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Applications:

1. Change and Transformation:

Did you see how Gru had completely changed from the beginning of the movie? And what had changed? His heart! Exactly! At the beginning he only cared about himself and what he wanted. He wanted to show the world that he was the greatest villain, he thought he had such a great life… yet when he got to know the girls and they turned his world upside down he suddenly realised that he wanted to look after and love them too. He didn’t want to live for himself anymore because he had learned what it meant to be part of a family. This was a complete transformation in his heart.

You know, God wants to transform our hearts too. He wants us to become more like Him. He wants to help us get rid of all the bad attitudes and selfish desires and start to live selflessly and with His love. That’s why he sent His one and only Son Jesus – so that we could be changed into His likeness! How amazing is that?!

People that Changed/Transformed in the Bible:

Zacchaeus had a complete heart transformation when he became friends with Jesus.

Paul went from a persecutor of Christians to a Christian himself when he encountered Jesus.

Gideon started off as a timid frightened man but became a mighty warrior when he heard the voice of God tell him that that was who he really was.

David was a shepherd boy but became a king after years of following and obeying God.

King Saul started off as a shy boy but became proud and strayed far away from God (changed for the worse)

BIBLE VERSES:

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:12.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1.) Have you ever met someone who has had a change of heart? What had happened to them and had they changed for the better or worse?

2.) Has coming to know Christ (if you have come to know him) changed your heart? How and why?

3.) Do you think people notice when others have a change of heart? What does it make them think/feel?

4.) Is there anyone that you are praying will have a change of heart? Why/why not?

5.) What do you think a complete heart transformation looks like when we come to know Jesus? How should it affect the things you do/say/think?

2. A Father’s Heart, Fathers, God the Father

Wow! Gru had really learned how to be a good father hadn’t he?! He really cares about the girls and loves them as his own – even writing a story for them and letting them know that he will never leave them again. You know, that is just like our Heavenly Father! He loves us SO much! He wants to provide for us and He wants us to know His love. He gives us good gifts and has good plans for each and every one of us. Some of us may not know our biological fathers or may not have a very good relationship with them… maybe they don’t treat us well or we don’t really want to know them. Yet whatever our earthly fathers are like our Heavenly Father is the best father we could ever have because He is completely perfect and His love for us has no conditions. He loves us more than anyone else ever could! I wonder, do you know God as your Heavenly Father?

Other Fathers in the Bible:

God the Father: The Father of the Prodigal Son waited patiently for his son to return home.

King Saul acted badly towards his son Jonathan when he didn’t take into account how Jonathan loved his friend David. Yet Saul did love his son.

Isaac loved both Jacob and Esau; he gave Jacob Esau’s inheritance when Jacob deceived his father.

Jacob‘s favorite son was Joseph, this caused some problems for the rest of his sons who became jealous of Joseph’s popularity.

Jairus runs after Jesus for the love of his daughter who is dying. (Luke 8)

BIBLE VERSES:

The Father guarded him as the apple of his eye. Deuteronomy 32:10.

A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.  God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing. Psalm 68:5-6.

O Lord you are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter; we are the work of your hands. Isaiah 64:8.

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, `Abba, Father.’” Romans 8:15.

I will be a Father to you and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:18 & 2 Samuel 7:14.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Please be aware that this discussion needs to be dealt with sensitivity for children in difficult family situations.

1.) What does the word ‘Father’ mean to you?

2.) Do you like the idea of God being your Heavenly Father? How does this make you feel?

3.) What experience have you had of God as your Father?

4.) If God is a good Father then what do you think He is like? i.e. what does He do? How does He behave?

5.) Do you think you can trust God as your Heavenly Father? Why/why not?

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