Reservoir of Grace was born out of my own personal experience of coming to know Christ through time spent in His Word. A reservoir is created and maintained over time; it is a long-term vision that will outlast us. Reservoirs not only provide beauty and entertainment, they also—and primarily—are built to supply the needs of the world. Throughout the weekend the vision of a spiritual reservoir within is opened up in a panoramic vista. Each session is loaded with Scripture and sprinkled with personal story and real-life application, ending with a time of prayer.
This retreat consists of:
- four main sessions
- one personal Bible study devotional
- two early morning devotional talks
- optional: one monologue (See monologue topics/characters. Monologues suggested for this retreat are Embrace the Fire or What's Really Going on in the Heart of Ms. Busy?)
Introduction: The Gift and Discipline of Grace
God wants to build a reservoir of grace within each of us. With this brief introduction, a vision is cast of the fullness of Christ along with the cooperative effort it will require on our part to appropriate His fullness.
1st main session: The River of the Word
In order to create a reservoir, one must have a river. God uses many different metaphors to enable us to understand the full power of His Word; of those metaphors, the imagery of water is one of the most poignant. Through Scripture, illustrations, and personal experience, this session will not only inspire you with the power of the Word, but it also gives many practical suggestions for letting the water of the Word flow into your life.
2nd main session: The Dam of Faith
A river alone is not enough to create a reservoir. A dam is also required. This session explores the primary attributes of God which uphold the foundation for our faith and the sure-fire, biblical way to test the validity and veracity of our faith.
3rd main session: The Breadth of Suffering
A dam enables the river to begin to widen out. As it fills our lives, our faith in God's Word is tested through various types of sufferings. Though no one enjoys suffering, it is suffering that makes us realize our dependence on God and widens our reach. Through suffering, we are able to empathize with others and share the "comfort with which we ourselves have been comforted"—if we receive suffering in the way God intended it.
4th main session: The Floodgates of Prayer and Service
A reservoir is not built just to look pretty. It serves a very important purpose: giving light and water to a dark, parched, needy world. God does not fill us with His life and truth for our own personal enjoyment—though there certainly is that—but so that He can use us to pour out His life to the world. We are filled to serve, and our service is regulated through our communion with God in prayer.
Personal Quiet Time: The Source of the Holy Spirit
We would not have the written Word were it not for the Holy Spirit. And having it, we would not understand it nor apply it obediently to our lives without the illumination and enablement of the Holy Spirit. This personal study walks each individual through an hour of time alone with God. It is a study that made me weep with joy and worship, in awe at what God has done for us and in us.
Morning Devotional 1: The Depth of Metaphor
The Bible is replete with metaphor. God uses story, both true history and parables, to reveal spiritual truth to us. He also uses all of nature to instruct us about Himself, about ourselves, and about our relationship with Him and one another. Both history and nature reveal the magnificent genius of God! Through metaphor we are able to meditate on the truth in a way that takes us deeper and deeper into the heart and mind of God.
Morning Devotional 2: The Reflection of Song
Like sunlight upon the water, singing reflects back to God our worship for who He is and for all He has taught us. In this short session, the difference between "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" is explained. Discernment and a cursory understanding of music can propel you into new avenues of worship.