September 7: Spiritual Friendship
1. Have you ever attended a spiritual retreat? What was your experience? How did you integrate what you learned into your daily life? If you have not attended a spiritual retreat, what do you think you might gain from one?
2. Describe a time when you worried that distance would affect your ability to connect with someone. How were you able to overcome the obstacle of physical distance in your relationship with this person?
3. Have you ever participated in virtual worship or Bible study? Did you feel the Lord’s presence in those experiences? Name some ways virtual fellowship differs from in-person fellowship. What challenges does it create? What opportunities?
4. How can meeting regularly with another Christian to study scripture, books, and hymns enrich your faith? Where do you find community with other Christians?
5. In what ways is your faith strengthened by the faith of others? What do you find most powerful about God’s design for faith in community?
September 14: Running with Jesus
1. Today’s writer describes feeling numb after the death of her brother. When have you felt numb? How did your numbness change the ways you interacted with the world and with God?
2. Do you find it easy or difficult to connect with God through physical exercise? What activities and locations best help you to feel God’s presence?
3. When have your usual ways of interacting with God felt stale or hollow? How do you reconnect with God when you feel unmoored and alone?
4. When have you felt Jesus weeping with you? How did his presence help you process your sadness and grief? In what other ways did you experience God’s healing and understanding?
5. What advice would you offer someone who is seeking to reconnect with God? How can you come alongside someone and support them in their journey back to God?
September 21: The Gift
1. Explain a spiritual lesson you have learned from a piece of secular music, art, or literature. How did this spiritual insight change the way you experience the piece?
2. When have you neglected a gift? When has someone neglected a gift that you gave them? Did they ever come to appreciate the gift? What did you learn from this experience?
3. Describe the moment you opened God’s gift of salvation. How did you feel? What changes did you experience in yourself and in your life?
4. Name three reasons someone may not open the gift of salvation. What emotional, spiritual, or physical help can you offer others to encourage them to open the gift?
5. How do you express your gratitude to God through service? In what other ways do you express your gratitude to God? How do your acts of gratitude bring abundance to your life?
September 28: Love Everyone
1. What scene in the Bible can you imagine most vividly? Why that scene? How does it impact you?
2. Do you find it easy or difficult to look past all that divides us and to love all people? Why? What verses, prayers, and spiritual practices help you when you are focused on our divisions?
3. How does Jesus’ humility change the way you live? In what ways does Jesus’ example help you to love and serve others with humility? Who else in the Bible exemplifies humility and love?
4. Is it possible to love others selfishly? Why or why not? How do you keep your love for others selfless and focused on Jesus? What happens if your focus strays from Jesus?
5. How does your faith community help you to follow God’s guidance as you spread the love of Christ? What changes do you see in yourself, in your community, and in those you serve when you serve out of selfless love?