1st year JG members should share their testimony this week.
TRUTH – Review a few of the In Bible questions.
Matthew 5:7 – Merciful people and peacemakers are very similar. The difference is that peacemakers make peace when there is not necessarily an offence against them personally, while merciful people show mercy when there is an offence against them.
Matthew 18:15-35 – This teaching of this passage is focused on reconciliation. The first section (vv 15-20) explains how to pursue peace with someone who is reluctant to repent of their offense against you. When that person repents, “…you have won your brother over.” (18:15) The second section (vv 21-35) is introduced by Peter’s question about the extent of his responsibility to forgive. Jesus’ answer in the parable of the unmerciful servant is that we are responsible to forgive every time an offender repents. This is because of God’s greater forgiveness of our offenses against Him. Note that our offenses against Him are greater because He is the perfect, holy, faultless lawgiver.
Mark 11:25/Luke 17:3-4 – The point of placing these passages side by side is to make it clear that forgiveness is both an unconditional attitude (heart forgiveness), and a conditional action that demonstrates that attitude (expressed forgiveness). Expressed forgiveness is offered only on the condition of repentance. However, it is offered repeatedly whenever there is repentance.
EQUIPPING – You may wish to allow for an extended discussion of the equipping section. Allow your JG to discuss any of the equipping questions. Try to get them sharing about:
Their personal experience of God’s forgiveness.
Their understanding of the difference between heart forgiveness and expressed forgiveness.
Their struggles to keep a forgiving heart, and/or express forgiveness in the face of painful personal conflict.
ACCOUNTABILITY – Allow time for smaller groups of 2 or 3 to ask accountability questions, and pray for one another.
MISSION – Be sure to allow adequate time for 1st year members to share their 60-Second Testimony and receive coaching.
MISSION – Invite a few JG members to share their experience having a spiritual conversation with their spouse (or potential spouse).