Session 3: Loving God

Outcomes (team members will):
  • Compare and contrast how Jesus related to His Father with how we relate to Him.
  • Identify the barriers that keep us from growing in intimacy with the Father.
  • Discuss spiritual practices that help us grow closer to the Father.

Leader Resources
  • Father Heart of God, Floyd McClung. ISBN: 0-7369-1215-0.
  • Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton. ISBN: 0-8308-3333-1.

Review
  • How did you live out your commitment to Jesus this week? From this week, share one joy and one struggle of being committed to Jesus.

Opening Activity

  • Have each person draw a picture of how they view God.
  • Invite participants to share their pictures in small groups and explain their drawings.
  • Ask if any participants want to share their picture with the big group.
  • Point: how we view God affects our relationship with God.

Jesus' view of God as Father

  • Jesus is our example of how God desires our relationship with Him to be. 
  • Divide up the following passages among different people and ask them to write characteristics of Jesus' relationship with His Father:
    • Matthew 3:13-17
    • Mark 1:35
    • Matthew 6:9-13
    • Luke 10:21
    • John 5:19
    • John 10:37-38
  • Have team members make a word collage on the board of the characteristics they observed from these verses.
  • Invite other thoughts, beyond these verses, that people have of Jesus' relationship with the Father.
  • Point out that Jesus had a deep intimacy and love for the Father which was expressed in perfect obedience to the Father.

Our view of God

  • In groups, invite participants to share:
    • Which of the characteristics on the board are true in your own relationship with God, and which ones are not (or need work)? 
    • What are barriers that keep you from relating to God like Jesus does?
    • What are the things that help you relate to God?
  • Knowing God’s love for us is the foundation of walking with Him!

Practices for drawing near to God (see in-depth instructions in Sacred Rhythms or search for resources on the internet):

  • Silence
  • Lectio Divina
  • Self-evaluation

Response

Each team member share one practice they would like to try this week to draw near to God.


Preview

Next session we will look at how our love for God flows out in love to others.
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