September 4: Thanks Be to God
1. Have you ever felt as if you were like the apple in today’s meditation — lovely on the outside but not on the inside? What scriptures encourage you when you feel this way?
2. What does it mean that Jesus Christ fights our battles with us? Describe a time when you experienced temptation and felt Christ’s presence alongside you.
3. Does your church encourage you to persevere in the struggle between the good you want to do and the evil you do not want to do? What does your church do if someone is struggling with temptation?
4. What spiritual practices help you guard your heart from temptation?
5. Have you found that it gets easier to resist temptation and sin the longer you are a Christian? Or, like today’s writer, do you find that no matter how long you’ve been a Christian you still struggle? Why do you think this is the case?
September 11: Life in Community
1. When have you wanted to pray but couldn’t find the right words? What did you do? How do you pray in times like these?
2. How do you experience community with other Christians? During a crisis, do you find comfort in being around others who share your faith? As Christians, how can we help one another during difficult times?
3. What scripture passages give you a clear sense of what the early church looked like? What do you appreciate most about the early church?
4. Do you remember where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001? What role did your church community play in how you processed that day and its aftermath? What did you pray for following this terrible event?
5. What similarities do you see between your church today and the early church? Where do you see differences? How does your church help you in your faith journey?
September 18: Guided to Serve
1. Describe a time when you felt lonely. How did you respond to those feelings? What did you do to feel less lonely?
2. Have you ever felt called to serve but unsure of where to start? What did you do? Were there people in your life who helped you find ways to follow God’s calling? How did they help you?
3. Does your church have outreach programs to serve those in your community? Do you participate in them? If so, how does serving in these programs enrich your life? If not, in what other ways do you serve your church and community?
4. When have you felt God’s comfort? Did this encourage you to share that same comfort with others? What did you do?
5. Many biblical figures felt unsure of how to follow God’s calling to serve. Which of these people do you most relate to? Why?
September 25: Hope through Trials
1. Who in your life reminds you that God is with you in difficult times? How do they help you remember that God will always be with you?
2. Describe a time when you wondered if God was still watching over you. What was the outcome of the situation? How did you deal with your doubts?
3. Jeremiah 29:11 brought today’s writer and his family great comfort during their trials. What verses comfort you during challenging situations?
4. What do you pray for when you are feeling hopeless? What spiritual practices strengthen your faith when you are going through trials?
5. Do you know someone who is going through a trial right now? How can you help and encourage this person? In what ways can you remind them that God still cares for them?
“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.