Like a hiker in the wild, we sometimes find ourselves stranded in the snow, caught in the storms, and endangered by the trials of life. It’s dangerous to be ill equipped for the journey. When we haven’t packed the right gear, we’re underprepared, over-exposed, and at risk of the elements. That is never God’s plan for us. Like a divine Outfitter, He wants to give us everything we need for the journey. He knows how to equip us to be people of character, able to face the ruggedness of the world with dignity and strength. He furnishes all we need for every condition. But we’ve got to turn from our meager resources and embrace the ones He provides. ~ Dr. David Jeremiah
If you have ever been on a hike, you know how difficult it can be to adjust to arduous terrain. One moment you’re marching at a brisk pace on level ground… and the next you’re climbing up a rocky path strewn with boulders and tree branches. Depending on where you hike, the weather can shift from a sunny, cloud-less, picturesque sky to a torrential thunderstorm in a matter of minutes. This is why experienced hikers know to prepare for such possibilities ahead of time and carry in their backpacks everything they will need to survive and thrive on the trail.
Just think of some of the items that experienced hikers know to pack. For starters, they will make sure they have the proper footwear for the trail and, of course, outerwear that is appropriate to the climate, season, and locale. They know nothing is more uncomfortable than walking for miles in shoes that hurt their feet — and being too hot or too cold because they failed to pack the proper clothing is no fun either. They also make sure they have a backpack that has adequate storage and accessibility and comfortably fits their body type.
Experienced hikers know that water and food are essential even for short hikes. So they make sure to pack water bottles or carry a filtration system that allows them to treat the water they find in streams so their bodies will stay hydrated. They pack energy bars, trail mix, and other portable foods to fuel their bodies as they burn through calories. They carry a lightweight first-aid kit in case they need to treat an injury on the path. And, of course, they carry a compass, map, or reliable GPS device to help them stay on track to reach their destination.
The same is true for us as we set out on our “hike” and strive to live a life for Christ. We need to be equipped, nourished, and prepared for the journey ahead.
Just as unexpected weather or rocky trails present challenges to hikers, our life is often filled with demands that burden us with pressure and stress. But we don’t have to live in fear because God has provided everything we need for the task. We simply need to walk by faith in His promises.
If you or any of your group members are just getting to know one another, take a few minutes to introduce yourselves. Then discuss one of the following questions:
- What items do you always take with you when you go on a hike, a campout, or even a road trip? Why are those items so important to have with you when you travel? When have you needed them and forgotten to bring them?
— or —
- What comes to mind when you think of being prepared for a journey, a meeting, a task, or even a goal you have set? When are times that you have found being prepared has paid dividends in your life?
Invite someone in the group to read the following passage as everyone listens. Then turn to the person on your left and answer the questions that follow.
His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. — 2 Peter 1:3-11
According to this passage, what is the source that provides everything we need for a godly life? How do we access this source?
Play the video for session one. As you watch, use the following notes to record any thoughts, questions, or key points that stand out to you.
The life of faith is an adventure… and a challenge. But God wants you to reach your goal — and He has provided the tools you need to get there.
God’s divine power is the source of our godliness — the ability to be like Him in how we think, feel, and act. We cannot achieve godliness through our strength but only through God’s power.
God’s limitless power — the same power that created the universe and raised Christ from the dead — is unleashed in our life when we turn to Jesus as Savior. It is also unlocked for us each day as we spend time in God’s presence and study His Word.
God communicates His power through His “great and precious promises,” which sustain us as we walk by faith. His promises are available to us every day.
God wants us to participate in His divine nature in order to become more like His Son Jesus and less like the world. As we grow and mature in our faith, we become better equipped to fulfill the plans that God has for us to further His kingdom in this world.
The first tool that Peter states we need to “pack” is diligence (see 2 Peter 1:5). God has given us everything we need for godliness — but we have to work it out in our everyday life.
To cultivate diligence, we must develop the right habits. In Colossians 3:23-24, Paul provides four specific habits to develop diligence:
- Look around
- Look within
- Look above
- Look ahead
The challenge today is for you to recognize that God is your guide on this journey and receive the power He has promised to provide.
Take a few minutes with your group members to discuss what you just watched and explore these concepts in Scripture. Use the following questions to help guide your discussion.
- Why is it so important to rely on God’s power as the source of our godliness? When have you attempted to live a godly life in your own power? What were the results?
- How do God’s promises empower us on a daily basis? What do we need to do to claim His promises?
- How has God’s power fueled your ability to live out His pur- pose? What does living out your purpose look like on a daily basis? How does this advance God’s kingdom?
- How would you define the word diligence? Looking back over your life, where have you struggled to be diligent in your walk with the Lord? Where have you been more consistent and seen your diligence contribute to your spiritual growth?
- Do you agree that diligence requires the consistent practice of specific habits? Why or why not? What else contributes to the cultivation of diligence in your Christian life?
- Based on Paul’s words in Colossians 3:23-24, what are the four specific habits required to cultivate diligence? Which of these do you currently practice? Which one(s) could you cultivate as a new habit to grow in your faith?
As your group concludes this first session, review the outline for the video teaching and look over any notes you took. In the space below, write down the most significant point that stands out to you. What does it mean for you to diligently rely on God’s promises to empower you?
Conclude your time by sharing any personal prayer requests, and then pray for those requests as a group. Ask God to work in each heart as you rely on Him for everything you need.
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Come share your thoughts with us about Everything You Need in the comments!