Welcome to the first week of our summer series The Generosity of God. In this series, we look at four of the ways God is generous. This weekend, Senior Pastor Jeff Manion shows us how God is generous through the way he has revealed himself. In this discussion, we will see how God has left trails leading to him.
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.
Caring for each other is an important part of a healthy group. What are some common situations people experience where they might need care? How could you minister to each other in those situations?
Share part of your story.
Share with your group your favorite outdoor activity.
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Look back at Acts 14.8-18. Have someone read through these verses. Identify the main characters, the setting, the circumstances and people’s actions.
The meal points to something beyond the meal.
Paul is trying to share the gospel in Lystra, a city steeped in the mythology of the Greek gods. Paul tailors his message to the audience, making a case for God by pointing to the goodness of God through rain, crops, food and joy. Why do you think Paul builds a case for God using these four things?
Pastor Manion challenged us to move beyond just thanking God for the food to recognizing the food shows us something about God. There is a connection between the goodness of your food—and the kindness and generosity of God. What is your typical routine for interacting with God at meal times? What is the difference between thanking God for the food and recognizing God’s kindness and generosity through the food?
What are some ways we can learn to recognize the kindness of God through things like food? How can something like food help us remember God’s kindness and generosity in a difficult situation?
General Revelation to Special Revelation.
Things in the created world like food and beauty reveal something to us about God. This is called general revelation. Spending time in nature can also be a powerful place to feel God’s presence. In what ways have you felt God’s presence through nature?
At times it can be tempting to think the best way to connect to and learn about God is through nature. Why do you think it is easy for some people to feel this way?
God reveals himself through nature, but nature should cause us to want to know more about God. What are some things we can learn about God from nature? What can’t we learn about God through nature?
In addition to nature, God has chosen to reveal himself through his word. This is called special revelation. How is God’s word a gift? What are some ways we can interact with God’s word to learn more about him?
Trails to God.
God loves us and wants a relationship with us. One way to look at how nature points to God is as a group of trails all leading to him. What are some aspects of nature that serve as trails to God? What are some other things that serve as trails to God?
While there are trails that point us toward God, they should all lead us to Jesus. God entered the world in the person of Jesus. Jesus lived a perfect life, dying on the cross for our sins to serve as the way to a restored relationship with God. How does Jesus’ life serve as a trail to God?
Where would you place yourself on the trail to God? What’s a next step for you to take in your relationship with God?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
Since God has placed trails in the world to point people toward him, how can you use those trails in your interactions with others to point them toward God?
School supplies are in the store and teacher letters are arriving in the mail. It can only mean summer is winding down and the school year is quickly approaching. Fall is a big time at church as well. Many new people try out the church—and the need for volunteers grows. Have a discussion in your group about places to serve. For more information or to signup, go to adabible.org/volunteer.
Download a printable PDF here.