EXTRA! Ideas for Bible Studies for Life
October 4, 2015
Stand Strong: Building Your Life on God’s Promises
SESSION 5: God’s Promise of Victory
The Point: God’s goodness and love overcome life’s difficulties.
Videos: Too Good to Be True
For users of the Bible Studies for Life: Adult resource, the Leader Guide for this session includes an optional activity that encourages leaders to show TV infomercials advertising products that are perhaps “too good to be true.” Here are a few examples of such infomercials:
- The Snuggie!
- The Original Chia Pet — the pottery that grows!
- Clap On Clap Off — the Clapper!
Leader Extra: Get Into the Study
With the race for the presidency speeding up, it’s easy to begin investing in a certain candidate with the hopes that this will be the person who’s going to “save the day.” The presidential nominees (and their promises) have already become larger than life. But just like everyone else we meet each day, the next President of the United States will be human. He or she will make mistakes, struggle, and if history has taught us anything about electoral promises, probably go back on one or two campaign promises. No one entering the White House knows exactly how they’ll do the job until they get there. As a matter of fact, we won’t know how they’ll do their job until they get there, either.
So be careful putting your hopes in the next political big shot. They might just be too good to be true. There is, however, a Savior in whom we can put all our hopes—Jesus Christ.
- Why do you think we often hope for a person on earth to put our faith in?
- How can trust in God’s power over all things change the way look at the presidential campaign season?
- How can God’s infallibility give us peace and grace when we’re faced with failures and letdowns from other people?
- Do God’s promises to us ever seem too good to be true? Why or why not?
— 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 at @ashgemmert.
Leader Extra: Study the Bible
In support of Question #4, before you ask the question, use this news story to help illustrate the idea that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.
A young Syrian man, Hesham Modamani, desperately wanted to flee the war horrors of his homeland. First he travelled from Damascus to the west coast of Turkey. Now all that separated Modamani from freedom was the waters of the Aegean Sea separating Turkey from the Greek islands. But he could not afford the smugglers fee of $1350 for a ticket for a voyage across the Aegean Sea to freedom. Modamani met a man named Feras Abukhalil, who was also trying to escape to freedom and the two men hatched a plan to swim their way to freedom.
They studied maps and planned a route that would take them from Turkey, across 5 miles (8 kilometers) of water, to the Greek island of Chios. They started their swim at night, so that the Turkish coast guard would not find them. After swimming nearly five hours in cold, treacherous waters, they were close enough to see the shoreline of Chios. They began to try to attract attention, hoping to be picked up by a boat. A Greek tourist boat spotted them and then the Greek coast guard came to the rescue, pulling the men from the water just one kilometer from the shore.
After making it to the Greek island, the men still faced a land trip across eastern Europe. Modamani is now in Germany, waiting for his asylum papers to be processed. Abukhalil is in a refugee camp in Brussels, also waiting for the government to approve his residency. With a strong desire in their hearts for a better life for themselves and their families, nothing could separate these two men from the pursuit of freedom.
SAY: “These two men were separated – by darkness, treacherous waters, fatigue, possibly the Turkish coast guard – from freedom and a new life they wanted. In verses 35-39, we read of the many things that possibly could come between us and God’s love. But none of them will separate us from God’s love.”
Information for this post was gleaned from here:
Donna McKinney has recently retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in Apex, North Carolina.
Today, have you felt more like a conqueror or conquered? Explain.
Who in your life always can you count on to always “have your back”?
When’s the last time that you fell for something “too good to be true”?
How have you seen God bring something good out of a bad situation?
How does verse 29 impact your understanding of verse 28?
What’s the difference between all things being good and all things working together for good?
What confidence does verse 28 give Christ-followers?
How might our culture answer the questions in these verses?
Which statement in this passage most fills you with confidence about the future? Why?
What does it mean to have Jesus as your advocate?
What do these verses communicate about God’s intention for our relationship with Him?
In what area of life do you need to be reminded that God is in your corner?
What options do we have for communicating the truths found in these verses to others?
Why is it sometimes difficult to accept the truths in these verses?
When have you felt separated from God’s love?
When have you been reminded of God’s constant love and presence in your life?
What can we do when we feel distant from God?
Group Member Extra
Distribute the following to your group members either before the group study or as a follow-up: