LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of February 4, 2024
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
Need help with anything? We’re here to help! Don’t hesitate to contact your Life Group pastor if you need some extra help leading the discussion, or addressing a specific topic or personal issue that has surfaced in your group.
BEGIN TO FINALIZE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL and/or SERVICE PROJECT
White Water Vacation Adventure for Leaders & Hosts (and friends in their Life Group)! June 22-26Back by popular demand! Join us for an adventure of a lifetime whitewater rafting down the Klamath River! Led by Life Group Pastor Dave Enns and his wife Koreena, along with Kameron & Emily Drawhorn on staff at the San Marcos / Escondido campus. And this year we’ve added the opportunity to invite anyone in your Life Group. Enjoy nature, community, and a time to be refreshed and encouraged spiritually! CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS!
If you were to tell a friend something you heard, learned, or were encouraged by in this weekend’s message, how would you say it in your own words?
1. This weekend, we were reminded we are children of God. Draw or find a picture that represents to you what a parent and child relationship is like. Bring the picture to group with you and be ready to explain what you see in the image and what it represents.
Does the picture reflect how you see your relationship with God as His child? In what ways does it? In what ways doesn’t it?
This kind of question (using imagery/pictures) may not appeal to everyone, but some people may really enjoy it! Consider encouraging those who have a hard time finding or explaining a photo to stretch themselves a little bit.
Additional Question: Oftentimes children pick up traits, behaviors, mannerisms, or interests of their parents. How have you seen children or yourself reflect or behave in the likeness of a parent? If you have a child, how have you seen your child become like you or reflect you?
2. Damean talked about the confidence we can have as children of God. When do you feel most confident? Is there a moment, memory, or season of your life you can look back on and see confidence?
Additional Question: Damean shared a story about his daughter having “raspberry confidence.” Is there a story that comes to mind for you when you or someone you know had that kind of confidence?
Read 1 John 2:28-3:10 and write down any insights, questions, or key observations. Then answer the questions that follow.
1 John 2:28-3:10 New International Version (NIV)
28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.
3 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. 4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. 7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.
1. When you hear that the Father has lavished great love on you, what comes to mind? Is there an image, story, action, verse or thought that pops into your head first?
This is a good question to hear from everyone.
2. Damean talked about how God’s great love is “out of this world” in its unusual and unique nature. This is the love He lavishes on us – generously, extravagantly, abundantly. Do you feel His love in these ways, or do you struggle to feel these things about God’s love? Explain.
As Damean pointed out, sometimes shame can keep us from being able to sense God’s love. Other times it can be so easy to take God’s love for granted and to forget to “see” or “behold” that love as John tells us to do in 3:1. If you struggle to feel the great, lavish nature of God’s love, what do you think keeps you from sensing it? What do you think could help you feel these things about God’s love?
3. When you think about being a child of God, does it feel like an honor, a gift, a responsibility, a burden? Does it make you feel confident? Does it feel freeing? Does it ever feel challenging? Explain.
4. Damean pointed out that living like we are loved as children of God means we deal with sin differently. We know we all sin, which John established in chapter 1, but children of God do not make a lifestyle or continual practice of habitual sin. How do you tell the difference between struggling with sin and making a practice of sin?
As Larry put it last week, a good test is to ask yourself – are you making progress, making excuses, or have you given up?
Additional Verses: Read Romans 8:1-16 and notice the roles of the Holy Spirit and us when it comes to our sin.
Additional Question: Have you ever had a time where the Holy Spirit stopped you from doing something you were about to do? (ex: you were about to flip someone off, but you didn’t; you were about to respond in anger, but you didn’t, etc.)
5. Damean shared that “sin costs you more than you want to pay and keeps you longer than you want to stay.” Have you ever felt that way about an area of sin in your life? Explain.
Everyone may not have an answer for this.
Additional Question: How do you see this idea reflected in Romans 7:14-25?
6. While “do not sin” can feel like a command about behavior, it is rooted in a calling to identity— who He is and who we are becoming as His children. When you notice or respond to your own sin, do you usually think of it in terms of behavior or identity? What could help you remember your identity as a child of God in a moment you catch yourself sinning?
Additional Question: Damean talked about repenting of sin, fixing our eyes on Jesus, getting to know God through His word and letting His Word carry weight in our lives. Are there any of these you want to lean into, practice, or do more?
Is there one thing you want to focus on or remember from this week’s teaching?