Discussion Guide: Meant for Good Week 5

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: Sticky Situation

With this fun game, players must bounce a ping pong ball just right in order to land it on a piece of bread covered in peanut butter. Sounds easy, right? It’s a little more difficult than it sounds, but super fun. The set-up is fairly easy and while the challenge requires a few more supplies than some of the others, we think it’s a fun and exciting game that’s perfect for kids and adults.

What You Will Need:

  • Slice of Bread Covered in Peanut Butter
  • Plate
  • Ping Pong Balls
  • Table

How to Play:

  1. The bread covered with peanut butter is placed on a plate and sat on a table. The player holds the first ping pong ball in preparation for the challenge.
  2. When the clock starts, the player throws the ping pong ball at the ground, in an attempt to get it to bounce once and then land on the bread.

Today’s Discussion

This week we conclude 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

How would you say God’s Kingdom culture preferences differ from our Western, American culture preferences?

Preguntas en Español

¿Cómo piensas que las prioridades de la cultura del Reino de Dios son diferentes de las prioridades de la cultura de Europa y los EE.UU.?

Genesis 48:10-19

Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. So Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them. And Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also.” Then Joseph removed them from his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near him. And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands (for Manasseh was the firstborn). And he blessed Joseph and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. And Joseph said to his father, “Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.” But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.”

At the end of Genesis we see Jacob in an eerily similar scenario to that of his own father, Isaac, when was drawing near to the end of his life. At that point Jacob disguised himself to look like his brother, Esau, in order to intentionally deceive his father and steal the blessing that, from their cultural standpoint, belonged to the older brother. Here, we see Jacob swapping his hands on purpose in order to give the birthright blessing to Joseph’s younger son. Over the years Jacob has come to learn and realize how God’s grace works. God, in His grace, always extends His blessings to those who culture and society have cast aside. In thinking about this concept of Kingdom culture compared to worldly cultures Dr. Timothy Keller writes:

“The early church was strikingly different from the culture around it in this way – the pagan society was stingy with its money and promiscuous with its body. A pagan gave nobody their money and practically gave everybody their body. And the Christians came along and gave practically nobody their body and they gave practically everybody their money…The gospel has supernatural versatility to address the particular hopes, fears, and idols of every culture and every person.” – Dr. Timothy Keller


How have you seen the cultures of the world lead to the breaking of people’s lives?

How have you seen it lead to brokenness in your own life?

How does the grace of God give us a new perspective on those aspects of our culture?

Preguntas en Español

Génesis 48:10-19

Los ojos de Israel estaban tan débiles por la vejez que no podía ver. Entonces José se los acercó, y él los besó y los abrazó. Israel dijo a José: “Nunca esperaba ver tu rostro, y mira, Dios me ha permitido ver también a tus hijos.” Entonces José los tomó de las rodillas de Jacob, y se inclinó con su rostro en tierra. José tomó a los dos, a Efraín con la derecha, hacia la izquierda de Israel, y a Manasés con la izquierda, hacia la derecha de Israel, y se los acercó. Pero Israel extendió su derecha y la puso sobre la cabeza de Efraín, que era el menor, y su izquierda sobre la cabeza de Manasés, cruzando a propósito sus manos, aunque Manasés era el primogénito. Israel bendijo a José, y dijo: “El Dios delante de quien anduvieron mis padres Abraham e Isaac, El Dios que ha sido mi pastor toda mi vida hasta este día, El ángel que me ha rescatado de todo mal, Bendiga a estos muchachos; Y viva en ellos mi nombre, Y el nombre de mis padres Abraham e Isaac; Y crezcan para ser multitud en medio de la tierra.” Cuando José vio que su padre había puesto su mano derecha sobre la cabeza de Efraín, esto le desagradó. Y tomó la mano de su padre para cambiarla de la cabeza de Efraín a la cabeza de Manasés. Y José dijo a su padre: “No sea así, padre mío, pues éste es el primogénito. Pon tu mano derecha sobre su cabeza.” Pero su padre rehusó y dijo: “Lo sé, hijo mío, lo sé. El también llegará a ser un pueblo, y él también será grande. Sin embargo, su hermano menor será más grande que él, y su descendencia llegará a ser multitud de naciones.” 

