Jeremiah 29.11 – September 5, 2020

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

“It shows me that my life is in God’s hands.”

Thought Questions:

As you think about your day, how does your planning change knowing that God knows you and wants good for you?

In what ways have you felt like you have prospered because of God being with you?

How has God given you hope?

Jeremiah 1.1-10 – June 11, 2020

Jeremiah 1.1-10

The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. The word of the Lord came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah, and through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile. 

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew  you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” 

“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” 

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. 

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” (Jeremiah 1.1-10, NIV)

How incredible would it be to have a call from God so clear that there was no way to misinterpret what you were to do?

Thought Questions:

While this call was specifically for Jeremiah, we see other places in scripture where we are told that God knew us be we came into being. How does it make you feel that you were known before you could even prove yourself, you were chosen by God before you had to show your worth?

How do you think you would have responded to God and his asking you to speak for him? In what ways would your reaction match Jeremiah’s? In what ways do you think you would have had the confidence to speak for God?

God wants us to speak for him, even if we do not have the same experience that Jeremiah did. In what ways do you speak for God in your daily life?

Jeremiah 29.11 – May 16, 2020

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

“God has a plan for me”

Thought Questions:

How does knowing that God knows you enough to know his plans for you help give you courage for your daily life?

Why do you think it would have been important for Jeremiah to mention that God had no plans to harm those who were returning form exile (the people he is speaking to here)? Why do people assume God is out to “get them?”

When you think about your future for God, what do you hope for?

Jeremiah 33.3 – February 22, 2020

Jeremiah 33.3

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV)

“God reminds us that all we have to do is ask.”

Thought Questions:

If you could sit down face-to-face with God and have a conversation, what sort of questions do you think you might want to ask him?

What things has God shown you that were “great and unsearchable?”

What have you asked for God to reveal to you today?

Jeremiah 29.11 – February 19, 2020

Jeremiah 29.11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

Regardless of what situation we find ourselves in, God is aware of us and wants his good for us.

Thought Questions:

What words would you use to describe your life when you feel hopeless or without direction? Would you say this is a common feeling for you?

How is your life affected knowing that God wants his good for you?

In what ways do you hope in God?

Jeremiah 29.11 – January 16, 2020

Jeremiah 29.11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29.11, NIV)

“It was my dad’s favorite and he would tell me and my sister this verse a lot. It means a ton to me to this day.”

Thought Questions:

When the future looks uncertain to you, how important is it to know that God knows you and what is to come for you?

Why do you think some people hold a view that God is simply waiting for you to do something wrong so that he can punish you … that he really doesn’t want what’s best for you or even enjoys bringing calamity upon you? How can you show others a better picture of God, that he loves and wants good for us?

How can we be faithful to the future God has for us, even when it may be different from the one we might plan for ourselves?

23 Years – October 14, 2019

Jeremiah 23.21-25.38; 2 Thessalonians 2.1-17; Psalm 84.1-12; Proverbs 25.15

For 23 years God sent his prophets to show Israel the ways they were traveling down the wrong path. 23 years. That seems like a long, long time. Why do you think the people could not understand what God was saying to them after 23 years? Why couldn’t they understand sooner?

Questions:

Which group of people might one expect to be represented by the bad figs? The ones punished and sent into exile or the ones who remained and continued to live in Jerusalem? Why do you think this is the case?

Stand firm. Why can this be so difficult for us to do?

How have you seen a single day with God better than anything else you could experience?

In what ways can soft speech break bones?

Timely Advice – October 13, 2019

Jeremiah 22.1-23.20; 2 Thessalonians 1.1-12; Psalm 82.1-8; Proverbs 25.9-10

Timely advice… valid criticism… trustworthy messengers. All simple moments, yet if we listen to them, able to bring us not only joy, but also good direction. When have you received timely advice that seemed like an apple of gold, a great treasure?

Questions:

God asks his leaders to be fair-minded and just. Doesn’t seem too much to ask, does it? Then why do we often need to be reminded of this truth?

How is the name of Jesus honored through how you live?

When have you cried out to God, asking him not be silent? How did the situation resolve itself?

How disappointing are clouds that appear, yet bring no rain? Why does the proverb writer use this analogy?

The Potter’s House – October 11, 2019

Jeremiah 16.16-18.23; 1 Thessalonians 4.1-5.3; Psalm 81.1-16; Proverbs 25.6-8

We like to assume we know what is best for us and we are more than willing to tell God how he should act in our lives for that “best” to come to fruition. Unfortunately–at least from our way of thinking–God does not work that way. He is the potter and we are the clay. He, as the potter, has every right to form us in the way he deems best. (To even start over if he needs to!) And truth be known, his way really is better than our way of thinking. How how you wrestled with God’s acting on your life, only to discover that his way really was better?

Questions:

In what ways do we attempt to create our own gods? How has that worked out for us?

What do we need to do to live in a way that please God?

How has God taken a load from your shoulders or a heavy task from your hands?

Why are we so prone to push our way in amongst great people rather than waiting for an invitation, as God suggests?

Repentance – October 10, 2019

Jeremiah 14.11-16.15; 1 Thessalonians 2.9-3.13; Psalm 80.1-19; Proverbs 25.1-5

When one reads through the Old Testament, particularly the prophets such as Jeremiah, one is struck about harsh they tend to sound. God sounds really, really grumpy, doesn’t he? Yet a closer look reveals two things. First, there is grace scattered all the way throughout the prophets. God wants to restore his people. The second thing you see, related to the first, is that God wants his people to turn to him. Return to me and I will restore you, God says. How important is it for us to repent to God for our actions and attitudes that are contrary to Him?

Questions:

How bad do you have to be if even Moses or Samuel cannot plead your case and get God to listen?

What sort of people would be considered your spiritual “pride and joy?” Describe the relationship you have with them.

Why is it only through God turning us to Himself that we are saved?

How can we go about removing the impurities of our life?