The Gift Of Eternal Life – July 20, 2019

2 Chronicles 1.1-3.17; Romans 6.1-23; Psalm 16.1-11; Proverbs 19.20-21

It is astounding the amount of money people spend each year to try and look, feel, and be younger. The cost of outrunning death is very high! Very high unless you follow Jesus, then the gift of eternal life costs you nothing! How much are you spending for eternal life versus how much are you giving up to believe in Christ’s saving act?

Questions:

If you could ask God for anything in the world, what would it be? How does this compare to Solomon’s answer?

In what ways might it seem odd that you die to your old way of life to be set free from sin? Why is dying better than trying to work it out on your own?

How does the Lord guide your mind at night, even when you are sleeping?

What things are you currently doing to get all of the advice and instruction you can?

God’s Great Love – July 19, 2019

1 Chronicles 28.1-29.30; Romans 5.6-21; Psalm 15.1-5; Proverbs 19.18-19

We understand what it means to sacrifice for someone else, to do things for others that mean some sort of sacrifice from ourselves. Our service really becomes a challenge when we have to give up things we will not get back or when the cost of our actions begin to really affect us adversely. We still might give that service for a friend, but for a stranger … probably not. Yet God gave his son for us when we were estranged from him. What kind of God pays that large of a price for others?

Questions:

How does David’s admonition to Solomon hold true for things you are doing today: be strong and do the work?

In what ways is your life different because of the knowledge that God will save you?

Why is it so easy for us to slip into patterns of gossip, harm, or speaking evil of people around us? In what ways do we think this is no big deal and what is that NOT the case?

Why do hot-tempered people have to pay the penalty, per the writer of today’s proverb?

Just As He Promised – July 18, 2019

1 Chronicles 26.12-27.34; Romans 4.13-5.5; Psalm 14.1-7; Proverbs 19.17

Have you ever been promised something by someone who never keeps his or her promise? It is almost as if there was never a promise to begin with, you are so doubtful they will come through with their end of the deal. Abraham was fully convinced in God’s promises. He was sure they would come true. We can do the same. What does it feel like to know that the promises made to you WILL come to pass?

Questions:

What does it take to be called out in the same way as Zechariah: a man of unusual wisdom? How do we get such wisdom?

In a world where people often struggle to be at peace, how does God provide this peace for you?

If fools say “there is no God,” why do some of the most knowledgable and learned people around make such a claim?

How is helping the poor lending to God?

Good Deeds – July 17, 2019

1 Chronicles 24.1-26.11; Romans 4.1-12; Psalm 13.1-6; Proverbs 19.15-16

When we think about people we want to reward or honor, we often first think about the things they have accomplished, their good works, if you will. Abraham–whom we know as a great man of faith–is not recognized for what he did, but what he believed. How does this truth affect how you approach God in an attempt to be deemed righteous?

Questions:

What do you think would happen if we filled the roles people fulfilled in worship by casting lots? Why does this seem like such an odd thing for us today?

Describe the joy you have received from God cleansing your record of sins.

What good has the Lord done that causes you to sing?

If you were a lazy person, which would you prefer: to sleep soundly or to sleep hungry? Why do you think this is the case?

Righteous – July 16, 2019

1 Chronicles 22.1-23.32; Romans 3.9-31; Psalm 12.1-8; Proverbs 19.13-14

If I told you that you needed to be righteous, my guess is that your mind would immediately focus on how to be perfect, or act least do everything in the right way for the right reasons. We are conditioned to assume that our rewards are only the result of hard, hard work and effort on our part. Here’s the good news of Jesus: You are not made righteous by what you do (you could never be good enough, anyway), but by your belief that Jesus died so you might be considered righteous. Good news, indeed.

Questions:

How does David’s reason for not being allowed to build the Temple (he had shed too much blood) compare to what we read in Samuel and Kings. Why do you think there is a difference here?

How do people try to be right with God based on the things they do, or the works they perform?

It would appear the psalmist is describing our own time: The godly are fast disappearing. In what ways do you see this to be accurate to today’s times?

A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as a constant dripping. [Editor’s note: I don’t write them – just read and report on them!] What message is the proverb writer trying to give us here?

Where’s Bathsheba? – July 15, 2019

1 Chronicles 19.1-21.30; Romans 2.25-3.8; Psalm 11.1-7; Proverbs 19.10-12

As you read through the Chronicles, you discover that some of the stories are handled in different ways than we see in Samuel or Kings. For instance, today we read that when the kings went off to war, David stayed behind in Jerusalem. If you have read 2 Samuel 11 carefully, you recognize that the story of Bathsheba follows this introduction, yet in 1 Chronicles, there is no mention of her. Why do you think this is the case? In what ways is it possible to talk about an event in history–especially God’s history–and highlight things you want to bring out (and not mention other things) without altering the truth of the story?

Questions:

How do misunderstandings destroy relationships? How can we prevent this from happening?

Why is doing something more important than knowing about the need to do that something?

What can the righteous do when the foundations of law and order collapse?

How have you been a sensible person and overlooked the wrongs committed by others? Why was that the right thing to do?

Kind, Tolerant, and Patient – July 14, 2019

1 Chronicles 16.37-18.17; Romans 2.1-24; Psalm 10.16-18; Proverbs 19.8-9

It is interesting to listen to the perceptions of God from others, especially those who do not believe in him. You will often hear people talk about his vengeance or his punishment against those who do wrong. Yet Paul says in Romans that God is “wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient.” (v. 4) Why is there a disagreement between what people say about God and what we hear the Bible writers say about him? How have you found God to be?

Questions:

Do you realize that when God sees you, he sees someone “very great,” as David describes in his prayer to God? How can we recognize–and act on–this more?

If God does not show favoritism, how can we work to be sure we do not either?

In what ways does knowing that God knows the hopes of the hopeless help you follow him more?

Why is acquiring wisdom a demonstration of living yourself?