Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Finding God in the Questions

Chapter 9:  Is God in Control?

1.  Has there been a time when you experienced God's providence or design in your life?  What were the events surrounding that situation which suggest it was controlled by some other force than chance or luck?

2.  How could making choices according to the standards suggested by the Sermon on the Mount increase your potential for personal contentment?

3.  Under what circumstances do people claim God is on a particular side?  How or why might God disagree with those claims?

4.  Have you ever wrestled with reconciling the existence of evil in a world created by a good and loving God?  What conclusions or insights did you draw?

5.  What about the world seems unfair to you and "cries out for ultimate justice?"

6.  Johnson says, "There will be an ultimate and cumulative effect from the many choices we make in our lives."  How do the choices you make affect yourself and others around you, if at all?

7.  Do you agree that a world without suffering or death would lead to an increasingly smug humanity without worry or concern?  Why or why not?

8.  What about life after death seems real or unreal to you?  Are there experiences in your life that suggest there might be life after death?

9.  What words would you use to describe God's character?  Have these character traits of God been evident in your life?  How?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Finding God in the Questions

Chapter 8:  How Should Faith Shape Our Lives?

1.  Where in our culture is it easy to place your faith?  Where is it difficult?

2.  Should all of Jesus commands given in the Sermon on the Mount be applied to a modern lifestyle?  Why or why not?  Now might these instructions be applied to our present-day society?

3.  Do Jesus' teachings on murder and divorce differ from traditional understandings of them?  In what ways?

4.  Re-read the excerpt from Scott Peck.  In what areas of your life do you compartmentalize?  How could you realistically integrate the demands of the "real world" and the desire for a conventional lifestyle with the teachings of Jesus?

5.  What are your experiences with climbing the ladder of success?  Do you think Jesus would have done it the same way?

6.  What does Jesus' teaching using the parable of the talents teach us about ordering our priorities?  Which of the servants would you be according to the priorities in your life?

7.  How have your childhood experiences or your personality shaped your beliefs in Jesus?

8.  How have other people in your life influenced you spiritually, either positively or negatively?

9.  How could you practically seek first God's kingdom and righteousness in your life?