Series:Very Short Stories

Are You Really Following Jesus?

Dig In Questions:

Read Matthew 13:24-30

1) Why do you think Jesus made a point to tell the parable of the Wheat and the Weeds?

2) Although the servant in the parable has good intentions, what harm could be done by pulling up the weeds before the harvest? What do you take this to mean for our lives today?

3) If it’s not easy to differentiate between the wheat and the weeds, then what are some ways that you can tell whether you are truly following Jesus?

4) Read Matthew 7:21-23. Why would someone who says “Lord, Lord” not enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

5) Read Luke 5:32. Why do you think that repentance is an essential practice when following Jesus?

6) What do you need to do (or stop doing) in your life in order to more faithfully follow Jesus?

How Good Is Your Dirt?

Dig In Questions:

Read Matthew 13:1-23

1) Have you ever been put off, turned off, or offended by the things that Jesus said? In your faith journey, how have you overcome those obstacles or objections?

2) The farmer was intentional about sowing or planting the seed, even when he knew some of what he planted had little chance of surviving. Why was he so intentional? What does that teach us?

3) Have you ever shared the good news of Jesus’ love with another person and felt like the message fell on a hard path? How did it make you feel? Does it help to know that many of the people that Jesus encountered daily also rejected His love and teachings?

4) We recognize that when Jesus talked about “Good Dirt”, that he wasn’t meaning dirt without thorns, rock, or hard places - but rather - dirt that is fruitful in spite of these things. In what ways have you found yourself either in the past or present being choked, scorched, or hardened? If you struggled in the past, how would you encourage another who is struggling now?

5) Read Matthew 9:35-38 and Matthew 28:18-20. In light of what Jesus said in these verses, what should our response be regarding those who have the heart (dirt) on which the good news of Jesus has never been planted?

6) Knowing that we are learning from Jesus, the One whose words give eternal life, how will you live differently as a result of His teaching on the parable of the dirt?

The Importance of Foundation

Dig In Questions:

1) Do you find that you line up more with the wise person who builds on the rock of Jesus’ teaching or the fool who builds on sand?

2) It was said in the message that Jesus makes it clear that there will always be negative circumstances in life. Do you allow your circumstances to control you?

3) React to this statement: Jesus is not surprised by what is happening in your life right now. How can this help shift your perspective of what you are going through?

4) Read Matthew 7:24-27. What is it that will make the difference between listening to Jesus’ teachings and doing them in your life? What are some things you can do to actively choose to DO what Jesus teaches this week? What are some excuses that you use when you just stop at listening?

5) Read Matthew 5: 1-12. Which of these attitudes of a wise person are you going to act on this week? What about this attitude will be important to you not being controlled by your circumstances?

Don’t Hide Your Light

Dig In Questions:

1) Are there people that you have either intentionally or unintentionally left in the darkness? If so, what can you do keep it from continuing to happen?

2) In the sermon, it was said that Jesus’ teaching was not about keeping a check list, but rather, developing a heart and a spirit of love for God and in turn, a passion and compassion for people. Do you find that this is easier said than done? What are you doing to develop your love for God and for people?

3) Read Matthew 5:14-16. What are some ways that these verses apply to you personally or that you want them to apply in your faith journey?

4) What are some excuses you have used to not be the “light of the world”?

5) Do you remember a time that you were still in darkness? How did the good deeds of others help you get out?

The Rich Fool

Dig In Questions:

1) Which do you put more energy into - your relationship with God or your pursuit of wealth?

2) Read Luke 12:13-15. What was the brother's ultimate concern? How does Jesus's response (v 15) apply to your life?

3) Read Luke 12:16-21. Why do you think God speaks so harshly about the rich farmer's approach to life?

4) How will a person who is seeking God's riches live differently than a person who is working to accumulate money and possessions?

5) Based on this parable, what is it that you need to change or re-prioritize in your life?

Getting Right With God

Dig In Questions:

1) Read Matthew 7:1-2. Why do you believe that Jesus commands His followers to refrain from judging others?

2) Read Luke 18:9-14. Is there a group of individuals that Christians have gained an unfortunate reputation for despising? How can you extend love to them this week?

3) What do you think Jesus was hoping to get people to realize by telling the parable of the Tax Collector and Pharisee?

4) Read Ephesians 2:8-9. In your own words, how would you portray this message to a non-believer or to someone who was unfamiliar with the Bible?

5) Would you consider yourself someone who fully rests in what Jesus did for you on the cross or do you find yourself needing to earn favor with God? What do you need to do to rely more fully on the grace of Christ?

Persistence In Prayer

Dig In Questions:

Read Luke 18:1-8

1) Has there been a time in your life when you have experienced the power of doing something persistently?

2) Why do you think that Jesus put such an emphasis on teaching his followers the importance of prayer?

3) Time and time again throughout scripture, we see God’s command for His people to care about the oppressed. What does this communicate about the heart of God?

4) How can persistence in our prayer life help to deepen our relationship with Jesus?

5) Read 2 Corinthians 12:8-10. How did God display His love for Paul by not answering his prayer?

6) What do you need to do or reprioritize in order to have a greater prayer life?

The Mustard Seed

Dig In Questions:

Read Matthew 13:31-32, Matthew 28:18-20, & Acts 2:38-47

1) Stories speak to us - that’s why Jesus told so many. Do you have a “go to” story from the Bible? Share that story and tell why it’s especially impacting or meaningful.

2) If asked to describe the Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of God to a friend, how would you do it?

3) Whether you are a new believer or have been one for a long time, do you remember when the seed of faith was first planted in you? What was your initial reaction? How has it grown and changed you?

4) When sharing your faith with others, have you ever thought that your prayers were unanswered or that your witness was in vain or that your words were lost in the wind? How does knowing that God is responsible for the other person’s growth change your perspective on sharing His good news?

5) How can you help newcomers to faith or to Fork realize that they are welcome and have a place in the Kingdom?

6) If the plan of God is for every person among the people of God to count for the advancement of the Kingdom of God, then in what ways are you advancing God’s Kingdom?

How Much Do You Value Christ?

Dig In Questions:

1) Jesus spoke in parables in order to give individuals a better understanding of the Kingdom of God. What does this say about Jesus's care for his followers?

2) Read Matthew 13:44-46. When it comes to how you met Jesus, would you compare yourself more to the man who wasn’t searching, yet found a treasure or the merchant who was seeking out the pearl of great value?

3) Read Psalm 84:10. Put yourself in the author's (David) shoes. How could serving God be better than what our culture considers “the good life”?

4) Read Jeremiah 29:13. Has there been a desperate time in your life when you looked for God wholeheartedly and found Him? How has this impacted your faith?

5) Read Philippians 3:8. Does your life reflect the sentiment of this scripture? If not, what do you need to remove from your life in order to have a better relationship with Christ?

6) What do you need to do in order to follow Christ more faithfully? Share this with someone and ask that they hold you accountable.