Grow Deep - TBD Edition week one

Week One: November 11 - 17

TBD: “T” – To Look Forward

Memory Verse: “God has also set eternity in the human heart…” Ecclesiastes 3:11

In the dead of last winter my wife and I began to talk about a dream we shared. We wanted to invite our adult daughters and son-in-law to spend a week vacationing with us. It would be a first-time experience for us as “empty nesters,” so we picked a destination where we had made memories years ago. Everyone embraced the idea. In fact, in many ways, that trip began long before it took place. Our calls and texts over several months before we left home were a testimony of how much we all anticipated the trip. We were scattered across the country, yet remarkably, we began to shower our days, conversations, prayers and challenges with dreams and stories of “our trip.”

That trip reminded me that there’s a much greater destination and reunion prepared for us in the future. Jesus has prepared a place for us, and He will come to personally take us there (John 14:2). It is a place where we meet loved ones who have gone ahead of us
(1 Thessalonians 4:14-18) and where there will be “no more mourning, crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).

The day when the curtain goes up on this joyous trip is TBD, but its reality impacts us now. In these “last days,” we encounter many disturbing forces … forces that seek to divert our attention away from God’s magnificent plan. Some days we don’t even realize that we are already living in the grace of eternity. God has placed eternity into our hearts. He calls us to look forward, setting “our hearts on things above” where Jesus is directing the plan (Colossians 3:1). Reading and reflecting on Scripture daily allows us to draw from the depths of eternity and to look forward with an eternal perspective.

Taking Jesus to the Streets: What is one picture of eternity God has placed into your heart? What Bible verses or stories inspire and
“fill-in” your picture? Carry that with you this week. As God places people in your path, listen to their stories and concerns. Consider how you can help draw out the picture of eternity God has set into their hearts.

Sunday, November 11
Read: 2 Peter 3:8-18
We are called to look forward to the “day of God” while growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in these “last days.” How are these days truly dreadful? To what is God’s Word directing us to look forward? How do we “speed” up Jesus’ coming?

Monday, November 12

Read: Hebrews 9:24-28
Jesus’ first coming removes the fear of His second coming and of our eternity. What does it mean that “Christ entered heaven… to appear for us”? How does this impact your response to daily trials? How does looking forward to Jesus’ appearing again support and encourage you?

Tuesday, November 13
Read: Ecclesiastes 3:9-14
God has set a vision for eternity into our hearts. Our challenge is to see our work/world with His eyes. How have you witnessed God bring beauty into the drudgery of work? What does it mean to have God “set eternity” into your heart? What do you see beyond “food and drink” and the “here and now”?

Wednesday, November 14
Read: Genesis 19:15-26
To look back is to be paralyzed by death; to look forward is to be led by God’s rescue. God rescues; still, the temptation to look back is strong. Where has “looking back” paralyzed your relationships and your hope? How will looking forward free you?

Thursday, November 15
Read: 1 Corinthians 15:21-28
Look forward to Jesus who reigns and to your resurrection at a time TBD. You belong to Jesus, and He reigns … now! How does this knowledge govern your response to the discord of these days? How will your thoughts and actions today be “subject to Christ” and looking forward?

Friday, November 16
Read: Ephesians 3:1-13
In these “last days” God, through the Church, is “filling in” His eternal TBD. God brought Jews and Gentiles together under Christ in the first century. How have you seen Jesus bring people together even in our troubled times? How will He use you to finish His work?

Saturday, November 17
Read: Ephesians 3:14-21
Looking forward, pray for understanding that you might grasp the vast picture of God’s eternity and the depth of His love. This is a big, bold, forward-looking prayer that pictures eternity. Try praying it every hour today. How will praying it change the way you view your life and the world around you?