How Do I Forgive?
Remember Forgiveness requires that you trust the justice of God
Remember Forgiveness requires you trust the Grace of God
Remember Forgiveness is an act of obedience not a feeling
Remember Forgiveness Leads to healthy boundaries
Remember Forgiveness is not just a moment but a process
Grieve Your Hurts and Losses
Offer Forgiveness at the Level of Offense
Cancel the Debt
What do we learn about reconciliation and forgiveness from the life of Joseph?
What is the difference between reconciliation and forgiveness?
In what ways have you found freedom in forgiveness?
What are the relationships that you have where God is asking you to take steps of forgiveness or reconciliation? What do you think is a good next step?
When we look at the long view of Joseph’s life, where do we see the providential work of God?
When you look at the long view of your life, where can you see God’s providential work?
What can you learn from the life and practices of Joseph that enabled him to maintain faithfulness while God was providentially working behind the scenes?
What is God saying to you about life being more than “just about you”?
What are some of the ways that God provides the way to meet the challenges (famines) in your life?
How could you better work with Him to make your life not just about your story but His story?
Step 1: Let’s recognize places we are inadequate. Where do most often catch yourself saying “I can’t do that”. (e.g. Speaking up at work, Dealing with conflict, A particular task, Serving in a ministry, Sharing the story of Jesus, etc). Make a list of those things.
Step 2: Pick one area from your list that you want to give room for God to provide what you lack. Take Joseph’s phrase and move in that area of inadequacy - “I Can’t do it, but God will give it…” That one place of inadequacy might just be the place God wants to do something through your life.
When that area comes up this week, do what Joesph did. Recognize your inadequacy and lean on God to provide. Pray about it, and use a similar phrase to Jospeh. “I can’t do ______________, but God can/will ______________________.
What conclusions have you made about God in light of your suffering?
How have your own assessments become an excuse not to follow God obediently?
What fears are you feeling guilty of?
What better self-talk does the Cross gives you access to?
What aspect of the Father are you most thankful for today—present, powerful or patient? Why?
How do you tend to respond to disappointment?
How did Joseph respond to the disappointment of his circumstances?
Share with at least one person what you think the Father wants to teach you about walking through disappointment.
1. With safe people, talk about the things that temp you to sin.
2. What are the things that give you motivation to not follow the call of temptation? Write a list.
3. Do you find God to be the major motivating factor not to sin or is there another reason that is more motivating than God?
4. Spend time this week meditating on Proverbs 9:10, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
1. At the beginning of Genesis 37 Joseph received a great calling and great dreams for his life from God but what has happened to him by the end of chapter 37?
2. What obstacles and challenges did Jospeh face in Genesis 37?
3. Whether in your career or in a relationship, in what ways have you sensed that God has invited or called you to something only to find obstacles and challenges in your path? What was that like for you?
4. What helps you stay the course when facing those challenges and obstacles?
1. The Bible describes many obstacles the can hinder us from encountering the presence of God. How can you relate to the obstacle of expectations and idealism that we talked about from Nathanael story in John 1?
2. According to the teaching today what can it look like to experience the manifest presence of God?
3. What are ways to fight the obstacles and to prepare ourselves to experience God?
What is one thing that stood out to you from this sermon series?
What is one thing that you want to try to help you encounter God?
Can you think of a time when encountering God helped you know Him more personally?
Can you think of a time when encountering God activated your faith in some way? What was the result?
Think of a time when you were empowered or equipped to do God’s will as a result of encountering God. How were you and others impacted?
How motivated are you these days to pursue a personal encounter with God? What, if anything, is hindering your desire to pursue His presence?
Consider praying with others in your household or relational circles about an increase in your desire to pursue the manifest presence of God in your daily life.
1. How does the Biblical story indicate that God pursues His people?
2. How does knowing the pattern of God’s pursuit of his people impact your desire to be with God, to see him, to enjoy his presence?
3. Encountering the Presence of God means that God makes himself known to our spiritual senses and we align ourselves with Him. Can you identify a time in your life where God made Himself aware to your spiritual senses?
1. What is your personal history with experiencing the presence of God? Reflect on the details of these events? What leads you to the conclusion that these were encounters with God?
2. Describe your desire to be with God, to see him, to enjoy his presence?
3. What does it look like in your life to seek after God?
Describe times in your life that you encountered Go
- Talk about different practices you do in your life that help you experience God?
- Are there any area’s of frustration with the spiritual practices you currently do?
- Talk about things that you have done or currently do that numb you to the presence of God?
Talk together about your view of the Christian faith: is it mostly head or heart? Is it mostly study and learning and doing or how much is there a place for feeling, the supernatural and a sense of intimate relationship? Talk about when you have experienced both.