Daily Reading – May 2017


HOW TO USE SOAP

S.O.A.P. journaling is a simple and excellent way to both record and process what God has spoken to you. It's also a useful tool to use at a later time when you want to reflect on and review some of the 'gems' that you have received. Without writing them down, you may forget those blessings and important lessons! Furthermore, while journaling is a very personal time with the Lord, you may want to share some of your daily journaling with your Life Group or spouse, so having a written record becomes very important! Through discussion, you may be able to look deeper into what God is speaking to you, gain new insight, and even encourage others!

S. FOR SCRIPTURE

It all starts when you read the Bible, whether it is a verse or chapter. When you read the Bible, pay attention to what verse or phrase really stands out to you. Feel free to underline in your Bible as you read; this will help you identify meaningful verses or phrases. Once you identify what stands out the most, write it down.

O. FOR OBSERVATION

This part is as simple as writing down what you think the verse or phrase means. Don't worry about getting this exactly right; that is not the point. The most important part of this is beginning to interact with the Bible.

A. FOR APPLICATION

Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today. 

P. FOR PRAYER

This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or even a prayer for a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.

How to reference the Bible:  John 18:1-11 – Book=John | Chapter=18: | Verse(s)= 1 through 18

Family Devotion – May 2017

Parents, share an example of a choice that seemed small or insignificant at the time, but ended up shaping your life in a significant way.

Ask – Why do you think we underestimate the power of small choices in our lives?  What are some common decisions people make that seem small but have a huge impact on their life?

Read Genesis 39:4-10

  • What decision was Joseph faced with?  What made this such a difficult choice?
  • How might Joseph have gotten away with making a sinful decision in this moment?
  • In verses 8-9, what shaped his decision to choose the right path?

We face choices like these every day.  Some are more difficult than others.  What can help us in those moments to follow God and His ways, even when no one is looking?  

Spend time praying as a family for God’s help to choose His ways in every decision.

4th Wednesday – May 2017

Icebreaker

What are you looking forward to most this summer? Why?

Questions

  1. Have you ever chosen to do the right thing and it actually caused you to experience something difficult? Can someone share an example of a time when this happened for you?
  2. Sometimes people assume, if you do the right thing, it will always result in an easier, trouble-free experience. Why is this not always the case?
  3. Read Genesis 39:6-12. Joseph does the right thing over and over again even when he was being tempted to do something that was wrong. In what way did Joseph show great integrity in verses 11-12? Why would this have been so difficult for him?
  4. Joseph did what was right, even when no one was watching. What would you expect to happen next if you had never heard this story?
  5. Read Genesis 39:13-20. What did happen next for Joseph? Why do you think God allowed this to happen to him, even though he honored God?
  6. If you were Joseph, how would you respond in your heart toward God in that circumstance?
  7. At the end of Joseph’s story, he comes to realize that God was using every circumstance in His life (even being thrown into prison) to work for Joseph’s own good and for God’s glory. If Joseph had given in to temptation, he would have missed out on all that God was doing in and through him. When he realizes this, do you think he regretted doing the right thing, even though it ended up leaving him in prison?
  8. Joseph was more concerned with honoring God no matter what than he was with facing difficult circumstances. What would happen if you had this perspective on a daily basis?
  9. How do we keep this perspective in the moments we are faced with a choice to honor God or to go our own way?

Accountability

  1. Have you faced any choices like this in the past two weeks where no one was watching? How did it go?
  2. How can we as a group encourage each other in this area?

2nd Wednesday – May Questions

Icebreaker

If you could have an endless supply of one food, what would it be? Why?

