Q52 Week 40

Learn From Your Past

Have you ever done something and thought to yourself - “Boy that was a bad decision.” Unfortunately, I have had many moments like that.

MONDAY, October 3

Connect: Luke 19

Discover:

  • In the parable of the minas why did the nobleman leave? 
  • How was this like Jesus?
  • What charge did he give his servants?
  • What did he do when he returned?
  • What had the last servant done with the money the master entrusted him? What excuse did he offer?
  • Whom did he blame for his unfaithfulness?

Respond:

  • As with most of Jesus’ parables the parable of the minas reveals something about the kingdom of God. Jesus discloses his imminent departure from Earth upon accomplishing the work that the Father had given him. As he departed he gave us gifts, and he expects us to use these gifts that we might offer him something on his return. When the King returns in triumph, he will call us to account for how we’ve used what we have been given – our time, talents, and treasure. Consider what you’ve been given and how you can put these to use for your King,

TUESDAY, October 4

Connect: Psalm 118

Discover:

  • According to verse 1, why do we give thanks to God?
  • Why is the psalmist not afraid in verse 6?
  • Why did the psalmist cry out?
  • What was the Lord’s response? 

Respond:

  • Knowing God fights for us is easier to confess with our mouths than to believe in our hearts. We have to repeatedly turn to the promises that God makes that he will fight for those that fight with him. No foe is too great for the Lord to handle, and so we praise him in battle, knowing that he will bring the final victory.

WEDNESDAY, October 5

Connect: Acts 17

Discover:

  • How did Paul introduce his message to the Athenians?
  • What does God not need from men, and what proves He does not need it? 
  • If we want to find God, what should we do and what assurance is there of success?
  • What event proves men must repent? What proves this event will occur?

Respond:

  • Paul’s speech at the Areopagus in Athens provides significant insight into his way of proclaiming the gospel and defending its truth in a pagan culture. When presenting the gospel to those who had no scriptural knowledge, Paul found points of common ground. He did not, however compromise gospel claims or dumb it down. Before we debate the beliefs of others we should be sure we understand the gospel. It isn’t until we know the truth that we can recognize counterfeits. Do you know what your neighbors believe, and are you ready to answer their questions? Let’s seek to equip ourselves to defend and proclaim our faith.

THURSDAY, October 6

Connect:1 Corinthians 15

Discover:

  • In what sense is death “the last enemy”?
  • What does it mean for all things to be “under his feet”?
  • What does 15:28 say will be the final outcome of Jesus’ coming?

Respond:

  • Have you ever thought of Jesus as a political figure? Does that resonate with you or seem unsettling? Why?
  • If Jesus were the president of the world, what do you think his agenda would look like?
  • What is the difference between claiming Jesus as Savior and acclaiming him as Lord?
  • If you were campaigning for Jesus, what would your strategy be to make him famous?

FRIDAY, October 7

Connect: Revelation 11

Discover:

  • What power is given to two witnesses – 11:3? For how long?
  • What are other passages about the significance of two or three witnesses?
  • What are the two witnesses compared to in 11:4?
  • What is symbolized in the Bible by light (lamps)?

Respond:

  • Multiple Old Testament texts serve as background for much of the imagery present in the book of Revelation. Often these symbols are applied in new ways to our current covenant context. The description of the two witnesses in chapter 11 is no exception. Revelation 11:4 tells us​​ that these two witnesses “are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.” In the Old Testament Zechariah had a vision of two olive trees that represented the leaders of Israel after the exile, the governor and the high priest. These leaders pointed forward to Christ who would serve as both king and priest of his people. These olive trees are also lampstands, which John tells us in Chapter 1 v.20 represent churches. Given this, it is likely that the two witnesses represent the church in between Christ’s ascension and return. Like the prophets of the Old Testament, the church is tasked with proclaiming God’s judgment and the need for repentance. This preaching is not well received by the unrepentant world so it’s not surprising that they want to kill the church and celebrate when God’s people are martyred. Even when it seems that the church is defeated however, it is only for a brief time. The church cannot be defeated because she is protected by Christ and will accomplish her mission. 

