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Jesus Is _

Jesus is _ Week 7

Jesus is _ Week 7

KICKSTART

As a child, how was punishment handled in your family?


VIEW


THROTTLE UP

1. Discuss your thoughts and observations about the video. What stood out to you?

2. Jesus’s ultimate purpose in coming to earth in human form at Christmas was to be the sacrifice for our sin. The concept of a sacrifice as payment for sin begins much further back in the story of human beings, when the nation of Israel was in slavery in Egypt. They cried out to God to free them. God appointed Moses to lead the people, and after much battling with Pharaoh to release them, read the final instructions in Exodus 12:21-28.

a. What do you think a “lasting ordinance for you and your descendants” means?

b. Why do you think this was important?

3. As a result of this “lasting ordinance,” read what John the Baptist says about Jesus nearly 1,500 years later in John 1:29. What is he actually telling people about Jesus?

4. Have different people read the following verses, answering the questions below after each passage: Hebrews 9:22; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 1:7-8; Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 9:14; 1 John 2:1-2.

a. What do these verses tell us about sin?

b. What do they tell us about Jesus?

5. Read Acts 2:37-39. How can we receive Jesus’s sacrifice? What will happen if we do?


CHECK THE MIRRORS

1. What are some ways you see people “sacrifice” (try to cover up, manage, or pay) for their own sin in today’s world? Does it work?

2. What are some ways you could intentionally live with more awareness of Jesus’s sacrifice on a daily basis throughout the year? How might those changes appear to the people around you?

3. If this discussion has raised questions in your mind, or you want to learn more about how to follow Jesus or being baptized on Easter weekend, please talk with your group leader.


GIVE A LIFT

Think about some ways you can bring God’s comfort individually or as a group to others between now and the end of April. Visit http://www.eastside.com/localserve/ for ways to serve together.


[Optional Expanded Discussion]

1. What aspect of the crucifixion do you think may have been the worst for Jesus: physical pain, separation from God, the weight of sin? Why?

2. Read Exodus 26:33-34, and Exodus 40:17-21. Then compare Matthew 27:51. What is the significance of the curtain in these passages?

3. In today’s evangelism, do you think believers adequately understand God’s holiness? Why or why not? Has the torn curtain made it “easy” to live life on our own terms? Have you seen or had to deal with situations in your ministry because of a lack of understanding about holiness? How might a better understanding of God’s holiness change the lives of believers?

Jesus Is _ Week 6

Jesus Is _ Week 6

KICKSTART

How did you get that scar?


VIEW

 


THROTTLE UP

1.  Discuss your observations about the video song. What ideas stood out to you?

2.  Read Mark 5:24b-34

a.  How did the healing actually happen?

b.  Put yourself in the woman’s place: what feelings would you have experienced before and after being healed?

c.  What do you think is the significance of Jesus parting comments?

3. Read John 5:2-9

a. How did the healing actually happen?

b. Put yourself in the man’s place: what feelings would you have experienced before and after being healed?

c. Why do you think Jesus told him to take his mat?

4. Read John 8:2-11

a.  What kind of healing takes place here, and how did it happen?

b. Put yourself in the woman’s place: what feelings would you have experienced before and after being healed?

c. What do you think is the significance of Jesus parting comments?

5.  For all the broken parts of our lives, the old scars and the fresh wounds, the physical pain and sickness, the guilt and regret, addictions, disappointment, and heartbreak – Jesus provides healing. Read Ezekiel 36:25-26. If we trust him with these things, what does he promise?

6.  Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. What does being healed enable you to do? Why is that?


CHECK THE MIRRORS

1. How have you seen our culture handle sickness, betrayal, heartbreak, guilt, etc?

2. Is there someone you know who has positively endured or overcome a terrible situation or illness? What do you notice about them? What can you learn from them?

3. What are some ways you can comfort others physically, emotionally, and spiritually?

4. View

and then read Isaiah 53:3-5. Almost 700 years before Christ, the prophet Isaiah wrote these words describing how Jesus would actually heal us. Looking ahead, how can Jesus as Healer change your experience of Easter this year?


GIVE A LIFT

Think about some ways you can bring God’s comfort individually or as a group to others between now and the month of April. Visit http://www.eastside.com/localserve/ for ways to serve.


