Living confidently in Christ - Week 2 - How Does God guide?
John 10:11-18 / Psalm 25:1-15
Sermon date: April 22nd
Is there anyone in the Home Group who ever has been completely lost – especially at night? How did they recover? Were they rescued, if so by whom and how? Let the discussion widen to imaginary situations and possible rescues, such as map, sign post, passer-by, torch, pathway, satnav, policeman, fellow travellers, etc.
With these practical travel aids we can turn to spiritual guidance using the two passages set.
Suggestion for prayer to start the discussion.:
“Guide me, O my great Redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land
I am weak but you are mighty,
Hold me with your powerful hand.
Open now the crystal fountain
Where the healing waters flow;
Let the fiery cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through. Amen
Please read John 10 v 11-18 (The Good Shepherd)
Can you remember something from last Sunday’s sermon that struck you?
(A) How He guides
Jesus gives the familiar picture of himself as a shepherd. We are used to shepherds and their dogs gathering sheep and driving them from behind or from either the side. But in Biblical times the shepherd would lead from the front talking to the sheep caringly and leaving them to follow.
So how does our Shepherd (God Father Son & Holy Spirit) guide us?
Discuss personal experiences of how God has led you in the past.
Please read Psalm 119:105-106. How does the Bible help guide us?
Do you feel God guides and encourages you through Christian literature?
Please read Phil 3:17, have you been guided and encouraged by Christian leaders and teachers? What was it about them that helped you?
Discuss other aids which you feel might help members of the group in hard times or when they are on the crest of a wave!
On other occasions God speaks directly to us. Ask if anyone has had such an experience and how they felt. What convinced you that it was God speaking to them?
An important test
This leads us to an important question which we all need to face when we are receiving guidance.
8. You may like to consider these guidelines and discuss them and other teaching you have found helpful in interpreting guidance.
“Is it you Lord?”
This is particularly important if the course suggested for us is very different from our usual way of life! These three tests may help in such circumstances:
(1) Test the course being suggested against Scripture
(2) Test your interpretation of Scripture passages against the teaching of other passages.
(3) Use your God given minds!
(B) How He loves
He is the good, (beautiful in some translations),altogether lovely Shepherd who guides His sheep in green pastures beside still waters; He calls us by name and He is the gate to the sheepfold offering protection and salvation.
9. Look again at the passage and see how you can amplify this statement in the light of the passage and your own experience.
(C) How He dies for His sheep
Did you know you are in the Bible? So am I!
In verse 16 Jesus explains that He is not only the Shepherd of the Hebrews, but He also has “other sheep” and they include us - assuming we wish to accept Him as the gate of salvation.
Final application and prayer
10. How far does Psalm 25 verses 4-7 (NIV) match our study this evening? It makes a good summary prayer. Let’s use it as a prayer of commitment.
Howard Gracey, 17/04/2018