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Session 17

What to do when friends walk away from God

Read: Genesis 14

Think of someone you used to follow God with. Perhaps it’s a friend you attended a Bible study with, a relative you grew up with, or even your spouse or child. When someone you love wanders away from the faith, what do you do?

In Genesis 13, Abram and his nephew Lot were following God together. However, the land wasn’t big enough, so they separated. Abram let Lot choose where he wanted to go, saying, “If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left” (Genesis 13:9).

Lot pitched his tents near Sodom where the people “...were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord” (Genesis 13:13). While Lot was living there, their enemies plundered the city and carried off Lot and all his possessions.

In Genesis 14, Abram had a choice when he heard about Lot’s capture. He had every right to let Lot suffer the consequences of his actions. Instead, Abram assembled hundreds of soldiers, traveled long distances through the night, and rescued Lot (Genesis 14:14-16).

Even when we turn away from God, He continues to pursue us.

Abram pursuing Lot at all costs gives us a small picture of how Jesus pursues us. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Even when we turn away from God, He continues to pursue us.

When friends or family walk away from God, we can choose to go after them the way Abram went after Lot and the way Jesus pursues us. We can keep inviting them to church. We can love them and be there for them. And, we can remind them that Jesus loves them and has more for them than the path they are choosing right now.

Reflect:

  • Who do you know who has walked away from God?
  • Consider the length that Abram went to in pursuit of Lot. What is one way you can help someone who has veered away from following God?

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