Community Groups 1/19/14

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Dealing with Doubt was the title of Pastor Greg’s message Sunday morning looking at the ministry of John the Baptist. Let’s face it, we have all had moments of doubt – lapses in faith and trust. Even the greatest figures in scripture doubted in the wake of life’s circumstances. John the Baptist was no exception. Jesus said of John the Baptist that there was not a greater man that had ever lived. Why was this? Because he was the man chosen to usher in the arrival of the Messiah. His greatness was connected to his relation to Christ – both by family and by fate.

Discussion Questions:

1. John the Baptist had a message; the substance was that people everywhere should repent. He was fearless and he was unique. He was not clean cut like the Pharisees or rich and esteemed like the Sadducees. He wore strange clothes and had a strange diet. But his message was clear and powerful. What does his approach to ministry teach us about our own approach to serving God? Where did he place his authority and truth? (Matt 3:4-10)

2. John’s entire ministry was to point people to the coming messiah. When serving in ministry, it can at times be difficult to assume a servant role, especially when leading others. That type of power can get into a person’s head. John balanced it well. Read Matt 3:11-12 and John 3:30 and discuss how John approached ministry and how he saw himself in light of Christ.

3. When Jesus came to John at the Jordan River to be baptized by him he tried preventing it saying that he needed to be baptized by him. He felt unworthy to minister in this way. But Jesus did this for a few reasons: He wanted to affirm John’s ministry, he wanted to identify with sinners in their humanity, and it became His informal ordination from God as the heavens opened and God spoke of His pleasure in the Son. What prevents you from serving the Lord fully? Knowing that God wants to use you in his own way, what encouragement do you get from John’s ministry?

4. John doubted. He sent messengers to Jesus because he was confused about the methods of Jesus’ ministry. Doubt and uncertainty are bound to confront you in life and ministry; however, it is the power of faith in the truth that will lead you through it. When things are not going the way you thought they would, doubt is certain to rear its ugly head. How are we to respond to doubt in light of John’s example? What was it from Pastor Greg’s message that challenged you not to doubt the Lord?

Prayer Requests:

Thanksgiving:
Thank the Lord that God understands our doubts and fears but coaches and challenges us through them.

Supplication:
Pray for those who are sick and hurting in your families or groups and pray as James said “without doubting” (James 5).

Intercession:
Pray for the salvation of family, friends and co-workers. In light of Sanctity of Life Sunday, pray as well for those moms who are struggling with thoughts of abortion and for women who have had abortions.

**The following questions are used by Harvest Community Groups to facilitate discussion time in a small-group setting and to dig deeper into God’s Word. We encourage you to use them in your home or small group – or better yet, join one of our Community Groups! Information can be found at Communitygroups.harvest.org.**

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