Series Memory Verse: “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.” Psalm 139:1 (P. 476)
- I Am Growing More Like Jesus.
“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” Ephesians 4:15 (P. 897)
- Make allowance for each other’s faults.
“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Ephesians 4:2 (P. 896)
- Bind yourself together with peace.
“Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” Ephesians 4:3 (P. 897)
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (P. 898)
- Do your part.
“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” Ephesians 4:16 (P. 897)
“I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one…” John 17:21a (P. 825)
My Next Step This Week:
_____ I will pray for one person I have a strained relationship with and spend time with them to understand their perspective.
Small Group Questions
One Thing: I Am Growing More Like Jesus.
Series Memory Verse: “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.” Psalm 139:1
Bible References: Ephesians 4:1-7,15-16
// Who would you say you know very well? Is there a friend that you know well? How did your relationship grow and change over time? How did you remain close?
Paul wrote a letter to the church in Ephesus while he was in prison in Rome. Ephesus was the most important city in western Asia Minor (now Turkey). Because it was also at an intersection of major trade routes, Ephesus became a commercial center. This meant that it was culturally and religiously diverse. This would have made it difficult to live in peace and unity. This letter was written to the church to encourage them to bind themselves together with peace and live in unity.
// Read Ephesians 4:2 (p. 896) and Colossians 3:13 (p.904). Paul tells us we should make allowances for others all the time because of our love.
- Where does this love come from?
- Why is it so hard sometimes to make allowance for someone else’s faults?
- Who are we to make allowance for each other’s faults?
// Read 1 Corinthians 11:1 (p.876). Here Paul is encouraging the believers to copy him because he is copying Christ.
- What is right about this?
- What is wrong about this, if anything?
// Read Ephesians 4:3 (p.897) and Hebrews 12:14 (p.928). The writers are talking about living in peace here.
- Why is it important to live in peace and what are the benefits?
- What are some of the challenges of living in peace and how can we over them?
// Read Romans 15:1 (p.867). This is a challenging message from Paul to have compassion for others.
- When is it difficult to like someone you disagree with? What makes it difficult?
- What are the things that get in the way of unity?
// Read Ephesians 4:6 (p.897). Paul is writing about how we are all part of one Body.
- Where do things like jealousy and envy come from? How does disunity happen?
- What should we do when we get jealous and how can we prevent it from destroying unity?
____ I will pray for one person I have a strained relationship with and spend time with them to understand their perspective.
Read Galatians 5:22-23 (p.893) and mediate on each Fruit of The Spirit. Ask God to show you which one you need to work on in your life. What areas in your life can God help you grow and build you up?
1 John 2:6 (p.941), Galatians 2:20 (p.891), Romans 12:1-2 (p.866), John 15:12 (p.824)