A New Life- Part 2

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When God revolutionizes your life, it’s not something to keep to yourself – this new life is meant to be shared! The people in our world who are spiritually lost need to hear the gospel and encounter the Holy Spirit, but they’ll never accept a Christianity that’s contradicted by your lifestyle.

1. Read

John 6:44 [NLT] “…For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me…”

There’s a portion of coming to faith that’s totally up to the Holy Spirit. Unless people have a spiritual encounter with God, they won’t be able to accept His salvation. We can’t conjure up a “God-experience” – that’s between God and each person.

Romans 10:17 [ESV]“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

There’s also a portion of coming to faith that requires encountering God’s word. Church is a great place for this, but it’s not the only place. The Bible is more readily available than it has ever been, but spiritually lost people need a reason to look to it for help.

2. Challenge

1 Peter 2:12 [NLT] “Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.”

The final piece of the puzzle is up to you! Your day-to-day, real-world application of God’s character will either point people toward faith, or away from it. If you’ve been given new life in Christ, let it shine! 

  • Think of a few gaps between God’s standard for living and the norms that our culture has drifted to. Where do you fall on that spectrum? How could your obedience to God in those areas point people to Him? How could your disobedience sour people on the gospel?
  • Think of a spiritually lost friend or family member: If you never mentioned church, prayer or reading the Bible to them, would they know (or assume) you’re a Christian? What would be their biggest clues? What things from your life might make them second-guess their assumption?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes to thank God for drawing you to Himself, for giving you access to the Bible, and for placing Christians around you to give you an example of a changed life. Ask the Holy Spirit to keep you on track this week, so that your life points people toward Him.

Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Don’t Miss the Boat!

1. Power Verse

Isaiah 25:4 “O Lord, you are a refuge from the storm.”

What’s Up: “Through The Rain And Through The Storm, God Will Keep Me Safe And Warm!”

This week, we continue the series called, “NOAH: Surviving The Storms Of Life.” In this lesson, we learn what our response should be when God gets us through the storms of life.

2. Activity

(Set Up: Find age appropriate pictures of the aftermath of storms that your child might have heard of before. For example, Hurricane Katrina, a tornado, or local storm, etc.)

Show your child the pictures of the damages of the storm and talk with them about its impact.

  • How do you think you would have felt if you’d been in the storm?
  • How do you think the people felt after the storm was over?

3. Discussion

During our lives, we’ll go through storms, too. Maybe not like this storm, but there will be times when we face tough situations and problems that may seem impossible. God promises to be with us during these times, though, and He’s the one who gives us the strength to survive.

  • What should we do when we have made it through the storms of life?
  • God is the one who helps us through our storms. When we have made it through, we should praise Him and celebrate what He has done in our lives.

4. Prayer Focus

Lead your child in a time of prayer and worship. Encourage them to worship if they are in a storm or if they aren’t in a storm. Thank God together for what He has done and what He will do in your lives.

A New Life

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New life in Christ is something we celebrate, but what effects should that change have in our day to day life? We can take a few cues from Jesus’ example.

1. Read

Luke 6:12 [ESV] “…he (Jesus) went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.”

A new life is a spiritual one, one that keeps us in communion with God. Jesus knew His time on earth was limited, but He didn’t let that sense of urgency keep Him from spending the time He needed to in prayer.

  • Prayer takes time. What’s the biggest competition for your prayer time?

  • What are some ways you could help (or force) yourself to take more time for prayer and worship?

2. Challenge

Luke 6:13 [ESV] “And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles…”

A new life is a relational one. The God-life was never meant to be done alone. Jesus recruited the twelve not only to help and support Him, but so that He could invest in them and prepare them for ministry.

  •  List 3 or 4 aspects of the God-life – things God expects of every believer once they’re saved. Which of these would benefit from being in community with other Christians? Get specific, how would relationships help?

  • What’s one or more ways that God has specifically called you to minister (serve Him by sharing and showing the gospel)? How would your ability to fulfill God’s assignment benefit from being in relationship with others? Be specific, and write it down. Are you really giving God your best if you don’t invest in relationships to gain these benefits?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes to thank God for the new life He’s given you. Commit to using your time and relationships to maximize your effectiveness for Him.

Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Don’t Miss the Boat!

1. Power Verse

Genesis 7:5 “And Noah obeyed all that God commanded him.”

What’s Up:  “Stick With God And You Won’t Miss The Boat!”

