Uninvited Study Guide: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely

Uninvited Study Guide: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely

by Lysa TerKeurst
     
 

GOD WANTS US TO LIVE LOVED WHEN WE FEEL LEFT OUT, LONELY, AND LESS THAN.

In this six-session video Bible study, Lysa TerKeurst digs deep into God’s Word to help you explore the roots of rejection, the way other relationships get tainted because of a past rejection, and the truth about what it looks like to live loved. With biblical depth, gut-honest

Overview

GOD WANTS US TO LIVE LOVED WHEN WE FEEL LEFT OUT, LONELY, AND LESS THAN.

In this six-session video Bible study, Lysa TerKeurst digs deep into God’s Word to help you explore the roots of rejection, the way other relationships get tainted because of a past rejection, and the truth about what it looks like to live loved. With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa will take you on a visual journey in the Holy Land to some of the places where people of the Bible such as Hannah, David, and even Jesus lived and walked.

Lysa will help you and your group to enter a place of healing and new perspective, as well as a time for you to go to new places with Jesus and experience him like never before. Uninvited reminds us we are destined for a love that can never be diminished, tarnished, shaken, or taken—a love that does not reject or uninvite.

This study guide is packed with deep Bible teaching and includes guided video notes, group discussion questions, and between-sessions personal studies.

Session Titles:

1: Living Loved

2: Empty or Full?

3: The Yoke of God Is Freedom

4: Set Apart

5: Remembering God’s Presence

6: Lessons from the Olive

7: Bonus Session: Review and Celebration (No video)

Designed to be used with the UNINVITED DVD STUDY 9781400205981

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400206001
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
08/09/2016
Edition description:
Study Guid
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
14,444
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

Uninvited Study Guide / Six Sessions

Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely


By Lysa TerKeurst, Karen Lee-Thorp

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2016 TerKeurst Foundation
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4002-0601-8



CHAPTER 1

SESSION ONE

Living Loved

Live from a deep assurance that you are fully loved, and you won't find yourself begging others for scraps of love. Live loved.

Recommended reading prior to the meeting: Uninvited book, chapters 1–3


WELCOME!

Welcome to Session 1 of Uninvited. If this is your first time together as a group, take a moment to introduce yourselves to one another before watching the video. Then let's get started!


OPTIONAL DISCUSSION:

Basic Definitions (10 minutes)

Use this discussion if time permits or if your group meets for two hours.

Choose one of the following questions to answer:

If you were to write the definition of love, what would it be?

If you were to write the definition of rejection, what would it be?


VIDEO:

Living Loved (25 minutes)

Play the video segment for Session 1. As you watch, use the outline below to follow along or take additional notes on anything that stands out to you.


Notes

Jesus' words on the Mount of Beatitudes were a proclamation that He had come and prophecy was being fulfilled.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus announced good news for the poor, the mourning, the rejected. The Messiah has come, and if we remain in Him, we can live loved.

This week's statement to hold on to: Live from a deep assurance that you are fully loved, and you won't find yourself begging others for scraps of love. Live loved.

Rejection never has the final say. With Jesus you are forever safe, accepted, held, loved, invited.

God is in our midst and will quiet us with His love.

The "live loved" quest: To get to a place of stable emotions, stable love instead of a down ward spiral in response to circumstances.

When giving is from a heart whose real motivation is what we're hoping to get in return, it's not really love at all.

Living loved is sourced in the quiet daily surrender to the One who loves us.

The ballerina longs most for her instructor's approval. Her daily return to her instructor is the key to her seemingly effortless soaring. Likewise, we need to return often to our Instructor, our Creator. His hand is daily poised to continue making us and to complete the good work He began in us. We need to spend time getting refilled by God in His abundant love.

God waits every day with every answer we need, every comfort we crave, while we're out looking for love everywhere else. God wants us to slow down enough to receive from Him.

"Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons." (Mark 3:13-15 NIV, emphasis added)

We don't need to manipulate our hearts to feel loved. Instead, we settle in our souls that God created us because He so very much loved the thought of us.


GROUP DISCUSSION:

Video Debrief (5 minutes)

1. What part of the teaching had the most impact on you?


Blessedness: What Does the Bible Say? (10 minutes)

If your group meets for two hours, allow 20 minutes for this discussion.

Remember, Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount is a fulfillment of prophecy, because Isaiah 61:1 says, "The LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor" (NIV). The use of the word "poor" here really means the poor in spirit, or those who are afflicted, humble, meek. Jesus came to tell us that He had good news in the midst of hard realities. Read Matthew 5:1-16 aloud, changing readers every few verses, and listen for the way He speaks to our hearts that are so desperate for acceptance.