Questions

  1. Sometimes, seemingly insignificant moments end up impacting our life in a huge way. Can you think of any examples where a seemingly insignificant choice impacted you?
  2. Why is it so easy to underestimate how important these little moments are in our lives?
  3. What are some small decisions people your age make every day that impact their life in a greater way than they think they will?
  4. Read Genesis 39:4-7. What has happened in Joseph’s life at this point?
  5. Why might this have been a difficult temptation for Joseph? How might he have justified a decision to do what she told him to do?
  6. Have you ever been faced with a choice to do something you know is wrong where probably no one would find out about it? Why are those moments so difficult?
  7. When we are faced with decisions like that, what are some ways we are tempted to justify a decision to do something that we know is wrong?
  8. Read Genesis 39:8-10. What was Joseph’s decision in this moment?
  9. What reasons did he give her for choosing to stand on what is right?
  10. Joseph says that, if he were to do the wrong thing, it would not only be a sin against Potiphar but it would also be a sin against God. In what way is every sin a sin against God Himself?
  11. How does knowing God sees everything and that every sin is against Him help us stand for what is right in moments where no one is watching?

Accountability

  1. In the last few months, how well have you been handling choices like these, where no one is watching?
  2. What is a step you can take in order to rely on God’s power to stand up in those moments and follow Him?

Daily Reading – April

Week 1
40 Days Devotional

Week 2
April 16 | Matthew 13:44
April 17 | Matthew 13:45-46
April 18 | Matthew 13:47-50
April 19 | Philippians 3:1-4
April 20 | Philippians 3:5-6
April 21 | Philippians 3:7
April 22 | Philippians 3:8-11

Week 3
April 23 | Psalm 73:23
April 24 | Psalm 73:24
April 25 | Psalm 73:25
April 26 | Psalm 73:26
April 27 | Psalm 73:27
April 28 | Psalm 73:28
April 29 | Ephesians 4:17-18

Week 4
April 30 | Ephesians 4:19-24
May 1 | Ephesians 4:25
May 2 | Ephesians 4:26-27
May 3 | Ephesians 4:28-30

4th Wednesday – April Questions

Icebreaker

Have each person in your group answer this question: if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?

Questions

  1. All of us value something above everything else in our life. How can you tell what someone values in their life?
  2. What are some examples of things people sacrifice, work hard, and strive for?
  3. Think about everything you own. Every single thing. If you were to sell all of if, how much would it be worth? $100? $1000? $10,000? More? Can you think of a scenario that could happen in your life where you would sell it all? What would be the determining factor in this decision?
  4. Read Matthew 13:44-46. Both of the men in this story decide to sell all that they have in order to get something. What led to such a drastic action for them?
  5. How do you imagine their families and friends would have responded to their decision to sell it all?
  6. Jesus was telling this story to teach us that there is something worth giving your entire life to. What is it that Jesus is talking about?
  7. Read Philippians 3:7-11. Paul had discovered something that was greater than everything he had ever pursued in life. What was it?
  8. When Paul understood the reality of a relationship with Jesus, how did it change his life? How did it change his perspective on what is most important?
  9. Why is a relationship with Jesus so valuable? Why is His kingdom worth giving up your entire life? Why is this hard to believe sometimes?
  10. What would change in your life if you lived every moment with the perspective Paul had about how valuable it is to know Jesus?

Accountability

  • If someone were to examine your life, (what you worry about, what you spend your time, money, and effort on, etc.) what would they say you value most?
  • What is a way you can remind yourself how valuable a relationship with Jesus is this month?

2nd Wednesday – April Questions

Ice Breaker

What is your favorite Easter candy? What is your least favorite Easter candy? Why?

Questions

  1. Life can be hard sometimes. When difficult circumstances come, it can be easy to feel defeated. How do most people deal with moments like this?
  2. What are some examples of tough situations you have seen people your age deal with?
  3. If comfortable, share a time in your life when you were really discouraged and were living in defeat.
  4. Read Romans 8:36-37. In what ways is this passage encouraging to us?
  5. Does the truth that we are “more than a conqueror” mean we will never face difficult situations in life?
  6. Despite your circumstances, what does it mean to live with the mindset of “more than a conqueror”?
  7. Share something from Karen Butterton’s testimony this weekend that resonated with you. What was so powerful about it?
  8. What are some practical steps you can take to begin to live with a mindset of victory? How can this group help you?
  9. Who are some of the people you have been inviting or are going to invite to Easter this year?
  10. As a group, spend some time praying for the upcoming Easter services and the people you have invited.

Accountability

  1. What is one truth God has used in your life during this year’s 40 Days?
  2. Overall, how have you grown in your relationship with Jesus through 40 Days? What has God been revealing to you?

