3rd year JG members should share their testimony this week. Engage your JG in conversation about what makes a good and bad testimony. You can break into smaller groups to do some coaching.
Continue focusing on the idea of developing a spirit of reconciliation. Remind your JG of the importance of humility as a key component of this spirit (recall the “log in the eye” from Matthew 7:1-5). This unit introduces another key component of a spirit of reconciliation – the love of God. Help your JG understand that the love in view here is the love of God for “me” that empowers one to give love in turn. The more aware people are of God’s great love for them, the more they are able to offer love, even in conflict.
TRUTH – This unit touches on the issue of physical abuse. You may want to reiterate the message of the unit and encourage your JG members to seek help if this is an issue in their homes. You can discuss any of the In Bible questions that might serve your JG’s needs. Here are some tips:
Ephesians 3:14-21: The main theme of Paul’s prayer is the love of God. The references to power and strength indicate that the love of God empowers the consequent life transformation that Paul described in chapter 4. This power is at work in Christians, empowering them to put off the “old”, and put on the “new”, which helps to prevent and resolve conflict. The theme of God’s love, which motivates us to imitate God (to live following the example of Christ’s righteous life), is repeated in 5:1-2.
Ephesians 4:1-3: Applying Scripture to our lives in specific, measurable ways is difficult and easily overlooked. The intent of this question is to help your JG envision how to apply Scripture to real-life situations.
Ephesians: 4:17-24: Help your JG see the advantages the believer has in the gospel; the assurance of God’s love and favor that trumps performance, the teaching of Christ’s example of a holy life, the opening of our spiritual eyes so that we can perceive spiritual truth, and the power of God’s Spirit working in us so that we can live new lives that follow Christ’s example.
Ephesians 4:25-32: This will be the core passage for the remainder of this series. Allow your JG to talk about living in relationship with others this way. How would this impact the number of conflicts, the seriousness of conflicts, and the ability to resolve conflicts? Also, encourage your JG to talk about a performance vs. grace approach to Paul’s ethical instructions. You could begin with this question, “When Scripture tells us to be and do certain things and not to be and do other things, how do we keep from measuring our “approval” rating by those things?”
EQUIPPING – Discuss the 2nd and 3rd Equipping questions.
ACCOUNTABILITY – Allow time for smaller groups of 2 or 3 to ask accountability questions, and pray for one another.
MISSION – Be sure to allow adequate time for 3rd year members to share their 60-Second Testimony.