Adult & Teen Discussion Guide
Being a minister in your world doesn’t mean preaching sermons on your lunch break. It usually happens in much subtler ways, like being someone known for your love, patience, and self-control.
Galatians 5:13 [ESV] “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
Free will can either be a hall pass for self-indulgence, or the freedom to let your mind choose God’s ways, instead of being a slave to your physical urges and default reactions. With the Holy Spirit’s help, you can discipline your life to serve others (and be healthy in the process).
Q . What’s a default reaction in your life that you wish you could reprogram?
Q . What’s a human desire that pulls you in the opposite direction from what God wants? Is the end result of indulging that desire a healthier you?
Galatians 5:22–23 [ESV] “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
The evidence of a God-empowered life is the character you develop. There’s no greater testimonial for God’s life-changing power than for people to watch it happen in you.
Q . Which of these attributes comes most naturally to you? Which is the hardest for you?
Q . Can you think of a professing Christian you’ve known who exhibited very few or none of these? What conclusion do you draw about their relationship with God?
Q . Pick a battleground fruit in your life, one that is challenging for you. What’s a first step you could take this week to do things God’s way in that area? (Remember, it’s the Holy Spirit who empowers you to change at all!)
3. Prayer Focus
Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for the power to say ‘no’ to selfish urges and default behaviors. Ask the Holy Spirit to develop the kind of character in you that’s obvious to the people around you.
Family with Small Children Discussion Guide
Trust & Obey
1. Power Verse
Deuteronomy 8:6 “So obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and fearing him.”
What’s Up: “I Don’t Get It, That’s Okay! I’m Gonna Obey Anyway!”
If we will trust and obey God, there is no limit to what He can do in our lives. When God speaks, we should obey. It doesn’t matter if what He says makes sense to us. We are to obey simply because we are His children and He is our Heavenly Father. If we will obey no matter what, we will find ourselves in the same spot that Naaman found himself – on the other side of his miracle. God is not asking us to “earn” His power. He is asking us to trust Him and obey Him.
2 Kings 5 Elisha Naaman was army commander of the king of Aram. He was very important to his master and was highly respected. He was a brave soldier. But he had a skin disease. Groups of soldiers from Aram had marched out. They had captured a young girl from Israel. She became a servant of Naaman’s wife. She said, “I wish my master would go and see the prophet who is in Samaria. He would heal my master of his skin disease.” So Naaman went to see Elisha. Elisha sent a messenger out to him. The messenger said, “Go! Wash yourself in the Jordan River seven times. Then your skin will be healed. You will be pure and ‘clean’ again.” But Naaman went away angry. He said, “I was sure Elisha would come out to me. I thought he would stand there and pray to the Lord his God. I thought he would wave his hand over my skin. Then I would be healed.” So he turned and went away. He was very angry. Naaman’s servants went over to him. They said, “What if Elisha the prophet had told you to do some great thing? Wouldn’t you have done it? But he only said, ‘Wash yourself. Then you will be pure and “clean.” ’ You should be even more willing to do that!” So Naaman went down to the Jordan River. He dipped himself in it seven times. He did exactly what the man of God had told him to do. Then his skin was made pure again. It became “clean” like the skin of a young boy. Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. Naaman stood in front of Elisha. Naaman said, “Now I know that there is no God anywhere in the whole world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from me.”
Q. What was the name of the army officer? From what did he suffer?
Q. What did Elisha tell Naaman to do? How did Naaman respond at first to Elisha’s instructions?
Q. What happened after the seventh dip in the river?
Q. Have you ever had a time that God spoke to you? Did it make sense?
Q. Have you ever disobeyed God but wish you had obeyed?
Q. When is a time you obeyed God? What came from your obedience? Was it worth it?
4. Prayer Focus
Pray for your children to trust God no matter the difficulty. Pray that they will begin to trust God to come through in the toughest situations. Pray for them to obey God’s commands. Remind them that blessing follows obedience.