Q52 Week 17

Listen to Him

I have a confession to make… I, Clay Finklea, am a terrible listener. Do I listen to things all the time? Yes, yes I do. I almost always have a podcast, a baseball game, or a tv show going into my ears, sometimes simultaneously, because I don’t like to be in the quiet. However this background noise effect has turned me into quite the horrific listener. In conversations I have to actively listen in order to keep up. Otherwise I will hear you but not really HEAR you. Katie says I have “Selective hearing” or at least I believe that is what she says. Who knows. (Continue Reading Here)

MONDAY, APRIL 25

Connect: Luke 9:28-36

DISCOVER

  • Which disciples were privileged to see the transfiguration? Who needed to remain quiet?
  • Who did the disciples see? Why is seeing these people important?
  • What is the significance of the transfiguration? What was Jesus teaching his disciples?
  • What did Peter want to do? Whose voice did they hear? What did the voice say?

RESPOND

  • After reading the essay, consider this question: Have you underestimated Jesus’s majesty or divinity?

TUESDAY, APRIL 26

Connect: Malachi 3 and 4

DISCOVER MORE

  • Who is verses 3:1-5 talking about?
  • How can someone rob God? What does this principle teach us about God? About people? About money? Is there a difference between tithes and offerings? What does it mean to bring the whole tithe into the storehouse?
  • Verses 3: 16-18: What does verse 16 mean? What may the people who feared the Lord have been concerned about? What was done to allay their concerns? What is the book of remembrance? What is the purpose of it? Who is “they” in verse 17? What encouragement did Malachi offer to those who feared the Lord? What encouragement is there for us in these verses?
  • Verses 4: 1-6: What “day” is referred to in 4:1? What will happen then? To the wicked? To the righteous? What final reminders did Malachi give? Has Elijah come yet? Are there any other verses which could shed light on this character? What will happen when Elijah comes? Did this happen at Jesus’ first coming or when John the Baptist ministered?

RESPOND

  • What predictions in Malachi 3-4 were fulfilled by John the Baptist & Jesus?
  • Will God bless us if we give Him our tithes/offerings? What principles can we learn from this passage to apply to our use of money today?
  • What spoke to you about the divinity of Christ?

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27

Connect: 2 Corinthians 3

DISCOVER MORE

  • Focus on verses 7-11: What is the ministry of death? Why does Paul call this the “ministry of death?”
  • What comparison does Paul make in these verses?
  • How is the new covenant more glorious than the old?
  • Why does Paul want to tell the Corinthian church about the glory of the new covenant?
  • What does this glory mean for us of the new covenant?

RESPOND

  • How should these verses affect our attitude and confidence as we share the good news with others?
  • What ways do you find to speak about Jesus to friends and family?

THURSDAY, APRIL 28

Connect: Matthew 17:1-13

DISCOVER MORE

  • What happened 6 days after Jesus said that some of them would see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom or royal splendor? What did Jesus and Moses and Elijah talk about? (Luke 9:31)
  • What was Peter’s response to what he just witnessed? What happened while Peter was speaking? How did the 3 disciples respond?
  • What was the difference between the disciple’s responses to seeing Jesus’ glory and hearing God’s voice? What did the disciples experience after that?

RESPOND

  • Why do you think Jesus took 3 of his disciples with him up on the mountain to see His transfiguration?
  • Can you even begin to imagine how you would respond if you saw Jesus’ glory or heard God’s voice audibly? Describe a time when you heard God’s voice (audible or not).

FRIDAY, APRIL 29

Connect: Philippians 2

DISCOVER MORE

  • Re-read verses 8-11. Is there any relationship between Jesus’ humiliation and His exultation? What general Biblical principle does this teach? What is the name that Paul refers to here?
  • Will atheists bow the knee to Christ? When? How about Buddhists, Muslims, agnostics, demons, Satan? What does bowing the knee signify? What will happen to unbelievers after they bow the knee and confess if that doesn’t take place until after their death? What happens if we confess now instead of later? What then should our response be to these truths?

