So You Had A Bad Day – April 20, 2019

Joshua 21.1-22.20; Luke 20.1-26; Psalm 89.1-13; Proverbs 13.15-16

How would you like to have been the teachers and leaders of the law for the Jewish people? Here Jesus comes into their city and their temple and makes a huge commotion, causing all of the people to be amazed by him. They try to trick him and not only does he not fall for it, he tells the people a story that is obviously about them and an unfavorable one at that. They want to arrest Jesus, but any attempt to do so would bring about a riot. Why did the Jewish leaders have such a difficult time “containing” Jesus?

Questions:

Why were the Levites offered a different type of portion of the land?

What were the Jewish leaders really asking when they asked Jesus about the authority by which he did all of his actions?

What aspects about God’s love would cause you to sing about them forever?

In what ways do you think before you act?

Peace – April 19, 2019

Joshua 19.1-20.9; Luke 19.28-48; Psalm 88.1-18; Proverbs 13.12-14

As Jesus approached Jerusalem for the final time, he began to weep. He said: I wish that you, of all people, would understand the way to peace. Jerusalem would have been the cultural, political, and most importantly, religious center of the Jewish people. Of course they should understand the way to peace, but they didn’t. Jesus’ reaction is understandable. When have you had a similar reaction lion and longed for someone to know peace, but they didn’t?

Questions:

What was the purpose of the refuge cities for the Israelites?

How often do you think people would have shouted for someone entering into Jerusalem? What does this tell you about Jesus’ entrance?

How does the psalmist appeal to God’s faithfulness for salvation?

What happens to those who ignore the instructions of the wise?

Wee Little Man – April 18, 2019

Joshua 16.1-18.28; Luke 19.1-27; Psalm 87.1-7; Proverbs 13.11

We may have sung in Bible class that Zacchaeus was a wee little man, but we could have also sung he was a tax-collector who typically stole from their fellow country men and Zacchaeus was very rich, so probably pretty good at it. This might also explain why everyone was so upset when Jesus went to his house for dinner, Zacchaeus being a “notorious sinner,” and all. But if you have been following the life of Jesus closely, these were the kinds of folk he loved to hang out with: he had come to save the lost. Who is it you hang out with?

Questions:

We often think of how cast to the side women were in Old Testament times, but in today’s story, women come and request land for their family and they get it. Why do you think this is the case and included in our story?

How well do you take care of the gifts you have already been given?

What do you think of when you hear all nations will become citizens of Jerusalem?

The Proverb writer says get-rich-quick schemes are too good to be true. Would you agree with him and why or why not?

Impossible! – April 17, 2019

Joshua 15.1-63; Luke 18.18-43; Psalm 86.1-17; Proverbs 13.9-10

Jesus tells an almost silly story about a camel going through the eye of a needle. Seems ridiculous, right? A huge camel going through a very, very, very tiny hole in a very, very, very tiny needle. It’s impossible, we say! And Jesus replies: For you, yes, it is impossible. But that’s the nature of faith. God does things that for humans seem impossible. For God? Not so much. What have you seen God do that without the knowledge of your faith would seem absolutely impossible?

Questions:

Why do you think tribe of Judah was not able to drive out the Jebusites?

What does the cry “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me” say about this blind man’s understanding of Jesus? Do we have the same understanding?

What request do you have for God today that you would want him to bend down and hear your prayer?

How have you seen pride lead to a conflict?

Like a Child – April 16, 2019

Joshua 13.1-14.15; Luke 18.1-17; Psalm 85.1-13; Proverbs 13.7-8

Our perspective of children may have changed since the time Jesus spoke of them (Can you imagine Mary being a helicopter parent? Me either.), yet we still may struggle understanding what childlike faith has to do with our faith. Too often, we think of a child’s faith through the lens of our adult lives. Spend some time with a child, allowing the child to make the plans and set the agenda. Your role, is just to play along and watch. What do you learn about the Kingdom of God through this experience?

Questions:

Why would this list of the territories given to the tribes have been important for the original readers of Joshua? What is it important to us today?

Which do you relate to more: the Pharisee or the tex collector? Why?

What does the psalmist mean when he writes: “Unfailing love and truth have met together”?

Why do you think someone would pretend to be poor when they are rich? Why would this be related to what it means to follow God?

Thank You – April 15, 2019

Joshua 11.1-12.24; Luke 17.11-37; Psalm 84.1-12; Proverbs 13.5-6

It is easy for us to get so busy we forget to reflect on the good things happening around us. And when we forget to reflect, we forget to say thank you. It’s not that we are not thankful, it’s just that we are so focused on other things we forget to show our gratitude to the One who gives us all good things. What do you need to thank God for today?

Questions:

Why would this collection of kings think a vast horde, that is, more and more people would be any match for God?

If the Kingdom of God is already among us, how does that change our lives today?

Do we long to be in the courts of God? How is being in the presence of God better than any other place we can be?

Do we hate lies?

Ancient Words – April 14, 2019

Joshua 9.3-10.43; Luke 16.1-19-17.10; Psalm 83.1-18; Proverbs 13.4

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Abraham tells the rich man that if people didn’t listen to Moses, they would not listen to one who even rose from the dead. Jesus tells this parable with intent. It wasn’t the rich man in the story who needed to listen, it was the rich men sitting around Jesus who needed ears to hear. Why do people fail to listen to warnings from the past, instead looking for some spectacular message from today?

Questions:

How often do you consult with the Lord when a decision in your personal life needs to be made? How can you remind yourself to consult him more?

Pray the prayer of the disciples: Show us how to increase our faith.

Describe a time when you might have made the claim that God was deaf. Was this really the case? How do you know?

Why do you think the proverb writer spends so much time warning his readers about the faults of laziness?