Gideon

Mission: Christmas, God’s Role for Israel

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Family Devotional Adult 12-10-17Family Devotional Kids 12-10-17

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

Did you have a favorite aunt/uncle, or grandparent when you were a kid? Maybe you were the favorite, and got special treatment… or maybe your sibling was! We know God loves all humans, but it’s clear in the Bible record that He had a special, chosen people – the nation of Israel. Why? How was that part of the mission of Christmas?

2. Bible Verse

Israel as God’s chosen people illustrates how He accomplishes His mission.

Occasionally, God accomplishes things all on His own, but most of the time, He works through people.

 

 

Judges 6:12-16 [NLT]“The angel of the Lord appeared to (Gideon) and said, ‘Mighty hero, the Lord is with you… Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!’

‘But Lord,” Gideon replied, ‘how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!’ The Lord said to him, ‘I will be with you…’”

 

Q. What’s one problem you’ve noticed in your community / society / workplace / family that needs God’s help to fix?

Q. When you  remember the “problem-fixes” that God brought through David, Moses, Gideon and others, what do you think your role might be in making a difference?

3. Discussion

The nation of Israel also illustrates how God produces change through people by first producing it in people. 

Genesis 32:28 [NLT] “‘Your name will no longer be Jacob,’ the man told him. ‘From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.’”

Q. In what area(s) of life do you find yourself wrestling with God the most?

Q. Thinking back to the problem you’ve noticed in your world, what type of change do you think God may require in you before He works change through you?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for including people in His work. Ask the Holy Spirit to produce the needed changes in you so that He can produce change through you.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

2 Thessalonians 3:16 “May the Lord…always give you his peace no matter what happens.” 

 Watts Up: “God Will Give You Peace Within, He’ll Be With You ‘Till The End!”

2. Activity

For this week’s devotion, you will need a heavy rock, a plastic cup, and a handful of pebbles. Place the cup in the kitchen sink or bathtub or by a water hose outside. 

Ask your kids to try to move the cup by doing the following:

  • blowing as hard as they can
  • throwing pebbles at it
  • pouring water on it

Replace the cup with the rock and ask them to do the same things. Then discuss these questions:

Q. If you were a grasshopper and you were out in a windstorm or a thunderstorm, do you think it would be safer to be on the cup or on the rock?

Q. Which is stronger, the cup or the rock?

3. Discussion

Read Isaiah 26:3-4 to your kids:

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.”

When we are stressed or in the middle of a storm, we can always find peace by trusting in God, who is our rock. He will not be moved by the storm, and as long as we stay connected to him, we won’t be, either.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray together, thanking God for providing us peace as we trust in Him. Ask Him to help you fix your thoughts on Him, especially in times of stress.

Great Big U- Part 2

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Family Devotional Adult 10-8-17

Family Devotional Kids 10-8-17

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

Through the Holy Spirit, God wants to use believers to get engaged in serving and make up the body of Christ – the Church. Often times, though, we feel like our lack of skills, qualifications or training leaves us without anything to offer. The truth is, God is looking for people just like you to accomplish His will on the earth.

2. Bible Verse

1 Corinthians 1:26-27 [ESV] “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” 

Q. Think of someone in today’s world who has done, or is doing, big things for God. How qualified do they seem to you? How skilled? Does that intimidate you or encourage you?

Q. Now, imagine that same person when the Lord first called them to serve. How qualified or prepared do you think they felt at the time? Does that change how you feel about your own readiness to serve God?

3. Discussion

Judges 6:12-16 [NLT] “Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites.  The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!…Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!’ ‘But Lord,’ Gideon replied, ‘how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!’ The Lord said to him, ‘I will be with you.’”

Q. What is your family history and background? Believers or unbelievers? Casual Christians or ardent God-followers? Have you served God since childhood, or did you come to accept Him as an adult?

Q. How might God be able to use your past to equip you for His service? 

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for calling you to be part of the body of Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you engage in the Church to accomplish His will.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.”

“Gotta Stay Humble, Got To Pray, & God Will Heal Our Land Today!”

In our series, “Soul Food”, we continue to find out the key ingredients for a healthy Christian life.  This week, we learn that humility is one of those ingredients.  Humility is essential for serving God and giving Him all the glory each day.  We learn from the example of King Nebuchadnezzar what can happen if we are prideful.

2. Bible Reading

Read:  Daniel 4:24-37

24 “Your Majesty, here is what your dream means. The Most High God has given an order against you. 25 You will be driven away from people. You will live with the wild animals. You will eat grass just as an ox does. You will become wet with the dew of heaven. Seven periods of time will pass by for you. Then you will recognize that the Most High God rules over all kingdoms on earth. He gives them to anyone he wants. 26 But he gave a command to leave the stump of the tree along with its roots. That means your kingdom will be given back to you. It will happen when you recognize that the God of heaven rules. 27 So, Your Majesty, I hope you will accept my advice. Stop being sinful. Do what is right. Give up your evil practices. Show kindness to those who are being treated badly. Then perhaps things will continue to go well with you.”

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream Comes True

28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 It took place twelve months later. He was walking on the roof of his palace in Babylon. 30 He said, “Isn’t this the great Babylon I have built as a place for my royal palace? I used my mighty power to build it. It shows how glorious my majesty is.”

31 He was still speaking when he heard a voice from heaven. It said, “King Nebuchadnezzar, here is what has been ordered concerning you. Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people. You will live with the wild animals. You will eat grass just as an ox does. Seven periods of time will pass by for you. Then you will recognize that the Most High God rules over all kingdoms on earth. He gives them to anyone he wants.”

33 What had been said about King Nebuchadnezzar came true at once. He was driven away from people. He ate grass just as an ox does. His body became wet with the dew of heaven. He stayed that way until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle. His nails became like the claws of a bird.

34 At the end of that time I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up toward heaven. My mind became clear again. Then I praised the Most High God. I gave honor and glory to the God who lives forever.

His rule will last forever.
    His kingdom will never end.
35 He considers all the nations on earth
    to be nothing.
He does as he pleases
    with the powers of heaven.
He does what he wants
    with the nations of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand.
    No one can say to him,
    “What have you done?”

36 My honor and glory were returned to me when my mind became clear again. The glory of my kingdom was given back to me. My advisers and nobles came to me. And I was put back on my throne. I became even greater than I had been before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, give praise and honor and glory to the King of heaven. Everything he does is right. All his ways are fair. He is able to bring down those who live proudly.

Q. Whom did King Nebuchadnezzar think was the reason for all of his success?

Q.  What did Daniel say would happen to King Nebuchadnezzar if he continued to have pride?  How did he respond?

Q. What did God do to King Nebuchadnezzar as punishment for his pride?  Then what happened when the time passed?

3. Discussion

King Nebuchadnezzar was very prideful and took all of the credit and glory for himself, instead of giving God glory.  When God saw this, God removed King Nebuchadnezzar from his position as king of Babylon until he was humbled and began to give God all of the glory.  We learn from our Power Verse, 2 Chronicles 7:14, that God says we must humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our sin.  If we do those things, He says He will hear us, forgive us, and heal our land.

Q. What are some ways you can become too prideful in your own life?

Q. What can you do to make sure you never allow pride to keep you from giving God all of the glory?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that your children would humble themselves before God, pray, seek Him whenever they face life’s many difficult situations, and always run from sin.

LifeTeam Roots Session 10

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Judges 6-7

GOD DOES NOT JUDGE AS THE WORLD JUDGES

How does Gideon feel about himself?  Judges 6:15

Who does God say will win the battle?  Judges 6:16

Why does God choose the foolish, weak, lowly, & despised?

1 Corinthians 1:26-29

To prepare a still afraid Gideon, what smaller task does God give him to do right at home to prove He would be with Gideon?

Judges 6:25-26

How did the town react to what Gideon had done?

ALL WE REALLY NEED IS GOD’S HELP ON OUR SIDE

What else happened to Gideon to prepare him for the bigger battle?

Judges 6:34

Before the battle God tests Gideon’s faith by sifting his army of 32,000 down to 300.

God tests our faith for 2 reasons.

1. To show us whether our faith is real or counterfeit.

2. To strengthen our faith for the tasks He’s set before us.

How does God twice again bolster Gideon’s faith?

Judges 7:9 & 7:13-14

How does Gideon respond this time?  Judges 7:15

A. W. Tozer quote:  “All God’s acts are done in perfect wisdom, first for His own glory, & then for the highest good of the greatest number for the longest time.”