1 John 2:12-14

12 I am writing to you, little children,
    because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
    because you have overcome the evil one.
I write to you, children,
    because you know the Father.
14 I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
    because you are strong,
    and the word of God abides in you,
    and you have overcome the evil one.

Opening Questions:

  • Do you remember growing up with a dad, granddad or uncle who you believed could do just about anything in the world or beat up anyone who might try to do you harm?
  • What was the most impossible thing that you honestly believed your dad could do?

A Good Home

The belief that Dad can do anything is a common feeling among almost all children who have a good father figure at home. Home is a place where children feel safe. What makes children feel safe are good parents who make them feel welcome and make anything that might harm them unwelcome. (This includes making the kids’ own bad behavior unwelcome.)

Many of us view our parents with a sense of glory. As we grow up we discover our parents aren’t perfect, but we still hold them in high regard because they have accomplished something that we couldn’t – raising us. We couldn’t feed ourselves, change our own diapers, or pay our own bills when we were babies.

Our home in Christ ought to function in much the same way. We glorify God not as a far off celebrity, but as a loving father who gives us a place of security and strength. When people lack intimacy with God, the root often lies in their lack of confidence that his forgiveness is for them.

Victory

Our victory over Satan is totally dependent on us being a part of God’s family.

My home may the safest and most loving environment on the planet. But, if my children choose to run away they will not be living with the benefits my home has to offer.

Our home with God works the same way. Every time I am defeated by Satan, the root cause is I have believed the lie that there is something better than my home with God. That wrong belief causes me to remove myself from the victory He has already accomplished and given to me.

The antidote to my wrong belief is to remind myself of the truth of God’s Word.

In a loving home, the entire family experiences the joy when something good happens to any single member. Whenever someone receives a special award, accolade, or victory, the first people he finds to share that with are his family.

John writes to children, young men, and old men alike to share in the victory of Jesus. The Christian home isn’t dependent on us. It’s dependent on Christ.

Questions for Further Discussion:

  • How does it make a difference that God treats you as family and not merely a guest?
  • Do you view yourself as a young child, a teenager, or an adult in the household of God?
  • Does your “spiritual age” affect your ability to win or does it merely affect the way that you view your victory?
  • How has the way you view forgiveness changed as your faith has matured?
  • Do you find it easier to recover from your own failures as your faith has matured?
  • How has your confidence in Jesus changed as your faith has matured?

Accountability Time 

Ask these questions of your group to help identify where they are at in their discipleship pathways. We are not merely interested in checking boxes for religious acts. We seek to shepherd group members and evaluate how measurable actions reflect personal journeys of faith.

These questions will be on the discussion guide each week. If you don’t get to all of them, You’ll have a chance over the next few weeks. If you need more information as a discussion leader, please contact Jonathan Pugh.

  • Have you trusted God for salvation?
  • Have you publicly stated that faith through believers’ baptism?
  • How are you serving God with your time?
  • In which ways are you making prayer a part of your daily life?
  • How is your personal Bible study going this week?
  • Have you been able to talk about faith with somebody outside of church this week?
  • How are you currently being led to give of your resources to God’s work? 

Prayer time

Remember to pray for Christian Academy and Lighthouse in South Asia. Specifically pray for God to use the work done by the team from Venture Church that has just returned.

Related Message: Winners

Jonathan Pugh
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