Community Group Study “Genesis: Image of God — Created for Work and Rest”

Before your community group meets:

Read Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 20:8-11, 31:17 and Matthew 12:8-14. Write down 7-8 observations about the sabbath.

What was your first job? What is your current work focus in life (could be an office, home, church, etc)?

This is a big question, but we want to think deeply about the idea of God’s call for us to be people who “work”… How have your thoughts about what God has called you to invest your time in changed over the years?

What are some things you like to do when you take a period of time off from whatever is your “normal” daily work (could be a job in industry, dedicated volunteer work, caring for kids, etc)?

Study Information:

Part of being created in the image of God means that we reflect some of God’s attributes. God’s attributes are marks of his character and what makes God “God”. Theologians often break these up into two categories: communicable and incommunicable attributes. Communicable attributes are characteristics that people share with God; while incommunicable attributes are characteristics that only God has like being all knowing, all powerful, eternal (or without a beginning or end), etc. A very important attribute that God shares with humanity, since all humanity is made in his image, is that attribute of creativity. We do not talk about this attribute much, but it is clear in scripture that God is a God who creates and works, and God calls people to create and work as his image bearers (Genesis 2:15). It is impossible for us to create or be creative if God himself was not a God of creativity and work.

We also see in the Genesis creation story that there comes a time where God ceases from his work on the 7th day. Later on in scripture this becomes the foundation for God’s call on his people to “sabbath” which is the same word used in Genesis 2:2 for “resting” or “ceasing”.

To be an image bearer means that we are called to both work and rest.

In this study guide we’ll talk about work and rest. When the word work shows up, do not think 9-5 job working in an office, shop or any other place of business. Think about having dedicated and focused effort in our caring for, growing or producing something or someone to God’s glory (Colossians 3:23).

At your community group:

Take 15-20 minutes to share about how God has been at work in your life, prayer concerns and pray for one another.

How did God speak to you through the scripture and the sermon this week?

Scripture and Discussion Questions:

Read Genesis 2:1-3 as a group. What is being emphasized here?

Read Exodus 20:8-11 and 31:17. In Exodus 31:17, the word “refreshed” means to breathe freely or recover.

Why did God create us to need rest, why not create people with the capacity to work 24 hours a day and never take a break? This may sound like a paradox, but what should we be “doing” while we rest?

Based on Genesis 1:1-2:3, How does purposeful work model God’s character?

What happens when our need to work gets out of balance with our need to rest? What happens when our need to rest becomes the point and we no longer see the beauty of work?

Application/Looking Ahead:

Read through Genesis 2:4-17. What are some of the ways that God takes care of Adam in the garden? Are there any things he did that went “above and beyond” what was needed?

Our next sermon/study guide will focus on being created for intimacy with God. James 4:8 instructs us to draw near to God and that God will draw near to us. What are some of your weekly, monthly and yearly habits to develop greater closeness and relationship with God?

Spend some time in prayer asking God to teach you about how you’ve been created to know and love God as he knows and love you. Use Psalm 139 and John 17 as helpful scripture to prompt your prayer.

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