Monday, April 27, 2009

Everyone's lookin' for it

This is the 1st small group study in our "Tattooed" series.

Big Idea:
Every one of us desperately wants to be loved and we will often do desperate things in order to find that love. We must come to the realization that we can only find this love in the One God who has always loved us.

Summary:
We all have a deep desire to be loved and accepted. In each of our lives there is a fundamental need to be accepted, understood, and unconditionally loved. Your greatest need is not money. Your greatest need is not success. Your greatest need is not fame. Your greatest need is not a better job. Your greatest need is to be loved. Not with sentimental love, not with sexual love, and not with brotherly love, but with a love that is transcendent, a love that is unconditional, and a love that only God can give.

However, many of us, in search of perfect love and acceptance, have inscribed some ugly images upon our lives: the image of performance, the image of a person, the image of position, the image of physical affection, the image of pleasure, the image of possessions, or the image of pity. The problem with these images (tattoos) on our lives is that they never really produce what they promise. They may produce momentary gratification and meaning, but they always leave you wanting more and, ultimately, wishing you could remove the marks that they leave on your life. That’s where God’s love is so different. It’s a love based on giving. A love based on serving. A love based on an eternal commitment. Here are four beautiful truths that you can safely tattoo on your life without the fear of having to remove them later. (1) God’s love is unmerited. God loves you simply because He wants to. (2) God’s love is unconditional. He loves us at all times. Even in our weakness and failures. (3) God’s love is unchangeable. His love is eternal. (4) God’s love is unforgettable. He will not forget you for “see, He has inscribed you on the palms of His hands.” – Isaiah 49:16. If you have been looking for love in all the wrong places, God is calling you to Him. He desires to be the image that is tattooed on your heart. He is waiting for you to turn to Him, leave the unfulfilling traps of this world, and find meaning, purpose, and acceptance in His amazing love.

Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)

1 John 4:9-19
How does embracing God’s love for us change everything? How can we be confident that God’s love is in us? How has your understanding of Gods unmerited and unconditional love changed your life?

Romans 8:35-39
Have you ever believed that something has separated you from God’s love? How did that affect your relationship with God? Why do you think Satan uses this lie? How can you experience victory in this battle?

Hosea 1:2-3 & Hosea 3:1-3
How does this story of Hosea’s love for his unfaithful wife parallel God’s love for us? In what ways have you experienced God’s unconditional love?

Taking Action: Examine yourself and list what images you have tattooed on your life in an attempt to find love and acceptance. Now, make the decision to lay those down at the feet of the cross and embrace the unconditional and unending love of your Creator – God Almighty.

Ministry Time

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