1. When in your life have you had the most doubts about your faith?
2. Can you think of a few ways that God works to strengthen our faith
and reassure us of His promises? How has He done this in your own
3. Does God forgive people with strong faith more than people with weak faith?
1. Think of a time when God has provided either physical, emotional,
or spiritual healing for you in the past. How would you describe this
experience to a friend? How can you use your past experiences of God's
faithfulness help you encourage others?
2. Mark 7:33 tells us that Jesus takes the deaf man aside from the
crowd and heals him in private. Likewise, Jesus then charged both the
man who was healed and his friends to tell no one what He had done
(Mark 7:36). One reason for this privacy and secrecy is that Jesus is
far more than a physical healer. Jesus is the Messiah, and His primary
mission is to heal and restore us spiritually. How might focusing too
much on Jesus' ability to heal us physically potentially distract us
from Jesus' far more important ability to heal us spiritually?
3. How does Jesus' healing of the deaf man in Mark 7:31-37 help us to
better understand Jesus' identity as our Savior? As you answer this
question, you may want compare Jesus miraculous healing of the deaf
man with what God promises to do in Isaiah 35:4-7.
1. Paul reminds us that we are living in a war zone, fighting not "against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12). One of the best strategies the devil can use against us is to make us forget this fact so he can attack us without us realizing it. How often do you think about the spiritual war of which you are very much a part? How have "the spiritual forces of evil" been targeting you recently, trying to get you to give into sin or into despair?
2. In Ephesians 6:14-17 Paul provides a long list of armor that God calls Christians to wear. Look over this list and consider the importance of each piece of armor and how it helps to provide the one wearing it with protection. Would it be a big deal to someone going into battle if they forgot a piece of this armor? Also, looking at this list of armor, how do we get it? Does it depend on our human ability (e.g., human wisdom, human strength) or does God provide it for us?
3. Paul instructs us to take up the shield of faith in all circumstances (Ephesians 6:16). How effective does Paul say this shield of faith is at stopping the "flaming darts of the evil one?" How well equipped and prepared is the "fully armored" Christian to defend against the attacks of the devil? Does the "whole armor of God" only equip the Christian to play defense or is the Christian also equipped to go on the offensive as well? If the Christian is equipped to go on the offensive as well, what is the offensive weapon given to the Christian to combat the lies of the devil?