This week's Small Group Guide is composed of questions from this week's GPS Guide. The questions relate to the Scripture for that particular day. You can download the full week's GPS as a printable document for the context of each question below (in the printable version, the recommended small group questions are marked with a special bullet point).
In what ways, if any, have your mother, grandmother and other adult mentors encouraged you to value and use your God-given strengths? In what ways have they shaped your life? How can you mentor and encourage those who are younger than you are? Ask God to show you someone you can encourage and uplift today.
Today we often hear Ruth’s words in Ruth 1:16 used in weddings. Do not overlook the fact that in the story she was speaking, not to a suitor, but to her mother-in-law! Not only that—the young Moabite woman was committing herself to “join a new culture and take on a new identity.”* How do you imagine Naomi must have treated her daughter-in-law to have inspired that kind of devotion?
In Jesus' day, losing an only son was a terrible disaster for a widow. Under Jewish law, only through a male relative did she have legal standing to own property or sustain herself. Jesus saved the widow in Nain not only from emotional loss, but also from likely poverty and marginalization. What has Jesus saved you from? In what ways does a sense of his loving power at work with and through you give you strength and comfort for each day?
The dying Jesus made sure a man he trusted would care for his mother. We live in a different time and culture, but Jesus can be an example to us. Most of us don’t want to think about our mortality, so we often put off making a will or other end of life provisions. Are you willing to conquer your discomfort for the sake of any who depend on you, or might need to care for you if you became ill? If you haven’t, make plans that will help your family when you are going or gone. (The website caringinfo.org has resources to help you.)
* Linda Day, study note on Ruth 1:16-17 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 411 OT.
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