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Lesson: How to have a Prosperous Soul

Icebreaker

What is your favorite holiday food?

Prayer

Thank You, Father, for bringing us closer to You.

Key Scripture

“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul [mind, emotion, and will] prospers” (3 John 2, NASB).

The Big Idea

Your soul includes your emotions, your physical body, and your financial situation. Prosperity is a joyful passion and a sufficiency mentality to accomplish a lifetime purpose. It affects all aspects of your life.

One key to having a prosperous soul is to operate with a “I have all sufficiency” mentality. God made an entire planet for two people. He fed the three million Israelites 54 boxcars of manna a day, so obviously, He can provide for you and me.

Discussion

Have you entered into a sowing-and-reaping relationship with the Lord? Share with the group.

Joyful passion in your emotions means having an excitement about life. You are grateful and enjoy your day-to-day life.

Discussion

How would you rate your passion for life on a scale of 1 to10? Share with the group.

Although they were poor, the Macedonian church demonstrated an abundance of joy as they assisted other churches experiencing famine. God’s grace upon them enabled them to see it as a privilege to participate in the needs of their brothers.

It takes grace to let loose of financial resources. Put yourself in the offering plate first, and there is no limit to how God will use you to reach other people. God does not want you to experience drudgery in giving, but rather, He wants you to give cheerfully, as you have decided in your heart.

Discussion

Has God ever used you to supply the need of another person? How did it make you feel?

Application

Don’t be so quick to accept less than prosperity in your soul. Remember the three parts to an abundant life:

Prosperity (financial well-being)—I’m going to have all I need this year. Health (physical well-being)—I’m going to have abundant energy this year. Peace (emotional well-being)—I’m going to have peace in my mind, emotions, and purpose.

Action Point

Purpose trumps possessions. If you had only eight minutes to live, your priorities would change instantly. Allow God to reorder your priorities this week.

For You, the Leader

The B-Group semester ends this weekend, December 9–10. We are already making preparations for the spring 2018 B-Group semester. Please check your e-mail as we look to confirm your B-Group participation next year.

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Lesson: Peter’s Famous Recipe

Icebreaker

What is your favorite burger place near you? Is it well known?

Prayer

Thank You, Father. Teach us Your way.

Key Scripture

1 Peter 2:2–3 (NLT ): “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.”

The Big Idea

Peter gives us a recipe to enjoy the full experience of salvation. Jesus spoke of this type of abundance and true potential reached. How ironic that God used quick-to-speak Peter, who probably did not know how to read or write, to give us the recipe for this life of abundance. Let’s look at the recipe.

Discussion

Have you ever thought, There has to be more while you searched for the fullness of life Jesus promised us? Share with the group.

2 Peter 1:3–9 (NIV, emphasis added): “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”

Discussion

Have you ever had to cook with a very limited number of ingredients because of a diet you were on or a lack of supplies? Share with the group.

Immediately after telling us to pursue goodness and knowledge, Peter urges us to add self-control. Don’t be a person easily ruined, like a “city without walls,” which is absolutely defenseless. In fact, after you have resisted temptation, you will need to add perseverance to the recipe.

Discussion

James says we should rejoice when trials come. Have you ever had a very difficult thing to endure? Can you share it with the group?

Now your spiritual walk is becoming very seasoned. It is time to add godliness, becoming acutely aware of God and prioritizing yourself less and less. Then add brotherly love, seeing how your capacity to be others-minded has grown. This speaks of loyalty and love for others. Don’t quit on your church family! People are not disposable, like paper cups.

Discussion

What time of day do you feel the most God-aware? Share with the group.

Discussion

Have you ever restrained yourself from separating from a person or disowning them? Did brotherly love win out? Share with the group the lesson you learned from this experience.

Application

Make a plan this week to add to your faith all the ingredients of the recipe. Strive for the full experience by adding the other ingredients. Everyone will enjoy your seasoned life, and it will be obvious to all that God has transformed you.

Action Point

Remember, the enemy wants you ineffective and unproductive. By following Peter’s recipe, however, you will walk in love and impact others, all while your full experience is bringing you joy.

For You, the Leader

  1. Instruct group members to do the following: *Pray for and touch base with another member before next week. *Invite someone to the group next week and/or to attend a church service with you. *Encourage someone this week.
  2. Remind the group about outreach. Find out which outreach will be taking place in the zip code closest to your group and participate. One of the greatest joys of life in Christ is serving others!
  3. What is the next step for each member of your group? Whether it is water baptism, Cultivate, or A-Team/B-Group leadership, encourage them in it. Also encourage all members to read their Bible and pray daily.
  4. Close in prayer, asking for any specific prayer requests.

Lesson: Faith Fundamentals

Icebreaker

What is your favorite breakfast place in town?

Prayer

Thank You, Father, for the lives You have given us.

Key Scripture

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT): “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” James 2:26 (CEB): “As the lifeless body is dead, so faith without actions is dead.”

The Big Idea

If you have faith that a truck will hit you if you stand in the middle of the interstate, you will act quickly to move to the side of the road. Faith is the way to receive anything from God. Without it, you will receive nothing. It is the currency of God’s economy.

Discussion

What action have you taken based solely on a belief that you have faith in?

Believing in the cross produces gratitude. It also produces repentance. When you come to the conclusion that the cross is the determining factor in a person’s eternity, you change your mind-set. You realize that without the cross, humanity would be lost. You understand that without the cross, you would be totally lost.

Believing in heaven produces hope. It also produces detachment from earthly things. We should not grieve like people who have no hope, because we know that believers leave this world and enter the Lord’s presence.

Discussion

Before you believed in heaven, what was your belief system concerning what happens after death? Share with the group.

Believing in judgment produces the fear of God. Just as God judged Noah’s generation, He will also judge all generations. No one will escape being judged. You cannot just have a Santa Claus version understanding of the Lord. That would be unbalanced.

Discussion

Dou you have a balanced fear of God? If a saint from the early church spent a week in your house, what would they say?

Believing in direction produces action and relieves anxiety. Genesis tells us that Abraham left his hometown without knowing where he was going.

Discussion

Have you ever received God’s direction? Did you obey? What happened?

Application

Believing in creation produces humility.
Believing in the cross produces gratitude. It also produces repentance. Believing in heaven produces hope. It also produces detachment from earthly things. Believing in judgment produces the fear of God. Believing in direction produces action.

Action Point

Declare your faith this week in the area where you need more strength.

For You, the Leader

Ask your group to be on the lookout for a family you can bless with items for their Thanksgiving meal. Pick up your “blessing box” at your campus during the weekend of November 11–12 or 18–19. Take a picture with the family you give the box to and post it on social media, using #Bethanyblessing17.

Close in prayer, asking for any specific prayer requests.

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“become the right person instead of find the right person.”
—-Jonathan Stockstill "Looking for Love, Like 1-2-3"