Imagine Part 1/4 Imagine a Loving Father Mid-Week Bible Study by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Today we are starting a new Mid-Week Bible series titled Imagine. The series will last four weeks. It is based on the Bart Millard story and the movie “I Can Only Imagine”. Each week we will discuss a story about Jesus, discuss a video clip, discuss some scriptures pertaining to the movie, discuss some scriptures apart from the movie, and end with a personal assignment to complete on your own.How many of us love to hear that we are loved and fully accepted? I am sure we love to hear this from our friends, siblings, and especially our fathers.  But the need goes much deeper.

To Listen to the Complete Message, Click HERE

Whether we are aware of it or not, we all long to hear our heavenly father say, “You are my child; I love you, and I’m pleased with you!”

But how many of us daily live with the sense of God’s love and acceptance?

Jesus lived with this certainty. The love and acceptance of His eternal Father flooded his life, filled his conversations and formed the basis for his teaching and ministry. Knowing you are loved by God changes everything.

We may not be like Jesus just yet, but all who believe in him are said to be “Children of God”. 1 John 3:1

 As God’s very own sons and daughters, we can be as certain as Christ of our Father’s love and acceptance.

Let’s start with this question:  What were you taught about God growing up? Was you family religious when you were younger?

Daily Reading  Matthew 3:13–17

Watch the video:   (start at 9:09 through 11:39)

Bart remembers feeling “Incredibly alone. And it was devastating.”

Describe your relationship with your earthly father. What was he like growing up?  Feel free to include positive and / or negative attributes that affect your life now.

Bart says, “Most of my life was living in fear. When [his anger] is so sporadic, you don’t know what’s going to set him off.”

What ways did you try to earn your father’s love growing up?  Is there a connection between this and trying to earn God’s love and salvation?

According to Matthew 3, how does God the Father think and feel about his son, Jesus Christ?

How does this passage reflect the truths that “God is love”?

Matthew 3 describes God’s fatherly presence in two ways:

  • God is Present
  • God makes his presence felt

God affirms, accepts, and loves you, which of these realities resonates with you most? Which do you find hard to believe?

Describe a time when you’ve longed for a Heavenly Father?

Is there anything lacking in your earthly Father that you find yourself hoping God would fulfill?

How have you seen God’s Fatherly presence in your own story of faith?

Bart says he was “desperate” to experience the good news about Jesus after such a difficult childhood. Would you describe yourself as desperate to know God?

Read the following verses and answer the following questions:

John 1:18                                                                                                                                            John 16:27                                                                                                                                              1 John 4:16                                                                                                                                      Luke 15:11–32                                                                                                                                    Ephesians 1:4–6                                                                                                                                     1 John 4:7–10                                                                                                                               Matthew 3:13–17

  1. What was the most significant thing you learned about God this week?
  2. What have you learned about yourself this week?
  3. What was the most significant thing you learned about the Christian life this week?
  4. What does it look like to change your focus or direction of your life around the reality of God and his love for you?
  5. What would your life look like if you fully believed everything you read about God’s Fatherly love for you?
  6. How might your life be different after a transformative experience with God? If you haven’t had a transformative experience, describe what might be holding you back.

Personal Assignment

Write a letter to your father. You don’t necessarily need to send the letter, so be honest as possible. When writing the letter, answer the following questions:

How are you thankful for him?                                                                                                Where did he fail you or hurt you?                                                                                           What does it look like to forgive him?

To Listen to the Complete Message, Click HERE

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