A Centered Life
The Point: When your life is centered in Christ, you find all you need.
Get Into the Study
Use the following story as you introduce the session.
Forbes magazine recently published an article titled, “What Your Child Actually, Really, Truly Needs To Go Back To School.” The article addresses the back-to-school shopping rush as parents attempt to anticipate and prepare for everything their children might need. Even with a supply list, there can be anxiety: Did we get the right kind of folders? Does he need a better calculator? What brand of crayons should I buy?
The article in Forbes answers this anxiety with a simple list, “Something to write with. Something to write on. Something to put stuff in.” The author, a former high school teacher, adds, “There is, however, one other thing that students absolutely need in order to be ready to go back to school. Supportive adults.”
Connect: In this session, we will study Jesus’ approach to anxiety. We will see that we don’t have to worry about anticipating our needs or the needs of others. We don’t have to be anxious wondering if we have prepared enough or planned enough. Just as a student’s relationship with supportive adults is the thing they “actually, really, truly need,” the thing that we absolutely need in our lives is also a relationship—our relationship with Christ. When your life is centered in Christ, you find all you need.
Get Into the Study (Option)
Use the following optional activity after calling attention to “The Point.”
In advance, print out a photo or show a video clip displaying the Big Dipper pointing toward the North Star. Ask members if they recognize the constellation and if they can pick out the North Star. Point out how ancient seafarers used this star to guide their travels. Invite discussion about how Jesus is our North Star. If we stay focused on Him and His kingdom, everything else falls into place.
Click here for the video.
This idea supports the teaching plan found in the Bible Studies for Life: Adult Leader Guide.
Live It Out
Transition to the “Live It Out” section using the following story and discussion questions.
Triple Five Group has announced an official opening date for American Dream, a retail and entertainment development in New Jersey. Opening October 25, 2019, the development plans to include 55% entertainment and 45% retail. Entertainment attractions announced include the Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, Dreamworks Water Park, Big Snow Ski and Snowboard Park, NHL-size Ice Rink, Angry Birds 18-hole Miniature Golf experience, Sea Life Aquarium, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, a giant observation wheel, a food hall, 20 full-service restaurants, and a luxury movie theater. Confirmed retail stores include Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Hermes, Tiffany & Company, and Dolce Gabbana.
According to Ken Downing, the Chief Creative Officer for Triple Five Group, “American Dream brings its guests an unrivaled destination for style and fun. It’s unique mix of entertainment (55%) and experiential retail (45%) will welcome and entertain guests, embracing everyone in a new retail and entertainment revolution, where everything is possible” [emphasis added].
Ask: “What does the term American Dream mean? How is this an appropriate or inappropriate name for this entertainment and retail development?”
Allow your group time to discuss.
Highlight that as Christians, our ultimate focus is not on America or the American Dream. Rather, we are kingdom people. Jesus tells us to “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”
Ask: “How can we turn our focus from the American Dream to seeking the kingdom of God?”
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. After graduation, she remained in Southern California, enjoying 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.
- What was the silliest thing you worried about when you were younger?
- What are some simple things in life that you’ve really come to appreciate?
- What are some jobs that require an incredible amount of focus?
- What does worry say about our faith in God?
- What truth from these verses most comforts you?
- How can worry be considered a thief? What does it steal?
- What are some everyday worries that we need to overcome by trusting God?
- How can seeking basic needs be a bad thing?
- How is faith an antidote for worry?
- How has God’s provision in the past given you confidence in the future?
- What emotions surface when you think about handing God the things you worry about the most?
- Who has been a good example in your life of not worrying?
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Here’s a brief video giving you an overview of this session: Simplicity, Session 1.
HomeLife – Searching for Selah