The Love of the Father
- Did you grow up with a father who would have welcomed you home after bringing shame on him?
- Many of us manifest our understanding of God based on the way our parents responded and treated us. If you have someone in your group whose father kicked them out or would not allow them to come home, they may have a very hard time picturing a God who would welcome them home even after they sin.
- As a believer, when you go into a season in the far country do you find it difficult to come home and repent? Does it feel awkward?
- People often go into a downward spiral of sin because they just don’t know how to come back. Explain how you repent to God. People are in all sorts of places spiritually and just because they look good on the outside more than likely someone in your group is in the downward spiral and doesn’t know how to come back. Give them permission to repent and guarantee them of God’s acceptance.
- Did you have a relationship with your parents that was open enough that you could tell them when you messed up or did you have to hide every little thing you did? Do you think that has an effect on how you confess your sin to God? Are you open with God or do you feel yourself hiding your sins and thought life from Him?
- Who do you identify with more in the parable, the lost son or the obedient son?
- Which brother do you find easier to judge?
- Ask why they find it easier to judge one brother over the other. We like to judge people based on our strengths. If we are good workers and obedient, we find it easier to side with the older brother. If we find it easy to repent and come home, we will find it easier to judge the older brother.
- Before coming to Christ, did you struggle thinking about the forgiveness of God?
- Whether you have children or not how can you show compassion on people like the father showed to his sons?
- The older son wanted a goat for his party with his friends and was angry that the father invited him in to share the party and eat the fatten calf. The older son was wanting less than the father was offering, he was asking for goat when the father was offering steak. Has there been a time in your life when you thought the plan you had for your life was better than the blessing that the father was offering you?
- As we come into the new year, what are some changes you want to make in your life spiritually? What action steps are you going to take to see that become a reality?