[Optional Expanded Discussion]

1.  According to recent research, there are roughly 30 million Americans who are “done” with church, with another 7 million who are “almost done.” The “Dones” are former churchgoers who still maintain faith in God and their Christian identity but have become disillusioned with church. While there are many reasons they leave church, one is having been hurt in some way.

a.  Are wounds inflicted by a church (or people in the church) more difficult than other emotional or physical wounds? Why or why not?

b.  Have you ever personally been wounded in ministry? What was your response?

2.  Is there anything in your life for which you need Jesus the Healer?

3.  Spend time praying for each other, and that Jesus would bring healing where needed to the family of Eastside and/or to those you love.


YOU'RE INVITED

Connection Group Leader Dinner

"A single act of courage is often the tipping point for extraordinary change." - Andy Stanley

Join us on Saturday, March 19th at 6:15PM, in the Commons, for a Connection Group Leader Dinner.  Our compassion team will be sharing stories of how God is working in and through our connection groups, as well as inviting you into an exciting new season of serving.  Your spouse or another compassion-hearted representative from your group is also invited to attend with you (or for you if you are unable to attend).

Jesus Is _  Week 5

Jesus Is _ Week 5

KICKSTART

What’s the greatest party or celebration you’ve ever been part of? What made it so great?


VIEW


THROTTLE UP

1.    a.  Discuss your thoughts and observations about the video.

      b.  How do you think we can “embody” the celebration with Jesus as the speaker mentioned?

2.  Read Matthew 9:10-13.

    a.  In verses 10-11, talk about the things that at face value seem wrong with the situation.

    b.  In verses 12-13, how does Jesus turn the situation upside down? What point is he making?

3.  Have several people read the following verses: Luke 15:2-7; Luke 15:8-9; Luke 15:11-24. After each reading, answer questions a and b.

    a.  In each story Jesus tells, what is the problem?

    b.  What is the outcome?

    c.  In all three – what is the response? What does that response say about what’s found?

    d.  How do these 3 stories relate to the Pharisee’s muttering in verse 2?

4.  Read Mark 10:45 and Luke 19:10. What was Jesus’s purpose for coming to earth?

5.    a.  In Luke 15:10, how far does the celebration extend when one person finds Jesus?

       b.  What overall thoughts do you have about this discussion?


CHECK THE MIRRORS

1.  Talk a little about the time when you were “lost,” before you met Jesus. How did Jesus find you?

2.  What are some reasons it can be hard to talk to others about Jesus, or share your faith?

3.    a.  If you’re someone who frequently talks with people about Jesus, share some of your hows and whys, and the responses you’ve received.

       b. If you’re someone who never/rarely talks with people about Jesus, what is it that holds you back?   

4.  Eastside provides so many easy ways to invite others, and introduce them to Jesus. What are some manageable ways you could start a conversation with someone this week?
 


GIVE A LIFT

One of the best ways Eastside demonstrates Christ’s desire to seek and save the lost is through our Compassion ministry. Visit http://www.eastside.com/localserve/ for some ways to serve individually or as a group.

 


[Optional Expanded Discussion]

1.  For fun: Do you know or can you find the verse the video refers to about wine at the final celebration in Heaven?

2.  Read Luke 14:12-14. Discuss how this passage might be understood in today’s context.

3.  Share about someone in your sphere of influence with whom you’ve started a conversation about Jesus. If you haven’t yet, what are some ways you could get started this week?

4. Sometimes mature leaders in ministry can find themselves surrounded only by other believers. If that’s you, what are some ways you could begin to cultivate friendships with non-believers?


SAVE THE DATE:

March 19 @ 6pm Connection Group Leader Dinner

(RSVP EMAIL COMING)

 

Jesus Is _ Week 4

Jesus Is _ Week 4

KICKSTART

Have you ever had friends or family surprise you or pull a prank on you? How did they set it up?


VIEW


THROTTLE UP

1. Discuss your thoughts and observations about the video. What stood out to you?

 

2. How do you think most people view truth in today’s world? What are some reasons they may think that way?

3. a.  Read John 1:1-5, 1:9-13, and verse 14. Who is the Word?

    b.  What do we learn about the Word in these verses?

    c.  Verse 14 says Jesus came from the Father “full of grace and truth.” Why do you think this is significant?

    d.  What can happen if you have grace with no truth? What happens if you have truth with no grace?

