Life Together Resources [by Bjorn Dixon] http://lifetogetherchurches.com/life-together-resources/feed.html?author=13 Articles and Bible Studies from Life Together. en-us Ephesians Wrap Up: Go and Claim It! http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians-wrap-up-go-and-claim-it/a79.html Thu, 01 Dec 11 00:00:00 -0700 Questions for the Ephesians Wrap Up:

1.       What do you think the response was from the Ephesian believers when they heard Paul’s letter read to them?

2.       Remember some of the characteristics of Ephesus in the 1st century: major port city, business center, religious pluralism (i.e., lots of different religions / beliefs to choose from), Greek philosophy, etc. In what ways is the place and time that you live in similar or dissimilar to ancient Ephesus? How does Paul’s letter to the Ephesians apply specifically to where you live?

3.       What has been the most meaningful and significant part of our Ephesians study for you?

4.       If there is one passage in Ephesians that you could memorize, what would it be?

5.       Drawing on the story at the end of the video, how does Ephesians speak to our inheritance and the mandate to go and claim it? (Hint: Think about the two halves of the letter.)

6.       What concretely will it look like for you to go and claim the inheritance that is yours in Christ?

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Ephesians - 6:1-9 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---61-9/a77.html Tue, 15 Nov 11 00:00:00 -0700
Discussion Questions:
  1. As a son or daughter (child or adult), what does it mean for you to honor your father and mother?
  2. What does it mean to raise children “in the training and instruction of the Lord”?
  3. What are your biggest challenges / struggles as a parent?
  4. When and where are you under the authority of others? And the inverse: in a position of authority?
  5. How would your workplace be different if everyone took these words to heart?
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Ephesians - 4:25-32 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---425-32/a76.html Sun, 04 Sep 11 00:00:00 -0600 Discussion Questions:
  1. Paul says, “In your anger do not sin,” which seems to imply that anger is not always bad. What is “good anger”?
  2. Do you struggle with anger? How does it show itself in your life?
  3. When have someone’s words been especially uplifting to you?
  4. Imagine out loud what your workplace or home or school would be like if people only spoke so as to “benefit the listener”.
  5. Where have you seen examples of kindness and compassion in others? How does that inspire you?
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Ephesians - 4:7-16 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---47-16/a74.html Mon, 01 Aug 11 00:00:00 -0600 Discussion Questions:
  1. What does this passage tell us about spiritual leadership?
  2. A major metaphor for the church is the human body. Why do you think that is?
  3. What kinds of spiritual gifts are there? What spiritual gifts do you have?
  4. What is one area where you have sensed yourself growing and maturing since you’ve been a part of this body (your Life Together Church)?
  5. What does your life look like as you grow “into the fullness of Christ”? What kind of outlook does that give you for your life?
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Ephesians - 3:14-21 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---314-21/a71.html Mon, 04 Jul 11 00:00:00 -0600 Discussion Questions:
  1. What does it mean for Christ to dwell in our hearts? What does it mean for the Holy Spirit to strengthen us?
  2. What do you picture when you hear words like boundless, fullness, surpassing measure or immeasurable, and magnitude? What does that tell you about how much Jesus loves us? About how much He loves you?
  3. What does it mean to live for God’s glory? How does that play out in day-to-day life?
  4. God is described as “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (verse 20). How would the Ephesians have been struck by this? (For example, think about the Jewish / Gentile context and the one family of God.)
  5. If God is truly able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, how does that impact your thoughts and prayers?
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Ephesians - 3:1-13 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---31-13/a69.html Mon, 20 Jun 11 00:00:00 -0600 Exegetical Outline

  1. This mystery was revealed by God to Paul: in Christ the Gentiles are fully included in God’s family. (1-7)
  2. The grace given to Paul was to proclaim Christ to the Gentiles and shed light on this mystery. (8-13)

Application Outline

  1. God wants to reveal Himself to us.
  2. God reveals Himself to us so we can respond to His direction for our life.

The Big Idea: God wants to reveal Himself to us so we can respond to Him in relationship.

Questions:

1. In your own words, what is “the mystery of Christ” that Paul is referring to?

2. Have you ever felt like God was a mystery, that He was hidden, or too difficult to understand?

3. How does God reveal Himself to us? How has He revealed Himself to you?

4. What do you think God might be revealing to you at this time in your life?

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Ephesians - 2:11-22 http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/ephesians---211-22/a70.html Mon, 13 Jun 11 00:00:00 -0600

1.       Imagine your life far away from Christ, “without hope and without God” (verse 12). Describe what your life might look like or feel like in that scenario. Considering the reality that you are actually near to God in Christ, what kind of response does that create in you – both vertically (toward God) and horizontally (toward people)?

2.       Where have you seen or experienced “dividing walls of hostility” in the world and/or in your own life?

3.       Are there people (groups or individuals) with to whom you’ve had a difficult time relating? Describe that and how this passage might speak to you about those relationships.

