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SYNOPSIS OF THE SERMON
In this week’s message, Insoo talks about how to partner with God to raise your children. Based on the story of Joseph in Genesis 37, he talks about how even our best efforts as a parent aren’t good enough, and how sometimes God is up to something that we can’t see right now; therefore we should learn to rely on God and partner with him. He talks about how we need to reshape our understanding of “family” and allow God to move through us even outside of our families.
GETTING THE CONVERSATION STARTED
These questions can be used as ice-breakers in the beginning OR interwoven between the questions below to draw the group into the discussion.
1. As a growing child, what were some of the disciplinary measures you argued against and yet now as an adult you agree with? Briefly share.
2. Can you recognize any “failures” or past hurts in your life that molded you into a better person? Do you believe God allowed them to happen? Do you believe he has a purpose for them? Share your experience.
3. What are your thoughts of God as your father? What beliefs or attitudes from your parents have you imposed on God’s character? How has your relationship with your parents influenced your relationship with God?
INTERACTING WITH THE SERMON
1. In 5 minutes or less, briefly give a synopsis of this week’s sermon. What insight, principle, or observation from this weekend’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling? Explain.
2. Read Psalms78:1-8:
1 My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will teach you lessons from the past— 3 things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.
5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, 6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.
7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
8 They would not be like their ancestors— a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.
• In verse 2, the Psalmist talks about lessons from the past. What lessons do you believe he’s talking about? How do we learn from our past? What are some valuable lessons that have been transferred from generation to generation in your family? Can you identify any lessons or proof of God moving in your family through the years? Briefly share.
• What is God asking his people to do (v. 4)? What is the reason behind this command (v. 7)? What is the benefit of knowing “the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done”? Have you ever found remembering God’s deeds or works in your life or in others to be helpful? How do you think you would face your problems or difficult situations if you were not aware of “the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done”? Briefly share.
• According to verse 5, what were the Israelites supposed to do with God’s statutes for Jacob and the Law? What can we say was the purpose for the Law (vv. 6 & 7)? Can we as God’s children trust that all of his commandments for our lives are meant as a blessing? Have you ever experienced this? Briefly share.
• Why does God chose to reveal himself to us through human parents? What does that say of our role as parents or persons of influence over someone’s life? What are the advantages/disadvantages to that?
• Should the lessons learned from this Psalm be applied only to parent-child relationships? How do you think this message applies in terms of your responsibilities beyond your immediate family? How about in terms of people outside your family? To the next generation? In light of this passage, what does your responsibility as a Christian look like?
3. ln his sermon, Insoo shows us how the suffering and pain endured by Joseph in his life actually prepared him for life and for what God had in store for him.
• Have you been able to release to the Lord the pain and suffering in your life and allowed him to transform you through those events?
• Have you been able to release the pain and suffering that you have inflicted on others? Pray that God gives you the strength not only to ask that person for forgiveness, but also to forgive yourself for your actions in the past.
• Pray that God will show each person in your small group the purpose behind each painful situation from their past and how to turn it into a blessing and receive his freedom for their life.
Please also encourage persons in your small group to participate in the following Family Mess follow-up seminar:
How to Partner With God to Raise Your Children
Monday, November 15th, 7:30-9pm
Childcare available (ages 1 and up) for $3/child.
For more information contact Staci Rue.
Staci.Rue@vineyardcolumbus.org or 614.259.5390