Read Galatians 6:10
Here’s a good way to make sure your business fails. Treat your employees better than you treat your customers. Or is it? I guess it depends on how well you treat your employees. If you treat your employees like garbage, then it’s likely your employees will too. I wonder if this is the kind of concept Paul had when he wrote this to the Galatians. I think we all understand the wisdom and the importance of doing good to everyone. But have you ever wondered why there is that little line ‘especially those in the family of faith?’ Sometime I feel as if we should be doing good to everyone especially those outside of the family of faith. Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever felt as if you would rather be doing good for those outside the church rather then inside? Why does Paul feel it is so much more important to do good for each other?
- Can you think of a time when you, or someone you knew, favored showing kindness to one person over another? Try sharing that with the group. What feelings did it create?
- Is this passage telling us to favor other Christians above other people?
- If this passage isn’t about favoritism, then why would Paul tell us that we ought to do good “especially to those in the family of faith?” What other reasons could there be?
Read John 13:35
- What is this passage calling us to do practically?
- When in your life have you felt truly loved by your fellow Christians? Take a moment to share some stories. What did you learn from these experiences?
- This verse tells us that our love for one another will prove we are Christ’s disciples. How does that work? How does loving each other prove that we are disciples?
- According to this passage, what does being a disciple mean? How do you define someone as a disciple of Jesus?
- Are we living up to this calling? How can we as individuals, as a small group, or as a church really live up to this calling, or improve on it?
In every facet of life there is one thing expected of all people. When people hurt you, you hurt them back. This isn’t just acceptable, but on many occasions it is simply expected. It is so irregular for someone to come back at evil with good. When people see us treating each other in this way, repaying evil with good, then they will know that we have something different. This doesn’t mean we never hurt each other, it means that we approach even hurt and misunderstanding in love. Paul makes it clear that the good things we do are not in any way to please God, but are prepared for us ahead of time by God.
Read Ephesians 2:8-10
This passage is known to be one of the most concise and powerful descriptions of the gospel messages in the New Testament. The second half even gives a reason for us being saved, and even for us being created.
- What is this purpose given in this passage? Why were we saved? Why were we created? (for leader: “to do the good works we were created to do”)
- What does this tell us about our purpose in life as individuals, as a group, and as a church?
- Have you ever thought about having good things prepared for you in advance? Does this change your mentality? How might you think differently keeping this in mind?
- Take a moment to read the other two passages again keeping the idea of prepared works in mind. Does it change the way you see it at all?
- Have you ever run away from something God prepared for you to do? Feel free to share, we’ve all done it I’m sure.
- Can you think of anything God has prepared for you to do?
1. First, decide on someone to open and close the prayer time. The opener can start by giving praise to God for everything he provides for us. The closer can ensure that everything is covered
2. Take some time to take prayer requests from the group.
3. Make sure to pray for everyone who is participating in CONNECT. Also, pray for…
– An encouraging spirit to enter the lives of the church.
– A conviction for the need of each other to grow.
– Genuine feelings of connection and support.