Yes or No?

I like to think of myself as an opportunistic human. We all love to view ourselves that way right? People who see the opportunity, who love to be people of action, and are daring to be more. In the glorified version of ourselves - when something is pressed upon us, we like to think we swing into action like a pirate swinging from a mast to take on another ship with amazing music playing behind us.

MONDAY, JUNE 13

Connect: John 5

DISCOVER:

  • On what day did the healing of the lame man by the pool occur? Why did some Jews object?
  • How did the Jewish leaders treat Jesus as a result?
  • How did Jesus answer their charges?

RESPOND:

  • In verse 17 Jesus answers the Jewish leaders by saying “My Father is always at his work and I, too, am working.” Essentially, he elaborates on the nature of his relationship with the Father. Jesus claims that everything the Son does he is able to do because he saw the Father do it first. Jesus identifies his work with that of the Father. God’s work did not cease at creation. He continues to be active and Jesus co-labors with his Father. But how does this relate to Jesus’ healing of a man on the Sabbath? The answer is, the one who created the Sabbath has authority over it. He determines its purpose, its use, and its limitations. This is the tragedy John detects in those who opposed Jesus’ earthly ministry. In their zeal for obedience to the law, they missed the one who is the lawgiver. In their concern for adherence to Scripture, they missed the coming of the one of whom Scripture spoke. Let us not fall into this trap.

TUESDAY, JUNE 14

Connect: 1 Samuel 18

DISCOVER:

  • How did Saul react to David’s fame and success?
  • Why was Saul afraid of David?
  • How did Saul attempt to rid himself of David?

RESPOND:

  • Matthew Henry comments “Proud men cannot endure to hear any praised but themselves, and think all their honor lost that goes by themselves”. Saul continually set himself against David. This shows us the extreme hardness of Saul’s heart because we read that Saul knew God was with David. Only those given over to sin are foolish enough to continue resisting the Lordwhen they know he is not on their side – or better, that they are not on God’s side. Of course, all such resistance is finally futile. God will give victory even over death itself to all who are on his side.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15

Connect: 1 Samuel 19

DISCOVER:

  • What happened when Saul sent messengers to capture David?
  • What happened to Saul when he went to capture David himself?

RESPOND:

  • Matthew Henry sees today’s passage as confirming that serving in ministry is in itself no proof of conversion. He writes, “Many have great gifts and yet no grace, prophesy in Christ’s name and yet are disowned by him.” Saul prophesied, though his heart was set against the Lord. It is possible to do great things for the church and yet be unconverted. We must trust in Christ for salvation, not in what we do in his name.

THURSDAY, JUNE 16

Connect: 1 Samuel 20 and John 5:1-18

DISCOVER:

  • What complaint did David raise to Jonathan? How did Jonathan respond?
  • What covenant did Jonathan request?
  • What sign would Jonathan use to tell David Saul’s attitude?

RESPOND:

  • Have you ever been used by someone as a means to an end? How did that feel?
  • What comes to mind when you think of the word loyalty? Who is the most loyal person you know?
  • To whom are you the most loyal? How do you demonstrate loyalty?
  • Do you seek Jesus for who he is or for what you can get from him? Are there areas of your spiritual life where you are focused more on yourself than on God?

FRIDAY, JUNE 17

Connect: Romans 4

DISCOVER:

  • Whose justification is discussed in chap. 4? 
  • Why would Paul discuss this man’s case?
  • What would be true if Abraham was justified by works? 
  • By what kind of works was Abraham not justified?
  • If one is saved on the basis of works, what does that mean about grace and debt?

 

RESPOND:

  • Again and again the New Testament warns us that our works cannot add anything to our justification. Neither can sin take away the right status of all those truly justified, though it may disrupt our fellowship with God. Have you done something that, deep down, you consider unforgivable? If you have repented of your sin and trusted in Christ, then you need not fear the Lord’s wrath. Ask God to make his forgiveness real to you today.

SATURDAY, JUNE 18

Connect: Colossians 1

DISCOVER:

  • What motivated Paul to pray for the Colossians?
  • What effect did the gospel have according to 1:6? 
  • What can we learn about how people can receive a proper understanding of God’s grace?
  • What request did Paul make on behalf of the Colossians in 1:10?

RESPOND:

  • It is all too easy for us to think that once we know the basics of the gospel we must then move beyond them for true spiritual growth. Yet it is not extra biblical revelations and methods that mature us, nor is it the search for esoteric meanings and codes in Scripture. Instead, it is the continual attempt to plumb the depths of the gospel message and its application to all of life, which is, in fact, the story of the Bible.

SUNDAY, JUNE 19

Connect: John 9

DISCOVER:

  • What ailment did this man have? How long had the man suffered?
  • What did the disciples think had caused the problem
  • What illustration did Jesus use in 9:5? What did it have to do with the situation?

RESPOND:

  • Over the course of John 9, the man born blind goes from knowing Jesus’ name to calling him a prophet to confessing him as Lord. This progression indicates a growth in the man’s understanding and faith. We should see the same growth in ourselves. The longer we follow Jesus, the more we should know him and the more committed we should be to him as our Lord.
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