Created to be a Child of God: Day 2

Week 5 - Created to be a Child of God

     Day 2: You Are My Friend

Take just a moment to think about this: What are at least three character traits that are essential for Friendship? Some may say having similar interests or hobbies is important for friendship. Others may say that being there for one another during difficulties in life is necessary for a friendship to thrive. Still others may say that grace and understanding are essential for friendship. 

In his book The Meaning of Marriage, Pastor and Author Timothy Keller writes, “There are two features of real friendship— constancy and transparency.” From a Biblical perspective, God desires to be your friend. Think about it this way: God has always been there for you. In your doubts. In your fears. In your struggles. He has been there through it all.

Not only that, but He always has been and always will be transparent with you about who He is. He will be open. He will be vulnerable. He will be gracious. He will be there. Always. 

But God has much more to say about friendship. He doesn’t just say that He wants to be your friend. He says that YOU are HIS friend.

As you read today, consider this: What does it mean to you that God sees you as His friend?

READING:

     JOHN 15:15

What are at least three character traits that are essential for friendship?

What does it mean to you that God sees you as His friend?

Does your answer to the second question change how you would answer the first question?

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 41

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, thank you for not just calling me Your son or daughter, but you have also called me Your friend. Your friendship is constantly revealing to me the intentions and purpose of true friendship. Today, I invite you to reveal to me ways in which I sometimes use some of my friendships for my own gain. Help me to see these relationships in new ways. Help me to see these relationships in the same way You see me. I pray in the name of Jesus, my best friend. Amen. 

 

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Created to be a Child of God: Day 1

Week 5 - Created to be a Child of God

     Day 1: You Are My Son / Daughter

Everybody on earth has something in common. It doesn’t matter what they look like. Or how much money they make. Or what nation they live in. But the one thing that everybody has in common is that they are the son or daughter of somebody. There’s just no escaping it. 

But being the biological child of somebody doesn’t define who we are. Instead, God tells us that we have the opportunity to be His child. 

John 1:12-13 reads, “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.”

The Life Application Study Bible notes that this new birth changes us from the inside out. It rearranges our attitudes. It impacts our desires. It transforms our motives. It helps us to feel alive. 

As you read today, consider this: How has being a son or daughter of God impacted your attitudes, desires and motives? How would you explain to somebody outside of the faith what happens to your own attitudes, desires and motives, when you lose focus on the truth that you are a son or daughter of God? 

READING:

     JOHN 1:12-13, GALATIANS 4:4-7

How has being a son or daughter of God impacted your attitudes, desires and motives? 

How would you explain to somebody outside of the faith what happens to your own attitudes, desires and motives, when you lose focus on the truth that you are a son or daughter of God?

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 39-40

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, thank you for inviting me to be a part of your family and calling me Your own. While I know I’m not perfect, You are continually rearranging my attitude, my desires, and my motives. Today, I invite You to reveal to me opportunities to relate with others in new profound ways. I invite you to remind me so that my attitude is more gracious towards others, my desires are pure and godly, and my motives come from a heart of love. I pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

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Created to be a Worshiper of God: Day 5

Week 4 - Created to be a Worshiper of God

         Day 4: Created to be a Worshiper of God 

READING: LUKE 10:38-42

How can your daily life be more like the life of Mary? Be specific.

What did you learn about the nature and character of God this week?         

What did you learn about yourself? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 37

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

 

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Created to be a Worshiper of God: Day 4

Week 4 - Created to be a Worshiper of God

         Day 4: Renting vs. Owning 

There’s a simple difference between renting a home or apartment and owning a home. On the one hand, you pay somebody else for the opportunity to live under their roof. On the other hand, you get to live under your own roof. You either invest in somebody else’s future, or you invest in your future. Both may provide the same benefit for the present, but only one will provide lasting benefit for you and your family.  

Unfortunately, there may be times when we do the same thing with our Christian faith. There are times when we only go to God during difficult circumstances, but when life is going well we actually worship Him less. Or maybe there are times when we pray about things we really want, but don’t truly worship God by praying about our own fears, insecurities, perfectionistic tendencies, or other areas that are real needs in our lives. In other words, there are times when we rent our faith, and only focus on the present circumstances in our lives. These times when we rent our faith, we forget that there will be lasting benefits to owning it. 

As you read today, consider this: In what ways are you currently renting your faith? How would your life (and future) be different if you decided to own it? 

READING:

     HABAKKUK 3:17-18 

In what ways are you currently renting your faith? How would your life (and future) be different if you decided to own it? 

