October 7: Where the Big Fish Live
1. Describe a time in your faith journey when you “cast your line into the shadows.” What was your experience with trusting God to provide as you took a leap of faith?
2. Do you ever feel like it would be easier to stick to your routine than to speak about and act on your faith? What biblical or historical figures serve as examples to you of boldly living out their faith? How can you strive to be more like them?
3. What risks have you taken for your faith? Where in your life do you see the fruits of following Christ? What makes it worth it to you to take risks for what you believe?
4. In what ways are you encouraged to know that the Lord promises us the crown of life if we persevere in our faith? What scripture passages help you persevere during difficult times?
5. Who in your faith community encourages you to live your faith boldly? What can you do to encourage others in your faith community to be bold as well?
October 14: With Our Hearts
1. When have you been so preoccupied that you struggled to understand someone? What can you do to refocus your attention when you realize that you are not truly hearing others?
2. Do you ever find it difficult to hear God’s message when you read scripture? What helps you be attentive to God’s word and message as you read?
3. Describe a time when you did not feel that others heard or understood you. How did you respond? What did that experience teach you about how you want to treat others?
4. What does it mean to you to have a receptive heart that listens to the needs of others? Why do you think it is important that Christians pay attention to others? In what ways could you grow in this area?
5. How does your church listen to the needs of others? How could your church better focus on others? In what ways do you think your church is reflecting God’s love and bearing fruit?
October 21: Praying Instead
1. Do you worry a lot? What scripture passages, spiritual practices, people, exercises, or activities help you find peace when you are full of worry or sadness?
2. Have you ever prayed scripture? If so, which scriptures appear in your prayers most frequently? If not, in what ways would you like to incorporate scripture into your prayer life?
3. When is prayer most comforting for you? Does prayer ever feel unhelpful? What other practices help you during difficult times?
4. Do you have a fear or worry that has stopped resurfacing thanks to your faith? If so, why do you think that happened? If not, in what ways do you think creating a new faith habit might help?
5. When and where do you most clearly notice God’s peace? What does God’s peace feel like for you? How can you share God’s peace with those around you?
October 28: Here I Am
1. Describe a time when you have been disappointed or angry because a dream did not come to fruition. Did you ever doubt God’s plans for you? What helped you find direction?
2. Does it encourage you to know that God’s plans for you may be bigger than your plans for yourself, or do you find that difficult to accept at times? What brings you comfort about your future?
3. How do you serve God? Does your service look different than you imagined? What scripture passages remind you of the value of your service?
4. Is it sometimes hard to trust that God knows what is best for your life? When is it easy to trust, and when is it difficult? What helps you when you are struggling to trust God’s plans?
5. Today’s writer says, “Here I am, God. Use me.” What would it look like in your life to live into that statement? How could your church change if all its members lived that way? What can you do to embrace this attitude and encourage your faith community to do the same?
While several strategies for reopening the world are being discussed, I encourage you—the people of God everywhere—to allow this season to be a formative one during which you can make new discoveries about God and increase your faith. Use this time to embark on a life of prayer, a life of study, and a life of action—involvement in the community.”