Psalm 145 – January 23, 2020

Psalm 145

   I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
   Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
   Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.

   One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
   On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
   They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
   They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
(Psalm 145.1-7, NIV)

God has done great things! Do we think to pass that along to the next generation?

Thought Questions:

As you think about passing on to the next generation what God has done, what things do you want to tell that generation?

How have you seen God’s steadfast love in your life?

Have you praised the Lord today?

Proverbs 1.1-7 – January 22, 2020

Proverbs 1.1-7

The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:

To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction. 
(Proverbs 1.1-7, NIV)

“When we ask: “How does a person follow God?”, the Proverbs are a good place to start!”

Thought Questions:

What has been the best advice you have ever received on how to live a Christian life?

What are some practical, hands-on ways in which individuals can learn “wisdom?”

In what ways have you seen the “fear of the Lord” be the “beginning of knowledge”?

Philippians 4.6-8 – January 21, 2020

Philippians 4.6-8

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4.6-8, NIV)

“God’s got us no matter what, so there’s no reason to fear or be worried about anything. He’s working for our good.”

Thought Questions:

What things are you anxious about on a regular basis? Do you think Paul really means for you to be not anxious about these things? Does Paul have exceptions?

Describe a time when you felt peace, even when you were undergoing times of anxiety or struggles. To what do you credit as the cause of such peace?

Spend time today praying specifically for those things which cause you the most anxiety.

1 Corinthians 12.12-31 – January 20, 2020

1 Corinthians 12.12-31

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. (1 Corinthians 12.12-31, NIV)

Each of us makes up a part of a larger whole and each one of us is important.

Thought Questions:

Why is it easy for people to think someone else’s gift or ability is better than our own? What factors into your evaluating someone else as better?

In what ways do you see yourself as a part of the body of Christ? Of the body at meets together here on this earth?

How do you use your gifts to support and encourage others?

Deuteronomy 31.1-8 – January 17, 2020

Deuteronomy 31.1-8

Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel: “I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead you. The Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross the Jordan.’ The Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua also will cross over ahead of you, as the Lord said. And the Lord will do to them what he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, whom he destroyed along with their land. The Lord will deliver them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31.1-8, NIV)

“Moses empowers Joshua as he takes over to help lead the Israelites, and reminds him that God is always with him.”

Thought Questions:

How do you live your life differently knowing that “God goes before you?” What are some specific ways that impacts your decision making and thoughts?

What are you afraid of? How might Moses’ instructions here relieve you of that fear? Why are we afraid if God is with us?

In what ways can you be strong and courageous today as you go about your day?

Jeremiah 29.11 – January 16, 2020

Jeremiah 29.11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29.11, NIV)

“It was my dad’s favorite and he would tell me and my sister this verse a lot. It means a ton to me to this day.”

Thought Questions:

When the future looks uncertain to you, how important is it to know that God knows you and what is to come for you?

Why do you think some people hold a view that God is simply waiting for you to do something wrong so that he can punish you … that he really doesn’t want what’s best for you or even enjoys bringing calamity upon you? How can you show others a better picture of God, that he loves and wants good for us?

How can we be faithful to the future God has for us, even when it may be different from the one we might plan for ourselves?

Deuteronomy 29.12-15 – January 15, 2020

Deuteronomy 29.12-15

You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the Lord your God, a covenant the Lord is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, 13 to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 14 I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you 15 who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God but also with those who are not here today.”  (Deuteronomy 29.12-15, NIV)

A covenant is not something that is put into place based on a “contract” in which both party have equal say, but it is made by an entity stronger than the one receiving the covenant, yet it is a promise that the stronger will look out for the weaker’s best interest. God did not make us his people and enter into a covenant with us because of what we had done, but because of who he is and what he not only did … but continues to do.

Thought Questions:

How important is it for us to realize that God makes a covenant with us out of his power, not out of our ability to follow him?

How well do you keep the promises you have made to others, especially those made years ago?

How does knowing you are in a covenant with God affect the ways you live for him?