PrayFit Small Group Leader Guide
In Rocky V - one of the least known of the series of films - Rocky has a flashback where he sees himself inside the ring with his trainer, Mickey. It's a great scene; one of my all-time favorites. In the midst of his work, Rocky lowered his arms signifying he was finished, but Mickey quickly shouts, "Hey, I didn't hear no bell!" and Rocky assumes the battle. I think about that scene a lot. Used to be, I'd whisper "I didn't hear no bell" to myself while we destroyed each other in the gym, loading plate after plate for rep after rep. But over the years the scene has grown to mean much more.
We're stoppable. We have God-given abilities with God-given limits. And that's a God-given compliment. What do we do with a compliment God gives us? We accept it. And our response in the form of our highest effort is one of the ways we simply say thank you for the gift of limitation. When was the last time you praised and applauded God for His allowance of your limits? I've said it before, but when we honor Him with our bodies, it's worship. And that worship won't stop until He says the fight is over.
You know, like Rocky - whose time in the ring ended only by the bell - you and I are still in it. We're mixing it up with the best life can throw at us. Finances, relationships, health. And when it comes to our health, even though we do our best to put up our dukes to slip its jab, the physical fight is one we will eventually lose. I know it's a blow to the body, but health is a losing battle. Thankfully, gracefully, our spiritual battle was fought and won only when He said, "It Is finished."
Oh yes. We're stoppable. And if the world hears that as an admission of weakness, they're right. Only, we hear it as applause. From us.
Introduction of new members or guests
Ice Breaker: (Options, but feel free to use your own fun ideas of course)
- Favorite travel destination or place you hope to visit someday
- Did you ever have a nickname? How did it come about?
READING: Psalm 139
How is reading Psalm 139 helpful in our understanding of our limitations?
How does knowing God's limitless reach help us grasp our limits?
In this week's video, Jimmy mentions Rocky and Mickey training where Mickey cries, "Hey, I didn't hear no bell!" Perhaps not in those words, but have you ever had to whisper that to yourself? What was the circumstance?
Read Romans 8:28 and then let's recall something Jimmy asked. When was the last time you thanked God for the limits He gave you?
How has He used your limits for your good and His glory?
Have you ever been humbled by your limits? Do you see that as a gift or a lesson from the Lord? How so?
When you achieve something - either in your quest to push the limits or perhaps in going beyond what you thought was possible - how do you react?
At the end of the video, Jimmy says, "Glorious is His strength when my strength is gone. He gives and takes away, and my best moment each day is when I realize He's doing just that." List 3 ways that God is working in your life to help you see His bigness and your neediness.
When we honor God with our bodies, that's worship. To the outside world, that seems a bit odd, "out there," or borderline boring. But A.W. Tozer once wrote, "If we see worship as boring, we're not ready for Heaven."
Do you see your approach to a healthy lifestyle, whether in food or exercise, as worship?
Have you made it a habit to talk to God during your workouts?
Do your workouts themselves help you realize how stoppable you are? In what ways?
Does anyone (leader or participant) see being stoppable as a compliment? If so, is it because of Who made you that way?
Jimmy mentioned at the end of the devotion that world may see this as an admission of weakness, and they'd be right. How is our admission of weakness an applause of God?
List one lesson you've learned that you plan to let stick with you this week.
Prayer Requests and Praises
Let's go to the Lord together in prayer. Many people are in need this week. Health issues, finances, relationships. Spend time talking through them, and if there are those that wish to not be specific, simply say "unspoken." Someone lead in closing prayer.
Copyright Jimmy Peña, PrayFit Ministries, all rights reserved 2015.