Small Group Lessons

I have moved all 1000 lessons/3000 pages of free Bible class and small group curriculum over to my new site. You can download them at this URL –

Lessons include series on nearly every book of the New Testament and over half of the Old Testament, and dozens of topical series. Click the link above to view and download all the resources at my new site! Sorry for any inconvenience in the transition.

28 Responses to Small Group Lessons

  1. C.W. says:


    I came across your site and what I read you do not live in the light and are unknown. The life to live is in the light where confession is required and it gives glory to God in doing so. Freedom is in the light and like Paul lives, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” I don’t read this of you.
    2 Corinthians 4:2
    “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”
    Are you a man that openly walks in the light for all to see or do you simply have much to say? It seems you don’t live John 3:21
    “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” and you do not share on your site how God deals with you and your weakness. This white washing of the heart is very common.
    Where are you; sin, weakness and the deep waters of the heart?
    Is this a fair question?

  2. mattdabbs says:


    Thanks for your thoughts and sharing those verses. I guess you just need to read some more! I am certainly not so proud as to say I am perfect. When I teach and preach I include my own frailties and weaknesses. If a verse is something I personally need to hear when I am teaching it, I tell the class that I struggle with it as well. So please read more of what has been written here in the past and you will find aspects of what you are talking about. It is impossible for me to dig through over 1000 posts and find any time I confessed anything but here are a couple of examples where confession has been talked about.

    See #9 in this post –

    Or this post –

  3. C.W. says:


    Must we dissect your letters for the approval of man? I am very aware of your two posts you sent as I had read them before I wrote to you. Unfortunately, you have been taught like the religious world and that is to gain much knowledge, but not live a life that shares openly the deep water of your heart.
    Many live John 5:39-40 “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” You and many others may think that I am speaking gibberish and have little understanding. Granted, I am nothing and claim to only know Christ on the cross. In all your writings, its clear you are missing out on what Paul states in saying “boast”. You don’t in all your writings have a constant state of openness of who you really are, but present yourself as a whitewashed tomb being unknown to all readers who come across your knowledge.
    You really can be humble and turn yourself in as not being a man that renounces his shameful ways to only commend yourself before others who also need to present themselves plainly before God as one who is toast without grace.
    No one really drawls your heart out as I can tell by the way you are not in the light constantly. I risk my relationships everyday by presenting myself as I really am only giving glory to God. Stand up and present yourself as a man that will speak of the deep waters of your heart. Again, you have much to say and little to no confessions of where you are at and who you really are.
    You mentioned “where confession has been talked about”, this is simply you having much to say, but nothing on who is Matt. Give glory to God and share what is in your tent Joshua 7:19-23 and lay out in detail of God’s “gave them over” efforts to keep you humbled, Romans 1:18-32. I understand you are not perfect, but lets here about how?
    I stand before you as totally humbled and out of my league and it is crazy that I even speak this way. I am wretched and nothing is good in me, but by grace I am a letter from God.
    In no way should I have the right to even mutter the words of God before anyone for I know who I am in heart. You can check out this website where I share really how zealous I was in my sin and also how my sinful nature is getting worse and where I struggle.
    Along with me there are other disciples of Christ that lay it out there for all to see so no one can be seen as someone of any worth. In love I share this with you cause you greatly need it. God has scraped the scum off the earth’s crest to present the truth and I am one. 1 Cor 1:27-29 states, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”

    Check out the Love section “Chad Wallis” and read all the achives as it is updated daily. Let it minister to you.

  4. mattdabbs says:


    This is a very strange conversation coming from someone I don’t even know. But I do appreciate your concern. If you want to know why I don’t consistently “share the deep water of my heart” it is because this is a blog that is open for the whole world to read and I don’t think saying every single thing I struggle with in this format is the healthiest way to go about confession. That would be more like exhibitionism and I don’t think I would handle it very well. I know myself too well to try that. So maybe you are more mature than I am.

    I guess it puzzles me when people write as if they know how I live or whether or not I do certain things based on this blog. I am very happy to have people I am very close to that I can share the things I struggle with. I am glad you are concerned for me and maybe over time I will share more.