RESPOND

  • Living a life to please God requires bowing to His Will daily. We must live each day and make each decision acknowledging His authority over our lives. How can you bow the knee to Jesus this week?

SATURDAY, APRIL 30

Connect: 2 Peter 1

DISCOVER MORE

  • For these questions, focus on verses 16-21: What are some cleverly devised myths in the world?
  • Why did Peter know that what he taught about Jesus was true? Explain why the disciples as eyewitnesses evidence of the resurrection is important. How does the fact that Peter and most of the other disciples were martyred make their testimony even more believable?
  • What prophetic word does Peter refer to in verse 19? What prophecies in the Old Testament can you think of that point toward Jesus? What does Peter mean that “no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation?
  • What does verse 21 teach us about the source of the Scriptures? If someone asked you why you believe the Bible is true, what would you say? What are some basic reasons you can give to seekers which point to the truth of the Scriptures?

RESPOND

  • God has spoken to us just as clearly through the Scripture. How can you, like Peter, tell others about this? The day may come when you too will face persecution for your faith. You may be pressured to stop sharing with people or to deny the faith. How can you prepare for that day now?
  • What prophecies has God made (which are still unfulfilled), which can guide you nowadays like a lamp in the dark? What prophecies, if any, have been fulfilled in the last 100 years? What prophecies can you see ripe for fulfillment in the world today (in other words, trends which make prophecies easier to fulfill now than before)?

SUNDAY, MAY 1

Connect: Mark 1

Discover: 

  • Describe the flow of Jesus’ travel and ministry in Mark 1.
  • What does Jesus accomplish in his earthly ministry in this chapter?
  • What does he leave undone or unattended?
  • What can be learned about Jesus’ mission and vision from this chapter?

Respond: 

  • There are many people in this chapter who Jesus directly affected. Sometime in word. Often times through miracles. What miracle do you need Jesus to perform in your life?
  • Where do you need God to intercede?
  • Where do you need God to transform?
  • Where can you point to the glory of God in your life? Write a few of those down and verbally thank God for them.

Q52 Week 16

With What?

Lunch as a kid was awesome, wasn’t it? You get a break from school to hang out with your friends and barter your lunch items like you are on Pawn Stars or American Pickers. Outside of recess and/or gym class, it was always the best time of the day. Sidebar - here is my ranking of school provided lunches. Chicken Twisters - a Quincy High School speciality. All it was was a chicken tender in a tortilla covered in ranch, but it was delicious. Square Pizza - It’s an absolute classic. The Frank Sinatra of school lunches. Garlic bread with the cheese on it or the original Bosco Sticks - killed your breath and your stomach the rest of the day, but it was great. (Continue Reading Here)

MONDAY, APRIL 18

Connect: Mark 6:31-52

Discover: 

  • What did Jesus do when He saw the people?
  • What concern did the disciples raise? 
  • What did they suggest to do about the problem?
  • What did Jesus say to do about the problem?

Respond: 

  • The miracle in today’s passage took place in a “desolate place”; the wilderness. The wilderness is where God often chose to meet with his people under the old covenant. During Moses’ day the wilderness was also the site of a great miracle in which the Lord miraculously provided bread and meat to the Israelites (Ex. 16). Jesus’ feeding of the 5000+ points us to see that he is the mediator of the new covenant. This miracle is not only about Jesus’ love for people, but also about who he is and what he came to do.

TUESDAY, APRIL 19

Connect: Exodus 16

Discover: 

  • What were the Israelites murmuring about?
  • How did God respond to the complaints and murmurs?

Respond: 

  • Why did God wait until the people were complaining before providing the quail and manna? 
  • Are you ever afraid that God will not provide for you? Read and memorize Matt 6:33

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20

Connect: Acts 20

Discover: 

  • What were the problems Paul faced preaching in Asia?
  • Despite the problems, where did he preach, to whom did he preach, and what did he preach?
  • Where did Paul intend to go, and what was predicted to face him there?
  • What attitude did Paul express toward the problems facing him?

