Category Archives: Small Group Studies

This is the category for all small groups bible studies

Stay Humble

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Stay Humble

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Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.—1 Peter 5:6

Humility demands somethings of us. It demands a low view of our importance. This means that we think about ourselves a lot less. And this requires the self-discipline of our selfish tendencies.

You see, most of the time we think about ourselves a lot. Instead, the man of God thinks about God a lot more. In thinking about God, a man naturally thinks of self less, and thus he discovers God's might. And then God does something mighty. He exalts and lifts a man up. But be careful not to interpret this as self-exaltation, for this is not the case. Continue to be humble and kind.

ASK THIS: Do you have a humble mindset today?

DO THIS: Be humble and kind.

PRAY THIS: God, help me to think of you more and myself less.

PLAY THIS: Tim McGraw. Humble and Kind.

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Be Subject Not Suspect

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Be Subject Not Suspect

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Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”—1 Peter 5:5

This adage seems almost counter-cultural. When is the last time you have witnessed the willing submission of someone spiritually young to a spiritually mature man? But why is this so counter-cultural and challenging? Maybe because our world is filled with pride and entitlement. A willingness to be subject requires great faith, but it also requires humility. And while this appears scary, an adventure of grace awaits the man who can be humble. And the bonus? You won't be opposed by God, who works out all things according to his will anyway.

ASK THIS: Are you willing to submit?

DO THIS: Submit to God, and subject yourselves to his leadership.

PRAY THIS: God, give me a spirit of humility where I embrace pride.

PLAY THIS: Kristian Stanfill. My Heart Is Yours.

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The Shepherd Leader

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The Shepherd Leader

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Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.—1 Peter 5:2-3

The leadership principles in these two short verses are remarkable. These words speak to our leadership identity. Leaders are shepherds. It's an identity that we must voluntarily embrace. Shepherds do not lead under compulsion with silent strings attached. They don't lead to earn a title and income nor for personal power and gain. But instead, they lead willingly; otherwise, it's shameful. And when it's time to act, they exercise oversight and give missional direction to the wandering flock to which they are in charge. But a word of caution; don't let leadership go to your head and thus become a dictator who strives to dominate.

ASK THIS: Do you lead like a dictator or a shepherd?

DO THIS: Address your compulsions, and lead like Jesus the Shepherd.

PRAY THIS: God, thanks for being my Shepherd and leading me with strength and tenderness.

PLAY THIS: Mercy Hill Worship. Good Shepherd.

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The Soul Trust

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The Soul Trust

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Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.—1 Peter 4:19

There are two times we are more prone to rely upon supernatural intervention. First, when we are suffering for doing wrong. Second, when we are suffering for doing right. But it's in those moments that we suffer for doing what is right; we must entrust all our souls. We must reject the impulse to turn back to former ways and the comforts of our will. We must hold fast to the knowledge that God is faithful that he is the Creator and creates all things. That he has created us for the suffering before us. And we must entrust all our souls to God's sovereign will. Are you ready to trust a little more today—it may require suffering.

ASK THIS: Are you ready to entrust a little more?

DO THIS: Trust one more day today. And then repeat this again tomorrow. And so on.

PRAY THIS: God, be faithful to me. And help me to entrust more and be more faithful to you.

PLAY THIS: Lincoln Brewster. While I Wait.

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The Judgment Begins

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The Judgment Begins

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For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God, and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? —1 Peter 4:17

There are so many things for which I want to be first in line. An epic football game. A once-in-a-lifetime concert. And even that next flight I board. And yet, at the same time, there are things I don't want to be first in line for. One of them is sentencing that I know will not result in a judgment I like.

Yet all men stand in a line on the day that they are born. The line is short for some and longer for others (depending on their life brevity). But those of the household of God stand in this line with confidence and assurance. They know the outcome of the line of judgment. They also know they will be the first to be judged. In doing so, they will await a different outcome than those who do not obey. And it is all activated by Christ's obedience.

So stand in your line with confidence, Christian. You enjoy an unbelievable outcome on the other side of judgment. You will sing and shout the victory one day—when we all get to heaven.

ASK THIS: Are you at the front of the line?

DO THIS: Listen to the gospel and respond today, for the judgment is near.

PRAY THIS: God, thank you for giving me physical and spiritual life. Today I want to be first in line for the coming judgment. I place my life and trust in you.

PLAY THIS: Matt Redman. One Day/When We All Get To Heaven.

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It’s The Name

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It's The Name

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Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.—1 Peter 4:16

Did you know that it wasn't so cool to be called a Christian in the first century? In fact, our opposition used this title to mock followers of Christ. They spun it in such a way as to demean us. The word literally means "little Christ." And Peter knows first-century men were suffering under this branding. Therefore he commands them to "not be ashamed." And this is essential for us as followers.

There is a shame we will all have to suffer for what we believe. Some people will contest our ideas as absurd, and therefore they'll ridicule us. But we cannot let projected shame change alter our emotional fortitude. Instead, we should reject the need to be ashamed and glorify God in that name.

Brother, be a proud Christian today.

ASK THIS: Are you proud of the God you follow?

