Obedience

The Security of Humility

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Nobody likes to be humiliated. From childhood on, we all learn to avoid embarrassing situations and improve our standing with others. In God’s leadership system, though, the noblest thing we can do is to voluntarily lower ourselves, not in shame, but in service to others.

1. Discussion 

Philippians 2:3–4 [ESV] “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Q . Which is easier – serving your own interests, or those of others? Which requires more strength?

Q . What’s a scenario in your life where it’s easy to serve others? What makes it easy?

Q . What’s a scenario where it’s hard to serve others? What makes it hard?

Q . Godly humility doesn’t mean belittling yourself or being a doormat for others to abuse. Describe an example of “humility” that’s belittling and abused. Contrast that with an example of humility with dignity and strength.

2. Challenge

Matthew 23:12 [ESV] “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

One way or another, everyone will be humbled or, “made low.” If you do it voluntarily, God will bless you. If not… well, it’s not a pleasant experience, to say the least!

Q . Think of a time in your life when you were proud, and someone / something brought you down a few notches. How did that feel? Was the end result positive or negative for you?

Q . Think of a time when you voluntarily lowered yourself to put someone else first. How did that feel at the time? How do you feel about it now, looking back? Was the end result positive or negative for you?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank Jesus for modeling true leadership by serving humanity. Ask the Holy Spirit to point out places in your life where you tend to “exalt” yourself, and to give you the strength of character to choose humility and service.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Don’t Keep It To Yourself

1. Power Verse

Mark 16:15 “…Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.”

What’s Up: “I Will Share God’s Love With The World!”

In our Bible Story, we learn from Elisha and four lepers the importance of sharing and not holding good news to ourselves. Especially, since we have the greatest news – the Good News of Jesus dying on the cross and raising to life for our salvation and eternal life in Heaven. The world is starving for the truth, and we must deliver the Good News to the world!

2. Read

2 Kings 7 (NIRV)  

Elisha replied, “Listen to a message from the Lord. He says, ‘About this time tomorrow, flour won’t cost very much.’ The king was leaning on an officer’s arm. The officer spoke to the man of God. The officer said, “Suppose the Lord opens the sky and pours down food on us. Even if he does, could what you are saying really happen?” “You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha.

The Attack on Samaria Ends

There were four men who had a skin disease. They were at the entrance of the gate of Samaria. They said to one another, “Why should we stay here until we die? So let’s go over to Aram’s army camp. Let’s give ourselves up. If they spare us, we’ll live. If they kill us, we’ll die.” They arrived at the edge of it. But no one was there. The Lord had caused the soldiers of Aram to hear a noise like a huge army. So the soldiers of Aram had run away at sunset. They had left the camp just as it was. And they had run for their lives. The men who had a skin disease arrived at the edge of the camp. They entered one of the tents. They ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes. They went off and hid them. But then they said to one another, “What we’re doing isn’t right. This is a day of good news. And we’re keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until sunrise, we’ll be punished. Let’s report this to the royal palace.” Then the people went out of the city. So 12 pounds of the finest flour sold for less than half of an ounce of silver. And 20 pounds of barley sold for the same price. That’s exactly what the Lord had said would happen. What Elisha, the man of God, had told the king came true. 

3. Discussion

Q. Who doubted Elisha when he said there would be plenty of food the next day?

Q. Who was at the gate of the city? Where did they decide to go?

Q. What did the lepers find in the Aramean’s camp? What did they decide to do when they stopped eating?

Q. What happened when they shared the good news with the whole city?

The world is full of bad news. There are lots of bad things going on in the world. People are constantly dealing with tough stuff. The world is longing for the truth that someone loves them and has the power to help them! As Christians, we have that truth, and we have to share with the world that God loves everyone and has the power to help us with whatever we face in life.

4. Prayer Focus

What Good News do we have, as Christians, that the world needs to know? What can you do to share that Good News of Jesus with others? Pray for your children to have the courage to share the Good News about Jesus and let everyone they know see the truth of God’s love every day.

Lenses- Part 2

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Everyone views life through a set of lenses – priorities, values, and expectations that help them make sense of the world around them. Those lenses filter what light (truth) comes in… but for those who are Christians, the lens has just as much of an impact in the other direction.

1. Discussion

The lens you use for life affects the way God’s light shines through you. 

2 Corinthians 3:17 [NLT] “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord.”

The lens you view life through filters not only your beliefs, but also your actions, words, and attitudes. As God’s representatives to our world, it’s up to us to show those who are lost – by our behavior – what it means to be a Christian. We should be, as best we can, an accurate representation of what God’s life change looks like in a person.

Q. When you think about reflecting the “glory of the Lord,” what types of imagery comes to your mind? Does it seem like an everyday-life thing, or a mystic, other-worldly thing?

Q. When you consider the definition of “glory” – renown, honor, magnificence, beauty – does that change how “reflecting God’s glory” looks in your mind? How so?

