February 5: “I’ve Been There”
1. Describe a time when you experienced a loss. How did others who were suffering help you? What difference did it make?
2. Have you ever thought about the Parable of the Good Samaritan from the same perspective as today’s writer? If not, does his perspective make you react differently to the parable? Describe how the parable reminds and encourages you to show love to others.
3. Who are your “neighbors” today? What are the most effective ways you can show them love?
4. Today’s writer says that showing compassion is one way we imitate Christ. In what other ways do you think we can imitate Christ and draw closer to God and those around us?
5. Where do you see your community reaching out in compassion to others? Do you participate? If so, what have you learned from your experience? If not, how can you get involved?
February 12: A Rich Heritage
1. Would you describe yourself as a curious person? Who is the most curious person you know? What are some of the benefits of being curious? In what areas would you like to cultivate your sense of curiosity?
2. What role does your history play in who you are today? How do you honor your history and the traditions of your family?
3. What traditions do you hope to continue to pass down in your family? In your community? Globally? Why are these traditions important to you?
4. Have you taken time to study the history of the church and its traditions? If so, in what ways does that information change the way you view the church? If not, what are some ways you can learn more about your church tradition?
5. What church traditions do you think transcend denominational boundaries? How do traditions bring us closer together?
February 19: The Right Question
1. How do you focus on sharing your faith with others? What scriptures remind you of the importance of sharing your faith?
2. When have you criticized someone or dismissed their efforts? How did they respond? What practices help you to avoid criticizing others?
3. Describe a time when you witnessed God working through human efforts to reach others. What was the outcome? How does this situation encourage you in your own efforts?
4. Do you sometimes question the efficacy of other people’s methods of evangelizing? Do you think it is okay to question others in this way? Why or why not?
5. Is it easy or difficult for you to remain open to the ways God has called you to share your faith? How do you remain willing to follow the call? What do you do if you don’t like what you are called to do?
February 26: Trash to Treasure
1. Have you ever thought about sea glass in the same way as today’s writer? What other things remind you that God sees value in all of us? How do these reminders bring you comfort?
2. Describe a time when you felt discarded, broken, or unworthy of God’s love. How did you remember your value? What people, prayers, spiritual practices, scripture passages, or objects helped you to remember?
3. How can we remain open to God’s transformation in us? Do you think we are ever done being transformed, or is God continually working on us? Give some examples.
4. Name someone you know who doesn’t seem to realize their value. What will you do to help them and show them God’s love?
5. Describe what you see when you think of the church as a whole. Is it a colorful mosaic of sea glass, or do you see something else? How does the way you envision the church as a whole affect the way you feel about it?
“As a child, I never thought I would be spreading the good news of God by being a translator of The Upper Room. Besides translating the daily devotion into Hungarian, my husband and I read The Upper Room nearly every day to our children as we eat breakfast together. I am absolutely convinced that this tiny book helps our family, friends, and others come closer to God through people's everyday experiences.”