Can I Know God Personally?

Session Seven

Social Time

Take ten minutes for the group to catch up and reconnect over snacks and refreshments. Then, after gathering everyone into a comfortable circle, share something like the following Introduction.

Introduction

As humans, we crave relationships. Why is that? The Bible teaches that we were created for relationship with God and with one another. On one hand, it’s easy to know about God. But it’s a whole other thing to know God.

Video 1: Pulse of the World on Knowing God

This video is a 2.5-minute survey of many people’s responses to this question.

Questions for Discussion
• Did you identify with anyone’s expressed views in the film? If so, who and what resonated with you?
• Is it surprising that 75 percent of adults desire a close relationship with God? Why or why not?

Video 2: The Curiosity Collective: Can I Know God Personally?

This is a 10-minute collection of subject matter experts discussing the question “Can I know God personally?” It displays the various questions, struggles, and perspectives of these individuals regarding this week’s topic. See what they have to say and then discuss it.

Questions for Discussion

After watching the video, choose from this list of questions or ask some of your own to facilitate discussion.
There’s no need to limit your discussion to these questions or to feel pressured to cover all of them in the time you have.
• In what ways can you identify with any of the stories in The Curiosity Collective? What did you find intriguing or compelling?
• Why might someone resist knowing God personally?
• Propaganda stated that “sin . . . has broken that covenant with [God].” What do you think he meant by that?
• In the video, Pete said, “[Jesus] made it possible for our sins to be removed because his blood was spotless; he was a perfect sacrifice for us.” How could Jesus be perfect? What are the implications of that?
• How might one develop a personal relationship with God?
• In Matthew 7:7, the Bible says that if we seek, we will find; if we knock, the door will be opened. What might this mean?

Wrap-Up

Thoughts to Share with the Group
To the best of your ability, summarize the main points of your group’s discussion. Or, if you are more comfortable, use the text below as a launching pad for concluding the session.

The relational nature of humans points to the creator’s desire to be in relationship with us. Yet most people recognize a flaw, some sense of brokenness in our relationship with God. “The problem is not that we’re bad; it’s that we’re dead!” one speaker noted. So what gives?

Scripture describes a God who passionately pursues the people he created and makes it possible to fix our broken relationship. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” In other words, God takes us, in all our brokenness, and offers to make us whole forever.

Follow-Up Resources
As you wrap up this session, share or summarize these bullets:
• Acknowledge that with a topic as big as this, there is no way to answer the question comprehensively.
• Inform the group that you’ll be sending some follow-up resources so people can continue to explore God.
• Since it’s the last formal group discussion, invite people to share responses to a few parting questions:
• How have you grown in your spiritual journey over the past seven sessions?
• How have others in the group affected you?

Some Notes:
Set the tone by sharing first. Be sure to include ways that your faith has been challenged, ignited, or stretched. You might thank members of the group for specific ways they have encouraged you. Remember to model using as few words as possible so as to maximize their impact and allow plenty of time for others to share.

You may want to refer to (or even print out copies of) the Explore God article titled “How Can I Know God?” (www.exploregod.com/how-can-i-know-god) to review the basics of the gospel with your group. Finally, it may be good to plan a social gathering after the group has finished. This is a great way to honor and continue to explore God.

Explore More on Knowing God

The following resources are designed for deeper exploration into the topic of knowing God. If you are doing this series offline, you can e-mail these resources to your group after the session. Simply copy this section and paste it into an e-mail.

Videos
• How Can We Know God?
(http://www.exploregod.com/how-can-we-know-god-video)
• Does God Speak to Us?
(http://www.exploregod.com/does-god-speak-to-us-video)

Articles
• What Is the Gospel?
(http://www.exploregod.com/what-is-the-gospel)
• How to Experience God in Your Daily Life
(http://www.exploregod.com/experience-god-in-your-daily-life)

Daily Stream of Inspiration
• 50 Profound Relections about God
(http://www.exploregod.com/50-profound-reflections-about-god)

White Paper
• A Deeper Look at What the Bible Says about Spiritual Growth
(http://www.exploregod.com/what-the-bible-says-about-spiritual-growth-paper)

Recommended Books
• Knowing God, J. I. Packer
(http://amzn.to/17d4UPO)
• Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis
(http://amzn.to/13X20OA)

Additional Content on Knowing God
• “Knowing God,” Explore God
(http://www.exploregod.com/knowing-god)

Scripture Focus
Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

In what ways are you craving a relationship with your creator? What steps will you take to develop that relationship? If you keep a journal, take some time to note your responses to these questions there.