Are you a sushi person or not?
Lord, shower Your blessings and Your presence upon us.
John 9:6–7 NLT: “Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, ‘Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam’ (Siloam means ‘sent’). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!”
Anytime we read about Jesus healing the sick and the lame, doubt tries to creep into our hearts. Well, today we are going to “doubt our doubts.” We must believe that God wants to heal us, because that is who He is: Jehovah Rapha. Even in the Old Testament, God said, “I am the Lord who healeth thee.”
Have you ever had doubts because a healing was taking longer than you envisioned? Share your experience with the group.
Many times we are far more like the disciples than we are like Jesus. When Jesus stopped to heal a blind man, His disciples asked who had sinned: the blind man or his parents. Jesus probably thought, Wrong question. We are always trying to find out why something is happening. We see a sick person and start to judge that individual. However, sometimes people find themselves in great difficulty, but not because of anything they have done. We need to stop assigning blame and instead see people in their need and respond like Christ.
When you come across a homeless person or someone who is sick, do you ever reason in your mind about their situation? Have you ever thought, How did they get here? What did they do to end up this way?
Many theologians believe that the blind man in John did not even have eyes, that Jesus put mud on his eyes to become the eyes. What a great thought! However, have we sanitized Jesus in our culture, making Him more conventional and less radical? Jesus is not just a nice chaplain, but He is the all-powerful God.
Most people want to have their sins forgiven and receive peace, but they don’t realize that God also wants to heal their bodies. We often struggle to comprehend the miraculous power of God that heals and delivers through His unparalleled mercy. Nonetheless, we must attach our faith to this scriptural principle. When Jesus walked the earth, He healed all forms of disease everywhere He went. Think of faith like a muscle that must be exercised. Maybe God wants to put you on a faith workout.
Pain and suffering do not always make sense. Stop filling in other people’s stories by assuming they must have made bad choices to be where they are today. You cannot always figure out why suffering happens.
Have you ever been in a season where you started to forget the benefits of the miracle-working power of Jesus? Share with the group.
The Word says that believers will heal the sick: “Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven” (James 5:14–15 NLT).
Don’t get caught up in guilt if you have been waiting a long time for your healing. In the Bible, God healed both people who had faith and those who did not.
Has God ever used you to minister healing to others? If you have not yet had that experience, would you be willing to allow God to use you in this way? Share your thoughts with the group.
Jesus stopped to help the blind man. The disciples assumed some wrongdoing in him because he had been born blind. Too many times we imitate this behavior instead of demonstrating the compassion and healing of the Lord. Stop trying to fill in the story for the people you meet.
“Doubt your doubts” this week. God is not limited; ask Him to use you each day to be a channel of healing, first in your body and then in others’ bodies.
What is your favorite coffeehouse order?
Thank You, Father, for the lives You have given us.
Romans 8:35 (NLT), 37 (NIV, emphasis added): “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
How can someone be more than a conqueror? Hannah, in the Old Testament, was in deep distress as a barren women. Peninnah taunted her as she bore son after son for their husband. Hannah came to a moment of breaking, like we all do when calamity strikes. Her husband did not understand how devastating her barrenness was for her, and Eli the priest actually accused her of being drunk.
Have you ever endured a trial in which you felt alone, not understood by even your closest loved ones? Share with the group.
In the greatest trial of her life, Hannah was a conqueror. From her life, we can learn to identify two main traits of a conqueror and how to demonstrate them in our own lives.
First, conquerors respond correctly. Year after year, Hannah was subjected to Peninnah’s taunting. In 1 Samuel 1:8, her husband, Elkanah, thoughtlessly asked, “Why are you crying, Hannah? Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?” (NLT).
Talk about saying the wrong thing at the wrong time! But notice Hannah’s response: she went to the house of God. Hannah did not get bitter or vindictive, but rather, she turned to God. Before you ever face the heat of trial, you must decide in your heart what you are going to do.
Have you ever had to counsel someone who had to make a decision concerning a difficult circumstance? Were they able to turn to the Lord in their time of need? Share with the group.
Second, conquerors endure all things, knowing God has an end and a purpose to their situation. Every pain has a purpose. Hannah’s difficulty brought forth the leader Israel needed. God needed a Samuel, and He brought him forth through Hannah’s pain. Never forget that there is a purpose to your pain, whether you can see it or not.
Hannah became a conqueror when she believed, but she became more than a conqueror when she gave Samuel back to God. When you get through a tragedy and allow God to use it for the benefit of others, you, like Hannah, become more than a conqueror.
Has God used you to minister to others through a painful situation that you went through? Share with the group.
Make a plan this week to respond correctly to any trial you face. Don’t make decisions in the heat of the moment. Let your trial draw you to God, not away from Him. Bookend your story with what you know about God and what you believe about God.
You become a conqueror when you get through the tragedy, and you become more than a conqueror when it turns into something God can use.
As we approach the onset of summer, what is your favorite thing about school being out?
Lord, touch each of us as we discuss Your Word.
Ruth 4:13–15 NLT: “So Boaz took Ruth into his home, and she became his wife. When he slept with her, the Lord enabled her to become pregnant, and she gave birth to a son. Then the women of the town said to Naomi, ‘Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family! May this child be famous in Israel. May he restore your youth and care for you in your old age. For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you and has been better to you than seven sons!’”
It is far more popular “to fall in love” than to actually love. Ruth was rewarded in her quest for a mate because she did it God’s way instead of the world’s way. Even though she was a Moabite women, Ruth was greatly blessed and became part of the lineage of Christ.
In today’s lesson, we will contrast the two ways to find a spouse: the world’s way and God’s way.
We see the world pursuing this way in nearly every song we hear and every movie we watch.
What was your understanding of love and marriage as a young person seeking a spouse? Did you know God’s way?
1 - Become the right person, instead of find the right person. This begins with a decision to separate yourself from the world’s way. Make a decision to invest in yourself. This is the path Ruth chose. She chose loyalty instead of convenience. She stuck with Naomi, knowing it probably meant staying single because it was unlikely a Hebrew man would marry a Moabite woman.
When you were single, did you ever almost give up hope of finding your spouse? What was the circumstance, and how did you get back on track?
2 - Walk in love, instead of fall in love. Ruth chose hard work instead of seduction. She did not flirt or attempt to seduce Boaz, but rather, she chose the grueling work of gleaning in a field.
What in particular attracted you to your marriage partner?
3 - Follow wisdom, instead of follow feelings. Ruth chose faithfulness instead of flakiness. She did not abandon Boaz after not being relieved of her hard work. She chose character instead of trying to be cool. She saw who Boaz was on the inside and was drawn to his character. Obedience to God’s way instead of impatiently striving to make something happen will always bring reward.
Why do you think people resist the wisdom of God when picking their marriage partners?
Don’t look for the right person, but rather, become the right person. Walk in love, instead of looking to “fall in love.” Follow wisdom instead of feelings.
Invest in yourself whether you are married or single. Become the best marriage spouse or candidate possible. Allow God to change you and mold you.
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