BEFORE YOU GATHER
- If this is one of your first group meetings, familiarize yourself with this Group Study Guide.
- If you missed it, CLICK HERE to watch the weekend sermon.
- Spend some time in prayer before your group gathers.
- To prepare for discussion, CLICK HERE for a few facilitation tips and/or CLICK HERE to review and remind your group of the Group Agreement.
- As a leader you always have the option to use some or all the questions and/or write your own questions.
Opening Prayer: (1-5 minutes)
In light of what God is saying through this weekend’s message, here are some suggestions of how your group can invite God into your time together.
- Ask God to free you from distractions and the pull of idols.
- Ask for the presence of the Holy Spirit to deepen our relationship with Him.
- Thank God for our ability to enter into relationship with Him and for His patience with us.
Quick Connection: (5 minutes)
What does the word "love" mean in our culture?
Group Discussion: (30 minutes)
This week in our series, “The Greatest,” where we unpack the two greatest commandments found in Mark 12:28-34, we look closely at how God wants us to love Him with all our heart.
Open your Bibles together and read Mark 12:28-34.
- Pastor Steve Madsen went through some of the attributes of God’s love in the history of the Israelites and in his personal life experience. Which of these attributes do you identify with in your own life? Why?
- Read Exodus 20:2-5. God wants to be our one and only. Yet we live in a time of great distraction and in a culture that prizes independence. Discuss your struggles with modern day idols and strategies for destroying them and keeping God first.
- Read Matt 7:21-23. Legendary UCLA coach John Wooden said, “Never mistake activity for achievement.” In other words, we can spend a lot of time on activities that are good, yet miss the whole point. What does it look like to know Him, to have a relationship with the God of the universe?
- Read the intense conversation between the prophet Samuel and King Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22-24. God gives us rules and instructions for our own good, as guard rails for protection. Has God put any commands or instructions on your heart, that you could pay more attention to and show Him that you love Him?
- Someone who is deeply in love talks constantly about their beloved. When Christians gather with others socially, it can be striking how little we talk about God. What is holding us back from talking about Him more? What are some strategies for drawing ourselves and others out to talk about what God has done in us?
- Read Luke 7:36-50. What is your reaction to Jesus’ parable, His words of rebuke for Simon, and His words of grace for the woman?
CLOSING PRAYER (5-15 minutes):
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here’s a few suggestions of what your group could talk about with God in prayer.
- Ask God to help you identify your idols and to have the courage to destroy them.
- Thank God for our ability to have a relationship with Him.
- Ask God to identify commands we need to follow.
- Ask God for the words to say when we gather, to bring up what He means to us.
- Pray for those who may have a hard time with the imagery of Father or Husband and for healing from their circumstances.
CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEK:
This week, work on deepening your relationship with God by identifying idols in your life and being taking the necessary steps needed to destroy them.
RESOURCES FOR FURTHER GROWTH, DISCUSSION & DISCIPLESHIP:
- (Video Resource) The Shema Series, by the Bible Project