2. Challenge

It’s the work of the Holy Spirit to calibrate your lens to reflect God’s glory properly.

2 Corinthians 3:18 [NLT] “And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”

Q. If someone from the outside commented on your life from 5 years ago versus today, what differences in words, actions, and attitudes would they see?

Q. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the level of contrast between how you live your life (as a Christian) versus how people who don’t serve God live?

Q. What could you do this week to allow the Holy Spirit to work on your lens?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for allowing you to see His glory and to know Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to keep shaping the lens you see life through so you can be a good reflection for people who are spiritually lost to see.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

How to Make Your Life Count

1. Power Verse

Philippians 2:13 “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

What’s Up: “God Can Use Me To Change The World!”

This week, we conclude our series called, “You Only Live Once” or “YOLO.” We’ve been learning some important lessons about making our lives count! Since we only live once, we need to make sure we do our very best to honor God with our lives and remain faithful to Him.

2. Discussion

Q. What do you think it means to make a difference in the world?

Q. Do you feel like you’re currently making a big difference in the world?

Sometimes it can be difficult to imagine yourself making a massive difference for the Kingdom of God. Changing the world or making a huge impact can seem pretty intimidating!

This week, we learned how Esther made a difference with her life. She really made her life count! 

We learned that we can make a difference too, if we take the right steps.

3. Challenge

Q. What have you done to live differently than the rest of the world?

Q. What can you do in order to live differently than the rest of the world?

Q. How often do you pray and seek God’s direction for your life?

Q. What can you do to make a big difference for the Kingdom of God? Will you be able to do it on your own? What steps should you take to accomplish this? 

We can really learn from Esther’s example to live different than the rest of the world, pray and seek God’s direction, and always remember just ONE person plus God can make a huge difference!

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that your children will do everything they can to make their lives count and make a difference! Pray they will set themselves apart from this world and choose to seek and obey God’s direction in their lives.

Lenses- Part 1

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Everybody looks at life through a lens – a set of preconceptions about what’s valuable, what motivates actions, what is versus what should be. That lens makes a huge difference in our lives – especially when it comes to how we view God.

1. Discussion

Luke 11:34-35 [NLT] “When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is unhealthy, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness.”

The lens we view life through can bring God’s truth… or it can fool us into believing a lie. Too many people in our world have the wrong outlook on life because their lens is filtering things in a negative way.

Q. What sorts of factors might affect the way someone looks at life? (i.e. upbringing, hurts & failures, etc.)

Q. What factors in your past (or present) do you think have the most influence on the way you look at life? that impact your quality of life? What other areas in your life might improve?

2. Challenge

Many people who heard Jesus’ teaching couldn’t accept Him as the Messiah (the promised savior) because their filters were set on a military leader who would liberate the Jews from Roman occupancy. As a result, they were blind to the truth that could save them. In the same way, people today have skewed filters for what kind of savior Jesus is supposed to be. If we want to be able to hear and accept the truth, we need to have the right lens. The one that comes from God’s source of truth- the Bible.

Q. What are some preconceptions people have about Jesus that might not be accurate?

Q. How do you think those misconceptions might keep someone from being saved or living a healthy spiritual life?

Q. What can you do to make sure your own lens is allowing you to see Jesus accurately?

 

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for allowing you to understand and accept the good news of Jesus, our Messiah. Ask the Holy Spirit to continually shape your lens by the truth of the Bible, so you can see life the way that He wants you to see it.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Lessons From Esther

1. Power Verse

John 14:15 “If you love me, obey my commandments.”

What’s Up: “I’ll Trust God & I Will Obey!”

2. Discussion

This week, we continue our series called, “You Only Live Once” or “YOLO.” We’re learning some important lessons about making our lives count! Since we only live once, we need to make sure we do our very best to honor God with our life and remain faithful to Him.

Q. What do you think the word “trust” means?

Q. Have you ever been in a situation where it was hard to trust someone?

Q. Have you ever been in a situation where it was hard to trust God?

This week we learned about Esther. She found herself in a pretty tough situation. When Mordecai told her of Haman’s plan to destroy the Jews, she could have thought only about herself and played it safe. She could have ignored Mordecai’s request and never told the King how evil Haman was. However, Esther made the tough choice to trust God and obey Him. 

3. Challenge

Queen Esther spoke up and, as a result, the Jews were saved. She was brought into the kingdom for that special moment, & she didn’t waste it.

Q. In the situation you described earlier, did you end up trusting God?

Q. What did you do? How did it turn out?

Q. What can we do to strengthen our ability to trust God?

Q.  What can we do to make sure we’re ready and able to “seize our moment” when the time comes?

If we will trust God, obey Him, and seize our moment – God will bless us big-time!

 

4. Prayer Focus

Pray for your children to trust God and look for their “moment.” Pray for them if they are struggling to obey God’s commands. Remind them that blessing follows obedience. God is good. We can trust Him.