April 1: A Fitting Title
1. Recall a time when you did not feel qualified for what God was calling you to do. How did you respond? Where did you find strength and reassurance?
2. When have you felt abandoned by God? Why did you feel that way? What helped you realize that God had not abandoned you? What reminds you that God is always with you?
3. What does it look like to be an “ambassador for Christ” and to carry out the ministry of reconciliation? Do you ever feel unworthy of that task? How do you persevere through those feelings?
4. How do you currently serve God? How does Christ’s presence in your life help you accomplish this work? What scriptures remind you of your worthiness to serve God?
5. In what ways can you encourage others who feel unworthy to serve God? How could your church better support its members in their service to God?
April 8: The Best Example
1. Do you find it difficult to forgive others? If not, what makes it easy for you to forgive? If so, why? How does Jesus’ example help you to forgive? What practical steps can you take to help you forgive more freely?
2. Describe a time when you felt a desire for revenge. Did you act on that desire? If so, what was the outcome of the situation? If you didn’t seek revenge, who or what helped you make peace with the situation?
3. Besides Jesus, what other biblical characters serve as examples of forgiveness for you? What have you learned from them?
4. What does it mean to see the world through God’s eyes? How do you reflect God’s love and forgiveness in your daily life?
5. What would your life be like if you offered understanding and forgiveness as freely as Jesus did? What would your community be like if others did the same? How would the world be changed if everyone offered that forgiveness to others?
April 15: Living with the Scars
1. Do you have many scars? What memories or feelings do you have when you see your scars? How might you learn to see your scars as signs of healing and view them in a positive way?
2. What songs, poems, or scripture passages comfort you when you are going through a challenging situation? Describe a time when something you heard or read helped you to better understand your healing process. How did it help you?
3. Recall a time when you witnessed God’s power to restore and transform your life or the life of someone you know. How does that situation encourage you today?
4. How does knowing that Jesus experienced suffering change the way you think about God? Does it help you to face challenges with more hope? Do you struggle to understand such suffering? How do you make peace with difficult experiences?
5. What encouragement would you offer to someone who has many scars? How can you show them God’s love?
April 22: Not About Us
1. Do you ever think about God as giving us favors for our good behavior? What has shaped your understanding of God? How does that affect the way you live?
2. What does scripture say about the way God views our behavior? Point to specific passages that support what you say.
3. Have you ever felt like Joshua did when you see God working through someone who does not seem to be following God’s will? What did you learn from the experience?
4. In what ways do you find it meaningful to know that God’s love for us is not dependent on our behavior? Is there anything that we can do to separate ourselves from God’s love forever? How do you remain faithful during times when you feel tempted to ignore God’s will?
5. How does your church help you to remember that God’s love is not dependent upon us or our behavior? Who serves as an example of being open to God’s purpose in their life? How does this person’s example help you in your own faith journey?
April 29: Open My Eyes
1. What do you want Jesus to do for you? Have you ever felt guilty about asking Jesus for something? Why did you feel guilty?
2. Do you find it easy to get caught up in temporary concerns such as those the author mentions? How do you regain focus on things that have more long-lasting consequences?
3. What does it mean to live with open eyes, ears, and minds? How do you know whether you’re open to God and to others? What spiritual practices help you remain open to God?
4. What scripture passages remind you to ask God for what you want and need? What Bible verses help you see areas in your life where you could strengthen your faith and your relationship with God?
5. How does living with an open mind, eyes, and ears change the way you interact with those in your community? What needs in your community could you provide for? In what ways would you like to better serve those around you? How will you strengthen your relationships with your neighbors?
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.”