Welcome. This weekend guest speaker Brad Gray considers the important role Jesus plays in destroying the power of sin in our lives. In the weeks leading up to Easter, we are reminded to leave our sin behind and move from darkness into light.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20-30 minutes checking in with each other.
Care. One of the important roles of a small group is to care for one another. How can your group better care for each other through encouragement? Go around the group and say a word of encouragement to each member.
Share Part of Your Story.
During the last six weeks, Pastor Jeff Manion challenged us to not “break the chain.” Share about your “chains,” both the successes and the struggles.
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have someone read aloud the passage below. These are the words of Moses as he prophetically looks ahead to Jesus’ coming.
The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.” The Lord said to me: “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name (Deuteronomy 18.15-19).
The New Exodus.
Jesus connected himself to the Exodus story because he came to bring about a new exodus. Read Matthew 2.13-15 and 17.5 together. What connections can be made between Moses and Jesus?
Jesus came to bring freedom from slavery—not from enslavement to an empire—but from sin. What are ways people can become enslaved by sin?
Caught in Egypt.
Jesus came to destroy the controlling power of sin in our lives. Yet often we get caught in the same sins time and time again. What are some emotions people feel when they are “caught in Egypt” and can’t overcome a controlling sin? What role can healthy relationships play in helping someone “caught in Egypt”?
Invitation to Leave Egypt.
How can this Easter season be an invitation to leave Egypt behind, to move from darkness to light? What are some of the difficult aspects of attempting to move from dark to light? Have a couple people in the group share of a time they moved from darkness to light. What transpired during this season to help your move into the light?
Name What Holds You Captive.
Before you can leave Egypt, you have to be willing to name what has you in Egypt in the first place. What are some of the risks of actually naming something and admitting you have a problem? What are the benefits of doing this? Do the benefits outway the risks? Explain.
What would be a good way to respond to someone confiding in you as they attempt to move from darkness to light? What could cause them harm or set them back?
Life to the Full.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10.10). The contrast of John 10.10 is apparent. A controlling sin can wreak havoc, while Jesus offers to bring life. How would our society define having life to the full? What does Jesus mean here? Why do we sometimes think the life Jesus offers is something less than a full life?
Fear and shame often keep us from leaving the sins that hold us captive. Imagine if everyone knew your darkest secret! But Jesus actually bore your shame. You can’t perform or live an ounce better to earn his love and acceptance—he gives it to us freely. His death and resurrection give us freedom to walk out of our “Egypt.” Why can shame and fear hold so much power over us? If shame and fear were gone, how might we act differently in regard to the sins that hold us captive?
Pastor Gray revealed an Egypt in his life and how he named it to begin to accept the life Jesus offers. What’s your next step to leave your Egypt? What role can this group play to help keep you from returning to slavery?
Invest in Others
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Spend some time talking about how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
Easter is a big deal for Christ-followers. It can even be a big deal to those without a church home. Who do you know without a church home? How can you leverage the opportunity offered by Easter to invite them to church? Share their name and begin praying for them as a group.