Dark Materials Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:  Where is the abundance? God wants you full, and the enemy wants you empty. John 10:10 says that the devil comes only to steal and kill and destroy; Jesus came so that we may have life and have it abundantly. But what is abundance?
Click on the picture below to watch with your group:

Discussion Starter:  Where do you feel like you have enough? Where do you feel like you need more? What are you seeking to satisfy yourself with?

Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: ‭ John 1:10, Matthew 7:7-11, Matthew 4:1-4
Discussion Questions:

  1. Read John 10:10. Look up the definition of abundant. Describe the abundant life as Christ intended for His faithful followers.
  2. Consider the “abundance” in your life based on this verse. What holds you back from fully living the abundant life in Christ? How will you ask God to take away the lies of scarcity mindset Pastor mentioned so that you can grab hold of what God freely longs to give – an abundant life.
  3. Read Matthew 7:7-11. We learned that abundance comes from God along and with a hearty helping of asking. In these verses Jesus is instructing on prayer. What are the three verbs He mentions? Has there been a time where God has allowed you to persist in prayer? What did God teach you in that time?
  4. Read Matthew 4:1-4. Here Jesus powerfully refuted the temptations of Satan by using truth from Scripture. Pastor warned us to “feast” on God’s Word so that we are filled with His truth. If we aren’t full of His truth, the enemy slinks in, making us think that filling ourselves with things of this world will satisfy. How are people tempted in similar ways today? How can you use God’s Word to overcome inner conflicts and refuse temptation? Read 1 Corinthians 10:13 to help you with this response.

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Matthew 7:7-11 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.

Embrace Others

Break into groups of two or three and discuss how the life Jesus offers us is far richer and fuller than anything the world offers or Satan’s temptations. The abandoned life (one fully surrendered to Jesus) IS the abundant life! Pray together that each of you may realize this abundance found only in the overflowing forgiveness, love and guidance of Christ and for God to reveal any areas where you are settling for anything less than God’s best.

Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:   Promisors can fully embrace the abundant life in Christ by diving deeply into His Word. Consider jumping into our church-wide Bible reading plan. You don’t have to start at the beginning, just click on this link daily: https://faithpromise.org/bible-plan 

In addition, mark your calendars for March 7th, 9:00 AM. At each campus we will have another Saturday Prayer Gathering. Acts 2:42: “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer”. James 5:16b: “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

Engaging in Community and the World:  Faith Promise supports many local charities, and Knox Area Rescue Ministries is one of them. Consider serving in one of their stores as a group! When you serve there or take a donation to one of their centers and mention Faith Promise, KARM gives the church gift cards to give to people in need.

Expand God’s Kingdom

Another FP value is We tell Them of Him. This world is full of real people with real problems who need the real love of Jesus. How do we tell of the abundant life in real life? Plain and simple! We share with them the truth about God, how our sin separates us from Him, how Jesus took the punishment we deserve, and how we can be reconciled to Him through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Will you pray for opportunities to lovingly and boldly share these truths with someone this week?

Leader’s Notes

1. Abundant: existing or available in large quantities; plentiful. The abundant life is the contented life and happens when we live in Jesus’ inexhaustible joy, peace, love, patience, self-control, power, endurance and ability to meet every situation. Jesus gives purpose, meaning, and direction in His presence and strength. Abundant life isn’t an especially long life. Abundant life isn’t an easy, comfortable life. Abundant life is a life of satisfaction and contentment in Jesus. His followers can live without fear!
2. Answers will vary. Believers can grab hold of God’s promises of an abundant life. Jesus came not only to give believers eternal life; HE intends for us to experience this eternal quality of life NOW!
3. Ask, seek, knock. Jesus used three verbs to emphasize the need for us to prayerfully persevere in faith. God teaches us to depend on Him in everything; He is training us to trust Him. He wants us to be faithful and constant, praying with HOPE (hands open praying expectantly). When our hands are open and not clenched, He can give us every good and perfect gift. We may receive hard things, but His goal is to transform us and expand our vision of Him so that our desires are His desires and we can live the abundant life He intended for us!
4. We are tempted to follow our plans for our life and not to surrender to the Lord’s. We want to be our own god and therefore settle for less than God’s best.

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.