Al final del Génesis vemos a Jacob en un escenario extrañamente similar al de su propio padre, Isaac, cuando se acercaba el final de su vida. En ese momento Jacob se disfrazó para parecerse a su hermano, Esaú, con el fin de engañar a su padre y robarle la bendición que, desde su cultural, pertenecía al hermano mayor. Aquí, vemos a Jacob intercambiando sus manos para darle la bendición de la primogenitura al hijo menor de José. Con los años, Jacob ha venido a aprender y darse cuenta de cómo funciona la gracia de Dios. Dios, en Su gracia, siempre extiende Sus bendiciones a aquellos que la cultura y la sociedad han dejado al lado. Al pensar en este concepto de la cultura del Reino en comparación con las culturas mundanas, el Dr. Timothy Keller escribe:

“La iglesia primitiva era muy diferente de la cultura que lo rodeaba de esta manera: la sociedad pagana era mezquina con su dinero y promiscua con su cuerpo. Un pagano no le dio su dinero a nadie y prácticamente les dio a todos su cuerpo. Y los cristianos vinieron y prácticamente no le dieron su cuerpo a nadie, y le dieron a prácticamente todo su dinero … El evangelio tiene una versatilidad sobrenatural para hablar a las esperanzas, temores e ídolos particulares de cada cultura y cada persona.” – Dr. Tim Keller

¿Cómo has visto las culturas del mundo llevar al quebramiento de vidas?

¿Cómo has visto conducir al quebrantamiento en tu propia vida?

¿De qué manera la gracia de Dios nos da una nueva perspectiva sobre esos aspectos de nuestra cultura?

Leader Notes

Just like we see here in Jacob’s life, when you fully grasp what God’s grace is all about it changes the way you perceive and respond to your own worldly culture. God’s grace both frees you from the temptation to go along with the current of culture, and it empowers you to begin swimming against that culture with compassion and sympathy for the brokenness of those being swept downstream. See, God’s grace says that love, affirmation and acceptance are not based on your performance, the titles you have earned, the money you have obtained or the reputation and perceptions of others your achievements have warranted. God’s grace says you are loved, affirmed, accepted, that you belong in His family because of His great love and the sacrificial obedience of the Son, Jesus. When you grasp that you no longer have to go with the flow of culture in the pursuit of power at the expense of others, the pursuit of comfort, fame, or fortune at any and all costs. When you belong to God you can rest in the security of that belonging, and instead of seeking to get ahead or dominate your peers in the rat race of cultural elitism you can willingly lay down your life and give away what you have for the purpose of loving and healing the hearts of others. This grace also allows you to see culture for what it is, and those trapped in culture for what they are…broken, deceived, fearful image bearers of God. When you “regard no one according to the flesh any longer,” (2 Cor. 5) you begin to see them through the eyes of Christ, the same way Christ saw  you in your own brokenness and enslavement to sin. You can see others not as those who are attacking you, but as those under attack from the lies of the enemy who are in need of saving. With that mindset you can then step out into the world as a minister of reconciliation rather than a pursuer of reputation.


Tal como lo vemos aquí en la vida de Jacob, cuando comprendes por completo de qué se trata la gracia de Dios, cambia la manera en que percibes y respondes a tu propia cultura. La gracia de Dios te libera de la tentación de seguir la corriente de la cultura, y te autoriza a comenzar a nadar contra esa cultura con compasión y simpatía por el quebrantamiento de aquellos que son barridos con la corriente. Mira, la gracia de Dios dice que el amor, la afirmación y la aceptación no se basan en tu rendimiento, los títulos que has ganado, el dinero que has obtenido o la reputación y percepciones de otros que tus logros han justificado. La gracia de Dios dice que eres amado, afirmado, aceptado, que perteneces a la familia de Dios debido a Su gran amor y la obediencia sacrificial Su Hijo, Jesús. Cuando comprenda que ya no tiene que seguir la corriente de la cultura en la búsqueda del poder a gasto de los demás, la búsqueda de la comodidad, la fama o la fortuna a cualquier costo. Cuando perteneces a Dios puedes descansar en la seguridad de esa pertenencia, y en lugar de buscar adelantar o dominar a sus iguales en la carrera de elitismo cultural, puedes voluntariamente dar tu vida y regalar lo que tienes con el propósito de amar y sanar los corazones de los demás. Esta gracia también te permite ver la cultura por lo que es, y aquellos atrapados en la cultura por lo que son … rotos, engañados, temerosos portadores de la imagen de Dios. Cuando “no conocemos a nadie desde el punto de vista humano” (2 Corintios 5), comienzas a verlos a través de los ojos de Cristo, de la misma manera que Cristo te vio en tu propio quebrantamiento y esclavitud al pecado. Puedes ver a los demás no como aquellos que te están atacando, sino como aquellos bajo el ataque de las mentiras del enemigo que necesita ser salvados. Con esa mentalidad, puedes salir al mundo como ministro de reconciliación en lugar de un perseguidor de la reputación.

Acts 2:22-24

This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 

What does the term “free will” communicate to you?

What does the term “sovereignty of God” communicate to you?

Have you ever seen God’s sovereign plan supersede the free will of others to heal and renew the brokenness caused by those choices?

What does God’s sovereignty mean about our difficult and broken situations? 

