Below are weekly talk points that can be used to help guide discussion in a small group setting. If you are doing the study alone, my hope is that these questions and additional information will further support you in your study time.
When I teach The Virtue Of Contentment, we spend 2 hours together, using the first hour for a brief overview/teaching from the front, group discussion and prayer. The second hour is used to present a journaling lesson or bullet journal spread with time for group members to work.
On page 6 in the workbook, there is and outline that suggests a weekly schedule.
- If you are meeting in a group, your FIRST SESSION time together can be spent doing the “pre-study” lesson on Abiding found in the workbook on pages 10-12.
- Encourage your group to spend sometime prayerfully writing a weekly prayer to begin personal time with the Lord each week. This short prayer can be written on page 9. We can not know the deep things of God apart from the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 2) Opening time with the Lord in prayer enters in a humble obedience to His leading. An example of a prayer is below
REALLY BE STILL. What does that look like?
Commit to time alone with the Lord. Write it on your calendar, put a reminder alarm on your phone. Let’s face it, if there is something we REALLY want to do, we make it happen.
We make time for shopping, salons, exercise, yoga, TV shows, time with friends, crafts, and more…but what about the one thing that will leave us filled up and satisfied?
- COMMIT TO OBEDIENCE (It’s not a bad word…it actually promises us blessing!)
- BE OBEDIENT. Words are cheap:) -ask someone to hold you accountable. Really!
- PRAY -conversation is key to building any relationship, especially with the Lord.
- GOOD INPUT = GOOD OUTPUT. “Be careful little eyes what you see” ( and hear). Surround yourself with opportunities to grow. Listen to sermon podcasts, worship music, uplifting wholesome movies, healthy Sisters in Christ.
- First thoughts/prayers in the mornings (before you put your feet on the floor!) with the Lord…Last thoughts/prayers with Him…right before you close your eyes to sleep
WEEK 1 / The Virtue Of Contentment Small Group Discussion Outline
(Week 1 discussion is actually your second group meeting together. Your first week was spent doing the lesson on Abiding and beginning journaling)
BIG IDEA We can learn to be content in ANY situation if we are relying in and connected to our God, through Christ, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 4:12-13 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Opening Question: Are you lacking Contentment and is it something you think about? What would it look like to live content? (Peace/joy in all circumstances)
DISCUSS 3,21 found on page 9 & 10
-Ask for your group to share what the Holy Spirit revealed through each step
———-> 3 Truths, 2 Questions, 1 Response
-Did you follow through this week by living out your response with speciﬁc action? If so, what did you experience? (God’s provision, presence, revelation?)
EMOTIONS -How do your emotions get in the way of the Contentment God desires for you?
(Emotions are often NOT rooted in truth, and it is truth,that can set you free from the roller coaster ride “feelings” can take you on. )
-Did God reveal any lies you believe that have been triggers for your emotional response to situations?
How can you actively replace emotions with truth?
(3 P’s ; PAUSE, pray & then proceed…& PRACTICE! / ASK & LISTEN, learn what God’s Word has to say about it and speak truth over your emotions)
Did you experience God’s presence this week? Have you experienced God lifting you above your circumstance to see with His perspective? If not, can other group members share their strategies for this?
A key to ﬁnding contentment is to see with God’s perspective / 1 Cor 2
WEEK 2 / The Virtue Of Contentment Small Group Discussion Outline
BIG IDEA When we pray we can be honest with God and know that His response will not always be what we want, but it will be what we need. It is His grace (undeserved favor) that is suﬃcient (enough) in all circumstances and His power that is made PERFECT in our weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is suﬃcient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in diﬃculties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Open Communication leads to intimacy
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 opens with Paul pleading to the Lord to take away his hardship (imprisonment, physical pain, ). Intimate relationship is dependent on honesty and trust. Without these, our relationship is not built on truth and is false. (John 15:15)
-Do you speak your heart to the Lord or do you hold back…refraining from admitting thoughts and feelings to God. How does this behavior harm earthly relationships? How might it aﬀect your relationship with God?
Ephesians 6:18 “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
-REFER to page 31.