Family Devotion – April 2017

Use these questions to lead a family discussion sometime this month.

  • How have your 40 Days commitments been going? What has been the most challenging part? Why?
  • What is one thing that God has been teaching you throughout this year’s 40 Days journey?
  • Read Matthew 13:44-46. Why were each of these men happy about selling everything they owned? How do
  • you think their family or friends might have responded when they learned that they were selling everything?
  • How much would something have to be worth for you to sell absolutely everything you own to get it? $10,000, $100,000, $1,000,000, $10,000,000, more?
  • In these stories, Jesus makes the point that the kingdom of heaven is worth giving everything for, even your life. Why is this such a profound truth?
  • Read Philippians 3:7-11. How did Paul’s perspective change when he understood how valuable a relationship with Jesus is?
  • What would change in someone’s life if they truly lived with this perspective? What are some ways in which it is difficult to truly live this way?

Pray for each other that you would live with a true perspective of how valuable Jesus is.

4th Wednesday – March Questions

Questions

  1. Everyone is searching for something to free them and fulfill them. How have you seen this happening in the lives of people your age?
  2. How have you seen this play out in your own life? If comfortable, share a personal story. What are some of the things you search for satisfaction in that leave you feeling discontent?
  3. Read Colossians 1:15-19. Jesus is who ultimately will fulfill you. Pastor James said, “Jesus sets you free to live and be happy, satisfied, loved, joyful, and fulfilled.” Is viewing Jesus this way a hard concept for you to grasp? Why or why not?
  4. Read Psalm 16:11, Psalm 27:4, and Philippians 3:8. Why do we search for satisfaction in things despite the fact that we know we were created for more?
  5. Read Colossians 1:20-21. There is an endless cycle of dissatisfaction. Alienation = needing something else besides Jesus Hostility = constantly disappointed we haven’t found satisfaction Doing Evil Deeds = so we search for more In this endless cycle, what is the root of our conflict with God?
  6. “What you think will set you free actually keeps you from being free.” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? What is something that you allowed in to your life, thinking it would bring fulfillment, but it ended up hindering your relationship with God?
  7. Read Colossians 1:22. Jesus Christ alone can free you because He alone can fulfill you. What are some practical ways in which this group can help each other find fulfillment in Jesus.

Accountability Kickstarters

  1. Spend some time saying last week’s memory verse (Romans 8:1) out loud as a group? Does anyone have this week’s (Colossians 1:21-22) memorized yet?
  2. Individually, think about a friend, neighbor, or coworker whose life you can begin to invest in so that when the time is right, you can invite them to church using the Easter invite cards. What is the best next step for you to take with that person?
  3. What has God been teaching you so far during 40 Days

 

2nd Wednesday – March Questions

Icebreaker

Go around the group and have each person finish this sentence, “If I were a cartoon character I would be _______________ because…”

Questions

1. When someone talks about rules, how do you typically respond? What ideas come to your mind? Why?

2. It can be easy for people to fall into a religious mentality when it comes to their relationship with God. They begin to think that God’s love for them is determined by how well they follow rules or commands. If they obey, God is happy with them. If they disobey, God is out to get them. Why do you think so many people live and think this way?

3. Read Galatians 4:1-5. In what ways is living with a religious mindset enslaving to us?

4. In other places in the Bible, God teaches us that we are slaves to sin apart from Christ. What does it mean to be enslaved to sin?

5. Read Galatians 4:4-5. Why did Jesus come, according to this passage?

6. To redeem means to “buy back.” How did Jesus buy us back from sin?

7. How did the cross pay for our sins?

8. Read Galatians 4:6-7. Because Jesus died, those who are followers of Him have been set free from slavery to religion and to sin. What does it look like to live in freedom from a religious (rule-following) mindset?

9. What does it look like to live in freedom from sin? How does obeying God’s commands fit into this kind of freedom? In other words, why do we fight to obey what God has taught us if it is not to earn His love?

10. This passage teaches that we are now sons of God instead of slaves. Why is this such great news?

11. What keeps you from living in the freedom Jesus has purchased for you? How do we fight to live each day in this freedom?

