THE CERTAINTY OF HIS COMING
2 Peter 3:1-7
Series: Endgame – Becoming Future Ready

“Future ready” is usually defined as the ability to plan with foresight, keep up with the times and be resilient in the face of uncertainty. But what does the Bible say about being future ready? What is the right view of the future we should have?

Discussion Guide

1) The wrong view: Christ will not judge the world (3-4)

The term “judgment day” is often used to describe moments in life where we come to face something truly important, usually with a tinge of fear or dread. For example, the announcing of restructuring in your company, the day of a job interview, or the release of national exam results. What thoughts come to mind when someone mentions “judgement day”? What feelings get stirred? As Christians, what is our understanding of judgment? Discuss in your Life Group.

In 2 Peter 3:3-4, the Apostle Peter warned believers of the presence and teachings of “scoffers”. What was wrong about their message on judgment and the coming of Jesus? What was their reason for thinking that Jesus will not come? How did their belief guide the way they lived their lives? Would you say they answered to themselves or to God? Why? What happens when people live as if they are accountable to no one else but themselves?

“The greatest tragedy in this lifetime is knowing Christ, yet carrying on living as if we do not.” Reflect on how knowing Christ has affected the way we live our lives, e.g. choosing to prioritise people because they matter to God. Share 1-2 areas to your Life Group and give thanks together for what God has done. Are there areas in our lives that are yet to be influenced by Christ and His gospel? Identify what might be stopping you from yielding these areas to God, and resolve to speak to your mentors or leaders about it.

2) The right view: Christ will return to judge the world (5-7)

Living in a busy city like Singapore means that much of our focus and attention is naturally drawn to the daily demands of life. It is easy to get caught up living for the here and now, with immediate rewards like work promotions and long holidays providing encouragement for our next chase. Do the people around you live in such a way, for the here and now? Share how they exhibit this in the type of decisions they make for themselves.

In contrast with the false teachers who denied Christ’s coming and thought that they did not need to account to Him, Christians know from Scripture that God will carry out His promise to judge the world in the future. How does Christ’s coming alter our view of the future? Realising that we have to answer to Him, what truly matters in this life on earth?

Think about some people you know who role-model and set good examples for how one should live. How do they exhibit their beliefs in the decisions they make? Consider how we have been orientating our lives and what we have been striving towards daily. What occupies our time? What drives our work and use of resources? Are there some decisions we need to make for ourselves regarding the way we live our lives today? Commit to respond to God today.

Come together as a Life Group to pray, that every member will grow to make every earthly decision in light of Christ’s coming and our eternity with Him.

Reflection Questions

1) The wrong view: Christ will not judge the world (3-4)

In 2 Peter 3:3-4, the Apostle Peter warned believers of the presence and teachings of “scoffers”. What was wrong about their message on judgment and the coming of Jesus? What was their reason for thinking that Jesus would not come? Would you say they answered to themselves or to God? What happens when people live as if they are accountable to no one else but themselves?

2) The right view: Christ will return to judge the world (5-7)

In contrast with the false teachers who denied Christ’s coming and thought that they did not need to account to Him, Christians know from Scripture that God will carry out His promise to judge the world in the future. How does Christ’s coming alter our view of the future? Realising that we have to answer to Him, what truly matters in this life on earth? What occupies our time? What drives our work and use of resources?

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?

LET THE WORLD SEE JESUS
2 Corinthians 4:7-12
Series: ‘Let The World See’ Hope Conference 2019

Discussion Guide

What do we let the world see?

People may show off their strengths, their wealth, their intelligence, their power. Others may feel they are weak and have no qualities worth highlighting. Yet, as believers, who we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord (2 Corinthians 4:5).

In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul elaborates how, we “have treasures in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us”. The contrast is clear. We are likened to simple, inexpensive, easily broken jars of clay which bear treasure; the powerful glorious light of the Gospel. As “jars of clay”, we are vessels that carry the treasure. The focus is on the treasure and not the vessel. When we let the world see, it is not our own strengths that we display. We Let the World See Christ in Us.

Though some of us may go through difficult times, through suffering, through weakness like Paul did in his ministry, we have the assurance that the power of God sustains us. It is in our weakness that we depend on God’s power and not our own. We do this so that the life of Christ might be revealed in us, that Christ may be glorified. In this way, the treasure is shared and the Gospel is preached because we Let the World See Christ in Us.

Reflection Questions

1) What do you think is your main weakness(es)? How has it hindered you from serving Christ? How does knowing that God can use you to serve and witness through your weakness change your view of your weakness(es)?

2) Make a list with one column of the cost you have to bear so far as a disciple of Christ, and another column of what Jesus has done for you. How does Jesus’ sacrifice for you contrast with what you have gone through for Him?

SERVING ON THE MISSIONS FIELD
Acts 10:23b-48
Series: Light of The World

God has commissioned every Christian to be a messenger of the Gospel and to make disciples of all nations. How can we obey His call to serve on the missions field?

