Week 6:  I Belong to God

Scripture:  Ephesians 1:17 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace

It is wonderful to experience God’s grace, His peace, His hope, and His love for us.  This is what His redemption plan is all about.  He redeemed us back with His own blood so that we could have a relationship with him. 

What does it mean to be redeemed through His blood?  How did the cross make it possible for our sins to be forgiven through His grace?


Encouragement:   We belong to God and not ourselves 

One of the most important things to remember is that we belong to God.  We are not our own. We have been bought with a price.  We were purchased with His own blood as part of the redemption story.  

What does it mean to belong to God? How comforting is it to know that we belong to Him? 


Next Steps:  God has a plan for our life, not just for our salvation

If we are going to embrace God as our master, we are going to have to humble ourselves and relinquish control of our life and our circumstances.  When we are saved, it’s no longer about us, it’s about what we can do to help others and to help move His kingdom forward. 

What area of your life or your circumstances do you need to relinquish control of?  What steps do you need to take to align your plans with God’s plans for your life? 


Prayer: 

As we end today’s Growth Group, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs.  By being there for each other, we help move God’s kingdom forward. 


Week 5:  God Expects Me to Love Everyone

Scripture: Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 

We cannot love on our own.  It takes the power of the Holy Ghost to wash over us.  It is the Holy Ghost that transforms hearts It is the Holy Ghost that allows us to let go of past wounds and hurts so that love can begin to flow out of us.  

In what ways does "the love of God shed abroad in our hearts" give new meaning to how we should love others?  How does the Holy Ghost transform our lives so that we can love others?


Encouragement:   When you get your relationship with God right you are able to love right
When we understand how much God loves us, it will compel us to love others.  It moves us to action; it requires us to do something. When we are full of the Holy Ghost, we are able to operate in that love and powerful things begin to happen. 

What moment in your life can you look back on as a time when you were able to show love to someone because of the transforming power of the Holy Ghost that worked through you?  


Next Steps:  God is love
One of the key components of wonder is to understand and experience love.  More than any of our yearnings, love is desired by all, squandered by many, and yet distorted by most of us.  But when we begin to show love, something powerful begins to happen. 

Think about your own relationships.  What is love requiring of you? What is love telling you to do because it is the loving thing to do? 


Prayer: 
As we end today’s Growth Group, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs.  Let’s be the church who doesn’t just talk about love but lives it out as well.     


Week 4:  Everything Is Possible With God

Encouragement:  If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God. 

We have a propensity (tendency) to pray low-risk miracle prayers. We pray for small things instead of asking God or the supernatural in our lives.  God wants us to believe for the impossible that requires His divine intervention so that He can get the glory.  

Tell about a time in which you prayed an impossible prayer. How did God come through for you?


Next Steps:  You wouldn’t need God if you could manage your own problems. 

The most difficult time is when you see God perform miracles for others and you need a miracle for yourself.  Unbelief can set in and you can start to believe the lie of, “God said it, but he can’t do it”.  Now is the hour to stand up and declare, “God, I need your divine power and intervention in my life.”.

What do you need God to do that seems impossible to you? What unbelief do you need to get rid of so that you can ask God for the impossible?


Scripture: Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly, above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. 

It’s not our job to perform the miracle. It’s our job to believe in the miracle. It’s our job to stand on the promises of God’s word.  

What is this scripture teaching you about trusting God for the outcome of your impossible situation? How is your faith made stronger because of this promise?


Prayer: 

As we end today’s Growth Group, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs.  Let’s be the body of Christ who believes together for the impossible! 



Week 3:  The Whole World Needs Jesus

Scripture:  Matthew 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest

The hardest part for us as Christians is to become connected with the harvest. Connecting saved people with lost people. Connecting with those that need to know, need to be influenced, and need to be prayed over. Connecting those who have the truth with those who do not have the truth. 

In what ways can we connect more with the harvest that God has placed in our daily lives? How should this scripture change the way we pray for lost souls


Encouragement:  If you lost your child you wouldn’t stop until you found them.  If this is true about the physical body, why wouldn’t we do it for the eternal soul?

Others need to hear how God saved us when we were lost. They need to know how God in His great mercy rescued us. They need to know that we have fought battles just like them.

What is your faith story?  At what point in your journey did God shift/transform your life? 



Next Steps:  The Gospel came to you trying to get to someone else

We are all conduits of God’s story.  There’s someone in each of our lives that needs to know that someone cares enough and loves enough to tell them what they need to hear. There’s someone out there that their world is in turmoil and they need to know that there is someone bigger than their problems.


Tell about a time when you connected on a spiritual level with someone who needed Jesus.  How will you let God use you this week in order to make that kind of connection again with someone else?



Prayer: 

As we end today’s lesson, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs.  Let’s be the body of believers who offers support and encouragement knowing that there is power when two or three agree together in His name. 


Week 2:  Only the Church Will Last Forever

Scripture:  Living for the eternal and not the here and now

Satan wants us to focus on the “here and now” because he knows his future is dismal. Jesus on the other hand wants us to focus on the “eternal” because the future of the church is amazing. He wants us to realize how just frail this life really is so that we will keep our focus on what He has in store for us in the eternal.
1 Corinthians 15:19 states: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”

Describe a person you know who only lived for the “here and now’. How miserable was that person? How do you think their life would have ended up if they had chosen to live for the eternal instead?


Encouragement: There are benefits to being a part of the church

There are many benefits to being a part of the church. The church offers community, a support system, encouragement, power, learning and growing, security, and exponential capacities to be able to reach our world with the Gospel of Christ. These benefits help the church to stay strong.

Think about a time in which you were hurting or experiencing a painful situation. How did the church body come together to show you community, support, and encouragement that helped you get through your situation?


Next Steps: Reasons people give for not wanting to be a part of the church

Not willing to be accountable to the body of Christ, unwilling to let go of their self-will and their selfish ways, unwilling to let go of pride, being too comfortable with their current lifestyle, and wanting to stay in control are some of the areas that prevent people from wanting to be a part of the church. As believers in the body of Christ we can also be deceived in these same areas.  

What area in your life are you struggling with that is preventing you from being completely all in the church? What would it take for you to let go of these deceptions? How can the body of Christ help you in taking that next step of letting go?


Prayer:

As we end today’s lesson, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and each other’s needs. Let’s be the body of believers who offers support and encouragement knowing that there is power when two or three agree together in His name.


Week 1:  It's All About God

Encouragement:  It’s a change in listening not just a change in feelings

We can get so caught up in the buzz and the hype of life in all its emotions and feelings that we lose the ability to hear the voice of God. We can get in such a hurry that we stop listening to what God is speaking into our lives.  When we are still, we can hear what God is trying to tell us.

Tell about a time when you were spiritually in tune with God.  How did you know He was speaking to you?  How does this encourage you to spend more time being still and listening to God?


Scripture:  It's about losing yourself not finding yourself.

The more obsessed we are with ourselves, the more we neglect our souls. A life without God simply has no choice but to fall apart. We were made for God.  Matthew 16:25 states, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake will find it."

How can we prevent getting so caught up in ourselves and what this world has to offer that we neglect our souls?


Prayer:  Before moving on to Next Steps, let’s take a moment to pray for one another and to pray for each other’s needs.


Next Steps:  It's about obeying God not just loving God

Once you begin your walk with God, you begin a lifelong journey of obeying Christ and following His commandments.  It will require sacrifice, paying a cost, carrying the cross, dealing with temptation, being totally committed and even dealing with persecution.  

If you want easy and convenience you don’t want Jesus.  Take a moment to think about what God has been asking you to do? What will it take for you to say, “Yes”?