What God calls you, calls you out.
What are some of your favorite labels you find yourself buying, wearing, driving, watching, etc.? And why?
Labels will describe us, but our identity defines us. Everything has a label, and this usually determines its value. Even if we have only good labels, they are still no substitute for identity. Our challenge this week is to rip off the labels and put on a new identity. Only one source can provide this: the one who called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light.
Primary Scripture: Mark 2:1-12
1. The four friends decide to take their paralytic friend with them to see Jesus. They not only go to the extreme of carrying him, they go as far as to tear off the roof in order to get him into the house with Jesus. They overcame every excuse and obstacle to get their friend to Jesus. What are some obstacles you face bringing friends to Jesus? How do you overcome them?
2. In that day, the Jews thought sin caused people’s circumstances. Jesus helps the paralytic to rip off the “sinner” label by forgiving him of his sin. Interestingly, Jesus forgives the paralytic’s sin because of the faith of his friends. Obviously, he was in need of physical healing also, so why do you feel Jesus forgave his sin first?
3. Transformation rarely happens in isolation. As Pastor said, “Faith Promise exists to help real people with real problems find real love.” This is where group life becomes important. The faith of those around us matters. We just read about the man being forgiven of his sin, because of the faith of his friends. Jesus later healed his physical need as well. Share a time when the faith of your friends helped pull you through a tough time, or when you were part of the group helping someone else.
Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Luke 5:17-26 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore how we look on ourselves, others, and the world around us through the labels in our lives.
Getting to know you:
Since people in the group shared about labels in their own lives, encourage the group to support one another in their identity in Christ either during group time or during the week.
Getting to know them:
This week challenge each other in your group to follow the example of community we read about in Mark 2. If a need is discovered during your prayer time, then band together as a group to help overcome any obstacles in meeting the need of your fellow group members. If no immediate needs surface, then pledge to spend time this week praying to grow together in authentic Christian community and work toward this by calling, writing, emailing, texting, etc. at least one different member of your group members each day this week.
Getting to know Him:
Commit as a group (or dyad/triad) to read the passage(s) a few times this week and challenge the group to pray for and follow-up with one another in ripping off the labels in our lives and walking in our new identities.
Engaging at Faith Promise:
Challenge the group (or dyad/triad) to engage in the truth of our new identities by through an activity to encourage Promisors or fpServing Teams at your campus this week. For example, pray for FP staff and volunteers to walk in their new identity OR write cards this week for staff, volunteers, weekend attenders and send/give them out this week.
Engaging in Community:
This week choose at least one friend, coworker, fellow student, or stranger to receive a random act of kindness from you. This can be anything you come up with that shows you care because of the new identity Christ is giving you by sharing His love. Examples are giving out a cold bottle of water, paying for the order of the car behind you in the drive-thru, taking cupcakes to a neighbor, etc.
Engaging the World:
Pick a Faith Promise Campus missionary from the website, and send an email or card of encouragement this week. Also spend time each day praying for their efforts as they serve others.