.
It can be hard to find meaning and satisfaction in our labour as we face challenges at work. But God cares deeply about how we are doing as employees and bosses. Discover what Scripture says about work and how we can approach the daily grind!

HOW TO LET THE WORLD SEE?
Series: ‘Let The World See’ Hope Conference 2019

Discussion Guide

As we go about our lives, we can participate in many good causes. But what should our focus as the Church be? Should we aim to become a bridge that connects people to Christ? Should we cross boundaries and smash barriers to bring about reconciliation? Should we actively engage people no matter where we go, but for what purpose?

The Church should never be confined by the four walls of the church building. It is our calling to go out there and Let the World See.

Reflection Question

What defines Christian love? As a Christian, what should motivate us to love others selflessly? What makes you say so? What should we stop and start doing in order to love like Christ loves?

Missions is often seen as something only for the ‘super spiritual’ believers who are willing and able to uproot themselves and settle in an unfamiliar land. But God is a global God with a global mission.

Enlarge your heart and view on how God prepares His church for missions, and how we should respond to His leadership on the missions ground.

PREPARATION FOR MISSIONS
Text: Acts 10:1-23a
Series: Light of the World

As Christ followers, we are called to fulfil the Great Commission.  How is God preparing you to participate in missions today

Discussion Guide

1) God chooses to involve us in missions (1-8)
John Piper once said, “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” What do you think he means? Do you agree with this quote? Why? How does this quote illustrate the significance of missions? God graciously involves us in His mission to redeem the world. Missions is not the church’s idea – it is God’s. How does knowing that God is the initiator of missions change or reinforce our perspective of why we do missions? What is one way you or your Life Group can be involved in missions? How do you plan to carry it out? What could hinder you? Pen down some concrete steps you can take today.

2) God challenges us to let go of our prejudices (9-16)
How can prejudices affect the way we relate to those who are ethnically, socially or culturally different from us? How do you think prejudices arise? How does holding onto prejudices hinder missions or unity within the Church? As a Life Group, how can you help one another by correcting or guarding against prejudices?

3) God challenges us to be cross-cultural believers (17-23a)
For most people, it is more comfortable to stay within their own cultures than to step out and get to know people who are from different cultures. Why is it important to be willing to step out of this comfort zone? How would our willingness to embrace discomfort affect our involvement in missions? What are some activities you can do together as a Life Group to expand your heart for people of other ethnic or social backgrounds?

Reflection Questions

1) God chooses to involve us in missions (1-8)
Missions is not the church’s idea – it is God’s. How does knowing that God is the initiator of missions change or reinforce our perspective of why we do missions?

2) God challenges us to let go of our prejudices (9-16)
How does holding onto prejudices hinder missions or unity within the Church?

3) God challenges us to be cross-cultural believers (17-23a)
What are some activities you can do together as a Life Group to expand your heart for people of other ethnic or social backgrounds?

I CAN BE CHANGED
Text: John 20:19-31
Series: Because He Lives

After encountering the risen Christ, the disciples were never the same again. What can we learn from their life transformation?

Discussion Guide 

1) I No Longer Live For Myself, I Live For Christ (19-23)

Name one fear that you have. Why do you fear it? How do you overcome or deal with your fear? Read John 20:19. What were the disciples fearful about? Did they have a good reason to fear? Explain.

When Jesus appeared to them, He said to them, “Peace be with you.” The Bible uses the Hebrew word “Shalom” to refer to the well-being that comes about because we are reconciled to God. This peace does not depend on the absence of conflicts or stressful situations. How does knowing Christ as our Lord and Saviour allow us to have such peace? Read and reflect on Romans 5:1-5. What does the Bible say is the source of our peace? Have you experienced the peace of God in your life recently? How has having the peace of God changed the way you see your concerns and troubles, or the way you prioritise the various concerns in your life?

On seeing Jesus, the disciples’ fear turned to joy (20). What do you think led to the transformation? Jesus then commissioned the disciples to spread the grace of God that they themselves had received (21-23). The disciples after encountering the risen Christ turned from timid men to bold agents of Christ. Today we may not see the physical Christ but we can encounter Him through Scripture and the Spirit, who points us to Him (John 14:26). How can your Life Group encourage one another to go deeper in Scripture to develop the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8)? What are some simple activities you can do together to facilitate a deeper submission to the Spirit, so that you can be led and empowered by Him for life transformation? How would living for Christ’s cause transform your attitude, priorities and decisions? In what way would living for His cause be different from living for your own agenda? How can the Life Group spur one another on to live for Christ?

