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Foundations: God Study Guide
11 Core Truths to Build Your Life On
By Kay Warren Tom Holladay Zondervan
Copyright © 2008
Tom Holladay and Kay Warren
All right reserved.
Chapter One WHAT IS GOD LIKE?
1. What do you hope to get out of this small group study?
2. When you think of God, do you have a picture in your mind? These pictures could be thoughts you've had since childhood, or they might be pictures you've formed more recently as the result of current events, the media, or circumstances in your own life. Share how your picture of God has impacted your life.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1 (NIV)
Bible Teaching Watch the video lesson now and take notes in your outline on pages 3-5. What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. - A. W. Tozer
If you can understand it, it's not God. - Augustine
Children have a way of asking the __________________________________ .
As we look at God's existence, we need to remember three key truths:
1. God is _______________________________________ .
2. God is _______________________________________ .
3. God is _______________________________________ .
God Is Real
God is not a character in a story, in some fairy tale. He is as real as we are.
How do we know God exists?
1. We see God's _________________________________ in what he has made (Genesis 1:1; Romans 1:19-20; Acts 14:16-17).
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. (Psalm 19:1-2 NIV)
2. We see God's _________________________________ on human history.
26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. (Acts 17:26-27 NIV)
3. We've seen God's _________________________________ in our own lives.
Look at the story of Elijah and his battle with the false prophets on Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18:24-39.
God Is Revealed
God is not discovered by us, he reveals himself to us (Genesis 35:7; Psalm 98:2).
1. God's _______________________________________ of himself.
From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God. (Romans 1:20 NLT)
2. God reveals himself through _____________________________ .
20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves 21 or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God. (2 Peter 1:20-21 NLT)
3. God reveals himself through _____________________________ .
No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. (John 1:18 NASB)
Jesus came to give us understanding (1 John 5:20), and he chose to reveal the Father to us (Matthew 11:27). God has revealed himself in many ways, but his last word and clearest revelation is in Jesus (Hebrew 1:1-2).
Gallup surveys consistently show 96 percent of Americans believe God is real. For most people, God's existence is not the issue. The real issue is, "What kind of a God is he?" What does Jesus reveal to us about God?
1. After going through today's lesson, has your picture of God changed at all? What key truths most influenced the change in your picture?
2. God seems real to people in different ways. Some see him in his creation, some through reading the Bible, some in looking at the history of humanity, and still others through time spent at a church service. What makes God seem the most real to you?
3. God was powerfully present with Elijah in his contest against the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:24-39). The same God is present with us today. How have you seen God's actions in your life? Where would you like God to "show up" in your life and work in a powerful way?
4. How does the reality of God affect the decisions you make in your daily life?
5. How do you see the reality of God modeled in your small group?
Did You Get It? How has this week's study helped you see that God is more powerful and real than anything else in your life?
Share with Someone: Think of a person you can encourage with the truth you learned in this session. Write their name in the space below and pray for God to provide that opportunity this week.
A CLOSER LOOK
What Does God Look Like?
The Bible tells us that no one has actually seen God (John 1:18). God is spirit (Psalm 139:7-12; John 4:24); God is invisible (John 1:18; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 11:27). The natural assumption, when hearing the phrase that we are all "made in his image," is to think that God must look something like us-with two arms and two legs. What a scary thought! God, who fills this universe, obviously couldn't look like a man. When the Bible speaks of God having "strong arms" or "sheltering wings," these are not literal descriptions but pictures of how God relates to us.
"How to Become a Follower of Jesus Christ" Have you ever surrendered your life to Jesus Christ? Take a few minutes with your group to watch a brief video by Pastor Rick Warren on how to become part of the family of God. It is included on the menu of this DVD.
Living On Purpose Worship Following are some ways you can worship God and his reality in your life. Choose one and be prepared to discuss next week how worshiping God in this way changed how you related to yourself, your circumstances, and others. 1. Before the next session, read the following passages of Scripture, in which God speaks about his reality. As you read, focus on listening to God. Hear him speaking directly and personally to you. "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me." (Isaiah 43:10 NIV) "See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal ..." (Deuteronomy 32:39 NIV) 6 "This is what the LORD says-Israel's King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God ... 8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one." (Isaiah 44:6, 8 NIV) 2. Concentrate on God's power and control as you remember some of the significant things he has done in your life. You don't have to be a history major to see God's work in human history. Think about the fact that all of history is divided by the life of Christ. Consider how history has shown us that the most powerful of human governments rise and fall. Get out a piece of paper and use it to finish the sentence, "God, I see your control over human history when I look at ..." Now finish the sentence, "God, I see your control over my life when I look at ..." 3. Consider God's beauty and creativity as you close your eyes and think about something he has made. Better yet, get out there and see it! Take a trip to the beach or a beautiful park. Think about what you are seeing and what it says to you about God.
Excerpted from Foundations: God Study Guide by Kay Warren Tom Holladay Copyright © 2008 by Tom Holladay and Kay Warren. Excerpted by permission.
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