The Butterfly Effect

October 01, 2023



The smallest decisions ripple into eternity.

Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner,  life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.


  1. Share about how you ended up in this group. What people and circumstances directly influenced your decision to lean into community in this way?

    2.  Read Joshua 24:13-18.

Make some observations about this passage (What does the text say?):

  • What do you notice and what are you curious about? 

Make some interpretations (What does the passage mean?)

  • What do you learn about God?
  • What do you learn about humanity?
  • What is Joshua calling the people to?
  • What choice is placed before the people?

Now make some applications (what’s my response?)

  • How are you encouraged, challenged, or convicted by this passage? 
  • What should be our response to this passage? 
  • How are we faced with the same choice as God’s people did in our own lives? What decision have you made?

    3.   Read Judges 2:8-12. Jesus ends His most powerful sermon with this metaphor. 

  • How many generations did it take for God’s people to go back on their promise to God? What was  the effect? 
  • Why were they unable to keep their promise? What did they do instead? 
  • How are we prone to make the same mistakes? What do we have available to us that they  didn’t? How does our situation enable us to do so much more with our lives? (Hint: see Galatians 5:16)

     4. When you come to the end of your life, what do you hope to be true of you, who you are, and how you spent your life? How do you hope to have impacted the next generation?


 Joshua 24:13-18   So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.’“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”Then the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods!It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our parents up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.And the Lord drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites, who lived in the land. We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God.”

Judges 2:8-12   Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of a hundred and ten. And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger.  


Read slowly through this Psalm. Spend time praying for the next generation and the current one to lead them to know Jesus and to follow Him closely.

Psalm 145

I will exalt you, my God the King;
    I will praise your name for ever and ever.

Every day I will praise you
    and extol your name for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    his greatness no one can fathom.

One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.

They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.

They tell of the power of your awesome works—
    and I will proclaim your great deeds.

They celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.

All your works praise you, Lord;
    your faithful people extol you.

They tell of the glory of your kingdom
    and speak of your might,

so that all people may know of your mighty acts
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

    and your dominion endures through all generations.


  1. Create a Rule of Life using the workbook from Practicing the Way and share with your group, spiritual running partners, or family: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5852ec829f7456cfcc0e1c5a/t/5e17be5d7cba366ace1df6e1/1578614383140/ptw_ruleoflife_workbook_.pdf  


Hey, families! Here’s a look at what we’re covering with your kids so you can help them continue to grow at home during the week.


All month long we are going to be talking about how Jesus defeated sin.

THE BIBLE: Romans 3:23  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

THE MESSAGEGod gives us the power to defeat sin and choose His way! But we have to remember that God’s way is perfect! We may think we know what is best, but God is the one who created us and has a great plan for our lives. When we have a choice to either sin or do what is right, let’s always choose what is right – because that’s God’s way. And that’s how we get in the ring and knock out sin in our lives

THE BIG IDEA: Jesus defeated sin for us!


Because sometimes you and your kid need a conversation starter that isn’t, “So . . . how was church?”

  • Why/how does sin separate us from God?


Talking about sin is not always fun, but it’s so important. We have to know how to recognize sin so we can fight against it. And Jesus knew the power sin could have over our lives. And that’s why He chose to fight sin for us. We may think we don’t have the power to defeat sin, but with Jesus, we have the power to choose the right way, to make better choices, to be kinder to the people around us, and to love God with all of our hearts.


Next week, we’ll explore what happened after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and sin entered the world.