Preguntas en Español

Hechos 2:22-24

“Hombres de Israel, escuchen estas palabras: Jesús el Nazareno, varón confirmado por Dios entre ustedes con milagros, prodigios y señales que Dios hizo en medio de ustedes a través de El, tal como ustedes mismos saben. Este fue entregado por el plan predeterminado y el previo conocimiento de Dios, y ustedes Lo clavaron en una cruz por manos de impíos y Lo mataron. Pero Dios Lo resucitó, poniendo fin a la agonía (los dolores) de la muerte, puesto que no era posible que El quedara bajo el dominio de ella.

¿De qué significa el término “propia voluntad” a ti?

¿De qué significa el término “soberanía de Dios” a ti?

¿Alguna vez has visto el plan soberano de Dios suplantar la propia voluntad de los demás para sanar y renovar el quebrantamiento causado por esas decisiones?

¿Qué significa la soberanía de Dios sobre nuestras situaciones difíciles y rotas?

Leader Notes

God’s sovereignty does not mean that man has no responsibility, nor that the sins and evil actions of people are somehow justified. God’s sovereignty simply means that He knows all and is in control of all, either by actively working in human history or by passively allowing humans to make history. The point, however, is that whichever way a moment or an issue comes about God is never caught off guard by it and is only causing, or allowing, it because He already sees what part it plays in the larger scheme of redemptive history.

This means, then, for our own personal brokenness and pain that God is both with us in the midst of that pain (as He Himself is well acquainted with suffering and sorrow at the hands of His own creation) and that He has already gone before us in our pain devising it for His good and loving purposes. This is what Paul is talking about in Romans 5 when he says we can rejoice in our suffering. He is saying if we have been justified by faith, have access into God’s grace and are at peace with God, then we can know definitively that our suffering is not punitive, or some kind of punishment for something we have done (that punishment was already dealt with in Christ) and therefore it can only have a good, loving, redemptive purpose to it.


La soberanía de Dios no significa que el hombre no tenga ninguna responsabilidad, ni que los pecados y las malas acciones de las personas estén de alguna manera justificados. La soberanía de Dios simplemente significa que Él sabe todo y está en control de todos, ya sea trabajando activamente en la historia humana o permitiendo pasivamente que los humanos hagan historia. El punto, sin embargo, es que cualquiera sea el camino que tome un momento o un problema, Dios nunca se sorprende y solo lo está causando, o lo está permitiendo, porque ya ve qué parte juega en el esquema más amplio de la historia redentora.

Esto significa que para nuestro dolor y quebrantamiento personal, Dios está con nosotros en medio de ese dolor (ya que Él mismo conoce bien el sufrimiento y la tristeza en manos de Su propia creación) y que Él ya ha ido antes nosotros en nuestro dolor planeandolo para Sus propósitos buenos y amorosos. De esto es de lo que Pablo habla en Romanos 5 cuando dice que podemos regocijarnos en nuestro sufrimiento. Él dice que si hemos sido justificados por la fe, tenemos acceso a la gracia de Dios y estamos en paz con Dios, entonces podemos saber sin duda que nuestro sufrimiento no es punitivo, o algún tipo de castigo por algo que hemos hecho (ese castigo ya estaba tratado en Cristo) y, por lo tanto, solo puede tener un propósito bueno, amoroso y redentor.

Romans 8:28-31

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 

If we believe that, how then do we proclaim that truth to the world around us?

Is there any situation you currently find yourself in where we can stand with you in prayer and encouragement to continue to trust God’s sovereign goodness to bring about His Kingdom purposes in your life?

Preguntas en Español

Romanos 8:28-31

Y sabemos que para los que aman a Dios, todas las cosas cooperan para bien, esto es, para los que son llamados conforme a Su propósito. Porque a los que de antemano conoció, también los predestinó a ser hechos conforme a la imagen de Su Hijo, para que El sea el primogénito entre muchos hermanos. A los que predestinó, a ésos también llamó. A los que llamó, a ésos también justificó. A los que justificó, a ésos también glorificó. Entonces, ¿qué diremos a esto? Si Dios está por nosotros, ¿quién estará contra nosotros? 

Si creemos eso, ¿cómo proclamamos esa verdad al mundo?

¿Hay alguna situación en la que te encuentres en el que podamos apoyarnos en oración y aliento para continuar confiando en la bondad soberana de Dios para realizar los propósitos de Su Reino en tu vida?

Closing Thoughts

Discipleship Groups

If you are not currently connected with one of our discipleship groups then make sure to come talk to us afterwards. Our discipleship groups are smaller, gender-based settings of 3-4 people who are meeting together and in communication throughout the weeks to encourage and support one another to pursue Christ in the personal life issues we all deal with. We have a number of them happening so if you’d like to connect with one then make sure to let us know.


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?

Community Groups

Community groups are where we seek to live out the Gospel in relationship with others within a smaller community context.

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