Thirsty Small Group Devotional

Power for Holiness

Thirsty Devotional

Introduction

Q: What makes a culture a culture? How does one adapt to a new culture?

Q: What 3 words would you use to describe your life (culture) before going to college?

Q: How is the college setting a new culture and how have you changed/how have you remained the same?

Q: When you go back home, do you find yourself feeling like or doing some of the “old-pre-college” life sort of things? If so, what are they (feelings or doings)?

Question moving toward the FCF: Why do you think we tend toward old patterns in life?

FCF: We often drift from Christ toward old life patterns of the way things used to be.

Text

READ: 2nd Section under “Conduct of the Kingdom” begins...“Colossians 1:13 says that...” READ: Ephesians 4:17-5:7

Q: What do you observe from the text that is most striking to you? Why?

Q: v. 17-18—How are the ‘Gentiles’ described? (futility of mind, darkened understanding, alienated from life of God)

Q: What is this due to? (v. 18—hardness of heart)

Q: How are people’s hearts hardened? (make choices to position themselves to find life in “old culture” –notice the downward progression and hardening of hearts in v 19— refer to Psalm 1—man walks, then stands, then sits with sinners; Isaiah 1:29-31—worship idols, become like idols, destroyed by idols; Romans 1:18-32; 6:19, etc.)

Q: For you, which of the 3 old self patterns do you find most difficult to walk away from?

  1. Language—“Of these languages, which were you most ‘fluent’ in when you were not walking with God?”
  2. Worldview—How have you seen that values that have changed since becoming a Christian be tested over time?
  3. Conduct—“The verses stretching from 4:25-5:3 tell us of habits that don’t fit into the new kingdom; where do you see yourself—your issues—in this list?”

Q: For you, why is it so easy to position yourself to find life in your “old culture” (old self lifestyle)? What is it that draws you back?

Q: How have you seen the effects of positioning yourself here (old culture)? (have they seen a hardening of heart, darkened understanding, a lack of fellowship with God, etc.)

Transition to CS... Thank the Lord that we have been sealed by the Spirit and that he draws us back...

Christ Solution

“Christ has made us new that we might walk in a newness of life through His Spirit within us.”

Q: How are the ‘Gentiles’ contrasted with the new self in v. 24? (darkness vs. holiness, alienated from God vs. likeness of God, etc.)

Q: Looking at the images on the front page of this section under “Picture of Holiness”, What are some of the facets of holiness that come to your mind as you look at these images?

Q: Which of these aspects best represents holiness to you? Why?

Q: When you think of God’s holiness, not your own, what images come to your mind?

MENTION: “God is moving us toward that picture of holiness ...”

READ: Section under “New Conduct” begins...”God does not grow us...” Just read the two sentences and end with the question...

Q: In what area are you currently feeling the Spirit’s conviction?

READ: Section under “New Conduct” begins...”Certain habits of sin...” Just read the three sentences and end with the question...

Q: In what areas are you most weary and most tired of the struggle?

Prayer of Desperation: Spend some time praying through these convictions and weary struggles asking the Lord to move their hearts to yield to the Spirit...

Q: How does it make you feel, that Christ’s righteousness has been applied to you permanently even when stepping back into your “old culture” your “old self”? How does it make you feel he is committed to your holiness?

Q: What does it look like (or how do we) to put off the old self and put on the new?

Q: In putting on the new self, which of the 3 new self patterns do you see the Spirit transforming you into becoming more holy?

  1. Language—“In what ways have you seen God changing your speech (moving you toward greater holiness)?”
  2. Worldview—“How have you seen your values and perspectives change since becoming a Christian?”
  3. Conduct—How have you begun to walk in greater obedience to Christ through the power of the Spirit within you?

Prayer of Praise: Spend some time in genuine thanks and celebration of where the Lord has transformed our lives and ask that he would help us walk in this newness of life for our good and His glory...

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