  5. C.W. says:


    Leading in honesty, realness, openness is not and does not come with maturity, but a willingness. One must be built on the rock that requires the light to always be evident where darkness will not be a option. This is insane territory for anyone, because not only will people know who you are in heart with no veil like Moses hanging, but just like you stated how you may not “handle it well”, it is a test of the heart. Again, disciples give glory to God and by having complete exposure of the heart we simply let you see the love of God as you can read in John 3:21, “so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
    You mention that in this format it is not the “healthiest” way to confess. I am sorry you can not read that in the scriptures. The cool thing is you shared a little bit of honesty in your letter of how you know yourself and how you would not handle it well if your sinful nature was laid bare for large numbers to see. The question for you would be doesn’t that burn in you that you can not speak openly about what you are given over to, your deliberate sin and weakness? I would walk around feeling like a elephant was on my back if I could not speak of who I am before man, I would only be holding back the truth of God and the scriptures.
    You struggle in being exposed and are not humbled as God has given you plenty of reasons today to be so, but you shrink back and choose to live in darkness with some of your sin simply for the reason that you would struggle by being known. By reading your blogs and seeing your reputation, it seems quite clear you are trying to save face, but you will lose what you try to save. Its a guarantee that if you risked your life and reputation tomorrow everyone around you would crumble in hearing your heart for real, because they have never “heard” one speak what cirlces their hearts and what they do in secret before God.
    Believe me no one is attractive to the light, because they would be found out of who they really are and possibly be judged or even miss treated, hey welcome to the life of a disciple. We lay it out there for all to see only to get our lives trampled on in return, amen. John 10:17, “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.” Come on Matt what is it that makes you so weak to be on exhibit for all to see who you really are? You are going to have to give up you if you really want to love. You need to be shown what real humility and having a “sober judgment” can build you.
    Your puzzled that I can proclaim the things in your heart without even knowing you and what you do outside your blog. Your heart says it all as you write, Lk 6:45 “For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” I do not need to know what you do for its clear you are what the scripture speak about in that the “heart is deceitful above all things”. In Jn 2:25 it states “He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.” Your sinful nature is common to mine and God handles all of us the same, so I know if I struggle or sin it can’t be beyond my understanding, but I will have full fellowship with what ever you are weak in. I know my heart is wicked and as I renew everyday by grace, I am more exposed of who I am. Matt, I really am a ugly guy in heart and I get constant revelations of my heart that don’t surprise me, because I am capable of anything though my sinful nature keeps me humbled knowing why God’s grace is like oxygen to me. God’s crazy to mess with a guy like me for I am one that loves to satisfy my flesh. He should of flicked me off the edge of the earth into space for who I am in heart. I am always on the edge of my faith knowing that nothing is out of reach for me to be engrossed into and fall away, how about you?
    You feel that this is a strange conversation coming from me, for you I agree. Your sarcasm is evident in this statement and I understand, because not many go after your heart like I am and could do for you. Jer 8:11 states, “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace.”
    You have been treated with multiple kisses, it’s sad, but good for you if you are humble. Let me be a real friend to you and tell you what you have not been told and it will be bitter before it is sweet, Prov 27: 5-7.
    There is a Gal 5:1 freedom in the light, come and soak it up. Please let the website minister to you and volunteer on the comment sections like I have participated on your blog. No rush, get with me if you are up for what is offered to anyone who is humbled.


  6. mattdabbs says:


    I am not afraid to say that I am just a man. I am not afraid to say that I sin. I am not afraid to say that I have flesh and that there are times in my life I have given into it. I am sure you and all reading would say the same thing. Confession cannot be forced. In fact, confession is something that takes place in safe environments with those you are close to unless it is something of a very public nature. I have other, personal, outlets for that which do not include this blog. If there are times I feel it appropriate to confess here I will do so but it will be on my timing and in a way I think most appropriate. Sorry if that is not to your liking.

    I have too much on my plate right now to engage you in the dialog you desire and already have commitments to contribute other places. I appreciate your comments and your presence here. Feel free to come back any time.



  7. C.W. says:


    What I write is for you and is nothing of my liking or desire, it is the very word of God. I hope these letters I have sent you will be letters you can come back to if needed to know and be reminded that a disciple was after your heart. The invitation is always open and I enjoyed the opportunity to offer you what I have. As for now I am heavy over a seed that has been burned up by the sun.


