Follow the Filling Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:  Following the filling calls us to move past information to desperation – an active, deep, and urgent need for the Holy Spirit.

Discussion Starter: What’s something you know a lot about, but have not actually done yourself?  Examples: you know players, stats, and plays in football but have never played at a high level; or you have watched hours of baking or home remodeling shows but have never really done those things.

Introduction: Information alone does not produce transformation.  Simply knowing about Jesus is not the same as being transformed by Him.  The Pharisees of Jesus’ day had the first 5 books of the Bible memorized, but it did nothing to bring them closer to a relationship with the Messiah.  Only someone who has a desperation for God is able to take what they know about Him and act on it.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Luke 4:18-19, Luke 4:20-22, 2 Timothy 3:5, Matthew 11:2-5

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read 2 Corinthians 3:17-18. How is God currently transforming you through His Spirit?  Remember, this is not a competition and there should be no shame in your progress.
  2. Describe a time when you know the Holy Spirit led you to do something, but you did not do it?  How can you react differently next time?
  3. Read Psalm 63:1. Have you ever felt desperate for God?  How did He respond?
  4. How can you partner with the Holy Spirit to elevate God in your life?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read James 4:17 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

Getting to know you: What are you most desperate for God to do in your life?

Getting to know them: Romans 8:11 talks about the Spirit that we share.  How can knowing the Spirit is the same within each believer move you to work with others to love God and people?

Getting to know Him: Think about and discuss how desperation allows you to elevate God while making less of yourself.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: How can you partner with Faith Promise to move from simply knowing about the work at FP to getting involved?

Engaging in Community: What does a life of desperation look like for those seeking God’s help love people?

Engaging the World: Pastor Zac said “desperate times call for desperate people.”  Where is God calling you that is desperate?


Expand God’s Kingdom

Is there someone you can think of that is struggling with moving from information to transformation?  How can you walk alongside them to realize their desperation for God?


Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.

Follow the Filling Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:  
When we trust in Christ, the creator of the universe literally indwells us, and that makes a visible change in our lives.

Discussion Starter:
Where is your favorite place you ever lived? How did your inhabiting that community change it?

Introduction:
This week, Pastor Chris talked about three marks of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (a.k.a. “The Spirit of Christ”):

1. Boldness
2. Victory over sin
3. The fruit of the spirit

Pastor Chris pointed us to Luke 4:18-19, where Jesus reads from Isaiah (61:1-2). Then Jesus stops mid-sentence, closes the book, and sits down. When Jesus did this, He perfectly exemplified all three of those marks.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19, 2 Corinthians 13:5, Colossians 1:27, John 15:5, Romans 8:5-8, Galatians 5:16

Discussion Questions:

  1. How urgent is the world’s need to hear about Christ? Does that affect your boldness?
  2. If Christ actually indwells us, how much victory over sin can we expect? Is there a limit?
  3. Natural fruit has taste, smell, color, texture, and so on. The fruit of the spirit has several features, as well. If you were to look at the fruit of your life in the same way you look at fruit in the grocery store, how much would you want to share it with others?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Isaiah 61:1-11 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

Getting to know you: When you think about God being present with you at all times, do you feel convicted over the way you spend your time, or the things you’ve been showing to God? Or do you feel the comfort that comes from abiding in Him?

Getting to know them: Can you think of a time that God really got a visible victory over sin in your life? Don’t be afraid to ‘get raw and real’ and share your story. Give God credit where credit is due!

Getting to know Him: God has more promises in that passage in Isaiah 61 that Jesus was reading. Continue reading Isaiah 61:1-3. Why do you think Jesus stopped reading where He did?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Please join us as we do a church-wide 21-Day Fast beginning Monday, January 7. You can fast one meal or one day, one meal per day, or do a Daniel fast. You can fast from social media or television. Fasting is not a diet to lose weight. When you fast, use the time you would have spent eating/posting/scrolling/watching to read God’s Word and specifically pray for a fresh filling in your life and for other Promisors. If you are looking for a place to start your scripture reading, join Faith Promise in our Bible reading plan. You can find the One-Year Bible Reading plan in the back of your “Follow the Filling” devotional book. The book is available FREE at each campus and includes a devotional for each day in January.

