FAMILY MATTERS: FUTURE FAMILY

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

INTRODUCTION

Allen Stone, a soul and R&B singer and musician, began his career at the age of three singing at the church where his father was pastor, eventually leading worship when he was a teenager. According to an interview in SF Gate, after a year at Moody Bible Institute (Spokane), Allen said that “I learned the history of the church and the conception of the Bible and learned about the religion and really just, like, didn’t believe it… I got to the point where it was like, ‘I don’t believe this is the truth’.” The Barna Group reports that 9 out of 10 kids who grow up in a Christian family will leave their faith by their sophomore year of college. God designed and intended families to thrive, but no one ever drifts to success. Edmund Hillary, who was the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest, said that “There’s no casual route up any great mountain; if you really want to make it to the top, you must have a resolute mind firmly set on the purpose.” So, how can your family thrive in the midst of a broken world?

SCRIPTURE

1These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all His decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:1-9

GROUP QUESTIONS

What was the greatest lesson your parents tried to instill in you?

List from memory the Ten Commandments. (See Exodus 20:1-17 if you cannot remember them all.)

  1. ______________________________________ 6.      ______________________________________
  2. ______________________________________ 7.      ______________________________________
  3. ______________________________________ 8.      ______________________________________
  4. ______________________________________ 9.      ______________________________________
  5. ______________________________________ 10.      _____________________________________

Read Deuteronomy 6:1-9. Why did God command Moses to pass these laws along to the people?

What does it mean to “fear the Lord”?

Deuteronomy 6:4 is known as the Shema (sh’ma), an affirmation of God’s sovereignty; it is a centerpiece of prayer for Jewish people even today. However, if you glance through the Book of Judges, you will see that the Israelites did a poor job worshiping only one God (Judges 2:11-13, 3:7, 6:10, 10:6). Why do you think it was so difficult for them to follow this command (see Judges 2:10, Hebrews 2:1)?

Deuteronomy 6:7 says to “impress” (“teach diligently” in other versions) God’s Word on your children. The Hebrew phrase for this implies something different than lecture-based education. What does “impress” look like in your family? Are there ways to make it more natural to be diligent about teaching your children God’s Word?

What two things did Aaron say made up the “secret sauce” for a family to thrive?* How would you rate yourself on doing these two things? How can you improve so that your family thrives spiritually?

*1) Have God’s commands in your heart; and 2) teach them to your children.

APPLICATION

In his book “Think Orange”, Reggie Joiner shares four times families can build faith into their children. Make a plan to use these times with your family on an ongoing basis.

  • Meal Time (“when you sit at home”: focused discussions as a teacher to establish core values)
  • Drive Time (“when you walk along the road”: informal discussions as a friend to help your child interpret life)
  • Bed Time (“when you lie down”: intimate conversations as a counselor to listen to the heart of your child)
  • Morning Time (“when you get up”: encouraging words as a coach who gives a sense of value and instills purpose)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

In the New Testament, we get a snapshot into the life of Timothy, a protégé of the Apostle Paul. Timothy’s father was Greek and his mother was Jewish. Read 2 Timothy 1:5 and 3:14-17. What does Paul note in these passages about Timothy’s upbringing?

What part do you think “the sacred writings” played in Timothy’s home?

What are the four things the Bible can produce?

Read the following verses and note the importance of God’s Word found in each passage. How will you incorporate a love for God’s Word into your family? Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:1-3, Psalm 119:9-11, Psalm 119:105, Isaiah 55:10-11, Matthew 4:4, Hebrews 4:12

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FAMILY MATTERS: THE SPIRITUAL FAMILY

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

INTRODUCTION

In week one we looked at what God intended family to look like from the very beginning, and week two we saw how sin introduced brokenness into families. God chose the spiritual family, what we call the family of God, to come around the nuclear family to support, encourage, and restore the family back to what He originally intended. How involved are you with your spiritual family?

SCRIPTURE

41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. 42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:41-47

GROUP QUESTIONS

Share with the group why you began attending Fellowship.

Read Acts 2:41-47. Can you imagine the addition of 3,000 new believers to Fellowship in one day? How would that make you feel?

What were the four main activities of the first church listed in verse 42?

How “devoted” are you to these activities? Do you believe you make them a high enough priority in your life and in the life of your family? Why or why not?

Read the following passages: Acts 2:44, 5:12, 12:12, 14:27, 15:30, 20:7. What is the common thread throughout these verses?

How do you define “fellowship”?

Why do you think these believers exhibited the extraordinary sense of generosity seen in verse 45?

What do you think holds most Christians back from living in community like the believers of the first century?

Read Deuteronomy 31:8 and Joshua 1:9. God made a promise to the Israelites in the Old Testament that we can claim today (Matthew 28:20). What is that promise? On Sunday, Pastor Joe shared that God continues to fulfill that promise through two entities. What are they? (See John 14:15-17 and Romans 12:4-5.)

APPLICATION

For the next five days, read through the verses listed, and reflect on the question for that day. Ask the Spirit to show you any area in which you need to grow.

  • Day 1 | Acts 2:42 | If someone were to look at how you live, what would they say you were devoted to?
  • Day 2 | Acts 2:43 | When was the last time you were filled with awe?
  • Day 3  | Acts 2:44-45 | Do you share with others out of a generous heart? How has God grown your faith as you’ve given generously?
  • Day 4 | Acts 2:46 | Do you make it a priority to be at church on Sundays? How often do you eat a meal with someone who is not part of your family?
  • Day 5 | Acts 2:47 | What can you do today to show gratitude to God for all He has done for you?

