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CONNECT

Before making decisions, do you take a lot of time to process your thoughts or tend to make quick choices? Describe an experience that captured you emotionally. Do you think its possible to prove God exists? Why or why not?

WORD
All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord;they will bring glory to your name. Psalm 86:9

WHAT

What does the Bible say?

If faith hinges on proof, then every question needs an answer. Yes, faith begins with thinkingthinking about the evidence for Gods existencebut thinking alone is insucient. People all over the world are beginning to believe in Godfrom rural farms to modern cities, from the under-education to top scientists, from skeptics to the open-minded. Scripture helps understand how this is possible:

Faith is experienced, not just understood.


For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. - Philippians 1:21 Paul wrote Philippians from prison, and yet his joy and passion for the Gospel come through his writing stronger than ever. In fact, the words joy, rejoice, and glad occur more than twenty times in Pauls short letter. If Paul were skeptical, he could argue that God was not real because he was suering unjustly. But Paul experienced God in the midst of his circumstances, whether he was in prison or free. He communicates profound theological truths to the Philippians, not just because he understood them, but because he experienced them in the middle of his situation. Similarly, faith is personal and experiential; its not just head-knowledge. Why is it dicult at times to bridge the gap between our head-knowledge and our experience? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________

God is beyond our full comprehension.


As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9

God is holy, and is therefore beyond our full comprehension. Hes uncreated, all-knowing, and more powerful than any other force in existence. God wants us to use our minds to learn about Him, but its wrong to think that fully understanding God is a prerequisite for faith. We dont have the mental ability to fully fathom a God who brought everything we see into existence. Why do people sometimes think that they need to fully understand God before they engage in faith? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________

Peoples faith is a testimony to Gods existence.


The Lords message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaiayour faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it 1 Thessalonians 1:8

As Paul travelled in and around the Ancient Near East, people came to faith. This sounds matter-of-fact, but its so signi cant. People from drastically dierent backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, and experiences believed Pauls testimony that Jesus was the Son of God. Today, believers in Jesus numbers in the billions. All over the world, people experience the God of the Bible. This is one of the strongest evidences for Gods existence. Why do some people deny this piece of evidence for Gods existence? _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________

SO

WHAT

What is the relevance of the Word to my life?

In what areas of your life is there a disconnect between your head-knowledge about God and what you experience? Are there questions that are holding you back from faith? What are they?

NOW WHAT

How do I apply the Word to my life?

What can you do to cultivate your experience of God? What can you do to increase your knowledge of God? How do you want your life to witness to the truth that Jesus is the Son of God?

PRAYER
Pray that God would help each person experience the truths spoken about in Scripture. Pray for any requests that people in the group may have.

Print double-sided. Copyright 2013 Permission to photocopy this material from THEGODTEST is granted for church & small group use.

How To Use This Material


This material is designed for small group discussion. The goal is not to just teach a lesson but to apply truth to our lives. The best preparation for each small groups leader is to have these guides in hand during the Sunday message so they can take notes to prepare for their group meeting. Each weeks lesson is taken from the GODS NOT DEAD book chapter of the same title. Reading that chapter will prepare the leader for a successful group discussion. These materials work best with a group of four to twelve people. Each lesson has four parts: connect, word, application, and prayer: CONNECT (1015 minutes) Most lessons have three warm-up questions provided. Pick the question or questions that will relate best to the group. If you think of a better warm-up question, feel free to use it. A good warm-up question is not controversial, should require no Bible knowledge, and should have no right or wrong answer. Good warm-up questions ask for a persons opinion and experience and should be loosely related to the topic in the word section. Everybody is encouraged to talk during the CONNECT time. WORD (1520 minutes) Each lesson has several key points in bold type followed by scripture, brief comments, questions, and blank lines. Use the extra lines to record additional comments, cross references, illustrations, and other thoughts that might help communicate the point. APPLICATION (1020 minutes) Maturity is not about how much we mark up or read our Bibles, but about how much we obey our Bibles. The goal is for truth to be absorbed into our hearts, not just into our heads. Therefore, personal application is at the very heart of discipleship and spiritual growth. Everybody is encouraged to speak during the personal application time. PRAYER (1020 minutes) The prayer time may begin with some answers to prayers to encourage and build the faith of the group. If your group has eight or more people, it may be a good idea to break into two or three smaller groups during the prayer time. Everyone should be encouraged to participate in the prayer time. Expect God to answer your prayers.

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