Q52 Week 23

Show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.

I both love and loathe the term, “Show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.” On one hand, it is a great phrase because the people that we hang out with, have the highest probability of influencing us. Think about it… the restaurants that you like, the movies that you watch, the teams that you root for are all often influenced by a friend in your life. It’s a community that you build and grow together out of camaraderie. That’s something that we all need desperately. We need people that we can grow together with who will influence us positively.

MONDAY, JUNE 6

Connect: Mark 5

DISCOVER:

  • Four men bring a paralyzed man to Jesus. What were the obstacles in their way and what were they willing to do to get to Jesus? Why?
  • What is the significance of Jesus telling the paralyzed man that his sins are forgiven? Why not just heal him?
  • Jesus chose a tax collector named Levi (or Matthew) to follow Him. What does this tell us about who God chooses? What does it tell us about who we should share Jesus with?
  • What can we learn about following Jesus from Levi’s response?
  • What is the point Jesus is making about fasting in verses 18-22 in His explanation of grooms, garments, and wineskins?

RESPOND:

  • After reading the essay, do you believe your sins have been fully forgiven? Why or why not?
  • When Jesus responds to the critical scribes and Pharisees (verse 17) He gives an explanation for why He came. As His follower, how does Jesus’ purpose influence our purpose?
  • What is the most remarkable thing you learned about Jesus in this chapter?
  • What does this chapter inspire you to do to be more like Jesus?

TUESDAY, JUNE 7

Connect: 1 Psalm 32

DISCOVER:

  • How did David describe the person who receives God’s forgiveness? (32:1-11) How did David feel when he had unconfessed sin in his life? (32:3-4)
  • What personal testimony did David offer regarding God’s forgiveness? (32:3-5) How did God motivate David to confess his sin? (32:5)
  • What did David experience after he confessed his sin to God? (32:5) How did God respond to David’s confession? (32:5)
  • What promise did David offer to those who trust in the Lord? (32:10)

RESPOND:

  • After reading Psalm 32, whom do you know who needs to hear this poem?
  • What behavior or attitude do you need to confess to the Lord today?
  • What is one creative way you can remind yourself of God’s forgiveness over this next week?

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8

Connect: Romans 4

DISCOVER:

  • Focus on Romans 4:7– What are transgressions? How are these defined?
  • How can sins be covered? Covered by what/whom?
  • What blessings will the Lord give those who are forgiven?

RESPOND:

  • Do you recognize that you sin daily? Why or why not?
  • If we sin daily, do you take your sin seriously or do you shrug it off?
  • What does the Bible define repentance as? How do you live a life of repentance?

THURSDAY, JUNE 9

Connect: Luke 5 and Mark 2:1-17

DISCOVER:

  • If we feel guilt for what we do, but shame for who we are, then which of these is beneficial and which is not? What effect does each produce in the human heart?
  • In Luke 5:10, Jesus responds to Peter. What do we learn about the character of God from the words of Jesus here, and how do you think Peter reacted to them?
  • read Luke 5:27-28: Who does Jesus call? What was his occupation? What are some of the things that make this call so surprising? What was this man’s response?
  • What does Levi do? Why do you think he did this? Who does Levi invite? What does this tell us about Levi? What are some reasons Jesus could have given for not going to this feast? What does Jesus going to this feast tell us about Jesus?

RESPOND:

  • What happens to a person physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually when she is not forgiven?
  • Have you ever had a time you felt unforgiven either by God or by another person? What was that like?
  • Who in your circle is most like Matthew–a person living outside of faith that you suspect may have interest in faith?
  • What drew you to faith? Was it a person, an event, or an experience?

FRIDAY, JUNE 10

Connect: Ephesians 1

DISCOVER:

  • Focus on Ephesians 1:7– Define redemption. How does a person gain redemption?
  • How do we see God’s grace?
  • Why would God want to forgive us?

RESPOND:

  • According to Ephesians 1:7, have you received redemption through Christ?
  • Who is someone who comes to mind in your friend circle who needs redemption? How can you create opportunities for them to talk about Christ?

Day 11 Hebrews 9

DISCOVER:

  • Reread Hebrews 9:22– What is “the law” verse 22 is refers to?
  • How has “the law” been fulfilled?
  • Forgiveness is a 2 step process: (1) The shedding of the Blood, which Jesus completed & rose from the grave (2) Freely accepting the gift of forgiveness Christ offers. If a person accepts this gift, according to verse 22 what is a person considered?

SATURDAY, JUNE 11

Connect: Hebrews 9

DISCOVER:

  • Reread Hebrews 9:22– What is “the law” verse 22 is refers to?
  • How has “the law” been fulfilled?
  • Forgiveness is a 2 step process: (1) The shedding of the Blood, which Jesus completed & rose from the grave (2) Freely accepting the gift of forgiveness Christ offers. If a person accepts this gift, according to verse 22 what is a person considered?

RESPOND:

  • Have you confessed your sins to Christ? Have you repented of these sins to Christ? Have you asked forgiveness from Christ? Have you asked Holy Spirit to fill your heart, mind and soul? If no to any of these, why? I encourage you to talk to someone about your responses.
  • If yes to these, have you taken the next step of baptism? If no, I encourage you to speak to someone here at the Rock to help with that next step.
  • The bible is clear about forgiveness from God, but it’s also clear about us forgiving others. Are you purposely withholding forgiveness from someone? Why or why not? What steps can you take to finally forgive?