FOR FURTHER STUDY

The Bible has much to say about how believers in community are to treat one another. Look up the passages below and list what you learn about biblical community.

  • John 13:34
  • Romans 12:10-16
  • Romans 14:13
  • Romans 15:7
  • 1 Corinthians 1:10
  • Galatians 5:26
  • Galatians 6:2
  • Ephesians 4:25-32
  • Philippians 2:3-5
  • Colossians 3:13-16
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11
  • James 4:11
  • James 5:9
  • James 5:16
  • 1 Peter 3:8
  • 1 Peter 4:9

How will you begin or continue to incorporate these attributes in your life?

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FAMILY MATTERS: THE BROKEN FAMILY

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

INTRODUCTION

In the beginning, God saw that “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18), and so He created Eve as Adam’s wife. But starting with this first family, sin entered the world, and brokenness became a part of every family. But there is hope for broken families – a God who extends great grace!

GROUP QUESTIONS

What is one characteristic you received from you parents that you want to keep, and one you wish you could change?

When you hear the phrase “broken family”, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

There are numerous examples of broken families in the Bible. Read the passages below, and list the sins that came out of the broken families involved.

  • Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-16)
  • Abraham (Genesis 16:1-6)
  • Lot (Genesis 19:1-8, 30-38)
  • Joseph’s brothers (Genesis 37:1-4, 23-28)
  • David (2 Samuel 11:1-17)
  • Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-8)
  • Ananias & Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)

On Sunday, Joe encouraged us to remember Psalm 46:10a – “Cease striving and know that I am God” (NASB). What sin do you struggle with that has become a burden on your family? How can you cease striving in this sin?

Some sins have been passed down through families from generation to generation (Exodus 34:7b). You may not even be aware of this sin because you see it as just a part of who you are. There is hope to break the cycle! Read 1 Corinthians 15:10. What does Paul say about God’s grace?

What were the three truths about God’s grace that Joe shared on Sunday?*

Read James 4:6 and 1 John 4:4b. Are you ready to move beyond your brokenness into all that God has for you? How do these verses encourage you to do so?

*Grace is offered, active, and sufficient.

APPLICATION

This week, pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any sins that are contributing to the brokenness within your family. Confess anything He brings to mind, and seek support if necessary (friends, pastors, support/accountability group, counseling – call the church office {440.543.5643} if you need help getting started).

If you are engaged or married, plan to attend the Family Matters Date Night on April 29, 6:30PM-8:30PM at Fellowship. Topics include:

  • How to keep your relationship healthy
  • How to fix your communication
  • How to handle conflict resolution better

Text DATE to 797979 to RSVP.

FOR FURTHER STUDY

The story of David is a beautiful example of the extension of God’s great grace. You’ve already read the story of David and Bathsheba. Read the following references regarding David and his family. What affect did David’s brokenness have on him and on his family?

  • 2 Samuel 13:1-39
  • 2 Samuel 15:7-17
  • 2 Samuel 18:9-15
  • 1 Kings 1:5-14

Read Acts 13:22. Why do you think God calls David “a man after My heart”?

Read Psalm 32 and Psalm 51. What traits to do you see in David that endear him to God?

David’s family was broken. And yet He was considered a man after God’s heart because of his authentic repentance when he was made aware of his sin. How can you emulate David to bring about healing to your broken family?

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FAMILY MATTERS: THE FAMILY GOD INTENDED

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

INTRODUCTION

God created family, and He created family to be good – to be a source of blessing, love, and instruction. But family doesn’t always feel like that, does it? Sometimes it feels like a struggle just to make it through the day. Family doesn’t always function the way God intended, mainly because individuals don’t always function how God intended. No matter what kind of a family you’re in, God intends for your family to be better than it is today. What will it take for your family to thrive in today’s broken world?

SCRIPTURE

5:21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—30for we are members of His body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. 6:1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—3“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 5:21-6:4

GROUP QUESTIONS

Which TV show family is your favorite, and why?

Read Ephesians 5:21-6:4. What do you think of when you hear the word “submit”? What was the definition that Aaron gave in the sermon?* Does this definition affect how you view the word?

The default thinking on submission in most church circles is that a wife should submit to her husband. However, how does this passage begin? What do you think it means to “submit to one another”?

Read Philippians 2:6-8. What are some of the ways Jesus submitted?

Now read Philippians 2:5. How are you supposed to emulate Jesus?

Each person has a role to play in a family. List the role(s) that pertain to you from Ephesians 5:21-6:4. How can you live out your role in submission to others?

What are the two ways to improve your family that Aaron shared in the sermon? (See 1 Peter 2:17 and Mark 10:45.)

What are some ways that you can honor and serve your family?

Submit = hupotassoi (to voluntarily arrange yourself under someone for a good and proper purpose).

APPLICATION

Take time this week to think about your family, and whether it is functioning the way God intended it to function. Aaron shared on Sunday that one of the best ways to adjust the spiritual temperature of your home is by increasing your level of service. How can you serve your family differently? Are there chores you could do without being asked? Could you go out of your way to do something your normally rely on your spouse to do? Pick one thing a day that you will put into practice with your family, and watch God begin to change the temperature in your home.

If you have elementary-aged children, text FAM to 797979; starting April 9, you will receive a text devotion for 31 days to do with your family.

FOR FURTHER STUDY

When your family is properly arranged in a united front reflecting Christ’s love, Satan will not be happy. Paul follows this passage on submission with an admonition to “put on the full armor of God”. Read Ephesians 6:10-18 and list below the types of armor and what their use is:

ARMOR USE
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

What pieces of armor are strengths for you? What pieces do you need to work on?

What does it look like practically to put on the armor of God each day? How can it be applied to your family?

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