Discussion Guide: Meant for Good Week 3

Ice Breaker

One of the things we value within community is fun. In the midst of all the pressures life throws at us, it is our ability to laugh, play and celebrate together that reminds us we serve a good, loving, and resurrected Lord who stands above it all. So, we want to take the first few minutes of our time together to play, have fun, and celebrate the fact that we belong to Jesus.

Today’s Ice Breaker: Cookie Face

This is a great game to get things going because all of the players can compete at the same time (or you can break it down into several rounds of game play). Each player places a cookie on their forehead, and the goal is to get the cookie into your mouth using only your facial muscles in under 1 minute. No hands! This is tougher than it looks!

Need

  • Cookies (small enough to fit in your mouth in one bite)

Today’s Discussion

This week we continue our focus in the book of Genesis looking at the life of Joseph; the struggles he faced, the mistakes he made, the betrayal he suffered, and how through it all, what the enemy meant for evil, God purposed for good. As we talk through this past Sunday’s sermon, let us do so with the faith and courage to ask the question, “How might God be doing the same thing in my own life?” Let’s get started. 

Discussion Questions

Who is someone you would say has had a major, positive, impact on world history?

What tests or trials did that person have to endure before impacting the world the way he/she did?

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Genesis 39:2-4,7-9,12-15

The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”

She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.” 

 

What does it mean to have power or influence?

Where did Joseph’s power/influence come from? Where did Potipher’s wife’s power/influence come from?

What would you say was the motivation behind how Joseph used his power/influence? What about the motivation of Potipher’s wife?

Preguntas en Español

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Leader Notes

We see in this chapter that Joseph’s power and influence comes from the anointing God has placed on his life and his desire to use that power and influence to serve others and improve upon their position. Joseph, having learned from his past, now sees himself as a tool in the hands of God to serve and benefit others. On the contrary, Potipher’s wife has gained her power and influence simply from being married to a man who has power and influence. Potipher’s power has been given to him from Pharaoh, who himself has gained power by dominating and enslaving others. This power trickles down to Potipher as he himself operates as one who rules through intimidation and enslavement. Therefore, it should be no surprise to us as readers that Potipher’s wife also seeks to toss her weight and influence around from a sense of entitlement and aims to use others for her own benefit rather than using her power to benefit others.

The motivation behind Joseph’s authority is to glorify God through humble, servant, leadership. The motivation behind Potipher’s wife’s authority is to glorify herself through abuse of power and manipulation at the expense of others.

NOTAS EN ESPAÑOL

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Genesis 39:12-15

She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.” 

 

 

What sphere(s) would you say you have power/influence over?

How might you use that power/influence to impact the lives of others in a positive way?

What things tend to tempt us to use power/influence in ways that are selfish?

Preguntas en Español

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Leader Notes

The temptations that seek to influence the way we lead and influence others today are no different than the ones that tempted Joseph and Potipher’s wife thousands of years ago. It is the same temptations that befell Adam and Eve. It is the temptation to be seen as significant, the temptation to decide what is right and wrong for ourselves, the temptation to seek our own glory rather than the glory of God. The ways in which that comes to us in our modern cultural context are the lures of pleasure, comfort, titles, and perceptions of others. We are tempted to use our influence to seduce others into doing what benefits us. We are tempted to use our power to make life easier for us, regardless of what it costs someone else. We are tempted to use our positions to gain a reputation and respect in the eyes of others.

All of this is rooted in the same seed bed of fear. The voice of the enemy, or our own insecurities, continually speak to us telling us we are not enough, we don’t have what it takes, there is nothing in us that is inherently lovable and, therefore, we seek to draw out the love we so desire from others through force and coercion through the things we do and the way we perceive others perceive us.

NOTAS EN ESPAÑOL

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Excerpt from Sunday’s Sermon

“Joseph orders his loves…At the point of temptation, he is filling his mind with something he loves more. He is not looking inward to suppress his desire for sex or power, he is looking outward to increase his desire and love for God.”

What does it take to increase our desire and love for God?

How does the Gospel empower us to do so?

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Leader Notes

As 1 John 4:18 tells us, “Perfect love drives out all fear.” The only way to decrease the power of temptation towards self-serving influence and increase the desire and love for God is to first understand how much He has loved us. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.” This seems counterintuitive, but the way we increase our desire and love for God is by reflecting on His desire and love for us. As Romans 5:8 tells us, “God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” It is in this knowledge that Jesus loved me when it was most difficult and least deserved, in the understanding that when I deserved nothing but wrath and rejection Jesus pulled me close to His side in grace and mercy, that the fear of rejection from others begins to melt away in the heat of God’s unconditional love.

Dr. Tim Keller put it this way, “The more you see your own flaws and sins, the more precious, electrifying and amazing God’s grace appears to you.”

In the world’s economy we have to prove ourselves, we have to earn the respect, we have to demonstrate that we are worthy of love and affirmation. In the world’s system we perform in order to gain a verdict. However, in God’s Kingdom economy and system, and only in God’s Kingdom, the verdict is rendered before the performance is given. The verdict handed down by Christ is that we are loved, accepted, desired, affirmed, we belong to Him. Out of that verdict we can then “perform” or live life from a place of security that leads to a kind of bold humility in which we can willingly lay down our lives and use our power and influence to benefit others without expecting anything in return because we already have all we could ever need in the eyes and arms of our great God and Savior.

The way the Gospel empowers us to do this is simply this…when you see what Jesus, God the Son, willingly went through in his suffering on your behalf, when you see it for what it truly is, your heart can’t help but be undone by that kind of love. The Ruler of the Universe willingly dying the death of a traitor, suffering the humiliation and rejection we all deserved, all so we could be given the love and authority of this King… There is no greater love.

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Closing Thought

 

Who is someone God is calling you to use your power & influence to serve for His glory today?

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Pensamientos de Cierre

 

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Prayer

As we close our time together we want to make sure to take time to pray for, and encourage one another.  Can we join you in praying for a family member, friend, or neighbor in whose life you are hoping to see God move in some way? Do you have any personal prayer needs?



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