FOCUS: It’s by grace, not works, that we are sons and daughters of God.
FUN: How many pairs of shoes do you have in your closet?
REVIEW: Key Scriptures: Luke 15:22, 25–31; Ruth 4:7; Deuteronomy 25:7–10
1. Take your shoes off. The prodigal son did not believe he deserved the rights of a son, so he decided he would live as one of his father’s hired servants. In the Bible, shoes represent rights. When Moses encountered God through a burning bush, God told him to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. When Moses took off his shoes, he gave up his rights.
2.Put your shoes back on. Sonship with God cannot be earned; sonship is given to us by God. It is by God’s grace alone that we are His sons and daughters. Sonship is God’s gift to each of us.
*Group Dynamics Idea* Consider attending Growth Path, Gateway’s four-week series of classes designed to help you discover your part in God’s story and fulfill His call on your life. Visitgrowthpath.gatewaypeople.comfor more information.
Discuss 1. Look at the parable in Luke18:9–14. Discuss the differences between the Pharisee and the tax collector/sinner. With whom do you most identify and why?
2. Discuss how working from our own effort to earn sonship can lead to self- righteousness, but how God’s grace leads to salvation.
3. The prodigal son though the was no longer worthy to be called his father’s son, so he decided he would live as a hired servant. How do you view your relationship with God—through the eyes of a hired servant or a son/daughter?
4. Have you ever experienced a “prodigal son” moment in your walk with God or with a loved one? Share your experience with the group.
5. Why do you think it can be hard for us to see ourselves as sons and daughtersof God?
Take Home As we conclude, remember the following: -We are sons and daughters, not servants, of the Most High God. -Sonship cannot be earned. -Sonship is a gift from God.
Prayer Oh, Lord, thank You for welcoming us as your sons and daughters. Help us to understand that we are Yours not because of anything we’ve done but only by your wonderful grace. We desire to follow You and obey You because we love You, Lord. Thank You for the overwhelming and amazing grace and mercy which You offer us in the gift of salvation. You are our Kinsman Redeemer, and we are so grateful, Lord, for Your love and care. Help us to walk with You as we go into our week, and bring Your presence, Your love, Your mercy, and grace to each person we meet. In Jesus’ name, Amen. *New Leader Tip* Pray for conviction, repentance, and renewal in the hearts of God’s people.