Small Group Questions

Decade of impact: Stressed or blessed   

Introduction:

What is a blessing?  The word actually means “good word.”  It means to speak a good word.  But a blessing is a powerful word.  Because when God blesses someone or something, He takes what they naturally have and He multiplies it and He makes it sufficient to meet all of their needs.  That’s what a blessing is.

Bottom Line: Every promise has a premise. 

Something To Talk About:

God’s blessing is not based on the resources available.  It’s based on His power and your trust and obedience to what He tells you to do. God promises to bless us:

  1. If I meet with Him daily: Basically this is a quiet time. It’s five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes where you make a date with God every day.  You get alone with God and you just sit there and you be quiet and say, “God, is there anything you want to say to me”? And you talk to God in prayer about the stuff you’re worried about. And you read a little bit of the Bible and you let Him speak to you.  And you just be quiet. Psalm 31:19, “How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.”  
  2. If I study His word:  There are so many blessings in studying the Word of God. Psalm 1:1-2 (NIV) says, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.”  What does meditation mean?  Meditation simply means to seriously think about something.  You read a verse and go what does that really mean?  How could I apply that in my life?  How could I really practice that on a daily basis at work or at home? James tells us how to do this. “But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” (James 1:25) If you want to be blessed in what you do it says there are four things to do: look carefully, continue to do it, not forget it, but do it.  
  3. If I tithe from my income: If you want God to bless your finances, put Him first in your finances. This is called the spiritual discipline of tithing. God is specific about this habit of giving the first part of your income back to him: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! (Malachi 3:10) Obviously, God doesn’t need your money. He’s testing your priorities. He’s testing your trust. Do you trust God enough with your money to say those things to Him? God tests us because He wants us to become like Him. He is the greatest giver, and when we show that we are trustworthy with our finances, we become more like the Great Giver. What matters is that you are following the promises of God so you can be blessed. 
  4. If I help others in need: God promises to bless my life if I help others with their needs. People who are less fortunate.  People who aren’t as well off as I am.  Psalm 41:1-2 says this: “Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble. The Lord protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity in the land and rescues them from their enemies.”  God says He’s watching to see if you help the poor. Why?  Because God loves the poor.  He wants to know, are you unselfish or are you selfish?  Do you ever think about anybody else besides you?  Every day God gives you little opportunities to show kindness to people around you. As He does, He’s watching to see if you’re going to be self-centered or if you’ll notice the people who need a word of encouragement or a pat on the back or an errand done for them or some other practical means of help. The Bible says, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act” (Proverbs 3:27 NIV). God says, when I find somebody who helps the helpless and the poor, that’s the person I’m going to pour my blessing out on. Proverbs 22:9 says, “Blessed are those who are generous because they feed the poor.”  Giving food to the poor brings blessings in your own life.  That’s the promise of God.  
  5. If I share the good news: I invite other people to church.  I tell other people about the Lord.  I share the good news.  I give people a book or a CD.  I invite them to be a part of my small group or bring them to a service.  Whatever.  If I share the good news, God says, I will bless your life.  God is looking for people who share the good news. Philemon 1:6 says this: “And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.” In other words, don’t keep your faith in Jesus a secret. God will bless you when you do. But no matter what your role you can play a part in sharing the Good News. God will reward you for the part you play.  The Bible says, “The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor” (1 Corinthians 3:8 NIV).
  6. If I participate in fellowship: What does that mean?  That means I don’t try to live a life by myself. I get in a small group.  I get into a church.  I get in a relationship with other believers. The Bible says in Romans 1:12, Paul says, “When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” In this way, each of us will be a blessing to others.  Many of the blessings of God that He has stored up for you in the next ten years are going to come through other people.  The church and small groups are the laboratories for learning relational skills.  Learning how to love – to be like Christ, to be like God.  You cannot be blessed by God on your own.  You cannot be blessed by God living an independent life.  We are better together.  We are made for community.  That’s why we talk about small groups all the time. 

Discussion Questions: 

  1. Think of the word(s) bless, blessed, blessing. How are they different?
    What does it mean to be a blessing or to bless someone?
  2. Read Acts 20:35: Why is it more blessed to give than receive? 
  3. What do you have that you can share so that others might experience joy with you? How have you experienced joy in the journey of giving and receiving?
  4. How do we go about blessing one person each day with an unexpected blessing? Why is it beneficial to understand every blessing available to us in Christ?
  5. God promises to bless my life if I meet with Him daily: Based on Proverbs 8:34, how often are we to be watching and waiting at God’s door? What are some ways that we can be listening for God? When we honor God, what has He promised to store up for us?
  6. God promises to bless me if I study and obey His word: According to Psalm 1:1-3, when are we to meditate on God’s Word? What does God promise to prosper if we delight ourselves in His Word?
  7. God promises to bless me if I tithe my income: God tells us to test Him in this. What do you need to do in order to trust the promises of God and receive His blessings? 
  8. God promises I will be blessed if I help others in need: God loves the poor. In Psalm 41:1-2, the psalmist tells us that God will bless those who are kind to the poor. What blessing does He promise to those who take care of the needs of others?
  9. God promises I will be blessed if I share the good news: According to Philemon 1:6, why should we be active in sharing our faith?
  10. God promises I will be blessed if I participate in fellowship: In Romans 1:12, what are we to do to be a blessing to each other? How might we encourage others in their faith?
  11. What was your takeaway from this message? 
  12. What can we do this week to make this message actionable?

Take one thing home with you:

“…I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others” (Genesis 12:2) Blessed to be a blessing is actually one of the most crucial principles in the whole Bible that teaches us something about God’s expectations for each of us. God blesses us because He loves us, and so we can be a blessing to others. The blessings God gives us are intended to be shared. 

Paul teaches the church in Corinth, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Proverbs 11:25 teaches that “the generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Jump into the New Testament, and you will find more verses like this such as Matthew 5:7; “God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”