INTRODUCTION

Thanks for being a part of this six-week small group experience. Whether this is your first time in a group or you’re a seasoned group member, we hope that you come to see Jesus in a clear and fresh way. One of the best ways to grow in your relationship with Jesus is to be with other believers. This group will provide inspiration, encouragement and hope through the Holy Spirit. Welcome aboard!

NOTE: Still looking to join a group? Visit our Small Group Sign-Up form to get started!

What should I expect and what will the group expect from me? Great questions!

Here are some guidelines that will ensure a dynamic group experience:

  1. Show up each week on time with this simple prayer on your lips and in your heart, “Lord, I think a richer relationship with you is possible. I want more peace, power, and assurance. Show me clearly that you are real, near and able to transform my life.”
  2. Be honest, real and as vulnerable and transparent as possible. Share your experiences, not those of others or society at large. Group members are not here to criticize, condemn, or fix each other. We’re here to spend time with the Holy Spirit and see what He has for each of us.
  3. Be considerate. Don’t talk too much; don’t be too quiet. Respect others by keeping their stories confidential. They will do the same for you.   :)
  4. Since the meetings are online, test your computer or smart device ahead of time. Don’t wait until group time to see if everything is working properly. Find a quiet place in your house and mute your microphone when/if there is background noise. All of these practical tips are helpful. You and everyone in the group will have a better experience if you follow these tips.

 

NOTE: We will be using a Spotify playlist as part of our study. Everyone, please download the app so you have it ready to go. We can’t tell you why yet -- just trust us, you’ll love it!   : )

Know[n] Small Group Experience

“A Tale of Two Births”

Getting Connected – Share the earliest photo you have of yourself. (Leaders, ask everyone to email their photo ahead of time so you can share them on Zoom.) Ask everyone to take 2 minutes to share as much as they can about what it was like growing up! (Leaders will keep a timer and, yes, everyone will actually stop when the time elapses.)

Welcome the Holy Spirit - Pray this prayer together: “Lord, I think a richer relationship with you is possible. I want more peace, power, and assurance. Show me clearly that you are real, near and able to transform my life.” (Disclaimer: Multiple people talking at once when you’re online is messy. Brace yourself. Remember that God can sort it out!)

Describe what it’s like to be a (insert your last name). What are some of the things you enjoy about your heritage and some things that are a bit quirky? Keep it brief.

Bible Reading - John 3:1-15

Divide the 15 verses by the number of people in the group and give everyone a chance to read a couple of verses:

1Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. 10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.  12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”   (NIV)

Pause & Reflect -

What stood out? What got your attention?

Have everyone share something from the story that was personally meaningful.

Watch this creative telling of the story from The Chosen. As you do, imagine how you would have responded if you were in Nicodemus’ shoes. (Keep in mind, the producer has used “creative license” to imagine what this conversation would have looked like. If you imagine it differently, feel free to share your version!)

https://youtu.be/Q1AyMDZNy9k 

Imagine that you were in Nicodemus’ place, having this same conversation. What would you have done or said?

Give everyone a chance to share.

Digging Deeper -

There is one phrase that I think is important to emphasize, if it hasn’t been already. “No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

We live in a pretty grey world. We like to be “inclusive” and avoid offending people.  Jesus didn’t hesitate to use exclusive language. Bold statements like this are definitely out of style. The kingdom Jesus was referring to is the present reality of God’s presence through His Holy Spirit. It is available to see and experience now.

What has been your experience of the “kingdom of God”? (This is a safe place to process this question. We’re not here to judge, just to learn and experience more of His kingdom.)

  • Is it just a future reality for you? Synonymous with heaven?
  • Or, when you pray, “Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven,” do you actually see that happening in your life?
  • The kingdom of God is made real through the in-dwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Share a time when you’ve experienced the Holy Spirit in a real way.

If you need to hear this same idea in a slightly different way, take a look at how the apostle Paul describes it. “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.” Romans 8:9

Once again, we find very clear, decisive language. The realm of the Spirit is the Kingdom of God that Jesus talks about. Challenging statements like this can be shocking to our system. But, they can create a chance to see God in a way we’ve never seen him.

