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.)
We don’t receive the rest Jesus spoke about by trying hard to put our worrying spirits at rest. It’s by listening to and trusting Jesus that we find rest. How can you “try” less, and trustingly open your life more to Jesus' teachings and presence so that God can give you the gift of rest? How can an active life of service and sharing grow out of receiving Jesus' gift of inner rest?
Ambition seems to be a natural part of almost all human hearts. But ambition for outward rewards and perks can produce mixed motives and as many bad consequences as good ones. In what specific ways does choosing to follow Jesus change your ambitions and attitudes? Is God growing you into a secure, content “servant” primarily motivated to glorify God and serve others?
About 125 years before Jesus, Israel was briefly free. The Hasmonean family drove out foreign rulers and kept Israel free until Rome forcibly put Herod’s family on the throne. Israel’s coins from that time used palm branches as the Hasmoneans’ symbol. Some who greeted Jesus with palm branches no doubt hoped he would wipe out the Roman troops and restore Israel’s power. His ride on a donkey must have frustrated them. They didn’t want a humble king who said to love your enemies. Do you?
Scholar H. C. Hewlett said “Humility is the recognition of our true littleness as those dependent utterly on God.”* That’s quite different from yielding outwardly while being irate inside about someone else “winning” or depriving you of a treasured “perk.” How can the kind of deep humility Jesus modeled open your heart to God’s love? How can it clear away inner barriers that may block us from loving one another?
* H. C. Hewlett, comment on Philippians 2:3 in F. F. Bruce, general editor, New International Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1979.
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