We’ve created this Bible study for small groups to help you explore the question of how we can live life to the full. It includes a real-life story of transformation, group questions for discussion, a creative activity and prayer points. We hope it will bless and encourage your group.
‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ (John 10:10)
At Tearfund, our goal is to bring about whole-life transformation. Working through the local church helps us to address not only people’s physical needs, but their emotional and spiritual needs as well.
We provide our church partners with Bible studies that focus on a biblical understanding of poverty and community transformation. The churches then set up study groups within their communities. These groups become vital support networks, encouraging and inspiring individuals in their faith and in their efforts to overcome life’s challenges.
Daniel, from Sierra Leone, is just one of thousands of people who have attended a Tearfund Bible study group. It changed his life.
Daniel grew up in poverty in Sierra Leone. When he was just a young teen, both his parents died and he had to drop out of school.
‘I became so discouraged and full of fear and uncertainty about my future,’ Daniel says.
Daniel spent most of his twenties struggling to survive. He saw no hope for his life to improve.
But when a friend invited him to a Bible study run by one of Tearfund’s local partners, Daniel was amazed by what he heard. He learned about a God who loved him and had a good purpose for his life.
‘I did not know that God knew me and had a plan for me,’ Daniel says. Discovering this completely changed his outlook on life. Not only did he find an eternal hope in God, he started dreaming for a better life.
Daniel had a dream to become a motorbike taxi rider, but he did not have enough money to buy a motorbike. However, when Daniel explained the situation, his pastor helped him take out a loan to buy his first motorbike. Daniel quickly earned enough money from his new taxi service to pay back the loan, and then started to expand his business.
‘From nothing, I was able to develop my own business through my encounter with God,’ says Daniel. ‘Currently, I have four motorbikes on my own, a furnished apartment, and I have gone back to school.’
In his new life with God, Daniel is doing things he never thought were possible for him.
Read John 10:10-15:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
‘I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father — and I lay down my life for the sheep.’
Questions for group discussion
- In John 10:10, Jesus promises to give us, his followers, ‘life to the full’.
- What does it mean to you to have a full life?
- What obstacles can block people living in poverty from experiencing a full life?
- When Daniel discovered that God loved him and had a plan and purpose for his life, he was finally able to face the future with excitement and hope instead of fear and dread.
- How do you view the future?
- How can we stay full of hope even when surrounded by challenges?
- In the passage, the enemy is described as a thief who seeks to steal and destroy, and Jesus is described as a good shepherd who guides, protects and brings life. Daniel had many setbacks in life but ultimately, with God’s help, he has been able to overcome those setbacks.
- Are there any dreams that you have given up on because of disappointments and setbacks?
- Can you remember a time where God brought hope out of a seemingly hopeless situation in your life?
- The start of Daniel’s transformation was when his friend invited him to a Bible study. This small act had a big impact. And it was the continued encouragement and practical support of the group that enabled Daniel to step out and pursue his dreams.
- Who can you reach out to and encourage on a regular basis? Think of a specific person you can commit to doing this for.
- What are some practical things you can do to support others? Think of an action you can take this week.
You may want to lead this activity during the group time, or share it for people to do in their own time.
- Take a piece of paper and divide it in two.
- On the left side, write the challenges you are currently facing in your life. These could be temptations, difficult circumstances, disappointments etc.
- On the right side of the paper, write what God has blessed you with and his promises to you.
- Spend some time looking at the left side of the page. Lift up these challenges to God and trust him to guide you through them.
- Now look at the right side of the page. Spend some time thanking God for his blessings and his promises.
- Thank God for the ways he has worked in Daniel’s life. Pray that those who are still trapped in poverty will have access to the support and resources they need to live a full life. Pray that they will know God’s abundant love for them.
- Pray for the situations you face where you need God’s protection and guidance. Lift up your challenges to him and ask him to help you look to the future with hope and not fear.
- Pray for the person, or people, that you have committed to encourage and support. Ask God to show you how you can share his love and life with them.
Your next Bible study
We have many more Tearfund Bible studies that you can use with your small group.