On a scale of 1-10, how challenging or “foreign” are some of these topics to you? Discuss

List one way that you felt challenged tonight. What might God be trying to say to you? Discuss

The 10 Day/10 Minute Challenge -

  • For 10 days, get up 10 minutes earlier than normal.
  • Have your downloaded Spotify app ready.
  • Find a quiet private place, get your favorite drink, grab some headphones/earbuds, still your soul -- then listen to Spotify “Signs & Wonders” playlist for 10 minutes. (You can find the Spotify App on iTunes or Google Play.)
  • Just listen, be still, meditate, imagine resting with your heavenly Father.
  • You don’t need to talk, ask God for anything, just relax, enjoy His presence and listen for His voice. Don’t strain. Just let it come!

Wrap Up - Ask each person to share one thing they are thankful for about the group experience. Pray before you conclude the evening.

 

Know[n] Small Group Experience

“Knowing for Sure”

 Welcome back!

 If there is anyone new to the group, take a few moments to get acquainted so that everyone feels welcomed.

Getting Connected - Einstein once said, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.

Let each person share something that they once thought was true, only to find out later it wasn’t. (This could be a good opportunity to laugh WITH one another!) :) 

Prayer - Have someone in the group give thanks for this time together and thank the Holy Spirit for His presence.

10 Day/10 Minute Challenge Update - Take a few minutes for people to share their experience of the 10/10 challenge. What room did you use? How did it feel? Was one morning “better” than another? What was your highlight? What was your lowlight? Will you do anything different this week?

BTW - you don’t have to stop after 10 days.   :)

Scripture Reading -

Choose three people to read the two passages below. Ask them to read slowly and thoughtfully. You will hear the passages three times. After each reading, write the word or phrase that popped into your mind. It may be the same three words/phrases, or it may be different each time.

“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”  John 20:30,31 (NIV)

 “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”  1 John 5:11-13 (NIV)

Pause & Reflect - Now, take a few moments to share the words or phrases that came to you. Were there any “aha” moments? Anything that was personally challenging?

(Leaders, you may want to share these on the Zoom whiteboard.)

Digging Deeper - The apostle John believed that it was possible for someone to know that they have eternal life. Eternal life is something that “has been given” to us. Past tense. According to John, we can know and experience eternal life in this present moment.

Below you’ll find three sections from 1 John that repeat the phrase, “This is how we know.” As a group, name all the ways that John gives to help us know that we know.

(Leaders, share the whiteboard on Zoom as you write all the group’s comments.)

“This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6  (NIV)

“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. 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 John 3:9,10  (NIV)

“This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.” 1 John 4:13-16  (NIV)

Group Discussion -

  • What stood out to you about some of the comments on the Whiteboard?
  • Did you see anything new or different?
  • Do you feel your mind expanding? 

Below is a testimony about John Wesley. When he first learned from the Moravian Christians that this kind of assurance of salvation was available, he doubted his own Christian experience. He realized he was missing something. It actually made his brother Charles angry to hear him discredit his own faith! Can you relate?

Take some time to process this feeling.

Now, read this quote together and discuss:

Before his Aldersgate experience in 1738, John Wesley writes that having an assurance of his identity as a son of God was missing. According to his own interpretation of his spiritual journey, it is very likely that before this evangelical conversion Wesley was not yet a Christian. He writes about that very personal Aldersgate experience: “I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.” Whether you identify with Wesley’s faith before or after Aldersgate, after his faith became personal, he held to a strong doctrine of assurance—the belief that a person can indeed know they’re saved.”   (The quote is from the Seedbed website.)

  • What were the things you found encouraging and affirming from these quotes?
  • What was hard, confusing, or challenging?

Don’t try to solve anything now. Continue to meditate on those phrases that were hard or confusing. This week, ask God to give you understanding. Let Him know that you want to know that you have eternal life.

Wrap Up -

  • Share one “aha” moment from tonight. Something personal you felt God impress upon you. How would you like to respond this week?
  • Pray for one another based on the “aha” moments and the responses that people are planning for this week.

Know[n] Small Group Experience

“The Power to Do Great Things!”

Are we having fun yet?

Getting Connected - If you had one superhero power, which one would you choose and why?

