Happy Friday and welcome to February! Isaiah continues to share God's words to us that encourages us to look at the world around us to see His truths encoded in nature--hints and reminders for us of God's promises and faithfulness--that encourages us to join the unbroken throngs of praise that have been resounding since creation and continue to this day. Let God’s word guide you to see His creation with new eyes, give you renewed hope of the future He is creating for us, and encourage you in your praise of our faithful Father.
The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate. It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.
CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?
SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community. A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
DISCOVER (IN LARGE GROUP)
12 "For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
_ From the beginning of v12, what promise does God make will be in our future as we are going out?
_ How can we look with new eyes to mountains and hills bursting into bloom, with the lively songs of birds other animals? (v12)
_ How can we see anew trees with their upward stretched branches, especially as their branches knock together in the wind? (v12)
_ What quality of God could the cypress and myrtle, both evergreens, remind us of? (v13)
_ What are the thorns and briers that the cypress and myrtle are replacing? (v13)
PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)
+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time?
_What thorns and briers has God already removed from your own life and replaced with His own everlasting life and goodness? Praise God for His faithfulness!
_What thorns and briers are now in your life, that are pricking and tearing you up, that you need to surrender to God? What is He calling you to do to surrender this area of your life to Him?
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)