Date: May 8, 2016
The Point: God’s Word can be fully trusted.
- Get Into the Study
- Study the Bible
- Additional Questions
- Member Extra
- Tips for Leading Bible Study Groups
Get Into the Study
Use the following idea as an alternate opening to today’s session.
One of the biggest things in the news these days is the upcoming Presidential election. Most people have very strong opinions about the candidates and quotes from each one are readily available from the media. As your teaching time begins ask people to share the latest quote they have heard, to do a Google search on their phones or tablets for “election 2016 quotes images,” or you can bring in quotes to share.
The goal is not to stir up a political debate but to consider the context of the quotes.
- Can we trust the quote to fully represent the candidate?
- Has it been taken out of context, cut short, or read in such a way to emphasize something other than the original intent?
In the lesson today, you and your group will be discussing the trustworthy nature of God and His Word. Politicians are easy targets to create doubt around, however God and His Word have always proven faithful and trustworthy.
—Dr. Beth Masters works with college students at Mississippi College where she is the Director of Christian Life and Ministries. She has a PhD in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, loves to bake, and drink coffee.
Study the Bible
Note: consider reading or summarizing the following material in connection with your group’s study of Luke 1:18-20.
Americans today have a hard time trusting anyone. Between rampant identity and credit card theft and the horrors you find whenever you turn on the news, there are moments when it seems impossible to trust in anything.
As a matter of fact, in a recent survey, Americans polled reported that they have little to no trust in the future prospects for president of the United States. No matter what side of the political spectrum you fall, you’re probably wondering who will be the next president, and whether or not you’ll trust that he or she is there for the right reasons.
Yes, it is a hard time to trust. In this passage, God called Zechariah to trust him in a time that it seemed impossible — but the difference here is that God is always seeking our best. His truth for Zechariah, though shocking, meant that he would be blessed with John the Baptist, the cousin of the Savior, who would prepare the way for the Lord.
While God’s voice might seem like it’s promising something crazy or impossible, remember that through Him all things are possible. And if He’s calling you to something right now, you’re best decision is to trust Him and follow His lead — no matter what.
— Ashley Emmert wrote this Leader Extra. She is a freelance writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her sweet Southern husband and their small scrappy dogs. Find her at ashleygraceemmert.com or on Twitter @ashgemmert.
- Whose word have you learned to always trust?
- When have you said, “I’ll believe it when I see it?
- If it’s on the internet, it must be true, right? Why or why not?
- When have you or someone you know been duped by a scam?
- If an angel appeared before you, how would you respond?
- What were the barriers that Zechariah recognized when he heard this pronouncement?
- What promises of God seem too good to be true?
- How do you respond when you have difficulty discerning what God is up to?
- If you were in Zechariah’s situation, how would you have responded?
- Why do we experience the disconnect between wanting proof and trusting God?
- What seems impossible to you?
- What are some areas of life that God required you to walk by faith that caused you to feel uncomfortable or uncertain?
- What are potential outcomes when we are paralyzed by doubt?
- Zechariah did not make the same mistake twice. What do his actions teach us about our responses to God?
- How specifically do you need to respond to God to demonstrate faith in Him?
- When has a challenging experience increased your faith and trust in God?
- How can we encourage each other to take steps of faith in our walk with God?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional: