This week's Adult Bible Study is below, as well as yesterday's worship service. Join us in Bible Study as we go deeper on Tuesday at 10:30am or Wednesday at 6pm in Souers Community Hall.
Welcome to the First Week of Lent, CLP! This week's theme is forgiveness. As Aimee preached in yesterday's sermon, forgiveness is one of the most important and challenging aspects of our Christian faith. It is also one of the most rewarding and liberating gifts that we can receive from God and give to others.
Our main text for this week is Matthew 18:23-35, where Jesus tells a parable about an unforgiving servant. This parable illustrates how God forgives us of our huge debt of sin, and how he expects us to forgive others who owe us much less. It also warns us of the consequences if we do not forgive.
Below are seven days of additional readings and activities that you can do with your family or on your own. These readings and activities will help you apply the message of forgiveness to your daily life, and grow closer to God and others. May God bless you as you seek his forgiveness and extend it to others:
- Read Matthew 18:21-35 together as a family. Discuss what this parable teaches us about forgiveness. Why do you think it is important to forgive others? How do you feel when someone forgives you? How do you feel when you forgive someone else?
- Activity: Write a letter or draw a picture for someone who has hurt you or whom you have hurt. Shred it or throw it away after praying for God to either give you strength to forgive.
- Read Luke 15:11-32 together as a family. This is another parable that Jesus told about forgiveness. Discuss how the father forgave his son who had wasted his money and left home. How did the son show that he was sorry? How did the father show that he loved him? How did the older brother react?
- Activity: Make a welcome home sign or banner for someone who has been away from home for a long time, such as a relative, friend, or missionary. The person doesn't have to be a real person.
- Read Colossians 3:12-17 together as a family. This is a letter that Paul wrote to some Christians in Colossae. Discuss what Paul tells them to do as God’s chosen people. What are some ways that we can be kind, humble, gentle, patient, and forgiving to each other? How can we let God’s peace rule in our hearts?
- Activity: Play a game of charades where each person acts out one of the words in verse 12 (compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience) and others guess what it is.
- Read Psalm 103:8-14 together as a family. This is a song of praise to God for his mercy and forgiveness. Discuss how God forgives us when we sin against him. What does it mean that he removes our sins as far as the east is from the west? How does he treat us like his children?
- Activity: Make a paper chain with each link representing one of your sins or mistakes. Cut off each link one by one as you confess them to God and ask for his forgiveness.
- Read Ephesians 4:25-32 together as a family. This is another letter that Paul wrote to some Christians in Ephesus. Discuss what Paul tells them not to do and what to do instead. What are some things that we say or do that can grieve (make sad) God’s Holy Spirit? What are some things that we say or do that can please (make happy) God’s Holy Spirit?
- Activity: Make a list of positive words or phrases that you can use to encourage, comfort, or build up others.
- Read Matthew 5:23-24 together as a family. Discuss what Jesus tells us to do if we remember that someone has something against us while we are offering our gift at the altar (or praying). Why do you think it is important to reconcile with others before we worship God?
- Activity: Think of someone who has something against you or whom you have something against, and apologize or forgive them.
- Read Matthew 6:9-15 together as a family. This is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount where he teaches his disciples how to pray using an example prayer known as The Lord’s Prayer. Discuss what Jesus says about forgiveness in this prayer. What does it mean to ask God to forgive us our debts (or sins) as we also have forgiven our debtors (or those who sin against us)? What does Jesus warn us about if we do not forgive others?
- Activity: Pray The Lord’s Prayer together as a family.