1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

He said:

3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:1–16 NIV)


2. Who does Jesus say are the blessed? What surprises you about this list?


• Why might we call these people blessed, even though their circumstances might not be producing happy feelings?


"Blessed" translates the Greek word makarios. It could be rendered as "happy" or "fortunate" if those words aren't taken in a shallow, emotional way. "Makarios is a state of existence in relationship to God in which a person is 'blessed' from God's perspective even when he or she doesn't feel happy or isn't presently experiencing good fortune." Jesus isn't exhorting His hearers to live a life worthy of blessing. He is saying that the people He speaks of are already blessed. "Negative feelings, absence of feelings, or adverse conditions cannot take away the blessedness of those who exist in relationship with God." Jesus is telling His hearers that they can be blessed even when they don't feel good. They can live as loved, blessed people regardless of their circumstances.


• In what sense are you blessed right now?

• How would your daily life be different if you lived convinced, deep down, that you are blessed, that the kingdom of heaven belongs to you, that your hunger will be satisfied, that you are loved by the Maker of the universe?


3. Read Matthew 5:11–12.

11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:11–12 NIV)

• What does God's Word say about times when we feel left out, lonely, or less-than?


4. Read Matthew 5:14–16.

14 "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14–16 NIV)

• Do you see yourself as the light of the world? Why or why not? How does your perception of yourself affect how you treat others?


5. On the video, Lysa said that the Creator may have planned the migration of birds for the very moment when He was going to point to the birds to illustrate His message. That's how important His hearers were to Him. Do you believe that God loves you so much that He would do the same for you?

26 "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" (Matthew 6:26–27 NIV)

• Write down what this passage says about God's deep love for you.


6. Read Matthew 7:9–12.

9 "Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:9–12 NIV)

What do these verses say about God's love for you?


Living Loved in a Sea of Feelings (10 minutes)

If your group meets for two hours, allow 20 minutes for this discussion.

7. Let's take a small assessment and then look at Zephaniah 3 together. Which of the following experiences, if any, do you have on a regular basis?

[] I am often a slave to my runaway emotions and assumptions.

[] I don't think rejection is currently affecting me, but I have had deep hurts in my past.

[] The moods of other people greatly affect my mood.

[] I easily feel rejected.

[] I'm afraid of telling other people "no" for fear that they may be disappointed in me and eventually reject me.

[] I find myself assuming people are thinking the worst of me.

[] I have a nagging feeling of disappointment in my soul that I'm aware of when I slow down.

[] I keep moving fast, and that distracts me, so I honestly don't know what I might be feeling if I got still and quiet.


Too often we allow our rejections to scream louder than the truth of God's Word. Read Zephaniah 3:17 as a group: "The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing" (ESV).

• What do you think it means to be quieted by God's love?


There are two groups of people this verse can give deep assurance to:

1) Those whose past or present rejections scream so loudly that it's impossible to live loved when they are constantly feeling the sting of others' hurtful words.

2) Those who aren't currently feeling rejected but whose past hurts and rejections are affecting them more than they realize. Or those who are typically confident yet can't understand why they shy away from certain groups of people and situations that give them some sense of not being fully welcomed in as they are.


Either way, here's the assurance: Whether the scripts of rejection are screaming or whispering in your mind, all can be quieted by His love. And not just gentle whispers of love but "loud singing" where God Himself exults over you. He wants His voice of love to be the loudest reality in your life.

This reality doesn't rise and fall on your ability to feel loved. It rises and falls on your belief that He is more powerful than the rejection you've faced. There are things in you that need to be quieted. It's His promises, not your performance, that quiets them.


8. Have you rehashed your hurts more than you've rejoiced in God's love? How can Zephaniah 3:17 help you change that pattern?


• What is a daily way you can dwell in the deep assurance of His love so His voice is the loudest in your life?

Say this out loud together:

"Yes, we're going to deal with our rejections, but we're not going to dwell on them. We will dwell on the loving declarations of God's love. Therefore, we can live loved."


It's easy to live loved when I feel loved.

But some days I'm just not feeling it.

When life karate chops my feelings into words like hurt, brushed aside, and left out on Monday and then on Tuesday morning the lady at the gym smirks at me, how in heavens am I supposed to be jolly and not assume the worst? For real, it does not come naturally to me to think in those moments, Girl, I am not picking up that negative vibe you just laid down, because I live loved.

No way, no how.

