Ever Increasing Glory – August 29, 2019

Job 31.1-33.33; 2 Corinthians 3.1-18; Psalm 43.1-5; Proverbs 22.8-9

Wouldn’t it be nice if when we came to a place where we expressed our belief in God and his redemption through Jesus Christ, we suddenly became perfect? No more wrestling with sin, no more living in the reality of a glory we have inherited, but haven’t fully received. The bad news is that it doesn’t work that way, obviously. But there is good news. God is continuing to work in us and through us and we are being transformed into people who look more and more like him. Praise be to God who changes us into his image!

Questions:

Do we believe that being wicked or doing evil leads to calamity? Why or why not?

In what ways have you discovered that your ability to do good is not based on your own qualifications, but the abilities given to us by God?

How does putting your hope in God eliminate discouragement from your life?

How do you show generosity to others?

Importance of Purity – August 17, 2019

Nehemiah 12.27-13.31; 1 Corinthians 11.1-16; Psalm 35.1-16; Proverbs 21.17-18

It is interesting to me that after Jerusalem is rebuilt and after Nehemiah has gone back home, he gets word that the people not following the laws God had outlined for the people. So what does he do? Back to Jerusalem he goes to straighten up the people, helping them do what God asked them to do. Why was following these commands, as God had called for, so important, not only to Nehemiah, but more importantly, for the people of Israel?

Questions:

Why is it important for men, women, and children to be able to to celebrate and praise God for the restoration he provides?

How comfortable are you in asking others to imitate your life of faith? Why is this the case? How can you become more confident to do this?

How does the Lord fight against those who fight against you?

Why does the love of pleasure lead to poverty?

Be Concerned About Others – August 16, 2019

Nehemiah 11.1-12.26; 1 Corinthians 10.14-33; Psalm 34.11-22; Proverbs 21.14-16

What would happen if you committed today, and then again tomorrow, to live your entire day seeking to do good for others, not being primarily concerned about your own good?

Questions:

How do you think the people of Israel felt coming back to Jerusalem after having been in exile for so long?

What things did you do today? How did you do them for the glory of God?

How can we keep our tongue from speaking evil?

Why does justice terrify those who do evil?

Be Careful Not To Fall – August 15, 2019

Nehemiah 9.22-10.39; 1 Corinthians 9.19-10.13; Psalm 34.1-10; Proverbs 21.13

I think if Paul had written 1 Corinthians today, when he got to today’s passage, he would have written: Do you remember that sports team, the one that was undefeated? And do you remember that time they played the team that had not won a game all season? And do remember what happened? They lost! The train wreck that everyone assumed would happen didn’t. Oh, and by the way, if you think you stand firm … be careful. Don’t be like THAT team.

Questions:

Rehearse the things God has done for you in your life that have brought you to the point you are at today.

Who has served as a warning to you about what happens when you do not pay attention to remembering God?

How can we constantly speak the praises of God as go throughout our day?

How do we shut our ears to the cries of the poor? What can we do to hear them better?

Celebrate! – August 14, 2019

Nehemiah 7.73b-9.21; 1 Corinthians 9.1-18; Psalm 33.12-22; Proverbs 21.11-12

When we are faced with our sins, with the reality that we have fallen short of the manner in which we wish to live, we have a couple of options in response. The first is to beat ourselves up, to cry, to lament, to mourn how poorly we behaved. At times this is a good response, but for those who live in the grace of God, perhaps the response Nehemiah proposes is a better one: Celebrate. Rejoice because the joy of the Lord is your strength! How do you typically respond when you fall short of the lifestyle you desire?

Questions:

Why is the people standing for the reading of God’s laws significant? How does this impact our own reaction towards God’s word?

What reasons do you have to share the good news of Jesus Christ?

What do you count on in your life for “victory?”

According to the proverb writer, what is the benefit of instruction?