This week, we continue the series called, “NOAH: Surviving The Storms of Life”. In this lesson, we learn that when we follow God and obey His commands, we will find miracles taking place in our own lives.

2. Read

Genesis 6:9-22  Noah was a godly man. He walked faithfully with God. Noah had three sons. The earth was very sinful in God’s eyes. It was full of people who did mean and harmful things. God saw how sinful the earth had become. All its people were living very sinful lives. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to everyone. They have filled the earth with their harmful acts. I am certainly going to destroy them and the earth. So make yourself an ark out of cypress wood. Cover it with tar inside and out. The ark has to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. Make a roof for it. Put a door in one side of the ark. I am going to bring a flood on the earth. It will destroy all life under the sky. But I will make my covenant with you. You will go into the ark. Your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives will enter it with you.  Bring a male and a female of every living thing into the ark. They will be kept alive with you.  Two of every kind of bird will come to you. Two of every kind of animal will also come to you. And so will two of every kind of creature that moves along the ground. All of them will be kept alive with you. Take every kind of food that you will need. Store it away as food for you and them.”  Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

3. Discussion

  • What did God say He was going to send to the earth? Why?
  • Do you think it was hard for Noah to believe a flood was going to happen? 

  • Did he still obey God?

It wasn’t easy for Noah and his family to trust God and believe that there was actually going to be a flood that would destroy the whole Earth. It had never flooded like that before. But despite the difficulty, Noah and his family obeyed. They were saved from the flood and delivered from complete annihilation.

Have you ever felt like God wanted you to do something that was hard? Obeying God can be hard – especially when we are going through a hard time in life. But when we obey, He keeps us safe.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray with your child if they are currently facing a storm in their life. Pray that now and in the future they would find safety in their Comforter and God would provide a miracle.

We are Better Together- Part 2

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You and the church are only healthy and fully-functional when you’re connected to other Christians. We’re better together! The problem is, connection doesn’t happen by default. In order to live up to God’s best for us, we’ve got to make the effort to live a connected life.

1. Read

Hebrews 10:24 [NLT] Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”

Being relationally connected to other Christians takes effort – energy – on your end. Connecting God’s way means finding ways to be a support to others. Don’t just have friends, function as a friend to the people around you. 

  • Think for a few minutes – what are ways people in the church motivate each other to live the God-life better? What are some ways you’ve benefited from the influence of other Christians?

  • Who are the people you’re connected to relationally in the church? What are some ways the Holy Spirit could use you to motivate them to acts of love and good works?

2. Challenge

Hebrews 10:25 [NLT] “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

Connecting to people requires an intentional effort – there will always be other ways to spend your time and energy, and those other things are constantly vying for your attention. If you want to feel connected to people in the church, you’re going to need to make it a priority.

  • What are some otherwise-good things that can push connection points (like Life Groups, Serving Teams, eating out with friends, etc) down on your priority list?

  • What are some things that you might have to do less, or drop altogether, to make space for connecting to people?

  • What are some ways that those competing activities could be modified to become relationship-building, church-people-connecting activities?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes to thank God for the support and encouragement He brings to you through individuals in the church. Be specific – use their names! Ask the Holy Spirit to help you prioritize connection so you can have that kind of positive impact on others.

Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Living for God in a Wicked World

1. Power Verse

Hosea 14:9 “The paths of the LORD are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them.”

What’s Up: “I’m Gonna Walk With God Every Day, Living Righteous Is The Only Way!”

This week, we start a brand new series called, “NOAH: Surviving The Storms Of Life”. In this series, we will look at one of the most famous guys in the Bible – Noah! In this lesson, we learn how we can live a life that stands out for God just like Noah.

2. Activity

Set Up: Gather several of the same object and one object that is different. For example: several candies of the same color and one of a different color; several marshmallows and one chocolate chip.

Allow your children to observe the objects.

  • What do you notice about these things?
  • How could you tell one was different? (i.e. it looked different, it felt different, etc.)

3. Discussion

As Christians, we are supposed to be like the one object. In the world, there is a lot of evil, a lot of people doing the wrong thing. God wants us to be different than everyone else in the world. He wants us to stand out and choose to do what’s right. When we do, others can quickly tell there is a difference in us just like you were able to quickly tell the difference in these objects.

If we are going to live a life that is different, we have to stay close to God. We can stay close to God by praying, reading the Bible, and worshipping. By doing these things, we can live for Him in a sinful world.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray with your children that God will help them to live their lives so others will see a difference in them. Talk about ways that your family already spends time with God and/or discuss ways your family can make it a new priority.

