Let Hope In, Session 3: Additional Questions

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The Point: God welcomes us because of His deep love for us.

Icebreaker

  • What kind of relationship did you have with your dad? How has that relationship shaped how you view God?
  • What characteristics defined your father? How did he reflect God? How did he fail to reflect God?
  • Tell us about a time when you a felt either very welcomed or very unwelcomed by others.
  • How has your relationship with God shaped your view of God?
  • In what ways do earthly fathers affect our perception of God?

Luke 15:11-12

  • What character traits of God do you see in these verses?
  • What character traits of the son do you see in these verses?
  • When have you exhibited character traits like the son? Like the Father?
  • Is there something in your life right now that you want more than God? Explain your answer.
  • Why do you think God allows us to make destructive choices?
  • Recall the first time when your parents allowed you to choose your own path instead of instructing you what to do. How well did you fare?
  • How many times have you felt people trying to control you and they called that “love”?  How many times have you tried to control others and called it “love”?
  • How has God let you live your life in the moments when you wanted to do things you knew violated God’s will for your life?
  • How might you want wealth or romance or power right now in your life more than you want God?
  • How does Galatians 5:1 reflect the freedom of God’s love? How have you experienced this freedom? How is your perception of God as Father wrong concerning freedom and rules?
  • Have you ever had a “younger son” moment where God let you go your own way even though it took you further away from Him?
  • Why would a loving God give us this level of freedom?
  • Can you remember a time when God let you live your life and do things you knew violated His will for your life?
  • What was the request the youngest son made of his dad?
  • How did the dad in Jesus’ story respond?
  • What are some things we want from God that He hasn’t given us yet that may tempt us to take it for ourselves?
  • In light of this story, how does God respond when we take our inheritance prematurely?

Luke 15:20-21

  • What consequences have you experienced that helped you grow spiritually?
  • Have you ever tried to help someone avoid “wild living”? Explain what happened.
  • What keeps us from admitting we need to return to our Heavenly Father?
  • Why do we usually have to hit rock bottom before we look to God for help?
  • Like the younger son, is it finally time for you to go home to your Heavenly Father? What will be your first step on that journey?
  • Have you ever experienced the consequences of your choices that made you want to change your life?
  • Whose “wild living” has made the news lately? Whose “wild living” affected your family? How did your family respond to it?
  • What seasons of your life were marked as “living without restraint or wisdom?” What brought you out of that season?
  • What would the son need to do in order to return home? Why might he not want to? What might his other options be? How does this line of thinking help us understand why people get caught in sin, unable or unwilling to break away?
  • Have you ever experienced the consequences of your choices that made you want to change your life?
  • Are you currently making choices that might be described as “wild living” or “living without restraint or wisdom”?
  • What would your “rock bottom” look like?
  • When and how have you been welcomed home from a long journey?
  • When we read about the prodigal’s father here, what do we learn about God?
  • When have we made choices that we knew went against the will of God for our lives and we suffered the consequences?
  • What was it that made the younger son finally realize that his choices weren’t leading him into the kind of life that he wanted?

Luke 15:22-24

  • Have your guilt and shame ever been so strong that you could not muster enough strength to ask God for forgiveness? Explain what happened.
  • Can you imagine God “running” to you after you hit rock bottom and decided to ask His forgiveness? Why/why not?
  • How would you explain God’s love and restoration to a friend who was burdened with guilt and shame?
  • When has been a time when you’ve been afraid to apologize?  Why?
  • In what ways have you allowed yourself to be undignified in order to prove your love for someone?
  • When have you sensed the thrill of having God run towards you?
  • Is there any area of your life where you need to “come home,” to repent and to receive God’s celebration and restoration?
  • Why are God’s children often reluctant to return to Him when we’ve been living without restraint?
  • Who do you know that needs to learn and believe this aspect of God’s character so they will return to Him?
  • When we come to our senses, when we’re ready to apologize and come back to God, what is His response?
  • Have you ever been afraid to apologize? Why?
  • Have you ever sensed God run toward you? When?
  • What social taboos does the father break as he sees his son off in the distance?
  • What would you say is your greatest need right now in your life?  What is the area of your life that is in most need of God running towards you?  What are the areas of your life that you’re too embarrassed to ask for help?
  • What words would you describe the father’s response to his youngest son’s sin?  How is that different from how you and I might have responded?

Comments

  1. I am using several of these questions in life group tomorrow. I appreciation your time sharing these.

  2. Thank you for the extra questions, I love using them for more and better group participation.

  3. Betty Bell says:

    The extra questions are such a wonderful help! Each week the Holy Spirit guides me to a few that will be most effective in helping the learners in my group make meaningful changes as they follow the Lord more closely.

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