Wk 1 // My Family Is In A Phase // Spiritual Strength

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ICEBREAKER

  • If you could be strong in any area of life, what would you want it to be (physical strength, mental toughness, a particular sport, etc.)? What would that kind of strength enable you to do?

  • What leads you to believe you aren’t already strong in that area?

  • Do you believe you need more spiritual strength than you already have? What about us as a church?

INTRODUCTION

In his prayer for the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 3, Paul focuses on asking God to strengthen the church spiritually. God is able to do more than we can possibly imagine but not so that our wildest dreams can come true. Instead, God’s immeasurable power points to His own glory.

In this week’s message, Pastor Mike applied these verses to our families. Your family is the greatest gift you receive from God and God wants to write a better story for your life and your family. As your family moves through different phases, God’s power will strengthen you if you focus on Him.

SERMON RECAP

Spend a few minutes recapping this week's sermon together. Click here to view the sermon notes.

  • What was one takeaway from this week's sermon for you?

  • Were there any stories, ideas, or points that stuck out?

  • Was there anything that challenged you?

READ

Have a volunteer read Ephesians 3:14-16.

  • What kinds of things might believers be tempted to think they need in order to be spiritually strong? (Examples: self-discipline, power of positive thinking, a pull-up-by-the-bootstraps mentality.)

  • In contrast, what does Paul indicate we need in these verses?

  • How would greater spiritual strength strengthen your family?

NOTE
Real spiritual power is something only God’s Spirit can give God’s people. Only spiritual power can reach into who we really are. Paul wanted something to happen within the believer’s inner being (heart, spirit, true inner self) that only God’s Spirit can accomplish.

  • If you have kids, what is somethigng you would you like to give them, but either haven’t or aren’t currently able to? Why don’t you give them everything you’d like to give?

  • Why is God able to give us an unlimited supply of strength? Why would He want to?

NOTE
God has inexhaustible resources to supply what believers need. The riches of His grace have already been lavished in salvation (1:7; 2:7). Paul widely proclaimed the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (3:8). The God of such wealth will not be stingy in answering believers’ humble prayers for spiritual strength.

  • Can you recall a recent time you felt a need for greater spiritual strength?

  • What about a time your family needed greater spiritual strength?

NOTE
The God to whom Paul prayed is the God to whom we pray. The riches of His glory have not diminished since Paul’s original prayer. Thus we can petition God “to be strengthened with power through His Spirit” today the same as Paul did. We always need more of God’s power, so we can have greater spiritual strength in daily life.

Have a volunteer read Ephesians 3:17-21.

  • What does spiritual strength look like?

  • According to Paul, what will result when the Spirit strengthens our inner being and Christ takes up permanent residence in our lives?

  • Aside from God, to whom or what might we turn or look to find spiritual strength?

NOTE
Paul was completely confident in God’s power to supply the spiritual strength for which he’d prayed. When Paul opened his prayer, he had acknowledged God as the Father of every family and the One who has infinite riches in glory. Now he acknowledged the powerful work of God within us. He is able to do (or to work), because He is living and active, not dead or passive. He is able to do far more, because His ways are higher than ours. He is able to do abundantly, because He has limitless resources. He is able to do all, because He knows everything and can do everything. He is able to do all that we ask, because He hears and answers His children’s prayers. He is able to do what we think, because He knows our thoughts better than we do.

APPLICATION

  • Why doesn’t God always give us what we want? What’s the right way to respond to the disappointment that comes when we don’t get what we want?

  • How can you pray for greater spiritual strength for your family? What are some practical ways you can do that on a regular basis?

  • What is a prayer that our group or church as a whole might pray together that truly is far more than we can ask or imagine?

Brian Otte