PREPARING FOR YOUR GROUP
Homework: (10-90 minutes)
- Familiarize yourself with this Group Study Guide
- If you missed it,CLICK HEREto watch the weekend sermon
- If a certain quote from the sermon resonated with you, consider posting it to Twitter or Instagram. Here's a sample: Reveling in the power I've been given to chooseand the offer to be God's adopted child. #cfchurch
- Read John 1:10-13
- Sit in prayerful silence with God for a while, and then ask the Holy Spirit if there is anything that He wants to do during your Group's time together.
BEGIN HERE WITH YOUR GROUP
Opening Prayer: (Say Aloud, 1 minute)
Pray the following prayer for your Group. Feel free to make the words your own.
Thank you for the gift that you have freely offered, that we may be your sons and daughters. Thank you for giving us free will, the ability to choose You, and to experience real and authentic love. Help us to grasp this gift and Your love in a real and tangible way, and move in our hearts and in our midst.
Quick Connection: (Say Aloud, 5 minutes)
Let's have everyone take 30 seconds each to share a phrase or a moment from this weekend's message that is still resonating with them. You also have the option to say "Pass."
QUESTIONS FOR LARGE GROUP DISCUSSION (30 minutes):
(Note for Group Leaders)There are more questions than your Group will likely have time to get through. Choose the questions that connect to the aspects of the message that were resonating the most deeply with you.
Let's all have a Bible opened up to John 1:10-13 as we discuss what God was saying to us from this week's message.
- In John 1:10-11 it says, "the world did not recognize himand his own did not receive him." In verse 12, it says, "Yet to all who did receive Him." What is this contrast calling out? How does this apply to us?
- What does it mean to be adopted into God's family?
- What does it mean in verse 12 that "we have been given the right (or power) to become children of God"? What does that right or power entail?
- When an older child is adopted, they have a say in whether they want to be adopted by the family that has offered it. How is this similar to or different from our salvation and adoption into God's family?
- How is God's parenting philosophy different than ours?
- What does gratitude look like in light of this gift?
CLOSING PRAYER (15 minutes):
If your Group is newly formed, it's probably best that you are the one who prays. If this time of prayer requires some vulnerability or transparency, be the first to pray so that you set a tone of honesty for everyone else.
Pray for God's gift to overflow from our lives and that our gratitude to Him would touch others this Christmas season. Pray for those who have recently made the choice for Him, and those whom you know that still need to make this choice. Pray for a boldness to shine God's light in a dark world, and show the way to Him.
PUTTING THIS INTO PRACTICE
Based on how God has spoken to us through this weekend's message, here are some thoughts and examples of how we can put God's word into everyday practice.
This week, in the midst of the business of this season, spend some time in solitude with God reflecting on the real meaning of Jesus' Birth. Ponder the gift you have been given, and the choice that goes with it. If you have made that choice to receive the gift, listen to God voice and think of His priorities laid out in His word, and work out practical ways your gratitude can be expressed.