2) I No Longer Live By Sight, I Live By Faith (24-31)

Share one moment in your life when you doubted God. How did you feel? What went through your mind? What did you do? What made you do it? Was your faith strengthened or weakened after the incident? Why? Thomas, perhaps the greatest sceptic among the disciples, gave the highest confession of Jesus when he saw the risen Lord (28). What does Thomas’ transformation teach you about the power of witnessing Jesus’ resurrection? How does Jesus’ blessing on those who have not seen Him and yet have believed (29) encourage you (1 Peter 1:8-9)?

All of us go through doubts when what we see (or do not see) do not seem to align with what God’s Word says or promises. In such situations, we can choose to abandon faith by refusing to believe God or exercise faith by taking God at His word. Why do you think God can still be trusted despite what we see? How has He proven Himself to be faithful and trustworthy? Since God has the power to raise Jesus from the dead in order to fulfil His promise of sending the Messiah (Acts 2:24-32; 13:32-37), God will also fulfil all of His other promises. Do you agree? Why?

Are you going through a season of doubt now? What are you struggling with? Where can you go to for answers? What are the ways the Life Group can discover these answers together? Wrestling with doubt can build up our faith muscles. Perhaps you are doubting that God will provide for you as you live for Him. Read and reflect on Matthew 6:32-34. Share with the Life Group one source of concern or stress that you currently have. How can you surrender your concerns to God? For those involved in serving God, how have you experienced God’s provision as you faithfully serve Him? Share your story to encourage your Life Group to keep their focus on God even in the midst of doubt. Let’s also take time to pray for one another, that God may meet our needs and lead each of us to be in line with His purpose for our lives.

Reflection Questions 

1) I No Longer Live For Myself, I Live For Christ (19-23)
How can your Life Group encourage one another to go deeper in Scripture to develop the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8)? What are some simple activities you can do together to facilitate a deeper submission to the Spirit, so that you can be led and empowered by Him for life transformation? How would living for Christ’s cause transform your attitude, priorities and decisions?

2) I No Longer Live By Sight, I Live By Faith (24-31)
All of us go through doubts when what we see do not seem to align with what God’s Word says or promises. In such situations, we can choose to abandon faith by refusing to believe God or exercise faith by taking God at His word. What are you struggling with? Where can you go to for answers? What are the ways the Life Group can discover these answers together or pray for one another in seasons of doubt?

As we move forward in a new chapter to fulfil The Great Commission, it is important to examine and remember why we do what we do.

Learn the values that anchor our mission to love neighbours, make disciples, and plant churches.

LOVE NEIGHBOURS
Series: Unchanging

Hope Singapore may now be a new movement with a new look, but our vision remains the same. We want to fulfil the Great Commission through loving neighbours, making disciples and planting churches. This week, discover the unchanging values that undergird why we love our neighbours.

1) Gospel as our motivation

Grateful that Jesus died to save us, we want to live in a way worthy of the Gospel (Phil 1:27). In your own words, describe what the Gospel is. Why is the Gospel Good News? How is the Gospel a motivation for you? Give an example of how you are driven by the Gospel. When you struggle to love others, how does the Gospel keep you going? What happens if we lose sight of the Good News? How can your LG keep the Gospel as your motivation?

2) Church as our family

Through the Gospel, believers are united in Christ (Eph 3:6). In your own words, describe what family means to you. How is your LG a family to you? In what ways can you contribute to make your LG more of a family? Love in any family often exists in tension. Are you currently going through a tense situation with a fellow believer? How would God see this tension? How would He want you to resolve it (some examples: Mt 5:21-24; Col 3:12-17; Mt 18:21-35)? Identify areas your LG can work on to be there for one another or to build one another up.

3) People as our passion

Being passionate about people requires us to be less self-centred and more others-centred, less inward-looking as a church and more outward-looking. The call is to care for people, not only for their physical well-being but also for their spiritual needs.

Why is it important that the church is inclusive? What are some signs that an LG or a church may have become exclusive? How can your LG avoid that? Consider the people around you who do not know Christ. What do you think are some of their needs? How can you and your LG be a blessing to them? What is one thing you can do as an LG to minister to them and/or proclaim the Good News?

It is important to internalise the aforementioned core values, for they are the invisible markers that guide the fulfilment of the vision and mission of a church.

• Which value(s) do I most connect with? Which value excites me the most? Why?
• Which value(s) do I least connect with or feel less excited about? Why?
• How would it look if the whole church lives out these values? How would the church affect society’s view of Christ?

Let us take time to pray for the church to develop a stronger measure of every value in our individual lives and as a congregation.