Gratitude | Week 3

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Talk It OVER…Gratitude Week 3
These questions and thoughts are designed to help you create connection in your Community Group. For a more in-depth study on our Gratitude Series, you can refer back to the devo by connecting to the Gratitude Devo on the website.

*Start Talking: Find a conversation starter for your group from the following questions…

-What is your favorite food for Thanksgiving?

-What are some traditions that are kicked off from Thanksgiving?

*Start Thinking: Ask a thoughtful question. 
We have been discussing gratitude over the past 3 weeks. At this point, how would you define gratitude?

Webster’s dictionary defines it as: a state of being grateful; thankfulness

How has someone showed gratitude to you?

What are ways you have shown gratitude?

Has there ever been a time you wanted to show gratitude but didn’t? Why not?

*Start sharing: Go over these questions to help spark discussion in your group.
This weekend we had the chance to hear testimonies and stories of gratitude for things God has done and for things that people have done. We take time to share because it helps us remember and it encourages others!

Life isn’t always easy. We triumph over our struggles when we remember the things that God has done in our lives and the lives of others. We can have confidence that God will move again on our behalf because of the remembrance of things he has done in the past.

The children of Israel had “stones of remembrance” to help them remember the mighty things that God has done in pulling back the waters of the Jordan for them to cross.

Read the story again: Joshua 3-4:8 (read chapter 3 through chapter 4 verse 8)
Early the next morning Joshua and all the Israelites left Acacia Grove[a] and arrived at the banks of the Jordan River, where they camped before crossing. Three days later the Israelite officers went through the camp, giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them. Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. Stay about half a mile[b] behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark. Make sure you don’t come any closer.” Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.” In the morning Joshua said to the priests, “Lift up the Ark of the Covenant and lead the people across the river.” And so they started out and went ahead of the people.

The Lord told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses. Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.’” So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come and listen to what the Lord your God says. 10 Today you will know that the living God is among you. He will surely drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites ahead of you. 11 Look, the Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River! 12 Now choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall.”

14 So the people left their camp to cross the Jordan, and the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. 15 It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, 16 the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea[c] until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho.

17 Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by. They waited there until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan on dry ground.

Memorials to the Jordan Crossing (Chapter 4)

1When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe. Tell them, ‘Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.’”

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.”

So the men did as Joshua had commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there.

Take a moment and imagine what this experience would have been like. Crossing a quickly overflowing river untouched by the water!! Truly a miracle and a showing of God’s might character!

Now, take some time to think about something God has done in your life. If you are comfortable to share with the group, please share. Take notes of God’s moving in others lives. Do you have any material item that you have as a “remembrance stone”? Is there a photo or object that you look at to remind you of when God moved?

What are some “remembrance stones” in your life now, that you can “set-up”?

*Start Prayer: Here are ways to close your group in prayer. 
Have someone close in prayer by asking God to remind us of those times that He has moved in our lives. Pray for encouragement and confident faith that God will move in all of our circumstances.