SATURDAY, October 8

Connect: Revelation 12

Discover:

  • What was the result of the battle between the dragon and Michael?
  • How is the dragon described here? 
  • What is the significance of the dragon’s being cast down to earth?
  • What did the loud voice say?

Respond:

  • Verses 7-9 of chapter 12 describes a battle in heaven between the archangel Michael and his angels, and Satan with his angels. Michael and his angels prevail resulting in Satan and his angels being cast out of heaven and down to earth. This battle gives us a picture of Satan’s failure to defeat Christ. Satan suffered a decisive defeat and was removed from heaven where he once accused God’s people. The atonement of Jesus has negated Satan’s accusations because we are now clothed in Christ’s perfect righteousness. Jesus delivered the final blow, and even though Satan continues to fight against the church we are able to withstand his attacks by the power of Christ’s blood.

SUNDAY, October 9

Connect: Philippians 4

Discover:

  • What are the things on which Paul says we should meditate – 4:8?
  • How can this help us in our choices and conduct, such as in entertainment, priorities, spirituality, courage, etc.?
  • How does the meditation that God’s word advocates differ from the meditation of Hinduism, the New Age movement, and other Oriental religions?

Respond:

  • Psalm 36 describes the ways of wicked people. “He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not reject evil” (v. 4) Whether or not Paul has this wicked person in mind, the difference between one who lies awake in his bed making evil plans and Christians is quite significant. While we see that the wicked focus on evil things Paul calls us to focus on what is true, worthy of respect, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Scripture tells us that the heart follows the mind so those who think on these things will find themselves reflecting the character of Christ and not of the wicked.  

Q52 Week 39

Learn From Your Past

Have you ever done something and thought to yourself - “Boy that was a bad decision.” Unfortunately, I have had many moments like that.

MONDAY, September 26

Connect: Luke 10

Discover:

  • Where is God calling you to go and what is God calling you to do?
  • What are the necessities of your life? 
  • What is the most important commandment?
  • How do you be a good neighbor where you live? 

Respond:

  • Do you have the right priorities to minimize worry in your life? 
  • What do you need to reprioritize?
  • Jesus said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you have seen.” What is something that you that you have seen recently that you can be thankful for?
  • What has been distracting you and causing you worry recently?

TUESDAY, September 27

Connect: Psalm 37

Discover:

  • What are you worrying about right now?
  • Re-read Psalm 37, Underline each verse that speaks to your present situation.
  • When you worry, what are you typical reactions? How does that positively or negatively affect your situation? 
  • How can you put your hope in the Lord today?

Respond:

  • We have talked about pausing and being present in our current series, The Unhurried life, this is a time to practice that. Take 5 minutes and just be “still in the presence of the Lord” Scripture says trust him, and he will help you. 
  • Write down what God spoke to you during that time.

WEDNESDAY, September 28

Connect: Philippians 4

Discover:

  • What is the value of prayer? How would you describe your prayer life? 
  • Many people misunderstand the verse Philippians 4:13, here is some insight on it. From Got Questions: “Finally, Philippians 4:13 is part of a larger passage that addresses Christ’s ability to meet our needs. Christ can give contentment during times of plenty and of poverty. He can help us do all things through His strength. In Paul’s case, it was the strength to serve as a missionary despite facing intense suffering. In our lives, this same strength is available. Whether we serve in another country or help someone in our own community, Christ’s power can enable us to stand firm on His promises and endure the most difficult of life’s challenges.”
  • How does prayer fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable?

Respond:

  • What is something that you have needed to pray about, but haven’t?
  • Think about Philippians 4:6 and take time to memorize it. Then pray. 
  • Remember Mark Moore’s words, “When we thank God for all he’s done for us, we’re reminded of his meticulous care for us. That’s the secret to a worry-free life.”

