Small Group Questions Week 3- Forrest

  1. Monday’s Old Testament reading (Genesis 32:13-34:31) tells the story of Jacob wrestling with God. Jacob’s wrestling is portrayed as a literal, physical struggle, but it’s clear he’s also struggling to follow God’s instruction to return to his homeland, where he’ll have to deal with his estranged brother. Not many of us have the luxury of getting to work out our problems with God in a physical wrestling match. When you find yourself struggling to do what God wants you to do, how do you work that struggle out? Do you pray, read scripture, seek advice from friends or spiritual leaders, etc?

 

  1. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Yet, in other places, he tells people that following him is difficult (Matthew 10:22, 16:24). History is full of stories of persecuted and executed Christians. Today, many Christians can tell you that following Christ faithfully is incredibly hard and, at times, painful. So then, what do you think Jesus meant when he said “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”?

 

  1. Genesis 35 tells the story of Joseph being sold into slavery by his older brothers after he obnoxiously tells them of his dreams, which involve images of the older brothers bowing down to him. Ironically, selling him into slavery kicks off a chain of events that leads to Joseph’s dreams coming true, but it certainly didn’t happen the way he expected it to.  A common theme throughout the Old Testament is that God always takes us where we need to go, but the journey is rarely what we expect it to be (just wait until Exodus!). Where do you think God is leading you now, and how has the journey been unexpected?

 

  1. By now, you’ve read a lot of the book of Genesis. There are some disturbing and hard to understand stories in this book- like much of the Old Testament, God sometimes seems unfair and angry in Genesis. Where have you seen God’s grace, compassion, and love in Genesis so far?

 

  1. In Matthew 13:24-46 Jesus tells several parables about the kingdom of Heaven. Two of those parables are simple, straightforward stories comparing the kingdom of heaven to a great treasure, something worth more than anything else we could possibly have. One of them, however, is a story about righteous and unrighteous people, and how God will deal with the unrighteous vs how He will deal with the righteous. What do you think about that parable? Is it disturbing or concerning to you? Where do you see the grace of God in that story?

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