Tonight we’re going to explore one of Jesus’ radical teachings. Before we do that, let’s pray that God will open our eyes and ears to see things in Scripture we’ve never seen before. And, to not only see them, but also let them challenge our current beliefs and allow us to be gradually transformed!

Prayer - Ask a few people to each say a short prayer, asking God to open eyes, hearts and ears that we might be changed by His living Word.

10 Day/10 Minute Challenge Update -

By now, everyone has had a chance to experience this early morning time with our Heavenly Father.

  • Did anyone feel that their relationship got closer? Describe the change.
  • Is anyone inspired to continue? What inspired you?
  • Did anyone hear God in a way they’ve never heard before? What happened?
  • Did anyone learn something new about God’s character or personality?

 

Scripture Reading - John 14:12-21

Let’s do the same kind of reading that we did last week.

Choose three people to read the passage below. Ask them to read slowly and thoughtfully. After each reading, write the word or phrase that popped into your mind. It may be the same three words/phrases or it may be different each time.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”  (NIV)

Pause & Reflect -

Now, take a few moments to share the words or phrases that came to you.

Were there any “aha” moments? Anything that was personally challenging?

(Leaders, you may want to share these on the Zoom whiteboard.)

Digging Deeper -

Let’s be honest. These promises sound too good to be true. Could Jesus really mean that we, “little ole us,” can do greater works than Him. We need to camp out here a bit. First, it’s important that we don’t gloss over the word “works” in verse 12. Jesus is referring to the miracles he performed. So, we need to wrestle with how we are going to apply this promise.

  • Was Jesus just talking to the apostles?
  • Did he just give this ability to those who lived during the first century?
  • Is it just for a select few? The super heroes of the Christian faith?

I think it’s important that you decide what you think. 

When John Wesley was confronted with this idea of having a living faith, one that created power in the individual, he was disturbed. It created a crisis of belief.

Below is a brief excerpt that highlights his journey. I’ve highlighted some things that are related to our current discussion:

FINDING FAITH

     I had but one retreat left. I granted God did these things in the first age of Christianity, but times had changed. Was there any reason to believe that God works in the same way now as He did then?  

     The next day I was beaten out of this retreat, also. Peter (special note: Peter was one of the Spirit-filled Moravian Christians who introduced Charles and John to the Holy Spirit) brought me Christians who testified God had changed them in a moment. In a moment, they said, God had given them a living faith in Jesus. That faith transferred them from darkness into light, out of sin and fear into holiness and happiness. Here my disputing ended. I could now only cry out, “Lord, help my unbelief!” 

MY HEART WAS STRANGELY WARMED

     My brother Charles was greatly opposed to my understanding of the living faith. It made him angry to hear me say that I did not have real faith. He called this “the new faith.” However, Charles agreed to a long conversation with Peter about it. It pleased God to open Charles’ eyes. He also clearly saw the nature of the one true living faith. Through grace alone, we are saved. 

     Charles experienced this new living faith before I did. He was staying with a friend while sick with pleurisy. Because he was too sick to go out, several of us visited him on Sunday morning, May 21. It was Whitsunday-Pentecost Sunday. We prayed with him and left for church. Later that day, the Holy Spirit healed him and gave him the living faith in a moment.  

     I had continued to seek this faith, though with some strange indifference, dullness, and coldness until May 24. In the evening of that day, I went very unwillingly to a prayer meeting on Aldersgate Street. About 8:45, I was listening to a reading of Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. While he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. 

  • John and Charles' encounters with God changed their theology about the Holy Spirit.
  • Each of them felt resistance to accept this new living faith.
  • Their transformation did not come as a result of logic, reason, or debate.
  • They weren’t even very cooperative! God just showed up.

 Let the group process this. We’re not here to twist anyone’s arm. There’s no pressure to believe a certain way. When you read John 14:12 and read John Wesley’s testimony, what do you think?

Depending where we land on this question will determine how we understand the rest of today’s text. Jesus drops some more bombs!

“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” - Radical Prayer

“If you love me, keep my commands.” “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.” - Radical Obedience

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”  - Radical Presence

Again, let’s be honest, these are challenging promises. Our goal tonight and in the days ahead is to just let this soak into our souls.