Respond: 

  • What can we learn from Paul’s approach to hardship in light of the essay this week?
  • Jesus said that his followers should expect persecution and that those who experience it are blessed. While believers are not called to pursue martyrdom or persecution, they are encouraged to face it with the confidence that they will be sustained through it. In our First World society persecution may mean mocking, slander, or alienation but the church extends far beyond our borders where believers face harassment, beatings, and even execution. Pray for those believers that are facing extreme hardship because of their faith today.

THURSDAY, APRIL 21

Connect: Matthew 14:13-33

Discover: 

  • Where did Jesus go, who followed Him, and what did He do for them first, second, and third?
  • How were the multitudes fed?
  • How many people ate, and how much food was left over?

Respond: 

  • What is the busiest season you have ever been through?What sustained you through it?
  • How should this teaching, healing, feeding model of Jesus’ ministry inform the way you deal with people you lead?
  • What individuals or groups would you describe as sheep without a shepherd? What could you do to lead or feed them?
  • Are you spiritually hungry right now? How are you feeding on Jesus? What does he do to meet your spiritual. physical, and emotional needs?

FRIDAY, APRIL 22

Connect: 1 Peter 2

Discover: 

  • In this chapter Peters describes Christ as a cornerstone and a shepherd. What purpose does a cornerstone serve? What is the role of a shepherd?

Respond: 

  • The most important task of the shepherd is to guard and protect the sheep under his care. When danger arises, the shepherd defends them. When they wander off, the shepherd seeks them out and returns them to the fold. As our Shepherd, Christ is our protector, the one who will not rest until we are safe in his kingdom. And because Jesus is the Lord God Almighty, he cannot fail in these tasks. This alone should give us great confidence and encourage our trust in him.

SATURDAY, APRIL 23

Connect: Revelation 7

Discover: 

  • When an angel came from the east, what did he have?
  • What was going to be sealed and where?
  • What had to wait till this seal was applied?

Respond: 

  • A day of wrath is coming for sinners, but those who belong to Christ will not suffer it. Paul tells us in 1 Thes 1:10 that Jesus has saved us from the wrath to come. We can look forward in confidence to the day of judgment if we belong to Christ. Those who do not know him have much to fear but can be saved if they trust Jesus today. Let us never shy from proclaiming this truth. 

SUNDAY, APRIL 24

Connect: Mark 9:2-13

Discover: 

  • What happened when Jesus was transfigured? Who witnessed this event?
  • Who appeared talking with Jesus?
  • What did Peter propose? 
  • What would be the significance of making a tabernacle for each of these three men?

Respond: 

  • Peter was on a mountaintop spiritually, and wanted to stay there. His experience, however, was designed to send him into the world to participate in the death and humiliation of Christ. Consider how your mountaintop experiences should drive your walk with Christ.

Q52 Week 15

Fear or Panic

This past weekend Katie and I watched one of my all time favorite movies: Chasing Mavericks. Honestly, it’s a PG movie that critics would absolutely rip to shreds. I don’t blame them, 25% of the movie is garbage…. But that other 75%... That dang other 75…. It is like Michaelangelo and the Sistine chapel. It hit’s all the right notes. It’s fun, it’s emotional, and it has the right amount of danger to suck you in. I love it. There are few movies that I enjoy more. (Continue Reading Here)

MONDAY, APRIL 11

Connect: Mark 4:35-5:20

Discover: 

  • How do the disciples react to Jesus sleeping?
  • What is Jesus’ response to the disciples?
  • What did Jesus do with the Legion of demons? How did the people react to this? What was Jesus’ response?

Respond: 

  • After reading the essay, think through one simple question: Are you more afraid of Jesus or the storm you face?
  • How calm are you through your “storms?” Do you turn to the Lord first? Why or why not?
  • Jesus did not plead with the people of the pig region; He left when they wanted Him to leave. Do you tend to plea your case in relationships or do you stay quiet and allow your reputation to speak for itself? How can what Jesus did help manage your relationships?

