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Lesson: Things that Last Forever

Things That Last Forever B-Group Lesson

Icebreaker

What is the oldest heirloom in your family?

Prayer

Lord, Your Word says, “If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord—and he will repay you!” (Proverbs 19:17 NLT). Help us to be generous people.

Key Scripture

1 Corinthians 3:12–15 NLT: “Anyone who builds on that foundation [Christ] may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”

The Big Idea

We are only temporary residents down here on earth. Our lives, our bodies, and our opportunities are only temporal. The things that last forever are similar to the lesson shared in the story of the three little pigs. One pig built with hay, and one built with sticks, but only one built his house to last.

Consider the amount of stuff that tries to penetrate our atmosphere and reach earth. For example, 99.9 percent of space debris and meteorites burn up as they enter our atmosphere. The few pieces that do enter are usually no bigger than a grain of sand. Think of that analogy as the filter for everything we do that makes it into eternity. The Bible says the things that God didn’t author will burn up like hay and stubble. Let’s talk about what lasts forever.

Discussion

Have you ever seen a shooting star? Did you consider the unlikely probability for it to make it through our atmosphere? What are some things you have done that will have lasting importance and be part of your eternal reward?

Discussion

Now consider the things you have done that may possibly burn up as hay and stubble. What could you do to have more of the former and less of the latter?

Souls last forever.

You can become a witness and pray for souls to be saved. You can give to see souls won. Daniel 12:3 (NLT) says, “Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever. Jesus said, “The harvesters are paid good wages” (John 4:36 NLT), referring to the eternal reward for soul winning.

Discussion

Will anyone come up to you in heaven and thank you for helping lead them to Christ? What is one thing you could do to increase that likelihood? Share with the group.

Pure motives last forever.

In eternity, it’s as much about the why as the what. We should never do anything to receive praise from other people. We should never do anything to achieve a higher position or out of obligation. Pure motives to give will be celebrated in heaven!

1 Corinthians 4:5 (NLT) says, “So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.”

Discussion

Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit’s correction regarding a wrong motive? How did you respond?

Discussion

What do you imagine eternal rewards will look like? Could they be part of our glorified bodies? Could they be reflected in our responsibilities of ruling and reigning? Discuss.

Application

Start thinking about forever. Build your life so that you will reap a reward that makes it into heaven. Souls, faith, and love last forever. Wrong motives bring no reward.

Action Point

Souls last forever, but we can witness only in the here and now. Up your game in 2019. Pray for souls to be saved. When you give, give to see souls won.

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.
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Lesson: Pleasing Alpha

Icebreaker

Do you get to see your family for the holidays? Whose house does your family go to, and what do you do together?

Prayer

Lord, Your Word is a lamp unto my feet!

Key Scripture

2 Corinthians 5:9–10 NLT: “So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.”

The Big Idea

One of the greatest gifts God can give us is an eternal perspective. It truly is a revelation, like a new set of glasses through which we see the world. With eternity in mind, we soon come to a major realization: there is only one person we have to please, and that person is God.

God alone can create an eternal soul. What a powerful thought! In addition to that, He alone judges that soul. We would have to conclude, then, that whatever pleases Him becomes job number one. All of us have decisions to make that will affect the direction of our lives. Can you imagine making such important decisions without an eternal perspective?

Discussion

Whom have you spent your life trying to please? Share with the group.

You could say that Jesus Himself was obsessed with pleasing the Father. We know He succeeded in this because Matthew 3:17 (NIV) says, “And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’”

Jesus was in perfect alignment with ALPHA. He surrendered His agenda and dreams to what the Father wanted. As John 8:29 (NIV) says, The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” Jesus was in complete alignment with the Father in lifestyle, actions, thoughts, and deeds.

Discussion

Have you ever considered the degree to which Christ surrendered His ideas and dreams in order to carry out the Father’s will? Share with the group.

Many of us have not been living in alignment with our Creator. We have defined our own truths and chosen the lifestyle that pleases us. It is time to move over and be in alignment!

Discussion

What was the main thing you got from this lesson?

Application

We please ALPHA when we are in alignment with Him, like Jesus was. Commit to staying in alignment with Him this week.

Action Point

Live in alignment with God. Your lifestyle needs to be biblical. Your agenda needs to be the kingdom. Your stewardship must be accountable. Your action must be obedient.

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.

Lord of the Things

Icebreaker

What was your favorite dish at this past Thanksgiving meal?

Prayer

Lord, help me to focus on eternity in my day-to-day life. Help me to be a good ambassador for Christ and to live my life in a way that brings glory and honor to Your name. Help me to love others as You love me.

Key Scripture

1 John 2:15–17 ESV: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life–is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

The Big Idea

We are to worship the one true God rather than the things He gives us. God does give us things to enjoy, but the greater purpose of those things is to share them with others and use them to bring others to Christ. We all need to be careful that we do not worship either things or people. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness (see Matthew 4:9), he used things and circumstance to try to entice Jesus to worship him. Similarly, Satan will try to use things to get us to stop worshiping God.
We may not bow down to a car or a TV, but we might place some things above our relationship with God.

Discussion

What are some of these things? (Examples: family, children, entertainment, hobbies, travel, career, success) Share with the group.

Read 1 Timothy 6:18. God blesses us so we can be a blessing to others. He desires us to do good, be rich in good works, be generous, and be ready to share. We are called to do good for the poor and those who can’t repay us (Luke 14:13), do good to our enemies (Romans 12:20–21) and do good to everyone (Galatians 6:9–10). Thinking of God’s generosity as evidenced in the sacrifice of Jesus should cause us to want to show generosity to others.
Read Galatians 6:9–10. Reread the last 11 words of verse 10. Now read John 13:35.

Discussion

How are we supposed to behave toward fellow believers as it relates to doing good? Why are we to do this?

The things God gives us are seeds we should sow for His kingdom. When we sow what He gives us, we will reap a harvest (see Matthew 6:19–21; 16:27; and Revelation 22:12). Sometimes we reap the harvest on this side of heaven, but sometimes we do not. However, God guarantees that He will reward us for what we have done during this life.
If the seed that we sow is precious to us, we can be “tearful” because we are attached to it.

Discussion

Tell of a time in your life when you sowed a precious seed or someone gave you a precious seed. What happened as a result of that sowing?

Application

Are there things in your life in which you have gone through the three stages of attraction, attachment, and obsession that Satan uses to obtain our worship? What takes up most of your free time? What are you obsessing over? What are you going to do to remedy the situation?

Action Point

Jesus said that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). Do good and give this week with the goal of storing up treasures in heaven. Making this a habit will help focus your heart and your mind on eternity (Colossians 3:2).

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.

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” The first 15 minutes of your day will determine the rest of your day”
—-Joel Stockstill "Healthy Rhythms Part 2"