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Significance: Understanding God's Purpose for Your Life

(Paperback)
$7.99 - Online Price

Overview

Be set free to pursue God s purpose for your life. God wants to set you free. No more bondage. No more fear. No more living as a slave to sin. Sound like a dream? God is in the business of making these kinds of dreams a reality. He is committed to giving you a life of incredible significance, and he has already done all that is necessary to break the chains that keep you from it. In Significance, you will discover a strategy for becoming all God wants you to be. God has a plan for you to walk in tremendous purpose, and he has provided the power needed to put this plan into action. But first, the chains that hold you back must be destroyed. This series of studies maps out God s road to freedom and significance. Every journey begins with one step. Are you ready to take it? Interactions---a powerful and challenging tool for building deep relationships between you and your group members, and you and God. Interactions is far more than another group Bible study. It's a cutting-edge series designed to help small group participants develop into fully devoted followers of Christ."

Details

  • SKU: 9780310266037
  • UPC: 025986266035
  • SKU10: 0310266033
  • Title: Significance: Understanding God's Purpose for Your Life
  • Series: Interactions Small Group
  • Qty Remaining Online: 9
  • Publisher: Zondervan Publishing Company
  • Date Published: Jul 2005
  • Pages: 86
  • Weight lbs: 0.38
  • Dimensions: 8.90" L x 6.00" W x 0.30" H
  • Features: Table of Contents, Price on Product, Maps
  • Category: STUDY GUIDE
  • Subject: Biblical Studies - General
NOTE: Related content on this page may not be applicable to all formats of this product.

Chapter Excerpt


Chapter One

Session 1

God's Passionate Love

THE BIG PICTURE

I received a phone call late one night from a man who asked me to meet him at a local restaurant. As I drove over, I knew something was very wrong. When I sat down with him, he began to tell me of his plans to leave his wife and children for a woman he claimed to have fallen in love with. I spent the next two hours pleading with him not to abandon his wife and children. I tried every approach in the book. I talked to him about how this decision would impact his kids' birthdays, graduations, Christmas mornings, and all the other special days in the years to come. I tried to help him focus on the devastation this would bring to the heart of his wife. I talked about practical things such as child support and alimony.

I even feebly attempted to inform him about what God's Word says about matters like these. I wasn't overly optimistic that approach would have any impact on him, however. You see, this was a man who had gone to church for most of his life. He had heard a thousand sermons. He knew his Bible verses frontward and backward. But he had insulated himself from the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. I left that late night meeting discouraged, not very hopeful this man would change his mind.

A short time later the man requested another meeting. I feared the worst, but when he walked through the door, he actually looked different. He announced that he was reconsidering his relationship with the other woman. He wanted to do the right thing, to go God's way. I asked him what had changed his mind. He said, "This is going to sound a little corny. After we met last time, I got in my car and turned on my radio. I heard a chorus of voices singing, 'Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.' I had heard that song a thousand times, but for the first time, I felt God's amazing grace deep in my heart."

He explained how he identified himself as the "wretch" in the song. He said, "Here I was shattering my wife's heart, breaking my family apart, defying God's Word, and shunning the counsel of my pastor and other close Christian friends. For the first time, my heart was gripped by the fact that even though I am a wretch, God still loves me." At that decisive moment, this man committed to do whatever he could to rebuild his marriage. Thankfully, he had a godly wife who forgave him and their story has a happy ending.

What was the source of this powerful transformation? A deep understanding of the reality of God's passionate love.

I have a theory. I believe people who live the abundant Christian life, who live on a deeper spiritual plane, who are radically devoted to Christ, who are strong during times of crisis, who have a vibrant faith, who dare to live out on a limb, all have one thing in common: At some point in their lives, they have felt God's love firsthand. And the touch of His loving hand has changed them permanently.

A WIDE ANGLE VIEW

1 Tell about a time you experienced God's love in a deep and personal way.

A BIBLICAL PORTRAIT

Read Isaiah 43:4; John 15:9; Ephesians 3:14-19

2 After reading these passages, finish this statement: When God thinks about me, He feels .

3 What does it mean to be "rooted and established in love" in one of these areas:

Knowing God's love for you

Expressing your love to God

Living out God's love in your relationships

SHARPENING THE FOCUS

Read Snapshot "God Says He Loves You!"

GOD SAYS HE LOVES YOU!

You can know God loves you because He has said it! Isaiah 43:4 says, "You are precious and honored in my sight and . I love you." God has used many images in the Bible to communicate the depth of His love. He says:

I love you more than a hen loves her chicks (Matt. 23:37).

I love you more than a good shepherd loves his sheep (John 10:11-14).

I love you more than the most compassionate father loves his child (Ps. 103:13).

I love you more than a nursing mother loves her baby (Isa. 49:15).

4 Each of the images in this snapshot communicate different dynamics of the nature of God's love for you. What do you learn about God's love from each of the following images:

A hen

A good shepherd

A compassionate father

A nursing mother

5 God could have just said, "I love you!" Instead, He used many different illustrations to drive the point home. Why did God use such creativity in expressing His love for you?

Read Snapshot "God Has Proved His Love for You"

GOD HAS PROVED HIS LOVE FOR YOU

Gary Gilmore shot a motel clerk in Provo, Utah. He was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to be shot before a firing squad. When this news became public, the country went into an uproar over the issue of capital punishment. There was a great outpouring of concern about whether or not Gary Gilmore should be executed. The Supreme Court was petitioned to stay his execution, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a class action suit, and religious groups held all-night prayer vigils. Yet out of the millions of people in the United States, to my knowledge not one person ever offered to take his place. Nobody said, "Let me take the bullets."

There is some truth to the statements "Talk is cheap" and "Actions speak louder than words!" Real love begs for expression. There is no more dramatic way of proving your love for someone than to give your life for them. And that is exactly what Jesus did. He gave His life for us, proving the love of God once and for all. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

6 Describe the kind of love it would take for you to give your life for another person.

How would you feel if you offered an incredible act of sacrifice for someone and they still questioned your love?

7 How can you express your thankfulness for how God has proved His love for you?

Read Snapshot "God Continues to Show His Love"

GOD CONTINUES TO SHOW HIS LOVE

If God gave the most precious possession He had to express His great love for you, do you think He will be stingy with His other provisions? Will He withhold the resources you need to live? Will He deprive you of emotional support? Will He keep you from sensing you are a member of His family? Does God get some kind of twisted pleasure in holding His love and provision just out of reach like a carrot on a stick? Of course not!

God says He wants to fill your life until it overflows. Believers who walk in faith, obey God's Word, and surrender to God's leading will tell you they feel God's love flowing into their lives. This does not mean the Christian life is problem-free, nor does it mean we will live without pain and challenges. But it does mean that God's grace and love will continue to pour into our lives on a daily basis. He gives direction from His Word, guidance by His Holy Spirit, Christian brothers and sisters to share our joys and sorrows, and opportunities for a meaningful life. On top of all this, He has promised us a home in heaven forever.

8 How is God's ongoing provision a constant reminder of His love?

What are some of the ways God provides for the needs of His children?

9 How have you experienced the provision of God's resources in your life over the past year?

PUTTING YOURSELF IN THE PICTURE

Saying It and Showing It

Take time in the coming week to express your love to God. First, express your love to Him in words. Be creative. Write a prayer of love, sing a song, write a poem, or find some other form of expression to say, "I Love You, God!" Second, affirm your love for God through some tangible action. Show God you love Him by doing something you know will warm His heart. Break a bad habit, start a good habit, offer time to care for someone in need. God gave up something very precious for you. What can you do to affirm your love for Him?

Think About This

Take time in the coming days to memorize these two passages and think deeply about how God loves you more than a father or mother ever could:

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. Psalm 103:13

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! Isaiah 49:15

(Continues.)

Reviews

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Jesus: Seeing Him More Clearly [Paperback] (Jul 2005) $7.99
Prayer: Opening Your Heart to God [Paperback] (Jul 2005) $7.99
Marriage: Building Real Intimacy [Paperback] (Jul 2005) $7.99
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