  • What would it look like to begin to experience some of these things? And not just talk about them?
  • What would you need to do to get 1% closer to this reality?

 

Wrap Up -

  • What is one thing you’d like to do differently this week as a result of our time together?
  • Pray together. Take time to bless each person. Ask God to meet them in this one thing they want to do by faith!

 

Know[n] Small Group Experience

Session #4: "Our Awesome Inheritance"

Getting Connected Ask each person to share a little about their current family, spouse, siblings, parents, kids, etc. -- whoever makes up their current “family.” Then share something you enjoy doing together.

Prayer - Welcome the Holy Spirit: Let everyone who’s willing say what’s on their heart. Invite God to be present in and through the Holy Spirit.

How was your week? - We ended last week’s session with the question: What is one thing you’d like to do differently this week to experience more of the Holy Spirit’s presence?

Anyone feel like they got 1% better? Explain.

Scripture Reading -

“How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, and had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.” Ephesians 1:3-6 (MSG) 

Pause & Reflect - Spend some time as a group getting “into” this story. Imagine God having feelings, emotions, and passion, just like us. Discuss what it would have been like for God to do all of these things. To ACTUALLY do these things in history. This passage isn’t just loft language. It’s a record of God’s actions on our behalf.

Here are some bullet points from the text in case you need help focusing:

  • The NIV says “He has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Practically speaking, what does that mean for us individually and corporately?
  • He had us in mind before He laid down the earth’s foundation!
  • We are the focus of His love.
  • We have been adopted into His family. What is that like for God? For you?
  • All of this gave Him, and gives Him, great pleasure!!!

Digging Deeper - Paul’s description is very loving and relational, not religious or informational.

Discuss with each other to what extent your connection with God “feels” like this kind of relationship. Paul is saying that all of these privileges have already been given to us. How much of it have you received?

If #1 represents a little and #10 represents a lot, what number would you give yourself and why?

Let’s go even deeper - Using the 3-peat reading method again, choose three people to read this slowly and thoughtfully. Each time it’s read, write down the word or words that stand out with each reading.

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13,14 (NIV)

Let’s consider some additional realities:

  • I was included in Christ, became a part of Him, when I heard the gospel.
  • When I believed I was sealed by the Holy Spirit.
  • My inheritance is guaranteed.

Let’s talk about this:

  • What does it mean, both personally and practically, to be included in Christ?
  • To be “sealed” means we have the Holy Spirit as an identifying mark (think of the Romans sealing the tomb). What does it mean to you that the Holy Spirit forms your identity?
  • The Holy Spirit is a deposit, guaranteeing our inheritance. On a scale of 1-10, how secure do you feel that God will make good on his deposit, that He will deliver your inheritance? Why did you choose that number?

Letting It Soak In - Now, everyone get comfortable and listen to the song “Be with Me.”

https://open.spotify.com/track/51YwIV5laxNugYz32eJIdw?si=38hK8AeITM2Axrn_6cV8sA

Don’t overthink, just relax and imagine Jesus being with you and in you through His Holy Spirit.

Wrap Up - Pray for one another that each one might have a greater awareness of his/her new identity in Jesus.

 

Know[n] Small Group Experience

Session #5: "VIP Seating"

Getting Connected Think of a time you attended some event – a concert, play, etc. – AND you had really good seats. Anyone ever had a “backstage” pass to meet the stars? BRIEFLY share the experience and how it felt to be so close to the performers or performance.

Prayer - Give everyone a chance to pray. Maybe include something about this group experience that you’re thankful for.

How was your week? - Just curious…has anyone continued the “10/10 Challenge”? If so, what has that been like? If you haven’t, what do you need to get restarted? It’s okay to be honest, this is a “judgement-free zone”!

Scripture Reading - Before we read the main text, let’s remind ourselves something about Paul’s writings. Here’s the apostle Peter’s observation: “Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”  2 Peter 2:15-16 (NIV)

With that said, read the following passage prayerfully, thoughtfully and with an open mind! The leader can decide who reads and how it’s read.

