The public aspect certainly is a weird one because it’s something that I think of often. Sometimes it can feel as though I am a character in a live broadway show where people are watching and I got to have my movements, my lines, and my deposition right otherwise it ruins the experience for other people. And that right there is a dangerous place to be in.
MONDAY, JULY 18
Connect: Matthew 6
- What are some ways people may try to draw attention to their good works akin to “announcing with trumpets?” Why does Jesus call these people hypocrites? What is their reward (verse 20?)
- What does it mean to not “let your left hand know what your right hand is doing?’ Is it possible to always hide all of the good things we do? Is it necessary? What is the principle we need to learn from this?
- What is the proper reason for fasting? Who is the fast for? What is the goal of fasting? Should we fast? In what kind of situations would it be appropriate to fast? In what kind of situations might it be better not to fast?
- What is the gap between how God’s kingdom should be (how it is in heaven where there is no sin) and the world around us? What would this world look like if God’s kingdom reigned here? That’s what you should pray for. What would your church look like if God’s kingdom ruled there? That’s what you should pray for. What would your home look like if God reigned as king there? That’s what you should pray for.
- What destroys us is the settled intention we are NOT going to forgive and have NO intention of forgiving. It is the enjoyment of holding grudges in our hearts and refusing to let it go. We must make war with this wrong attitude. Is there anyone you are refusing to forgive? Why? Pray for the Lord to reveal how to forgive.
TUESDAY, JULY 19
Connect: 1 Samuel 13 & 17
- How long did Saul wait for Samuel? (13:8) What circumstance prompted Saul to go ahead with the burnt offering? (13:9)
- What was Samuel’s question to Saul? How did Saul rationalize his actions? (13:11-12) How did Samuel judge Saul’s action? What difference did Saul’s choice make? (13:13-14)
- 1 Sam 17: What does Goliath’s armor and weaponry reveal about him.
- Where does David find the confidence to face Goliath? What larger missionary purpose is served by this single fight? How does David’s attitude compare with Saul’s (v. 11)?
- How did King Saul and King David differ in seeking the approval of people versus God?
- What verse of Scripture could you post in a prominent place to remind you to wait for God’s timing rather than to take matters into your own hands?
- What giants are drawn up against you in battle? How are they taunting you? Is your attitude toward them more like Saul’s or David’s? How does that attitude need to change?
WEDNESDAY, JULY 20
Connect: Galatians 1
- What can you learn from verse 1 about what an apostle is? Why does Paul start almost every one of his letters identifying himself as an apostle? Who was he writing to? What do you know about Galatia and the church there?
- What did Paul mean by the fact that they were deserting Him? What were they turning to? What is a false gospel? What specific false gospel may they have been turning to? What warnings did Paul give them about this? What can we learn from those warnings?
- What is Paul’s point in verse ten?
- Can you say that you are trying to please God or please people? Think for a moment about something you have done before out of a motive to please others instead of God. Confess to God and ask Him to help you have pure motivations.
- Do you have the same complete confidence in God’s Word that Paul did? If so, how will this confidence affect your life? Your decisions? Your words?
THURSDAY, JULY 21
Connect: Colossians 3
- Who is the wife to be subject to? Why is this fitting in the Lord? What is the role of the husband?
- What are children commanded to do? Why is it important to follow the structure of authority in the family outlined in this passage? What is true obedience? Why should children obey their parents? Does this command apply to adults whose parents are still living? Why or why not?
- What does this verse show fathers they should be focused on?
- What percentage of people do you suppose have a healthy self-image? What are some of the indications that a person has low self-esteem?
- Often people who appear arrogant are actually insecure. How have you seen that manifested in your experience?
- How do public acts of piety lead to hypocrisy?
- Which acts of religious devotion do you tend to perform for others to see?
- When is it okay to publicly perform religious actions, and when does it become dangerous to your spiritual health?
FRIDAY, JULY 22
Connect: 1 Thessalonians 2
- What was the result of Paul’s ministry among the Thessalonians? What incident helped give Paul and Silas boldness? What happened in Philippi? So what is one known reason for why God allowed this seemingly bad thing to happen to them?
- What does it mean to be “entrusted with the gospel?”
- What can we learn from these verses about proper motivations?
- One reason God entrusted the gospel to each believer is to share with the people we know. If we don’t share with the people we know, who would or should share with them? Who will you share the Gospel with this week?
SATURDAY, JULY 23
- What will wisdom do for the person who does not forsake it? (4:5-6)
- What is the value of listening to instruction? (4:13)
- How do the path of the righteous and the way of the wicked differ? (4:18-19)
- What is one thing you can do this week to get wisdom?
- What will you do today to avoid following the way of the wicked?
- What tempting situation will you purposefully avoid this week?
- What is something you can do to guard your heart today?
SUNDAY, JULY 24
Connect: Proverbs 16
- Compare verse 2 to your life. Any convictions?
- Reread verse 16. How should we view wisdom in terms of value?
- How can you apply verse 21 in your work and family?
- When was a time when you really knew you were living God’s plans for you? How did you know? Or, when was a time when you realized that you were not living God’s plans for you? How did you know?
- On a scale of 1-5, rate the following religious practices in your own life: prayer, giving, Bible reading, church attendance, volunteer service. Why did you rate them this way? What can you do to improve those numbers?