Powerless – July 25, 2019

2 Chronicles 14.1-16.14; Romans 9.1-24; Psalm 19.1-14; Proverbs 20.1

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt absolutely and completely powerless? What did you do? Where did you turn? Asa understands the feeling. Facing 3-1 odds against him, he calls out to God, recognizing that only God can bring power to the powerless. How about you? Did you cry out to God?

Questions:

“The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with him.” What ways are you working to stay with God?

What are your impressions of Paul when you hear him say he would rather be cut off from God if it meant his people would come to know him? How much are you willing to give so that people know God?

What parts of nature describe for you the glory of God?

How have you seen the proverbs words proven to be true?

I Can’t Help It! – July 23, 2019

2 Chronicles 8.11-10.19; Romans 8.9-25; Psalm 18.16-36; Proverbs 19.26

Too often we approach sin as if it is something that consumes us, controlling us to the point that we have no choice, really, but to go ahead and sin. It’s not just that everybody’s doing it, it is that no one can help themselves from doing it, we think. Paul’s writing here in the book of Romans is a word of hope then: “You are not controlled by your sinful nature.” How do we accept this good news and allow it to change our view–and actions–related to sin?

Questions:

Why does Solomon not want his wife to live in David’s palace? What does this tell us about his understanding of the relationship between God and this wife he has chosen?

How is life different because of your knowledge that God, through his Spirit, has adopted us as his children?

Do you believe that all of God’s promises prove true? What promise or promises are you especially glad to receive?

It is sometimes surprising the number of passages related to how children treat their parents and the repercussions for treating them poorly. Why do you think this is such an issue for the Biblical writers?

Eyes Open and Ears Attentive – July 22, 2019

2 Chronicles 6.12-8.10; Romans 7.14-8.8; Psalm 18.1-15; Proverbs 19.24-25

If you have ever found yourself in a situation where you tried to get the attention of someone–whether in that immediate moment or through phone calls or messages–you understand Solomon’s prayer here. Be attentive to the prayers offered here, he says. Open your eyes and ears to see and hear the needs of your people. How is your faith strengthened knowing that God sees what you need, hears your cries to him, and answers your prayers?

Questions:

Why do you think the writer of Chronicles included the phrase “if my people will call upon the Lord and humble themselves”? Why are we so quick to forget about God and why do fail to humble ourselves?

Do you believe that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus? How does your life demonstrate this belief?

Why does God act in the manner he does in the latter part of this psalm? What does this tell us about his love for us?

What are ways that the proverb about a lazy person and food can be applied to our own lives today? Is the writer talking only about food or other things as well?

Good Deeds – July 21, 2019

2 Chronicles 4.1-6.11; Romans 7.1-13; Psalm 17.1-15; Proverbs 19.22-23

When you think about the impact you will have had on this world once you are gone, what sort of things come to mind? In what ways do you think you will have made a difference? Your efforts are not pointless–you have been raised by God and as a result, you can produce a “harvest of good deeds.” When you think about God’s ability to help you to change the world through his power, what sort of things come to mind now?

Questions:

What is your reaction when you read through the description of the Temple?

In what ways do we still make laws for God that we then try to live under?

Do you pray as if you know that God will answer you? Why or why not?

Why is loyalty attractive?

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?