December 6, 2015
PRICELESS: FINDING YOUR VALUE IN GOD
SESSION 1: ADOPTED INTO GOD’S FAMILY
The Point: We are loved by God, our perfect Father.
Leader Extra: Get Into the Study
Use the following as an optional introduction to this session.
On March 15, 2014, Graham Glasgow, starting center and team leader for the University of Michigan football team, was arrested for drunk driving. Exactly one year later, a random drug test revealed he violated his probation by drinking alcohol. Having earned suspension for a portion of the previous Spring and the season opener for his initial offense, Glasgow was not hopeful about continuing as a Wolverine. The first offense occurred under the watch of head coach Brady Hoke. Certainly this would be the end of his college football career. Between offenses, however, leadership changed hands to Jim Harbaugh. Instead of dismissal or a severe punishment, Coach Harbaugh took a different approach: Grandma.
After a phone call from Coach Harbaugh to the father to discuss the situation, Glasgow moved out of his house full of teammates and into an on-campus apartment with his 81 year-old grandmother, Carmella. This solution would provide up-close accountability, a fresh start and allow Glasgow to continue playing football.
“(Harbaugh) brought me in the office and that’s when I understood the severity and thought, ‘Uh-oh, something bad could happen,’ ” Glasgow said. “I’m happy things worked out the way they did. Instead of just giving me a whole bunch of punishment, he took a different approach than Coach Hoke would have. There would have been punishment and he would have threatened status.
“But Coach Harbaugh helped me outside of football and found me a different living arrangement where I wouldn’t make bad mistakes. I thought he was going to be really, really harsh. I heard he had a reputation of being, not hard on guys, but very stern and strict, and he ended up being very understanding, which I really appreciated. I love Coach Harbaugh. I know there’s no leeway. I have to do it his way. It’s cut and dry.”1
- Describe ways in which teams are like families.
- How could Coach Harbaugh’s decision to keep Glasgow on the team and the measures he took to do so be considered “adoptive”?
- What did this option communicate to Glasgow about family, grace, forgiveness, etc.?
- Do you ever feel you can sin enough to be “un-adopted” by God?
Emily Jennings wrote thia Leader Extra. Emily is wife to Brian and Mommy to her three sweet boys. She loves serving at FBC Woodstock where her husband is Middle School Pastor. Find her on Twitter @emilyejennings.
Leader Extra: Live It Out
Visit the following site and review the facts listed with your group in order to wrap up your Bible study:
According to National Adoption Day statistics, there are currently 100,000 children in foster care, waiting to be adopted. The average child waits four years before they’re adopted.
- What emotions do you experience when you hear these statistics?
- How do you think this compares to the way God feels about his lost children?
- Why do you think the Bible so often uses the metaphor of us being adopted into the family of God?
— Ashley Emmert wrote this Leader Extra. She is a freelance writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her sweet Southern husband and their small scrappy dogs. Find her at ashleygraceemmert.com or on Twitter @ashgemmert.
How were you shown love as a child?
Why do people often struggle with ascertaining their own self-worth?
Tell about a time you experienced the joy of being chosen (as a friend, for a spouse, for a job, to be on a team, as a member of a club or other group). How did being chosen impact the way you viewed yourself?
What’s your most valuable possession?
How would you describe the difference between “expensive” and “priceless”?
1 John 3:1-3
Why might some people question God’s love for them?
How would you explain being a child of God to someone who was unsure?
How is a parent’s love for his child different from love in other human relationships (like friend, spouse, or relative)?
When is it easiest to believe God loves you? When is it the hardest?
Why does it matter that we are children of God now, not just in our heavenly future?
1 John 3:4-8
How did your parents let you know you were still loved even though they had to discipline you?
If abiding in, or remaining in, Jesus keeps us from sin (1 John 3:6), how exactly do we do that? Where should we begin?
Based on these verses, how would you respond to someone who says, “Since God will always forgive my sin, why does it matter if I repeat the sins I enjoy”?
How does Christ’s sacrifice change the way we look at sin?
1 John 3:9-10
Since God’s nature within us provides a deterrent to sin, and yet we still sin, how do we know we are truly children of God?
What qualities would you like others to see in you that would make them recognize you as a child of your Heavenly Father?
Is John saying in verse 9 that Christians live in a state of sinless perfection? Explain.
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional: