Can I Know God Personally?
After snacks and connecting for a while, gather and start 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.
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? Do some of these sound familiar from past conversations about God or faith?
- 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?
Thoughts to Share with the Group
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.”
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?
John 3:16 says,
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
- From this verse, what does it take on our part to have eternal life? What was God’s part according to this verse?
- 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 five sessions?
- How have others in the group affected you?
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.
Plan a Social Gathering
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.
Continuing on as a Group?
If your group just formed for Explore God, consider doing the next series of four studies, Knowing God. The format is similar. This 4-session series is a great follow-up and is designed for anyone who has the desire to know God. Its central focus is on how to develop a closer relationship with God. Simply watch a series of videos and discuss them with the questions provided. There is one video per each of the four sessions to watch and discuss.
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.
- Parent Resources for Elementary, Middle, High school and Special Needs. (http://theparenthub.net/family-activities/)
- 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)
- 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 Reflections about God (http://www.exploregod.com/50-profound-reflections-about-god)
- A Deeper Look at What the Bible Says about Spiritual Growth (http://www.exploregod.com/what-the-bible-says-about-spiritual-growth-paper)
- 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)