It’s okay if we’ve had some misconceptions about grace, holiness, and mission. But it’s time for us to go back to the beginning of our faith and sort them out.
Suggested Reading in Dance, Stand, Run: Intro, Chapter 1
(To be read by facilitator)
Ladies, friends, sisters: are you ready? This week, we’re not going to ease in gently but jump in with both feet and get started. We believe that Jesus went all the way to the cross for us, so let’s follow His lead and go all the way to an honest place with ourselves and one another.
This first session is called “Let’s Go Back,” and it’s going to be a gospel-filled refresher about who God is, who we are, and how we’re meant to relate to Him. While we’ll be covering some basic tenets of our faith, you might find you don’t have such basic and straightforward feelings toward these principles. Thank goodness that this group is a safe place where you can process, repent, shift, and go forward in grace. Let’s go.
Take a minute now before you begin the video and ask God for the boldness to go confidently into the throne room of grace (Hebrews 4:16), and thank Him that He gives wisdom generously without finding fault in us for needing it (James 1:5).
Watch Video Teaching, Session 1 (17 minutes)
Respond to some of these questions and statements as you hear them in the video. Don’t worry about the right answers; go for the honest ones.
Who is God, and what are we here for?
Have you ever tried to hide your holiness?
2 Timothy 1:7 says we’ve been given a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. Which, if any, of those are difficult for you to believe you’ve been given?
What is holiness, anyway?
What is God’s stance toward us?
What are we here for?
Divide into small groups if you have not done so already. It’s your turn to answer some questions and let the Lord start to change the world via your vulnerability and community with one another.
Take 10–12 minutes to share your answers to the questions Jess asked her friends in the video.
What do you picture when you worship? Where is your mind? What do you see or what are you thinking about? Literally, no answer is a wrong answer!
Grace. Holiness. Mission. Which feels the most familiar and easy to understand? Which, if any, of those topics feels tender or a little murky to you?
Select one participant to read aloud the following quote from the video.
What I’ve found is that we can all be the experts on grace and holiness if we’re believers in Jesus. We’re all covered in the same grace and given the same image- bearing identity. Who would you count as the expert on going to the moon — the guy who has read the most books about it or the guy who has actually gone there?
Read God’s Word Aloud Together
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. — Romans 5:1-11
(Discussion to be led by facilitator; cover as many questions as time permits.)
- Using the Romans 5 passage, take some time as a group to list 4–6 observations of what is true about us and what is true about God.
- Compare the observations you made about God’s truth to your own personal perceptions of how you relate to God and how He relates to you. What is different? What is the same? (If you can, use the answer you gave earlier about how you picture worship.)
- This week’s video teaching took us back to some basic tenets of our faith that are easy to minimize as elementary or inessential since they are so countercultural to our current world. Let’s just start with these three:
✦ God is continually leaning in with His grace because we are continually needing it.
✦ God has made us holy because we’re made in His image.
✦ God has given us one clear mission on earth: to make other disciples of Jesus. Discuss these truths with one another, identifying what the Romans 5 passage says about our relationship with God and what that means for each of us personally. (If you’d like to consider a few other passages, use these: Matthew 28:19; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 2:9.)
- On a scale of 1–10 (10 being easiest), rate how easy it is to believe the following statement: I am already holy because of who God says I am, and I belong exactly where I am because I belong to the kingdom of God.
Share your ranking and why with the group.
Take a minute and share how you think your life would look differently if you believed that declaration with your whole heart, your whole mind, and your whole life.
(To be read by facilitator)
We are not a people called only to pondering. We are women who’ve been set free and have been given a commissioning to run on mission. Each session we are going to encourage one another in a little project — some sort of action step we can take to live out what we’re learning. It’s incredibly important that we remember these God-inspired moves are our privilege and our get-to, not something we have to do. Report back to one another about how your project goes the next time you meet. Check in with each other while you’re apart (by text, email, or drop by your friend’s house to encourage her). This session’s project is on the next page.
Session 1 Let’s Move Project
Take some time and go back to the beginning with God. Remember the story of when you met Him, what drew you to Him, what it felt like, and how He changed you. Whether it was thirty years ago or three months ago, describe what it was like when you first experienced His grace.
You could chart it out on a timeline or write a little story. You could make a video sharing your testimony or make a piece of art that reflects how you felt. Whatever it looks like for you to take time to remember and recount that season, do it — even if it just entails laying on the ground and thinking for a few moments.
A bit of space has been provided here, but definitely feel free to use separate space that allows for more room or creativity.
So much of what we’re covering in this study has the potential to feel basic or elementary, but we know better, don’t we, friends? We know that going back to the simple gospel frees us up to experience the extravagant grace that gets choked out by our day-to-day lives. We know that reminding one another we stand on holy ground is sacred stuff, and it changes how we live and interact with those around us. We also know that running on mission is the one thing we were put on earth to do and that it’s worth taking our time to learn more about that calling, so we can do it in an effective way that changes not just our own world but eternity.
I’m preaching to the choir, but I do that for one reason only: to get us to sing!
End each week of your time together by reading the anthem of Dance, Stand, Run. You don’t really have to sing it — that might be weird — and you don’t even have to read it in unison unless you want to. But definitely take turns reading these words over your group each week and send one another out in this truth-filled declaration:
We are the daughters of God. We delight and dance in God’s grace, and we don’t want to take it for granted. We’ve been found out, found needing Him, and we won’t go back into hiding again.
We are the daughters of God, and we stand firm on holy ground. We didn’t get here by merit. We were bought and brought by the blood of Jesus. Here we stand, and here we’ll stay. Our positioning and proximity to God mean something, and both invite direction over our daily lives and decisions. We are here on purpose, a part of the world, set apart to be used by God to bring change. We don’t conform to our environment or seek its approval. We spiritually grow while our bodies groan, and we live in this now-and-not-yet reality as saints in a fallen world.
We are the daughters of God; we are compelled by His grace and held by His holiness imputed to us through Jesus. We don’t soak up the abundance of intimacy with God mindlessly, but we grab hold of all He has to offer us so we can give it away to everyone else. We run on mission, because when you hold the keys to light and life, you don’t hide them.
We are the daughters of God, and we are ready to dance, stand, and run in faith for His glory and our good.
Review the Let’s Move Project for this week, pray, and dismiss.
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