Mourning to Mocking

“The crowd flipped from mourning to mocking.” Mark, in our essay for week 21, used just 7 words to challenge me to the umpteenth degree. The reason that I was challenged and troubled is the context. It broke my heart! Mark 5:38-40a, “When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw much commotion and weeping and wailing. 39 He went inside and asked, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.” Here you have this absolutely horrific situation. A young girl, just 12 years old, has passed away. Everyone is emotional, everyone is hurting, everyone is questioning. This is a place where doubt rapidly grows like bacteria. (Continue Reading Here)

MONDAY, June 6

Connect: Mark 2

DISCOVER

  • How did Jesus restore the man with the evil spirits?
  • How did Jesus heal the sick woman?
  • What happened when Jesus visited the dead girl?

RESPOND

  • After reading the essay, consider this question: Do you have a relationship that needs to be restored?
  • If yes, how are you pursuing the restoration of the relationship? Do you have mentors helping you with the restoration? 

TUESDAY, MAY 24

Connect: Ruth 1&2

DISCOVER

  • What motivated Naomi to suggest that they stay in Moab? Why do you think Orpah listened to her and left, but Ruth stayed?
  • If following Naomi most likely meant a life of poverty without a husband, why would Ruth choose it? What can we learn from her statement about what love is? Loyalty?
  • What was the Old Testament practice of gleaning? What type of people normally gleaned? What does this tell us about Ruth and Naomi’s status within society? Why did God originally institute the practice of gleaning? What can we learn about Ruth that she took initiative to begin this hard work?
  • How did Boaz treat Ruth differently than the other women? 

RESPOND

  • How does Ruth represent redemption and restoration
  • What do we learn from these verses about Ruth’s character? How can you apply these to your life
  • How can you apply Boaz’s characteristics to your life and business?

WEDNESDAY, MAY 25

Connect: Ruth 3 & 4

DISCOVER

  • What plan does Namomi come up with? Why should Ruth approach Boaz in the dark? Is this plan appropriate? Why or why not? Should a young lady today do the same to show her interest in a man? What possible dangers are there in such a plan?
  • What can we learn about the culture at that time from verse 3:7? What specific request does Ruth make of Boaz in verse 3:9? Did Naomi tell her to say that? What observations do you have about Boaz’s communication in verses 3:10-13?
  • Although this relative was in some way Boaz’s rival, how did Boaz treat him? What did he call him?
  • Contrast Ruth’s life in Moab with her life in Israel. How had things changed for her?

RESPOND

  • What lessons can guys learn from Boaz which could be applied to modern day relationships?
  • In what ways is Boaz’s relationship with Ruth similar to Christ’s relationship with us?

THURSDAY, MAY 26

Connect: Luke 8 and Mark 5:21-43

DISCOVER:

  • How had Jesus restored Mary Magdalene?
  • What kind of sacrifices would Joanna have had to make being the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household?
  • What was important about these women with Jesus’s ministry?

RESPOND:

  • How do you help people who are separated from those they love: married couples at odds, parents and teenagers, best friends having a tiff, or business partners?
  • When there is tension in relationships, do you tend to confront, ignore, or withdraw?
  • What do you observe Jesus doing with this woman and with Jairus’ daughter that you might use to help restore relationships in your circle of influence?
  • Do you have any relationships that you need Jesus to restore?

FRIDAY, MAY 27

Connect: Philippians 4

DISCOVER

  • Who is Euodia and Syntych? Why do you think it was important for Paul to “call out” the conflict between Euodia and Syntych?
  • Paul uses belonging to the Lord to be a foundational principle for settling disagreements. Why is it important to have unity in Christ?

RESPOND

  • If you really have unity toward other believers, you will look forward to meeting them. Is there another believer whom you dread to meet? If a person comes to mind, then there is likely a problem. You probably do not have unity with that person. Ask yourself right now what God would have you do to restore unity? And the answer is probably here: Matthew 5:23-24 – So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. If we have unity we will want to visit each other. We will want to spend time together. We will want to invite one another to our homes.
  • Is there another believer you have had a quarrel with? Has it been solved? Has it been confessed? Has it been forgiven? Ask God for the love and compassion to forgive and/or the courage and humility to confess. ***Go to that person and deal with it. Unity means living with one another in harmony.
  • Unity means laboring with one another for the Gospel. What does this mean? Get to work! Become a laborer in God’s kingdom. Have you joined a team and partnered with others to help fulfill the Great Commission? Are you serving the church? Are you involved with a small group?

SATURDAY, MAY 28

Connect: James 2

DISCOVER

  • Focus on James 2:25. Who is Rahab? (Joshua 2) What important role did she play?
  • How did God restore Rahab? (Research Jesus’ lineage). 

RESPOND

  • Rahab’s actions revealed that her faith in Israel’s God was more than simply opinion: it was trusting, genuine faith. It’s one thing to claim belief (James 2:14), or to have knowledge (James 2:19), but Rahab demonstrated that she had real saving faith—she “was justified,” as James is using the term here—by courageously trusting the God of Israelites. Do you have this kind of faith in Christ? Why or why not?
  • Genuine faith in God and good works always go together. Works do not save, but they naturally flow from a legitimate relationship with Christ. Do your Faith and Actions align? Can someone tell you have faith in Christ by your words/speech, your social media, your saved photos, your treatment of others, your giving/serving etc?

SUNDAY, MAY 29

Connect: John 11

DISCOVER

  • Who are Lazarus, Mary and Martha (John 11:1)?
  • Why did Jesus stay “two more days” (John 11:6) before leaving for Lazarus, who was sick, especially since He “loved” (John 11:5) him?
  • How long had Lazarus been dead when Jesus arrived?
  • What does Jesus mean by, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)?
  • Why did Jesus shed tears?

RESPOND

  • Jesus restored Lazarus back to life. Jesus demonstrated His powers; do you sometimes doubt Jesus’ capabilities in restoring some of your trials?
  • Do you believe Jesus can restore broken relationships in your life? Why or why not?
  • If you are experiencing any relational separation, offer that person either forgiveness or an apology or both. Share with him/her that this is prompted by the realization of what Jesus has done for you. 
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