Gateway North, Branson & Online
5/1 – GOD LOVES FREE PEOPLE
Each of us has been ensnared or enslaved in one way or another, and no matter how hard we try we can’t do anything to free ourselves. The amazing truth is that we don’t have to because Jesus came, died and rose again to bring us freedom! Through Him we’re no longer slaves to the past — the things we’ve done or the things done to us, so how can we learn to live as free people?
In our last message of this series, you’ve heard specifically about freedom from pornography, yet the freedom offered in Christ applies to any and all areas that may ensnare or enslave us. Work through the following questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group, or friends and family around the dinner table to talk through what you’re learning about living as free people!
- Why have so many people in history risked so much in the name of freedom?
- Read Romans 7:15-19. Why do you think it’s often so hard to do the right things and so hard not to do the wrong things?
- Each of us has fought or is fighting a battle against an enemy that was more dangerous than we realized. In the message, Ben compared his battle with porn to a lion cub that seemed cute and playful until it was fed and turned into a ferocious beast that attempted to devour him. He admitted that he couldn’t win that battle himself. Why can’t we win these sorts of battles on our own?
- Read James 5:16. Have you ever confessed your struggles to another person? How did that feel? If you haven’t, what do you think is holding you back?
- Read John 8:36. What would true freedom look like and mean to you?
- From what has Christ set you free? From what do you need Christ to set you free?
- It was said in the message that God is not asking for an immediate 180 turn, but rather 180 one-degree turns. What are some of the small steps you could take in the next couple of weeks to seek the freedom that Jesus died to give you?
Romans 7:15-19 — I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
Jame 5:16 — Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
John 8:36 — So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Resources to Help with Freedom from Pornography
- X3Watch.com — Accountability software to use on your computer and phone
- X3Workshops.com — Workshops you can do at your own pace to find hope and healing for both men and women.
- Pure Eyes, Clean Heart — A Couple’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography by Jen & Craig Ferguson.
We recognize that for many sex and intimacy can be a difficult topic — it’s a place where most of us have wounds or scars of some kind, but there’s hope! God wants to help us, heal us and make us sexually whole people who are free of the sexual insanity of our culture, and instead find something better. We’ve put together some classes and groups to help you, and we hope to add a few more as the series progresses.
THE MINGLING OF SOULS — God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex & Redemption
- Class for Gateway Singles on Sundays, May 1st – June 5th, from 2-4 PM. Childcare is available.
- Class for Gateway Marrieds on Sundays, May 1st – June 5th, from 2-4 PM. Childcare is available.
AFFAIR RECOVERY — This is a 13-week course that will walk married couples through the critical steps required to address infidelity and reconnect as a couple starting Sunday, May 15th, at 6:30 PM.
WOUNDED HEART GROUP for Women — Wounded Heart is a 14-week, adult women’s support group for victims of sexual abuse. Starts Monday, May 16th, from 7-8:30 PM. Childcare is available.
SEX ADDICTION GROUP for Men — Starts Tuesday, May 17th from 7-8:30 PM.
CROSS CURRENT — Cross Current is a safe and open group for those who would like to process unanswered questions about their relational and sexual brokenness. It runs for 8 weeks starting Monday, May 2nd, from 7- 9 PM. Childcare is available.
And PARENTS, our NextGen team has put together some great resources for you to start the conversation with your kids. Just text the word THETALK to 80123, and you’ll get a link to a PDF resource. DOWNLOAD THE PDF RESOURCE HERE.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH PATH
Did you know you can now track your progress working through the outcomes we include in Next Steps right on Gateway’s website?! Go to Spiritual Growth Path and create an account. You’ll get access to Spiritual Fitness Checks and training with the spiritual outcomes.
BIBLE APP by YOU VERSION
If you’ve yet to do so, we encourage you to download the Bible App by YouVersion on your smart phone. Create a free YouVersion account under Settings. Tap Plans > Discover > Search: Outreach New Testament > Start Plan. Then you can read along each day with us!