February 12, 2019
(This particular lesson takes place beside/in an indoor pool)
Have participants begin the discussion by floating on a noodle or an inner tube. Participants do not have to be in the water to be a part of this discussion. They can sit on the side of the pool, or they can utilize tables and chairs. Be creative.
Everyone will be in a different place spiritually; therefore, as participants share, encourage them to offer each other mercy and grace; especially during vulnerable moments or times of weakness. Our goal is never to fix anyone, but instead to listen and offer support when needed. Personal discussion, unless otherwise noted, should always remain confidential.
Lesson: Encourage participants to share what comes to mind when they hear the name, “Jesus”. Consider His character, how He interacted with People, and how He lived His life. Ask participants to share the words that come to mind and compile a list. Then ask those who are present if their life reflects any of the adjectives from the list. After a short discussion, read this passage, focusing on verse 6:
Scripture: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked (1 John 2:1-6).
*Encourage participants not to feel condemned if their life doesn’t mirror the created list. Explain that everyone is born into an imperfect human nature and that God never condemns us, but rather He convicts and forgives us. Clarify the difference between an intentional lifestyle of sin and an accidental slip-up. Then read this Scripture:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever (John 14:16 ESV).
Take Away: We have a Helper, the Holy Spirit, who helps us be like Jesus.
Additional Scriptures to examine: For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (Proverbs 2:16).
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would (Galatians 5:16-17).
Application: Read the book, A Moment to Breathe; devotional: Because of Jesus in You, by Stephanie Bryant (day 272, page 274).
Goal: Find a time this week to intentionally be like Jesus. Example: offer someone a warm embrace, buy groceries for a family in need, or extend forgiveness to someone who has offended you. Let participants brain storm ideas, and encourage them to allow the Holy Spirit to lead them individually.
Exercise: Listen to the song, I Want to Be Like Jesus. This can be found on YouTube. Type in: I want to be like Jesus – lyrics, by Jeff Howe.
*Play the song twice. The first time the song is played, have the participants who are in the water choose a challenging exercise; however, remind them to be aware of their limitations and avoid over extending or hurting themselves. Utilize the noodles, water weights, and/or kick boards. Be creative.
*Encourage those in the water to continually do the challenging exercise throughout the entire song. This represents that it is very difficult to be like Jesus in our own strength. Then play the song a second time. Again, challenge participants to continually do the exercise throughout the entire song, but have them make the exercise much easier. This represents that it is much easier to be like Jesus with the help of the Holy Spirit. Explain that we still have to purposely be like Jesus, just as we purposely did the exercise, but it is not as difficult when we co-labor with the Helper that was given to us.
*For those who wish to be beside the pool, encourage them to be cheerleaders, offering support to those who are in the water.