Engaging in Community: Jesus was “anointed to bring Good News to the poor.” He also gave us the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19). Who are the poor in your community, and how are you sharing the Good News?

Engaging the World: There are prisoners out there who need to hear about Jesus’ atonement. Each and every one of them was made in the image of God, and many are ready to hear about the hope of the resurrection. Let the Lord lead you by His spirit to engage with them as much as you can, from praying for them and those who visit them, to serving them through one of our God Behind Bars campuses.


Expand God’s Kingdom

It’s interesting that Jesus uses the analogy of a vine in John 15, because vines spread on their own; they will climb up and cover everything next to them if they’re healthy and allowed to grow.

Are you healthy in your relationship with Christ? Is there anything coming between you and Him?
Are you covering the things next to you in prayer?
How can you spread God’s love to places that haven’t had it before?


Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.

 

Follow the Filling Week 1 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
A completely surrendered and clean heart allows the Holy Spirit to fully work in a believer’s life.

Discussion Starter:
Do you have any cleaning projects for the new year?

Introduction:
This week, we started our new series Follow the Filling with a look at “A Place to Land.” We know from scripture that the Holy Spirit fills and indwells the believer at the moment of salvation. As a believer submits and surrenders their life to Christ, they are transformed by the Spirit into His image. This is our progressive growth in holiness. Because we know the Spirit will not fill a “dirty vessel,” it is necessary for believers to clean their vessel (heart) with confession and repentance of sin. The more the Spirit fills us, the more we can live the abundant life of victory and experience God’s presence. That way, believers are able to follow the Spirit wherever He leads!


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: Luke 4:14-21

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Luke 4:14-21. Luke 4:18-19 is our theme verse this year at Faith Promise. These verses came from the prophet Isaiah. Read Isaiah 61:1-2. Which of these promises of who Jesus is and what He will do means the most to you right now?
  2. Who are the poor and brokenhearted today?
  3. Explain how one is captive or imprisoned today. Who can set them free?
  4. How is one “blind” today, and how is “sight” restored?
  5. Who is God laying on your heart that needs to hear the good news? How will you trust Him to give you every word to share the real love and hope found only in Jesus?
  6. How does knowing the SAME Spirit of God that equipped and enabled Jesus’ ministry dwells in your heart affect your outlook for 2019? What in your life do you allow to limit the filling and power of the Spirit? What is God asking you to surrender so He can fill you to overflowing with His Spirit?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Luke 4:14-21 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

This week, our focus was providing a clean place for God’s Holy Spirit to land. In smaller groups of 2 or 3, discuss and encourage one another on the importance of keeping short accounts with God—that is to identify, confess, and repent of our sins in order to allow the Spirit to fill us and work in our life. Partial surrender is not surrender at all. God’s wants our all. If possible, share how God has blessed your submission to Him.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Please join us as we do a church-wide 21-Day Fast beginning Monday, January 7. You can fast one meal or one day, one meal per day, or do a Daniel fast. You can fast from social media or television. Fasting is not a diet to lose weight. When you fast, use the time you would have spent eating/posting/scrolling/watching to read God’s Word and specifically pray for a fresh filling in your life and for other Promisors. If you are looking for a place to start your scripture reading, join Faith Promise in our Bible reading plan. You can find the One-Year Bible Reading plan in the back of your “Follow the Filling” devotional book. The book is available FREE at each campus and includes a devotional for each day in January.

Engaging in Community/Engaging the World: God called each of us out of our poverty and imprisonment to a life of freedom found only in His Son, Jesus Christ. How will you, in the power of the Holy Spirit, share the Good News of Jesus Christ to a hurting a dying world? Step out in faith and share the only lasting source of hope and freedom.


