Reading Group Guide
Three questions to consider with each Rainy-Day Reflection:
- What concept, phrase, or story from the chapter was the most compelling to you?
- What concept, phrase, or story from the chapter did you disagree with?
- What is the one thing you want to take away with you and put into practice?
- What are your favorite natural wonders?
- Describe the first moment you encountered luminescence, a shooting star, a breathtaking sunset, or a powerful waterfall? What did it feel like?
- In what ways does nature evoke God’s nature within us?
- Has anything in nature ever reminded you of an attribute of God? If so, describe.
- What kinds of environments foster a closer relationship between you and God?
- What does it feel like when you sense closeness to God?
- Margaret writes, “When I encounter something new that represents everything that is good and true and beautiful, something awakens inside of me. Maybe it’s a heart cry for the Creator.” Is there anything you have seen recently—in nature or artwork or some other creative expression—that reignited your desire to know God?
Dig Deep Read Genesis 9:8 –16 and Revelation 4:1 –11.
- What natural wonders are described in these two passages?
- In what ways are the natural wonders and beauty of earth reflective of those we will one day experience in heaven?
- Why do you think God used the rainbow described in the passage from Revelation to seal his covenant promise with Noah?
.001 An Organic Appetite
- How old were you when you first encountered God? Describe the experience.
- How did that first encounter create an awareness of God in your life?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how spiritually satisfied are you? In what areas would you describe yourself as hungry for more?
- Are there any things, like spiritual hunger, that you pray for on a regular basis? If so, how have you seen God answer those prayers?
- Who in your life inspires you to be a closer follower of Jesus? What is it about them that is so inspiring? How is that attribute reflective of God?
- Are there any ways in which your understanding of God has become polluted? If so, explain.
- Margaret writes, “I have preconceived notions, thoughts, and biases when it comes to God. I have a tendency to favor certain portions of Scripture over others. I have a bad habit of reading some stories with a been-there-done-that attitude, knowing the end of the story before it begins, and in the process denying God’s ability to speak to me through it once again. If that weren’t enough, more often than not, I find myself compartmentalizing God. He is more welcome in some areas of my life than others.” Take a few minutes to search for three Scriptures that reveal something about God. Meditate on them for the next twenty-four hours. How does reflecting on the attributes of God change your understanding of God? Yourself? Life?
- Do you resonate with any of the struggles mentioned? Explain.
Dig Deep Read John 20:10 – 18 and Luke 24:13 – 35.
- How well do you think Mary and the two on the road to Emmaus each knew Jesus? How much time do you think they spent with him?
- Why do you think the individuals in both of these stories had a hard time recognizing Jesus?
- What do these two passages reveal about your own ability to recognize Jesus?
- In what ways has God been bighearted with you? Describe two specific instances.
- How has your relationship with your earthly father affected your relationship with your heavenly father?
- Does anything about God’s bighearted love scare you?
- Have you had any unusual encounters with God? Describe one that was particularly meaningful.
- What does it mean for you to have a relationship with God? How do you balance religious practices with a relationship with God?
- Is there anything preventing you from going deeper in your relationship with God? Describe.
- What changes do you need to make in your life to take your relationship with God deeper?
Dig Deep Read John 15:9–13 and 1 John 4:13–18.
- What do these Scriptures reveal to you about the size, depth, and capacity of God’s love?
- Reflecting on these passages, what is the hardest singlething to embrace or accept about God’s love?
- What is stopping you from making the truth about God’s love more real in your life and in the lives of those around you?
.003 Breathtakingly Beautiful
- Where do you see the beauty of God on display?
- Margaret writes, “I settle for the appearance of apparent beauty instead of allowing it to push my soul closer to the creator of all true beauty.” In what ways do you resonate with this statement?
- Describe a moment when you shared your faith and the outcome didn’t go very well. What did you learn from the experience? How did this affect the way you share your faith?
- Now describe a moment when you shared your faith and it went well. What did you learn from the experience? How did this affect the way you share your faith?
- What do you love about Jesus?
Dig Deep Read Psalm 27:4 and Proverbs 31:30.
- How can we tell what is truly beautiful?
- What is the difference between the beauty of God and the beauty of humans?
- How do you think your perception of beauty is different from God’s perception of beauty?
.004 Amazingly Wise
- In what situations are you most likely to pray for wisdom? How does God respond when you pray for wisdom? What stops you from praying for wisdom more often?
- What happens when you make a decision without consulting God? Describe a moment when you went forward with a decision without consulting him.
- Why is wisdom so important? What is attractive about wisdom?
- Have you ever experienced a moment when God’s wisdom rested on your lips? Describe.
- What is your favorite proverb? Why is it your favorite?
- How does God’s wisdom draw you closer to him?
Dig Deep Read Mark 12:13 –17 and Matthew 9:9–12.
- What are the characteristics of Jesus’s response to both of these passages?
- How do these passages put the wisdom of God on display?
- What steps do you need to take in order to more fully seek God’s wisdom in your life right now?
.005 Surprisingly Talkative
- Describe a moment when you heard a God-whisper. How did you respond?
