Surrender

Part One      Part Two      Part Three     


Part One

From a very young age, we often grow up in an environment that encourages and celebrates our growth in independence. In contrast to this, as we grow in our spiritual walk, we need to learn to surrender many areas to God and grow in our dependence upon Him. In our Western culture this is not an easy path to walk.

Discover

Read Matthew 4:1-11. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important, significant or meaningful to you. What does this passage tell us about God? What does this passage tell us about people? How does this passage change how we live?

Discuss

1. What does it mean to you to surrender an area of your life to God? Discuss.

2. In what ways are you tempted by Appetite? In what ways are you tempted by Approval? In what ways are you tempted by Ambition? How do you deal with these temptations? How successful are these approaches?

3. Read Matthew 4:1-11. What do we learn about surrender from the example that Jesus gives us in these verses? How can we apply this when we face temptation?

4. One of the ways that Jesus responded to the temptations from Satan was by quoting scripture. Have you found this to be a successful strategy? What verses have you recalled when facing temptation? Discuss.

5. Have you ever tried memorising scriptures? How successful were you? How could you improve in this area?

Respond

Jesus responded to the temptations of Satan by quoting scripture. We too have this as a weapon that we can use, but we need to be able to recall scriptures for them to be of use to us. Agree as a group on a Bible verse to memorise and take time this week to memorise the verse together. Share this from memory next time you get together.

 


Part Two

There’s a really simple insight that comes from the final conversation between Jesus and Pilate that shows us God’s view of power: that it’s given from above. This means God has given it to us and it’s on loan. We are not the centre of power in our lives. It’s not ultimately of our making. We are accountable to Him for how we steward this opportunity and responsibility we have in whatever arena or sphere we have power or influence in life.

Discover

Read John 19:8-12. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important, significant or meaningful to you. What does this passage tell us about God? What does this passage tell us about people? How does this passage change how we live?

Discuss

1. Where in your life has God given you a position of influence? How do you feel about this?

2. Although Jesus had a position of divine authority, He never leveraged this power for His own benefit. He used His influence to defend the powerless. Find a scripture where Jesus didn’t use His power when He could have for His own benefit. Find a scripture where He used His influence to defend the powerless.

3. Read Luke 4:1-20. How did Jesus surrender His position of power here? How did He use His position for the sake of others?

4. How can we avoid the trap of using our position of influence badly? What can we do to put a check on our motivations?

5. How am I using my position for the benefit of others? How am I using my position to benefit the Kingdom of God?

Respond

We will all have a measure of power during certain stages in our lives. Some examples of power include relational, monetary, political, social, organisational and positional. In which of these areas do you wield power? What is something specific you can do this week to use the power you have been given for good?

 


Part Three

When the disciples asked how often they were required to show mercy to someone, Jesus said: “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them, and if they repent, forgive them. Even If they sin against you seven times a day and seven times come back to you saying, “I repent”, forgive them.” (Luke 17:3-4) Are you in a “box” of unforgiveness to someone in your life, perhaps at work or in your community? If so, you get out by forgiving them.

Discover

Read Matthew 5:1-10. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important, significant or meaningful to you. What does this passage tell us about God? What does this passage tell us about people? How does this passage change how we live?

Discuss

1. The Beatitudes give us an overview of many areas of our lives where we can see God’s blessing. What speaks to you from these verses?

2. Read Matthew 5:7. How can we show mercy to others? What does this mean to you?

3. A part of showing mercy is to be able to forgive. What does forgiveness look like to you in a practical sense? Talk about a time when you genuinely forgave someone from the heart.

4. Why do we sometimes struggle to offer forgiveness to others? What can we do when we feel stuck in unforgiveness?

5. Read Matthew 6:12-15. How do you respond to these verses?

Respond

Forgiveness is central to our Christian belief: through Jesus, we are forgiven and we are called to forgive others. Is there someone whom you are struggling to forgive at this time? Take a moment to pray into this situation and to look at it from Jesus’ perspective. What can you do to take the next step to bring about forgiveness and healing?

 



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