Expand God’s Kingdom

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote this about surrendering your life to Jesus:

Christ says, ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked–the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself; my own will shall become yours.’

How will you surrender “All” this year and follow the filling in humility and compassion? How will you share the good news of the gospel of His real love?


Leader’s Notes

  1. Answers will vary.
  2. Sin weakens and breaks hearts, and Jesus came to bring good news to the poor—forgiveness for their sin. We are all poor and brokenhearted until we surrender our life to Christ; we are all hopeless sinners in desperate need of a Savior! (Matthew 11:5) We are all poor in a spiritual sense until we surrender to Christ, but your group may share prayer requests at this time for those they know experiencing material poverty or grief.
  3. Sin makes people captive and enslaves them. The Messiah/Jesus came to set us free! (Romans 6:6) Other answers may include prisoners of war, people captive in human trafficking, or those imprisoned by addiction.
  4. Sin blinds us. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. He packages up sin to make it look so good, but it is always deceitful. The enemy’s aim is destruction, but Christ came to heal our spiritual and moral blindness. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
  5. Answers will vary. Encourage sharing the truth with boldness, humility and compassion! We cannot do this on our own, but we can in the filling and power of the Holy Spirit!
  6. Answers will vary. This can lead to an in-depth discussion. Lead your group members to see that we cannot fulfill our Christian calling and go on with our lives doing as we like. Christ wants ALL of our lives not just parts we are willing to share.

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.

A Christmas Spectacular!

Getting Started

Main Idea:
God came to Earth 2000 years ago to seek and save what was lost—you and me.

Discussion Starter:
Have you ever lost something that you still wish to this day you hadn’t?

Introduction:
This week, our creative team at FP treated us to a wonderful presentation of the gospel. Maybe this is just an old story that you’ve heard more times than you can remember, or maybe Christmas is a just a family tradition passed down in your family for generations. For some, this season is simply a time of the year when we all try to be a little better to each other. But we believe Christmas is a little bit more. We believe that 2000 years ago, God really did come to Earth in the most scandalous way to seek and save what was lost—you and me. At Faith Promise, we are all about helping real people with real problems find the real love of Jesus Christ. We believe that only Jesus’ love can satisfy our souls and our longings to belong. We believe His forgiveness and grace are the only remedy for shame and guilt. And we believe His sacrifice, death, and resurrection are the only way to true and lasting hope. God is the God of of new beginnings; with whom will you share the good news of Jesus Christ?


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12

Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the different players in this passage and their respective responses to the birth of Jesus.
  2. How do people today respond to Jesus? What is your response? As Christ followers, how are we to interact with unbelievers?
  3. What do you learn about worship from the Magi?
  4. The Christmas story is not about presents; it is about the ever-present God with us: Immanuel. Read John 14:16-17. Not only is God with us, but He is also in us. How will you spend your time this Christmas season in concentrated and prayerful worship of the Savior? What one thing can you do this week to make sure you connect with God?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Matthew 2:1-12 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore a how Christ followers are to follow and worship Jesus.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

This week, our focus was the amazing gift of Jesus. In small groups of 2 or 3, discuss and encourage one another on how following and worshiping Jesus is the only lasting source of hope and satisfaction.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Romans 12:1 exhorts believers in this way: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.” Pray as a group to explore ways you can step out in faith as God calls you to serve our church family as an act of worship.

Engaging in Community and in the World: God called each of us out of darkness and saved us by giving us the gift of faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. How will you share the Good News of Jesus Christ to a hurting and dying world? Step out in faith and share the only lasting source of hope and satisfaction.


Expand God’s Kingdom

William Booth (1829-1912), the founder of the Salvation Army, predicted: “The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.” How will you step out in faith, humility and compassion and share the truth of the gospel—the good news found only in Jesus Christ?


