This week's Small Group Guide is composed of questions from this week's GPS Guide. The questions relate to the Scripture for that particular day. You can download the full week's GPS as a printable document for the context of each question below (in the printable version, the recommended small group questions are marked with a special bullet point).
How much do the positive qualities of life Paul listed in this passage (e.g. rejoicing, praying, being thankful) appeal to you? How can you nurture an inner appetite for the good? In what ways do you find that choosing to nurture anger or complaint (about yourself, others or life/God) reduces your appetite for the good things God offers?
All ten were “cleansed.” When the Samaritan came back to express gratitude, Jesus used a stronger word that can even mean “made whole” or “saved,” saying, “Your faith has healed you” (verse 19). Pastor Bruce Larson wrote, “The other nine were merely cleansed. If ingratitude is more deadly than leprosy, they were in worse shape than before. Only one came back and was made whole.”* What blocks gratitude in your life? What helps you remember to thank God every day?
Jesus knew some people (the hard-packed path) never even start to respond to God’s message. But some, he said, start, but their growth is “choked by the concerns, riches, and pleasures of life, and their fruit never matures.” As one Christian counselor wrote, “People and circumstances can have more than one aspect–and this applies to both the good and bad. We can choose not only to see (or fear) the bad but also to look at and appreciate the good.”** How can you allow God to direct your vision so that life’s concerns don’t choke your spiritual growth?
In verse 2, the psalmist spoke of expressing gratitude to God in the morning and at nighttime. In what ways have you, or will you, build recognizing and expressing gratitude into your habit patterns, so that you don’t always have to try to remember to do it? Click here to watch a 6-minute video by Marie Forleo for some specific, research-based ideas about how to make gratitude a more helpful, practical part of your life. Then spend some time today praying about choices you can make to incorporate gratitude more fully into your daily practices as a Christ follower.
* Bruce Larson, The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volume 26: Luke. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993, p. 250.
** From an article about gratitude posted on Seattle Christian Counseling.
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