12. One of the greatest things teenagers can focus on during middle and high school is preparing themselves to be the husband or wife God desires for us to be one day. How can we grow personally in this area? Why is it better to focus on this instead of only focusing on pursuing dating relationships right now?

Accountability

What are you planning to sacrifice for 40 Days this year?

How can this group help you in your commitment to read the 40 Days book and memorize the scriptures each week?

Family Devotions – March

Go over each of these commitments as a family.

  • Which of these will be the most challenging for you?
  • As a family, how can we help each other stay committed over these 40 days?
  • Come up with creative ideas to help each other read every day, memorize the verses, and sacrifice.
  • Help each member of your family come up with a an idea of something they can sacrifice that would really help them to focus on God.

During the 40 days leading up to Easter, we challenge every student and parent to make five commitments:

  1. Participate in all six weekend worship experiences and Consume starting March 4/5.
  2. Read the 40 Days Devotional everyday. You can pick up this book on March 4/5.
  3. Join with others in a Group to discuss each week’s teachings. True transformation never happens alone, but by challenging each other to seek hard after God. For Students, you can be a part of a Group by attending Pursuit on Wednesday nights.
  4. Memorize a simple verse every week from the 40 Days Devotional.
  5. Sacrifice one thing for this 40 day period that will help you focus more intently on God

#RelationshipGoals • Additional Resources

Sexuality and Dating

  • Sex Is Not The Problem, Lust Isby Joshua Harris
    *Study Guides Available for Guys and Girls*
  • Girl Talk: Mother-Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood by Carolyn Mahaney & Nicole Mahaney Whitacre
  • Lies Young Women Believe And The Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh
  • I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris
  • Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello To Courtship by Joshua Harris
  • Emotional Purity: An Affair Of The Heart by Heather Paulsen
  • Lady In Waiting: Becoming God’s Best When Waiting For Mr. Right by Jackie Kendall & Debbie Jones
    *Study Guide Available*
  • Guardians of Purity: A Parent's Guide To Winning The War Against Media, Peer Pressure, and Eroding Sexual Values by Julie Hiramin
  • Aggressive Girls, Clueless Boys: 7 Conversations You Must Have with Your Son [7 Questions You Should Ask Your Daughter]  by Dennis Rainey
  • Sexual Detox : A Guide For Guys Who Are Sick Of Porn by Tim Challies
  • Purity Is Possible by Helen Thorne

 

For Younger Teens

  •  Six Ways To Keep The Good In Your Boy by Dannah Gresh
  •  Secure Daughters, Confident Sons by Glenn Stanton
  •  Raising A Modern Day Knight: A Father’s Role In Guiding His Son To Authentic Manhood by Robert Lewis
  •  Raising A Modern Day Princess: Inspiring Purpose, Value, and Strength In Your Daughter by Pam Farrel and Doreen Hanna
  •  What’s The Big Deal?: Why God Cares About Sex (God’s Design For Sex) by Stan and Brenna Jones

 

Websites

http://www.covenanteyes.com  - Internet Accountability and Screening

http://www.pluggedin.com - Interacting With Entertainment and Culture

http://www.focusonthefamily.com - Helpful Articles and Resources

http://www.generationsofvirtue.org

4th Wednesday – February Questions

Icebreaker

If you could plan the perfect engagement story, how would it happen? e.g. Guy proposes on the fan cam at a Basketball game or all your friends plan a flash mob and sing Disney songs as he proposes.

Questions

1. All month, we have been learning that God is the one who made humans to be male and female. He is the one who designed the reality of romantic relationships, attraction and sexuality. Why does it seem strange to us that God would invent all of this?

2. We learned that His plan for all of this is to bring a man and a woman together in a lifelong relationship called marriage. How is marriage viewed in our culture today? How has our culture’s view of marriage changed from God’s design?

3. Read Romans 1:21-32. The reality of sin is that all of us have exchanged God’s truth for lies and have rebelled against Him. This passage teaches us that God has now handed the world over to our sinful desires. In our world now, people will have sinful desires but they will think those desires are good. Why is this truth so scary and dangerous for us?

