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Talk

What feelings came up as you watched this story? Do you relate to any parts of it?

Watch

Read alternate story

Read

It was a hot July night. Hotter still were the tears pouring down my face. I was 21, going into my senior year, and just realized I could never marry the guy I had devoted myself to. For the past year, we had been planning our future together as husband and wife. Now, the relationship that had dragged me through the darkest trenches I had ever known was finally over. I was snapped in half. Was this what God had in mind? God help me…God help me…God help me. I cried and shook.

But the moment I expected the emotions to hit me in the gut with some kind of final blow, something else happened. Something that could only have been God.

I started laughing. It was a hearty laughter. It was irresistible, soft, and full of joy. And it came from nowhere I could fathom. Not from the poisonous thoughts that filled my mind. Not from the painful memories of verbal abuse, manipulation and rejection. Not from the sinking feeling that hung over my future and the prospect of completely rebuilding my life from ashes.

I sensed God reaffirming me that ending this relationship was the right thing…and that the laughter I experienced in this moment wasn’t from now, it was from the future. It was how I would feel about this situation looking back. Even if I couldn’t emotionally understand it now, it was a promise from the future. This belly-aching laughter emptied me out and filled me up again with new life.

I knew the sadness would be there again, waiting the next day, maybe sooner. But for that moment, God met me in an unexpected way, in an excessive way. That moment was a promise of the incredible healing God would bring over the next couple years.

Talk

Is there an area in your life that seems too impossible to fix, too broken, or too twisted?

Context

This passage is about a woman who seemed to have no way out of her problems. She was accused of adultery and would be stoned as punishment. It's interesting to know that, in Hebrew, the word for “Satan” is “accuser.” Also, the purpose of stoning according to Jewish law was “to purge the evil from among you.” In Jewish law, the person to “cast the first stone” in such cases was the eyewitness of the sin. So, if the person who cast the first stone was also with sin, then the same Jewish law being used to condemn the accused also condemned the person throwing the stone.

Read

Take turns reading verses from John 8:2-11.

Talk

  1. What stood out to you about this story?
  2. What do you notice about the way the teachers of the law and religious leaders treated the woman as opposed to how Jesus treated the woman?
  3. If you had been in the crowd, what would you have thought as Jesus knelt down to write in the sand?
  4. Why do you think Jesus did this?
  5. What do you notice about the way Jesus responded to the accusers?
  6. What do you notice about the way Jesus responded to the woman?
  7. If you were the accused woman, how would you have felt about Jesus’ response?
  8. What do we learn about the nature of God through Jesus’ actions here?
  9. How does Jesus’ response give you hope for your own situation?

Watch

Read alternate story

Read

After about two years, I felt I had done everything possible to find healing and restoration. Time had passed. I had experienced so much healing. Then my ex-fiancé e-mailed me.

He had become a Christian, and asked my forgiveness for many things, and wanted to meet in person. I was so happy to forgive him, ask him for forgiveness, and be able to wish him well. It felt like it was from God. But I still didn’t want to see him. I ran into him at a party and felt myself recoiling, like reacting to a snake.

I forgave him, but I never wanted to see him again. Was that enough? How did that line up with the sense of joy and laughter God had promised me? Even though I had come so far, I still felt stuck. And when I was honest, part of me felt shame by how broken I still was.

I was leading a youth group at a summer conference when my full healing came unexpectedly. I had been struggling with some other issues at that point, and felt discouraged and unqualified. I thought my attitude was so bad I shouldn’t even be in the worship service in case I might bring other people down. I thought about leaving to sit outside until it was over. But I decided I would try to worship for half an hour.

I got up from sitting against the wall and started singing as much as I could. I jumped up and down and praised God’s name loudly. As I did, my heart began to swell up with real worship. I was suddenly lifted up out of all my garbage, and into this place of awe and total worship. Every pore in my body was shouting God’s goodness. For the first time, I danced in worship. I did not stop worshipping for four hours.

That experience broke the back of five or six major issues I had struggled with for years. Within the next week, the hard feeling of never wanting to see my ex again had completely left. I was filled with glad affection toward him! I was completely healed in the baby-soft-skin sense of healing. The scars were gone!

I hadn’t been seeking healing when I found it. It wasn’t even necessarily a time I’d been seeking God either. But it was stumbling upon an encounter with God’s presence that made me new in a way that I never thought possible.

