Next Steps Archives

Wise Counsel

NOVEMBER 17

WISE COUNSEL

It’s been said that we make our decisions, but then our decisions make us. Often, the difference between a life that seems tragic and one that seems well-lived all comes down to the decisions made therein. But making all the decisions we’re forced to make can be exhausting. How do we know if we’re making the right decisions? And how can we set aside our pride and seek help with making the wise choices in our lives that could be life-changing?

Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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GOD’S WILL // FREE WILL

GOD’S WILL // FREE WILL

NOVEMBER 10

In the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, we are all faced with decision after decision, to the point that we often hit decision fatigue. This can cause us to make rash or bad decisions or to even decide not to make decisions any more at all. God offers us a respite from decision fatigue, and he’s promised to walk with us and guide us in making the right decisions in our life, no matter how trivial or important the decision is. What practical steps will you take to move toward putting your trust in God for your decision-making?

Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Have you ever found yourself worrying about something trivial coming up in the future or perhaps become anxious about a trivial decision? Share an example.

2. This week we learned about communicating with God when we struggle to communicate within our own homes. What are some communication issues you’ve noticed in your home (around family and friends)?

3. We heard about the helpfulness of studying the book of Proverbs to learn to seek wisdom and asked the question, “Why would we fear a loving God?” (Proverbs 1:7) How do you interpret the “fear of the Lord” in your current spiritual walk?

4. This week we learned the word “ezer” means “helper” or “rescuer” and that there are multiple instances in the Bible when this word refers to those who come to the aid of others. Think about someone who has been an “ezer” in your life, either in succeeding or failing in attempts to help you. What did that look like for you, and how did it make you feel to know you had someone there to help?

5. Read Galatians 3:13-14. From that first bad decision with Adam and Eve in the Garden, humanity and our world has been cursed. Yet Jesus came to teach us how to live lives that would break the curse. What’s more, He broke the curse for all of us by giving His own life. What does it mean to you to know that Jesus took on the curse of us all, bore that weight and broke the curse for us to be made new?

6. Read Proverbs 3:5-10 & 13. Where do you struggle with the tenants of the teaching in this passage? What are some practical steps you can take this week to move beyond struggling and move toward fully trusting God in your decision-making process?

KEY SCRIPTURES

Galatians 3:13-14 – Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Proverbs 3:5-10 & 13 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine…Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding…

DIGGING DEEPER

As you look to dig deeper into the topics of this week’s message, consider reading the book of Proverbs and focusing in on the Scripture references listed below.

Read Proverbs (one chapter each day)

• Just ask God to speak to you.
• Read each chapter and then reflect on ways you can apply what you read.
• Ask God to guide you and reveal Himself and His ways to you.
• If you read one chapter a day, you will finish reading Proverbs in one month.

Key Scriptures to focus on:

Proverbs 3:5-13. Read this passage several times this week, and ask God to guide you in applying the words to your daily life.

SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES—gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/wisdom

What’s Going On?

NOVEMBER 3

WHAT’S GOING ON?

What’s going on? Why am I doing this? What’s my part to play? Ever asked yourself these types of questions? Sometimes it’s necessary to step back, ask questions, and discuss together as family and friends to better chart a course forward. On Sunday, as a church, we’ll explore where we are now as the Gateway family and where we’re going in the future. What’s going on in our city? How can we bring life and freedom to those around us? We’ll walk away with some great next steps for each of us personally and together as a church.

Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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From Abortion

OCTOBER 27

FROM ABORTION

Abuse in our society is widespread but often remains a hidden wound for so many. We want to be healed, to live in God’s compassion and grace, but this menace of secret pain continues to flow under the current of everything we do. Even if you have not experienced this type of wound, you likely know or live with someone who has. We can’t escape the effects. We find ourselves or those we love chained, deeply hurt, and separated from the freedom God wants to provide. How can we discover the wholeness that God has for us? How can we share it with those around us who desperately need to hear? During this series, God Heals You, we will seek to learn from experts and hear stories about those who have found this healing from God.

Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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From Sexual Abuse

OCTOBER 20

FROM SEXUAL ABUSE

Abuse in our society is widespread but often remains a hidden wound for so many. We want to be healed, to live in God’s compassion and grace, but this menace of secret pain continues to flow under the current of everything we do. Even if you have not experienced this type of wound, you likely know or live with someone who has. We can’t escape the effects. We find ourselves or those we love chained, deeply hurt, and separated from the freedom God wants to provide. How can we discover the wholeness that God has for us? How can we share it with those around us who desperately need to hear? During this series, God Heals You, we will seek to learn from experts and hear stories about those who have found this healing from God.

Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning. 

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From Verbal and Physical Abuse

OCTOBER 13

FROM VERBAL AND PHYSICAL ABUSE

Abuse in our society is widespread but often remains a hidden wound for so many. We want to be healed, to live in God’s compassion and grace, but this menace of secret pain continues to flow under the current of everything we do. Even if you have not experienced this type of wound, you likely know or live with someone who has. We can’t escape the effects. We find ourselves or those we love chained, deeply hurt, and separated from the freedom God wants to provide. How can we discover the wholeness that God has for us? How can we share it with those around us who desperately need to hear? During this series, God Heals You, we will seek to learn from experts and hear stories about those who have found this healing from God.

Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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Evil Hates You

OCTOBER 6

EVIL HATES YOU

During this series, God Likes You, we’ve been working through a letter in the New Testament written to a church in an ancient city called Ephesus. Despite the passing of time, this church is much like Gateway. The people came from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. They had been involved in all sorts of struggles, addictions, and challenges, but they were learning that when your identity is rooted in Jesus we overcome. Our identity is that we are created for a loving relationship with the God. Yes, God loves you, but even more, He genuinely likes who you are, who He created you to be. He knows you, accepts you, wants to do life with you. But, there’s another part to the story that explains why it’s not so easy—evil hates you.

Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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Connected in Family/Body

SEPTEMBER 29

CONNECTED IN FAMILY/BODY

Throughout history followers of Jesus have experienced the importance of having the support of other believers to stand up against tyranny or persecution. We can see many instances where the church would have crumbled had the body of Jesus followers not stood together against a government or ruler that wanted to twist the church for their own purposes. The importance of the body is made evident during these moments as one person, or small group, discovers others standing with them in their most dire moments. From these seemingly hopeless moments, candles are lit, and the light grows person by person to pierce and envelop the darkness that seeks to surround them. What does this mean for you? What can you do to light a candle to pierce the darkness?

Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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Rooted in Love

SEPTEMBER 22

ROOTED IN LOVE

Why do we desire love so much? And, why do we often misinterpret love and accept something less that leads to all kinds of hurt and disappointment? We find ourselves being manipulated into aiming our desire at the wrong target, and as a result, end up being robbed of the very thing we desire. What is God’s plan for love? How can we receive it? How can we share it with others? How can we find ourselves deeply rooted in love?

Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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A Purpose and A Poem

SEPTEMBER 15

A PURPOSE AND A POEM

Ever wish someone would walk up to you, nudge you on the shoulder, and simply share what the point of your life is? Wouldn’t that change everything? Instead, we find ourselves giving life our best shot, slogging through, trying different things, and working to discover our purpose. We wander through life often unfilled and dissatisfied. How can we discover our purpose? What is our identity? What are we supposed to do in this life?

Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

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