DO THIS: Be proud of God today.

PRAY THIS: God, thanks for branding me as a Christian. May I wear it with pride today.

PLAY THIS: Tasha Cobbs. Break Every Chain.

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Never Suffer

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Never Suffer

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But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.—1 Peter 4:15

Peter has told us in previous verses that there are lots of good reasons to suffer as a Christian. But now, he lists four reasons never to suffer. Or better, four identities of the person who suffers for the wrong reasons. As a Christian, we should never suffer for acting like a:

  1. Murderer — intentionally and unlawfully killing another person.
  2. Theif — willfully taking something that is property of another.
  3. Evildoer — deliberately causing harm or suffering to others.
  4. Meddler — arrogantly assuming that you have the right to interfere in the affairs of others.

And before you disqualify yourself from these four identities, read carefully the motivations that lead to the actions. Notice the arrogant thoughts and motivations that result in the four identities.

Today cherish the name, Christian. With this name comes an identity and actions, that will result in suffering but suffering for the right reasons. If you are suffering for doing wrong, then your title will be different.

ASK THIS: Are you suffering rightly?

DO THIS: Bear the title Christian with pride, and suffer rightly.

PRAY THIS: God, take from me my arrogance and every evil intent. May I live like a Christian with great pride.

PLAY THIS: Hillsong. Even When It Hurts.

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From Insult To Blessing

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From Insult To Blessing

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If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.—1 Peter 4:14

So there is a real tension here for the Christian man. On the one hand, if you think, speak, and act like Christ, then there is a real possibility that you will be insulted. On the other hand, if you are not being insulted, you may want to ask if your thinking, speaking, and acting is bold enough. Either way, remember that you are blessed when you are insulted for His name. And with these blessings, the Spirit of glory and of God rest on you.

ASK THIS: Are you being bold in how you think, speak, and act?

DO THIS: Be a little bolder today than yesterday.

PRAY THIS: God, give me a Spirit of boldness.

PLAY THIS: Shane  Shane. Though You Slay Me.

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It Ain’t Strange

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It Ain’t Strange

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Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.—1 Peter 4:12

We will experience a trial. You may be in one right now. And each trial has a unique challenge when we walk through it. There is an issue to navigate. A person to address. A lesson to be learned. And the more trials you experience, the wiser you get. You learn to be less surprised. Even still, there are some that surprise us. A private sin that was made public. A financial mishap that altered future plans. A health diagnosis that abbreviates life. But why do these surprise us? Maybe because we think we can cheat the trials of sin, we can make plans that will not be altered, and we will live forever. And when we are in the throughs of the trial, we only feel the heat of the fire. So remember, the next time that fiery trial tests you, nothing strange is happening to you.

ASK THIS: Is your present trial a strange one?

DO THIS: Remember you are not strange, and nothing strange is happening to you.

PRAY THIS: God, I know others have experienced my same trial. I also know you promise to carry me through this trial. Please help me to remember today that nothing strange is happening to me.

PLAY THIS: Phil Wickham. When My Heart Is Torn Asunder.

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Glory

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Glory

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To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.—1 Peter 4:11

With a godly perspective comes this recognition that all things are through and for God. This means that to him belongs all things. This is an imperative reminder for men everywhere. We should never try to steal God's glory or dominion. They both belong to him. So today, as you experience success or recognition. Or you have that moment you feel power, authority, or control—look up. There is someone who provided you this experience and feeling, and he wants you to steward it, not steal it. Don't steal God's glory, and try to make it look like it's your own. Instead, remember it all belongs to Him.

ASK THIS: Are you being tempted to steal God's glory?

DO THIS: Give it back. It's his anyway.

PRAY THIS: God, to you, be the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

PLAY THIS: Anthem Lights. Love The Doxology.

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Love Covers

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Love Covers

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Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.—1 Peter 4:8

The bottom line is we all need to be loved. But sometimes, we don't let others love us because we don't feel we deserve it. And when we don't let others love us, we don't learn the ultimate lesson of love—it's that love covers a multitude of sins. So why not let God love you today? Let him love you in all your sin, shame, and selfishness. His love covers every sin, past, present, and future. In his Son, he took the first step toward you. All you need to do is accept his love. And when you do, you'll learn how to be loved and how to love others earnestly. Don't put it off one more day. Be loved by God. He first loved you.

ASK THIS: Why do you refuse his infinite love?

DO THIS: Accept God's, neverending love.

PRAY THIS: God, thanks for loving me and covering all my sins.

PLAY THIS: Doug Anderson. Love Covered My Sin.

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The End Is Here

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The End Is Here

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The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.—1 Peter 4:7

The end of all things is here, just like it was in Peter's day. So live today on your toes, not your heels. And since you know our days are numbered, use self-controlled and be sober-minded. We need to be mentally ready, and we should pursue spiritual self-discipline as well. So fellas, let's decide today to kill spiritually indifference together.

ASK THIS: Is there a place in your mind and discipline you've been lazy?

DO THIS: Resist indifference in this area.

PRAY THIS: God, activate me spiritually. Ready my heart, mind, and soul.

PLAY THIS: Young & Free. End of Days.

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