One man’s opinions on opinions

I have a lot of things that I will argue against. Some divisive, some not. Here are five.

MONDAY, JUNE 20

Connect: John 9

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 21

Connect: 2 Samuel 22

DISCOVER:

  • How did David use the metaphor of darkness and light to refer to God’s saving work? Where else do we find this poem?
  • How did David respond when he faced these difficulties? What should we do when we face troubles?
  • Were these actual waters David was sinking in? What might they represent? Vs 17-20.

RESPOND:

  • Are you building your house on the solid rock of Christ or are you building your house on the constantly shifting sands of money, materials, or pleasure?
  • What is your refuge? Who or what will you turn to when things get difficult?
  • Are you quick to repent when you sin? Are you willing to humble yourself and confess verbally to the people around you and to God?

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22

Connect: 2 Corinthians 4

DISCOVER:

  • How do some false teachers cunningly tamper with God’s word?
  • VS 3-4: In what way was their gospel veiled?
  • VS 5-6: What have you learned in this passage about evangelism?

RESPOND:

  • What are some disgraceful things some preachers of the gospel do? Why do they do these things?
  • How did God shine the light into your hearts? (Share your testimony of when you first saw the light.)
  • How has your perspective changed after seeing the light?

THURSDAY, JUNE 23

Connect: Matthew 15 and John 9:1-41

DISCOVER:

  • What was the Pharisees goal in pointing out that the disciples did not wash their hands first? What problem in their own attitudes did Jesus strive to point out?
  • What can we learn about this woman from verse 22? What can we learn about her attitude toward Jesus? Why did Jesus not reply to her? What did His disciples want Jesus to do? Why do you think Jesus did not send her away, but instead engaged with her in conversation? 
  • How is the feeding of the 4000 story similar to the feeding of the five thousand? How is it different? Are there any additional insights/lessons you can learn from it?

RESPOND:

  • How is darkness portrayed in movies and other popular media? What does it represent?
  • What was the darkest day of your life? The brightest day of your life?
  • Do people in the dark know they are in the dark? Why do people in the dark think people in the light are blind? Extra credit: Read the allegory of the cave in Plato’s Republic.
  • Do you know of areas of your life where you don’t think or see clearly? How does spiritual arrogance cause blindness?

FRIDAY, JUNE 24

Connect: Ephesians 1

DISCOVER:

  • What attitude does Paul show in verses 15-16? (Gratitude) Who is he grateful to? Why was Paul thankful to God for their good deeds?
  • Paul says that he made mention of them in his prayers. What was he asking?
  • In what three ways did Paul pray they would be enlightened?

RESPOND:

  • Note the type of prayers Paul prays for the Ephesians. They are rich and powerful. He prays predominantly for their spiritual knowledge and growth. What exactly does he pray for?
  • What is the main content of your prayers? What do you pray for yourself and others?

SATURDAY, JUNE 25

Connect: Revelation 3

DISCOVER:

  • Why was it important for the church of Laodicea to know that Jesus knows their works? What is Jesus’ criticism toward this church?
  • Why do you think He doesn’t offer any encouragement or commendation at all? Do you think they are real believers or not? Why?
  • What does He mean that they are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot? What was their true spiritual condition?

RESPOND:

  • What important principles can you learn from Jesus’ criticism?
  • What application can you make? God calls us to be useful. He has designed us for a purpose. Are you fulfilling your purpose?

SUNDAY, JUNE 26

Connect: Matthew 12

DISCOVER:

  • What accusation did the Pharisees level at Jesus’ disciples? Were they accurate in saying that the disciples were breaking the Sabbath? What was Jesus’ reply? Does He defend the disciples or agree with them?
  • What is the “that place” which Jesus withdrew from? Why did he warn them not to tell who he was?
  • What is the meaning of the words in verse 20 that a “bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out?”

RESPOND:

  • Ask someone who knows you well and whom you trust as wise (whether Chrisian or not) what your blind spots might be.
  • What is the difference between God’s intention for the Sabbath and how man kept it?
  • Jesus is patient and kind and long-suffering. He doesn’t quickly snuff out or judge the spiritually immature, but instead seeks to rekindle the flame again. How can you apply Jesus’ character to your life?
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