THURSDAY, September 29

Connect: Matthew 6

Discover:

  • Jesus gives us the ultimate example of how to pray. Have you ever prayed this prayer? Why do you think it is a great example of how we should pray?
  • Do you believe that a lack of forgiveness leads to worry and anxiety? Why? Why not?
  • What are the treasures that you are currently storing up? 

Respond:

  • What master are you trying to serve right now? How is that causing worry? 
  • Walter Adams once said, “To walk with Jesus is to walk with a slow, unhurried pace. Hurry is the death of prayer and only impedes and spoils our work. It never advances it.”
  • How do you find that to be true in your current life?

FRIDAY, September 30

Connect: Psalm 40

Discover:

  • Why do you think God asks for us to be patient?
  • How have you seen the Lords unfailing love in your life?
  • Are you trying to hide your sins or are you asking the lord to rescue you from your sins? 
  • Why should asking for rescue be a great thing not a worrisome thing?

Respond:

  • When is a time that you have done the Lord’s will and what was the joy of it? 
  • What is something that the Lord has called you to do recently? What would the joy of it be?
  • How can you search for the Lord today?

SATURDAY, October 1

Connect: Psalm 41

Discover:

  • Dave Ramsey says, ““Giving is the antidote for selfishness. It’s the hallmark character quality of those who win with money.” How does that apply to not just money, b ut all of life? Verses 1-3

  • Do you worry about gossip about you? How can you counteract that worry with truth from scripture? 

  • What can we do to please the lord?

Respond:

  • What’s a situation that you have seen the Lord deliver you from? 

  • How can you have an attitude of praise today?

SUNDAY, September 25

Connect: Philippians 4

Discover:

  • How has your prayer time been this week? 
  • Evaluate if you have been living out Philippians 4:6. 
  • Is prayer hard or easy for you? Why do you think that is?

Respond:

  • Max Lucado says “Anxiety is a meteor shower of ‘what-ifs’.” We counteract that through prayer. 
  • Write out a prayer today using these three elements. 
  • Ask God for help. 
  • Give God Thanks. 
  • Say Wow God.

Q52 Week 38

Learn From Your Past

Have you ever done something and thought to yourself - “Boy that was a bad decision.” Unfortunately, I have had many moments like that.

MONDAY, September 19

Connect: Matthew 16

Discover:

  • What did Jesus ask the disciples, and what answer did they give – 16:14,15?
  • What question did Jesus ask next, and what answer did Peter give – 16:15,16?
  • From what source did Peter learn the proper answer – 16:17?

Respond:

  • There is no more important question than the one Jesus asked His disciples: “Who do you say that I am?”. No question has been more hotly debated, completely and partially misunderstood, ignored to one’s peril, and answered correctly to one’s great gain. The correct answer to that question is, in some respects, simple enough for a child to be saved, but also complex enough to keep theologians busy for all eternity. There are many “Jesus’” that are presented to us. Islam has a Jesus. Mormonism has a Jesus. Popular culture has a Jesus. None of them, however, have the power to save. Only the Jesus of the Bible, the only begotten Son of the living God, can save you.  If eternal life is to know Jesus Christ, we cannot afford to be ignorant about who he is.

TUESDAY, September 20

Connect: 1 Kings 12

Discover:

  • What was Jeroboam concerned about – 12:26-27?
  • What was his answer to this concern – 12:28-29?
  • What was the result of his actions?

Respond:

  • Jeroboam had a legitimate concern, but he went about addressing it in the wrong way. In all this, however, Jeroboam should not have feared the loss of his throne. God had promised to establish his kingdom if he obeyed the Lord. Instead he sought to maintain control his way, leading to the eventual loss of the northern kingdom. Augustine wrote “for all that, King Jeroboam of Israel, who had proof that God was true, when he got the kingdom God had promised, was so warped in mind as not to believe in him.” When we choose to not believe the promises of God through his prophets, disaster will always ensue. Today, we hear from the prophets and apostles in Scripture, and we must believe the promises in order to remain faithful.

