Phil. SG Wk15, “I’ve Got A Secret”. July 17, 2016

Pastor Steve Taylor Small Groups

Bible study logoI’ve Got a Secret

Some things are too important not to share.

PHILLIPIANS SG Wk15

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: What do you look back on as the happiest days of your life? Were they really that good?

Background: Some people believe that discontentment has never been a bigger problem, in the history of the world, than it is today. Think about it. Never before have so many people had so much, and yet, want so much more. And some sociologists are actually saying that social media is one of the biggest driving causes of discontentment, because what happens is, when we look at other people’s lives on social media, they look perfect, because they’re putting their best image, their filtered image, forward.

We’re comparing our behind-the-scenes with other people’s highlight reels. We feel like losers, because we see the best of their best, and we know the worst of our worst. Steven Furtick

The more we compare with others, the less satisfied we are. So what are we to do? How do we find contentment when we are anything but content?

Text: Phil. 4:10-20

  • Why does Paul’s “thanks for the gift” come off as sounding strange to us? If you had gotten a thank you note like that from a friend, how would you initially feel?
  • What’s the connection between happiness and contentment? Are they different and is it possible to have one without the other?
  • How does Paul’s view of contentment compare with the modern world’s view of contentment?
  • What’s the closest you have come to experiencing what Paul talks about here: rebounding from loss of freedom? Loss of some physical skill? Loss of some vocational opportunity? Loss of a partner in your life? Loss of financial security?
  • If Paul has learned to get along without, why does he commend the church in Philippi for sending a gift? How can Paul’s attitude towards giving and receiving help make you a better giver? Receiver?
  • What need do you have right now that you would like God to meet?

From the Message:

  • 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, “Contentment is a learned response to life’s circumstances.” How has God used your life’s circumstances to teach you contentment?
  • When it comes to the lessons God is trying to teach you, are you a quick or slow learner? Why?
  • What outside force is most likely to upset your contentment? Since God does not always change our negative situations, what can he change in you so that contentment is possible?
  • Read 1 Tim. 6:6-10. Pastor Steve said, “Contentment is an attitude.” How can our attitude towards our “stuff” or lack of it create an opening for the enemy in our lives?
  • Pastor Steve said, “True contentment is only found in Christ. It has to be anchored in your relationship with Him, not in what he can do for you in physical terms.”
    • Which do you think people find contentment in more; who they are in Christ or what God can do or give them? What’s the danger?

Reflect: “Contentment takes more than positive thinking. You’ve got to have Jesus Christ on the inside. Are we who believe better than other people? No. Do we suffer? Yes. What makes the difference? We have the power of the indwelling Christ who gives us the strength we need. Is it enough? Is Jesus Christ enough for the problems of life? Is his broken body enough? Is his shed blood sufficient? Is his intercession in heaven able to sustain us? Can his power meet the problems of life?

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes, and the saints across the ages testify that Jesus Christ is enough. Show me a truly contented person and I’ll show you a miracle. In this fallen world contentment cannot be explained apart from the supernatural power of Jesus Christ. The beauty is that if you’re not a content person, if you haven’t experienced that miracle, you can – simply by learning to lean on the Lord.” Ray Pritchard