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Why is God's way better than mine? - Study Guide

Posted by Sara Goetz on

We are so glad that you are digging deeper into the question, "Why is God's way better than mine? This guide was written to help you process, better understand, and connect with the message. Feel free to answer some or all of the questions. Maybe you'll focus on one aspect from this study guide that speaks to the group. Think of this guide as a resource to help you and your group listen to the Holy Spirit and respond to His calling.

Did you miss the sermon? Click here. Looking to download a PDF version of this week's study guide? Click here.  


This week we will explore the question: Why is self-denial critical to Christ-followers? How can we practice self-denial in the small and the big parts of our life?


Opening Questions:

Share a story about a time you either received exactly what you wanted or a time you didn’t get anything close to what you wanted. Reflect on the circumstance. Are you better or worse off because of what happened?


Study Questions:

Read 1 Peter 4:1-6 in both the NIV and the Message. As you read, jot down what you notice and wonder specifically in terms of what these passages teach us about self-denial. Feel free to use the Notice/Wonder document found here.

  • Using the passages above, how did Jesus demonstrate self-denial? By reflecting on the passages above and through conversations with your group, construct a biblical definition of self-denial. How have you seen self-denial demonstrated in the community around you?

  • Romans 5:3-5 reminds us, we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Consider the definition of self-denial constructed by your group. Does self-denial fit into the things that Paul is talking about in Romans? Reread what Jesus said in Matthew 14:24. If given space and allowed to grow, what will self-denial produce in our lives?

  • Pastor Becky asked us to reflect on how we might demonstrate self-denial in our own lives. She offered these questions:

    • What would choosing self-denial look like when it comes to my desire for materialism? (I.e., Things, possessions, the latest and greatest, bigger and better, etc.)

    • What does self-denial look like when it comes to my desire for promotion, advancement, recognition, or success?

    • What would choosing self-denial look like when it comes to my pride and selfishness? How I spend my money? How I serve my family?

    • What would choosing self-denial look like when it comes to how I think about, interact with, and tangibly love those around me who are different from me, or those who think differently from me? Those who believe or vote differently than me? 

  • Consider that we have been invited to simultaneously experience God’s redemptive work and to be an integral part of that redemptive work in the lives of those close to us. Given this, why is the practice of self-denial critical to us as individuals and the communities that we are a part of? 

  • Take a minute to write down an area where you feel that God is urging you to choose His will and not your own. When will you have to make this choice (maybe daily!)? Write down why, in this moment, you want to deny yourself. Keep it handy for when you have to remind yourself of the critical nature of self-denial in the redemptive work that God wants to do in your life and the lives of those around you.


Additional Resource: 
  • Daily Steps
    We encourage you to check out 
    Daily Steps, our companion devotional guide for individual reflection, prayer, and meditation on related Scripture selections throughout the week! 

 

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