Q52 Week 20

Influence + Faith

This week in Quest, I loved the question from day one: Do you think that Jesus is impressed with you? That question is so amazing because it caused me to reflect on my life, what I have done, and what that means in relation to Jesus. On paper, I have had an “impressive” life journey. I was a kid who didn’t get into too much trouble, I went to Haiti to serve in the mission field twice in high school, I preached my first sermon as a sophomore in high school (it went 7 whole minutes), ended up playing college football, decided to go into ministry, graduated from Bible college got married, bought a house, had a child. Impressive-ish life on paper. As I reflected on it, I felt pretty good. Then reality hit me. (Continue Reading Here)

MONDAY, MAY 16

Connect: Luke 7

DISCOVER:

  • Who called for Jesus and why – 7:1-3?
  • What reputation did this man have and why – 7:4,5?
  • What was the man’s view of authority?
  • What did Jesus say about the man – 7:9? What can we learn?

RESPOND:

  • What does the event show about the nature and purpose of miracles?
  • How does the centurion’s statement express the concept of authority? How should we apply this regarding the authority of God and the Scriptures?
  • Church history testifies that the church is healthiest when it is committed to the final authority of Scripture for faith and practice. Moreover, we will please God only to the degree that we affirm biblical authority because if we doubt its authority we will doubt its truth and relevance to our lives. Pray today that the Lord would develop in us and in our congregation a firm commitment to the truth of his word.

TUESDAY, MAY 17

Connect: Genesis 12 and 14

DISCOVER:

  • What command did God give Abram – 12:1?
  • What promises did God make to Abram if he would obey – 12:2,3?
  • What two offices did Melchizedek hold – 14:18? Why is this significant?
  • What blessing did Melchizedek pronounce? What did Abram do for Melchizedek – 14:19,20?

RESPOND:

  • What New Testament passages refer to the call of Abram? What information do they add?
  • What are some of  the ways the New Testament says Jesus is like Melchizedek (Hebrews 7). What lessons should we learn?

WEDNESDAY, MAY 18

Connect: Acts 10

DISCOVER:

  • What man is described beginning in 10:1, where did he live, and what was his occupation?
  • What did he see in his vision, and what was he told about his prayers – 10:3,4?
  • What instructions did the angel give Cornelius?
  • Where was Peter? What were his circumstances when he saw his vision?
  • How did Peter respond? What reply did he receive?

RESPOND:

  • What can we learn regarding relationships between people of different races or nationalities?
  • What should we conclude regarding the salvation of Gentiles?

THURSDAY, MAY 19

Connect: Matthew 8 and Luke 7:1-10

DISCOVER:

  • Who came to Jesus at Capernaum, and what request did he make?
  • What did Jesus say that He would do, and what did the centurion say to do instead? 
  • Why did he say Jesus should not come to his house?
  • Why did the Centurion say Jesus could heal the servant simply by speaking?

RESPOND:

  • Think of a story of someone who surprised you in a positive way.
  • What does Hebrews 11:1 mean?
  • Why do you think outsiders are often clearer about who Jesus is than insiders?
  • If you are willing to be vulnerable, what is the area of your life that you really have not trusted Jesus with?

FRIDAY, MAY 20

Connect: Acts 11

DISCOVER:

  • Who confronted Peter, and what did they question him about 
  • What did the Spirit then tell Peter?
  • What can we learn about the importance of hearing the gospel from v14?
  • What conclusion did Peter and the other Jews reach

RESPOND:

  • Summarize the four supernatural events on which Peter based his conclusion. 
  • Define “necessary inference.” How does the story of Cornelius illustrate this teaching method? How important is the conclusion that was reached by this method, and what would be the consequence if someone rejected the conclusion?

SATURDAY, MAY 21

Connect: Acts 22 and 23

DISCOVER:

  • What was the purpose of Paul’s speech
  • What had Paul done that proved his zeal for the law?
  • Why would he tell these facts to this audience?

RESPOND:

  • Before Paul’s conversion and after he was heavily invested in pursuing the approval of God. What was the difference between how he pursued this pre and post conversion? 