TUESDAY, APRIL 12

Connect: Psalm 2

Discover: 

  • Look at the cross-references of Psalm 2 in the margin of a study Bible to discover the three verses of Psalm 2 that are quoted in the New Testament. Each is a prophecy about Jesus. Read them in the context of each New Testament passage. What do they affirm about Jesus and his ability to take us through storms?
  • Verse 3: “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” Who was David speaking about? Who has you in chains?
  • What does verse 8 mean? How does this comfort you?

Respond: 

  • Read verse 7: How is this verse personal to you?
  • How can you “take refuge” (vs 12) in the Lord?

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13

Connect: Ephesians 1

Discover: 

  • Read verses 20-21: Who was risen from the Dead? Where does Christ sit now? 
  • Who name is above all names? Above all gods? Whose name has the same power in the past? The present? The future? 

Respond: 

  • This is a powerful prayer: “ I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Take time now to pray this over yourself, your family, your friends, your co-workers, and your Enemies/those who have hurt you.

THURSDAY, APRIL 14

Connect: Matthew 8:23-34

Discover: 

  • After reading this story, ponder this: Following Jesus doesn’t mean smooth seas but it does mean that you’re with the Master.
  • Even nature obeys Christ–What are you not obeying Christ with in your life?

Respond: 

  • Share the story of someone you know whose past pain has been a great encouragement or inspiration to you.
  • If you are willing, share the most difficult thing you have ever had to go through. 
  • What advice or encouragement would you give to the ex-demoniac between when Jesus left in the boat and when he returned home to share his experience?
  • Which piece of advice that you just heard do you need to implement to share your story more broadly?

FRIDAY, APRIL 15

Connect: Colossians 2

Discover: 

  • Focus reading on verse 9: what does Fullness of the Deity mean?
  • The syncretism and traditions of the world does not have Christ as the focal point. Here, Paul was warning the Colossian believers to not adopt these basic, world philosophies of mankind or their legalistic laws. Why? Because they cloud the true concept of Christ and distort the biblical truth of the Lord Jesus in the mind of the believer. The World’s Views rob the Christian of a proper understanding of the wonderful sufficiency and amazing adequacy of Christ in the life of ALL believers. Verse 9 confirms the completeness and wholeness we receive of Christ.

Respond: 

  • Have you ever been taught or perhaps have felt that you needed to do something more than just accept Christ as your savior in order to Earn God’s love and forgiveness? Why or Why not?
  • Do you believe that in Christ Jesus, you have been made complete? Why or Why not? 

SATURDAY, APRIL 16

Connect: Luke 23

Discover: 

  • What did verse 4 mean about Jesus?
  • Verse 22 referred to the death penalty. Whose crimes should have received the death penalty–read verse 19.
  • Verse 25 is the most powerful verse in explaining the purpose and purity of Christ. Why? 
  • What prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus’ crucifixion and death?

Respond: 

  • Jesus literally took the punishment that was meant for the murderer Barabas; in turn, Christ took our punishment for our sins too. What does this mean to you?
  • With verse 45, what does “And the curtain of the temple was torn in two” mean for all Christians? How is this good news?

SUNDAY, APRIL 17

Connect: John 19

Discover: 

  • What is flogging? Why did they do this to Jesus? What did the flogging do to Jesus’ body?
  • What is significant about the crown of thorns? Read Genesis 3:18. Were thorns created before or after the fall of man/sin entered the world? Jesus was crowned with the Consequence of Sin (thorns & death)–to take our Sin–to Become Sin–to Defeat Sin & Death. 
  • What is significant about verse 28 with prophecy being fulfilled?

Respond: 

  • The two men who helped bury Jesus lived lives of secrecy. Do you worship Jesus in secret? Are you ashamed of the gospel? If no, then could people know you’re a Christ follower by your language? By your social media accounts? By your texts? By your private content on your computer? By the movies you watch? By how you treat people? Reflect on what you can do better to show the world Jesus through you.