Heart of God – Discussion Guide
Pastor encourages Promisors to pursue the HEART OF GOD and find ways to be one in unity against the destructive forces of darkness and division.
Stories are powerful. How you your story makes people connect with you. You are all storytellers.
To do this activity: one person acts as the narrator and is responsible for moving the story along. The first person starts the story with a sentence like, “Mike went to the supermarket because…” The next person continues the story, “He needed eggs to bake a cake for..” The story continues on like this until it reaches the last person.
This is a listening exercise that requires everyone to pay attention to what the others have said. It also stresses the importance of telling a story and that unity and strong communication are needed to do that. What would it take for complete unity?
The world is divided in every way right now. Sadly, the Church is divided as well. What would it take for complete unity?
Primary Scriptures: Ephesians 6:12, 4:11-16, 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, John 17:13-24, Acts 4:32
- Know who you’re fighting. (Ephesians 6:12)
We can’t reconcile with each other until we defeat Satan. You must be able to see the real enemy working in your life in order to let go of the division with other people. There are people in your life with whom you don’t agree. Are they the real enemy? Discuss grace and what that can look like in your life with those people. How is the enemy using people in your life to cause division?
- Who has influence in your life? (Ephesians 4:11-16)
Pastor says that the word unity (from the root word “one”) is used 229 times in the New Testament. We have an “us vs. them” mentality in the world today. What is God saying in Ephesians 4:11-16 about unity and influence? Who is influencing your posts on social media, your discussions with others, and your thoughts on what’s going on in the world? How can you “lovingly speak the truth” (v. 15) to those around you?
Unity through Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
As a Christians, we have no problem understanding that we must have a growing relationship with Jesus. But do we understand that through us, He is “reconciling the world to Himself” (v 19)? We are called to unite with others in order to be united with God. How can we do that? Study the word “reconciliation” and discuss as a group how you can use it in your life.
Complete unity for all (John 17:13-24, Acts 4:32)
The world is full of accusations, strife, discord, and rage. Satan has us exactly where he wants us. We are actually helping hell win. The enemy wants confusion and division. Jesus, in John 17, is praying for all of us as His disciples. He asks our Father to unite as one, perfected in unity, so that the world will know Him. His desire is for us all to be one so that those who don’t know Him will know why He was sent to this world in the first place. Unity is the key for the love of God to be known around the world. How do we do that? Acts 4:32 spells it out fairly clearly. Discuss how you can love others, how you can get rid of division, and how to show Jesus’ love to those in your life.
Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read John 17:13-24 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.
Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes for this section.
How do we serve God? By serving and loving others. Faith Promise values include “We Serve Others.” Who are you serving? Serve Day 2020 is July 11. Your group can do ANYTHING to serve someone in your community. Email [email protected] for current projects at your campus OR go to https://faithpromise.org/events/serve-day-2020 for Acts of Service, Acts of Encouragement, and Acts of Kindness ideas that your group can do.
Engage the World Around Us
Engaging at Faith Promise: Pastor asks us to engage others and ask more questions in order to have a better understanding of them. Faith Promise Values include “We Elevate Those Around Us” and “We Grow Together.” Who are you having conversations with? It is not about expressing our own opinions. James 1:19 says, “This you know, my brothers. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” Listen to others in order to actually hear them, not to formulate your response.
Engaging in Community and the World: The world seems a bit crazy at the moment. Galatians 6:2 prompts us to “bear one another’s burdens and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” We are known as His disciples by our love for others. How can you bear another’s burdens? Together, your group can be more than a simple discussion or space to purge your own opinions. Identify an area in the world, a different culture, or even a different opinion than your own and learn more about it. Walk in someone else’s shoes (and bear their burdens) for your group time so that you can understand them more.
Expand God’s Kingdom
The gospel is the only real answer for true reconciliation. The world will not be united until it is united with God. Laws can be passed, awareness can be brought forward, but until hearts are transformed, division will remain. Pastor talked about the Berlin Wall and how everyone had a small part in tearing it down. If sharing the gospel is a large part of the solution, are you doing your part? Who are you sharing Jesus with? Identify and pray for those who need to hear the gospel from each of you in the group.
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.