The Upper Room | John 15:12-17

Sermon Description

“People should be more loving.” It would be hard to to find anyone who disagrees with that statement. But the problem is that we don’t do it, we don’t love others well. In the upper room, Jesus lets us know that the only way we can love others is if we first experience his love. Loved people will love people.

Discussion Questions

  1. Generally speaking, how does our culture define love? How does Jesus define love? Why do you think we use the word “love” in such divergent ways? 

  2. Who are the people in your life who have shown you the most Christlike love? What is it about the way they loved you that reminds you of Jesus?

  3. When you are acting unloving towards people in your life, how can you be reminded of Jesus love toward you?

  4. How has God specifically gifted you to be able to show Jesus’ love to a world that desperately needs it? How do you need to obey Jesus’ command to love?

Prayer Points

  1. Pray that we would know more deeply than ever that we are loved people.

  2. Pray for courage and grace to obey Jesus and share his love with the world.

People of Prayer | Matthew 6:9-13

God graciously invites us to regularly experience his presence and grace through prayer, but far too often we don’t take advantage of this incredible benefit of belonging to Jesus. In 2019, the elders of Sound City believe that God is calling us to grow as people of prayer.

Discussion Questions

  1. How is the gospel the foundation for all our prayers? How does Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection make prayer possible at all?

  2. If prayer is so vitally important in the life of a Christian, why don’t we do it more? For you personally, what hinders you?

  3. In the tension between humility and confidence in prayer, which direction to you tend to go? How can you lean into the other side of the tension?

  4. When it comes to the contents of your prayer, where do you need to grow: praising God, confession of sin, prayer for others, requests for self, something else?

Prayer Points

  1. Pray that Sound City would truly be the type of church that is deeply committed to both Scripture and prayer.

  2. Pray for God’s kingdom to come and his will to be done in the north Seattle suburbs. Pray that he would use us to share his kingdom.

Magi | Matthew 2:1-12

The Magi are some of the most unlikely people to find bowing down at the feet of the Jewish Messiah. But God is always surprising us by bringing people into his family who don’t fit the part according to human standards.

Discussion Questions

  1. Reflect on your own salvation: how is it surprising that you are part of God’s family? Without God’s grace, where would you be today? Share your reflections with your group.

  2. When have you felt like an outsider? How does Jesus invite all types of people into his kingdom? How is this both encouraging and challenging?

  3. Read Isaiah 59:20—60:6. How do these promises come true in the story of the Magi? How do promises like this encourage our faith? 

  4. If God surprises us and brings unlikely people into his kingdom, how might this give us confidence in sharing the gospel?

Prayer Points

  1. Pray and repent of prejudice. Thank God that he is gathering together a family from all types of people from around the world.

  2. Pray that God would increase our faith to share the gospel with all people, even those who seem “unlikely” to respond to the message.

Advent | Shepherds (Luke 2:8-20)

Because of the brokenness of the world, people often feel stepped on, pushed down, and low. By announcing the birth of Jesus to a lowly group of shepherds, God makes the good news of the gospel clear: the Savior has come to lift us up to be with him.

Discussion Questions

  1. Describe a time when you were looked down upon by others. How did that make you feel? How did you respond?

  2. What sinful ways are you tempted to respond when you feel low? How does the gospel free us and lift us up?

  3. What does the story of the lowly shepherds teach us about the dignity of our work?

  4. Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-31. How can we help each other to follow the pattern of humility that marks the life of a Christian? 

Prayer Points

  1. Pray that we would pursue humility in all of life, knowing that our worth and value come from Jesus and not ourselves.

  2. Pray that we would share the gospel in a way that models humility, not the wrong perception that Christians are somehow better than other people.