4. Read Romans 8:11-15. According to this passage, do Christians have to continue to follow their sinful desires? Why are we now able to overcome them?

5. Read Ephesians 5:3-5. What does this passage say about God’s standard for us when it comes to sexual immorality (sexual immorality is any form of sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one woman; this passage says that there should be “not even a hint,” or “it shouldn’t even be named among us”)?

6. What are the greatest ways that guys or girls your age are tempted in this way? Why is this standard so hard to live up to? Who do we have to rely on for the power to live this way?

7. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:4-5. This passage teaches us that our lives should look very different than the world around us when it comes to this topic. In what ways should the lives of Christians look different than those around us when it comes to relationships and dating?

8. What differences should there be in the way we think about relationships and dating? What safeguards must we have in place to make sure we avoid temptation? If the possibility of marriage is very far off for you, is it wise to pursue a dating relationship? How could this lead to unnecessary temptation?

9. One of the greatest things teenagers can focus on during middle and high school is preparing themselves to be the husband or wife God desires for us to be one day. How can we grow personally in this area? Why is it better to focus on this instead of only focusing on pursuing dating relationships right now?

Accountability

- What is one step God has been calling you to take in the area of this month’s topic?

- What is one way you can guard yourself against temptation?


Family Devotions – February

Use these questions to lead a devotion with your family.

  1. What are the elements of a perfect love story that you would see in a movie or read in a book?
  2. Name some of the desires and goals people have for romantic relationships. Where do these desires come from?
  3. Read Genesis 2:18-25. Who is it that created the idea of romantic, intimate relationships?  
  4. Why do you think God designed marriage as the place for this kind of relationship?
  5. God’s word defines marriage as lifelong, committed, love relationship between one man and one woman before God. What are some ways that our world has tried to separate intimate relationships from God’s design in marriage?  
  6. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8. What does this tell us about God’s will for us in relationships?
  7. Sexual immorality is any form of sexual activity outside of a marriage relationship. God’s desires are always best for us. In what ways is it best for us to avoid sexual immorality at all cost? How does it hurt us to go outside of God’s plan in this area?
  8. The relationship goals we have are meant to be fulfilled in marriage. In what ways are teenagers tempted to try and fulfill these desires outside of God’s plan?
  9. What are some keys to relationships that are wise and protective for teenagers to follow in order to pursue God’s plans?
  10. Parents, use this as an opportunity to discuss boundaries and guidelines for thinking about relationships with your son or daughter.
  11. Pray together as a family.

Daily Reading – February

#RealationshipGoals

Week 1
February 2 | Genesis 1:26-28
February 3 | Genesis 2:18
February 4 | Genesis 2:19
February 5 | Genesis 2:20
February 6 | Genesis 2:21-22
February 7 | Genesis 2:23
February 8 | Genesis 2:24-25

Week 2
February 9 | Mark 10:6-9
February 10 | 1 Thessalonians 4:1
February 11 | 1 Thessalonians 4:2-3
February 12 | 1 Thessalonians 4:4-5
February 13 | 1 Thessalonians 4:6-8
February 14 | 1 Corinthians 6:12-13
February 15 | 1 Corinthians 6:14-17

Week 3
February 16 | 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
February 17 | 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
February 18 | Romans 1:18
February 19 | Romans 1:19-20
February 20 | Romans 1:21
February 21 | Romans 1:22-23
February 22 | Romans 1:24-25

Week 4
February 23 | Romans 1:26-27
February 24 | Romans 1:28-29
February 25 | Romans 1:30-32
February 26 | Romans 6:15-16
February 27 | Romans 6:17-18
February 28 | Romans 6:20-23
March 1 | Romans 8:1-2

2nd Wednesday – February Questions

Icebreaker

As a group, come up with a movie/play plot for the perfect, fairytale love story (have fun with this).

Questions

1. What are the parts of love stories that most movies, books and fairytales have in common?

2. If you were to ask guys/girls your age to name some of their goals or dreams for relationships, what are some of the things they would say? Where do these goals or desires come from?

