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Date: June 21, 2020
The Testimony of Our Hope
The Point: Our hope in Christ points others to Him.
Get Into the Study
Use the following as you introduce the session.
Ravi Zacharias, who died on May 19th from cancer, will be remembered as an influential Christian apologist. In 1984, he founded Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), with the mission of “helping the thinker believe and the believer think.” In 1992 Zacharias spoke at the inaugural Veritas forum at Harvard University. The lectures he gave would later be published in the book Can Man Live Without God? However, it wasn’t just his ability to approach and answer many of the difficult questions facing Christianity that impacted the lives around him. The hope Zacharias had impacted the way he lived, and the way he lived impacted those around him.
“It was his Savior, Jesus Christ, that my dad always wanted most to talk about,” Sarah Davis, daughter of Zacharias and CEO of RZIM, said in a statement to Fox News. “Even in his final days, until he lacked the energy and breath to speak, he turned every conversation to Jesus and what the Lord had done.” She added, “He perpetually marveled that God took a 17-year-old skeptic, defeated in hopelessness and unbelief, and called him into a life of glorious hope and belief in the truth of Scripture—a message he would carry across the globe for 48 years.”
As our lives are transformed by Christ, the hope we have in Christ will also point others to Him.
Study the Bible [Option for Young Adults]
Use the following optional activity to help group members understand that our transformation should point others to Christ. In advance, click here to download some information about and a picture of the famous bodybuilder, Charles Atlas showing off his muscles.
- Display the image for the class.
- Tell his story about his transformation from a “97-pound weakling” to a muscular leader in
- Ask: Why were so many people interested in his exercise program?
- Explain that because his transformation was true, it inspired others to want to be like him.
- What positive changes has your hope in Christ made in your life?
- How can you use these changes to point others to want to be like Christ?
Live It Out
Use the following as you conclude the session.
On Saturday, May 30th, millions of people watched the first launch of NASA astronauts from U.S. soil in nine years. The livestream of the SpaceX launch, which was available on YouTube, included a live camera feed of the astronauts inside the Dragon capsule. Viewers around the world could watch as the astronauts waited expectantly, hoping for clear weather for launch. SpaceX continued to post updates with video from the astronauts as they approached the International Space Station. The live stream on YouTube showed over 56 million views as of June 1st, although the content is no longer available. A video on Twitter of the astronauts boarding the Space Station had 6.5 million views as of June 1st. These astronauts, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, have a unique opportunity to see the world from outer space, but they also have a unique opportunity to be seen by the world.
We don’t need a worldwide audience to make a difference in someone’s life. Where has God given you the opportunity to be seen by someone in the world?
Consider how you can show hope in Christ through these opportunities. Choose one of the Live It Out statements for this week to show your hope to a watching world.
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. After graduation, she enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor. Having returned to Tennessee with her husband, she is now thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom, writer, and Bible study teacher.
Live It Out [Additional Option for Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, invite a volunteer to lead the group in singing a closing song that reinforces the importance of sharing our hope in Christ with others.
- What are some effective ways of getting someone’s attention?
- How have you been influenced by another person’s hope or lack of hope?
- Who is the most persuasive person you know?
1 Peter 2:4-6
- What are the key images in these verses, and what do they communicate?
- How does our culture try to shame believers?
- What assurances do you experience from the words of Peter in these verses?
1 Peter 2:7-10
- What are the differences in a life led in the darkness and a life led in the light?
- What are the implications of us now being a people?
- How would you define spiritual darkness?
1 Peter 2:11-15
- How can your life as a Christian be a positive influence on others?
- At what times do you most feel like a stranger or exile in our culture?
- How can we help one another strengthen our civic and social contributions in ways that distinctly bring glory to God?
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought: