Levi, the tax collector
Adult & Teen Discussion Guide
Life with God is good, but it’s not always easy. Sometimes we find ourselves in a season of frustration, and the natural tendency is to complain or shake our fist at the Creator. What we need to do instead is to remind ourselves whose we are and whose purpose we live to accomplish.
Psalms 92:12-15 “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.”
God doesn’t plant His servants anywhere with the intent to wither and kill them. He wants us to flourish in any season – even the difficult and frustrating ones.
Q. If you spend a difficult season looking for a way out, how will that change your effectiveness for God? How about if you spend a difficult season looking for ways to learn or to serve?
Q. Psalms 92 says the “righteous” will flourish. What kind of attitude & response to frustration does God expect from someone who is “righteous?”
Galatians 1:10 [NIV] “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
If we look at a confusing or frustrating season of life from our own perspective (how does this affect me? Where am I at, compared with my peers?), we’re going to stay frustrated. When we remember, though, that our lives belong to God, and we’re instruments in His hands to serve His purpose, we can find growth – and even joy – in the hardest circumstances.
Q. Think back to a frustrating season in your life. Was your attitude positive or negative? Was your focus primarily “God, why are you doing this to me?” Or was it “God, what do you want to do through me?” How did your response affect your attitude in that season? What would be the best response in a future season of frustration?
3. Prayer Focus
Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for loving you through the easy times and the hard times in life. Ask the Holy Spirit to develop the attitude of a servant, so you can have the right attitude and response in any season of life.
Family with Small Children Discussion Guide
Evidence of Grace
1. Power Verse
Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.”
What’s Up: “I Will Show The World God’s Grace In Me!”
This week, we start a brand new series called, “Stand Out!” As Christians, it’s important that we stand out from the world and from culture. We must be different, and one of the greatest ways we can be different and stand out is by demonstrating the evidence of grace in our lives.
Read: Mark 2:13-17 “Once again Jesus went out beside the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd came to him. He began to teach them. As he walked along he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus. Levi was sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus told him. Levi got up and followed him. Later Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house. Many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples. They were part of the large crowd following Jesus. Some teachers of the law who were Pharisees were there. They saw Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors. So they asked his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus heard that. So he said to them, ‘Those who are healthy don’t need a doctor. Sick people do. I have not come to get those who think they are right with God to follow me. I have come to get sinners to follow me.”’
Q: Who did Jesus ask to be his disciple?
Q. What was his job? Where did Jesus have dinner?
Q. How did the religious leaders feel about that?
Q. How did Jesus respond to the religious leaders?
We need to show the world with our words and actions that we have been changed by God’s grace. Matthew ended up going from a despised, wicked tax collector to a man with the evidence of grace in his life.
Q. What does grace mean?
Q. Who does God give grace to?
Q. How can you show the evidence of grace in your life?
God’s grace is for everyone and it helps us say “NO” to sin and stay focused on Heaven! We need to make sure we have the evidence of grace in our lives!
4. Prayer Focus
Pray for salvation if your children are ready to receive God’s grace and forgiveness. Pray that they would trade their sins for the hope of Heaven. Pray that they would begin to spend their time focused on the Kingdom of Heaven, instead of the temporary pleasure of sin.