On the Line Week 2 – Discussion Guide
Those who trust Jesus are faithful (even when they stumble), but those who don’t trust Him will act like they do until things get hard.
This week, Pastor Chris talked about how people are either fickle or faithful when it comes to the person of Jesus Christ. One day, the people of Jerusalem were waving palm branches around, praising Jesus as the messiah. But later that week, those same people were crying for Jesus to be (illegally) executed in a horribly painful way, for literally no reason.
By contrast, those who have been born again are faithful to the end, even forgiving the people who murder them (Acts 7:60). That’s a world of difference. But sometimes you can’t tell the difference.
What has been the best thing that’s happened to you because of this time period of “shelter in place”? How have you been able to see God’s faithfulness in this mess?
Continue the Conversation – Week 2Find a group here!www.faithpromise.org/groups/search
Posted by Faith Promise Church on Sunday, April 5, 2020
Primary Scriptures: Mark 4:3-20, John 15:2-6, 2 Corinthians 13:5
- In Mark 4:3-20, Jesus describes the only 4 reactions people have to the gospel. According to verses 16-17, how do some people react? Does this sound like the sort of fickle reaction Pastor Chris was talking about? How so?
- What makes these people (the “Second soil” people) so fickle? In the analogy, Jesus says that the sun is what makes the plants wither. But sunlight is what makes plants grow. What did Jesus say the sun represented, in the analogy? And why would it make some people just shrivel up, as opposed to grow?
- In John 15:2-6, Jesus says that abiding in Him always results in fruit. He also says the Father prunes those that do bring forth fruit (verse 2). Pruning a plant is when you cut away the dead parts on the plant. When they are cut away, a fruit-growing plant grows larger and better fruit, because the plant’s resources aren’t trying to feed a dead part. None of us are perfect, and all believers mess up. If we were vine branches, we would all have dead bits on us. But God promises to cut away those dead bits so we can bring forth fruit. What are the dead bits in your life that need to be trimmed away? What kind of person would you become if God cut those away from you?
- In 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul gives a clear command: examine yourselves, as to whether you’re in the faith. Jesus said that many would think they were believers, but they never ran into any opposition, and so it wasn’t obvious to them that they weren’t believers, until the end (Matthew 25:45). Jesus indicated in Mark 4:13 that the parable of the sower would be the key to understanding other parables—that there are true and false believers. The sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:32), the good and the bad fish (Matthew 13:48), the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:36), and so on. It is important to examine ourselves in this time, because when God gets the sin out of our lives, we can be used to help others know and trust Him (Matthew 7:5, 2nd Timothy 2:21). Make a plan to take some time for prayer and self-examination. Share with your group how and when you can make time for this important self reflection.
Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Mark 4:3-20 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the differences between those who trust Christ and those who merely think that they do.
Honestly, what part of your life would you like to see grow more than any other? And what parts of your life do you not think that even you will care about in 100 years? Are you giving those most important parts the attention you know they need? And are you willing to let God take away those dead parts?
Engaging at Faith Promise: Lots of folks at Faith Promise are facing the temptation of worry. Others are facing more immediate and clearly solvable problems, like hunger. What can you do to help other believers in this time?
Engaging in Community and the World: Your group may be spread out physically, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still try to reach the world around you. Do you have an elderly neighbor who could use someone to take out the trash, or help them get groceries? Or has anyone in your area lost their job Could your group pull together and help pay a utility bill for them? Are there small businesses (locally-owned) in your area that you can support? Are there any health care workers that you know who could use a show of appreciation?