Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on January 30, 2022
Passage: Ephesians 1:15-19
Mike showed us four things that Paul prayed the church at Ephesus would know. We need to know these same four essential truths in our lives if we want to stay focused on living sent.
Looking back at your notes from Sunday’s message, was there anything you heard for the first time, caught your attention, or challenged you?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
What truth have you learned since coming to know Christ that has helped you most in your journey?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. In Ephesians 1:15-19, Paul prays for the Ephesian believers. Note the repetition in his prayer: “spiritual wisdom and insight…knowledge of God…be flooded with light…so (they) can understand…will understand.” Paul is praying these believers would know God better. According to the following passages, what are some keys to knowing God better?
Proverbs 2:1-11 (NLT)
1 My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. 2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. 3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. 4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. 5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. 8 He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. 9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. 11 Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT2)
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
Romans 5:3-5 (NLT2)
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
How is knowing facts or truths about God intellectually different from knowing God by experience? What have you recently come to know about God through a difficult trial?
2. Paul was concerned about the trials these Ephesians were enduring and the persecution they were facing. To encourage them to stay strong in their faith, Paul prayed they would understand the great hope they have in the promise of eternal life in heaven with the Lord. In other words, he encouraged them to not grow weary and give up! In the verses below, what other encouragement does Paul give believers who were enduring tough times?
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 (NLT2)
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
Philippians 1:6 (NLT2)
6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
How does the hope of heaven help you stay strong in your faith when the winds of adversity blow strong in your life?
3. In verse 19, Paul prays they would experience the greatness of God’s power that is promised to every believer. What does the following passage tell us about how Paul experienced God’s power in his ministry to believers?
Colossians 1:28-29 (NLT2)
28 So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. 29 That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.
Why do you think believers who are satisfied with merely attending church without serving others don’t experience God’s power more in their lives? What clues can these verses give us?
When have you experienced God’s power the most in your life?
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?