Community Group Leader’s Guide
For the week of November 18
QUICK REVIEW: Last week’s Community Group Homework helped us to know how to share the gospel with those sitting around the holiday table. We urge you to review that lesson; practice sharing the gospel with family, friends, and fellow CG members; listen & pray for yourself and opportunities to share the gospel.
This week we will continue this focus in hope that you can use some of these questions around the table this upcoming week to help spur the conversation of thankfulness and why, we as believers, thank Jesus Christ our Lord. We will end this week with prompts of how to pray for ourselves and those who are spiritually separated from God.
- 1.0 to 60 in Gratitude –In 60 seconds write as fast as you can the things you’re thankful for in the following three categories:
Who God is
Material Possessions / Resources
- What attitudes, actions, or character qualities would you use to identify someone as being a person of gratitude? How have you seen this ebb and flow in your life?
- There are many people in our lives that have done great things to get us where we are today.If you could reach someone right this minute, whether here or past, that you wished you had thanked, who is it and what would you say“thanks” for? Is there anyone that you need to call today to say “thanks” now
- Luke 17 has an interesting story of ten men with various skin diseases who encounter Jesus. Read the story and then discuss the questions below.
 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.  As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance  and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.  One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.  Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?  Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”  Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”[NIV]
The Bible does not record how far they had walked before being healed. However, only one man returned to thank Jesus for the healing. Why do you think that happened? Where do you think the other 9 were?
What is your interpretation of Jesus’ emotion that only one returned to say “thanks”?
(The Bible does not record how far they had walked before being healed. However, only one man returned to thank Jesus for the healing. Luke makes special mention of the fact that the one who returned was a Samaritan, a person despised by the Jews (Luke 17:15). Jesus expressed disappointment that the other nine had not thought to give praise to God for their healing. From this we learn that God desires for us to express our thankfulness to Him for all He does in our lives.)
Jesus did not withhold healing from the nine who did not thank Him yet to the one who returned to thank Him, Jesus said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well” (verse 19). What do you think He meant by saying that?
It could be that the man’s return to fall at Jesus’ feet gave him spiritual wholeness in addition to the physical wholeness he had received. When we take time to acknowledge the Giver and not just the gifts, we please the Lord as well as enjoy the spiritual healing that comes from gratefulness.
- We learn from Romans 1:21 that unwillingness to obey and express gratitude can take us down a road of destruction and separation from God. In contrast what does Philippians 4:4-7 tell us is the result of thankfulness in the midst of dealing with challenging or difficult issues?
The key to these verses is the condition of the heart.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. [NIV]
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. [NIV]
Think of a recent difficult situation or trial in your life. How could you have specifically expressed thankfulness to God in the midst of your requests to Him?
When we adjust to God’s way of thinking and relating to others, we are reminded that, as Christians, we can even rejoice in the midst of trials and suffering because of the pattern established by Christ Jesus, who “for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus showed us that suffering precedes glory. And Jesus’ suffering and resurrection have secured a joyous future for all who have been redeemed. In Christ, we can rejoice always.
- God has designed us so that we best operate from a perspective of thankfulness. Our foundation of thankfulness best flows from knowing and remembering the benefits we receive from God. Read Psalm 103:1-19 andunderlinethe benefits we receive from God that can result in our thankfulness.
Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
 Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits–
 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
 As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children–
 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all. [NIV]
Which two or three would be most important for you to remember to help keep thankfulness in perspective?
Follow up question: how many times and why is the phrase “The Lord’s love is with those who fear him.” Ask everyone in your Group to finish this sentence with one purpose they believe God will achieve through something that may not be going their way right now: Thank You Jesus because the…
TAKING IT HOME
1. We’ve all found ourselves at some point falling into the trap of not showing gratitude. Which of the following gratitude roadblocks could most likely become a barrier for you?
- Not realizing all I have been given
- Taking for granted what I know I have
- Chip on my shoulder / Holding a grudge
- Not being where I want to be in life
- Not getting what I ask for
- I deserve it
- God still hasn’t answered my prayers
- No one thanked me
- Taking the time to say thank you
- Spend 5 minutes and list things or people you have never thanked God for, that you have always taken for granted. For example, some of you have switches in your house, that turn on electricity. Do you take that for granted? Write it down. It’s okay to list more than 15.
- for myself and for lost people
- God will remind me of the dread of spending time and eternity without Him.
- God will cause me to grieve for those who are in that lost position
- God will enable me to speak honestly, simply, accurately, and naturally.
- God will put lost people in my life and prepare them to embrace the gospel.
- I will respond with a transformed life demonstrated by Bible study, obedience, fellowship, accountability with other Christians, and interaction with unbelievers as a result of my gratitude to God for my salvation.