Date: June 5, 2022
Convicted by the Spirit
The Point: The Holy Spirit convicts of sin and points to the truth of salvation.
Get Into the Study
Use the following to introduce today’s session.
Wildlife experts across the country are reminding people not to approach wild animals. In particular, experts caution that many young animals, like fawns and rabbits, may look abandoned but have only been left while their parents search for food. Interfering with the animals can cause more harm than good. According to officials, a fawn is most likely to survive if raised by an adult doe, but when the doe detects a human presence, she may delay her next visit to the fawn. If you see a young fawn on its own, you can trust the doe has not abandoned the fawn but has left to seek food to provide for its young.
Today we will look at the words of Jesus to His disciples as He prepared to leave them. Jesus promised He was not abandoning them. He urged them to trust that He would provide for them by sending the Holy Spirit.
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. She enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor in Southern California. Back in Tennessee now, she loves being a mom and writer.
Get Into the Study [from Adult Leader Guide, p. 17 and KJV Adult Leader Guide, p. 17]
In advance, play a video clip illustrating how to find a lost object. Then ask Question #1.
Live It Out
Use the following story as you begin the Live it Out section of this study.
A recent Washington Post article chronicled the stories of parents who refuse to give their children smartphones. One parent, a psychiatrist who sees mostly teenage patients, has drawn a hard line, saying she’ll never buy her children a smartphone. “[I]n her practice she routinely asks new patients to swipe open their phones and show her how much screen time they’re clocking per day. ‘I rarely find one that’s under nine hours,’ she says. ‘So, these teenagers are spending more time on their phone than they are sleeping.’” Additionally, CNET.com reports that Americans spend an average of 4.1 hours on their phones everyday. We are living in a constant state of multitasking, checking our phones almost as subconsciously as we breathe as we go throughout our daily tasks.
As followers of Christ, this should raise red flags. How can we listen for the Holy Spirit’s nudging when we are constantly distracted, taking in story after story, photo after photo, and endless texts? Jesus was constantly disappearing from the crowds, setting aside time to be alone with His Father. He wanted to give His full attention. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is quiet. The Holy Spirit waits for us to be alone, to turn off distractions, to show reverence and openness to the Lord before He speaks. I wonder how much truth, how much conviction, we are missing, by allowing too much of the world into our minds, and not enough stillness?
Are you currently feeling desensitized or too distracted to feel the Holy Spirit at work? What changes do you need to make to create a healthier spiritual practice?
- When have you been surprised to discover you were not alone?
- What everyday items are so necessary that you always have them with you?
- When has the loss of something led to gaining something better?
- What important lesson can we infer from Jesus referring to the Holy Spirit as “the Counselor” in this passage?
- When has God given you hope at a time you were experiencing despair?
- What does it mean to be a helper?
- How do you recognize the Holy Spirit’s conviction?
- According to verse eight, what is the role of the Holy Spirit?
- Why do we need to be convicted of our sin?
- If a friend expressed that the Holy Spirit was leading them in ways that are the opposite of what Scripture teaches, how could you use this passage to encourage them in truth?
- How can believers glorify God?
- Why is discernment important in listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
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.