- In what ways has God spoken to you? Have any of those ways surprised you or made you uncomfortable? Explain.
- Where are you the most likely to hear God’s voice?
- Why is Scripture so important in determining whether something is from God or not?
- Have you ever walked by a burning bush moment? Describe.
- Why is obedience such an important component of hearing God’s voice? Describe a moment when you responded to his voice. Describe a moment when you did not respond to his voice. What did you learn through it?
- How are you asking God to speak to you today?
Dig Deep Read John 10:1–18 and Revelation 3:20.
- What insights do these two passages offer on how to hear God’s voice?
- According to these passages, when does God speak to us? How are we to respond?
- What role does having a relationship with God play inregard to recognizing his voice?
.006 Wildly Infallible
- Has your heart ever been bruised? Describe. Has it ever really been healed? Is there anything that prevents you from experiencing full restoration?
- Describe a situation where God fully healed and restored your bruised heart.
- What is your opinion of the church? What do you believe is God’s opinion of the church? How is God leading you to be an agent of change in the church?
- Margaret writes, “I realize the church in America is far from perfect and in many ways has gone astray, but the church is still the bride of Christ. She may have holes in her dress, stains on her shoes, and smeared makeup on her face, but at the end of the day, she is still the bride.” In what ways do you agree with this statement? In what ways do you disagree? How would you rewrite it to make it your own?
- What is the best way to develop opinions that reflect those of God? What are you doing to build a God-centric view of life and the world?
- What steps can you take to actively remind yourself and others that God is wildly infallible?
Dig Deep Read .
- Reflecting on these passages, what characteristics make God wildly infallible?
- Which characteristics of God from these passages intrigue you the most?
- What is stopping you from believing in the wildly infallible nature of God?
.007 Outrageously Generous
- Do you think God is more concerned with our gifts or the heart behind what we give? Why? Which do you tend to be more concerned with when you receive a gift?
- Why do you think God is so generous with us?
- Think of three ways in which you have experienced God’s generosity. Describe. How have those experiences made you more generous?
- What kinds of gifts are easy for you to give? What kinds of gifts are more difficult for you to give?
- When are you the most tempted to hold back from giving? How have you responded to those situations?
Dig Deep Read Mark 12:41 –44 and 1 Timothy 6:17–19.
- Reflecting on these passages, how does giving reflect God’s nature?
- Why do you think God is so concerned with giving within these Scriptures?
- Other than money, what is God calling you to give right now?
.008 Unbelievably Stubborn
- Take a Scripture and study it midrash style. Tug at it. Pull at it. Research it within the context of other Scriptures. Play with it. What do you discover?
- God is unwavering —he does not change. Why is this in our best interest? How would your relationship with God be different if God constantly changed his mind about things?
- Why do you think God is so concerned with the poor? At what moments in your life has that concern been awakened in you? How did you respond?
- In what ways are you caring for the poor in your day-to¬day life? What practical steps can you take to become more aware of the poor in your own neighborhood and community?
- Think of a moment when God nudged you to give up something that you had been holding on to. How did that experience change you? Your relationship with God? Why do you think living an openhanded lifestyle is so important?
Dig Deep Read Matthew 18:23 –35 and Revelation 3:17–19.
- How would you define spiritual poverty in regard to these two passages?
- According to these Scriptures, how can spiritual poverty impede our ability to know God?
- How can we make decisions that allow us to invest in God’s kingdom and become spiritually rich?
.009 Abundantly Kind
- In what specific ways has God extended his kindness to you?
- Think of three examples in the Bible where God extended his kindness to someone. How does God display his kindness in these passages?
- Who have you gone out of your way to be kind to recently? How did it change the person? How did it change you?
- Is there anyone with whom you have withheld kindness recently? How has that affected the person? You? Your relationship with God?
- Why do you think God is so concerned with the way we treat one another?
- Margaret writes, “People cannot give you what they do not have.” Is there anyone you have been disappointed in recently? Do you think in some way that you have been asking them for something they do not have?
Dig Deep Read Colossians 3:12–17 and 2 Peter 1:5 –7.
- What personal attributes are encouraged in these passages? How does kindness go hand in hand with these attributes?
- Why do you think God is so concerned with having kindness instilled in our hearts?
- What can you do to clothe yourself in kindness today?
.010 Deeply Mysterious
- What do you think is mysterious about God?
- Do you have a Why question that lingers in your heart? What is it? How has God responded to that question? How have you responded to it?
- Are there any situations in your church or community where God is asking, “Why not you?” Has anything stopped you from getting involved and being part of the solution?
- In what ways are you transformed by learning more about God and his attributes?
- What do you feel the Organic God is calling you to do next?
- What changes in your life, attitude, or actions do you need to make to rekindle your love for God? What would it take to fall in love with him all over again?
Dig Deep Read John 15:15 –17 and 1 Corinthians 2:9.
- Reflecting on these passages, why do you think God wants to reveal mysteries to us?
- In what ways does God’s mysterious nature invite you into a closer relationship with him?
- If you could ask God any single question and know that he was going to answer, what would it be? What stops you from asking him?