November 7: No One Is Insignificant
1. When have you felt insignificant? What helped you regain your sense of significance? Who in your life do you think might feel insignificant? How will you help them feel more significant?
2. Is it okay for us to find our meaning and purpose in a job, money, where we live, or whom we know? Why or why not? What would you say to a person who looks for significance in these things?
3. The writer of today’s meditation says, “I realized that God can use each of us wherever we are.” Talk about a time when this has been true for you. What did you learn about yourself that you did not know before?
4. When have you helped someone in an unexpected place and way? Do you think it was just a coincidence that you happened to be in the right place at the right time, or did God have something to do with it? Explain.
5. Name some stories in scripture in which God used people where they were to fulfill a mission or purpose. Which of these stories do you find particularly meaningful and powerful?
November 14: To Be Patient
1. Are you a patient or impatient person? When has Paul’s admonition to the Thessalonians — “Be patient with everyone” (1 Thes. 5:14, NIV) — been a challenge for you? Why was it a challenge? What did this experience teach you about patience? What did it teach you about yourself?
2. When has an annoying or frustrating situation turned out to be a blessing and reason for praising God? How did this experience affect the way you have handled other annoying or frustrating situations since?
3. Do you think the world would be a better place if we were more patient with one another? Why or why not?
4. What examples of patience do you see in scripture? What examples of impatience? Do you think being impatient is a sin? Is there ever a time when being impatient is appropriate?
5. What irritating situation are you dealing with today? For what in this situation can you praise God?
November 21: Getting Out of the Boat
1. When was the last time you were out of your comfort zone? How does being out of your comfort zone make you feel? Should we as Christians always be comfortable?
2. If you were Peter, do you think you would have had the courage and trust to get out of the boat? Why or why not?
3. The Thought for the Day says, “Before I can follow Jesus, I have to step out of the boat.” What “boat” do you need to step out of today to follow Jesus? What challenges will this present? What opportunities?
4. Would you describe yourself as an adventurous and risk-taking person? Do you think you could be a better disciple were you to be more adventurous and risk-taking? When does being a true disciple require risk?
5. Can you think of a time when you faltered but Jesus was there to catch you? What affect did this experience have on you as a disciple of Jesus? How did it change your attitude toward doing what Jesus calls us to do?
November 28: Keep Praying
1. How often do you invite people to church? How many accept your invitation? Why do you think some people are reluctant to come to church when you invite them? What would you say to those who are reluctant?
2. The writer of today’s meditation says, “When we persevere in prayer and never give up but continue to ask in prayer with faith, God will answer.” Is this always true? Does God ever refuse an answer to our prayers?
3. Have you ever prayed for something for a long time, only to have God answer your prayer years later? Why does it take God so long sometimes to answer our prayers? Why does God not answer all of them immediately?
4. The writer shows his friend concern and compassion during a difficult time. What role do you think this played in his friend’s decision to come to church? What does this say about how we should behave toward those for whom we are praying?
5. Do you think God ever becomes annoyed with us when we ask for the same thing over and over and over? Why or why not? How can we tell the difference between God remaining silent to our prayers and God saying no?
“I believe with all my heart that vulnerability and authenticity are the only way to find wholeness in Jesus Christ. … I believe in the holistic, healing love and salvation in Jesus Christ, who walks with us in the valleys and brings beauty from ash heaps again and again and again. I am here to tell you that I have been on the mountaintops and in the valleys, and I have discovered that we need a reset in our souls. We need to share stories so that others will too. When we’re free to be real, that’s when the real joy comes.” Read more.