Around this time we start asking ourselves, “What do I want to do for lent?” It’s usually a question of what I want to give up for the 40 days of Lent. This year, let's do something a little different. Have you ever struggled to feel confident in what God was telling you? This year, let's learn to listen for God’s direction for our lives asking the question, “What is God asking from me?” The fundamental question of a disciple, let's follow His prompting in faith. Look to your leaders and if you're not plugged into a ministry yet, let's find you one, so we can all learn to listen a little better this season.
We've designed six weeks of scripture and questions for reflection. You may pick up a set of cards from the Narthex on Ash Wednesday, on Sunday mornings, or by contacting the office Monday-Thursday from 9 am - 2 pm. Use these cards each week to follow along in your home or with your ministry groups as we come together to learn to #listenandfollow where the Lord is leading us this season.
“If you will fear the LORD and serve Him and obey His voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well.” 1 SAMUEL 12:14
BIBLE QUESTIONS | Hannah asks a big ask in 1 Samuel 1:1-20. Could you ask God for something big like Hannah? What do you think kept her from asking for so long? What finally made the difference and so she spoke out?
CONVERSATION STARTERS | Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s the open mouth that gets fed.” Well, luckily our Heavenly Father knows what’s on our hearts and gives us everything we need before we even ask. He sent His Son! He offers us to ask for anything, no matter how big nor how small. So allow what you know about your Father in heaven to dictate how you ask Him!
GROWTH PLAN | When do you ask? When things get out of hand, or when you don’t have another option? What is the harm in asking? Or better yet, what is the benefit?
“And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your heart to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 1 SAMUEL 7:3
“And Samuel said to the people, "Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.” 1 SAMUEL 12:20
BIBLE QUESTIONS | Hannah obeys the Lord in 1 Samuel 1:20-28. She finally got what she always wanted, thinking about the decision to obey, taking the boy to Shiloh to serve with Eli. What do you think was going on in her mind?
CONVERSATION STARTERS | Can we really hear God leading us or speaking to us when we won’t obey His voice? How many times has a parent thrown their hands up and thought “why bother?” when they keep meeting the same frustrating disobedience from their child? Luckily, our Father in heaven never gives up on us, but sometimes the first thing He’s looking for, before something new, is to deal with something already there. It might be time for some deeper reflection and bigger conversations.
GROWTH PLAN | Where am I holding out and not following what I know God has asked of me? What needs to change? What should you do about it?
“"There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.” 1 SAMUEL 2:2
“Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.” 1 SAMUEL 12:23
BIBLE QUESTIONS | Hannah rejoices at God’s faithfulness in 1 Samuel 2. She expresses some deep joy and thankfulness for God in this chapter. Discuss which parts make an impression upon you. Try to make a list of all the things Hannah is thankful for.
CONVERSATION STARTERS | This might be a great time to think about the things you are thankful for, and when you’ve said thank you. This also might be a great week to use encouraging words with the people around you thanking them not only for what they do for you, but also for who they are to you! When you pray together each day (maybe before a meal), share your thank-filled days around the table thanking God for the gifts you noticed today!
GROWTH PLAN | There is no thanks without joy, so what is promising you “joy”? Does it deliver? Do you need a new foundation to build a perspective and values to find joy and thanksgiving? Put first things first this week. How does that change your attention to God and your response to His work?
“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you. But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, Set a king over us.” 1 SAMUEL 10:17-19.
BIBLE QUESTIONS | Samuel is in the Temple waiting in 1 Samuel 3:1-3. Where is Samuel when he hears his name? What is the relationship between Eli and Samuel? How does that relationship ultimately bless Samuel in his relationship with God?
CONVERSATION STARTERS | Movie Night Suggestion: Bruce Almighty. This movie has lots of tough, comedic lessons for Bruce about everything we’ve talked about so far. Ask each other which lessons they picked up on in the movie from weeks 1 through 4. Share where you find yourself making similar mistakes.
GROWTH PLAN | What or who controls my life? How does that affect my ability to listen to God?
And Samuel said, "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” 1 SAMUEL 15:22
BIBLE QUESTIONS | Samuel hears but doesn’t recognize in 1 Samuel 3:4-14. Who does he assume is speaking to him? Talk about how this interaction can set the tone for his life.
CONVERSATION STARTERS | There are three great places to go to try and test your listening skills. The first is the scripture. Google your question or the topic you’re searching for, or just jump in and start reading. The second is prayer. Do you wait with a focus on God? Have you tried writing down your prayer concern and keeping that paper in your pocket or screen shot it to your phone for a background? Write it in a journal. Finally, get out and start talking to other Christians and see what God is saying through them. Are they saying the same thing? Is it different?
GROWTH PLAN | What is missing in my life? How do I know if this is what I’m supposed to do? What needs to change in order to move forward?
“And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” 1 SAMUEL 30:6
BIBLE QUESTIONS | Eli hears God’s punishment and accepts it in 1 Samuel 3:15-18. Last week, we heard the punishment God was bringing to Eli’s house. This week, we hear Eli’s response when Samuel finally tells him what God said. Why do you think Eli was able to answer this way?
CONVERSATION STARTERS | Horatio Spafford was a successful attorney and real estate investor who lost a fortune in the great Chicago fire of 1871. Then his beloved four-year-old son died of scarlet fever. Thinking a vacation would do his family some good, he sent his wife and four daughters on a ship to England; however, while crossing the ocean, the ship was involved in a terrible collision and sank. More than 200 people lost their lives, including all four of Horatio Spafford’s precious daughters. His wife, Anna, survived the tragedy. He immediately set sail for England. At one point during his voyage, the captain of the ship, aware of the tragedy that had struck the Spafford family, summoned Horatio to tell him that they were now passing over the spot where the shipwreck had occurred. As Horatio thought about his daughters, words of comfort and hope filled his heart and mind. He wrote them down, and they have since become a well-beloved hymn: When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll— Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to know, It is well, it is well with my soul. Perhaps we cannot always say that everything is well in all aspects of our lives. There will always be storms to face, and sometimes there will be tragedies. But with faith in a loving God and with trust in His divine will, we can confidently say, “It is well, it is well with my soul.”
GROWTH PLAN | Where do you go for peace? Where are you refueling?