Weekly Discussion Guide


Living Light

by Pastor Matt Manning on December 24, 2023


*NOTE TO DISCUSSION LEADER: Use these questions as you feel led. If a question doesn’t resonate with you, or you want to go in a different direction, go for it! Take the discussion where you feel God wants it to go. Our only request is that for each section, you discuss the final questions, “What does God want us to hear?” “What does God want us to do?” and then challenge each other, “What does God want ME to do?”

Looking back at your notes from this week’s message, was there anything you heard for the first time, stuck with you, challenged or confused you?

What is the one important thing you will take away from this weekend’s message or our community group discussion? Is there any challenge, difficulty or praise that you would like to share with the group for prayer?

Pastor Matt talked about the need to actually use the light we’ve been given to make visible what is true and real—thus exposing the popular counterfeit beliefs that have saturated our culture of so long, most people seem to simply accept them at face value.

What’s the most useful tool you’ve ever been given? What were you able to create with that device (or skill)?

For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, or anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.”
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery (Ephesians 5:8-18)

Describe the darkness with which you struggled before experiencing saving faith. How did being reconciled with God through Jesus “turn on a light” for you?

What things do you see today that would still be in your blind spot if it were not for the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit?

What does it mean to expose the futile acts and motives of those who have no interest in the Kingdom of God or its advancement?
What kind of consequences might you suffer for doing this? Why are some people SO motivated to keep their skeletons hidden?

How do you usually answer the question, “What’s the best use of my time in this situation?” What goes into answering that question for you?

The old King James translates Matthew 6:34 like this:

“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

What makes a day evil? How, then, should this reality shape how we 1 spend our days?

Paul says not to be drunk with wine, but to be filled with the Spirit.
What is your relationship with alcohol? Friendly? Adversarial? Somewhere in-between?

Who would you trust to shine a light in this area of your life (if the use of alcohol has become debilitating for you in some way)?

What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? Are there degrees to being filled with the Third Member of the Trinity? If so, what thoughts or behaviors can affect that, either way?

Take out your planner (or start one) and begin thinking about what the next week is going to look like. How can you make the most of the following seven days in such a way that you’re getting stuff done in a way that brings honor to God and to others.

Celebrate Recovery is a place to bring your hurts, hang-ups, and habits that have been robbing you of your joy. No matter what the issue, consider coming to one CR session and sit in on the newcomers group—and see if a light comes on.

Think about your relationship with the Holy Spirit, and ask Him how you can increase His power and influence in your life. (Hint: that path will likely involve one or more of your close relationships).

Tags: worship, faith, jesus, god, advent, family worship, crossroads, questions, spiritual life, christmas eve, light of the world, community group, worship night, advent season, crossroads church, crossroadsabc, next at crossroads

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