Monday, August 20, 2012

Enduring in the Fight [Revelation 3:7-13]

Sermon Discussion Questions
  • Where's a time or situation in your Christian walk that you felt the pressure to give up or to give in?  What made the fight so hard?
  • What's comforting about knowing that Jesus has the "key of David"?      
  • Do you remember what it means that Jesus will "keep" the church from the "hour of trial"?  Why do you suppose that Jesus doesn't just physically remove them from harm?  What does this say about what Jesus desires for the church?
  • What areas of your life are you currently facing hardship and asking yourself the questions, "Can I do this?  Do I have what it takes?"  Share as a group.
  • What can you look to in the past or present to see God's work in your life?  How does this serve as motivation and fuel to endure?  As Christians, what do all of us ultimately have that we can look to?
  • Why is God's vision for the future condition of the people so central in this passage?  What is it about this vision that gives them (and us) such hope?  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Looking Inward [Revelation 3:1-6]

Sermon Discussion Questions
  • Penny told a story about a baseball team whose uniforms left many with the impression that they would be poor at playing the game.  What was the purpose of this story and how did it relate to the church in Sardis?  As a group, discuss what facades we erect to hide behind our dead hearts.  Think individually and personally (e.g. facebook, etc.) and think corporately (i.e. our church as a whole).
  • Do you think of a warning as being gracious?  Why or why not?  How does this warning to the church serve a gracious purpose?
  • Amidst their/our sin, what hope does Jesus offer the church?  How does the reality of a faithful remnant serve as hope? 
  • To what action does he call you and I?  What action(s) do we see from Jesus?
  • Jesus invites us to put off the false life of the external and to put our confidence in Him.  Why do we have so much trouble doing this?  Why is it so hard to accept Christ's gracious invitation?  [Thinking of Penny's story of going to the Sugar Bowl may spark thought and conversation.]

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tolerating Ourselves to Death [Revelation 2:18-29]

Sermon Discussion Questions
  • When we tolerate sin, what kinds of excuses do we tell ourselves?  When we tolerate sin, what is it that Pastor Ryan said is eroded?
  • What was significant about the way that the trade and commerce system worked in Thyatira?  Why was this a difficult place to be as a Christian?  What real issues do Christians face today that might be similar?  (start with what Pastor Ryan mentioned and brainstorm from there)
  • Take a few of these issues and discuss how, as Christians, we can lovingly engage the world around us even as we seek to have an intolerance for sin, particularly sin in our own lives.
  • What is truly needed to develop a gratitude for grace?  
  • We should have a proper longing for a greater and future glory.  Are you surprised by the picture of glory described in this passage?  What significance does it have for us that we are given not merely a place but truly a role in this future glory?  How does this aid in curbing our tolerance for sin?