Seize Your Tomorrow Today
A dream is simply a picture of what you feel God wants you to do next. ~ Dr. David Jeremiah
Each of us has dreams for our lives. These dreams motivate us to take risks, make sacrifices, overcome obstacles, and persevere through adversity. Whether we want to advance in our careers, complete our education, provide comfort and security for our families, or use our talents in ways that make a positive difference, we all dream and hope for more.
However, it is important for these dreams to be aligned with God’s will. If we are merely chasing after a self-made vision of our own creation, we will never find true satisfaction — even if we make our vision a reality.
God has created each one of us for His unique purposes, and He plants dreams inside us that we can never realize on our own. He wants us to walk by faith and trust Him to do what we consider impossible.
The Bible is filled with stories of men and women who saw what life could look like in God’s Kingdom… and then took the steps necessary to move forward in faith. Abraham dreamed of a great nation when he was yet childless. Moses envisioned a free people when the Israelites were still making bricks without straw. Joshua envisioned an occupied land. David dreamed of a temple on a hill. Nehemiah built miles of walls in his prayers before a single stone was laid. Daniel glimpsed a future kingdom. Peter an established Church. Paul a global mission.
All these stories — the dreams of men and women of God thousands of years ago — still guide, inspire, and apply to us. They remind us to keep dreaming, knowing there is always more ahead. They reveal how our experiences today can prepare us for God’s purposes tomorrow.
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 immediately comes to mind when you consider the dreams you have for your life? How do you view those dreams?
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- What famous dreamers from the past have inspired you personally? How have their dreams motivated you to persevere?
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.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it — lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish”? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. — Luke 14:28-33
Why is it important to count the cost of pursuing a dream before you begin?
How do you weigh the need to count the cost of a dream with the requirement to risk and step out in faith to pursue it?
Play the video for session one. As you watch, use the following outline to record any thoughts, questions, or key points that stand out to you.
One of the best examples of dream-building in the Bible is the story of King David’s vision to build a temple atop of Mount Moriah. Israel was now occupying the land God had promised, and David dreamed of a permanent place where people could worship for centuries to come. His story reveals five principles we can follow as we seek to build our own dreams.
Principle #1: Root Your Dream in History. Consider the dreams of those who have gone before you. Think about your heritage, background, passions, and life experiences. Start where you are and work outward and forward.
Principle #2: Reproduce Your Dream in a Picture. Create a plan for moving from the abstract to the concrete. Think about the resources you will need to build your dream.
Principle #3: Reinforce Your Dream with Determination.
Assume you will encounter obstacles and unexpected problems as you bring your dream to life. Plan for them as best you can, but even when you can’t see a way forward, remain determined and trust God to make a way.
Principle #4: Reconcile Your Dream with Its Cost. Anticipate the sacrifices required and the perseverance needed to fulfill your dream. Think through your resources — time, energy, money, creativity — and the stamina needed to endure conflict, criticism, and calamity.
Principle #5: Release Your Dream to Your Legacy. When you faithfully pursue the dreams God gives you, your earthly investment will have an eternal return. It is possible to achieve something after your death that could not have been achieved during your life.
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 important to have your dream rooted in history? How does considering the historical context of your dreams help you understand your part in God’s plans?
- What happens if you don’t reproduce your dream in a picture? How can your blueprint help you make the transition from a general concept to a concrete reality?
- What obstacles did David have to overcome in pursuit of his dream of building the temple? What does his example teach us about the importance of determination as we push through obstacles and setbacks?
- How will you “count the cost” when it comes to the dreams that God has given you? In what ways does counting the cost help you formulate a plan for realizing your dream?
- What do you hope the legacy of your dreams will be? How will the dreams you are pursuing now help to advance God’s kingdom for eternity?
- Which of the contemporary examples cited in the teaching resonate with you the most? How does the person’s story inspire you to pursue your own dreams?
As your group concludes this first session, reflect for a moment on how you would describe the current dreams God has placed on your heart. Where are you on the journey of realizing your dreams? How has God sustained you this far? What is needed as you now move forward?
As your first session concludes, go around the room and share any personal prayer requests. Spend a few minutes lifting up one another’s requests and asking God to use your time together in the coming sessions to help each person move forward.
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