Welcome back to womens online Bible study and our fifth week of “Joseph, the Journey to Forgiveness” by Melissa Spoelstra. Next week is our final week and the study will be complete.
Week five is a lesson on grace and boundaries, from Genesis 45-46. Melissa Spoelstra warns on day one, “To go from the point of pain to the place of extending grace towards those who wound us is truly a supernatural act that takes testing, time, and truth.” This is why our study is called “Journey to Forgiveness.” Joseph made strategic decisions as he reconciled with the same brothers who attempted to murder him and then sold him into slavery. If you closely at page 136, you see another important observation from Melissa: “He grappled with grace privately until he was ready to extend it publicly.”
When you compare this to the ministry of Jesus, you’ll realize that the savior often prayed alone (Matt. 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12). Perhaps in following his footsteps, we’ve been given many opportunities to grapple with grace privately.
Keep working through the study…grapple with grace privately…and enter your prayer closet with God!
Apology and Prayer Request
I hope you’ll forgive this late update (due Monday) because we’ve had some serious health issues with our leaders and I’ve been leading more groups than planned. My time management is a bit off track, the lessons are taking longer than usual, and my weekly update is three days late. I’m deeply sorry!
Urgent prayers are needed for our leaders. In the past week, we’ve had one crisis after another. Five leaders are currently in the hospital. Two leaders are grieving deaths of family members. Three leaders are grieving deaths of close friends. Remember to pray for them, and if your leader(s) are missing this week please know that they’re handling a personal crisis and not abandoning you. These leaders love each of you and pray for you constantly.
BIBLE STUDY TIP: If you get behind which most of us do, don’t give up. Come to weekly online sessions and get encouragement from your fellow sisters. We are all in this together. Don’t let the devil win by giving up! We have a two week break between this study and the next one. Use that time to complete any lessons you missed during this study.
Assignment For the Week
- Read Week Six:Moving Forward in your study book and complete the daily lessons.
- Optional: Watch video session one if you are using the DVD set- available at Amazon
- Get the YELLOW studybook and register for the March 14th study at the Womens Bible Cafe when you CLICK HERE.
Discussion Questions – Answer in your small group or post a comment below
- On page 138-139 we learned the difference between a truth and a perception. Give your own example of a perception. Remember, perception = judging motives or deciding what others are thinking or feeling.
- When and how have you encountered the peripheral effects of unforgiveness? This is where others can’t get along, and it brings discomfort and alienation for those around them. For example, divorced parents who are feuding makes their children uncomfortable. Give more examples. (page 144)
- Which one of these stumbling blocks hinders you from reconciliation: excuses, interruptions, explanations, or correction of details? (page 145)
- What is something you could do to bless someone who is a relational enemy right now? (page 153)
- How does the promise of God’s constant presence encourage you in your present fears? (page 163)
- What is a key concept that you discovered this week in your study? What has been the most difficult part of the study: keeping up with the daily lessons or getting to small group once a week?
Praying for you,