07/17. The only one and only (John 14:1-14) [ch. 5]
Lesson Objective: To discover God’s reliability and to commit to living with a constant awareness of his presence in your daily life.
1. CALM ASSURANCE (JOHN 14:1–4). Jesus had just delivered disturbing news to the disciples—he was leaving them. What they needed was assurance, not an explanation. He offered assurance by telling them that he would prepare a place for them in heaven. The secret to peace in any situation is total trust in Jesus Christ.
a. What are some of certain things in your life?
b. What are some other things by which you determine your direction in life
– ambition, possessions, popularity, appearance, family/friends, emotions, career
2. TROUBLING CONFUSION (JOHN 14:5–11). Three years as Jesus’s closest friends wasn’t enough to comfort Thomas, Philip, and the others. Thomas took Jesus’s figurative language literally and missed the point. Philip expected Jesus to pull back the cur- tains of heaven revealing God to the disciples. Both disciples were well intentioned, but confused.
a. What troubling situation are you facing right now (consider these areas: Home, relationship, career, spiritual life)
3. LIFE SIMPLIFIED (JOHN 14:12–14). Jesus never intended for our faith relationships with him to be complicated; he wanted us to have a simple faith. Life is simplified when our needs are in line with God’s will. Jesus never offered to give us everything we want; he offered to answer prayers that are in line with his purposes. Once we are in right relationships with him, we will cease praying selfish prayers. We will focus on serving and pleas- ing him.
a. Discuss how believers determine between needs and wants. Point out how our spiritual lives will be improved when we pray for the things that matter to Jesus rather than those things that we want.
b. Is you faith religion-based or relationship-based? explain your response
07/10 – When you get booted out (Hosea 3:1–5)
Objective: To discover God’s relentless love and commit to living in a right relationship with our heavenly Father.
1. DO OVER (HOSEA 3:1). Hosea was unique because he was tuned in to God. Notice that this verse begins with “then” indicating that Hosea already had heard from God in the past. God’s instruction to Hosea is to “start all over” (3:1 MSG). Gomer had moved out and was living with her latest boyfriend. She had become a slave to a lifestyle that was dishonoring to Hosea and to God. Yet God didn’t order Hosea to discard her; he orders Hosea to get her back.
2. DO BETTER (HOSEA 3:2–3). God would not allow his people to continue in their spiritual rebellion against him. He symbolically bought them back. Gomer’s isolation from her family is symbolic of Israel’s isolation in the Babylonian Exile. Though they would become the property of the Babylonians, the nation eventually would be returned to their homes. Though the people had strayed from God, they eventually would be in a right relation- ship with him once again.
3. DO ENDURE (HOSEA 3:4–5). Things were going to get worse before they got better. The Israelites would spend seventy years in Babylonian captivity before they were allowed to return home. Upon returning home, they would discover the things weren’t the way they dreamed they would be. Many of the structures were in ruins and the land was inhabited by other people groups.
This is where we see that God’s love does not override his justice. The people had sinned and set in motion a series of events that would not be stopped. These events were the direct conse- quences of their rebellion. God’s love was there, but he could not reward bad behavior.
The same is true in our lives—we make bad decisions and rebel against God. God loves us, will forgive us, but will not intervene in the consequences we invite into our lives.
a. Hosea was told to marry a woman (Gomer) who would be unfaithful to him. Later on Gomer left Hosea and was taken into slavery and Hosea was forced topay a huge price to reclaim her. What does this true story symbolize? What we can learn about the love of God
b. In what ways do you see evidence of god’s love in your daily life?
c. God’s love for his people-you and me- is not based on his emotion, it is based on his decision. God loved the world in this way: He gave his Son as payment for our sins. In what ways is God’s love similar to or different from our love? If this is the way in which God loves us, what should be our response to him
06/26 — HOPE for hard heart (ch 3). Exodus 32:1-35
Lesson Objective: To discover the sources of a hardened heart and commit to renewing a vibrant relationship with God.
Scripture: Exodus 32:1-35. The Israelite does not obey God’s commandment and made a golden calf to worship it as God.
1. SELFISH IMPATIENCE (EXODUS 32:1)
2. MISDIRECTED WORSHIP (EXODUS 32:2–6).
3. RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION (EXODUS 32:7–29).
4. RENEWED PURPOSE (EXODUS 32:30–35)
Hardened Heart – resistance to or rejection of God’s Word and/or his will.
a. Describe the last time you experienced a hardened heart. What caused it?
b. The Israelites grew spiritually impatient. They didn’t want to wait for Moses to return from his meeting with God; they didn’t want to waste time on their way to the Promised Land. We have the same problem – we grow impatient when God doesn’t do things according to our schedules. We get angry when we don’t understand why the journey is taking so long. We begin to question God’s love for us. Discuss some of the reasons people grow impatient with God. List responses on the board.
c. Describe a time when you have been impatient with God. how did your impatience affect your spiritual life?
d. Maybe you’ve never melted your jewelry to make a golden calf, but you might have allowed something in your life to become more important than your relationship with God. What are some of those things that have displaced God in your life.
e. What are the three things God has done for you in the past that can serve as reminders of his love for you?
“Is your heart hard? Take it to your Father. You’re only a prayer away from tenderness. You live in a hard world, but you don’t have to live with a hard heart.”
Seminar Objective: To discover that God is in the midst of every detail of life—no matter how small—and to commit to trusting Him in every situation.
Read Isaiah 40:18-31. God was disrespected by his followers. They ignored the obvious and chose to worship inanimate objects rater than the living God. In this passage, God seems appalled that the Israelites could experience all they had been through and yet turn to idols rather than the creator. They know the stories of the crossing of the Red Sea and David and Goliath. They had seen God do incredible things in their lives, yet they ignored him. Now they were whining because they were suffering the consequences of their actions.
a. Discuss some of the ways people respond when they begin experiencing the consequences of their disobedience.
b. When was the last time you whined to God? In retrospect, was whining the best option? Why or Why not?
1. INCOMPARABLE POWER (ISAIAH 40:18–20)
a. write a modern paraphrase of verses 18–20, substituting con- temporary idols for those listed in the passage.
2. UNDENIABLE EVIDENCE (ISAIAH 40:21–26).
b. Discuss modern evidence of God’s activity and how God’s actions should affect the faith of those who claim to be his children.
3. UNFATHOMABLE LOVE (ISAIAH 40:27–31).
a. Discuss how God’s people can grow in the midst of waiting for God. Identify some of the sources of spiritual growth that are available.
b. What is one situation that you want to give to God right now? How has this situation been affecting your life?