God Can Use Broken Things

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

1. Primary Statement

God uses people to accomplish His mission – not perfect, flawless people, but real humans with real issues. It doesn’t take perfection to be useful to God, but it does take the right effort and attitude.

2. Bible Verse

God called Noah, and entrusted him with the survival of the entire human race.

Genesis 6:13-14 [NLT] “So God said to Noah, ‘I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!  Build a large boat from cypress wood…’”

But Noah had his own issues.

Genesis 9:20-21 [NLT] “After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard. One day he drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent.”

Q. Why do you think the story from Genesis 9 was included in the Bible? What can we learn from it?

Q. How do you think Noah felt after the whole incident?

3. Discussion

Even after his drunken experience, Noah had a huge role in God’s mission. He lived for another 349 years, teaching the new generations about God (he even lived alongside Abram for 58 years!). God doesn’t expect perfection, but He does expect humility, submission, and resiliency. If Noah had given up on serving God after his embarrassing moral failure, the entire human race would have been missing a huge wealth of knowledge about God and the times before the flood. The key is to repent, put it in the past and keep following God’s direction. When you fall, don’t give up – get up!

Q. Have you ever felt like you were disqualified to serve God because of mistakes / sins?

Q. If God called Noah (a drunk), David (an adulterer and murderer), and Peter (who denied he even knew Jesus), do you think He would disqualify you for your issues?

4. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for calling you to serve Him. Ask Him to keep you from sin, and to help you get back up and keep going when you fall.

Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

1. Power Verse

1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Keep on praying.

 Watts Up: “P-R-A-Y, Lift Your Eyes Up To The Sky & Pray!

This week, we start a brand new series called, “Bugs.”  In this series, we will learn some big lessons from different bugs.  In this lesson, we are encouraged to talk to God daily.  He is our best friend.  God wants the best for all of us.  We can share with Him all the things on our minds and hearts.

2. Bible Reading

Luke 18:9-14 Jesus told a story to some people who were sure they were right with God. They looked down on everyone else. 10 He said to them, “Two men went up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee. The other was a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed. ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people,’ he said. ‘I am not like robbers or those who do other evil things. I am not like those who commit adultery. I am not even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week. And I give a tenth of all I get.’13 “But the tax collector stood farther away than the Pharisee. He would not even look up to heaven. He brought his hand to his heart and prayed. He said, ‘God, have mercy on me. I am a sinner.’14 “I tell you, the tax collector went home accepted by God. But not the Pharisee. All those who lift themselves up will be made humble. And those who make themselves humble will be lifted up.”

Q. What kind of prayer did the Pharisee pray?  What about the tax collector?

Q. Which prayer do you think was most pleasing to God?

3. Discussion

Life is full of choices.  It’s so easy to rely on our own minds and power to make those hard decisions. God has provided a way for each of us to plug into His power and wisdom through prayer.  

Too often, we choose the advice of friends, family, internet, books, television, etc., before we ever go to the source of all wisdom – God.  

Prayer changes things. We must remember that prayer should be our first option, not our last.

Q. Where do you usually go to for advice when facing a tough situation?

Q. How do you think we can make prayer a priority?


4. Prayer Focus

Lead your child in the “PRAY” method of prayer.  Walk them through Praise, Repentance, Asking For Others, and then Yourself.  Remind them that prayer is an essential part of our lives.  It is how we stay close to God.  Remind them, “When you see a praying mantis, let it remind you of the importance of prayer.”

LifeTeams Session 3

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ROOTS 3  GENESIS 6:9-7:24

This is a terrible story because every living thing was wiped out except those in the ark.

The most pressing question is why would a loving God do this?

Genesis 6:5  Every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.

Mankind was without repentance and the only way for mankind to be saved was for God to find one righteous person.

Genesis 6:9 is the first time righteous is used in the Bible

Noah’s righteousness was God’s gift in response to Noah’s personal faith.  (Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3 & 8, Galatians 3:6, Hebrews 11:7, and James 2:23)

Righteousness described Noah’s standing before God, blameless described his conduct before people (not perfect but having integrity, his neighbors could not find fault with him Philippians 2:12-16)

Noah built an ark but he also built a Godly character and family (2 Samuel 14:14)

Tremendous truth  God desires all to be saved but only those who choose to be saved will be saved.