Christmas is on its way! Take a minute to discuss Christmas plans with your group. Will you meet over the holidays? Do you want to share a holiday meal together? Do you want to band together and serve someone in need this Christmas season? Make some plans!
As we’re in a sermon series about how to beat sin, you might take some time tonight to share your holiday temptations--behaviors you’re especially drawn to this time of year. What sins are you most likely to dip into come holiday season? How could your small group help you shore up against temptation?
This Sunday we talked about repentance (with a dash of confession).
- What does it mean to repent?
- What does repentance do?
- Have you ever witnessed someone’s obvious and significant repentance? What did it look like? How were they different?
Repentance requires us to ask the question, “What do I need to do because of what I’ve decided?”
- Which are you better at--deciding or doing? Is it harder for you to decide to make better choices OR harder to actually do it after you’ve decided?
- What’s something you’ve decided lately that you need to get busy doing?
Repentance requires us to admit we’ve been wrong. How good are you at admitting you’re wrong? Is it easier or harder when the “person” you’re talking to is God? What helps you to see yourself clearly?
Turning away from sin is always scary.
- Why do you think that is?
- Do you have a story of a time when you felt like repentance was risky?
We said on Sunday, “We have a clear picture of the consequences of repentance, but a very foggy picture of the consequences of sin.” Repentance may very well cost you something. You may have to reveal a sin that’s been covered. You may open yourself up to shame or judgment. You may have to give up something you really enjoy doing. You may have to end a relationship.
- Share examples of the consequences of repentance you’ve faced in the past. Was repentance worth it?
What about the times you didn’t repent? What were the consequences of choosing against repentance and sticking with sin?
Do you regularly practice confession to God?
If so, what do you find valuable or productive about confession?
If not, what might be keeping you from confessing your sins to God? How do you overcome those hurdles?
Likely there a few folks in your group who could really use some accountability as they pursue repentance. Give group members a chance to confess past failures and say how they want to DO better.
Read Jonah chapters 3:1-10 and 4:1-2.
- What does repentance look like for the city of Nineveh? Identify the steps they take.
- What can we learn about repentance from the way they repent?
- How does God react to their repentance?
Consider David’s prayer of confession in Psalm 51:1-17. Read it together as a prayer.