Creature of Habit – Church Wide Study
Week 2 January 22nd – 27th
*Remember it is always helpful to read the verses before and after the verse of the day. Context is key*
January 22nd (Monday)
'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight. '
• What do you think God wants you to do with your life?
• What happens if you ignore God’s will?
Have you ever gotten lost? Even though you really thought you knew where you were going? Would you have gotten lost if you had had good directions?
We can get lost in life if we don’t use the guidebook God has provided us with — the Bible. We were not designed to be “know-it-alls.” None of us were. We were designed to rely on God’s instructions and on his will.
This isn’t always simple. God’s will isn’t always obvious, but that doesn’t mean that we should put our lives on hold while we wait for him to reveal his plan for our lives. God’s Word gives us plenty to go on. The Bible tells us how to behave, how to treat others and how to live wisely. When we follow the instructions God has already given us, he will further reveal his will to us.
Dear God, thank you for caring enough about us as individuals to create a plan for each of our lives. Guide us as we strive to determine your will. Amen.
January 23rd (Tuesday)
'I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel. '
• Has God ever led you anywhere that surprised you? Explain.
• What’s the best thing to do when you don’t understand why the Lord is leading you in a certain direction?
While God gives us direction through the Bible, he is not a GPS that we can stick on the windshield. God won’t say, “In three and a half years, turn left and attend this college.” God leads us in a more subtle way, through our hearts.
God’s leading may not always make sense to us. For one thing, his choice of route may not be a straight line. He may lead us off the highway, against traffic or through a random desert. He may take us in a complete circle and bring us right back where we started. He may lead us out into the middle of the ocean and then tell us to make a U-turn.
The GPS only considers where we want to go and the shortest way to get there. God considers an infinite eternity that includes where we begin, where he wants us to go and what we need to learn along the way.
If we trust God to guide us, one day we’ll look back on our life and see just what an incredible journey it was.
Dear God, you are amazing because you know the best route for every person’s life. Guide our steps so that we go exactly where you want us to go. Amen.
January 24th (Wednesday)
'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. '
• What’s your favorite — whether it’s an animal, plant, rock formation, beach or something else — of all the works of creation?
• How do you feel when you think about everything God has created?
Think about what it’s like to bring an art project home from school — something you’ve worked hard to make, all by yourself. You’ve poured your own unique creativity and skills into designing your masterpiece.
How would you feel if you brought it home, hung it in the middle of the living room, and then watched as everyone completely ignored it? Think about it. Not one gasp of amazement. Not one “Wow, how did you do this?” Not one comment about the colors you used or the skill of your design or the amazing talent behind the work. How would you feel?
Do you suppose God feels the same way when people ignore his creation? After all, he created the world and everything in it. Every day we are surrounded by the beauty of his work and the incredible detail of his design. But how often do we mention it? How often do we even notice it?
Let’s start a habit of giving God his due. Let’s make a commitment to noticing something new, something beautiful, something incredible in creation every day and thanking him for it. Let’s see what that does for our relationship with him.
Dear God, we are in awe of your creation. Every day we see something incredible that you made. Let us never lose our sense of wonder at your creative power. Amen.
January 25th (Thursday)
'Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle. '
• If you were in a battle, who would you want by your side? Why?
• How does God want you to respond to the evil and suffering in this world?
When we hear the words, “God is love” or “God brings peace to our hearts,” we get a sense of God’s gentle, healing nature. But if we stop there, we don’t get the whole picture of what God is like. In this psalm, David describes God as a King who is “mighty in battle.”
That’s not just a poetic description, either. The fact that God is a warrior King has very real meaning for us, his followers. If God leads the way into battle, we must be prepared to join him.
Who is the enemy? Satan is God’s enemy. So is sin. The Bible says that anything that is not for God is against him (see James 4:4). This means that he has a lot of enemies!
Our battle armor is God’s truth, righteousness and faith. We fight for God with the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). We join this King of glory by obeying his commandments and by loving others.
The battle will not be easy, but we already know the end of the story. God wins. And so will we.
Dear God, we praise you for your love and your willingness to fight for what is right. With your truth and love, prepare us for battle against the evil and suffering all around us. Amen.
January 26th (Friday)
'Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments and untraceable his ways! '
• What do you know now that you didn’t know one year ago?
• If you could choose one thing to know a year from now, what would it be? In other words, what would you like to learn more than anything else?
Has it ever occurred to you that nothing new ever occurs to God? He already knows everything there is to know. This is a difficult concept for us because we learn something new every day. And we could learn a million new things each day and still not know what God knows.
God knows everything from the past, everything that’s happening in the present and everything that will happen in the future. He can read every thought we have. He knows more about how we feel than we do. We may be able to fool ourselves, but we can never fool God.
The fact that God, and God alone, is all-knowing makes him the only one we should entrust with our future. He knows the destination of every possible path we could take in life. He knows which ones end well and which ones don’t.
Who else, then, should be our guide? If we ask him to, God will use his perfect knowledge to steer us in the way we should go. Able to see what we cannot, he will lead us along the paths that bring us ultimate fulfillment and joy.
Dear God, we speak this prayer out loud to you even though we don’t need to. You know our hearts. You know our thoughts. Help us understand that you know what is best for us. Amen.
January 27th (Saturday)
'For nothing will be impossible with God.” '
• How would you define power?
• How does God show his power?
In the folktale “The Stonecutter,” a stonecutter wishes to be rich because rich men are powerful. Then he wishes to be a prince because princes are even more powerful. But the sun is more powerful than a prince, so he wishes to become the sun. He notices that the clouds have the power to block the sun’s rays, so he wishes for that instead. A raining cloud would be even more powerful, so he pours down rain, which destroys everything in sight except for a big rock. Finding that nothing could disturb the power of the rock, he wishes to be a rock. In the end, he realizes he is better off as a stonecutter. After all, nothing can chip away at the power of a rock — except a stonecutter.
The lesson we learn from this folktale is that people are to be content with who they are. But Christians take away an even more significant message. Who is more powerful than riches, royalty and nature? Our God. And our God has placed us in the exact time and place that we are in. He made us who we are, and he has created a plan for our lives. Christians have a great reason to be content because our power comes through God.
Dear God, you are all-powerful. Nothing can happen without your permission. Nothing can stop what you put in motion. Thank you for helping us to recognize what a powerful God we serve. Amen.