 

Discussion Guide

1) Prioritise God’s commands above man’s demands (23b-33)

What are some situations where we commonly experience a conflict between what God requires of us and what man wants from us? What drives our decisions during such times? For some of us, prioritising God’s commands requires us to first know what they are. To do so, we need to grow in our understanding of God. What are some understanding or view of God that you need to work on? How can mentors and the LG help us to grow in our understanding of God? Or we may already know God’s commands, but we struggle with the will to carry them out. What are some usual hindrances we face? What would help us to overcome these hindrances?

Obeying God doesn’t mean that we completely disregard cultural traditions or customs. Some are aligned with godly values, some are not. When human traditions or rules contradict God’s commands, it is time to take a stand. What are some traditions or practices in your family, community or workplace that may seem ‘normal’ or harmless but may not be God-honouring? How can we support Christians struggling to choose between God’s commands and man’s demands? Recall a time when you had to make such a decision. What did you do, and what did you learn from that experience? If you could turn back time, what would you have done differently or continued to do?

2) Proclaim the Gospel boldly (34-43)

Our church does outreach via BFMP (Bless, Fellowship, Minister, Proclaim). BFM gives the context and impetus for Proclaim. Do you struggle to proclaim? List down the top concerns you have or the common obstacles you encounter. To proclaim does not mean we have to close the deal i.e. ensure that our hearer converts. Only God can convict and convert hearts. Our role is to obey God by witnessing for Christ and leaving the outcome to Him. How does knowing that we do not need to have all the answers or take charge of the outcome encourage a believer to share the Gospel boldly?

As we share the Gospel, we should let the Spirit work through us to bring people to a state where eventually, they may acknowledge their sins and their need for forgiveness. This process usually takes time and requires courage on our part. Do you struggle to share this aspect of the Gospel to your friends or loved ones? What are your concerns or fears? What do you think will happen to people if they do not realise the severity of their sins? Do you think they can truly appreciate the Cross? Why? Look through Scripture for how Jesus or the apostles approached the topic of sin. What was their attitude or motivation? What were the reactions of their hearers? What can you learn from their examples?

3) Keep up with the Holy Spirit (44-48)

From verses 44-46, we see that God moved in the hearts of Peter’s hearers and gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit. We can be assured that the Spirit is with us and He is doing the work in people’s hearts when we are serving on the missions field, be it is overseas or local. How does this assurance of His presence motivate believers to take bold, faithful steps to make disciples of all nations?

Often, the Spirit works in ways we do not expect. He may disrupt us or surprise us with unpredictable outcomes. Our role is to flow with His leadership. How do you think you can prepare yourself to keep up with the Spirit? What would affect your sensitivity to Him? What are some simple practices the LG can establish to build one another’s awareness of the Spirit? What are some attitudes or understandings you would need to change or reinforce so that you can be more obedient to the Spirit?

How can you be a Peter to a Cornelius today? Who may the Spirit be leading you to so that he/she may have the opportunity to find out more about Jesus?

 

Reflection Questions

1) Prioritise God’s commands above man’s demands (23b-33)

What are some traditions or practices in your family, community or workplace that may seem ‘normal’ or harmless but may not be God-honouring? How can we support Christians struggling to choose between God’s commands and man’s demands?

2) Proclaim the Gospel boldly (34-43)

Only God can convict and convert hearts. How does knowing that we do not need to have all the answers or take charge of the outcome encourage a believer to share the Gospel boldly?

3) Keep up with the Holy Spirit (44-48)

How can you be a Peter to a Cornelius today? Who may the Spirit be leading you to so that he/she may have the opportunity to find out more about Jesus?

Get up close and personal in a live interview with Annette Lee, singer-songwriter and better known for her character ‘Sue Ann’ on SGAG. Annette will share her personal journey on dealing with expectations in her student days.

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?

I CAN BE CONFIDENT
Text: John 20:1-18
Series: Because He Lives

Beyond being a holiday or a tradition, Easter assures Christ-followers that our faith is not futile and our hope is secure.

Discussion Guide 

1) Jesus’ Resurrection Is The Basis Of My Faith (1-10)

Think of someone you trust. What qualities does he/she possess? What did he/she do to earn your trust? Now think of Jesus. Do you trust Him? What do you trust Him for? What is the basis of your trust?

In 1 Corinthians 15:17, it says that “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.”. Why is the Resurrection central to our faith? Why does it matter that the Resurrection is a factual event in history? Today we do not have direct access to the evidence of the empty tomb, but we have the Word that records the events and significance of the Resurrection. Can you recall and share some verses about the Resurrection with your Life Group?

Have you encountered challenges and crises, and felt discouraged and even disillusioned with God when there appeared to be no answered prayers or blessings? In such moments, why do you think it is important to base our faith on the Resurrection, instead of on our experiences and emotions? What difference do you think the basis of our faith will make in how we respond to difficult circumstances?

