Life Groups // Spring 2022 // Week 4
Posted May 13, 2022 — Lincoln Berean
A Heart of Rest // Psalm 23
This week Pastor Jeff gave fresh insight on one of the most familiar passages in scripture, directing us to cultivate a heart of rest instead of being drawn into the chaos around us. It’s as much a message for our times as it was the day it was written. Our hope is that your group discussion this week will draw you deeper into the goodness and all-sufficient care of our Good Shepherd.
To think through the main ideas in the sermon and prepare for your discussion together, we invite you to look over the questions below and write your thoughts down before you meet with your group.
Warm Up (Suggested time: 30 min)
Here are some suggestions to get your conversation started:
1. Think of your favorite story (or movie) about love. How did the writers draw you into the emotion of true love in that story?
2. When did you first hear Psalm 23? Share a time it made an impact in your life, if you have one.
Transition into group discussion.
1) Open group discussion with prayer. Here are a few potential prayer items:
a. For the Spirit of God to lead you in truth
b. For the fruit of the Spirit to be cultivated in your lives
c. For grace to hear and apply what the Spirit says to you
2) Choose someone to read the passage aloud for the group. (Bonus points if you can recite it together from memory!)
Study Questions (Suggested time: 40 min)
1) What image from this familiar passage stood out to you this time?
2) Pastor Jeff highlighted two divergent ways for ordering our lives – focusing only on the outer life vs. developing our inner life. When have you noticed a focus on the outer life lead to broken or chaotic experiences and relationships?
Psalm 23 leads us in developing our inner life by cultivating our relationship with and dependence upon God. What might be different in your experiences and relationships going forward if you spend more time developing your inner life?
How can your Life Group be praying for you in pursuit of a healthy inner life?
3) Real Change involves more than just knowing what God’s Word says; we must integrate belief with responses that show He Is Enough (also called the Sufficiency of Christ). When is it most difficult for you to have a restful or joyful heart?
When do you struggle to trust that Jesus is with you to support and guide you?
Read over the verses on the Sufficiency of Christ that were handed out in the service (or find them here on the website: Real Change Psalm 23 Resource). Take time to help each other identify one or two scriptures that address your particular struggle.
4) Read the following verses and notice qualities that make for a healthy soul:
If it were possible to put a heart monitor on your soul to measure the rhythm of rest you enjoy, what would the readout look like? Would it be healthy or in need of attention?
5) Pastor Jeff used the metaphor of a “personal pacemaker” to give recommendations that help us become the kind of people who have a soul that is more regularly at rest – experiencing peace and overflowing with joy and love. In what specific ways do you believe God would want you to grow in seeking Him, actually believing His promises (such as Psalm 23), and consistently depending upon God as the source of life and strength?
Prayer (Suggested time: 20 min)
A significant part of “coming together” is being open and honest with our lives. Sitting in a group of people for prayer may be new or it may be familiar to you. If you would rather not pray aloud when it is your turn, feel free to pray silently and then say “Amen” aloud signaling the next person in the group to pray. Whether or not you choose to verbalize your prayer, everyone is a participant in sharing this time before God together.
Take a few moments to prepare a prayer request. What did the message, working through the above questions or the discussion cause you to notice about your own relationship with Jesus? Would you be willing to share your prayer request with the group?
Personal Spiritual Exercises
Just like physical exercises help strengthen and stretch our bodies for healthy living, these spiritual exercises are meant to move us spiritually in ways that may be new so we might experience inner growth. Since God longs for us to experience Him with our whole selves—mind, body, spirit—we invite you along each week to strengthen your souls with suggestions and prompts. Next week in your Life Group, take a few moments to share how either of these exercises may have changed your outlook on your daily life.
Soaking In The Word – to listen, feel, and experience the Words washing over you. For most of us, learning is the goal when we read scripture, but in this context we simply want to hear what God is saying.
Exercise 1: Ezekiel 34:11-16 is a passage that sounds remarkably familiar to Psalm 23. Read those verses simply to hear the care and provision of the Good Shepherd.
Exercise 2: Read John 10:1-18 (or listen on a Bible app if you have one) for 5 days in a row, perhaps from different versions. Make notes about what you hear in the words each time you listen. Do you notice any patterns or repeated themes?
Scripture Memory – did you know that the Kids Ministry recently challenged elementary aged kids to memorize Psalm 23? If they can do it, might it be time for you to memorize it too? Perhaps you could create a group challenge and award prizes or celebrate together.