SUNDAY, MAY 22

Connect: Mark 5

DISCOVER:

  • What problem did the woman have in verse 25? How long had she had it?
  • What had she done to deal with the problem, and what was the result?
  • What did the woman do to receive healing? Why did she do it?

RESPOND:

  • How does this story demonstrate the nature of the kind of faith that God blesses? Was this woman’s faith required to act in order to receive the blessing from the Lord or did she receive the blessing by faith without doing anything?
  • How does this miracle demonstrate the nature of true miracles? In particular, how does it prove that miracles were impossible by natural law?

Q52 Week 18

Listen to Him

Pain is something everyone experiences. Due to that, it’s become very obvious to me that people have a wide variety of responses to that pain. Some are funny, some are sad, some are just plain weird.  (Continue Reading Here)

MONDAY, MAY 2

Connect: Mark 1

Discover: 

  • What was John the Baptizer’s message to Israel?
  • If John preached a message of baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, why would Jesus need to be baptized? 
  • How do the miracles recorded in the first chapter of Mark’s gospel illustrate the concern Jesus had for people?

Respond: 

  • Jesus not only died for us; he lived for our sake. His death on the cross covers our sins but it is his perfect life of obedience that qualifies him as the spotless Lamb of God and attains righteousness for believers that we could never attain for ourselves. John the Baptizer came with a message from God that Israel should repent and be baptized in preparation for the arrival of his kingdom. In order to be perfectly obedient Jesus kept that command. God the Father sees Christ his Son when he looks at those who have put faith in Christ. Because of this we can be confident in our salvation.

TUESDAY, MAY 3

Connect: Leviticus 26

Discover: 

  • The chapter begins with a prohibition of idol worship. Why is this commandment emphasized here? 
  • In what ways will Israel be guarded against idolatry if they keep the Sabbath?
  • What is the progression of calamities if they disobey?

Respond: 

  • The list of covenant curses in verses 14-39 would be discouraging indeed if that was the last word. Fortunately for us the curse of God is not his last word. Because of God’s promise to Abraham he would preserve a remnant of Israel through which the Messiah would come. The curses of God should cause us to take our sin seriously and to resist temptation. But we can also rest assured that the one who can bring curses also brings redemption.  

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4

Connect: Hebrews 12

Discover: 

  • What illustration does the author use in v1? What application is made to us?
  • In what sense was the cross a cause for shame? 
  • Why did Jesus endure it?
  • In what sense is chastening an act of love? Why should we not despise it or faint because of it?

Respond: 

  • Hebrews 12:1-3 compares the Christian life to a race or marathon. A marathon must be run with endurance lest the runner grows weary and gives up before reaching the finish line. The life of faith must be lived in similar fashion. Like the runner who must shed heavy clothing in order to run, so too must we cast aside those sins which hinder us. Like the runner who runs the race for the prize, we should look to our prize, the Lord Jesus Christ, so that we will be motivated to run the race to the very end. 

THURSDAY, MAY 5

Connect: Luke 4 and Mark 1:29-39

Discover: 

  • In Luke 4: 18-19 what passage did Jesus read, and what did it discuss?
  • What works would this anointed one do? 
  • What claim did Jesus make about this passage?

Respond: 

  • Have you ever experienced miraculous healing or known someone who has?
  • Why do you think people often prioritize their physical health over spiritual health?
  • Can you remember a time when caring for someone physically gave you an opportunity to care for them spiritually?
  • Is there anything you have been thinking about doing to care for people’s physical needs that could open opportunities to share Christ’s love for them? What would you need to take your next step toward that goal?

FRIDAY, MAY 6

Connect: James 5

Discover: 

  • Who is spoken to, beginning in 5:1, and what are they told to do?
  • What problem do possessions have according to 5:2,3?
  • What sin is discussed in 5:9? Why should it be avoided?
  • Who is specifically named in 5:11, and what lesson should we learn from him? 

