Grow Deep - The Playbook Edition - Week 1

Week 1: November 3-9

The Man With the Plan

Memory Verse: “… I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me.” Isaiah 46:9

I was never an athlete, and I have never coached any athletic endeavor. However, there is no doubt in my mind that coaching is tough. From the sidelines, I have watched my children compete athletically under the leadership of many different coaches. I have witnessed some excellent coaching and some not-so-excellent coaching. It seems to me that what makes the difference is not what the coach knows, but what is in his heart! The coach is in charge. He is the “man with the plan,” and that makes him a person of influence. While most coaches are passionate about winning, the best coaches are passionate about their teams. With commitment and consistency, those coaches dedicate themselves to the challenge of making the players the best they can be. They clearly articulate what is expected. They are firm, but patient, wanting each member of the team to succeed.

As Christians, God is the single most influential person in our lives. He is the “Man With the Plan,” the One who passionately works to mold us and make us into the people He created us to be. He is committed to us and loves us so much that He sacrificed His Son for us. He firmly and consistently works to “flush out” the things that stunt our growth. Still, He is patient and forgiving, knowing we will make mistakes. He has given us the Bible, His Playbook written with each of us in mind. Through His Spirit, He clearly communicates the “hows” of life and His expectations. He is always there for us … win or lose … loving us, encouraging us and drawing us to Himself.

As you read His Playbook this week, ask the Spirit to show you how to apply His transforming truth to your life!

Sunday, November 3
Read: Matthew 5:1-12
Through Jesus, we are made “saints” who testify of God’s grace. In this passage, Jesus “coaches” His listeners concerning blessings that follow certain kinds of behavior.
Reflect: What do these verses tell you about God? What are the qualities that He blesses? How does knowing that you are a “saint” make a difference in your day-to-day life?


Monday, November 4
Read: Psalm 139:1-6; 13-16
Just as a coach must know his players, God knows us. He created us; He knows our thoughts; He knows everything we will do or say.
Reflect: When did God’s relationship with us begin? What does God know about you? Does it matter to you that God knows you so intimately? Why or why not?


Tuesday, November 5
Read: John 15:9-17
A winning coach chooses his players well. He cares for them; he instructs them; he is willing to make sacrifices for them. Jesus chose us and loves each of us … so much that He died for us. He gives us a clear message of how we are to live our lives abiding in Him and growing with others in His love.
Reflect: How are God’s children instructed in verses 10-12? What does it mean to abide in Christ? Is following God’s commands an act of laying down your life? How?


Wednesday, November 6
Read: Isaiah 55:8-11
God reveals His nature in these verses. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts; His plan will go forward in spite of opposition.
Reflect: What are the attributes of God that are described in these verses? What do you learn about the Word of God? What do you learn about God’s plans?


Thursday, November 7
Read: Ruth 1:11-18
Loyalty and trustworthiness are characteristics of winning coaches. God is faithful toward us; He never deserts us, never leaves us. He is present with us always.
Reflect: How does loyalty in a relationship lead to trust? When has it been hard for you to trust in God? Why is it important to trust in God, especially in the face of hardship or disappointment?


Friday, November 8
Read: Isaiah 46:8-11
God’s people are encouraged to remember who God is … He knows the beginning and the end. He is in control. We can do much when we understand who He is and follow where He leads.
Reflect: What does the Lord say about Himself in these verses? How does that give you confidence in His plans for you even when they don’t seem to make sense?


Saturday, November 9
Read: Proverbs 3:11-12
Constructive correction is necessary for every member of a team if the team is to be effective. God disciplines us with love that flows from our relationship with Him. We grow as we accept His discipline.
Reflect: How should we view God’s correction? What is the purpose of God’s discipline? Of what can we be sure when God disciplines us? Call a friend and discuss what application these verses have for us as parents?