The BIG IDEA
God loves us with a love that is difficult to imagine and wants to have a relationship with us.
Our sin creates a barrier between us and the God who loves us.
Experience the love God has for us by responding to his offer of forgiveness of our sin through his son Jesus Christ and beginning a personal relationship with him.
Why THIS MATTERS
Really understanding the love of God is what often brings us to the realization that we want to know him and have a relationship with him. This is ultimate love, that he gave his only son to die for us while we were sinning and rejecting that very love he offers.
I want my students to…
- KNOW: God our creator knows us and loves us even though we are not lovable and have not desired a relationship with him.
- EXPERIENCE: To respond to God’s amazing and uncalled for love for us by wanting a closer relationship with him.
- DO: By accepting the sacrifice Jesus Christ made, through his death on the cross, to make a way for us to know him.
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leader like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Have you heard the phrase, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you?” Originally it was talking about a pet and his owner, but the meaning has gone on to include humans. What do you think this means?
Sometimes we strike back at the very ones who love us and provide for us.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
*2. Who in the story represents God and who represents us?
The father represents God. Either of the brothers can represent us.
3. Why did the son leave his father who loved him and provided for him?
The passage doesn’t say clearly, but we can assume that he thought money and free-living would give him happiness and that his fathers rules were too restricting.
4. How do you think the father in the story felt about his son’s actions and attitudes?
Possible answers could be sadness, fear for his safety, worry for his future or even rejection with an “are you kidding me?” reaction.
*5. How did the son’s actions or attitudes affect the father’s love?
He never stopped loving him and waiting for his return. He welcomed his son home with open arms and a party.
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
6. If you had been the father in our story, how would you have felt?
- How would you have greeted your son?
Allow the group to discuss.
*7. In what way do you see yourself in the life of the son?
Give some examples if you feel like sharing with the group.
8. How does God’s amazing love cause you to react as you think about your own life?
- Do you find this level of love very often in the world around you?
Allow the group to discuss.
*9. Just like the father in this story, how does God long for us to respond to his unimaginable love?
God wants us to desire a personal relationship with him through his Son Jesus Christ.
10. For the rest of the story continue reading Luke 15:25–32.
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
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.