Welcome to another week of our Online Connection Groups! It’s our hope to get to know each other a bit better, support one another through this time, pray together, and discuss the scriptures using questions connected to last Sunday’s sermon in the “That You May Believe” series on the Gospel of John.
We do not provide a lot of space for your answers to these questions, so we suggest that you have a journal handy to write down your thoughts. You are not expected to have time for all these questions during your online meeting, but we encourage you to reflect on them and jot down your thoughts on your own.
Getting to Know Each Other (Suggested time: 30 min)
Take some time to get to know one another! We recommend not rushing through this time – having a bit more familiarity with one another will make both the study and prayer time more meaningful. Here are a couple of questions to help start the conversation, if you want to answer them:
- Who was your favorite teacher growing up and what did you like most about him/her?
- What is something you believe in so deeply (besides Jesus) that it guides your daily life? Can you give an example of how it guides your daily life?
Study Questions (Suggested time: 40 min)
Please complete these questions prior to your group’s meeting time.
1) This passage opens with a statement indicating Jesus had performed many signs, but the people did not believe in Him.
→ There is a mystery to how God’s sovereignty works in conjunction with human responsibility. He does His part and people are responsible for their part. What are some evidences in this text that people still had the freedom to believe or not?
→ Are there people in your life that struggle to believe in Jesus? What do you think is keeping them from believing?
2) In verses 42-43, Jesus talks about people who believed in him but not publicly because of fear of the Pharisees. They loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
→ In your life when have you struggled with wanting the approval of people rather than the approval of God? Why do you think that is?
→ What would it look like for you to live for the approval of God more than the approval of people? What are some specific examples?
3) In verses 44-45, Jesus talks about his relationship with his Father and that to see Jesus is to see the Father. This idea is found in other places in scripture as well.
→ Read John 14:7-10, Hebrews 1:1-3, Colossians 1:13-15.
→ How does this idea and these verses help you understand what the Father is like?
→ Is there anything you need to change about your view of the Father? If so, how can you go about changing your view?
4) In verse 46 Jesus refers to himself as the light that has come into the world so that people will not remain in darkness. This section of John’s gospel is Jesus last public appeal to believe in Him. Take a few moments to reflect on the following questions.
→ Do you believe Jesus is the Savior of the world? Why do you believe that?
→ Have you had a personal experience of Jesus shining light into your life and leading you out of darkness? Would you be willing to share a bit about this experience with your group?
Group Prayer (Suggested time: 10 min)
Prayer is an important part of each Online Connect Group. Often those new to a group may be reluctant to pray aloud; others are so comfortable that they can unintentionally take over the prayer time. Try to be aware of your tendencies and grow beyond them.
If you want to try something different for group prayer this week, take some time to think about the 2 questions below. If you are willing, share your answers with your group and offer praise to God for them.
- What have you seen that is beautiful this week? How does that speak to you about God?
- How has God provided for you this week?