This is a great introductory study for those who are seeking the Lord. Many people don't realize that God Himself is looking for individuals to strengthen (2 Chronicles 16:9 NIV). If we are open to His influence, our lives will eternally changed.
How would you describe your relationship with God? Are you close to Him? Far from Him? Not sure?
Key Scripture: (Jeremiah 29:11-14 NIV): 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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Important Takeaway: God has long-term plans for your life.
- God listens to your prayers.
- God will be found when you seek Him with all of your heart.
- Can you honestly say you're doing this?
- Along with the Israelites, God wants to set you free from things that hold you captive.
Key Scripture (Matthew 7:7-11 NIV): 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Important Takeaway: God is waiting for you to respond - ask, seek, and knock.
- God wants to give you good things. He is good.
- He calls you to do good to everyone else.
Key Scripture (Matthew 6:25-34 NIV): 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Important Takeaway: God cares about the details of your life
- He knows exactly what you need, so don't worry about your life (v. 25-32).
- If you seek first His kingdom and righteousness, then your needs will be met (v. 33-34).
- Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Key Scripture (Acts 17:22-31 NIV): 22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. 24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
Ever wonder what your purpose in life is? What do you think it is?
- Being "religious" is not enough – you must seek the truth (v.22-23). Do you know God or just know about God?
- God does not need anything from you; He is the source of life (v. 24-25). God is not found in things built by you. He created all. He gives you life and breath. God is spirit; you must worship Him in spirit & truth (John 4:24)
- Here's the purpose: God created you to choose a personal relationship with Him. He determined the times and places for you so that you would choose to seek Him and find Him. He is not forcing you. You must choose by your own free will (v. 26-27).
- God is not an inanimate object. He has feelings. You need to love Him for who he is, not who you might want Him to be. He commands you to repent (Greek: metanoeo), which means to turn from your sins; to change; to turn; to change one's mind; to turn one's life around (v. 29).
- God sent his Son, Jesus, to teach you how to have a relationship with Him and proved who he was by raising Jesus from the dead (v. 30–31). Time of ignorance is over. It's time to repent.
Important Takeaway: Are you ready to seek God with your whole heart?
Practical Application and Challenges
- As a result of these passages, what needs to change in your life?
- What specific changes will you make this week to grow in your relationship with god?
- Begin praying and reading the Scriptures daily.
- Set up another time fo the next study.