WEDNESDAY, September 21

Connect: 2 Corinthians 4

DISCOVER

  • In 4:7, what is the treasure, and what are the earthen vessels?
  • Is the power of the gospel in the message or in the messenger?
  • In what sense did Paul bear or manifest the dying and the life of Jesus?

RESPOND

  • God told Paul that he wanted to keep him weak because “My power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12:9). Paul’s weakness and suffering kept him dependent on God, and became a channel for God’s grace to others. Jesus asked that the cup of suffering pass him by. We are never to seek suffering, but when it comes could it be that God is allowing us to take someone else’s pain, that they may have the strength to serve? Such a thought comforted Paul; it may comfort us as well.

THURSDAY, September 22

Connect: Galatians 2

Discover:

  • Why did Paul go to Jerusalem? 
  • What did he do there? 
  • What opposition did Paul run into there? 
  • What do we know about Titus?
  • How does taking personal responsibility for your actions help not only in the process of forgiveness, but also in your spiritual growth?

Respond:

  • Did you come to faith through a process or a crisis (or both)?
  • What is the difference between believing in Jesus as Lord and believing in him as Savior? Can you really do one without the other?
  • In what ways do you think the church has misunderstood or misrepresented Jesus’ true identity?
  • How is it that Christians taking up their crosses leads to salvation for society? Can you think of an example of how that works?

FRIDAY, September 23

Connect: Galatians 3

Discover:

  • What purpose did the law serve – 3:22? Was it given to save men from sin?
  • What was man’s condition under the law – 3:23?
  • What conclusion should we reach about our relationship to the Old Law – 3:25?

Respond:

  • According to Paul, Christians who go back to a life defined by the Mosaic law, not Christ alone, are spiritually speaking, like adults who revert to childhood. Continuing his teaching on the place of the Law in the history of redemption, Paul says that God’s people were imprisoned under the Law “before faith came (v. 23-24). Until that point the Law served as a guardian, or nanny. Paul’s main point in Galatians 3:23-26 is to explain the Law’s role in redemptive history. Whether the truths about our creator are revealed to us in creation or the commandments, we must all come to the point where we see our failure to live up to God’s standards and cast ourselves wholly on Christ.

SATURDAY, September 24

Connect: Galatians 4

Discover:

  • Guardians and stewards (4:2) remind you of what idea in chap. 3? 
  • What is the connection between chap. 3 and 4:1-7.
  • What are the “elements of the world” – 4:3
  • What was our relationship to them?

Respond:

  • In order to redeem those who are under the Law and grant them the adoption of sons, Paul describes the Savior’s coming in “the fullness of time.” Jesus’ work is the pivotal moment in history; it marks the day when His Father officially adopted His people as His heirs (vv. 1–2). The ease of communication and travel in the Roman Empire during the first century AD contributed to the quick spread of Christianity, according to several commentators. We can recognize God’s providential planning of history through the eyes of faith in order for His Son to bring salvation to the world and spread the gospel. Jesus was “born of a woman,” referring to His whole humanity, even though He is fully God. John Calvin tells us, that “Christ chose to become liable to keep the law, that exemption from it might be obtained for us.” On our behalf Jesus fulfilled the righteous requirement of the Law that we might share with Him the rights and privileges as children of God.

SUNDAY, September 25

Connect: Philippians 3

Discover:

  • What did Paul say that he had not yet achieved – 3:12,13?

  • Toward what did Paul press – 3:14? 

  • What is this goal or prize?

  • How should Paul’s instructions affect our conduct and our thinking – verse 16?

Respond:

  • Philippians 3:12-16 calls us to forget what is behind and to press on towards the goal. Paul knew his reward was sure in Christ but he also knew that he would receive it only by pressing forward, working out his salvation with fear and trembling just as Christ was working in him. Our justification (our right standing before God) only comes to us by grace through faith. Our sanctification (growth in holiness), however, is a cooperative effort between us and God. He makes our victory certain in Christ, but we only know that it is ours if we press on away from sin and toward Jesus.