Discussion

Second Half Discussion Guide

We Are Stronger Together

The second half of sporting events are the pivotal point of every game. It’s here that teams apply their game plan from what they learned in the first half of the game. Teams find out more about their character, how to use their abilities, and how to persevere through stressful moments. Teams are Stronger Together as they come together.


The second half discussion guide is designed to help your small group take the weekly Gracepoint sermon and begin to apply it in life-changing ways. Our heart is to see your faith in God grow as you apply the truths of the Bible to your everyday life within the context of relationship. Your team of group members becomes Better Together as you meet together and build on the foundation of God’s Word.

Faith Works: James 3:1-12

IceBreaker

What non-traditional pet would you enjoy having?


Read & Refresh

Have a volunteer read James 3:1-12. What was the main takeaway from this weekend’s message. What were the main application points? 


Apply

In verses 5-6, James describes how a small spark can set a great forest on fire. 

  • What is the typical result from a large forest fire?
  • How fast can a fire start? How long does it burn? How long does it take to heal the land?
  • In the words of Smokey the Bear, how can you prevent forest fires?
  • How does this analogy relate to the words that we speak?


In verse 9, we read that the tongue can be used in widely opposite spectrums - praising the Lord and yet also cursing humans. 

  • What damage can happen when you don’t control your tongue?
  • What can happen when you use your words in a positive way?


Time to Stretch

James talks about the small rudder directing the large ship. If you were a pirate, what would your name or the name of your pirate ship be?


Read Proverbs 4:23-24. 

  • Where does everything you do flow from? What must you do to protect it?
  • How can you guard your heart? What are some real actionable steps you can take to do this? 


The words we speak are an outpouring of our hearts. Protecting and cultivating our heart is the key to speaking encouraging, caring, and loving words while stopping destructive talk. Read Philippians 4:8-9.

  • What is Paul encouraging us to do?
  • How can thinking on true, pure, excellent, and praiseworthy things bring a change to us?
  • In verse 9, Paul says to put it into practice. What positive thoughts can you begin to think about that will help your speech and action change for better?
  • What good can come by applying this encouragement from Paul? 


Final Point

Take a moment to read this excerpt from Warren Wiersbe.


As I close this chapter, let me suggest that you start using the “Twelve Words That Can Transform Your Life.” If you use these words and sincerely mean what you say from your heart, you will find that God will use you to be a blessing and encouragement to others. There are only twelve of them, but they work.


“Please” and “Thank you.” When you use these three words, you are treating others like people and not things. You are showing appreciation.

“I’m sorry.” These two words have a way of breaking down walls and building bridges.

“I love you.” Too many people read “romance” into these words, but they go much deeper than that. As Christians, we should love the brethren and even love our enemies. “I love you” is a statement that can carry tremendous power.

“I’m praying for you.” And be sure that you are. When you talk to God about people, then you can talk to people about God. Our private praying for people helps us in our public meeting with people. Of course, we never say “I’m praying for you” in a boastful way, as though we are more spiritual than others. We say it in an encouraging way, to let others know that we care enough for them to meet them at the throne of grace.


Yes, the smallest but largest troublemaker in all the world is the tongue. But it does not have to be a troublemaker! God can use our tongues to direct others into the way of life, and to delight them in the trials of life. The tongue is a little member, but it has great power.


Give God your tongue and your heart each day and ask Him to use you to be a blessing to others.

 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, pp. 361–362). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.