Leader read Kat’s message to group:
It’s no accident that your attention is here for the moment. Cast aside those nagging fears that you won’t give this study the time it deserves, and you should just quit while you’re ahead. Reject the notion that this can wait. Because now is always the right time to reconnect with God. Plus, He’s been patiently waiting to embrace you. Let His unconditional love override the normal apprehensions that accompany starting something new. Embrace this fresh start with gusto. God has carved out this space just for you.
With that in mind, welcome to Bible study!
Start with Prayer (2 minutes)
Before you launch, take a moment to start with group prayer. This would be a good time to invite the Holy Spirit to guide your group discussion and personal study time. The Bible teaches that there is one true living God who eternally exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit is the Great Teacher (John 14) who would help us all reach our full potential. Since God has made a way for us to experience life-change through the Holy Spirit’s power, go ahead and call on the Spirit in prayer. Ask God to teach everyone new things about himself through the Word of God.
Build Community (15 minutes)
You’re in this together. So, use this time to go around the circle and have everyone introduce themselves and share why they wanted to be a part of this study by answering these questions:
- What brought you to this group?
- What do you hope to get out of this study?
Have one person read the following passage aloud:
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked Him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but Him. To love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask Him any more questions. — Mark 12:28-34 NIV
Watch Session 1 Video (15 minutes)
God did not design half of his priorities for women and the other half for men.
Some of the messages we hear in church hold women back from loving God with our all.
Group Discussion (25 minutes)
If your group is larger than six people, split up into smaller groups for discussion time.
- Why do you think loving God with our hearts and souls is usually considered women’s work and loving God with our minds and strength considered men’s work?
- According to the Mark passage read earlier, what are the two greatest priorities Jesus prescribes for the Christian life?
- Who in your life lives out these priorities well? What is it about their life that reveals their priorities align with Jesus’?
- In the video, the professor said, “Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop. Keep going sister of the faith.” Who in your life encourages you to follow Christ? What do they say to you that is helpful?
- What’s the message holding you back from loving God with your all?
- Metaphorically speaking, what would it look like to raise your hand more at church, school, at home, and/or work?
Ask God for Help (2 minutes)
While everyone in your group may have different reasons for joining this study, God is able to meet all of our needs:
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:19 NIV
Take a moment to write a prayer to God asking Him to accomplish the intentions you have for the group discussion and personal study time.
End in Prayer (2 minutes)
Before you end group time, take a few minutes to thank God for the Scriptures and the timeless truths they provide to us in any and every circumstance. Ask God to help each group member to be all-in for Jesus, holding nothing back from Him.
This week you won’t have any personal study material because I’m hoping you will meet with one person in your group and get to know her better. Maybe your group has been together for years and you are way past a first-name basis. Even so, taking this week and intentionally spending time one-on-one with a group member is your homework.
Leader read next week’s preview to group:
Next time your group meets, we will address the obstacles many women face when they seek to apply the Scriptures to their lives. Messages like these: women are easily deceived, find their significance in marriage and motherhood, are too much to handle, and don’t have a lot to offer God. We don’t want to walk away from this study in a few weeks and just know more about the Great Commandment. We want to absorb God’s truths and live them out! Before we can ask, “What does this Bible verse mean?” we have to ask ourselves if there is anything keeping us from absorbing the material in the first place.
Suggested Reading in No More Holding Back: Introduction: Why Are You Even Here?
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What did you think of session one from No More Holding Back? Share with us on our blog!