*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Think of a time when you messed up really badly and someone showed you grace (i.e., didn’t come down on you like you deserved). How did that person’s grace make you feel toward him or her and about what you did?
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
1. Read Isaiah 6:1–4. Isaiah was a prophet (a person who hears messages from God and gives them to the people). He lived several hundred years before the time of Jesus. In this story, he is given a vision of heaven. Describe in your own words what Isaiah sees.
2. How do the seraphim describe the Lord in verse 3?
3. What do you think it means that the Lord is holy and that the whole earth is full of his glory?
5. In verses 6-7 an angel flies over and touches a burning coal to Isaiah’s lips. What’s that about? What is the difference between Isaiah’s attitude between verse 5 and verse 8? What changes for Isaiah between those verses?
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
7. Why do we need to see God’s holiness and our sinfulness to appreciate the grace that comes to us through Jesus Christ?
*8. When we lose sight of God’s holiness and our own sinfulness, we “shrink Christ’s cross,” failing to see how big God’s grace (undeserved favor) is in our lives. Below are some of the ways we can do this.
- Take turns reading these out loud to the group.
- What is one of the ways on this list that you can relate to?
Defending – Instead of receiving feedback, I justify, explain things away, or talk about my successes. As I appreciate Jesus’ grace, I realize Jesus is my Defender, freeing me from justifying and defending myself.
Faking – I try to be someone I’m not because I’m too concerned with others’ opinions of me. As I appreciate Jesus’ grace, I realize that God sees everything about me and still accepts me because of Jesus. This frees me to be myself.
Hiding – Driven by shame, I conceal my real self because I’m afraid God or others won’t accept me if they see me for who I really am. Appreciating Jesus’ grace frees me from needing to hide from God and others since he sees, loves, and accepts me.
Exaggerating – Out of a desire for attention, I make both good and bad things more of a big deal than they are. Appreciating Jesus’ grace frees me from feeling like I need to exaggerate. I have all the positive attention I could dream of because I’m an object of God’s love.
Blaming – Instead of taking responsibility for my shortcomings and faults, I point the finger at others or at circumstances. When I appreciate Jesus’ grace, I don’t need to blame others or circumstances for my shortcomings and faults. I can accept my shortcomings and faults, knowing that God forgives me for all my sins through faith in Christ.
Downplaying – I say things aren’t as bad as they really are. Appreciating Jesus’ grace means I can say things are as bad as they really are because Jesus’ grace is big enough to deal with any bad thing in my life.
From The Gospel-Centered Life (15–16) by Robert H. Thune and Will Walker, Serge 2016.
9. How can a growing appreciation of Jesus’ grace keep you from “shrinking Jesus’ cross” in the way you mentioned
10. When Isaiah and Peter experienced God’s grace, they told someone about it. Who is someone you’d like to tell about the grace of Jesus we’ve learned about in this study?
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.