Discerning God’s Plan

Session One     Session Two     Session Three     Session Four

Just as Jesus did not come to be served but to serve, so we live our lives in the same way.


Session One

Discussion

We all have plans. But God does not say: “I know the plans you have for you…” In the Bible we consistently see God interrupting somebody’s plans. Adam didn’t plan on getting created. Noah didn’t plan on building an ark. Abraham didn’t plan on becoming the patriarch of a new nation in his nineties. Esther didn’t plan on having to stop genocide. Moses didn’t plan on having to defy Pharaoh. Mary did not plan on getting pregnant.

In fact, not a single story in the Bible begins: “Then someone had a great plan.” Because in the Bible, as in life itself, it’s not about my plans or your plans.

How much control do we really have in our lives?

Are we victims of fate or do we determine our own future?

Engage with Scripture

Before we go any further we’re going to take a look at what the Scriptures say about God’s plan for our lives.

Read Jeremiah 29:10-14 out loud together. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Then take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important or significant, or really meaningful to you. Share your thoughts together.

Read Philippians 1:3-11 out loud together. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Then take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important or significant, or really meaningful to you. Share your thoughts together.

Further Study (Optional)

Read Genesis 1:1-28 out loud together. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Then take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important or significant, or really meaningful to you. Share your thoughts together.


Session Two

 

Discussion

Talk about plans you’ve made that did (or didn’t) work out. What are some of your plans for the future?

Engage with Scripture

Read Psalm 23:1-6 out loud together. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Then take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important or significant, or really meaningful to you. Share your thoughts together.


Session Three

 

Discussion

Have you ever been asked to volunteer in a community or church context?

What has been your initial response to these kinds of requests?

Have you ever sensed God urging you to do something, but you refused because you felt ill-equipped or unprepared?

When have you said ‘yes’ to something that you felt unprepared for?

What was the impact of that experience on your faith?

Who has chosen to serve you despite being busy or unsure of how things would turn out?

Engage with Scripture

Read Matthew 14:13-20 out loud together. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Then take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important or significant, or really meaningful to you. Share your thoughts together.

Further Study (Optional)

Read 1 Samuel 14:1-15 out loud together. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Then take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important or significant, or really meaningful to you. Share your thoughts together.

Read Ephesians 2:8-10 out loud together. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Then take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important or significant, or really meaningful to you. Share your thoughts together.


Session Four

Discussion

Take some time to talk about what stood out as important or significant, or really meaningful to you, in what Dale said. What were Dale’s main points? What experiences of your own came to mind as he spoke? Were some of his insights helpful for you?

Project

Jesus was really clear that when we apply His teaching to our lives, we’re building our lives like houses set on a foundation of rock (that is, the best and only real way to build them). We grow and experience change in our lives through action.

You’ll find a few projects here that are designed to help you make what you’re learning real in your life. They provide a few basics and ideas to help you take some significant next steps in your spiritual journey.

You can choose one of them – or you might decide to create one for yourselves. That’s up to you. The important thing is that you apply what you’re learning.

  1. Investigate opportunities to volunteer in one of the service teams at church. The best way to find out how you can help is to ask someone in the teams.
  2. Investigate opportunities with a community organisation that uses volunteers as part of its services.
  3. Ask one of your friends what they’re involved in and join them for an opportunity to “taste and see” what service is like.