The Point: Following God’s plan will require change in your life, but it’s worth it.
Get Into the Study
In recent weeks, residents of Malibu, California were evacuated from their homes. Much to their shock, wildfires were spreading through the area, and they had no choice but to quickly pack up and escape.
Evacuation couldn’t have been a part of any of their plans for the week before Thanksgiving. While families were planning out holiday vacations and hosting needs, they were suddenly redirected in a direction none of them could have ever predicted. They may have even felt disbelief at the news. But by leaving their homes, their lives were saved.
So often, redirection feels like an inconvenience. We may even feel disbelief that God could be asking us to do something that seems a little crazy, silly, unnecessary, or even foolish. But God has plans for us beyond what we could ever imagine. Listening to God’s direction and leading is always going to bring us the most good, because it means we’re safely living in God’s Will.
Ashley Emmert is a freelance writer and full-time mama from Chicago, where she lives with her husband and her new baby boy. You can find her on Twitter at @ashgemmert, or failing to update her blog at ashleygraceemmert.blogspot.com.
Get Into the Study – [Additional Option]
After drawing attention to The Point, display images of detour signs pointing in various directions. Ask: What does a detour sign mean? Say: “A detour sign disrupts your travel plans.” Pass the pictures to various group members, and ask them to show their signs to the class. Point out that he detours point in different directions. Then ask: Why are we not given an option on which detour to make? Explain that sometimes God places a detour in our plans with no options from which to choose. Though it may disrupt our lives, when God gives us a “detour,” it is for our own good. (Optional Activty from KJV Adult Leader Guide, p. 29.)
Live It Out
Share the following with your group as you conclude this session.
A week before Thanksgiving, Jennie-O Turkey Stores recalled over 90,000 pounds of ground turkey due to possible salmonella contamination. As of November 8, 164 people in 35 states had been sickened in a salmonella outbreak that began a year earlier. Jennie-O provided specific details for identifying the recalled packages including the type of product, the “Use by” date, and the establishment number in the USDA mark of inspection
You may have carefully planned your dinner of spaghetti and turkey meatballs, but you’d likely adjust that plan if you realized you had purchased one of the recalled packages of meat. While a menu change or another trip to the grocery might be inconvenient, both are preferable to food poisoning.
Obediently following God’s plan for your life often requires a shift in perspective. A change of plan may seem inconvenient at first, but we can trust that God’s plans are always good.
Ask: How will Jesus’ name, “God is with us,” encourage you when change comes your way?
Nikki Wilbanks is a graduate of Pepperdine University, where she studied literature. She lives with her husband and two children in Murfreesboro, TN.
- What have been some of the most welcome changes in your life?
- When you were a kid, what did you dream about doing when you grew up?
- When was a time making a change had a huge payoff for you?
- What other responses could you imagine a man in Joseph’s position having?
- What would you think the typical reaction might be if someone found themselves in Joseph’s shoes?
- Why is the virgin birth essential to God’s plan to redeem the world?
- When have you trusted God even when it didn’t make sense to anyone else or the world?
- God intervened in Joseph’s decision. In what ways does God intervene in our decisions?
- What emotions do you experience when you hear the name for Jesus “God is with us”?
- How would you describe Joseph’s part in God’s plan?
- If you were a friend of Joseph, what would you say to encourage and strengthen his faith?
- When have you experienced a situation that called for you to trust, adjust, and obey?
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Here’s a brief video giving you an overview of this session: The Full Picture of Christmas, Session 2.