028102_Choosing the Right Guide for My Life - Outreach

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Jesus: “The Father will give you another helper who will be with you forever! That Helper is the spirit of truth.

The world cannot accept him, because it doesn't see or know him. But you know him, because he lives with you

and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 (GW)

After Jesus went to heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit to help those who believe in him. The Holy Spirit wants to help us know what we need to know, get where we need to go, say the right things, wait for God’s timing, resist things we can’t normally resist, and avoid dangers and mistakes. He wants to be our personal guide, but we must first be willing. Let’s talk about how he guides us and what we need to do to be led.

Open your group with a prayer. This is only a guide – select the points you want to discuss.

“"The Helper will come – the Spirit, who reveals the truth . . .” John 15:26 (TEV)

1. If the Holy Spirit guides us by revealing the meaning of what God says, what are the steps we need to take to find the truth? How has a verse in the Bible helped you find an answer to your situation?

“The Helper will teach you everything and will cause you to remember all that I told you.

This Helper is the Holy Spirit . . .” John 14:26 (NCV)

2. How can you expand the knowledge of God’s word so the Holy Spirit can guide you in making life choices? By increasing our knowledge of the Bible, how would that allow the Holy Spirit to help us in making wise decisions?

God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are.  Romans 8:16 (Message)

3. When you are nudged by the Holy Spirit, how do you usually respond? If you doubt what you are sensing, why do you doubt? If you are confident the nudging is from God, why are you confident? What could you do to be more aware of the nudging of the Spirit?

“Whoever is willing to do what God wants and chooses it will know if what I teach comes from God.” John 7:17 (TEV)

4. As we grow in our faith and the Holy Spirit begins to transform us, our hearts soften and want to stay close to God. Why is it important to let the Holy Spirit lead your life? How does reading the Bible help us stay near to the Holy Spirit? With this in mind, how can a Christian discern what is from the world and what is from God?

If you don’t ask in faith, don’t expect the Lord to give you any solid answer.” James 1:6 (LB)

5. Ask each member to share: what invitations or commands from the Holy Spirit have they received lately? What was the response? How would the world change if Christians followed every command from the Holy Spirit?

“God does speak – sometimes one way or another – even though people may not understand it.” Job 33:14 (NCV)

6. What behaviors, people, things, fears, or beliefs get in the way of being present to the Spirit? What worries could be encountered while waiting for God’s response to prayer? How can waiting increase a person’s dependence on the Holy Spirit? What would one step toward more dependence be?

Diving Deeper (optional)

1. Why is it a struggle to follow the Holy Spirit? Sit quietly for two minutes and let him know. What insight or whisper did the Holy Spirit give you during this time of reflection? Why do you think following this whisper without delay helps strengthen your obedience?

2. As you think about slowing down in order to hear the Holy Spirit, what transformation or change do you need to make in order to grow in this area? How difficult is it for you to have unhurried time with God? What steps could help get you started or improve this habit?

Review any assignments or commitments made during your previous meeting.

Sermon Discussion Guide Leader Notes

Suggestions for This Week’s Study

• Have you ever known something without knowing how you know it? Share your stories.

• Waiting on God and listening for the Holy Spirit’s guidance show our dependence on God.

• Dear God, we want to be guided by your Holy Spirit. Help us to daily read your Word, listen for your voice in our hearts and recognize your nudges that what we are doing is either right or wrong. Help us be immediately obedient to your voice. Thank your for your Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Preparing to Lead Your Group

✓ Pray for insight as you begin to prepare for leading your group. Ask for God’s wisdom, that the Holy Spirit will be the teacher and that you will be God’s instrument to lead the group to greater understanding and a willingness to commit to becoming more like God. Prayer should be your primary source of personal preparation for leading your group.

✓ Plan where you want to take your group in the next 60-90 days. Is your group strong in some areas and weak in others? How can you challenge the members to live more balanced Christian lives? Consider God’s five purposes for the church: Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry, Mission and Worship, and make a plan to encourage your group members to growth and commitment in their weak areas.

✓ Ponder your progress after each session and at the end of a series. Reflect on what went well and what didn’t. Re-evaluation is key to your growth as a leader. Consider whether your plan is being effective in moving the group to greater understanding and commitment. How are you doing with leading the discussion: is it stimulating, challenging, and meaningful? Are you able to keep the group on track? Do you need to make some changes?

Using This Sermon Discussion Guide

➢ Talk It Over is a tool to aid you in meeting the needs of your group. We’ve designed it so it can be completed easily within 30-45 minutes. As the discussion leader, you should preview and evaluate the questions based on the needs of your group. Decide in advance what is most important to focus on, should time not allow for the entire lesson.

➢ Feel free to adapt the format to meet the needs of your group. If your group is mature and wants to dig deeper, consider using the Diving Deeper section or add additional Scripture and ask suitable questions. Remember that this is only a guide.

➢ The questions relating to Bible study methods are helpful to develop Bible literacy and spiritual maturity in our lives. You can help your group be aware of their needs in these areas by using these questions as a regular part of each discussion.

➢ Personal applications are essential for growth and should be included in every discussion. When discussing how they will apply principles, group members may state very general goals such as “I need to spend more time in prayer.” It is important for you to help people make goals that are very specific and commit to specific plans of action by asking, for example, “How are you going to begin?” An example is to get up 25 minutes earlier each morning, spending 15 minutes reading the Bible and 10 minutes in prayer. Encourage each group member to be accountable to the group for personal progress at the next meeting.

➢ Your goal as the leader is to bring the group into a stimulating discussion that helps the members recognize their needs for personal life change. Ultimately you want them to be willing to commit to change with accountability to the group. Accountability helps us to persevere in our commitments and achieve the blessings of success.

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