Small Group Studies

Deliberate: Week 2



It's week 2 of our series, Deliberate. In this series, we are looking at how Jesus lived deliberately during some of the last moments of His life. He lived deliberately and intentionally, making the most of every moment. In our Bible study today, we will see that Jesus made sure that His followers understood that He cares more about the heart than outward actions. 



What is something you did very deliberately? (Did you take on a new project at work? Did you learn a new skill? Is it something else?)





Bible Study

1. What is required to do something deliberately?

2. Read Matthew 21:12-17. Why did Jesus drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices and the moneychangers out of the temple?

12 Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”

14 The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them. 15 The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.”

But the leaders were indignant. 16 They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”

“Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’” 17 Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.

3. Read Matthew 21:18-22. The interaction between Jesus and the fig tree was meant to teach a lesson. What does this interaction teach us about how we are to live as followers of Christ?

18 In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, 19 and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up.

20 The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”

21 Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. 22 You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”

4. Summarize Jesus’ warning in this passage of Scripture.



1.  According to the Scripture you read today, how are we to approach worship?

2. What does it look like to produce good fruit as followers of Christ?

3. Jesus taught His followers to stay focused because one day, He will return to earth and defeat sin and death. What is something distracting you from living deliberately with how you spend each day of your life?



One way we can be deliberate is to share our faith with others. Who are you building an intentional relationship with in order to have intentional conversations about the difference Christ has made in our lives? How is it going? If you do not currently have a person, what places can you start going to to build this kind of relationship with someone who does not know Christ? When you are finished, pray for these people in your lives in need of the hope of Christ.



While the world values outward actions and appearances, God is not impressed by outward performances and accolades. He looks deeper. He cares more about what is internal than external. He cares about the heart. One of the reasons that He cares about our hearts is that the states of our hearts have a profound impact. In fact, when we look at our words, actions, and what we treasure, we can understand the states of our hearts.


Our Words Reveal the State of Our Hearts:

One way to understand the state of our hearts is by looking at the words we say. You see, our words are directly impacted by what is happening in our hearts. If we are angry, anxious, happy, or disappointed, our words reveal it. As a result, if we want to examine our own hearts, we can look at the words we say to understand the states of our hearts.

1. Read Matthew 12:33-37.

33 “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. 34 You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. 35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. 36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. 37 The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”

2. According to this verse, what do our words reveal?

3. How have you seen this teaching of Jesus to be true today, both in your own life and in the lives of people around you?

4. Take a moment to reflect on this last week. What do your words reveal about the state of your heart? (Anxiety? Joy? Anger? Peace? Something else?)


Our Actions Reveal the State of Our Hearts:

Not only do the words we say provide a snapshot of what is happening inside of us, but our actions also reveal the states of our hearts. If we want to know what is happening in our hearts, we must examine our actions, especially when no one is watching.

1. Read Proverbs 4:23.

23Guard your heart above all else,
    for it determines the course of your life.

2. What does this passage reveal about our hearts?

3. How are we to respond to the truth in this passage of Scripture?

4. Take a moment to reflect on your actions over this last week. What do your actions reveal about the state of your heart?


What We Treasure Reveals the State of Our Heart.

Perhaps the most convicting truth from Scripture is that the things we treasure or value the most reveal the states of our hearts. If we treasure wealth, our reputation, or an earthly possession, we treasure those things because they are what our hearts focus on and desire.

1. Read Luke 12:33-34.

33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

2. Summarize Jesus’ teaching in this passage of Scripture.

3. Why should we not store up treasures on this earth, according to this passage of Scripture?

4. Take a moment to reflect on the things you treasure most. What do your treasures reveal about the state of your heart?

David, the author of many Psalms, invited God to search his heart and reveal anything unpleasing to Him. Let's take a moment to spread out and do the same. Individually, read Psalm 139:23-24. After praying, pray the same words in this passage of Scripture. As God reveals anything unpleasing in your heart, confess that to Him and ask Him to help you let go of everything that displeases Him.


MONTHLY MEMORY VERSE (Available for download on Sagebrush App)

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:10