Going Deeper

Stepping Out | "Trusting when it seems impossible"

Phil Christian | Gen 18:1-15 and 21:1-7 | Sept. 17

1. What did the Holy Spirit teach you? Were there any “ah-ha” moments?

2. Read Genesis 18:9-10. This passage brings further clarity God has been giving toAbraham since Gen 12—that God would make a great nation through Abram, and againin Gen 13—that Abram’s descendants would be like the number of dust—and then inGen 15 that Abram’s heir would come from Abram—and his lineage would be countlesslike the stars. This is after Abram saw Eliezer of Damascus as their heir…and after Sarahthought this child would come from Abram and not her (chapter 16) but to her servant.Maybe you have heard the saying, “God shows up in the 12th hour.” Have you everexperienced this, where God showed himself faithful, but revealed how or that Hewould right at the last minute? Share your story.

3. Genesis 18:9-15 records that Sarah “laughed to herself” when she heard the Lord’swords. But Hebrews 11:11 includes Sarah in the description of those who lived by faithin God's promise. How should we understand Sarah’s laughter in light of her faith?

4. Genesis 18:14 says “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” The Hebrew word theretranslated “hard” literally means “to be wonderful, to be extraordinary, to besurpassing, to be amazing,” asking, is there anything too impossible for God. Theassumed answer to this question is “no”. Why do you believe this to be true? What inScripture give you this assurance that nothing is impossible for God?

5. If nothing is impossible for God how does this affect our faith and our prayers? We caneither believe that God can’t…or more often we can believe that God won’t. Which onecan you struggle with? Why? How do you process the promise of Jesus in John 14:12-14? Does it bring clarity that praying in “Jesus’ name” means aligned with His characterand will? How does that affect how you pray and your expectations?

6. Read Genesis 21:1. God fulfilled what was seemingly impossible. Can you imaginebeing Sarah? How does this shape your idea that God will follow through with thepromises He has given you in His Word? Is there anything in your life that seemsimpossible for God to work in, redeem, heal, forgive, or use for good?

Stepping Out | “Trusting When the Ask is Hard”

Chris Meade | Gen 22:1-18 | Sept. 24

1. What did the Holy Spirit teach you? Were there any “ah-ha” moments?

2. Tests reveal where our heart and trust is. Think of a time you have been tested and had to make a sacrifice in your life – time, effort, money, an activity. What did that test reveal and teach you…about God? …about yourself? In the testing, where did you lean? How? In the end was the sacrifice worth it?

3. In verse 14 Abraham names the place “The LORD will provide”. In what specific ways has God provided for you? Not just monetarily, but spiritually, relationally, emotionally...giving you life?

4. With the sacrifice of Isaac, God is seemingly asking Abraham to give up everything – not just his son, but the promises of the covenant as well. Read Hebrews 11:17-19. How has Abraham’s history with God and His promises, allowed Abraham to have such radical trust and faith? What does this teach us about trust leading to obedience and action in our own lives?

5. What might God be asking you, or your family, to sacrifice in faith, out of trust in Him, for your growth and benefit, and to take Jesus with you and make Him known?

6. The near sacrifice of Isaac points to the true and ultimate sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary. Read John 3:16-18 and Romans 8:32. How does the love of God expressed at the Cross encourage you when life is tough and you feel weak or discouraged?