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Small Group or Personal Bible Study Questions

 The best way to use this archive is to use the "Search" feature and just type in the topic or book of the Bible you would like to study. You can also look through the list of topics in the "Labels" section. If you would like to follow a series, click on the "Archive" for publish dates. I hope you find some useful information here. Back several years ago, I had the crazy idea to volunteer to help our pastor by writing questions each week to accompany his sermon. We had just formed small groups after going through Rick Warren's "Purpose-driven Church" study. Our pastor was new to us and wanted to create a sense of unity by having all adults studying the same topic as the sermon for the week. I volunteered to help out and he was crazy enough to let me. I did not know what I was getting into or how far it would take me. God knew, however.  The result was about ten years of writing weekly study materials for our church. One series, Broken, was pu
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I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS: Giving the Best Gifts

Icebreaker: What was your favorite gift this Christmas? What gift are you returning? Overview: We caught a bit of Dolly Parton’s “Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love,” on TV this week. Based on Dolly’s life, it tells the story of a particularly hard winter and a special Christmas gift. Spoiler Alert!) Dolly still believes she was visited by her guardian angel that Christmas. Perhaps we miss receiving the best gifts because we are not waiting and watching for them. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. -- Matthew 2:10b-11 ESV. No matter who we are – wise man, country music icon or a humble writer – we are born to worship and bring glory to Him through the gifts we give. Discussion: Read Matthew 2:1-12. What made the wise men (and the shepherds) so determined? When has God pursued you? W


Icebreakers: How did you test the boundaries set by your parents? Where did you travel when celebrating Christmas with family? Overview: In the hysterically funny, Christmas movie, “Elf,” Buddy realizes he is not like the other elves and leaves the North Pole and Papa Elf in search of his real father. His father tries to turn Buddy into a corporate businessman like himself. In return, Buddy teaches his father how to love. “I planned out our whole day. First, we make snow angels for two hours, and then we’ll go ice skating, and then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie Dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we’ll snuggle.” –  Buddy Jesus left Heaven and His Father to come to earth as a human baby to learn from Joseph, His earthly father. The story of the adolescent Jesus staying behind in Jerusalem to remain in the temple shows us that Jesus had to learn how to be a human boy through obedience to his earthly parents. The balancing act we pare


Icebreaker: What is your favorite Christmas movie? What is your favorite Christmas movie quote? Overview: In the Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” angel Clarence Odbody is forced to lovingly deliver some tough love when George wishes he had never been born. Clarence grants his wish lamenting that there must be an easier way to get his wings. After George has a frightening experience of what life would have been like had he never been born, Clarence says, “ Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?” In the end, George realizes how wonderful his life truly is despite its difficulties. Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.   -- Warren W. Wiersbe God loved us so much that He sent His Son as the Baby Jesus to redeem us. He has placed preachers, teachers and a church in our lives to give us direction so we can mature in our faith. He disciplines us wi


Icebreaker: Who was your protector growing up? What is the biggest threat to your children? Overview: A family who leaves an eight-year old boy home alone while they go on a Christmas vacation are certainly not providing the child with a safe home. It makes for a funny Christmas movie though since Kevin is not your normal eight-year old and is well able to defend his home when it is attacked by criminals. Kevin says, “This is my house, I have to defend it.” He is so good at it that Hollywood made FIVE Home Alone movies. It seems his parents never learned. People change when they hurt enough that they have to change, learn enough that they want to change, receive enough that they are able to change. – John Maxwell Joseph, Jesus’ earthly dad, did a much better job of providing a safe home for his son. He sensitively listened and followed God’s guidance even when it meant uprooting his life to protect Jesus from danger. We have Joseph to thank for providing a saf

I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS: Who's in charge here?

Icebreaker: Who was in charge at your childhood home? Mom? Dad? Grandma? How are chores divided in your home? Overview: In the movie, The Santa Clause,” actor Tim Allen dons a Santa suit and magically appears at the North Pole. He asks the elves, “Who’s in charge here?” and they reply, “You are!” The new Santa is totally overwhelmed by his expanding responsibilities and waistline. The true measure of leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. – John Maxwell Mary’s betrothed, Joseph, found himself in an extremely difficult situation. After careful consideration, he decided on a plan to quietly break his engagement to Mary and let her deal with the unexpected pregnancy alone. God had a different plan for Joseph. An angel appeared in a dream to tell Joseph he was in charge and what his responsibilities would be concerning his new wife and son. When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. – Matthew 1:24 ESV Discussi


Only the passage of time can judge how far we have travelled and how well we have followed the Lord in steps of faith. Time goes quickly and slowly simultaneously. We encounter tremendous obstacles along the way such as leaders with moral failings and a mountain of debt and the obstacles seems unsurmountable; yet, we put one step in front of the other placing our faith in God. “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ― Corrie ten Boom   It takes courage and steadfastness to keep going. We have no choice really. We can’t give up! We will keep going in faith until the battle is truly won and Heaven is our home. An old choral hymn by Carlton Pearson says it well: We've come this far by faith Leaning on the LORD Trusting in His Holy Word He never failed me yet Oh' can't turn around We've come this far by faith . Discussion: What emotions did you feel today as the church building mortgage was burned? So we are alway