Below are some additional interactions on the article: Who’s Your Daddy?. Read it first.
Gamaliel—one of Israel’s finest religious teachers of Paul’s day. He was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin. To be a student of this man was no small honor. It meant that you were the cream of the crop, the best of the best.
God really began to work in my life when I was in college. I don’t know if I could say for sure that God was my daddy during high school. Sometimes it can be tricky to know who our real daddy is. If he was, I sure wasn’t reflecting Him, or imaging Him, too well. I was a big hypocrite!
What I do know is that once I got serious about my journey with Jesus, God began to convict me of sin in my life. One of the first areas that God needed to “clean up” was my language. I had developed a bad swearing habit while in middle school. I tried countless times to stop, but all my self-discipline and effort failed because I was relying on my own strength. But, check this out: when I finally got to the end of my rope and confessed my problem, God amazingly enabled me to kick the habit almost overnight. Funny! When I finally placed my complete trust in God and not myself, changes began to occur.
That’s just a slice of my story. What about you? Do you find yourself doing things you don’t want to do? Or do you want to do things that you just can’t seem to do? I’d love to hear about it. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Write your own story of following your ‘daddy.’ Describe when and how you made decisions about that and where you see yourself headed.
Galatians 5:16-18—Paul makes the contrast between living by the Spirit or living by the flesh.
John 14:23–24—Jesus says that loving him is the same as obeying him as the authoritative person in your life.
John 8:44—Here’s what Jesus had to say about Satan.
Matthew 6:24—Jesus speaking on the issue of treasure and money.
Proverbs 12:3—One verse among many in this book that contrasts the righteous and the wicked. Notice that each have a daddy they obey.
Small group guide:
Large group guide:
- For three consecutive days, commit to do everything your parents ask of you (provided it won’t land you in the brig!) At the end of that time, journal or blog about how it went. What was hard about submitting to their authority? When you obeyed, how did you feel afterwards? If you chose to disobey, how did that make you feel? How might your obedience to mom and dad affect your relationship with them?
- Was there ever a time when you chose to do the wrong thing and it ended up seriously damaging a friendship? If so, make it a point this week to go back to that person and admit your wrong. Seek to repair that broken friendship.
- Brainstorm with your friends ten things at your school that you see happening on a recurring basis that are not right. Then, choose one of those things and discuss what you can do together to change the culture of your school for the better. Don’t forget to think of ways to measure your progress!
The psalm writer asks God to do something scary in Psalm 139:23–24. Here’s what he prays:
23Examine me, O God, and know my mind;
test me, and discover my thoughts.
24Find out if there is any evil in me
and guide me in the everlasting way.
Basically, he is inviting God to come and point out every flaw, mistake, or sin that he has embraced. Wow, that seems NUTS! Talk about courage! (If you want to see where his courage comes from—his assurance of God’s love—then read the first part of this psalm).
Take 15 minutes to be completely silent. Begin that time with this simple request in this psalm. Write down in your journal whatever comes to mind. Trust that what you write is God speaking to you.
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