Moving Mountains 7/31/16

Pastor Steve Taylor Small Groups

Bible study logoMoving Mountains

What’s standing in your way? 

Moving Mountains SG Wk1

Note to leaders: Do not feel that you have to use every question.  Pick and choose as the Spirit leads you but don’t skip over the first question in the discussion from the message!

Warm Up: If you could move mountains, which one would you move first: Mt. Everest? Your favorite ski slope? Or the mountains of paper on your desk?

Background: All of us have mountains in our life that we would like to climb or to move out of our way. But most of the mountains we are challenged to climb are not physical ones. The mountains that stand in our way of becoming all that God means us to be are relational, spiritual, financial, and mental. No matter what mountain you face but they are all climbed or moved in the same way.

By faith. You keep putting one foot in front of the other step by step. The difference between success and failure in climbing or moving mountains in life is not ability but focusing our faith nn what God can do, and then, doing what God asks us to do. Trust and obey.

Text: Matthew 17:14-20, Mark 9:21-24, 29

  • Why were the disciples left at the bottom of the mountain engaged in an argument with the religious leaders? What do you think was the focus of the argument?
  • Who is Jesus describing in verse 17: the disciples or the entire generation? Why would he say something like that?
  • If you had been the father of the boy, how would you have felt about what Jesus said? What insight does Mark give us that Matthew leaves out (Mark 9:21-24)?
  • When have you felt like the father in the story, one moment saying, “I do believe”, and the next, “help me overcome my unbelief”?
  • How would you paraphrase Matt. 17:20?
  • Whom do you identify with most in the story and why: someone watching from the crowd? The Pharisees? The disciples? The boy? The boy’s father?

 

  •   What spoke to you the most from the message and why? What challenged you the most? Don’t rush by this!
  • This morning Pastor Steve said, “Faith is either present or absent. It is either operating effectively or ineffectively.” How has your faith been operating lately?
  • Pastor Steve said, “In most of our lives, there is a constant tension between faith and unbelief.” Where is this tension the greatest in your life? Where do you see it the most in the lives of those around you?
  • Pastor Steve said, “Faith is not something that can lie dormant and be commanded to appear in a moment of crisis. Faith is a living, dynamic, and growing thing.” What helps you faith grow the most? Where do you learn the most—during spiritual highs or lows?
    • When has a mountaintop experience in your life been followed by a valley experience? How did you cope with it?

Reflect: A lack of faith is always costly to us and to those around us. It cost the disciples an opportunity to minister. It left the man’s son in the power of the demon and it almost shattered what little faith the father had in the ministry. It deepened the disbelief of the crowd and the religious leaders.

  • In which areas of your life do you long to see more faith? How does this apply to where we are as a church as it concerns our debt?

For every mountain you face in your life, it requires faith to not only move it but it requires faith to move you. Right now, you either have faith or you don’t. It is either operating effective or it is not. If your faith is not operating effectively, what will it cost you? What will it cost those who follow behind you? It’s not just about you. It’s about the mission God has called us to in the world. If you are going to move or climb mountains, faith must be exercised with the proper devotion and attitude that comes from wanting to please God and serve our fellow man. Paul said,

If I have faith that can move mountains but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Cor. 13:2b (NIV)