13: The Cost of Discipleship – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for The Cost of Discipleship March 26, 1014]

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1. A promise of persecution. Have you ever been persecuted? What do you think of Paul’s admonishing us with these startling words: “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”? (2 Tim 3:12). What would you say if Peter was the preacher this week and said we’ve been called to follow in Christ’s steps that lead to suffering. Or [...]

11: Discipling Spiritual Leaders – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for Discipling Spiritual Leaders March 12, 2014]

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1. Choosing the Twelve. Did Jesus choose the twelve disciples because of their broad experience and proven leadership skills? Did He take a chance with each one? Or did He know they’d come out all right? But wait a minute. Did they? How could someone walk with Jesus day by day and then turn away from Him?

2. A few leaders. How did the dozens of other followers of Christ respond [...]

10: Discipling the Nations – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for Discipling the Nations March 5, 2014]

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1. “My house…of prayer for all nations.” When you find a place in your church this Sabbath for the worship service, will you think of yourself being in a “house of all nations”? How do the intense efforts of the evil one to separate us from one another in every possible way give proof to God’s far-reaching plan to draw us together in love for Him? How could it [...]

09: Discipling the Powerful – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for Discipling the Powerful February 26, 2014]

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1. Introduction.  Have you ever thought of yourself as powerful? Have you ever held a position of authority that led others to think of you as powerful? When you were a youngster, did you ever long for a position that would place you as the person in charge? As Christians and therefore followers of Christ, are we given the special skills needed to share God’s love [...]

08: With the Rich and Famous – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for With the Rich and Famous February 19, 2014]

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1. Richly Blessed. How well do you know the wealthiest people in your church?  Your community? Have you ever pled with God to make you rich? And promised to be faithful in your giving to God’s cause if you were? Have you attended workshops, read books, or signed up for on-line classes in how to get rich? Were the Israelites wealthy after they entered the [...]

06: Discipling the ‘Ordinary’ – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for Discipling the "ordinary" February 5, 2014]

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1. The great equalizer. How hard should we work to bring the wealthy, the influential, the highly educated into our fellowship? If we are all equal in Christ, doesn’t that equality extend to powerful politicians and brilliant scientists? Or is it our mission to disregard the highly placed and focus on the lowly of spirit or, in our lesson’s terminology, the “ordinary”? Can we dare leave anyone [...]

05: Discipling the Sick – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for Discipling the Sick January 29, 2014]

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1. Health and healing. How important was the healing ministry in earthly Jesus’ life? We’re told that Jesus spent more time healing than preaching. Was that a wise distribution of His power and love? Why? Should we as His followers and friends, spend more effort than we do in ministering to the frail? the sick? the weak? the fearful? How can we expand our efforts to [...]

04: Discipling Children – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for Discipling Children January 22, 2014

1. The Children’s Ministry. Do you remember special church times just for children? Sabbath school in a children’s division? Story time? Vacation Bible School? Or maybe even children’s church? How important is discipling children in your church family? In your home? By adding “in” after the “n” in “discipling,” have we spelled out a word for something we need more of for our children? Or not?

2. The Hebrew child. Can [...]

03: Discipleship and Prayer – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for Discipleship and Prayer January 15, 2014]

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INTRODUCTION. What would you do if by some gigantic supernatural power you were denied the gift of prayer? Of course that can’t happen, but doesn’t the very thought of existing without prayer send a chill down your back? In this week’s lesson we consider the value of prayer in our role as God’s witnesses to others on earth.

1. The prayer of compassion. Is there even one [...]

02: Discipling Through Metaphor – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for Discipling Through Metaphor January 8, 2014]

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Introduction. This week’s lesson may tweak your creative instincts searching for the connection between the topic for each day and the material presented. The first gap opens with Monday’s lesson, “Architectural Wisdom” which includes a brief paragraph about construction but nothing on architecture. Tuesday’s lesson, “Agricultural Analogies” hits the target with parables Jesus shared on the reception of the word by different types of soils, and [...]