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Dear Leader

Herewith the Life Group Guideline for this week.

Opening Prayer:

Worship:
No longer a slave to fear https://youtu.be/f8TkUMJtK5k
Surrounded https://youtu.be/uTS5XNhZX7E

Icebreaker
What is your greatest fear or phobia?

#NT260 Check in:

On Friday the 1st of June we start with Romans 1. Consider watching the Bible project overview of Romans together as a group https://youtu.be/ej_6dVdJSIU
Ask them what they are excited about in terms of reading the book of Romans.

Theme – Saying No to the fear of man

Scripture Reading
Proverbs 29:25 (NKJV)
The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

(GNB)
It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe.

(The Message)
The fear of human opinion disables, trusting in God protects you from that.

1. The fear of man is a very real problem that most of us face.

It can paralyze us when we should take action, and it can silence us when we should speak out.
The fear narrative is something that many people have playing on in their minds.

Yet God uses a picture of a snare to describe how dangerous the fear of man is. A snare is a trap for catching smaller animals. It is an instrument of bondage and even death. If the Bible says it is a snare we need to realize just how dangerous it is.

Example of Peter who boldly stated that he was willing to go to prison or die for Jesus and yet hours later denied knowing Jesus when he was confronted by a servant girl.

It is not wrong to want to have a good reputation, Proverbs 22:1. But it is wrong to live for your reputation. The fear of man is when we begin to care too much about what other people are thinking about us, and it begins to hinder us and bring us into bondage.

There are 2 components to the fear of man:
- Craving approval
- Fearing rejection

It is a snare because it places people in the place of God. And in so doing the fear of man becomes a form of idolatry. John 12:43 'For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.'

Discussion 1: Ask group members to share about people that they have been afraid of in their lives. Parents, teachers, headmasters, bosses, colleagues? Discuss the reality of the fear of man. Empathise with those who are currently struggling with someone is their life that has power over them which is causing fear.
Ask them to comment on this quote "The one we fear is the one we obey."

2. You are not inferior, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Read Psalm 139:14 and Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

The following characteristics are not in agreement with Psalm 139. Inferiority, insecurity, low self-image, self-doubt, inadequacy.
Part of overcoming the fear of man involves building your true identity in Christ. We can be secure in the Fathers love. We are his masterpiece. God sees us as so special and valuable that He even sent His Son Jesus to die for us. We need to believe this and come into agreement with what God says about us.

Discussion 2: What is your true identity in Christ? Allow group members to share words or characteristics that depict our true identity in Christ? Ask the group if they really believe what God says about them or if it is more head knowledge than heart knowledge. (As a leader elaborate on the impact of having a confident assurance of our identity in Christ and how this can help us overcome the fear of man.)

3. Rejecting the fear of man opens the way for us to be confident, fulfil our purpose, and be blessed.
Read Psalm 27:1-3 (NLT)
Mention the following quote by Spurgeon "A Christian need never be afraid of anybody. If you are doing right you have no cause to fear even the wickedest man."
Share the example of Aaron who created an idol, a golden calf, because he caved in to the fear of man.

When you start saying No to the fear of man, you say Yes to God and Yes to your destiny.

2 Timothy 1:7

Read John 19:38-40
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus overcame the fear that they had previously had. Joseph of Arimathea was afraid of the Jews and had kept his faith in Jesus secret. Nicodemus came to Jesus at night due to his fear of man.

Discussion: Ask for testimonies from the group of times where they have trusted in the Lord and in so doing have been able to say No to the fear of man.

4. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life
Read Proverbs 29:25 AMPC, Psalm 19:9 NIV

Proverbs 14:27
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.

Discussion: How can having a fear of the Lord help us to overcome the fear of man?

Prayer ministry:

Pray for one another in terms of overcoming the fear of man and prophesy their identity in Christ over them.

Regards

Bruce Taylor
LIFE GROUPS PASTOR

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