Week One: The Rules of the Kingdom
Matthew 22:36-40; Mark 12:28-34
- After hearing the sermon, how would you define Christ’s “Kingdom”? Did your understanding of the Kingdom change as a result of the sermon? If so, how?
- Read Mark 12:28-34. Why do you think Jesus said, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” in verse 34? How did the man’s answer reveal his proper understanding of God’s Kingdom?
- What’s the difference between worldly values and Kingdom values?
- Does your love reflect the Kingdom (love of God and others) or does it reflect the world (love of self)?
- What are some simple steps you could take this week to call yourself to a Kingdom standard in a specific area of your life?
Week Two: The Barriers to the Kingdom
- Our text this week identifies barriers to Kingdom living. What are some practical, everyday examples of barriers to Kingdom living?
- Review this week’s Kingdom parable by reading Jesus’s interpretation of it in Matthew 13:18-23. Which of the four anecdotes do you relate to the most and why?
- What’s your biggest barrier to Kingdom living and/or thinking right now?
- Have you found helpful strategies for hurdling this barrier? If so, share. If not, brainstorm. Is there a next step you could take to overcome this barrier?
- Close by considering one evidence of God’s goodness in your life. How is He producing fruit in and through you? Share with one another.
Week Three: The People of the Kingdom
- Paraphrase this week’s Kingdom parable in your own words. (Feel free to reread it in Matthew 13:24-43 if needed.)
- Think about your attitude toward the “weeds” of this world. How would you describe it using two or three adjectives? Are you indifferent? Irritated? Compassionate? Share your adjectives with one another and explain them.
- How does this parable speak to your personal attitude toward the “weeds” of this world? How does it comfort and encourage you? How does it challenge and convict you?
- What are some specific ways we can ensure that we are healthy “wheat”?
- Why is there urgency to this parable? How can we make the gospel compelling to those within our realms of influence (coworkers, children, family members, friends and neighbors)?
Week Four: Position in the Kingdom
Matthew 18:1-11; 20:20-28
- Read Matthew 18:1-5. Why does Jesus say to become like little children?
- How has your relationship with a child opened your eyes to spiritual truths? Share specific examples.
- Read Matthew 20:20-28. What are some ways we wrestle over power and position today?
- On a scale of 1-10, how much do you grasp for power and position? (No pressure to share your number out loud. But if you’re willing, share.)
- Read Philippians 2:5-11. How does Jesus manifest the exact opposite attitude of the disciples in this passage? What would change in your life if you fully and completely adopted Jesus’s attitude?
Week Five: The Radical Grace of the Kingdom
- Read Matthew 20:1-16. Before listening to the sermon this weekend, how would you have viewed this passage? How did your perspective change or grow as a result of the sermon?
- When other people around you are blessed, are you happy for them or do you feel robbed?
- Are there areas where it’s easier for you to rejoice with others, and areas where it’s difficult? Why do you think it’s harder to rejoice in certain areas of life?
- How can we push back against the tendency to compete with others, compare our lives, and envy?
- As we take next steps toward trusting God even when we don’t understand His plans, would anyone like to share about a time when you wanted something God didn’t give you, and now, in hindsight, you can see God’s plan?
Week Six: The Economy of the Kingdom
- Take a moment to silently read Matthew 18:21-35. If you had to summarize the main point of this passage in a few sentences, what would you say?
- What do you think forgiveness does and does not mean?
- What might it look like to genuinely forgive someone and still maintain healthy boundaries?
- What are some of the things that prevent us from offering forgiveness to others?
- Is there a next step you need to take this week to forgive someone? If so, what step will you take and how can we support you in taking it?
Week Seven: The Order of the Kingdom
- Was there a time in your life when you struggled to respond in obedience to God’s call on your life? Are you struggling with obedience in a particular area right now?
- What’s the difference between obeying out of obligation and obeying out of trust?
- Read Matthew 21:23-32. What’s the main point of the parable Jesus tells the religious leaders?
- Can you identify with either of the sons in the parable? If so, how?
- How have you seen living in obedience to God bring blessing into your life?
Week Eight: The Ruler of the Kingdom
- Read Matthew 21:33-46. This parable is the most direct about the rejection of God’s Son by Israel and the transfer of the kingdom (“vineyard”) to the Gentiles. What are your biggest takeaways from either the text or the sermon?
- If all of life is stewardship, what areas have you claimed as your own?
- Where do you struggle to see yourself as a “steward” rather than an “owner”? Why do you think you struggle in this particular area?
- In what ways does the reality that Christ is the Cornerstone of the Kingdom of Heaven encourage you? In what ways does it challenge you?
- Overall, how has God shaped your understanding of His kingdom through this sermon series?
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