4.       Imagine a Jewish Israeli and a Muslim Arab-Israeli both becoming followers of Christ and now sitting in a living room next to each other for their Life Together Church. What would this passage mean for the two of them? Apply that lesson to our own Life Together Churches – what are the lessons we learn for our relationships to each other?

5.       Consider Paul’s metaphors of citizenship, family (i.e., household), and a building. How does each one of those metaphors describe the Christian life – both individually and in community?

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Spiritual Practices: Introduction http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/spiritual-practices--introduction/a58.html Mon, 21 Mar 11 00:00:00 -0600
  • Richard Foster writes, “The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.” What do you think about his observation? 
  • Reflect on the twelve spiritual disciplines. 
    • Inward: meditation, prayer, fasting, and study
    • Outward: simplicity, solitude, submission, and service
    • Corporate: confession, worship, guidance, and celebration Any thoughts? Something you’re familiar with? Something completely new? Questions? 
  • What do you think of the canoe trip metaphor? What might be another picture of how the spiritual practices work in deepening our relationship with God?
  • What are some specific ways in which you think we can be involved in God drawing us closer to Him? They might be on Foster’s list, or you might have your own words to describe them.
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    Teach Us To Pray - Forgive Us As We Forgive http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/teach-us-to-pray---forgive-us-as-we-forgive/a55.html Mon, 28 Feb 11 00:00:00 -0700 1. What kinds of images come to mind when you hear “release”? Or what other words or pictures do you associate with “forgiveness”?
    2. Lewis B. Smedes said, "To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." What do you think about these words?
    3. Consider these words. “When deep injury is done to us, we never fully recover until we forgive. Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” What do you think the writer meant about the past and the future?
    4. How does forgiveness happen? Fast? Slow? All at once? Bit by bit?
    5. There’s a saying, “Forgive and forget.” Do you think this statement is accurate? Why or why not?
    6. Describe how forgiveness happened / happens in your relationship with God?
    7. How have you experienced forgiveness with other people (either giving or receiving it)? Is there some relationship in your life where forgiveness hasn’t happened yet?
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    Teach Us To Pray - Thy Kingdom Come http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/teach-us-to-pray---thy-kingdom-come/a52.html Mon, 07 Feb 11 00:00:00 -0700 Discussion Questions
    1.  Can you identify with the child charging headlong into the pool, or similarly, the child on the overstuffed chair?
    2.  What have been your own Towers of Babel in your life, your own little kingdoms, your sand castles? 
    3.  Are there any areas of your life that are especially hard to align with God’s will? 
    4.  We never hear of the rich young ruler again in the Bible. Imagine a few scenarios of how his story might have continued – both negatively and positively. 
    5.  Reflect on the words of William Wallace, “Every man dies, not every man really lives.” How does that help you view your own life? What does “really living” look like? 
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    Teach Us To Pray - Our Father in Heaven http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/teach-us-to-pray---our-father-in-heaven/a50.html Mon, 17 Jan 11 00:00:00 -0700
    Teach Us to Pray – Our Father in Heaven: Discussion Questions

    1. What kinds of “father stories” do you bring into your relationship with God? How have
    those stories affected your relationship with God?

    2. Imagine out loud together the Star Wars story if Yoda could have assured Luke, “The
    Force loves you.”

    3. Describe the difference between the life of a slave and the life of a child heir– both in
    literal and spiritual terms.

    4. Consider our two Bible passages: the story of the Running Father and the Galatians
    passage about slavery and sonship. Was there a certain word, phrase, or idea that stood
    out to you?

    5. N.T. Wright gives this description of prayer: “whenever we pray, this is what we are
    coming to do: to pursue the mystery, to listen and respond to the voice we thought we just
    heard, to follow the light which beckons round the next corner, to lay hold of the love of
    God which has somehow already laid hold of us.” What do you think of his description?
    What other kinds of descriptors would you add?
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    Teach Us To Pray - Introduction http://www.solapublishing.com/life-together-resources/teach-us-to-pray---introduction/a49.html Mon, 10 Jan 11 00:00:00 -0700 Teach Us to Pray – Intro: Discussion Questions

    1. What images, memories, or thoughts come to mind when you hear the Lord’s Prayer?

    2. What part of the Lord’s Prayer sticks out to you? Is there a part that especially resonates with you?

    3. Is there any part of the Lord’s Prayer that you have questions about or that’s confusing to you?

    4. If you feel comfortable sharing, what has been your experience with prayer (both as a child and as an adult)? What are the positive or negative markers along your life journey with regard to prayer?

    5. N.T. Wright in The Lord and His Prayer says, “If we linger here, we may find our priorities quietly turned inside out. The contents may remain; the order will change.” What do you think he means by that?

    6. Bjorn shared that something in us resists that ordering of God first, ourselves second. Do you see that in your own life? In your own prayer life? 

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