SUNDAY, JUNE 12

Connect: John 5

DISCOVER:

  • Any guess as to why the “Sheep Gate” (John 5:2) was called that?
  • What does John 7:14-15 tell us about this man who had been healed?
  • In John 5:19-23, is Jesus saying that He is another God to rival the Father?
  • Who is the “Son of Man” (John 5:27) to whom Jesus is referring?
  • Why does Jesus say, “I can do nothing by Myself” (John 5:30)?

RESPOND:

  • How do people react today when warned about their sin(s)?
  • How do you react when people warn you about your sin(s)?
  • What do you think people and we are so quick to be offended when called out about sin? How can we approach ACCOUNTABILITY better?

Q52 Week 22

MONDAY, MAY 30

Connect: Mark 5

DISCOVER

  • When Jesus heard about Lazarus’ problem, what did He say about it and what did He do about it?
  • How did Jesus describe Lazarus’ problem in 11:11, what did He mean, and how did the disciples respond?
  • How long had Lazarus been dead when Jesus arrived? 
  • What did Jesus say to Lazarus, and what happened as a result?

RESPOND

  • To clear up any misunderstanding on the disciple’s part, Jesus tells the disciples that Lazarus died and that his death, while evil in itself, will be used to bring about good for the disciples. Lazarus’ death, Jesus says, will provide an opportunity for the disciples to grow in their faith. This helps us to see one of the purposes that our Creator has for allowing us to experience grief and suffering. Pain, while in itself is not a good thing, is a means through which the Lord works for the final good of our redemption. John Calvin comments, “When God permits us to be overwhelmed with distresses, and to languish long under them, let us know that, in this manner, he promotes our salvation.”

TUESDAY, MAY 31

Connect: 1 Kings 17 and 2 Kings 4

DISCOVER

  • Read 1 Kings 17:8-24 and 2 Kings 4:18-37 and reflect on yesterday’s passage in John 11.

RESPOND

  • What similarities do you see between the Old Testament stories of Elijah and Elisha raising the dead and the story of Jesus raising Lazarus?
  • What did​ these miracles confirm about Elijah, Elisha, and Jesus?

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1

Connect: 1 Corinthians 6

DISCOVER

  • In what sense are our bodies members of Christ?
  • What passage is quoted in 6:16, and what does it teach?
  • What relationship do we have with the Lord according to 6:17?
  • What is the connection between the Holy Spirit and the body?

RESPOND

  • It seems the Corinthians made a radical distinction between the soul and the body, saying that since God would destroy the body they could do what they wanted with their physical bodies without harming the soul. Freedom from the law entails freedom from its condemnation, not freedom from any obligation to keep God’s commandments. Paul’s answers the Corinthians by noting that if we think we may do whatever our fallen hearts desire, we will do things that are not helpful to others, and we will end up enslaved to what we sinfully pursue. Paul does not let the Corinthians off with their convenient conclusion. What we do with our bodies matters, and God’s commandments direct us in how we behave in this life. 

THURSDAY, JUNE 2

Connect: John 11

DISCOVER

  • How did Jesus describe Lazarus’ problem in 11:11, what did he mean, and how did the disciples respond?

RESPOND

  • Do you think most people are afraid to die? How can you tell?
  • Have you noticed a difference between Christian funerals and those of non-believers?
  • Why does death feel so unnatural to us? What can you do to live without the fear of death?
  • What areas of your life right now could use a bit more life? How could Jesus speak life into that area?

FRIDAY, JUNE 3

Connect: 1 Corinthians 15

DISCOVER

  • What are the basic facts of the gospel according to 15:3-5?
  • What did some Corinthians say about the resurrection?
  • In what sense do all die in Adam and are made alive in Christ?

RESPOND

  • Job voiced the question that occupies the minds of all men: “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14) 1 Corinthians 12 is the apostolic response to the question of life beyond the grave. Paul places the resurrection of Christ front and center as evidence for life after death. Christ has risen, he argues, and we shall too. It is normal to fear death. If you struggle with this fear, remind yourself that Christ’s resurrection is the heart of your faith. He said he would not stay dead, and he did not. Reflect on his promises for believers in the next life.

SATURDAY, JUNE 4

Connect: 2 Corinthians 4

DISCOVER

  • What is the relationship between affliction and glory? (4:17)
  • What is the significance of each of these words/phrases in v17: “light,” “for the moment,” “eternal weight”?
  • What are the things that are “seen” and the things that are “not seen” – 4:18? 
  • What difference does Paul describe between the two?

RESPOND

  • How much worth do you ascribe to the Lord? We are apt to spend a great deal of time thinking about and working for that which we value highly, so the amount of time we dedicate to thinking about God’s glory and talking to others about it can be an indicator of how worthy we find him. Let’s seek to give glory to God and help others understand his infinite worth.

SUNDAY, JUNE 5

Connect: Mark 2

DISCOVER

  • Reflect on the illustration that Jesus uses in 2:21 about new cloth on an old garment. What is the significance?

RESPOND

  • R.C. Sproul mentions in his commentary on Mark that Jesus “was warning them that their King had come, and they would not be able to deal with this King unless they got rid of the structures that made it impossible for them to receive him.” If our non-biblically mandated traditions are ends in themselves, they will keep us from seeing Jesus. Such things may themselves be fine, but if we make them unalterable, we will never be reformed according to God’s Word.

Q52 Week 21

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.