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KK Petit

Don’t Be Anxious (Matthew 6:25-34)

By | Hard Sayings of Jesus
1. Read Matthew 6.25-34 incarnationally. Where do you find yourself in the text?
2. This study is called “The Hard Sayings of Jesus.” Which do you find more difficult to live out, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (John 6.53) or, “Do not worry.” (Matthew 5.25) Why? Be specific. 
3. What’s the motivation behind Jesus teaching us to live life without worry? What does He want from you in teaching you to live this way? 
4. Is worrying a sin? If so, how so? If worrying is not a sin, why would Jesus care if we lived this way?
5. Describe a time when you were paralyzed by worry. How did it resolve? 
6. Sometimes anxiety can be more of an inward battle than outsiders realize. Anxiety might be “a crushing enemy for you.” If this is you, have you ever been made to feel like if you just had more faith you’d be fine? Is anxiety something that happens because of a lack of faith? 
7. Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…” (6.25) Describe the importance of the first word of the statement, “Therefore.” 
8. In the message, Craig said he is most tempted to worry when human approval is threatened, or security is threatened. When are you most prone to worry, or when do you worry?
9. How do you resist the temptation to believe that Christians shouldn’t face trouble or persecution or suffering? 
10. Some people believe that what they are dealing with is reason to worry. How would Jesus engage that person? How could you engage a person in this space? 
11. Read and reflect on the following passages. 
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4.6-7

 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4.8

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8.38-39

 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14.27

12. Of these four passages which speak most personally to you? Why? How can you move from making these words “God’s Word” to fully integrating them into the core of your being? What would it require of you to fully live out this Truth as Jesus intends?
13. Peace is the settled conviction at the core of your being that ultimately, all things are in God’s hands and, therefore, all things will be well and, therefore you can live free of burden, worry, and fear. What would life look like free from burden and worry and fear? Is it possible to live this way? Where will you begin? 
14. In the message, we heard this story of John Ortberg and Dallas Willard. John Ortberg said, “Many years ago, I faced a time of really deep worry and sadness. The details are not all mine to tell, but it was a situation of gut level, raw pain that involved my family and those I love most, my life ministry calling in ways that I could not ever see being redeemed.  I was not suicidal, but I remember thinking, “If my life were to end today, I’d be kind of relieved not to be in this pain. I wouldn’t mind at all.” I was seeing a counselor. I was on antidepressants to be able to keep functioning. I told one or two of the people closest to me about the situation, and they expressed really deep empathy. “It must be so hard. We will pray.”  Then I decided I would tell Dallas Willard. He was kind of a spiritual mentor of mine. I laid out the whole situation, and I waited over the phone for the words of sympathy I knew would come. I waited for him to say, “I feel your pain. How hard this must be!” He didn’t say anything like that. There was a long pause and then 11 words: “This will be a test of your joyful confidence in God.” “Well, good luck with that, Dallas. Why don’t we have a test of your joyful confidence in God?” He was exactly right. That’s exactly what it was. I lived with that sentence (no kidding) for dozens of times a day. Thousands of times I thought about that, and it went on for months. 
Where do you find yourself in that story? Besides you, who else knows where you are in your story?
15. Take a moment and read and pray the Serenity Prayer.
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
16. Jesus said, “Give us today our daily bread.” He said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow has enough troubles of its own.” Jesus calls us to live in the present. He calls us to live in the perpetual now. Worry comes when we live in the past or look to the future. Contentment with Christ is always a present reality. What’s one step you could live in the present with that which causes you to worry?
17. Peter said, Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5.7)
Let’s live out God’s Word. Cast all your anxiety on Him.


Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood (John 6:53-59)

By | Hard Sayings of Jesus
1. Read John 6.53-59 incarnationally. Where do you find yourself in this text?
2. This new study is called “The Hard Sayings of Jesus.” Of all that Jesus said or did, what’s the hardest saying for you to believe, receive, and really live?
3. On Sunday the Global Church celebrates Epiphany. What’s the historical significance of Epiphany? What do days or seasons like this mean to you? How do these kinds of days or seasons encourage you or challenge you? How can you fully embrace this season of Epiphany?
4. What is Jesus saying when He instructs us: “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” (53)
5. Jesus uses the word “remain” or “abide” in verse 56. What is He saying here?
6. What is the life Jesus is inviting His hears into? What is one specific way you sense His life being formed in you? How are you living in that life today?
7. Where in your life are you desiring a greater “Epiphany?” Where do you have a sense of deep longing? How does that longing cause you to seek more the Kingdom of God?
8. Jesus says, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” (63) What does this mean to you? How does this passage bring you encouragement?
9. Read and reflect on the words of Dallas Willard. Nondiscipleship costs abiding peace, a life penetrated throughout by love, faith that sees everything in the light of God’s overriding governance for good, hopefulness that stands firm in the most discouraging of circumstances, power to do what is right and withstand the forces of evil. In short, nondiscipleship costs you exactly that abundance of life Jesus said He came to bring (John 10:10). The cross-shaped yoke of Christ is, after all, an instrument of liberation and power to those who live in it with Him and learn the meekness and lowliness of heart that brings rest to the soul … The correct perspective is to see following Christ not only as the necessity it is but as the fulfillment of the highest human possibilities and as life on the highest plane. 
10. How are you experiencing “abiding peace, a life penetrated by love, faith that sees everything in the light of God’s overarching goodness?”
11. The text continues to say that people kept turning away from Jesus because this teaching was so difficult. What made the teaching so difficult?
12. What’s the most difficult teaching of Jesus for our culture to accept?  Cite the verse and context. Why is this so hard?
13. We have a collection of “Hard Sayings of Jesus.” Do you think Jesus ever had a hard time saying any of these things? What are some examples?
14. What do those examples say about the humanity of Christ and the Dignity of Christ?
15. Jesus says to His disciples? “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Describe the vulnerability of Jesus in these words. How is He revealing His heart for connection and intimacy?
16. How do the 12 respond to Jesus? Note their response here. Write, in your own words your response to Jesus.

It’s Time to Do Hard Things | Matthew 1.18-25

By | Not Yet Christmas
1. Read Matthew 1.18-25, and Luke 1.28-33. As you read the text, note what stands out to you, what speaks to you differently than the times you’ve read the Christmas story in the past?
2. As you reflect on the message from Sunday, what is most impactful?
3. The angel speaks to Mary and then Mary spends time in solitude with Elizabeth. Why is this dynamic important?
4. How does Mary respond to the news of the angel?
5. Matthew 1.18-25 characterizes Joseph as a “righteous” man. Spend a few moments studying the word righteous in Scripture. What does this characterization say about Joseph? How might the people in your sphere of influence characterize you? How often do you characterize people by their religious belief and behaviors? How do you characterize people by their lack of religious belief and behaviors or their failings in their relational beliefs and behaviors?
6. The angel instructs Joseph “not to be afraid.” Note some of the reasons Joseph may have been tempted to fear? In what circumstances do you find yourself most tempted to give in to fear?
7. Dallas Willard says, “Fear is the threat of evil winning.” Where do you fear evil is winning in your world? How are you finding comfort and strength His abiding peace?
8. After Joseph had made the decision to divorce Mary he was awakened to a new spiritual reality. When was the last time you were awakened to a new spiritual reality? How has that awakening been a catalyst for change in your most personal relationships?
9. When was the last time you sensed God changing a plan that you had made? Describe the tension in “knowing the will of God” vs. “doing the will of God.”
10. How often do you get disappointed when God doesn’t change circumstances? What is at the root of your disappointment?
11. Joseph chooses to live in this new spiritual reality. Yet, his reality is not easy. How does Joseph’s example encourage you?
12. In what ways are you tempted to want God to fix a circumstance rather than love you in the midst of the circumstance?
13. In the message on Sunday, three questions were posed. Reflect and respond to each.
What is God awakening you to today?
What choice or invitation is before you?
How might this Christmas be different if instead of looking for a fix you simply embraced His love?
14. The hard thing is often trusting God that He is using that which is most personal to you to transform you. How is He transforming you today?