Date: February 12, 2023
Does It Align with God’s Character?
The Point:God never calls us to do something that is outside His character.
Get Into the Study
Share the following after discussing Question 1:
Art forgers are usually extremely talented and spend years learning a particular painter’s style so that even other professionals have a hard time telling the difference. In fact, many paintings purchased by museums or collectors that were thought to be authentic are actually fakes.
Washington D.C.’s National Gallery had an exhibit for the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, and they announced that only half of the six paintings were actually by the Dutch master. The remaining three were found to be completed by another unknown artist, though experts believe it was someone who knew Vermeer very well.
While these paintings appear to be Vermeer’s upon first glance, closer examination shows that everything about the painting is different, from the composition of light and colors to the way the pigments were ground and mixed.
Just as someone who knows us well can see when we are acting out of character, all forgeries can be spotted by someone who knows the original artwork and artist very well.
Get Into the Study [Option from the Adult Leader Guide, p. 129]
In advance, play a video clip of someone acting out of character. Then ask Question #1.
Get Into the Study [Option from the Young Adult Leader Guide, p. 137]
To introduce the session, show a video that illustrates the bond between mother orangutans and their babies which is said to be one of the strongest in nature.
When a baby orangutan is born, it relies solely on its mother for food and teaching it survival skills. It’s said that the bond is so strong, that a baby hardly ever lets go of its mother for the first few months of life. This illustration sets up the content of this session and how truly understanding God’s character only comes by knowing Him in an intimate way.
Study the Bible
Share the following after discussing Question 3:
One common way our culture misrepresents the character of God is by taking a single characteristic of God and using it to define His entire character.
In an Instagram post supporting LGBTQ+ rights, a page with the username @thefaithfulfeminists stated that “Jesus’ devotion was to God and love, and love and God; for God and love are one and the same. Literally, love is love.”
An apologist named Tim Barnett, well-known for his page Red Pen Logic with Mr. B, refuted their misrepresentation of God with Scripture and sound logic, explaining that “1 John 4:8 says that God is love, [which] means that it is an essential attribute of God, not God’s only attribute.”
Mr. B concludes his argument saying that “love is something true of God, but is not the same thing as God.”
EXTRA was written by Emily Duncan, a Southern California native currently living in West Georgia with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. She became a Christian when she was sixteen at a youth retreat. Now, she’s a self-described homemaker and semi-professional baker who dreams of eventually finishing all the projects in her workroom.
Study the Bible [Option from the Adult Leader Guide, p. 137]
In advance, play a worship song that praises God for various aspects of His character such as His holiness. Invite a group member to lead the group in worship or play the song and allow time for reflection and prayer.
- What personal characteristics possessed by your best friend do you value the most?
- What is the funniest “out of character” thing you’ve ever done?
- What’s something that would be totally out of character for you to do?
- What does God’s willingness to establish a relationship with us say about His character?
- What do these verses show us about God’s relationship to His people?
- When have you felt God’s presence in a meaningful way?
- What attribute of God’s character encourages you the most?
- What does God’s unchanging nature mean to you and your relationship with Him?
- Which of these characteristics do you find people most likely to overlook or forget?
- Why is it significant for followers of God to understand that His character does not change?
- How does God’s character lead us to worship Him?
- What specific steps can believers take to maintain an attitude of awe and reverence toward God?
- How does understanding God’s character help us discern His voice?
- How does knowing who God is impact what we ask of Him?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.