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Recognizing Who God Is and What He Expects (Genesis 4)

When have you had fun giving someone else a gift? What did you give them? Why was it fun? How did they respond?

When have you given someone a bad gift? What made it bad? How did you feel afterward?

What is the best gift you have ever given?

How do we give gifts to God? What kind of gifts does God want from us?

Read Genesis 4:1-5.

Why do you think Cain and Abel were offering these gifts?

Both Cain and Abel were offering the results of their own labor as gifts to God. Read the verses closely and discuss how their offerings were different. (What are the precise words used to describe each offering?)

Why do you think God accepted Abel's offering but not Cain's?

Throughout the Old Testament, God repeatedly instructed people that they should sacrifice the first and the best of their crops and flocks. Why do you think He wanted them to give up their first and best? How does that kind of offering point to Jesus?

Make a list of all the things in our lives we can offer to God. How would it look to offer the "first and best" of our lives to Him? Would this be easy or difficult? Why?

What are one or two first and best things you can offer this week? How can this offering help you become more Christlike, generous, or inviting?

How can the group pray for you and help you?


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21 Bible Passages With Which Every Small Group Leader Should Be Familiar

Matthew 5:23-24.
23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Luke 10:1-11.
1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' 6If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. 7Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to hous…

SOAPY Bible Study

In the past, I've written about and talked about the SOAP method of Bible study. This is a simple Bible study method which can be utilized by an individual or a small group. All you need is a passage of Scripture and 15-30 minutes (a journal is helpful).

Many churches use this method of Bible study for their groups. Some have modified the SOAP method by adding a Y. Read more about it below:

This Bible study is an intentional focused effort of growing in the understanding of the scriptures. This form of study will assist in the transformation of our inner lives as we mature in understanding and in faith.
Set aside 15 minutes every day for the study. You might want to take more time after you have gotten started. Don’t overload yourself in the beginning. Keep a “soapy” journal because there will be the need to write everyday. As you develop your routine, share what you are learning with your Discipleship Group, Sunday school class, Circle, other groups in which you participate, or …