Adult & Teen Discussion Guide
1. Primary Statement
Loving people who love us is easy. Loving those who are different, who dislike us, or who intentionally hurt us, that’s a different story. To love these, though, is to prove that God’s love and grace are at work inside of us.
2. Bible Verse
Matthew 5:43-45a [NLT] “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.”
Q. Looking back over your life, who would be some “enemies” on a personal level? Without God’s help, how difficult would it be to love them?
Q. What are a few groups, nationalities, or cultures which seem like enemies to you? (i.e. urban gangs, terrorist organizations, foreign dictators)
Q. What pressures are there from your own group, nationality, and culture to treat these people with hostility?
Matthew 5:45b-48 [NLT] “For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Jesus called us to share the good news with everyone, even our enemies. When we remember our own need for God’s grace and forgiveness (things we don’t deserve), we can more easily extend grace and forgiveness to those who are hard to love.
Q. Who is more loved by God: you or the people from the list you made earlier? Who is more in need of God’s grace? Who is more deserving of it?
4. Prayer Focus
Take a few minutes as a family and thank God for extending grace to you. Ask Him to help you love those like the people on your list, and to share the good news with them.
Family with Small Children Discussion Guide
For this devotion, you will need a flashlight or lamp, and a TV or radio. Have your entire family go into the darkest room of your house and then ask them what they see. Depending on how dark it is, they may or may not be able to see anything. Hand the flashlight to one of your children (or have someone turn on a lamp or overhead light) and ask them again what they can see.
2. Bible Verse
“The Holy Spirit Will Give Me Power!”
Acts 1:8 “And you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…”
Then talk about the following questions:
Q. Why couldn’t we see much at first?
Q. Why did turning on the flashlight or lamp help us see better?
Q. What caused the flashlight or lamp to be able to light up? (electricity)
Q. Could you see the electricity? (No, but you could see what the electricity did.)
3. Application & Talking Point
Have your family move into the room where the TV or radio is. Tell one of your children to turn on the TV or radio. Listen for a few moments, and then have someone turn it off.
Ask the following questions:
Q. How does the TV or radio work? (Most children and adults won’t be able to answer this question very well, and that’s the point: we don’t really know how they work, we just know that they do.)
Q. What does the TV or radio need in order to work? (electricity)
Explain to your children that the Holy Spirit is kind of like electricity. When we become Christians, it’s like having a power plant in our hearts! Although we may not fully understand how He does it, the Holy Spirit guides, convicts, comforts, and teaches us. He also gives us the power we need to do what God asks us to.
4. Prayer Focus
Pray together, thanking God for giving each member of your family the Holy Spirit as a power source in your lives.