The Test

Abbotsford – March 18, Genesis 22

  1. Have you ever been caught acting in a way that is contrary to what you said you would do? What happened? Were you embarrassed? (If you don’t want to share your own example, share one you witnessed in another. Just please leave names out).
  2. What is the worst test you can remember?
  3. How do you feel about the idea that God tests his people (Deuteronomy 13:1-4 or Genesis 22:1)? How is this different from tempting them, which the Bible says God doesn’t do (James 1:13-15)? What is God’s goal in his tests?

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Second Verse Same as the First

Abbotsford – March 11, Genesis 20:1-21:7

  1. Read Genesis 12:10-20 and then read Genesis 20:1-18. What is similar in these passages? What is different?
  2. Why do you think Abraham used the same tactic in Genesis 20 (calling his wife his sister) with Abimelech that he used with Pharaoh in Genesis 12? What was motivating him? Why didn’t he learn the lesson the first time around?
  3. What are some perpetual sins that Christians tend to struggle with? What advice would you give to those struggling with those sins regarding how to avoid them? Why do we struggle so much with committing the same sins over and over again?

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Entertaining Angels Unaware

Abbotsford – March 4, Genesis 18: 1-15

  1. Describe a situation when you trusted someone and it turned out to be a bad idea.
  2. What makes you trust someone and not trust another?
  3. In the story in Genesis 18:1-15, when do you think Abraham realizes that God himself is one of the people who has showed up at his tent?

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Yes! God will do Right

Abbotsford – Feb 25, Genesis 19

  1. Philosophical Discussion with God (Gen 18:23-32)
    • Do people have a problem with bad things happening to bad people? What about bad things happening to good people? In what ways do people question the goodness of God, whether the judge of all the earth will do right?
    • Why do you think Abraham negotiated with God from 50 to 10 righteous people?
    • What is the point of this philosophical discussion?

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An Ill-Advised Plan

Abbotsford – Feb 18, Genesis 16

  1. Childlessness was a great travesty in the ancient world. Sarai and Abram were promised children, but they were having to wait for it to happen. Have you ever been in a situation when you have been waiting for God to act on your behalf, but you just kept waiting? Describe that situation.
    • How did you cope in the waiting time?
    • Did God finally come through?
    • Was it in the way you expected him to?
    • Was the outcome worse or better than you expected?

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Tried and Tested

Abbotsford – Feb 11, Genesis 15

  1. Read Genesis 12:1-9 and Genesis 15:1-7.
    • What did God promise Abram?
    • What are the implications of the promises God made to Abram?
    • What do we learn about God from these two passages?

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Meet Abe

Abbotsford – Feb 4, Genesis 12

  1. How did Abe get it right? What did he do that was noteworthy?
  2. Read 2 Corinthians 1:20 which says that all God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ. What are some of the promises given in the old testament?
  3. How does it change our expectations of the life God gives us when we realize that the promises given to Old Testament characters are not given directly to us?

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On the Right Side of History

Abbotsford – Jan 28, Acts 4:23-31

  1. If you knew that no matter what happened today, you would wake up tomorrow morning healthy and well, what would you do? How does the security of knowing the future motivate you for the present?
  2. How does the knowledge of God’s sovereign control over the world and his special commitment to his children give you confidence in your life now? How does it affect your worries?
  3. In light of God’s sovereign care for us, why do we continue to worry? What can we do to overcome our worries?

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The Disciple’s Prayer Part 2

Abbotsford – Jan 21, Matthew 6:11-13

  1. Give us this day our daily bread…
    • Read Exodus 16:1-30. Why do you think God prohibited the people from collecting more manna than they needed every day?
    • Why do we want to store up extra money? Is it bad for us to do so (aren’t saving money and having insurance good things)? When does our saving up become dangerous to our faith, if at all?
    • Other than money, what kinds of daily needs ought we to be praying for?

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The Disciple’s Prayer

Abbotsford – Jan 14, Matthew 6:9-10

  1. What do you find hard about praying? What kinds of things normally stop us from praying?
  2. What sort of practices have you put into place in your life to help you pray? What would you counsel someone to do to improve their commitment to prayer?
  3. Do we think of God more as our loving Father or the great God in the heavens – as far off and transcendent or as near and immanent? What are the dangers of emphasizing one of these aspects of God over the other? Which do you think we are more prone to emphasize today? Why?

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