I'm going to get in a funk, because that's what I do. I will feel put off, and then I will put on that ratty robe of rejection and wear it all day long.

But I don't want to keep being a slave to my runaway emotions and assumptions. I don't want my days to be dictated by the moods of other people. And I really don't want the rejections of my past feeding my propensity to feel rejected today.

I want the kind of emotional stability I read about in the Bible: "The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing" (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV).

I love the thought that God is in our midst and that He will quiet me by His love.

Yes, please. I'll take an extra-large order of that every morning.

I want to believe it's possible for me not just in the middle of Bible study but in the middle of life.

So I decided to go on a "live loved" quest. I determined to be a one-woman experiment in whether or not it is actually possible to live from a place of being loved. I wanted to get to a place where my immediate reaction to off- kilter interactions with others wasn't a downward spiral of wonky feelings, but stable love instead.

Uninvited, pages 32–33


This week's statement to hold on to: Live from a deep assurance that you are fully loved, and you won't find yourself begging others for scraps of love. Live loved.


9. Think about the past twenty-four hours. What got in the way of your living loved? Did anything help you live loved? If so, what?

10. What mental picture represents living loved to you?

11. On the video, Lysa said we can be like the ballerina who moves with such grace that she seems to fly because she returns every day to her instructor, who in love tweaks and trains her in the quiet studio. Jesus promises to be our Instructor. He promises to continue His good work in us until it is completed (Philippians 1:6). How is His love training you? What part do we play in the training process? Consider the passages in the quotation box below.


I needed to reconnect with the One who knows how to breathe life and love back into depleted and dead places. Jesus doesn't participate in the rat race. He's into the slower rhythms of life like abiding, delighting, and dwelling — all words used to describe us being with Him.

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you" (John 15:7 NASB).

"Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4 ESV).

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]" (Psalm 91:1 AMP).

Did you catch the beautiful filling promised in each of those verses? When we abide, delight, and dwell in Him, He then places within us desires that line up with His best desire for us. Therefore, He can give us whatever we ask, because we will only want what's consistent with His best. He can fully satisfy our hearts, because they are consistent with His heart. He can promise us stability, because we're tapped into His consistent power.

Uninvited, pages 37–38


12. Lysa says, "Living loved is sourced in the quiet daily surrender to the One who loves us." Write down some ways that you might go about that quiet daily surrender. What actions are involved? What attitudes are displayed?


How dangerous it is when our soul is gasping for God but we're too distracted flirting with the world to notice. Flirting will give you brief surges of fun feelings but will never really pull you in and hold you close. Indeed, the world entices our flesh but never embraces our soul. All the while, the only love caring enough to embrace us and complete enough to fill us, waits....

We just have to turn to Him. And sit with Him. No matter what. Even if our toes bloody from the constant wear and tear from desperately running to Him. Get to Him daily.

How it must break His heart when we walk around so desperate for a love He waits to give us each and every day.

Uninvited, pages 35–36


OPTIONAL

INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITY AND DISCUSSION:

Flirting with the World (20 minutes)

If your group meets for two hours, include this activity as part of your meeting. Allow 20 minutes total — 5 minutes for the individual activity and 15 minutes for the group discussion.


Individual Activity (5 minutes)

Complete this activity on your own.

1. Read the excerpt from the Uninvited book above. Review the past forty-eight hours of your life and make some notes about times when you flirted with the world. For example, consider times when you:

[] Gave the first moments of your day to things other than checking in with what God might say to you in His Word

[] Checked your social media to see how many likes you had received on your posts

[] Watched television programs or advertisements that stimulated unreasonable desires in you for possessions, romance, or achievement

[] Worried about problems, talked to people about them, and tried to solve them yourself, instead of praying about them

[] Bought products you didn't really need

[] Interacted with another person with a goal of getting his or her approval


These notes are just for you; you won't have to share them with the group unless you choose to do so.


2. What do you typically do or turn to when you don't feel loved?


Group Discussion (15 minutes)

1. How do you tend to feel after you've been flirting with the world?

2. What do we do if flirting with the world feels good but spending time with the Lord feels dry?


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Uninvited Study Guide / Six Sessions by Lysa TerKeurst, Karen Lee-Thorp. Copyright © 2016 TerKeurst Foundation. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Lysa TerKeurst is the New York Times bestselling author of The Best Yes. She is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and writes from her sticky farm table in North Carolina. She still has a crush on her husband, Art, who she’s been married to for twenty-four years. They deeply treasure every minute they can get with their four married kids and one teenager who still keeps them very young. Connect with her at www.LysaTerKeurst.com.

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