Small Group Study
Week One – Straight to the Heart

Ice Breaker:  On Sunday, Pastor Mike mentioned the Cruise Ship slogan, “Come Back New”, and offered the more realistic alternative, “Come Back YOU”.  Name three advertising slogans that stick in your head, and offer an alternative for one of them if you can!

1.    We live in a culture obsessed with the “external”.  Give examples.

2.    1 Samuel 16:7 says, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
     a.    What is the “heart” God looks at?

3.    “If your heart ain’t right, you ain’t right.”  Discuss this truth in light of Jesus’ words in Matthew 12: 33-36.

4.    A restless heart:
     a.    Always searching, never finding what I’m looking for.  Discuss.
     b.    Interested in everything;  Satisfied with nothing.  Discuss.
     c.    Always wanting “more”. Discuss.
     d.    Anxious. Always fearful that I’m not getting enough. Discuss.
     e.    Striving.  Always chasing, but even when I catch it, it’s not enough. Discuss.

5.    Where do we find rest?  See Matthew 11:28

6.    Read the Message paraphrase of the above passage:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

     a.    Is grace achieved or received? Discuss.
     b.    What are the unforced rhythms of grace?


7.    Two ways we find rest in God.  Two radical prescriptions for your heart condition!
          i.    Be ________________.  See Psalm 46:
               1.    Wow, we don’t live in a world that loves to be still do we?  Are you in too much of a hurry?
                     Explain.
          ii.    _______________ patiently for Him.  See Psalm 37:7
               1.    Do you find waiting hard?  
              2.    Why can we be confident in waiting for God?

Psalm 130:5-6

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.