Charles Swindoll: Whatever you do truly for God, he has an infinite number of unseen ways to reward you.
Luke 14.10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you.
I Love a Good Story ~ The Parable of Honor
- Do you ever “people watch” at a store, mall, ball game or airport?
- If so, what have you learned about human behavior while people watching? Got any funny stories?
- In Luke 14.1 Jesus was invited to dinner at a Pharisees home and they were watching Jesus carefully. Why do you think they were so focused on what Jesus was doing?
- While they were watching Jesus carefully, he…was watching them. What behavior did Jesus himself observe in Lk. 14.7?
- What direction does Jesus give in 14.8-9? Discuss the wisdom of His advice & the risks if we do not heed His words.
- Do you think applying 14.10 in practical ways will be easy or difficult? Please explain.
- In 14.11 Jesus declares a universal Divine principle. What is this principle?
- How do you think this applies to our lives, both now, and when we face the Lord in eternity?
- 14.12-14 contains a hyperbole (deliberate exaggeration) to get a central point across. So, what is the point of these 3 verses?
- How can you work on humbling yourself?
James Koester: We often discount the ordinary in our lives, forgetting that God is as likely to send angels when we are doing the dishes…as when we are engaged in some grand and mighty scheme.
Matthew 25.40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
I Love a Good Story ~ The Parable of the Sheep & Goats
- Have you ever met or seen in person someone who is famous? Share your story.
- Read Matthew 25.31. It’s easy to just skip right past this short verse. Instead, discuss what it would be like to see such a marvelous sight in person?
- In verses 32-33, who do the sheep represent & who do the goats represent?
- Read verses 25.34-36. What did the “sheep” do that the Lord was rewarding them for?
- Discuss the nature of these actions; did it take a special skill set or academic degree? Could only a select few accomplish these actions? Would it take a top athlete or a political leader?
- Why do you think these actions were so valued by Jesus – the King?
- How did the “sheep” respond to this reward? (see 37-39)
- How does verse 40 uniquely apply to these particular believers after the Great Tribulation? How does it also apply to us today?
- Discuss the statement, “These good works are not the root of salvation, but they are the fruit of salvation.”
- Read Mt. 25.41-45 & discuss how the “goats” responded differently than the “sheep”.
- In what way did the “goats” fail?
- Discuss the following statement related to all believers: His works will not save him; but his works will reveal that he is redeemed.
- What is your #1 takeaway from the Parable of the Sheep & Goats?
Whittier: “For all sad words of tongue or pen the saddest are these: ‘it might have been!’”
Mt. 25.21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
I Love a Good Story ~ The Parables of the Talents
- Have you ever had a missed opportunity? It might have even been a small matter, but looking back you realize you missed something along the way. Share your missed opportunity story.
- PJ recently lost a security key, but he had saved the serial number, so it was easily replaced. Share a story where you were glad you took the precautions you did ahead of time, and thus avoided a potentially bigger problem.
- In the New Testament a talent is a measurement of weight, be it of gold, silver or bronze. But it is interesting that we think of a talent as something very different. Discuss what is different as well as similar about our personal talents today.
- 3 servants were given three different amounts of talents. Discuss how this applies to our lives.
- 2 servants had positive results. What did they each do to get those results?
- One servant had negative results. What did he do wrong?
- What was the attitude of this particular servant toward the master?
- Can we see something similar in society today in people’s attitude toward God? Give examples.
- Faithfulness to Jesus today results in greater reward in our future with Him. What do you think this reward will look like?
- Do you think the kingdom of Jesus on earth and ultimately the new heaven will be boring?
- How does the principle of future reward affect our answer to this question?
Luke 6.47-48 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
“The house don’t fall when the bones are good.” (From the song “The Bones”)
Father’s Day Parables of Foundation Discussion Questions:
- What is a favorite memory you have related to your father?
- Do you think fathers get the respect they deserve today?
- In what way are fathers important to society today?
- In the first parable a wealthy man, who has more than he knows what to do with, eventually ends up losing it all. Do you think this is also a risk in our day? Please explain your answer.
- How do you think we can keep our lives in balance so we don’t despise possessions on the one hand, nor do we idolize them on the other extreme?
- The second parable is a very simple well-known story. What is the basic meaning of the wise man building his house on the rock?
- What are some specific examples you can give of someone foolishly building their life on sand?
- What are some specific examples you can give of someone wisely building their life on the rock?
- What does this solid foundation represent in real life?
- How can husbands and fathers today model dependence on this foundation to their families?
- Do you need to adjust anything in your life so that you are storing up treasures in heaven that cannot be lost?