Share a time you had to trust your life/safety/happiness/success to someone else. Make a list of those moments and then explain why you were (or weren't) willing to trust.
Consider these two ways of viewing entrance into the kingdom of God:
- Change and you can join.
- Join and you can change.
Have you ever tried to live into #1? How well does that work? Share any experience you have.
Why is #2 so superior (other than the reality that it's God's plan)? In other words, why do you think God might make this the plan?
On Sunday we used an illustration of a pitcher and jar to explain how we accept grace. If your members haven't heard the sermon, show them the illustration.
- Have you ever been guilty of accusing the pitcher of not "pouring right"? What kinds of accusations have you made against God?
Consider the three manifestations of faith we discussed on Sunday.
People who have faith...
- Develop an awareness of their need.
- Observe God's ability to meet their needs.
- Come in a posture of surrender.
Which is the hardest for you?
- Do you struggle to see yourself as needing help? Have you ever pretended everything was fine?
- Do you genuinely believe God is big enough to offer you grace? Have you ever struggled with that? Share your experience.
- How can you be more intentional about "observing God"? What would that look like?
- How do feel about surrender? Is surrendering to God something that comes easily?
- What areas of your life are hardest to surrender to God?
- How does it make your feel to realize that every place we fail to surrender to God is exempted from God's grace?
If the reason God requires faith lies in His desire for relationship, what is it about faith (trust) that makes relationships strong? Have you ever had a healthy relationship without trust? What do relationships without trust look like?
- Tell ypour group about a relationship that was based on trust that sustained or blessed you in some way.
Because faith requires surrender, pray a prayer of surrender as a group. Use Wesley's covenant prayer as a script. Either read it together or have the leader read it line by line with members repeating.
Read Romans 4:18-25; 5:1
- What does faith look like for Abraham? What does Abraham's faith "achieve"? What can we learn about faith and grace from Abraham?