4. Have different people look up the following verses: Psalm 25:5, 1 Corinthians 13:6, 2 Timothy 2:15, Ephesians 5:8-10, 1 John 1:6. After reading each verse, discuss the ways truth will define our lives.

5. Read John 8:31-32, 1 Timothy 2:3-4 and John 14:6&7. What key things will truth do for us?


CHECK THE MIRRORS

1. Where would you put your current attitude about truth along the following scale of 1 to 10, and why?

1 – I feel judged or think people can have different opinions

5 – not sure what I believe, or believe there’s truth & try to be honest

10 – I believe God’s truth and want to do better at following, or have experienced living a life in truth

2.  Is there an area in your own life, or family or marriage where you need to have more truth? What’s one step you could take in that direction this week?

3.  Pray for each other, and your different journeys toward the truth of Jesus.


GIVE A LIFT

Consider ways your group could express the truth of Jesus in the next 2-3 weeks by serving in your community or a neighbor. Visit http://www.eastside.com/localserve/ for some ideas.


[Optional Expanded Discussion]

1.  Read Ephesians 4:15. Discuss what it means to speak the truth in love. What is love without truth, or truth without love?

2.  How does 1 John 3:18 influence the above?  What are some ways Christians can get it wrong in today’s culture?

3.  How can a lack of truth negatively impact our leadership and ministries?

4.  What are some of the needs you have seen in the past week? (Work, coffee shop, neighborhood, etc.) How do you think you or your group could meet those needs while expressing the truth of Jesus’ character and heart for them?

 

Jesus Is _ Week 3

Jesus Is _ Week 3

KICKSTART

What is the worst natural storm (earthquake, tornado, hurricane, blizzard) you’ve experienced?


VIEW

This week in our “Jesus is…” series we’ll discuss how Jesus was a storm chaser.


THROTTLE UP

1. Discuss your thoughts and observations about the video. What stood out to you? What were some of its recurring themes?

2. The source for this week’s study is Mark 4:35-41. Have someone read these verses out loud.

     a.  What was the disciple’s response to the storm? What was Jesus’s response?

     b.  When the storm is calmed, how does the disciple’s response to Jesus change? Was it a valid response?

     c.  How was their perception of Jesus changed?

     d.  Which would frighten you more – the storm, or Jesus?

3.  Have different people read the following verses. Psalm 46:1-3, Psalm 89:8-9, Psalm 18:13-16, Psalm 9:9-10, Psalm 62:1-2, Psalm 71:1-3

     a. What attributes of God does the poet describe in these verses?

     b.  What perspective do these verses provide for the storms we face in our lives?

4.  Now read Colossians 1:15-17. Who do these verses say Jesus is? Why is that significant?

5.  It’s been said that peace is not the absence of conflict…real peace is having calm and security in the middle of conflict. Read the first phrase of Psalm 46:10.

     a.  In light of this verse and all the previous ones we’ve read, how is peace in a storm possible?

     b.  Why is it often still difficult for us?

6.  a.  Lastly, read John 14:27. What do you think is different about the peace Jesus gives us, vs. “as the world gives”?

     b.  How can this verse encourage you as you face storms in your own life?


CHECK THE MIRRORS

1.  Are there people you’ve seen who lived with peace in the storm of a life crisis? What did you notice about them?

2. If there are people in your group who have experienced God’s presence and peace through a storm of their own, take a moment to have them briefly share and encourage others.

3.  If you are facing a terrible storm in your own life right now, share with the group a little about it. Close by praying for each other, and commit to pray for each other throughout the week.

 

Note:

"Being connected in a small group is a vital component of our spiritual journey. This is where we come alongside one another and "do life" together and where we belong, grow and serve.

We realize, however, that sometimes an individual or group of individuals within a small group may go through a difficult season in life that the group is not equipped to handle. This is where the group can turn to the Friday Night of Hope ministry for support.

Friday Night of Hope is a place where people can find rest, get plugged into a specialized recovery group where they can rehabilitate, reconcile broken relationships and get restored to full spiritual health so that they can fully pursue God, build community and unleash compassion.

When the time comes, please feel free to contact Greg Arbues at (714) 875-3402 or garbues@eastside or visit www.eastside.com/fridaynightofhope."


