Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chasing down the dream

Are you a dream chaser? This week's small group curriculum is about chasing your God-given dream: God's plan and purpose for your life.

Big Idea:
God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us. He has placed within us a dream that is inseparably linked to our intended future.

Summary:
God tends to follow a specific process in order to bring His dream to pass in our lives. That process is the birth of the dream, the death of a dream and the resurrection and fulfillment of the dream. Here’s how it is typically played out in our lives:

First, God places a dream within us by envisioning us with His intended purpose for our lives. Once the dream is conceived, God requires us to make difficult decisions. Are we going to follow the dream or not? Will we lay-it-on-the-line and become willing to invest our time, our money, our reputation, and our energy in pursuit of the dream? Dream-chasing is characterized by advancement, but God usually allows a delay to test us. Virtually every dreamer in the Bible had to go through a time of waiting, preparation, and patience. It is during this period of waiting that God is not only preparing us for the place He has destined us to occupy, but He is also preparing the place for us. Additionally, God allows difficulties to occur in order to develop us. It is at this time that we choose to allow our circumstances to make us a victim or a victor; a statistic or a giant-killer. Often, God brings us to a dead end in the process. This doesn’t happen simply to frustrate us or because God isn’t able, but instead to ensure that our reliance is completely in Him so that He receives all of the glory. The final chapter in a dream that is God-breathed and submitted to Him, is deliverance and fulfillment. So, don’t be afraid of the dream, but be aware of the process and chase your God-given purpose with the confidence that God is able to bring it to pass for His glory.

Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)

Ephesians 1:11 & Colossians 1:16 (read from the Message)
Who is the source of our hopes and dreams? Where must we go to discover our true purpose? Discuss how these truths have shaped your decisions and your very life.

James 1:2-4 & 12
How does God use trials, difficulties, and delays to actually help us accomplish our purpose and reach our destiny? Share personal experiences of this truth at work in your life.

2 Corinthians 9:8
How does God help fulfill the dream? Discuss how this truth inspires you to chase your God-given dreams? Share real examples of how God has given you all you need to accomplish His calling in your life. As a group, pray this scripture over each other.

Taking Action: What is your dream? What have you set forth to accomplish above all else in life? If your purpose in life is to serve God, stop and think about the types of decisions you will make in life. Now think about this: Do my decisions demonstrate that my purpose in life is to serve God? Realign your plans to His plans and chase the dream.

Ministry Time

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