|Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People (Part 1)||Rusty Wirt||September 23, 2018||Listen|
|Why Serve If Salvation Is Free||Rusty Wirt||September 30, 2018||Listen|
|Come And See||Tim Ezell||October 7, 2018||Listen|
|Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People (Part 2)||Rusty Wirt||October 14, 2018||Listen|
Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? (Part 1)
Matthew 4:12-17, 11:2-6, 14:1-12
TALK IT OUT
1. The underlying assumption behind the title of this week’s sermon is that bad things should not happen to good people. Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?
2. Read Matthew 4:12-17, 11:2-6, and 14:1-12. In these passages, we see that although John the Baptist was a faithful follower of Jesus, he still experienced pain and hardship in his life. Give some other examples of people in the Bible who suffered difficulties and challenges even though they were faithful followers of Jesus.
3. Years ago a popular comedian coined the phrase, “The Devil made me do it!” Do you think the Devil is directly responsible for all the evil and suffering in the world? Read Romans 8:22, Revelation 12:7-9 and Galatians 5:19-21. What light do these passages shed on this question?
4. Read John 16:33, Isaiah 43:2 and Deuteronomy 31:6. What do these verses tell us about what we can expect from life? What do these verses tell us about what we can expect from God when life happens?
5. Have you ever doubted God’s love for you or felt abandoned by Him? Describe that situation and what caused you to feel that way. How did you deal with that doubt and disappointment? Read Matthew 11:28-30 and 1 John 4:15-16. What do these passages encourage us to do when we feel hurt or let down by God?
LIVE IT OUT
1. Are you currently doubting God’s love for you due to some difficulty in your life? How has this affected your relationship with Him? With your family? With your church?
2. Take a few moments right now to bring this situation to Jesus in prayer. After you have shared your heart with Him, sit quietly in His presence and allow Him to reassure you of His love for you.
Why Serve if Salvation is Free?
John 17:4, John 13:4, 1 John 3:11-18.
TALK IT OUT
1. Read Psalm 49:7-9 and Ephesians 2:1-9. How good do you have to be to earn your salvation?
2. Read James 2:15-18 and James 1:22-24. It’s been said that we are not saved by works but that works simply provide evidence that our faith is real. In light of these passages, would you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?
3. Read John 15:9, 12-13 and Ephesians 5:1-2. Most of us will never be called upon to literally lay down our life for someone, but what are some other ways we can “lay down our life” for people on a day-to-day basis? Give an example of how that might affect how you spend your time or your money.
4. In his message, Pastor Rusty stated that “We don’t serve so that we can maintain salvation. We serve so we can explain salvation.” Read John 13:34-35 and 1 John 4:7-11. What did Jesus say should be the primary thing that identifies us as one of His disciples? How do these passages tie in with Pastor Rusty’s statement?
5. What do you think it means to glorify God? Read John 17:4. According to this passage, how did Jesus glorify God when He was here on earth? Now read Ephesians 2:10 and Matthew 5:16. What do these verses tell us about how we are to glorify God during our time here on earth?
LIVE IT OUT
1. What area(s) do you currently serve in at church? If you are not currently serving in a ministry, where could you begin serving?
2. In what ways are you currently serving those around you who are outside the church – your family, your neighborhood, your community, your workplace?
3. As a little reality check, ask yourself this question each day for the next week: What are other people learning about God by watching me?
Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? (Part 2)
TALK IT OUT
1. Read Philippians 4:4. Most of us find it easy to rejoice in the Lord when things are going well but much more difficult to do when we’re experiencing pain or suffering. Describe a time when you had difficulty rejoicing in the Lord. How did you feel when that difficulty arose? How did you eventually work through that situation?
2. Pastor Rusty mentioned a number of songs that talk about praising God during difficult times. Do you have a favorite song that encourages you when you’re facing problems? Share some of the words with the group and tell how those words have helped you.
3. The primary concern for some people whenever they face challenges is whether or not they are being treated fairly. What are some of the pitfalls of this point of view?
4. According to the dictionary, to worry means “to give way to anxiety or unease; to allow one’s mind to dwell on real or anticipated difficulty or troubles.” Even though a majority of people admit they worry on a regular basis, current studies indicate that 85% of what we worry about never actually happens. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) says, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” According to this passage and the above information, what are we focusing on if we are not at peace? What are some things we can do to “change channels” when we find ourselves focusing on the wrong thing?
5. Pastor Rusty stated that the goal of prayer “is not to get more from God but rather to get more of God.” Read Matthew 6:25-34. What does this passage tell us about setting priorities for our life?
LIVE IT OUT
1. Think of something you have been worrying about recently. Now take a moment to flip that worry into a prayer.
2. What step will you take this week to help ensure that you seek God’s presence and not just His presents?