Respond: 

  • Lest any of us feel that the warnings of James to the wealthy do not apply to us, consider the following:
    • If the poorest Americans were a nation, it would be among the wealthiest of nations. 
    • Only 18% of the world’s population owns a vehicle.
    • Access to lifesaving antibiotics in the US today is almost a foregone conclusion.
    • If you have access to indoor plumbing and safe drinking water you are more fortunate than many of the world’s population.
    • Even the wealthiest person in antiquity could not enjoy a glass of ice water.
  • If you live in the United States today you are indeed wealthy and the warnings in James 5 certainly apply. How are you using the material blessings of God to advance his kingdom?

SATURDAY, MAY 7

Connect: 1 Peter 2

Discover: 

  • Who is the living stone of 2:4, and how does man’s view of Him differ from God’s?
  • Who are the living stones of 2:5? What is the house they make up?
  • What passage is quoted in 2:6, and in what sense is Jesus like a corner stone?
  • Who were the builders, how did they reject Jesus, and how did He still become the cornerstone?

Respond: 

  • As the cornerstone, Jesus is the crucial support of the church. The entire institution crumbles if he is removed. We are called to come to him and to rest our faith on him alone. And yet, when we come to him, we are joined to one another as living stones and built up into God’s holy temple. One evidence of saving faith is a desire to gather with other believers for worship and to serve one another. If you are not part of a local Bible believing and teaching church, it is time to join one. If you are a church member, your gifts and service are needed.

SUNDAY, MAY 8

Connect: Mark 1

Discover: 

  • Since Mark was not an apostle, what qualifications would he have to write a record of the life of Christ?
  • How does Mark begin his record – 1:1? What is the significance?
  • What prophecy did John fulfill – 1:2,3? Where is it found originally?

Respond: 

  • As important as he was in God’s plan of salvation, John the Baptizer was called not to exalt himself but to point to the Savior, “whose sandal he was not worth to unloose”. That is our task today. As many have said, we are just “poor beggars telling other beggars where they can find bread.” We must continually point beyond ourselves to Christ, refusing to puff ourselves up but submitting wholly and eagerly to him as the only savior. In ourselves we are nothing. Christ is everything.

Q52 Week 17

Listen to Him

I have a confession to make… I, Clay Finklea, am a terrible listener. Do I listen to things all the time? Yes, yes I do. I almost always have a podcast, a baseball game, or a tv show going into my ears, sometimes simultaneously, because I don’t like to be in the quiet. However this background noise effect has turned me into quite the horrific listener. In conversations I have to actively listen in order to keep up. Otherwise I will hear you but not really HEAR you. Katie says I have “Selective hearing” or at least I believe that is what she says. Who knows. (Continue Reading Here)

MONDAY, APRIL 25

Connect: Luke 9:28-36

DISCOVER

  • Which disciples were privileged to see the transfiguration? Who needed to remain quiet?
  • Who did the disciples see? Why is seeing these people important?
  • What is the significance of the transfiguration? What was Jesus teaching his disciples?
  • What did Peter want to do? Whose voice did they hear? What did the voice say?

RESPOND

  • After reading the essay, consider this question: Have you underestimated Jesus’s majesty or divinity?

TUESDAY, APRIL 26

Connect: Malachi 3 and 4

DISCOVER MORE

  • Who is verses 3:1-5 talking about?
  • How can someone rob God? What does this principle teach us about God? About people? About money? Is there a difference between tithes and offerings? What does it mean to bring the whole tithe into the storehouse?
  • Verses 3: 16-18: What does verse 16 mean? What may the people who feared the Lord have been concerned about? What was done to allay their concerns? What is the book of remembrance? What is the purpose of it? Who is “they” in verse 17? What encouragement did Malachi offer to those who feared the Lord? What encouragement is there for us in these verses?
  • Verses 4: 1-6: What “day” is referred to in 4:1? What will happen then? To the wicked? To the righteous? What final reminders did Malachi give? Has Elijah come yet? Are there any other verses which could shed light on this character? What will happen when Elijah comes? Did this happen at Jesus’ first coming or when John the Baptist ministered?

