Adult & Teen Discussion Guide
Everybody wants to be at peace – peace with God, with others, peace with whatever life throws at you. God wants that, too. He has peace that’s beyond anything humans can find or cultivate, but it can only be experienced when we’re submitted to His leadership.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 [NLT] “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation.”
The peace of God is different than a human emotion. Just like His contentment, it supersedes logic and circumstance, and works no matter what kind of storm is blowing around us.
Q. What’s the greatest stress in your life right now? What situation brings the most anxiety?
Q. Have you tried just talking yourself out of stress/worry? How did that work for you?
Q. If you could hit a button and instantly relieve the stress from this situation, how would that impact your quality of life? What other areas in your life might improve?
Isaiah 26:3 [NLT] “You [God] will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
God’s peace is perfect- it overcomes any stress or worry- but it’s not a promise to every human. His peace comes with His presence, to those who trust Him and keep their thoughts fixed on Him. When we lean in close to our heavenly father, we can experience the peace of His protection- something truly supernatural.
Q. Think of your stressful situation again, is it easy or difficult to trust God to see you through, no matter the outcome?
Q. What steps could you take this week to keep your thoughts focused more on God your helper and less on the situation and the stress it brings?
3. Prayer Focus
Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for His supernatural peace. Whatever is stressful to you, hand it over to Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to keep your thoughts focused on Him, and to bring, with His presence, perfect peace in every situation.
Family with Small Children Discussion Guide
Lessons From Haman
1. Power Verse
Philippians 2:3 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”
What’s Up: “Treat People Nicely – Don’t Be A Jerk!”
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 “pride” means?
Q. Have you ever met someone that was filled with pride?
Nobody likes a jerk. They’re filled with pride, always get what they want, and treat others as less than themselves. As followers of Jesus, we need to avoid becoming a jerk.
In the Bible Story this week, we learned from King Xerxes how to NOT be a jerk. King Xerxes made a lot of terrible mistakes that made him a total jerk! We learned to avoid the mistakes King Xerxes made and be much better examples of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
Q. Who in your life is a great example of kindness?
Q. How can we avoid becoming prideful?
Q. What are some things we can do to show kindness to others?
We need to do our very best to always be humble, to not get mad when we don’t get our way, and to treat people like they matter!
4. Prayer Focus
Pray for your children to avoid being a jerk. Pray that they would love and treat everyone with humility and kindness!
For those of you reading this who attend ALCC you know that this past Sunday I began a new series of sermons centered around the life of Daniel, with courage being our focus. I’m excited to examine how God’s word can equip us to rise above the fear that seems to be abundant in today’s world. While circumstances that produce fear abound I am truly convinced that while fear may always be a part of our lives we are intended to be courageous and act valiantly in the face of that fear.
In the preparation for this series I came across another biblical character that shows what can happen on the other end of the spectrum. 2 Chronicles tells us the story of a King that ruled Judah named Uzziah. Uzziah had a great start and in the early years of his leadership he moved Judah away from idolatry and back towards a right relationship with God. However, an all to common thing happened as God blessed Uzziah.
In Jerusalem he made machines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and great stones. And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 2 Chronicles 26:15–16 (ESV)
In his weakness Uzziah trusted in the Lord and was made strong. However, once gaining the throne, conquering all of the nations that threatened Judah, gaining fame and position, Uzziah grew proud as if by his own ability he accomplished these things. Had Uzziah remained humble the length and strength of his leadership might have been legendary but due to his pride and the loss of his humility God placed leprosy upon Uzziah and he lived the rest of his life isolated and alone.
Here at ALCC we are experiencing God’s blessing with so many new people just this past week that it’s beginning to be difficult to even recognize who’s new and who’s been here a while. Since May we have had 66 adults that have indicated that they are here to stay! This doesn’t include the children that are in these families just the adults. We are stretched for space in every way. Even after creating the early service and having about 125 people move we are once again running out of space at the 10:30 service. In many ways we are being blessed like Uzziah was, but unlike Uzziah we will not grow proud to our destruction.
The same is true on an individual level. Do you think that your success came because you deserved it? Was it your work or your intellect or your skill that caused you to advance? The moment you begin to believe that you deserve the good things in your life you are moving into dangerous territory.
Everything good comes from the Lord.
Every blessing, every skill, every resource, every warmth, every comfort. If humility and gratitude fills your heart for the blessings that surround you then you are a candidate for even greater blessing. Start thinking that they belong to you and that you earned them and they can be gone in a blink.