Grow Deep - The Family Trip Edition, Week 1

Week 1: August 19-25

The Dream

“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on
the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life,
and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40

“Where should we go on vacation?” Regardless of who asked the question, those six words summoned the attention, the anticipation, and the dreams of everyone in my family. Out came the Rand-McNally Atlas (remember those?), pictures of past vacations, a recall of happy memories and endless possibilities to consider as we shared our wishes for our next family trip. We shared common objectives: a balance of rest and activity, great culinary experiences, awesome scenery, and opportunities to learn something new. Those dreams led us to amazing places and experiences over the years. Most importantly, our vacation dreams united us as a family and shaped our values in ways that crossed over into other aspects of our lives.

You see, just as my family dreamed about vacations, we dreamed—and prayed—about how we could travel through life as a Christian family. We asked God, “Where should we go?” We brought out the road map (the Bible) to help us navigate our journey; we shared memories pointing to Jesus’ work in our lives; and we asked Him to show us where we could be His witnesses in our home, neighborhood, and wherever He would send us to live, work, and play. Through those family conversations with Jesus, He united us in common objectives: a balance of Sabbath rest and active service; an appetite to feast at His table where love, mercy, and forgiveness abound; a desire to share those gifts with one another and our neighbors; eyes that were open to the awesome wonders of God everywhere we looked (even when the road was bumpy!); opportunities to embrace and learn how and where Jesus called us to serve Him.

As I write this, my family of four now lives in three different states, but we’re still dreaming together! We look forward to the family vacation on the horizon. As we gather to share memories and make new ones, we will also rejoice in how God continues to shape us and use us to share pictures of His grace and saving love in every direction we go.

Sunday, August 19
Read: Colossians 3:12-17
When we seek Jesus in our dreams for our family, He shows us what clothes we need to pack for our journey: compassion, kindness, humility, patience, forgiveness, love, and thanksgiving. With these in the bag, we’re ready for anything we encounter.

Reflect: How can you keep Jesus’ dreams for your family in sight? How does He equip you for your journey together? How does this passage of Scripture inspire your family life?

For the Family: God tells us in His Word to put on attitudes like patience, compassion, and kindness just like we put on our clothes every day. How can we do that? What is the one attitude He tells us is more important to put on than all the others? Why do you think that is so important?

Monday, August 20
Read: Psalm 143:8-10
Our dreams don’t always play out the way we expect. There are unanticipated detours and bumps on the road. But God knows the way we should go and can lead us to level ground.

Reflect: What obstacles threaten the dreams for your family life? How can this passage spark conversations with God, the ultimate dreamer?

For the Family: Have you ever dreamed about riding your bike up a very high hill and then riding very fast down the other side? The writer of this Psalm asks God to lead him or her to level ground. Why do you think he prayed for level ground? 

Tuesday, August 21
Read: Genesis 12:1-6
God sends Abraham on a road trip! Destination: Unknown, at least to Abraham. But God knew, and His promise was to bless Abraham and use his family to bless others.

Reflect: How can you trust God when your family’s journey is unclear? How does God’s promise to Abraham bring hope to your family? How is God blessing you and using your family to bless others?

For the Family: Have you ever heard your Mom or Dad say, “Because I said so” when you asked why you had to go somewhere? God asked Abraham to go to a different land, and Abraham went without even asking God why. How did that show that he loved and trusted in God?

Wednesday, August 22
Read: Exodus 3
Hiking in the desert, Moses has an amazing discovery! The Lord shows Moses who HE is, who Moses is, and His big dream for Moses and his extended family.

Reflect: What discoveries have you made in your family journey that have helped you know God better? How do you see your family as part of God’s plan: A people set a part as Christ’s Church?

For the Family: God had a dream for Moses. What was it? How did God show Moses who He was and how powerful He is? How do you learn more about God and His power for you and your family?

Thursday, August 23
Read: Matthew 4:12-22
Centuries after Abraham’s road trip, Jesus begins His own journey and He gathers people to join the tour … and in His mission! It is the beginning of a family adventure that we are part of today. 

Reflect: How can your family follow Jesus on His mission? Who are the people along your journey that you can invite to share in the great adventures of Christian faith?

For the Family: Jesus saw two brothers and called them to follow Him as His disciples. Jesus calls you to follow Him, too. What does it mean to follow Jesus?

Friday, August 24
Read: Luke 24:13-48
On a mini-road trip after their leader’s death, two of Jesus’ disciples think their dreams are destroyed. But the resurrected Jesus opens their eyes to the reality of His dream that will shape every household of faith (vv. 46-48).

Reflect: When have your dreams seemingly been shattered? How does Jesus’ resurrection give certain hope and purpose to your family’s dreams?

For the Family: After His resurrection, Jesus sent His disciples out on a journey to be witnesses of His resurrection. He sends us out to be witnesses, too. Think about someone who does not know Jesus. How can you be a witness to that person?

Saturday, August 25
Read: Revelation 7:9-17
All the road hazards, bad weather, detours, and backseat squabbles will be forgotten when believers in Jesus reach their final destination and realize God’s ultimate dream. That is, to save His people for eternity and bring them to His heavenly home where the living waters flow!

Reflect: How can this vision of Heaven keep you focused on Jesus’ ultimate plans and dreams for your family? How does hope in your final destination strengthen you for your journey in this life?

For the Family: What do these verses describe? What are the people doing around the throne? How can we be sure that we are part of the heavenly multitude described in verses 9-10?