(Pg. 32) “Unresolved conﬂict leaves residue that aﬀects your vision and causes you to see yourself, others and even God with a distorted view,.” (Emotions can remain unchecked and will continue to lead a person to an action(s) based on something that may not be true.)
Wrong thinking ( limited human thinking tainted with emotion ) vs. Righteous thinking (rooted in God’s love and truth, thinking with a mind like Christ / 1 Cor 2)
-How would you describe to a friend, the idea of praying according to God’s will?
(How do we know God’s will? Knowing Scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit)
-What does God promise when we pray according to His Will ? (1 John 5:14)
-What are some of the reasons we have trouble hearing God? (Reception problems)
(PG 36) (sin, unresolved conﬂict, lack of peace, unrepentant, Holiness through Christ)
(PG 37 ) When we jump a hurdle we could never get over in our own strength, we gain conﬁdence in God’s faithfulness. We can know that when we TRUST Him, He will lift us above our circumstance (rise above what we are feeling beneath) to see with His perspective. God meets us in our obedience where we experience His presence and provision.
-How would you explain “My grace is suﬃcient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” How does this relate to contentment?
-Are the bullet journal exercises helping you to become more aware of your intimacy with God? Do they help you practice His presence?
WEEK 3 / The Virtue Of Contentment Small Group Discussion Outline
1 Timothy 6:3-10 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. 5 They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to ﬁnancial gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
BIG IDEA It is crucial to believe that the Whole Council of God (The Bible) is (the ultimate) truth and provides sound instruction for our daily lives. Apart from the revelation we receive through the Holy Spirit, we cannot understand the ways of God. If we try to reason with our limited human mind, we are often led by pride and understand nothing. If we lean to our own understanding we develop unhealthy interests (often self focused) which draw us to controversy, quarrel, envy….(corrupted minds) We are robbed of truth pursing (little g) godliness for personal gain. Temptations are traps that lead to destruction. Love of money is a root of all evil and leads to grief. / “Pride comes before the Fall.”
Matthew 6:25-34 Do Not Worry 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the ﬂowers of the ﬁeld grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the ﬁeld, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the ﬁre, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek ﬁrst his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
BIG IDEA Life is more than food and clothing. God provides all we need if we rely on Him.
Look at the birds of the air, if the Father provides for them, He most assuredly provides for His children! Worry and anxiety create chaos and “does not add a single hour to our life.” The Father knows our every need, and if we seek FIRST HIS Kingdom and His righteousness all these things (that we need) will be given to us as well.
Live one day at a time.
IN THE WORKBOOK / 1 TIMOTHY 6:3-10
=Our truth meter is God’s Word. (The sound instruction of Jesus Christ)
Read Acts 17:11 / What does this instruct us to do?
(Measure all teaching with God’s Word for yourself. Don’t assign truth to anything you are taught without searching the scriptures yourself to see if it is true)
Another word for conceit is pride. Pride leads us to turn inward, placing ourselves at the center of our focus. What are the results of this kind of thinking?
In what ways has pride come before the fall in your life or those close to you?
PRIDE LEADS TO DISCONTENTMENT BECAUSE IT CAUSES US TO TURN
INWARD (self focus) AND AWAY FROM GOD. Pride leads us to the pursuit of ourselves (being right, ﬁnancial gain, division) and takes us on a road to destruction.
“It is impossible to be content when our hearts are SET on gaining MORE. A desire for godliness (placed before God) is quickly eroded by a greedy covetous spirit. (Pg 52)
WHAT CRAVINGS (desires) CAUSE YOU TO WANDER FROM HIM? -Did anyone in your group do the PRAISE LOG
Was this practice helpful in —-> replacing “cravings/desires” (& pride) with gratitude
-Were you able to record some of the things you are anxious about? (Worry jar?)
-How do you try to handle these worries on your own?
How does this relate to pride?
-Were you more aware of giving these worries and fears to the Lord this week?
Trusting God to provide all our needs requires obedience -PG. 57 “When God instructs us to do something based on our knowledge of Him, He moves our relationship from mental to experiential. God doesn’t just want us to hear about Him, but to see and experience Him in our lives.” -Priscilla Shirer
MORE PAGES TO COME!