Listen & Reflect

While the music video plays, think through the following:

  1. Are there any areas of your life you feel God would like to start healing? It might be an area where you've struggled in the past, or an issue that keeps resurfacing, or even a memory that brings a sense of brokenness.
  2. Ask God to meet you in this process and let him lead you through it. Take your time, God loves you and treasures you. There is no rush.

Leader's Choice

Your Launch group leader will choose one or more exercises for the remainder of your session.

Options include: Psalm 51 Confession, The Lord's Prayer, Sharing in Pairs or Smaller Groups, Focusing on the Positive, Commissioning – Healing Emphasis, Commissioning – Repentance Emphasis, and Infilling.

Prayer

Pray these Scripture passages over yourself daily before you go to sleep and when you wake up. You can also do this any time you feel brokenness or a sense of shame, or are nagged by condemning thoughts.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Romans 8:1-2
  • 2 Timothy 1:7
  • Psalm 68:35
  • Or try this version Psalm 51 adapted to show God's accomplishment in your healing:

    You have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to the multitude of Your tender mercy and loving-kindness blot out my transgressions. You have washed me thoroughly (and repeatedly) from my iniquity and guilt and cleansed me and made me wholly pure from my sin! You desire truth in the inner being; You make me to know wisdom in my inmost heart. You have Purified me with hyssop, and I am clean! You have washed me, and I am whiter than snow. You have made me to hear joy and gladness and be satisfied! I am healed so that the bones that were broken can now rejoice. You have blotted out all my guilt and my brokenness. I have a clean heart, O God, because you have created it in me. You are the one who has made a new, a right, a persevering, and steadfast spirit within me!

Video

See video

J.John uses the "value of paper money" to illustrate your worth in God's eyes.

Baggage. Do you have it? Would you like to check it for good? God is ready and willing to claim it, you just have to be willing to let it go. Learn how you can pack up the pain and hurt, find release from addiction and torment, and break free from the battles that keep you – and your baggage – grounded.

See video

This clip is taken from the sermon "Jesus Heals a Leper and a Paralytic," preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church. Watch the full sermon.

See video

This clip is taken from the sermon "The Lord's Prayer," preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church. Watch the full sermon.

Books

There is hope for sexual addiction. True stories in this book show how the principles to break free can be put into action.

Moving beyond pat answers or mere willpower, Tim Chester offers spiritual, practical and corporate resources for living porn free. He exposes the false promises of porn and redirects you to the true promises of God.

Spiritual numbness, emotional dependence, addictive behavior, or broken relationships can be signs that you need God's healing touch in your life through prayer. Learn to receive this gift of healing from God and begin praying for others in pain.

The memories of painful or harmful early influences can come back to haunt you, causing negative behavior patterns that interfere with your life and relationships.This book helps you unload the burden of excess baggage from your childhood.

Transforming by God's power, Ferree distills her clinical expertise on female sexual addiction accessibly and gently for women struggling with any degree of relational or sexual addiction.

After analyzing the negative feelings and defeatist behaviors that unhealthy perfectionism births, learn practical strategies for how to change.

A Scripture-prayer resource designed to help you overcome specific strongholds of pride, idolatry, addiction, loss, depression, unbelief, temptation, and more.

This book offers hope and inspiration to those who have been broken. God cares deeply about seeing his people be restored to wholeness. He is the God of rebuilding and restoration.

Learn to see weakness as "a threshold for holy power"-- the point at which God can meet you for healing and equip you for service.

Be encouraged to recognize your brokenness and follow God’s leading and direction for your life. Also find detailed tasks and exercises to help you live in line with God’s plan.

Audio

Learn how to find deliverance from bondage by encountering Jesus and community. You need a rescuer, you always will need a rescuer. Be encouraged to call on the Lord through the words of David in Psalm 40.

Articles

There is a midwestern campus where a group of guys meet every week to talk and pray together, and deal with sexual sin and lust in their lives. Together they listen, understand and support each other in the struggle for sexual health and wholeness--but it’s not easy.

Dr. Henry Cloud says, “When God looks at you, he sees the goodness of Jesus.” Find forgiveness and experience the love and grace that only Jesus can offer.

God is able to calm your anxious heart and give you peace. This article includes two meditations from Bible texts and other material that will help identify your fears and expand your view of God.

Michelle Graham shares her journey toward a more positive body image and her deeper relationship with God in the process.

Examine seven lies our culture would like you to believe about sex. Plus, sidebars on making the decision to wait and what to do if you didn't.