Gateway North, Branson & Online
4/17 – GOD LOVES SINGLE PEOPLE
Sexual desire flows out of our identity as eternal beings. It’s a function of our craving to not be alone. We live in a media-saturated society that tells us that sexual arousal will take away that loneliness, but if we’re really honest with ourselves, we know that sex or romance doesn’t ultimately solve anything. Jesus, in our main passage from John 4 today, tells us that He wants us to let Him into this part of our lives, that He wants to hear our heart on this and that He wants us to understand His heart towards our sexuality.
This week’s Next Steps are primarily focused towards Singles, as last week’s were towards married couples. Use these questions to have a conversation with God about sex and consider discussing with a close, trusted friend what you’re learning. For Marrieds, as you reflect on the message, consider the question, “Am I seeking to satisfy my need to not feel alone through my spouse or through God?”
- “Listen to me, you’ll never be able to control your sexuality until you’ve learned to be alone with God. Connection with your Creator heals aloneness.” How does this statement strike you? Do you agree or not, and why? What does your relationship with God alone look like right now?
- Read John 4:4-9. Do you think God would go out of His way, as Jesus did in this passage, to speak with you? To listen to what’s going on in your life and with your relationships? How does that make you feel?
- Read John 4:10-15. What do you really want in a relationship? What does your heart desire most? Do you think God cares about what you thirst for, as Jesus did of the woman in this passage? What are your fears or hesitations about talking with God about this? What are some things you think He might say to you?
- Read 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. This passage gives the sense that for every person you have sex with, you leave with them a piece of your soul. What impact have you experienced yourself or seen others experience with sex-outside-of-marriage regarding regrets, shame, broken hearts or wounded partners?
- Read John 4:16-26. Why do you think we so often keep doing the same thing again and again, like the woman in this passage, to satisfy our thirst to not be alone? How can we change the way we think about sex and intimacy so we don’t keep trying the same approach the rest of our lives and try it God’s way?
- Read 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 and look at the “Should We Live Together” research study done by the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University (GatewayChurch.com/ShouldWe) to get this study. If you’re in a relationship and having sex and/or living together, are you willing to have a conversation with him/her this week about the message, these Scripture passages and this study? What makes you apprehensive about such a conversation? What would it look like to honor God with the sexual-aspect of you relationship?
- Are you ready to have a conversation with God about you and sex? What about trying a new approach — His approach? What may be holding you back from letting God into this part of your life to quench this thirst? If you’re ready to talk with God, check out the DIGGING DEEPER section.
John 4:4-9 — Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
John 4:10-15 — Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water . . . Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 — There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit?
John 4:16-26 — He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet…. I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 — God wants you to live a pure life. Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity. Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.
Have an Honest Conversation with God
- Tell Him what’s going on in your sexual life.
- Talk with Him about if you’re happy whether you’re in a relationship or not.
- Talk with Him about your ultimate desires for sex and intimacy in your life.
- Ask Him how He feels about your decisions regarding sex in the past.
- Ask Him how He wants you to respond moving forward and if you can trust Him in this area.
- Promise not to hide, and keep talking with Him.
We recognize that for many sex and intimacy can be a difficult topic — it’s a place where most of us have wounds or scars of some kind, but there’s hope! God wants to help us, heal us and make us sexually whole people who are free of the sexual insanity of our culture, and instead find something better. We’ve put together some classes and groups to help you, and we hope to add a few more as the series progresses.
THE MINGLING OF SOULS — God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex & Redemption
- Class for Gateway Singles on Sundays, May 1st – June 5th, from 2:00-4:00PM. Childcare Available.
- Class for Gateway Marrieds on Sundays, May 1st – June 5th, from 2:00-4:00PM. Childcare Available.
AFFAIR RECOVERY GROUP — Will start in May. Details and Registration will be added to website soon!
WOUNDED HEART GROUP for Women — Wounded Heart is a 14-week, adult women’s support group for victims of sexual abuse. Starts Monday, May 16th, from 7-8:30PM.
SEX ADDICTION GROUP for Men — Starts Tuesday, May 17th from 7-8:30PM. Registration will open soon.
Additional details & registration info will be posted in the upcoming weeks!
Questions? Email Restore@GatewayChurch.com
And PARENTS, our NextGen team has put together some great resources for you to start the conversation with your kids. Just text the word THETALK to 80123, and you’ll get a link to a PDF resource. DOWNLOAD THE PDF RESOURCE HERE.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH PATH
Did you know you can now track your progress working through the outcomes we include in Next Steps right on Gateway’s website?! Go to Spiritual Growth Path and create an account. You’ll get access to Spiritual Fitness Checks and training with the spiritual outcomes.
BIBLE APP by YOU VERSION
If you’ve yet to do so, we encourage you to download the Bible App by YouVersion on your smart phone. Create a free YouVersion account under Settings. Tap Plans > Discover > Search: Outreach New Testament > Start Plan. Then you can read along each day with us!