Pastor Bryan's Blog

Small Group Discussion Guide

A Change of Heart_Blog

-Heart Check-
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. - Proverbs 4:23

Ice-Breaker:

Share a time when you proudly trusted in your own ability to pull something off and it all went south. What did you learn from this experience?

Questions:

1. Read Luke 18:9-14

  • What was the core problem of the Pharisee? 
  • Most people have a little ‘Pharisee’ in their life. In what ways are you like the Pharisee? 
  • Why did the Tax Collector walk away justified before God?

2. Tax collectors betrayed their fellow Jews by working for the Roman government. They made a conscious decision to deny God in order to chase after all the pleasures of this life - power, money, worldly pleasures, etc. In the message, Pastor Bryan made the point that “only God can truly fill us and fulfill us.” Read Ecclesiastes 2:1-16, and consider the questions below...

  • Why do people choose to chase after worldly pleasures, rather than God?
  • In what ways do worldly pleasures satisfy us, and in what ways do they not satisfy us?
  • In what ways does God fill and fulfill us?

3. Read Luke 18:11. The Pharisee thanks God for making him so righteous (that is, he gives credit to God). Yet he still was not justified before God for bragging about his righteous deeds.

  • Some people say that “true” Christians prove they are Christians by living a righteous life, and if somebody is not living right they’re probably not a “real” Christian. How does this passage speak to that particular theological claim?
  • Should we look to our own righteous deeds to prove that we are Christians?
  • If not, what should we lean on for assurance of being a Christian?

4. Read Romans 1:17; Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 4:5

  • Why do you think God justifies (saves) people by faith alone, apart from any type of works?

Application:

Evaluate the health of your heart. In what ways are you...

  • Self-Indulgent?
  • Self-Righteous?
  • Humble and Repentant?
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