Session Five: Does Life Have a Purpose? Can I Know God Personally?
Take ten minutes for the group to get acquainted over snacks and refreshments. Then, after gathering everyone into a comfortable circle, share something like the following 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.
Questions for Discussion
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.
A Study showed that 85 percent of people are clear about the meaning and purpose of their life (64 percent strongly agree and 21 percent somewhat agree)? Agree or Disagree?
Another study showed that 75 percent of adults desire a close relationship with God. Are you surprised by this?
People tend to think that, “If I could just discover the right thing, a better job, financial blessing, the right person to love me, the right kids with the right accolades, then I’d feel satisfied.” In what things have you sought satisfaction? Did they satisfy?
Can you share both a time when life seemed like a random series of events and a time when it seemed like there was an intentional plan unfolding?
In what ways might someone’s view of eternity affect their sense of meaning and purpose?
If you believe we all have a purpose, what role does God play in that—if any?
Why might someone resist knowing God personally?
What do you think is meant by “sin . . . has broken that covenant with [God].”?
Pastor 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?
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?
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.
When life seems to make little sense, it’s easy to fall prey to the “It’s meaningless!” trap. Indeed, the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes is built around these very words. In stark contrast stands the book of Job, in which the lead character exclaims, “Though [God] slay me, yet I will hope in him” (Job 13:15). In other words, hard experiences in life can jade us to any sense of purpose. Rather than looking at life through the lens of our experience, another option is to look for some sense of truth outside ourselves.
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. 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.