Faith Like a Child - Part 4 Dependency
Written and submitted by Curriculum Writing Team Jen Jordan, Rebekah Backowski, & Sherrill Wall
(This week our talk focuses on the word and idea “dependency” please be mindful of the use of the word in relation to addiction, this can be triggering to many people)
Gracious God, we come together as a group to learn from your Word and each other. We confess that we are prone to leaning on our own understanding. Grant us grace to recognize our limits and to trust in you more. Help us to need and depend on you in all our ways and in each of our days. We thank you and celebrate you for providing this opportunity for each of us to put our lives on hold and come together in this safe space. Amen.
Let’s play a game! We will look at different words, ideas, and thoughts to help you loosen up and let thoughts flow. One person identifies a category (i.e. types of cars, types of food, books in the bible, names that begin with A, states in our country, etc). The group then names an item in the category, one at a time, until someone either repeats a word or runs out of ideas. Repeat as desired.
Example: Category is FRUIT
Person 1: apples
Person 2: grapes
Person 3: watermelon
Person 4: apples (X round over b/c word repeated)
Head / Scripture
Here you will see 3 versions of this week's scripture. Have one person read each version.
John 15:4–5 — New American Standard Bible
4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
John 15:4–5 — New International Reader’s Version
4 Remain joined to me, and I will remain joined to you. No branch can bear fruit by itself. It must remain joined to the vine. In the same way, you can’t bear fruit unless you remain joined to me. 5 “I am the vine. You are the branches. If anyone remains joined to me, and I to him, he will bear a lot of fruit. You can’t do anything without me.
John 15:4–5 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
4 Live in me, and I will live in you. A branch cannot produce any fruit by itself. It has to stay attached to the vine. In the same way, you cannot produce fruit unless you live in me. 5 “I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who live in me while I live in them will produce a lot of fruit. But you can't produce anything without me.
- What differences did you notice in the language of the different versions? How did that impact your reception of the verse?
- What do you think is meant by fruit? Why would we want to bear fruit?
- How does our interconnectedness with Jesus imply that we are connected to one another. Does that make us dependent on one another?
Dependence is defined as:
- A quality or state of being dependent on
- Reliance or trust
- One that is relied on
- When you think of dependence, what other words come to mind? These could be positives, negatives, pro’s, con’s (please be mindful of the use of the word in relation to addiction, this can be triggering to many people)
- What is your emotional response to the idea of being dependent on God? (safety, comfort, fear, worry, etc.)
- In the scripture there is a comparison to vines, branches, and fruit. Discuss the idea of nature, growth in discipleship, strength in relation to the scripture provided.
Hands / Application
Nothing we go through, whether good or bad, we go through alone. God is with us every step of the way. It is important to rely on God and to remember that He is always with us. He sometimes provides help in mysterious or unexpected ways.
- Name and/or discuss some practical ways to depend on God? (examples may include praying, doing the right thing, trusting, trying not to worry)
- Sometimes God uses others to help us in times of need. Can you recall an instance where you prayed to God for help and he sent someone to assist with a task, a financial need, a cheerful/encouraging word, or other?
- This week, try to identify ways in which you depend on another, or others. This could be family, friends, coworkers, or even community servants. Is it likely they are unaware of your dependence. Consider how you might communicate to them appreciation for the ways in which your life is enriched by their presence and participation.
For more help with placing more dependence on God, check out: raiseyoursword.com/depending-on-god/
For a deeper dive on being open to reliance on others, check out: https://psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-wise-brain/202206/be-open-relying-others
God, we know that we cannot grow in faith without you. You are the cornerstone, the rock, and the vine. It is because of you that we have established this group of people. We thank you for that. We ask that you stay with us even when we are apart from each other and help us to be your hands and feet to those around us. In your name we pray. Amen.
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