Discussion Guide: Liars, Cheaters, Thieves & Villains Week 4

PRAYER

Take the first few minutes of your time together to listen to what God is doing in one another’s lives and pray for any specific needs people in your group may have.

Today’s Discussion

This week continue our series in the book of Genesis titled Liars, Cheaters, Thieves & Villains. We will be taking a look at the unexpected heroes of Genesis and realize that the people God uses to shape history are sometimes the most dysfunctional. We will talk about the fact that if these are the people God used to pave the way for Jesus, then what might He be able to do in and through our lives today. With that said, let’s dive into the messiness of the founders of our faith. 

Discussion Questions

St. Augustine

My heart is listening, Lord; open the ears of my heart and say to my soul, I am your salvation. Let me run toward this voice and seize hold of you. Do not hide your face from me: let me die so that I may see it, for not to see it would be death to me indeed.

If you are a Christian, how did you come to know Jesus personally?

Did that encounter with Jesus change you in any way? If so, how?

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Genesis 33:8-11

Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company that I met?” Jacob answered, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” 9 But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” 10 Jacob said, “No, please, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. 11 Please accept my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” Thus he urged him, and he took it.

In what ways would you say change is still needed in your life?

What relationships in your life tend to reveal that need for change?

If we could see those relationships as tools in the hands of our loving God to tweak and adjust those areas in our hearts rather than as our enemies as inconveniences, how might that change the way we respond and interact with those people?

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Tim Keller

We must say to ourselves something like this: ‘Well, when Jesus looked down from the cross, he didn’t think “I am giving myself to you because you are so attractive to me.” No, he was in agony, and he looked down at us – denying him, abandoning him, and betraying him – and in the greatest act of love in history, he STAYED. He said, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” He loved us, not because we were lovely to him, but to make us lovely. “

When it comes to the difficult relationships in our lives, what is the main common denominator?

Why is acknowledging that fact so difficult for us to do?

Yet, how does acknowledging that fact actually free us to see true transformation in those relationships?

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Closing Thought

Romans 8:31–39

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What would it take for us to be able to admit our own shortcomings, faults and responsibility in the difficult relationships that exist in our lives?

How does the truth of the Gospel give us that kind of courage and faith to do this?

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