Tuesday, April 14, 2009

AWAKEN

Here is my small group curriculum from this past Easter's teaching. 

Big Idea:
There are moments in life when we face the choice to either remain in the pain of our own disappointment or to awaken and enter the hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
 
Summary:
The disciples of Jesus spent three amazing years walking with Christ, witnessing miracles, receiving His teaching, and experiencing His love. However, after the crucifixion, we see them retreating to three different places: (1) sitting in a room enveloped with hopelessness and despair, (2) stumbling down a road going nowhere important, and (3) fishing from a boat as they try to forget the pain of the past.  These three locations reveal three spiritual conditions many people find themselves in. First, there are those who are entombed in hopelessness. Like the disciples, they have come to believe that their condition or situation is beyond hope: “this marriage is beyond repair, this career is going nowhere, this family cannot be healed, or there is no answer for my medical condition.” But what the events of Easter show us is that if God can raise His Son from the dead, He can raise your dead marriage, your dead career, and your damaged relationships; He can deliver you from your addictions, heal your body, and resurrect your dreams. Awaken to the Hope of Christ in you.
 
The second condition we can sometimes experience is a loss of direction. Like the disciples who were found stumbling down the road to Emmaus, we can find ourselves sleepwalking down a road to nowhere without purpose or direction. But, aimlessly living life without knowing God’s plan is petty and pointless. When we discover Whose we are, we will finally understand who we are. We were made by God and for God. Awaken to the truth of Whose you are. Finally, some disciples lost their focus and retreated to their pasts in hopes of numbing their pain and forgetting what had just happened. They were distracted by what their old life was calling them back to. We are too often enslaved by our distractions, which have become our addictions and have lulled us to sleep from the greater purpose of our lives. Awaken to your God-designed purpose in life. “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” Ephesians 5:14 (NLT)
 
Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)

1 Peter 1:18-21
Discuss the empty and temporal ways the world encourages us to cope with life? Which have you tried and how has it turned out? Share how Christ is your redeemer and how He has restored an area of your life.
 
Psalm 42
When you feel hopeless, what thoughts go through your mind and how do you respond? What did King David do when he began to lose hope? Give examples of things we can speak when we feel hopeless.

Jeremiah 29:11-14
How does this passage depict God’s heart toward you? How can you discover and realize God’s plans for your life? Share what prevents you from running to God in times of trouble.

Taking Action: Spend this next week daily reminding yourself of the hope you have in Christ, who you are in Christ, and the kingdom purpose you have in Christ. Speak these truths over yourself and your family members so that as Christ is fully alive, you too become fully alive in Him.

Ministry Time

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