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.)
Drunkenness “was a common feature of ancient Mediterranean life, especially in Gentile cities. It was common both in the late-night banquets of the rich, often accompanied by sexual immorality, and in the taverns of the poor…. God’s Spirit provides inspiration for a different way of living.”* Can gratitude to God be “intoxicating,” even habit-forming? What are some of the life benefits of having a “gratitude habit”?
We seldom read from 3 John, a short letter that addressed some tensions between leaders in the early church. But the letter offered another simple guide for living a “resurrection life:” “don’t imitate what is bad but what is good.” It’s a psychological truth that we tend to imitate whatever we focus on the most. How can you choose to focus the greatest share of your attention on people and actions that you wish to imitate?
This passage offered both a command, and a promise. Jesus addressed the command to all his followers: “Go… make disciples of all nations… baptizing them… and teaching them.” In what ways are you gifted to help carry out this commission? In what ways does this make “the church” like a hospital that is open 24/7 rather than a fortress with gates shut tightly against “enemies” or “outsiders”?
Jesus said every key principle the Bible teaches, all the truths we know about what God wants, “depend” on the two commands he quoted. What do you believe made these two commands so essential in Jesus’ thinking and teaching? Can you recall any time when some belief you held led you to be unloving, maybe even without realizing it? Long before our modern psychological insights developed, Leviticus called God’s people to “love your neighbor as yourself.” That implicitly asked: how well can you love your neighbor if you don’t have healthy ways of loving and caring for yourself? How well have you learned to nurture and value yourself, outwardly and, even more importantly, inwardly?
* HarperCollins Christian Publishing. NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture (Kindle Locations 268474-268475, 268478). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
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