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Flourishing

August 2 Discussion Questions – Flourishing: Life in the Spirit – Self Control

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As you begin this study, consider the life of Jesus. Note examples where He exhibits self-control. 

Read Proverbs 25.28 and Titus 2.12-14 and answer the following questions: 

  • What happens to the person who lacks self-control?
  • What “teaches us” to say, “No”?
  • How does self-control spring forth from the gift of grace? 
  • Is it possible to live a self-controlled life?
  • Where and when are you most challenged in living a self-controlled life? 

Read Genesis 4.1-16. Note three parts of this text that speak to you most deeply.

Read Romans 5.12 and Romans 3.1-12, 22 and answer the following questions. 

  • In your own words define “total depravity.”
  • Why is this doctrine important? 
  • How does God reconcile our totally depraved nature? 

Why does God approve of Abel’s offering and not Cain’s? 

How does Cain respond to God’s rebuke?

What was the root of Cain’s anger and downcast countenance? 

Where, or in what, is your anger most likely rooted? 

How do you see God being loving toward Cain? 

According to the text, where does sin have its roots? 

How in the last week have you allowed wrong thoughts to derail you? 

Read 1 John 3.11-12. How does this text help your understanding of what happens in Genesis 4? 

What does it mean to be a “brother’s keeper?” 

Who cares for you as a “brother’s keeper?” What does that look for you? How do you allow your “keeper” to care for you, redirect you, pray for you, and bless you?

What is Cain’s consequence for disobedience? How does God maintain relationship with Cain in the midst of disobedience? What does this teach you about the character of God? 

Is it possible to “master” sin? Is it possible for sin to master you?

Read 1 John 2.15-17. Rewrite this verse in your own words. 

What “stories” replay over and over in your mind? Where do you they lead you? How might you begin to exert self-control over those stories? 

Read 1 Peter 1.13-16 and 2 Timothy 1.7. What are the primary implications of each text? 

Read and reflect on the Serenity Prayer. What portion of this prayer might become the prayer of your heart? Which “brother’s keeper” can join you in this prayer? 

Serenity Prayer

“God, give me grace to accept with serenity

the things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things

which should be changed,

and the Wisdom to distinguish

the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,

Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it,

Trusting that You will make all things right,

If I surrender to Your will,

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.”

July 26 Discussion Questions – Flourishing: Life in the Spirit – Gentleness

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Read Galatians 2.20. In your own words, describe what this verse means for your life today. 

Read Galatians 5.22-26. How do you see this text build on the foundation of Galatians 2.20?

The Scofield Bible notes, “Christian character is not mere moral or legal correctness, but the possession and manifestation of the graces of v. 22-23. Taken together they present a moral portrait of Christ, and may be understood as the apostle’s explanation of 2:20.” How do you see this as truth in your life today? 

Gentleness is defined this way, “acquiescence to authority and consideration of others.” Who in your life best exemplifies this Christ quality of gentleness? 

Describe gentleness in the world before Jesus came.

Think about the life and character of Christ. Note one or two examples from His life where He gentleness was best expressed. 

Read Isaiah 42.1-4 and Matthew 12.18-21. Note the fulfillment of Scripture here. 

Read Matthew 11.28-30. How does Jesus describe Himself in this invitation to you? 

When you think about Jesus, how do you see Him as gentle and tender? 

In what one way has Jesus been gentle toward you? 

Read James 3.17-18. What’s the implication of these verses for every Christ follower? 

Where is our world today most devoid of gentleness? Where in your world do you sense a deep need for gentleness?

Read Ephesians 4.2. What’s the implication of this verse for every Christ follower? 

Give God praise for His gentle love toward you today. 

July 19 Discussion Questions – Flourishing: Life in the Spirit – Faithfulness

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Read Galatians 5.13-26. How do you sense the fruit of the Spirit growing in you? Describe what it looks like to “walk in the Spirit.” Describe the alternative, “walking in the flesh.” 

Read and reflect on the following passages of Scripture and respond to who each encourages or challenges you. Psalm 119.90; 2 Thessalonians 3.3; 1 Corinthians 10.13; 2 Timothy 2.13. 

What other passages of Scripture declare the faithfulness of God most personally? 

Faithfulness in the Greek is defined with two words, “reliability” and “trustworthiness.” How do these two words expand or narrow your understanding of faithfulness? 

Read Luke 7.36-50. Where do you find yourself in this text? Where do you see faithfulness? Where do you see faithlessness? 

What exactly does Jesus mean when He says, “Your faith has saved you?” Be specific in your answer. 

In response to the text and Jesus’ words, “your faith has saved you” Father Greg Boyle says, “I don’t think faith has anything to do with a belief, or allegiance or adherence to a set of beliefs or a belief system…rather, a choosing to be anchored in holy love to be tethered to a sustaining God – and because of that love – not even the least bit shaky about our own unshakable goodness.” Father Greg Boyle (paraphrased)

Reflect on Father Boyle’s comments. Do you agree that this is what faithfulness looks like? What gives you hesitation in this definition? 

If Father Boyle’s definition is accurate, what would this mean for you? What would faithfulness look like for you? What would change in you or around you? 

Read Lamentations 3.19-26. How and when have you resonated most deeply with this text? How specifically have you experienced God’s faithfulness in a season of wandering and wondering? 

What does Scripture say God is faithful to do? Note the references for each action of our Faithful God. 

Read Revelation 19.11-16. How does this passage bring you hope? 

Give God praise for His faithfulness.