Dealing With Doubt

If you are doubting today, don’t sweat it, it’s normal. Take these steps and see where faith takes you.

MONDAY, JULY 4

Connect: Luke 4

DISCOVER:

  • What big event in Jesus’ life took place before going into the wilderness?
  • When the 40-day fast was up why do you think Satan tempted him?
  • Why did Jesus go into the wilderness for 40 days?

RESPOND:

  • After reading the essay, consider this question: Do you share Jesus’ concern about social justice?
  • Why is it important to know how Jesus deals with Satan (temptation)?
  • How do you deal with temptation?

TUESDAY, JULY 5

Connect: 2 Kings 5

DISCOVER:

  • Who is Naaman? What’s wrong with him? How does the maid know about Elisha the prophet?
  • Who does Naaman seek permission from to go to Israel? Why do you think the King of Aram (Syria) sent a letter of introduction?
  • When Naaman finally gets to Elisha, who does Elisha send out with instructions? Why does Naaman get angry? Wasn’t it brave of his servants to tell him to calm down and think through what he was asked?

RESPOND:

  • Read the story of Elijah and the widow (1 Kings 17: 8-24) and the story of Elisha and Naaman (2 Kings 5: 1-14). How do they set an expectation of the kind of ministry Jesus would provide?
  • Do you ever feel that you have to do something great? Isn’t that a form of trying to impress people? Have you ever been able to impress people by showing off? What usually happens when you show off?
  • Does God expect us to impress or express? What’s the difference?

WEDNESDAY, JULY 6

Connect: Acts 13

DISCOVER:

  • Where is “Antioch” (Acts 13:1)? How many prophets and teachers were “in the church that was at Antioch” (Acts 13:1)?
  • Who is “Barnabas”? Who is “Lucius”? Who is “Simeon”? Who is “Manaen”? What roles do “prophets and teachers” perform? Can prophets teach and teachers prophesy?
  • What is “fasting”? What does fasting involve? Who were fasting above? Why were they fasting?
  • Where is “Perga in Pamphylia”? Why did John Mark leave Barnabas and Paul in Perga and return to Jerusalem?

RESPOND:

  • Why did the good news of Jesus go to the Jews first and then to the rest of the world?
  • Should a Christian today tell someone else that that person will end up in heaven or hell?
  • What is the difference between judgment and discernment when Christians hold each other accountable?

THURSDAY, JULY 7

Connect: Romans 1

DISCOVER:

  • What exactly does it mean to be a bond-servant? What about “set apart for the gospel”?
  • What can you tell me about Rome at that time? What type of Christians lived in Rome? What does it mean that their faith was being proclaimed throughout the world? How would you describe Paul’s attitude toward the Roman believers?
  • Why are those who do these sins worthy of death? Even things like disobeying parents? Why? What does verse 32 tell us about how far people go in sin? What is the next step beyond doing it? Do you see this happening in the world today?
  • What is the “truth” which the wicked people suppress?

 

RESPOND:

  • Have you personally experienced what Jesus said: “No prophet is acceptable in his hometown”? Why do you think that is?
  • What happens when a church is concerned about spiritual needs and not social justice? What happens when a church is more concerned about social justice than spiritual needs?
  • What makes a church welcoming to outsiders? What could we do better to make outsiders feel welcome?
    • On a scale of 1-10, how well are you fulfilling these two sides of the Great Commission? What are you convicted about doing to improve in one of these areas?
      • Sharing the truth about Jesus
      • Showing the compassion of Jesus

FRIDAY, JULY 8

Connect: Romans 2

DISCOVER:

  • In the last chapter, we saw that Creation keeps people from having an excuse to avoid God’s judgment. How about this chapter? What does it mean to pass judgment?
  • We can either store up wrath or (reward)? What does the “day of wrath” refer to? What is the judgment based on (our deeds)? Who will face it?
  • Do verses 7-10 teach a works-based salvation? If not, what is taught in those verses (judgment is based on deeds)?
  • What was Jesus’ warning about those who guide the blind? In this context, what does “blind” mean? Who are the “foolish” and “immature” people here?

 

RESPOND:

  • What is the right word to describe someone who tells others what to do and then doesn’t do it himself? Do you think we fall into this category? Can you escape the judgment of God if you do these things?
  • What applications can we get from this passage?
  • What should professing Christians take out of this passage? If more religion or rituals doesn’t help, then what is Christianity and what should we do?

SATURDAY, JULY 9

Connect: Proverbs 2

DISCOVER:

  • How does one receive wisdom? Why is wisdom important to have as one goes through life?
  • What did Solomon say the reader would understand?
  • What results from being seduced by an adulteress?

 

RESPOND:

  • How do you discern what is wisdom from God, or just human thoughts?
  • In your experience, have you seen how your faith in God has protected you from difficult circumstances or provided you peace?
  • Why do people pursue sin when they know it will destroy them? What is one way you can make wisdom your shield?

SUNDAY, JULY 10

Connect: Proverbs 6

DISCOVER:

 

  • What should the person do who has put up security for his or her neighbor?
  • What is detestable to the Lord?
  • What results when we listen to our parents’ instructions?  How did Solomon describe these commands and teachings?
  • How did Solomon distinguish stealing and adultery?

RESPOND:

 

  • How can we avoid making unwise commitments?
  • In what one area of your life will you make an effort to be more disciplined this week?
  • What is one step you can take to deal with the inevitable temptation to lust?
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