3. Read Genesis 2:18-25. According to this passage, who is the one who invented the idea of romantic relationships?

4. Read Genesis 2:24-25 again. This passage shows us that God designed romantic relationships to be fulfilled in marriage. This pattern was invented by Him. Marriage is a lifelong, committed, love relationship between one man and one woman before God. What are some ways that our culture has tried to separate intimate, romantic relationships from God’s design for marriage?

5. Last week, we learned that our relationship goals, at their heart, are good desires. Because God designed these relationships, we will find the greatest fulfillment and enjoyment of our desires when we follow his plans and his designs for them. Do you think most people go outside of God’s plans for relationships because they just don’t know what His plans are or because they are actively choosing to disobey Him?

6. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8. What does this say about God’s will for us in relationships?

7. Sexual immorality is any form of sexual activity outside of a marriage relationship. God’s desires are always best for us. In what ways is it best for us to avoid sexual immorality at all cost? How does it hurt us to go outside of God’s plan in this area?

8. In what ways are teenagers tempted to go outside of God’s design when it comes to their relationship goals?

9. What are some practical steps you can take to fight against these temptations? If a young person is always pursuing dating relationships in middle and high school, how does this put them in more situations of temptation?

Accountability:

- How is your pursuit of God going so far this year? What is one area we can encourage you in and pray for you?

- When it comes to relationship goals, what is one way you struggle to believe the culture around you instead of God?


2nd Wednesday – January Questions

Icebreaker

Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions? If so, what are they?

Questions

1. Can you think of an example of someone who has become famous or influential in our culture that came from an ordinary or insignificant background? How did that happen for them?

2. What reasons might someone give for why they think they could never do anything significant in the world around them?

3. Read Acts 4:1-22. What is happening in this passage? Why were John and Peter arrested?

4. Read Acts 4:13 again. Why were they so surprised by Peter and John?

5. In what ways were John and Peter just ordinary men? Based on their background, why would you not expect them to make a significant difference in the world?

6. John and Peter healed people, preached the gospel and thousands responded. They were influential in launching the church. The world was changed through them. What was it about these ordinary men that led them to do these amazing things?

7. Throughout the Bible, we see that God loves to use ordinary people to accomplish His mission. Why does God tend to use the people you would least expect?

8. If God transforms ordinary people through Jesus Christ and uses them to do amazing things, why should this encourage us?

9. Have you ever thought that God could never use you to do anything significant? What leads us to think this way?

10. In what ways should this passage encourage us to take bold steps of faith in the world around us?

Accountability:

- As the new year begins, what is one area of your spiritual life you would like to grow in?

- What is one bold step of faith God is calling you to take for His glory in your life?


Memory Verse | Acts 4:13

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

Week 1
January 12 | Acts 3:1-5
January 13 | Acts 3:6-8
January 14 | Acts 3:9-10
January 15 | Acts 3:11-14
January 16 | Acts 3:15-16
January 17 | Acts 3:17-20
January 18 | Acts 3:21-23

Week 2
January 19 | Acts 3:24-26
January 20 | Acts 4:1-2
January 21 | Acts 4:3-4
January 22 | Acts 4:5-7
January 23 | Acts 4:8-9
January 24 | Acts 4:10-12
January 25 | Acts 4:13

Week 3
January 26 | Acts 4:14-15
January 27 | Acts 4:16-17
January 28 | Acts 4:18-20
January 29 | Acts 4:21-22
January 30 | Acts 4:23-26
January 31 | Acts 4:27-29
February 1 | Acts 4:30-31

January Family Devotions

Every month we will be sending out a postcard to all of the parents with the topic discussed at Pursuit along with activities and a devotion that we want to challenge you to sit down and go through with your student at some point in time this month. 

USE THESE QUESTIONS TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR CHILD THIS MONTH:

  1. As a family, come up with some names of ordinary people who have changed the world.  
  2. What was it about them that caused this to happen?
  3. Read Acts 4:1-13. Peter and John were arrested and brought before this council. According to verse 13, why were they so surprised about John and Peter?
  4. God used these two ordinary men to change the world. Why do you think God loves to use regular people, like Peter and John, to do amazing things?
  5. As you think about the new year, what is one area in your life that you would love to see God move and work in?  
  6. Spend some time praying together. Ask God to use ordinary people, like you, to bring change to the world around you.