Leader’s Notes

  1. Magi: wanted to worship the King of the Jews. Herod: disturbed; asked scholars where the Christ was to be born; claimed (but lied) that he wanted to worship the Christ. “All Jerusalem”: disturbed but indifferent (Bethlehem is only 6 miles from Jerusalem!); did not seek Jesus. Scribes: also indifferent but filled with knowledge; did not seek Jesus.
  2. Many are disturbed, even some are outright hostile towards Him. Christ followers are to love our enemies. We are to stand courageously for biblical truth; however, we must do so with gracious compassion. We are not to condemn others that do not live according to the Bible, but we are to intercede for them and ask Jesus to give us His heart for them. When we have established a relationship with others, we are able to engage them and lead them to Christ.
  3. They were purposeful and the first to worship Christ. They traveled many miles and dropped everything to find Jesus. They were overjoyed, bowed down in worship and gave Him their most costly possessions. After their encounter with Him, they left a different way. Jesus is worthy of our all, our complete submission and praise, regardless of our circumstances. This is our source of lasting and pure joy. Whoever encounters Jesus never leaves the same. They are a new creation! True encounters with Jesus change the course and direction of our lives.
  4. Answers will vary.

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.

 

Before the Christmas Story

Getting Started

Main Idea:
All of history leads up to the coming of our Savior. God has always had and still has a plan.

Discussion Starter:
How is your Bible reading going this year? It’s not too late to connect with God our Savior through His Word! Share what God has been teaching you during your time in His Word.

Introduction:
This week Pastor took us through a quick review of the Bible. No matter which book of the Bible is read, its focus is on the Savior. In 1 Samuel 17:46-47, David tells Goliath that God doesn’t save by spear or sword. In Psalm 43, the psalmist laments his situation, but in the last verse he says God is his Savior and his God. In 2 Peter 1:10, the Apostle encourages readers to confirm their response to God’s invitation. All those words, 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament, point to the Savior.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Genesis 18:17-18, Acts 3:25-26, Micah 5:2, Matthew 1:1-3, Matthew 2:1-6, Isaiah 9:6, Luke 2:11, Isaiah 7:13-14, Matthew 1:18-23

Discussion Questions:
1. Spend some time reading the following passages aloud in your group, and meditate on how God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. For example, the prophet Isaiah foretold in Isaiah 9:6 of a “Prince of Peace”.  How do prophecies and their fulfillment increase your faith and trust in God?

Genesis 18:17-18, Acts 3:25-26

Micah 5:2, Matthew 1:1-3, Matthew 2:1-6

Isaiah 9:6, Luke 2:11

Isaiah 7:13-14, Matthew 1:18-23

2. Between Malachi and Matthew there are 400 years of silence from God. Was there inactivity among God’s people? What did you learn this week about how God was preparing the world for the birth of His Son?  Consider that when the Romans ruled the world, including before and after Jesus’ lifetime, they built roads everywhere. These roads provided an easy way to travel. What missionaries took advantage of these roads (see Acts 15:40-41)?

3. What does the above teach us about moments in our lives when we feel God is silent?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Genesis 18:1-15 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage. You may want to compare and contrast this unexpected announcement (and response) to the announcement to Mary about Jesus’ birth in Luke 1:30-33.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

Make sure everyone in your group has a place to go at Christmas. If they do not have family or friends joining them, make plans to spend time with your group family this Christmas.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: How are you serving for the Christmas Spectacular at your campus?

Engaging in Community: Do you have any neighbors who may be lonely this time of year? Invite them over for coffee or cocoa!

Engaging the World: Pray for Faith Promise missionaries this holiday season. Christmas can be a difficult time to be far from home.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Who are you inviting to the Christmas Spectacular?


Leader’s Notes

2. During the time between Malachi and the birth of Jesus, Alexander the Great conquered the known world. Greek became the common language. Then the Romans Empire arose, and the Romans built roads to connect their empire. These roads later allowed missionaries like Paul and Silas to travel and spread God’s good news.

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.