Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on February 11, 2018
Passage: Mark 14:32-36; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6; Matthew 7:9-11
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
1. How do you typically handle calls from telemarketers or strangers trying to sell you something over the phone? Do you talk to close family and friends differently than telemarketers? Does the identity of the person on the other end of the line change your approach to the conversation? How do you think this relates to you and prayer?
2. What was the best gift you ever received from your dad?
3. Looking back at your notes from this week’s message, was there anything you heard for the first time or that caught your attention, challenged, or confused you?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. This Sunday Mike explained that when we pray, we should see God as a loving father who only wants to do us good. When we pray, we don’t have to doubt how God feels about us because scripture teaches that He sees us as His dearly loved children. According to the following verses, how is God a good father to you?
1 John 3:1-2 (ESV)
1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
Hebrews 12:7-11 (ESV)
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Romans 8:14-18 (ESV)
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
- Have you ever had doubts that God is a loving father who only wants to do you good? If so, how have you worked to erase those doubts?
- Does knowing that you are praying to a Good Father affect how you pray and what you pray for?
2. At the moment we come to faith in Christ, God gives us the “Spirit of his Son” to dwell in us. One of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is to create in us the desire to call out to God as a child affectionately calls out to his or her daddy. How do the following verses describe how we should approach God in prayer?
Hebrews 4:15-16 (ESV)
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 10:19-22 (ESV)
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Ephesians 3:12 (ESV)
12 in whom [Jesus] we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
- Have there been times when you have not felt free or confident to enter God’s presence to pray?
- According to these verses, what should be the source of our confidence?
3. We can approach God confidently in prayer because have a Father who will only give us what is best for us. The following parable illustrates the kind of Father that God is to us. Read this passage and write down all the characteristics of the father in this story who displays for us what our God is like.
Luke 15:11-32 (ESV)
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. 17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. 25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”
- What is your favorite part of this parable?
- Does this story change the way you should approach God in prayer?
TAKE IT HOME
1. Looking back at this week’s teaching and study, is there one thing you’d especially like to remember this week?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?