Ephesians 2:1-10 (NIV):

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions -- it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Pause & Reflect - Let’s be transparent: How many find this passage complex, hard to understand, etc.? For those who do, do you know why? If so, discuss. (The goal is not to give advice or fix anything. This is a chance to process out loud without criticism.)

Look at these bullet points. Which one challenges your personal experience with the text?

  • At one time we all were dead in sin.
  • There is a spirit that works in those who are disobedient.
  • Believers “used to” (past tense) follow the ways of the world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air.
  • God made us alive when we were dead in transgressions.
  • We are now seated in the heavenly realms with God and Jesus.

Zoo Wee Mama!!! (from Diary of a Wimpy Kid)

  • Let everyone choose the line that relates to them the most and discuss, why does it?
  • This question might be the same: Which one is the most difficult to experience and live? Do you know why? If so, share.

Digging Deeper - Let’s look again at this reality: Believers are NOW SEATED IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS WITH GOD AND JESUS. We have VIP seating.

  • Let’s dream a little. What could that mean for you personally?
  • How could your day-to-day life change if you actually believed that were true?

(Leaders, it might be nice to log these on the shared whiteboard for everyone to see.)

Let’s go even deeper - Repentance is realizing our perception of reality is off and changing the way we think. Then as we change the way we think, we believe. Believing means that our behavior now matches the way we think.

So, there are really two things before us. Is your challenge the need to repent or believe? Both are critical.

  • As best as you can tell, which one best describes you?
  • What do you think you need in order to move ahead?

(This is a great time to listen to God’s voice as a group. What is He saying? How is the Holy Spirit currently moving in the group? Is there something that we all need to pay attention to?)

(Leaders, here are a couple of songs. If you have time, play one song for everyone. Either one will work well.)

This is a great way to meditate on the theme of this passage in Ephesians:

https://youtu.be/KwX1f2gYKZ4 - (this one is upbeat)

https://youtu.be/B6zFquL84qA - (mellow)

Wrap Up - Everyone can share one thing they could do this week to get 1% better in these two areas we just discussed. Then close the time in prayer as you think best.

 

Know[n] Small Group Experience

Session #6: “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams”

Getting Connected - Ever have a “big” dream? Do you still have a “big” dream? Career, sports, music, etc.? Don’t be freaked out by the word “big.” Think of a past or current dream. Something you wanted/want to do or become. Take a couple of minutes to share that with the group.

Prayer - Leaders, begin with prayer in the way that works well for your group.

How was your week? - Last week we ended with ways we could personally get 1% better in living with a heavenly perspective. How did that go for you?

This week we’re going to read one of Paul’s prayers. As you read it, imagine Paul actually saying this to God. He’s kneeling and blessing his audience. Imagine that the “you” in the text is us!

Scripture Reading -

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)

Pause & Reflect - Take a moment for everyone to share the word or phrase that stood out to them. If you know why it did, share that, too!

Digging Deeper - It’s often hard to imagine what Scripture means when it talks about having power. When you read the part “he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being”

  • What do you imagine he means by power?
  • What does that look like?
  • How have you experienced power through the Holy Spirit?

This next idea is equally profound, but a bit more subtle: “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.”  It’s like Paul can’t find all the words to describe this love!

A real challenge for us today is going beyond knowledge about Jesus, to an actual experience of His love.

  • If you have felt that change in your own life, will you briefly share what that was like?
  • What caused the change?

Paul is done stretching us, he now drops a big bomb: “that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Let’s brainstorm a bit. Practically speaking, what is Paul referring to?

(Leaders, make a list on the shared whiteboard as people explore this reality.)

Let’s go even deeper - Let’s look at one more phrase … this one might be the most profound!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

It sounds like Paul is saying that God is willing and able, through his power working in us, to do amazing stuff. Is that what you hear?

Look at these responses below and see which one fits you:

  • What do you do with this promise?
  • Do you dismiss it?
  • Conclude it’s not for you?
  • Conclude it’s not for Christians today?
  • Take a risk and step into it?
  • Other?
     

Wrap Up - This is the last session of our six-week experience. Have you experienced God in a different way?

If you liked this kind of group experience and want more, your leader will let you know about next steps.

Pray together, giving thanks for all that God has done!

 

CLICK HERE for a complete list of studies available in our church library.