This was the question Jesus asked some of his first followers in the Gospel of John (1:38), and it’s a question that continues to challenge us at the intersection of our faith and our lives today.
What do you want, really?
I mean, many of us know what should be the right answers: God, Jesus, love, truth, peace, etc.
But what if the actual desire of our hearts does not align with these “right answers”?
What if we mistakenly believe we desire that which we in fact do not?
What if we are so caught up in the daily duties and distractions of life that the deeper wants and longings of our souls go untended for months or even years at a time?
This week in Hebrews 11:13-16, we will see that the heroes of our faith learned to answer this question well. And at times, their answer held them as firmly as they held their faith.
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SEE IT // BE IT
(WEEKLY COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE)
Title: Faith Overflowing to Next Generations // Scripture: Hebrews 11:17-21
ARRIVAL / SOCIAL TIME 15-20 minutes Spend the first 15 minutes or so of your time together catching up and socializing with one another. Also find time to catch up together on how the assignments from last week turned out.
SERMON REVIEW 5-10 minutes
Sometimes we refer to a particularly righteous person as a man or woman “of God.” But in the Bible, we often find that script is flipped. Many times, God is called the God of specific people—namely Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 50:24; Exodus 3:15; Acts 7:32).
This week we looked at the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The faith of these three men spans generations and alters the course of the world. But their faith looks different than we might think. Far from perfect, these men show us an unlikely key to not only living a life of worship, but living worship that overflows into the next generation. God blessed each man the same way, with the same blessing, from generation to generation. Each of their stories begins and ends with worship. God fixes his name to each of these men in spite of their brokenness. Abraham’s faith falters out of fear, Isaac’s favoritism fractures his family, and Jacob’s façade brings failure and weakness. But God is faithful to each of them in the face of their failures, for it is in our weakness that He blesses us.
As human beings, God designed us with the ability to be vulnerable and open in the face of failure. And God loves when we faithfully wrestle with him and with ourselves, because his goal is to build a people of character who can face their fears, overcome their desires, and live with a vulnerability that points to the faithfulness of God and results in honest, open worship of his name.
THE MAIN THOUGHT keep this in mind as you facilitate discussion.
God wants us to become people of faithful character who desperately love him in spite of our weaknesses.
SEE IT – Questions 10-15 minutes
Picture (What is the story saying?): What personal weakness did each person in the story have to face? How did God prove his faithfulness to each of them in spite of their failure? What is more important in the eyes of God: innocence or character? Why?
Mirror (Where am I in the story?): What is your greatest fear, desire, and/or secret? How is God responding in a way that is surprising? How is He asking you to faithfully wait for his answer? What are you wrestling with God about today?
Window (How does the story change how I see those around me?): How are you treating the failures of others around you? How can your own vulnerability help others around you worship God more? What is one way that God is asking you to be vulnerable in your workplace, home, or family?
BE IT – Practice 10-15 minutes
Change UP // Exercise 5 minutes
Read Psalm 34 out loud. Ask God to give you words of hope in the face of your fears, words of challenge in the face of your desires, and words of correction to change your determination to desperation. Share the words God gives.
Change IN // Group Activity 5 minutes
Share a story from your life in which facing a fear, desire, or area of brokenness increased your character. What did you learn about God and his faithfulness in that experience? How can you pass that blessing to the next generation?
Change OUT // Life Application Assignment 5 minutes
Consider the neighborhood, next generation, or nations around your community. Who is struggling with fear, favoritism, or failure? Identify a specific action you can take to point that person to God, to pass on the “baton” of blessing to them, or press into an area of weakness with them. Ask God how He wants you to respond and then do it this week! Be ready to share your experience with the group next week.
CLOSING PRAYER 5 minutes
Take a few minutes to gather any prayer requests and pray for each other to SEE IT and BE IT this week.