GOOD TO GREAT: CHARACTERISTICS OF A GREAT FAMILY
Ephesians 5:15-21: The Question Everyone Is Asking (LESSON 1)
“Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:17 ESV
OPENING: What do believe is the one question that every family must ask to experience greatness?
TEXT: Read Ephesians 5:1-21, slowly and in different translations. Please study Ephesians 5-6 this month.
1. As Christians we are part of God’s family. Paul says we are his beloved children. Make a list of all the characteristics of greatness described by Paul in Ephesians 5:1-21. Paul literally wants us to mimic our Heavenly Father. How can we as God’s children mimic our Heavenly Father daily? How would your own life or family be different if you practiced the principles described by Paul?
2. Pastor Mark stated that the best question we should ask is this, “What is the wise thing to do?” What keeps us as Christians from asking this question more often? What are some of the other questions we often ask in lieu of the best question above? What role do your emotions play in making decisions? Is it good or bad to make decisions based upon emotions/feelings? What are some of the key areas of life that you could apply this question to; “What is the wise thing for me/us to do with my/our ?” How would your life be different if you took time to answer the best question before you made life decisions that would affect your future?
3. Ephesians 5:15-21 is a mini-description of a great family. Which verse do you need to put into practice the most right now and why? Which of these verses is the hardest to understand and which is the hardest to apply to your life? What role does the Holy Spirit play in your family?
4. “Look carefully” or “watch out” implies intentionality and purpose. What are some ways you and your family can become more intentional about your lifestyle? What is the difference between being foolish and unwise? How can the best question (see above) help us with time management? How can families develop a better and healthier margin in their lives? Why do you think Paul focused in our time vs. our money or some other value that affects our lives as Christians?
5. DIG DEEPER: Using this context alone, what does Paul mean by being filled with the Holy Spirit? The verb “filled” is a present passive imperative. As believers we all have the Spirit, but the command here is for the Spirit to have all of us. What steps do you need to take to allow the Spirit to take control over your life, your marriage and your family? How does Paul let us know if our lives are Spirit filled or not? (for deeper study compare Ephesians 5:18 with Colossians 3:16)
6. Great families have mastered the art of singing and worshiping together (agree or disagree). What role does consistent and engaged participation in the worship service play in being a great family? What are some of the ways you can incorporate “thanksgiving” and “gratitude” into your life and your family’s life? Finally, what does mutual submission look like in the life of a family?
NEXT STEP: Pray for the Holy Spirit to fill and guide your life as a Christian and in your family. Practice asking and applying the question “What is the wise choice?” to your time, finances and relationships.