    • Tim says:

      you are a little whacked out of you brain, taking things out of context. Complete disclosure to the world is a very unhealthy thing for many people that would be involved. Confession in a room of grace is where it’s at. The goal is not to hide your sin and lie about who you are; work with God on your sin issues and use trust worthy people around you to be accountable to righteous living.

  8. charleskiser says:


    From what I can tell, the seed of the gospel has taken root in you and is bearing fruit many times over.

    I appreciate your confessional stance.

    Don’t be discouraged by those who would say such things without knowing you, friend.

    From one who knows you,


  9. Brad Palmore says:

    That was indeed a very weird conversation.

  10. Hey Brother,

    For your sake and others reading your blog, last fall two of our young adults got attacked by this group that calls themselves Disciples of Jesus. Their entire theology revolves around the “necessity” of public confession. Any reference to “light” in the NT, they take to mean specific public confession of sins.

    Another big issue for them is “organized religion.” They believe financial support of ministers is a sin, a waste of God’s resources and hypocrisy. They minimize teachings on this subject from Paul and Jesus and highlight as their primary line of argument the fact that Paul chose not to be supported financially by the Corinthian church. Along the same lines, they belive that church buildings are evil.

    They told my two young Christian friends that I was a false prophet because 1. I was getting payed to preach, 2. I had read other books in addition to the Bible and had a theological education and 3. I did not pour out all my sins in specific (and graphic) detail before the congregation.

    Another big issue with them is about “hedging” temptation. They say that if you make rules for yourself about what you watch or where you go in order to avoid temptation, this is a sign of weakness and equates to the man-made rules for which Jesus chastised the Pharisees. So they, for example, encourage them to watch movies with sensual scenes, and then encourge them to pour out the details of their sins when they “mess up” (i.e. lust) Then, they psychologically beat them up for being sinners and not having enough self-control.

    Their local “recruiter” (also named Chad) told them I was trying to deceive them and trick them into living half-hearted Christianity. Even though he does not meet with a group of Christians on Sunday to worship (because there are no “real” Christians in our town) he claimed if they worshiped with us then they were not interested in true worship.

    They are very cult-like and use classic brainwashing techniques to entice followers. Susceptible recruits are young, Bible-believing Christians who are passionate for the Lord. The first step is to introduce them to confession, lightly. Then they separate them from all their spiritual influences (church friends, church, ministers, etc.) Then come the conferences…which our young men never went too, thankfully. I don’t know what comes next.

    The two young men in our group are still, almost 10 months later, affected by the spiritual and psychological effects of this hyper-judgmental group. We have spent a lot of time in prayer, Bible study and even looking at classic brainwashing to help them see the reality of what these people were trying to do and say.

    Obviously, with Charles, I know you, Matt, to be a godly influence for the Kingdom. With your selfless, servant heart and life you help people come closer to God in every situation in which you find yourself.

    May God, to whom belongs all glory and priase, bless you,

  11. Becky says:

    Hi Matt,

    I was wanting to use the James study for my small group, but the second link for verses 1:9-11 is the same PDF as the link for 1:12-18. Is it possible to get the correct file?

    Thank you so much!
    Rebekah Johnson

  12. Pingback: Out Here Hope Remains » Blog Archive » Small Groups

  13. nick gill says:

    Matt, the link to the Prison Letters file is broken.

  14. Alan says:

    Looks like I am late to this party but what a surreal conversation…
    I was just looking for some small group resources but that was odd.

  15. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. It?s the old what goes around comes around routine. Did you acquired lots of links and I see lots of trackbacks?

  16. Christina says:

    Thank you so very much for an amazing resource!! I will most definitely give you the credit when I use the Practical Christian Living lessons in my life group this week. :)

  17. Kevin Shimp says:

    Thank you Daniel Cherry. That was a surreal series of posts!

  18. caseymeraz says:

    Hey Matt I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate all of the information and lessons you have posted here. As a fellow disciple I sometimes use the lessons as guides for my small group.

  19. S.L.I.K. (S4C) says:

    Hi, Matt, I wanted to thank you for the resources you’ve shared here, I recently started a small Bible group and I’m trying my best to learn this new leadership role. Each day I learn something new to share with the group or too improve my leadership skills.

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  23. Debbie says:

    Hi, Matt,
    The links for James 1:9-11 and 1:12-18 seem to be broken; at least they don’t work for me. Is there a solution available?

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