[Optional Expanded Discussion]

1. Discuss the significance of Colossians 1:15-17. The “firstborn” has the rights of an heir. What rights does Jesus have? What is his relationship to “all things”? How is that significant to this study?

2.   a.  Share a storm that by faith you weathered successfully, including personally, in your ministry, or your leadership.

      b.  Share a storm where it felt like you failed, or the outcome wasn’t what you had hoped. What did you learn from that experience?

3.  Close by praying for each other, and for the many people at Eastside facing terrible storms in their lives. Also pray for the leadership and staff during this critical season of growth.

Jesus is _ Week 2

Jesus is _ Week 2

KICKSTART

Who was your favorite TV Dad? (i.e. Cliff Huxtable, Tim “the tool man” Taylor, Phil Dunphy, ‘Dre Johnson, Someone else?)


VIEW

As you watch the video, note some of the positives & negatives discussed regarding love.



THROTTLE UP

1.      a) Discuss your thoughts on these comments about love.

b) What do these comments reveal about how our culture understands love?

2.   Proverbs 19:22 says, “What a person desires is unfailing love…” Did you see that in the video? Why do you think we sometimes feel let down by those who love us?

3.   In Luke 15 Jesus told the story of the Prodigal Son. Take a moment to read Luke 15:11-24.

a) What do you see that is not loving?

b) What are some of the son’s motivations for deciding to return home?

c) What is most surprising to you about the father’s response to the return of his son? Why?

4.   a)  Read Romans 5:7-8. How did God the Father show us his love?

      b)  What is the correlation of verse 7 with verse 8?

5.   Read 1 John 3:1a. What parallels with the Prodigal son do you see?

6.  Lastly, read Ephesians 3:16-19. List all the additional gifts that we can receive with God’s love.

 


CHECK THE MIRRORS

1.   How could understanding these truths about God’s love for you affect the way you live your life this week? What might you do differently if you believed you were forgiven and accepted?

2. Are you currently in a place where you don’t feel God’s love? If you’re comfortable, share with the group.

3. Pray together. Close by having someone pray Ephesians 3:16-19 out loud over your group.


[Optional Expanded Discussion]

1. Sometimes maintaining an honest and authentic relationship with Christ can be difficult for mature believers who are busy leading teams, carrying vision, and serving in multiple ways. Do you think that’s true or not? Have you had that experience?

2. Share a verse that has been an anchor for you in your relationship with Jesus, and why.

 

 

Jesus is _ Week 1

Jesus is _ Week 1

KICKSTART

When you were younger, what did you wish for when blowing out candles on your birthday cake?

Gene shared the story of Jesus and the Samaritan women from John 4:1 - 42. Share something from that story that was an encouragement to you.


VIEW


THROTTLE UP

1.  a)  Discuss your observations about the video.

b) Share some personal examples of things you might “hope” for during the day (for a parking space, to remember something, for your kids, etc.).

c) What is the distinction between hope and wishing? Is it important?

2.  Have different people in your group read the following verses: Psalm 33:20-22; Lamentations 3:21-22; Psalm 130:5, Romans 15:4. What do these verses tell us about hope?

3.  a)  It’s very important where or to whom we look for hope. Read Isaiah 40:26-31. List all the reasons you find here to place your hope in God.

b) Now read verses 27-28 again, but in place of “Jacob” and “Israel,” say your own name. Does this help or change your understanding?

4. Read Ephesians 1:17-21. What is the real source of our hope, and why? How might this change your view of your day-to-day life?

5. Read John 16:33. What two things does Jesus assure us we will have in this life? What is his encouragement?


CHECK THE MIRRORS

1. Is there someone in your life who you see as living with this conviction of hope? What do you notice about their lives?

2. What are one or two things you could do differently this week when approaching challenges?

3. Share any specific challenges you are facing with the group. Then pray together – in faith and in hope.


[Optional Expanded Discussion]

1. Read 1 Thessalonians 1:3. Discuss the correlation between work/faith, labor/love, and endurance/hope. Compare/contrast with how people inside and outside the church view faith, love, and hope.

2. What might be possible if you prayed Ephesians 1:17-19 over your ministry or volunteer team? As you close in prayer, pray these verses over each other.