What promises does Jesus’ resurrection hold for believers? Share some promises from Scripture. If God could raise Jesus from death to life, would He be able to fulfill His other promises? Why do you say so? What does the Resurrection mean to you personally? What is a promise of God you are currently holding onto?

2) Jesus” Resurrection Changes My View Of Him (11-18)

The Resurrection proves that Jesus is no criminal who died on the cross because He did wrong. Instead, He is the Messiah who died on the cross for our sins. He was not cursed by God as many would think (Deut. 21:22-23), but He is the Son of God who died for us and was raised to be glorified.

With this in mind, read 2 Cor. 5:16. Why do you think many misunderstood Jesus during His day, and even today many still misunderstand Him? What was your initial impression of Jesus when you first heard of Him? For instance, did you see Him as a good person, wise teacher or holy prophet? How does the Resurrection elevate your view of Him? If we truly regard Jesus as not just a mere man but as God Himself, how would our response to Him look like (read Rom. 12:1-2)? If we are not living this way today, why?

In a way, the Resurrection renewed Mary Magdalene’s faith. She was overwhelmed with grief at the thought of Jesus being dead and could not recognise Him until He called her name. Are you facing a seemingly hopeless situation now, and nothing could comfort you? Is it causing you to waver or even lose your faith? How does the Resurrection encourage you to renew your faith in Christ? How does it give you the assurance that, no matter what happens, God is in control and He is able to lead and strengthen you according to His purpose?

Jesus’ resurrection and glorification ensure the resurrection and glorification of those who put their trust in Him (1 Cor. 15:20-23, 42-44; 1 Thess. 4:13-16). How does this truth encourage those of us who are facing the uncertainties of life, with death being the greatest uncertainty of all (1 Cor. 15:54-58)?

Reflection Questions 

1) Jesus’ Resurrection Is The Basis Of My Faith (1-10)
In 1 Corinthians 15:17, it says that “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.”. Why is the Resurrection central to our faith? Have you encountered challenges and crises, and felt discouraged and even disillusioned with God when there appeared to be no answered prayers or blessings? In such moments, why do you think it is important to base our faith on the Resurrection, instead of on our experiences and emotions?

2) Jesus’ Resurrection Changes My View Of Him (11-18)
What was your initial impression of Jesus when you first heard of Him? For instance, did you see Him as a good person, wise teacher or holy prophet? How does the Resurrection elevate your view of Him? If we truly regard Jesus as not just a mere man but as God Himself, how would our response to Him look like (read Rom. 12:1-2)?

THE MIRACLE OF AUTHORITY
Text: Matthew 8:23-34
Series: The Wonder Of Miracles

Jesus performed miracles which demonstrated His complete authority over all creation. Yet he was not merely revealing what he can do, but who he really is. How then, should we approach miracles?

Discussion Guide 

1) Jesus acts to demonstrate his complete authority (23-26, 28-32)

Recall a time when you needed a miraculous touch from God. What did you do, and what happened? What did your experience teach you about who God is? Why is it important to look beyond the miracle in order to better know the God behind it?

What does Jesus’ authority over nature and spirits tell you about who he is? How would knowing that Jesus can command the waves encourage you the next time you go through one of life’s storms? How would knowing that Jesus can command the evil spirits assure you the next time you encounter opposition? How would knowing that Jesus has complete authority shape your response to chaotic happenings in the world, such as extreme climate change and political and social unrest?

How can the LG prompt one another to be more aware of who God is every time a miracle happens? For example, what are some helpful guidelines on sharing testimonies about miracles? How can the LG respond to believers who are desperate for a miracle but have not experienced it?

2) Jesus acts to draw a deeper response of faith (27, 33-34)

Miracles, as wonderful as they are, don’t generate the same response from everyone. Read verses 27 and 33-34. What is the key difference between the two responses recorded in these verses? Which response would Jesus want us to have? Why?

Faith is a personal and deliberate choice. It is how we choose to perceive the miracle, how we question and learn about who God is, and what we do with what we see and know. How has your faith deepened after your encounter with a miracle? What are the changes in your understanding and lifestyle?

How can the LG better facilitate responses of faith? For example, what are some good questions to guide believers to reflect on their miraculous experiences so that they can mature in their faith? How can the LG respond to believers who may be doubtful about miracles?

Reflection Questions 

1) Jesus acts to demonstrate his complete authority (23-26, 28-32)
What does Jesus’ authority over nature and spirits tell you about who he is? How would knowing that Jesus can command the waves encourage you the next time you go through one of life’s storms? How would knowing that Jesus can command the evil spirits assure you the next time you encounter opposition?

2) Jesus acts to draw a deeper response of faith (27, 33-34)
How has your faith deepened after your encounter with a miracle? What are the changes in your understanding and lifestyle?