Life Groups // Winter 2024 // Week 1

Posted January 12, 2024 — Lincoln Berean

From God or With God? // Exodus 15:22-16:36

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Before our Christmas break, we left the children of Israel as they celebrated God’s deliverance from oppression in Egypt. Though delivered safely through the Red Sea, their new life on the other side has its own challenges. How they learn to trust that the God who delivers is also a God who provides reveals a pattern for us to follow as well.

To think through the main ideas in the sermon and prepare for your discussion together, we invite you to look over all the questions on the following pages and write your thoughts down before you meet with your group. Due to preferences over a wide range of groups, we do not expect you will cover every question each week.

Warm Up (Suggested time: 30 min)

For Life Groups that are meeting for the first time: 

1) Go around the circle and ask everyone to answer these “F” questions. 


First Name – Introduce yourself. 

Family – Describe your family. 

Faith – What is your faith background? 

Fun – What do you like to do for fun? 

Food – What is a favorite food of yours? 


2) What is a word or phrase you’d like to focus on in 2024?



For Life Groups that are reconnecting:

If you have a couple of new members in your group you might want to have everyone answer the questions above before continuing with the questions below.

1) Share with the group about a new experience you had over the holidays OR reflect about a tradition you kept again this year. What made it memorable for you? 


2) What is a word or phrase you’d like to focus on in 2024?

Getting Started

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.  

Study Questions (Suggested time: 40 min)

1) What is something you heard or experienced in the worship service this week that has really stuck with you?




2) Immediately after celebrating God’s great deliverance through the Sea, the Israelites grumble against Him for a lack of care. Though they have legitimate need for food and water, what does their attitude reveal about their faith in God? (Ex 15:22-16:3)




Think about a time recently when you grumbled (to others, or just to yourself) about God’s care or concern for your needs. If you are willing, share how your attitude is a reflection of your level of trust that God will provide what you truly need.






3) Twice in Exodus 16:6–8, Moses reminds the people that their grumbling is against God and not against him. What did Pastor Jeff say this shows about the perspective of the Israelites?




Why is it important for the Israelites to look up to God rather than just follow Moses? (vs 19-20)





What are some examples of how we can live with a horizontal view rather than focusing vertically to God for provision and support?





How can you support one another in your group to become more God-focused when challenges come?






4) In Exodus 16:16–26, God gives the Israelites specific instructions: They are to gather just enough manna for each day’s need, and enough on the sixth day for two days’ of meals. Later, Moses explains this in Deuteronomy 8:2-3. According to that passage, how did God mean for the manna to teach His people about His character and His ways?




In Matthew 6:9-11, Jesus draws them back to the provision of “daily bread” in the Lord’s Prayer.

          What is the “daily bread” that your soul truly needs to feed on?





Ultimately, our journey of faith is meant to lead us toward a heart at rest in God as our Provider.

When have you looked to God first, resting in His provision rather relying on yourself or leaning on other people? What was the outcome?





When have you tried to satisfy your needs outside of God’s provision? How has that worked for you?





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 Life Group, take a few moments to share how the Lord may have used this exercise in your life.

Prayer Focus: In our passage this week, the Israelites were reminded 4 times that “Yahweh hears” (Exodus 16:7, 8, 9, 12). Just as it was important for them to know that God was intimate and personal in hearing and responding to their needs, we need to remember this as well.

  1. Pray with confidence that God hears you when you cry out to Him.
  2. Pray with gratitude for the daily bread of God’s Word.
  3. Pray to be open and ready to share about God’s goodness in your life when others need a word of hope.

Scripture Focus: Begin and end each day reading Matthew 6:25-33. In this passage Jesus speaks practically and tenderly about how God provides for us. At the end of the week, reflect on your own heart. How were you led toward a heart at rest in the God as your Provider by making time for this simple practice?

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?