I doubt a lot of things. Here are some examples. 1. I doubt I will ever see Notre Dame win a National title in my lifetime. 2. I doubt I will ever find a PS5 for the student venue. 3.I doubt I will ever know how to parallel park.
MONDAY, September 5
Connect: Matthew 11
- What testimony had John given about Jesus in John 1:29-34?
- What answer did Jesus give to John through John’s disciples?
- What question did Jesus ask about John in 11:7?
- How did John relate to the prophets and the law – 11:13? To what do the prophets and the law refer? So what is the significance of the fact that they prophesied until John?
- Of all people, we would expect John the Baptizer to have the fewest doubts about the person and work of Jesus. After all, he is the Messiah’s forerunner and has already baptized him, recognizing him as the Father’s Anointed One. Yet even John wavered as persecution began. Standing up to Herod Antipas landed him in a jail cell. There has been no judgment of evil or vindication of holiness, Which John expected to happen at the hands of Jesus. John questions his identity and begins to doubt. Like John, we live in an era when the good guys do not always wim. Righteous people suffer and this can lead us to doubt God’s promises. But Christ’s kingdom is growing, and we can look forward to its sure consumption. When you begin to doubt, turn to the Word and other Christians so that doubt does not fester into unbelief.
TUESDAY, September 6
Connect: Isaiah 42
- What power did God possess that idols do not have – 42:8,9?
- What is the point in this context?
- What does God deserve for people to do because of His greatness?
- The first question and answer in the Westminster Shorter Catechism tells us that “man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” God’s glory is the highest good and therefore is the purpose for which we were created. We were made to glorify him, to reflect his glory and proclaim it to all creation. Some idolatry is crass, such as the worship of trees or nature. Other forms are more refined, such as the exaltation of human reason above divine revelation. But anytime we substitute something else for the God of the Bible, we attempt to have him share his glory with another. Let us be careful not to adopt the views of God common in our culture but rather allow Scripture to reveal to us the God who is.
WEDNESDAY, September 7
Connect: Romans 8
- How does carnal mindedness cause us to relate to God and His law – 8:7?
- What consequence follows from being “in the flesh” – 8:8?
- How do 8:5-8 relate to the discussion of 7:14-25?
- What must we have to be in the spirit, not in the flesh – 8:9? What is our condition if we do not have this?
- According to the Bible, the war between flesh and spirit is not a war between body and soul. Instead, it is a struggle within ourselves – a war between the new life granted to us by the Holy Spirit and our sin nature, which will remain with us until our glorification. Aside from studying Scripture by ourselves, small-group Bible studies and accountability relationships are powerful weapons in our spiritual warfare. Do you have a close Christian friend to whom you can safely confess your struggles and temptations?
THURSDAY, September 8
Connect: 2 Corinthians 3
- In what sense was Paul not sufficient but needed God? How is this true of us?
- In what specific area had God made Paul sufficient?
- What effect does gazing at the Lord have on us?
- What are your greatest doubts about God, Jesus, or the Bible?
- What makes you doubt your doubts?
- How has Jesus been different that you expected but better in the long run? How does the Holy Spirit help you personally connect with God? Are there places, experiences, or people that help you connect with Jesus and his Spirit?
FRIDAY, September 9
Connect: Ephesians 1
- What is the Christian’s hope?
- What is our inheritance?
- Whose power benefits us?
- How has God already demonstrated His power?
- In Scripture, hope is not a reference to uncertainty or a lack of confidence in what the future will bring; rather hope is another word for confident anticipation., and it has both objective and subjective aspects. Objectively, we have a hope that exists outside ourselves – Christ will surely return to reign visibly over all. This fact is even more incontivertible than the fact that the earth revolves around the sun. Subjectively, hope is the inward confidence we have that we will participate in the benefits of the objective, future reality. The Holy Spirit’s work involves giving us this subjective hope, and Paul prays for this in Ephesians.
SATURDAY, September 10
Connect: Isaiah 49
- What would the Lord do for the servant?
- What would the servant do for others?
- What blessings would people receive through Him?
- What complaint would the people raise?
- How would God answer this complaint?
- If you want proof of God’s love for you, then look at the hands of Jesus. If you believe in Jesus and have trusted in his substitutionary death on the cross for your salvation, then he has engraved you on the palms of his hands. Jesus will wear the wounds from the cross for all eternity. Isaiah 53:5 tells us “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” If you are ever wondering if God really loves you, then consider the pierced hands of Jesus; consider his death on the cross for you personally.
SUNDAY, September 11
Connect: Philippians 2
- Where should we learn the proper attitude that Paul is encouraging – 2:5?
- What position did Jesus have from eternity – 2:6?
- In what way did Jesus demonstrate humility according to 2:7,8?
- What position has Jesus been given because of what He did – 2:9?
- What honor will men give Jesus for what He has done – 2:10,11?
- At age 86, Polycarp, the second-century pastor of the church at Smyrna and disciple of the Apostle John, was brought before the Roman authorities to confess that Caesar is lord. Though doing so would have saved his life, Polycard refused and was murdered, inspiring others to remain faithful. Early Christans like Polycarp were murdered because they refuesed to confess Caesar is lord. They knew that Jesus alone is divine and would have no one usurp his status. These Chrisitans knew the New Testament is not merely being polite when it calls Jesus Lord; rather it is teaching that Jesus is God Almighty. Idols of sex, money, power, prestige, and so on can become lords if we are not careful. Let us, therefore, always confess that Jesus Christ alone is Lord.