Making It Mine

Use a bowl of M&Ms to help group members physically identify what they hope to receive from God.

I love listening to people share their testimonies of how God has worked in their lives. I always feel encouraged and empowered to trust God with my own troubles and endure any pain or hardship along the way "for the hope of the joy set before me"—until I get to the car. By the time I walk across the parking lot and am unlocking my car door, I often feel defeated. I believe what the person shared in his or her testimony and acknowledge that God is powerful and faithful—in their life. But what about mine? I so easily fall back into the defeating "comfort" of believing that I won't experience that same kind of victory. Like the Israelites, I quickly forget the time God healed me of my fear of flying, restored life to my then 4-week-old daughter after she quit breathing six times, and restored my marriage after an 18-month separation. Currently, in the light (or rather the dark) of facing issues with three teenage daughters, I still often forget to make God's promises mine.

During the Bible study portion of your small group meeting, set a large bowl of M&Ms in the center of the circle. Explain that receiving God's promises for one's self is vital to healing. Intellectual assent is never enough. As a bold step toward receiving God's promises, ask the members of your small group to take an M&M (the M's standing for "Making it Mine") from the bowl every time they hear something in the lesson that they want to receive. Encourage them as they take the M&M to simply say, "I'm making that promise mine." Witnessing the individual need to receive God's promises will strengthen the entire group by encouraging the powerful and necessary personal application of God's Word.

Give each person a small pack of M&Ms as they leave. Challenge them to listen for God's voice in the coming week and claim His promises.

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