Till The Soil

A few weeks ago, I was on vacation with my family.. Katie, Keeley, and I always go to New Smyrna Beach, Florida. It is paradise for us - the views are great, the sand is rock hard, and the food is as good as it gets. I never fail to cherish that week with my family as the memories are priceless. If you don’t have a rhythm of getting away, wherever that may be, with your family, I would highly recommend finding a way to get one. It’s one of the most important things that you can do as it helps you reset and rest.

MONDAY, AUGUST 15

Connect: Luke 10

DISCOVER:

 

  • 10:25-37: What is the meaning of vs 27?
  • What is special about naming the man a Samaritan? Levite? 
  • How does verse 37 define being neighborly?

 

RESPOND:

 

  • What if the injured person were someone from a different ethnic group than you? Would you stop to help?
  • How can we all express more compassion and care for one another?
  • Why is it important for us to be willing to help others?

TUESDAY, AUGUST 16

Connect: Deuteronomy 6

DISCOVER:

 

  • Verse 2 tells us to ‘fear the lord’ and verse 5 tells us to ‘love the Lord’. How are both fear and love important motivations for us?
  • What were the Israelites to do and not to do when God brought them into the land?
  • Who is responsible for teaching the children? According to this chapter, what qualifications do those that are teaching the children need to have?

 

RESPOND:

 

  • In what areas of your life do you obey God’s law out of fear or obligation and in what areas do you obey out of love?
  • Would you say that you love the Lord with all your heart, soul and strength? Give specific examples of what that means in your life
  • Give some examples of what you are doing to pass God’s truth to future generations.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17

Connect: 1 John 3

DISCOVER

 

  • Is every person in the world a child of God? How can we become children of God?
  • What reasons are given for why practicing sin is incompatible with a relationship to God?
  • How can we tell believers and unbelievers apart?
  • Was John teaching them something new (to love one another)? In what other Scriptures prior to this had it been taught to love one another?

RESPOND:

 

  • How do you feel when people around you think you are weird or a nut because of your belief in God?
  • What kind of person might try to “deceive” people into thinking that sinning is OK or perhaps even good? Did you ever try to tell yourself that some kind of sin is acceptable? What should our view of sin be?
  • What motivates us to not love the people around us? Can you give some examples in the Bible of someone who did show Christlike love to others?

THURSDAY, AUGUST 18

Connect: 1 John 4

DISCOVER

 

  • What spirits is John referring to? What is the “spirit of the Antichrist”?

  • Love one another because God loved us–How did John model this type of love for the brethren?

  • What does verse 10 tell us about the source of love and the cause of our love?

  • Who is “we” in verse 14?

  • How does it logically connect that if we abide in love, we abide in God?

 

RESPOND

 

  • Who is the best neighbor you ever had? Any stories of a really bad neighbor?

  • Why do you think we can’t love God without loving our neighbors?

  • What do you think you would have done if you had been a seminary student in the study and had run into someone in need on the way to give your talk?

  • Under what circumstances is it most difficult for you to be a good neighbor?

FRIDAY, AUGUST 19

Connect: 1 John 5

DISCOVER:

  • If someone asked you to explain eternal life, what would you say? When do we get this eternal life? How does having eternal life affect your life now? What is the way to get this eternal life?
  • How or when can we be confident that God will answer our prayers?
  • How can we know if we are praying according to God’s will? What do these verses teach us about our attitude in prayer? What do these verses teach us about God?

RESPOND:

  • What would you say if someone says to you, “This means that God just answers your prayers if He is going to do it anyway. What is the point of praying then?”
  • How is your prayer life?
  • How can you improve your prayer life?

SATURDAY, AUGUST 20

Connect: Leviticus 19

DISCOVER:

  • Focus on vs 9-18: Knowing that God did not say “If you feel like it, then…”. These are commands. If God commanded these, then how are we to apply them to our lives?
  • Which command is the “hardest” for you?
  • Reread verse 18, ““‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”” Do you tend to seek revenge? What does loving your neighbor as yourself mean?

RESPOND:

  • In verse 18, it says not to hold a grudge against anyone among YOUR PEOPLE. What does this mean? Why is it so important for Christians not to hold grudges against one another?
  • Are you still holding onto grudges against fellow believers? Why or why not? If you are, let this verse challenge you to make amends.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 21

Connect: Philippians 1

DISCOVER:

  • Where was Paul when he wrote this book? Who was the audience?
  • What two qualities can you see in Paul’s prayer (thanks and joy)? What can we learn from this? What is the main content of Paul’s prayer? What can we learn from this?
  • How did God use Paul’s imprisonment to work together for good?

 

RESPOND:

 

  • What is the main content of your prayer life? If you want to try a new way to pray: Plead with God for character growth. Ask God to turn weaknesses into strengths. Identify areas of shortcoming and pray for growth in those areas. Spend some time evaluating the type of things you normally pray for. And make sure that your prayers reflect God’s heart and not your own.
  • How can we use our own troubles to encourage other believers?
  • What should be your motive for sharing the gospel?
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