In the Beginning…Part 3

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

What direction is your life moving – toward God or away from Him? Throughout human history, there’s a tendency for people to set out in new directions, seeking importance, purpose and fulfillment. The problem is, that direction always leads away from God.

2. Bible Verse

Genesis 11:4-8 [ESV] “Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.’ …  And the Lord said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.’ So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.”

The people of Babylon set out to accomplish a great feat for humanity, to find meaning outside of God. What they got instead was chaos and confusion. 

Q. Where do you find your purpose and meaning in life? Your job? Family? Accomplishments?

Q. God wasn’t concerned with a building, He was concerned with the attitude behind it. What are some places where that same human-centric attitude is seen today?

3. Discussion

1 Peter 2:4-10 [NLT] “You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. … for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people.”

Searching for identity away from God will always end in chaos and confusion. The only way to truly belong and know who you were meant to be is by moving in toward God. As we know Him better and allow His Spirit to shape our lives, we become aligned with our true purpose and identity.

Q. Humans have a strong innate desire to seek meaning / purpose. What are some ways you’ve seen people seek meaning? Are they ultimately helpful or hurtful?

Q. When you hear that God has a purpose for you, how does that make you feel? Secure? Important? Intimidated? Frustrated? How do you think He wants you to feel? 

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for inviting you to step closer to Him instead of driving you away. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you redirect your steps daily to make sure you’re moving toward His meaning and purpose for your lives.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

2 Corinthians 5:17 “…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.  The old life has gone; a new life has begun!”

CATERPILLAR & BUTTERFLY“Get Off the Floor and Learn to Soar!”

This week, we continue the series called, “Bugs”.  In this lesson, we learn from the caterpillar and the butterfly.  We learn that when we let Jesus transform our lives, we can rise above sin and reach the potential God has for our lives.

2. Bible Reading

Read: Acts 9:1-19

Saul Becomes a Believer

Meanwhile, Saul continued to oppose the Lord’s followers. He said they would be put to death. He went to the high priest. He asked the priest for letters to the synagogues in Damascus. He wanted to find men and women who belonged to the Way of Jesus. The letters would allow him to take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. On his journey, Saul approached Damascus. Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground. He heard a voice speak to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you opposing me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus,” he replied. “I am the one you are opposing. Now get up and go into the city. There you will be told what you must do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there. They weren’t able to speak. They had heard the sound. But they didn’t see anyone. Saul got up from the ground. He opened his eyes, but he couldn’t see. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind. He didn’t eat or drink anything.

10 In Damascus there was a believer named Ananias. The Lord called out to him in a vision. “Ananias!” he said.

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street. Ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying. 12 In a vision Saul has seen a man come and place his hands on him. That man’s name is Ananias. In the vision, Ananias placed his hands on Saul so he could see again.”

13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I’ve heard many reports about this man. They say he has done great harm to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 Now he has come here to arrest all those who worship you. The chief priests have given him authority to do this.”

15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! I have chosen this man to work for me. He will announce my name to the Gentiles and to their kings. He will also announce my name to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for me.”

17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. He placed his hands on Saul. “Brother Saul,” he said, “you saw the Lord Jesus. He appeared to you on the road as you were coming here. He has sent me so that you will be able to see again. You will be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Right away something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes. And he could see again. He got up and was baptized. 19 After eating some food, he got his strength back.

Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem

Saul spent several days with the believers in Damascus.

 

3. Discussion

Q. What was Saul known for?  

Q. What happened when he was on the road to Damascas?

Q. What happened when Ananias prayed for Saul?  Who did Saul become?

Each person who has accepted Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior is a brand new person.  The old person who used to sin and do things that broke God’s heart is gone.  The new person who is living under the obedience of Christ is now alive.

Just as the caterpillar crawls on the ground, limited in its ability to soar, so our lives without Jesus can never reach the great heights that God has planned for us.

Q. What happens when you try to do life without Jesus?

Q. How have you changed since having Jesus in your life?

4. Prayer Focus

Lead your children in a prayer of repentance for their sins.  Pray that God would send His power to change us on the inside, forgive us of our sins, and help us to soar to new heights as brand new people, changed by His power!

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