RESPOND

  • What predictions in Malachi 3-4 were fulfilled by John the Baptist & Jesus?
  • Will God bless us if we give Him our tithes/offerings? What principles can we learn from this passage to apply to our use of money today?
  • What spoke to you about the divinity of Christ?

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27

Connect: 2 Corinthians 3

DISCOVER MORE

  • Focus on verses 7-11: What is the ministry of death? Why does Paul call this the “ministry of death?”
  • What comparison does Paul make in these verses?
  • How is the new covenant more glorious than the old?
  • Why does Paul want to tell the Corinthian church about the glory of the new covenant?
  • What does this glory mean for us of the new covenant?

RESPOND

  • How should these verses affect our attitude and confidence as we share the good news with others?
  • What ways do you find to speak about Jesus to friends and family?

THURSDAY, APRIL 28

Connect: Matthew 17:1-13

DISCOVER MORE

  • What happened 6 days after Jesus said that some of them would see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom or royal splendor? What did Jesus and Moses and Elijah talk about? (Luke 9:31)
  • What was Peter’s response to what he just witnessed? What happened while Peter was speaking? How did the 3 disciples respond?
  • What was the difference between the disciple’s responses to seeing Jesus’ glory and hearing God’s voice? What did the disciples experience after that?

RESPOND

  • Why do you think Jesus took 3 of his disciples with him up on the mountain to see His transfiguration?
  • Can you even begin to imagine how you would respond if you saw Jesus’ glory or heard God’s voice audibly? Describe a time when you heard God’s voice (audible or not).

FRIDAY, APRIL 29

Connect: Philippians 2

DISCOVER MORE

  • Re-read verses 8-11. Is there any relationship between Jesus’ humiliation and His exultation? What general Biblical principle does this teach? What is the name that Paul refers to here?
  • Will atheists bow the knee to Christ? When? How about Buddhists, Muslims, agnostics, demons, Satan? What does bowing the knee signify? What will happen to unbelievers after they bow the knee and confess if that doesn’t take place until after their death? What happens if we confess now instead of later? What then should our response be to these truths?

RESPOND

  • Living a life to please God requires bowing to His Will daily. We must live each day and make each decision acknowledging His authority over our lives. How can you bow the knee to Jesus this week?

SATURDAY, APRIL 30

Connect: 2 Peter 1

DISCOVER MORE

  • For these questions, focus on verses 16-21: What are some cleverly devised myths in the world?
  • Why did Peter know that what he taught about Jesus was true? Explain why the disciples as eyewitnesses evidence of the resurrection is important. How does the fact that Peter and most of the other disciples were martyred make their testimony even more believable?
  • What prophetic word does Peter refer to in verse 19? What prophecies in the Old Testament can you think of that point toward Jesus? What does Peter mean that “no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation?
  • What does verse 21 teach us about the source of the Scriptures? If someone asked you why you believe the Bible is true, what would you say? What are some basic reasons you can give to seekers which point to the truth of the Scriptures?

RESPOND

  • God has spoken to us just as clearly through the Scripture. How can you, like Peter, tell others about this? The day may come when you too will face persecution for your faith. You may be pressured to stop sharing with people or to deny the faith. How can you prepare for that day now?
  • What prophecies has God made (which are still unfulfilled), which can guide you nowadays like a lamp in the dark? What prophecies, if any, have been fulfilled in the last 100 years? What prophecies can you see ripe for fulfillment in the world today (in other words, trends which make prophecies easier to fulfill now than before)?

SUNDAY, MAY 1

Connect: Mark 1

Discover: 

  • Describe the flow of Jesus’ travel and ministry in Mark 1.
  • What does Jesus accomplish in his earthly ministry in this chapter?
  • What does he leave undone or unattended?
  • What can be learned about Jesus’ mission and vision from this chapter?

Respond: 

  • There are many people in this chapter who Jesus directly affected. Sometime in word. Often times through miracles. What miracle do you need Jesus to perform in your life?
  • Where do you need God to intercede?
  • Where do you need God to transform?
  • Where can you point to the glory of God in your life? Write a few of those down and verbally thank God for them.