The Surprising Unfairness of God

The Surprising Unfairness of God

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August 4, 2019

The Surprising Unfairness of God

 Scripture(s): Matthew 20:1-16

Reflection Questions

1.   How would you describe fairness? How important is fairness to you? Why? Is there a difference between fairness we should try to achieve and fairness that is just a part of life?

2.   Read Matthew 20:1-16. After reading this parable, do you like this story? Do you think the owner of the vineyard is wrong in his actions? Why or why not?

3.   Who do you identify with the most in the story -- the early risers or the late comers? Why?

4.   Do you think it is better to be an early riser or a late comer in the kingdom of heaven? Why?

5.   Read Matthew 20:15 again. What does this verse say about the sovereignty of God? What should our response be to this sovereignty? 


Going Further

While suffering is always something that can happen, why should we see the life of faith as joyful work instead of laboring in resentment? What cultural mindsets influence people to think that faithfulness is not a joyful life, but that instead it is a difficult life with only a reward in the end? How can we avoid that type of thinking? 

Constructive or Just Critical


September 16, 2019

The Power of Words – Constructive or Just Critical?


Proverbs 12:18; Ephesians 4:15; Ephesians 4:29-30; Philippians 4:8; Romans 15:13

Reflection Questions

1.   Read Proverbs 12:18. How well do you take criticism? Are you able to discern the difference between constructive criticism and negative criticism?

2.   Read Ephesians 4:15. How well do you give criticism? Are you able to discern the difference between giving constructive criticism and negative criticism? More importantly, would those around you say that you are constructive or negative?

3.   Read Ephesians 4:29. Why do you think it is often easier to criticize than to build up and encourage? Do you think an overly-critical nature is connected to insecurities and doubts?

4.   Read Philippians 4:8. Why do you think we often struggle with people’s opinions of us over God’s opinion of us? What can we do to guard against this struggle? 

Going Further

Read Romans 15:13. From Monday through Friday, reflect on each day, and at the end of the day ask yourself if you found fault or delivered hope more often? Think about your interactions with others and answer yourself honestly. Whatever the answer may be, challenge yourself to find a way to speak more positively in your daily interactions. If you must be in situations that require constructive criticism, ask the Holy Spirit to guide your words so that they harm less and heal more. 

You are an Ambassador

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August 5, 2019

Who Are You? – An Ambassador

 Scripture(s): 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; John 15:16-17; John 6:38


Reflection Questions

1.   How would you describe yourself? As the series title asks: Who are you?

2.   Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-17. What does “being in Christ” actually mean to you?

3.   Read 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. What does reconciliation with God mean to you? How did you personally need to be reconciled with God?

4.   Read 2 Corinthians 5:20-21. How would you describe the job of an ambassador? How do you see yourself as an ambassador of Christ? How does Paul describe our message as ambassadors of Christ, and how does that fit into your particular calling and personality?

5.   Read John 15:16-17. What do you find exciting about representing heaven as an ambassador in this world? What, if anything, do you possibly find frightening? And what can help all of us overcome that fear? 

Going Further

Read John 6:38. How can we guard ourselves from putting our agenda before God’s agenda? What practical steps can we take to make sure we are properly doing our jobs as ambassadors of Christ? 

The Little Things

The Little Things

Connections is a church that meets in the community to spread the seeds of God’s Kingdom through all the gifts He has given to us. But even though we are already doing this, God still has a word for us as he seeks to perfect our work. Listen as we discuss this through the true meaning of the parable of the Mustard Seed.

Overcoming Complaining

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Philippians 2:14-16a; Philippians 2:17-18; Exodus 16:1-8; Psalm 106:24-25; Colossians 4:2; Luke 6:45

 Reflection Questions

1.   What do you complain about the most? Why? 

2.   What is the most minor thing that you complain about? What is the most significant thing you complain about? 

3.   Read Philippians 2:14-16a. How has complaining influenced your life? How is complaining different than holding “firmly to the Word of Life”, as Paul describes?

4.   Read Exodus 16:1-8 and Psalm 106:24-25. How is constantly complaining actually grumbling against the Lord? Does this perspective change how you understand complaining? 

5.   Read Luke 6:45 and Colossians 4:2. What are some blessings that you haven’t been grateful for lately? How can you regularly turn these blessings into gratitude toward God?

Going Further

Read Philippians 2:17-18. The Challenge: From today until next Sunday, try to go through each day without complaining. If a week seems too difficult, then try a day at a time. Whenever your feel the need to complain, praise God. Life up God and thank God for your blessings. As you go through the week—have you noticed any differences in your attitude?