Welcome to the first week of our winter series The Grace Effect. This series helps us understand how grace should inspire whole life generosity. This week we discuss the foundational relationship between receiving grace and giving grace.
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.
As you start the New Year, what are some spiritual goals you’ve set that you’d like your group to be praying about?
Share part of your story
What’s your favorite memory of 2017?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
The Gift We Receive.
Do you think the average person believes God is generous? Why or why not?
Paul says God adopted us. What is the significance of being adopted in first century culture? Why is it important to remember that the God of the universe picked you out, picked you up and brought you home
In our culture, do you think people see themselves as generally good or generally bad? Why?
Paul says we were all dead in our transgressions and sins. What does he mean by this?
Some of us were rescued from a life of complete rebellion, while some of us were rescued from who we could’ve become. How would you describe yourself? How are both true?
If we honestly look into our heart, we should be able to see that without the intervention of Jesus, we have the propensity to do terrible things. Why is it important for us to recognize our propensity or our potential do sinful things? How can we regularly remind ourselves that we needed to be rescued?
The Gift We Give.
Grace means to receive something we did not earn or did not deserve. Why is it important to realize that we didn’t deserve being rescued by Jesus and couldn’t do anything to earn it? How can that make a difference in motivating whole life generosity?
Have someone read Ephesians 4:17-5:2 aloud. Paul is writing to followers of Jesus. He is reminding them that grace should motivate whole life generosity. Why do you think they needed a reminder? Why do you need a reminder?
- We should respond to God’s grace with the gift of our resources (Ephesians 4:28). Is this something new to you or have you thought about it before? How should God’s grace challenge us to be generous with our finances?
- We should respond to God’s grace with the gift of our words (Ephesians 4:29). Would you consider yourself a person of generous speech? Why should God’s grace produce generous speech in us?
- We should respond to God’s grace with the gift of forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32). Why is learning to forgive such an important part of understanding grace? Do you find it easy or hard to forgive?
- We should respond to God’s grace with the gift of ourselves (Ephesians 5:1-2). Love is self-giving. How should our identity as dearly-loved children motivate us to live a life where we are willing to give of ourselves?
Our conversation today centered on the importance of living a life inspired by grace. How did Senior Pastor Jeff Manion liken the effect grace should have in our lives to lake effect snow? How can this illustration help us remember the Grace Effect?
As we move into this series, what’s one thing you can do this week to open your heart to how God wants grace to have an effect on the way you live your life?
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.
Often people are looking to start a new habit in January. Who can you invite to join you at church in this season of new beginnings? How can your group be praying for that person?
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