This passage in Habakkuk shows us that he was able to continue to be a worshiper of God despite having no food and his life being in shambles. Do you foresee yourself as ever being able to own your faith at this level? Why or why not? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 33, 35

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess that I am sometimes a person who rents my relationship with You, instead of owning it. Today, I want to begin to own my faith in new ways. Even though I’m not exactly sure what that looks like, I know that You will lead me. Even though I’m not sure where that path will take me, I know that You will be there with me. Even though I may sometimes veer off that path, I know that You will pursue me. And that’s a kind of faith I know I can truly own. I worship You today! In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

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Created to be a Worshiper of God: Day 3

Week 4 - Created to be a Worshiper of God

     Day 3: Removing the Barriers

Yesterday you took the opportunity to identify ten things that get in the way of you growing and pursuing being a worshiper of God. Admittedly, you may not be able to fully eliminate all of these barriers in one day. But there may be certain practices you can put into place to begin to overcome these barriers one at a time. 

Some of the common barriers (or distractions) that can prevent us from growing in worship may include:

    • Number of hours at work or school
    • Entertainment (tv, movies, music, video games, etc.)
    • Fears such as, “I don’t have anything to offer God.”
    • Hurts such as, “Nobody knows what I’ve been through or what I’m currently going through.”
    • Self-loathing such as, “What that person said about me is probably true. I am worthless.”
    • …and much more.

Even though these distractions get in the way, we can still choose to find ways to overcome these barriers and become worshipers of God. Better yet, we can choose to remember that God already has overcome all of these barriers! As you read today, consider this: How would your life be different if you focused more time/energy on eliminating these distractions than you do catering to them? 

READING:

     JOHN 4:23-24

How would your life be different if you focused more time/energy on eliminating these distractions than you do catering to them? 

What does it mean to worship God in spirit and in truth? 

How will you respond to God and worship Him in spirit and truth? (Share with at least one other person how you chose to worship God today.) 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 31-32

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today’s reading was an excellent reminder that sometimes my own thoughts are what most get in the way of me growing in worshiping You. Today, I commit to spending more time in Your Word. I commit to being intentional about worshiping in spirit and in truth. I commit to eliminating some of the things that are getting in the way of me knowing You more. I commit to being the person You have called me to be. I pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

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Created to be a Worshiper of God: Day 2

Week 4 - Created to be a Worshiper of God

     Day 2: Identifying the Distractions

In today’s world, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to be a true worshiper of God. Did you know that the average person touches the screen of their cell phone over 2,600 times a day? Not only that, the average person also checks their phone over 80 times a day for new notifications. All this does is reinforce our own self-centeredness — that what’s going on in our own lives, and what others are saying to us is far more important than anything else — including our relationship with God. 

But our cell phones, tablets and computers are just one of the many distractions that get in the way of us becoming better worshipers of God. 

Take 1-2 minutes to pause, and write down ten things that get in the way of you growing and pursuing being a worshiper of God?

*Pause*

Now think: of the ten things you wrote down, what are one or two you can eliminate, or at least lessen, today? 

As you continue reading today, consider this: How difficult will it be for you to identify and remove the majority of the things that are distracting you from being more of a worshiper of God? 

READING:

     2 SAMUEL 6:22-23

What are the one or two distractions you eliminated, or at least lessened, today in order to become more of a worshiper of God? 

This passage is about king David being undignified, as he worshiped God by dancing through the streets. What are the biggest distractions that are preventing you from feeling free enough to be an undignified worshiper of God? 

Do you have a trusted friend or family member who can help you in your journey to overcome these barriers? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 29-30:24

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today was a reminder that I have many things that try to get in the way of me growing and pursuing a deeper relationship with you. But though these things may try to get in the way, I know that by the power of Your strength, they have already been overcome. May I grow and be an undignified worshiper of You every day. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

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Created to be a Worshiper of God: Day 1

Week 4 - Created to be a Worshiper of God

 Day 1: What does it mean to be a worshiper of God?

What does it mean to be a worshiper of God? It seems like this would be a subtle, simple question. But in reality, it’s a question with tremendous depth. 

Did you know there’s not a verse anywhere in all of the Bible that says, “Being a worshiper of God means…” It’s just not there. Instead, what the Scriptures do provide is story after story of people who trust God, follow Him, submit to Him, serve Him, bow to Him, and more. In other words, God has revealed to us how others took steps towards worshiping Him, and leaves it up to each of us to determine what steps we can take to become worshipers of God.

So maybe a better question is this: What’s the first step you can take to become more of a worshiper of God? For some of us, the first step may be to acknowledge our own self-centeredness, and stop trusting in ourselves and instead place our trust in God.

