Devotional September 25, 2016

Week of September 25, 2016

Called…

Last week we looked at the call of the first disciples and reflected on our own call to follow Jesus.  This week we explore how we are not simply passive recipients of that call but active responders.

Monday: Jacob’s is anything but passive in his encounter with God.  The image of Jacob’s wrestling God is a powerful image of how we often struggle with God.  Jacob is rewarded in that struggle with a new name signifying a new calling and identity.

Read Ephesians Genesis 32:22-29

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. Are you wrestling with God and your calling?  If not, how does your call shape your identity?  If so, how might you persevere in your struggle anticipating a breakthrough that will give you a new beginning?

2. In relation to your call what name might God give you?

Prayer Focus

Pray for perseverance when you find yourself struggling to understand or follow God.

Tuesday:   Paul’s struggle is not with God but himself and the inner conflict that wrestles within him.  He affirms his faith in Jesus to rescue him.  When we respond to the call of Christ, we find

power over the impulses that wage within us.

Read Romans 7:14-25

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. Is there anything you are struggle with in your spiritual life right now?

2. How might Jesus lead you through it?

Prayer Focus

Pray for Christ to lead you through any spiritual challenges you are facing.

Wednesday: As we seek to discern and contemplate God’s call in our lives, today’s Psalm reassures us of God’s intimate knowledge of us and therefore the appropriateness of that call for who we truly are. 

Read Psalm 139:1-18

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. You matter to God!  How does that make you feel?

2. Knowing God’s knowledge of you and omnipresence, does that help you to trust God more deeply?

Prayer Focus

Offer a prayer of praise for God’s inmost knowledge and acceptance of you.

Thursday: Today’s Psalm reminds us that not only does God call us, but we can call upon God in times of trouble.  Our relationship with God is a “two-way street,” which is quite remarkable to ponder!

Read Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. What does God’s protection and love mean to you?

2. How might it give you courage to act boldly in faith?

Prayer Focus

Pray a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s deliverance, protection and love.

Friday: We end the week with a Psalm of praise.  When we put our trust in God and respond faithfully to God’s call in our life we have much to celebrate.

Read Psalm 146

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. If you could write a song of praise today what would it include?

Prayer Focus

Pray a prayer of praise incorporating your response to the question above.

 

Small Group Format

Introductions/getting acquainted

Mutual Invitation question:  As a child did you use your fists, feet, or wits to get out of trouble?

Opening Prayer

Song (optional)

Reflection on the weekly Scripture readings

· Have someone read Genesis 32:2-29

· Discuss observations about the text

à What word or phrase strikes you the most?

à What do you think is the most important point of the text?

· Summarize the Sunday message and its connection to this text

· Use some of the daily questions for discussion in the devotional.

· Choose another day to read a different text and discuss the questions

Share your faith (in groups of 3)

How have you experienced God recently in your life?

(this will be a weekly question – it may be difficult to answer at first, but if you ask it each week, you may start to notice God more in your life)

Pray for each other

Refreshments (optional)

 

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Sun, 09/25/2016 - 09:30