December Family Devotions

Every month we will be sending out a postcard to all of the parents with the topic discussed at Pursuit along with activities and a devotion that we want to challenge you to sit down and go through with your student at some point in time this month. 

USE THESE QUESTIONS TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR CHILD THIS MONTH:

  1. What are some things, e.g. food or ingredients, that you would check to make sure that they are authentic and pure? Why is it important to know that these things are real and pure?
  2. When it comes to faith in Christ, why is it important to know what true, authentic faith looks like?
  3. Read Matthew 13:1-9 and Matthew 13:18-23. Jesus describes four different kinds of seeds. What situations do the first three kinds of seeds refer to?
  4. Have you seen people respond to the good new of Jesus in similar ways to the first three situations? 
  5. In other words, have you seen people get excited about Jesus, only to fall away a short time later? What might cause this to happen? According to Jesus, what does this tell us about their faith?
  6. The fourth kind of seed describes genuine, true faith. What does Jesus say true faith looks like?
  7. Jesus says that true faith lasts and also produces “a crop.” What does this mean?
  8. Do you know of anyone who needs to hear about the good news of Jesus? How about someone who seems to have turned away from Christ?

Spend some time praying for these people, asking God for opportunities to point them to Jesus. 

 

2nd Wednesday – December Questions

Icebreaker

What was the best Christmas present you have ever received? What was the worst or funniest?

Questions

1. Name some things that are important to know that they are pure or authentic? Why is this important?

2. When it comes to faith in Christ, why would it be important to know if that faith is authentic and pure?

3. Read Matthew 13:1-9. As a group, list the four different situations Jesus describes in this passage.

4. At first, Jesus doesn’t explain what each of these things means. Why do you think Jesus spoke in parables (stories) like this so much?

5. Read Matthew 13:18-23. Based on this passage, what did Jesus mean by each of the first three situations?

6. Have you ever observed people respond to the truth about Jesus in these ways? Give some examples.

7. What are some reasons that people can appear to believe in Christ but quickly fall away What things can cause them to fall away?

8. Based on what Jesus says here, if someone falls away like this, what does it tell us about their faith? Was their faith authentic?

9. Read Verse 23 again. What does this teach us about true, authentic faith?

10. What does lasting faith that produces a “crop” look like? What did Jesus mean by this

11. Have you ever felt the pull to fall away from faith? What caused this?

12. What helps you to continue to follow after Jesus, even in times like that?

Accountability

How are you doing right now in your pursuit of Christ? How can we pray for and encourage you?

Do you know someone who needs to hear about the good news of Christ? What step can you take this week to reach out to them?


Memory Verse | Matthew 13:23

As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.

Week 1
December 8 | Matthew 13:1-2
December 9 | Matthew 13:3-4
December 10 | Matthew 13:5-6
December 11 | Matthew 13:7-9
December 12 | Matthew 13:10-11
December 13 | Matthew 13:12-13
December 14 | Matthew 13:14-15

Week 2
December 15 | Matthew 13:16-17
December 16 | Matthew 13:18-19
December 17 | Matthew 13:20-21
December 18 | Matthew 13:22-23
December 19 | Luke 1:26-28
December 20 | Luke 1:29-33
December 21 | Luke 1:34-38

Week 3
December 22 | Luke 1:39-42
December 23 | Luke 1:43-45
December 24 | Luke 2:1-7
December 25 | Luke 2:8-21
December 26 | Luke 2:22-38
December 27 | Matthew 13:24-25
December 28 | Matthew 13:26-27

Week 4
December 29 | Matthew 13:28-29
December 30 | Matthew 13:30
December 31 | Matthew 13:31-32
January 1 | Matthew 13:33-35
January 2 | Matthew 13:36-37
January 3 | Matthew 13:38-39
January 4 | Matthew 13:40-41

Week 5
January 5 | Matthew 13:42-43
January 6 | Matthew 13:44
January 7 | Matthew 13:45-46
January 8 | Matthew 13:47-48
January 9 | Matthew 13:49-50
January 10 | Matthew 13:51-52
January 11 | Matthew 13:53-58