For others, the first step may be serving God in some new way. Or it may be spending time with God in His Word and in prayer. Or it may be acknowledging our fears and turning them over to God. As you read today, consider this: What’s the first step you can take to become more of a worshiper of God? 

READING:

     ROMANS 12:1-2

What’s the first step you can take to become more of a worshiper of God?

Finish this sentence: This week, the one thing I want to better understand about what it means to worship God is __________.

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 27-28

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I know there is much in my life that can grow in order for me to become a better worshiper of You. And even though I see these things so clearly, I’m fearful that I’m not strong enough or courageous enough to persevere. As I enter into this new week, my desire is to remember that You have made me brave, and You have made me Yours, and that with You, all things are possible. I trust You today, and commit myself to Your will and Your ways. I’ll follow You wherever You may lead me. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

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Created to be a Steward of God’s Creation: Day 5

Week 3 - Created to be a Steward of God's Creation

     Day 5: CREATED TO BE A STEWARD OF GOD’S CREATION

READING: PROVERBS 3:9

What are three ways you can show honor to God today?

What did you learn about the nature and character of God this week?         

What did you learn about yourself? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 25:19-26:35

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

 

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Created to be a Steward of God’s Creation: Day 4

Week 3 - Created to be a Steward of God's Creation

     Day 4: A NEW EARTH

There are many unique parallels between the beginning of the Bible, and the end. The Creation Story in the book of Genesis tells us about the Garden of Eden. It tells us the names of the rivers that surrounded the garden. It tells us that there were many trees in the garden, but two are specifically mentioned – the Tree of Life, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. As the story unfolds, Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and sin entered the world. With sin came hurt, pain, tears, and ultimately, death.

From that moment on, everything changed. But as the story of the Bible comes to a close, we see that it ends just as it began. 

At the end of the book of Revelation, we read about all things becoming new. There’s a new Heaven and a new Earth. There is no more sin, no more tears, no more pain, and most significantly, no more death. There’s also a River of Life, which waters the Tree of Life.

This, of course, doesn’t absolve us of our responsibility to care for and steward over God’s creation. But it does provide a picture of what’s to come. As you read today, consider this: What other similarities may there be between our current world and the world to come? 

READING:

     2 PETER 3:13, REVELATION 21:1-8, REVELATION 22:1-5

What other similarities may there be between our current world and the world to come?

How does your answer to the above question impact the way you see our current world? Be specific.

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 24

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess that sometimes it’s hard to see similarities between this current world, and the one which is to come. This world is so full of brokenness, hurt, and fear that it’s hard to imagine a world without it. 

Despite this, I know that one similarity between the two worlds is that we can know You here and now in the same way we will know You in the world to come. Help me to see You and know You while I’m working. Help me to see You and know You while I’m resting. Help me to see You and know You when I’m walking. Help me to see You. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

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Created to be a Steward of God’s Creation: Day 3

Week 3 - Created to be a Steward of God's Creation

     Day 3: TAKING CARE OF GOD’S EARTH 

On February 14, 1990, the Voyager I spacecraft had traveled all the way from Earth to a point beyond Neptune in our Solar System. Some of those leading the project for NASA had the camera aboard the Voyager I look back and take a “family photo” of many of the planets in our solar system. The picture included Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Earth, and Venus. At this distance, Earth was barely visible, and was simply recognized as a “Pale Blue Dot.” If you look at the photo online, you may hesitate for a moment and wonder if you’re looking at Earth, or just a small speck of dust on your computer screen. 

Despite being a small “Pale Blue Dot” in this picture that was taken hundreds of millions of miles away, Earth is full of life. The creativity of God that shines in the night sky is dim compared to the life of His creation that is visible all around us. And despite God being the creator, He left us responsible to care for it all.

As you read today, consider this: In what ways do you see humankind not caring for or stewarding over God’s creation? 

READING:

    ISAIAH 40:26

In what ways do you see humankind not caring for or stewarding over God’s creation?

Do you think there’s a healthy balance between industrialization and caring for God’s creation? Where do you see your own personal life habits within that balance? Are there any steps you can take so that this balance is healthier than it is today? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Genesis 22

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, every day I get to see and experience that Earth is so much more than a “Pale Blue Dot”. It’s the world you created for me, and for billions and billions of others. And even though we can see billions of others stars and planets, we know that there is nothing else quite like the home You made for us. Today, I pray that You will reveal to me ways in which I can better care for Your creation, and that You will help me to encourage others to do the same. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

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