Credit Where Credit Is Due – June 5, 2019

2 Samuel 23.24-24.25; Acts 3.1-26; Psalm 123.1-4; Proverbs 16.21-23

I cannot help but think Peter and John were somewhat amazed at the power they had to heal this man sitting at the Temple gate. They had done amazing miracles before, but after Jesus left, there was sort of this feeling like the mantle had been handed over to his followers. Notice, however, who gets the credit for the healing of this man: God brought glory to Jesus by healing this man. When incredible things, things we might say could only be “God-things,” happen to us, who do we give credit for them happening? How can we give God more of the credit he deserves?

Questions:

What was the big deal about taking a census? Why was it considered a bad thing?

How would you like to have been this lame man, expecting money but getting something so much better?

When have you looked to the Lord for mercy? What response did you get?

Why is discipline wasted on fools?

What Did You Expect? – June 4, 2019

2 Samuel 22.1-23.23; Acts 2.1-47; Psalm 122.1-9; Proverbs 16.19-20

Even though the Jewish people knew the sayings and predictions of the prophets, more times than not they seemed surprised or even more to the point, unaware when these prophesies came true. What do you think the people were expecting when they read that God would pour out his Spirit on the people (from the prophet Joel)? How did their expectations compare to what they actually were seeing there in Jerusalem?

Questions:

What song would you sing describing the saving acts of God in your life?

What things do we as a church need to do differently to look like the picture we see in Acts 2.42-47?

What joy do you receive when you go to the house of the Lord? Is this the common way you think about going to His house? Why or why not?

How well do you listen to instructions?

Is It Time? – June 3, 2019

2 Samuel 20.14-21.22; Acts 1.1-26; Psalm 121.1-8; Proverbs 16.18

Even after all the disciples have seen and gone through, when they are back with Jesus after his resurrection, their question is: Is it time for you to restore our kingdom? Instead of a the heavenly kingdom, they continued to think of an earthly one. Why do you think it was so hard for the people of Israel to look beyond their desire for a restoration of an earthly kingdom?

Questions:

What do you think would have happened if the woman at Abel-Bath-maacah had not intervened?

Where do you think God has called you to be eyewitnesses of his salvation that comes through Jesus?

Why were “the mountains” a significant part of looking for salvation?

“Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” What examples in your life have proven the truthfulness of this popular proverb?

Restoration – June 2, 2019

2 Samuel 19.11-20.13; John 21.1-15; Psalm 120.1-7; Proverbs 16.16-17

Most people who study John 21 recognize the three-fold restoration of Peter after his (three time) denial of Jesus. Read through this chapter again and as you do, list the various emotions and reactions you think Peter may have been having as he encountered Jesus that day? What does this story tell us about God’s love for us even when we have messed up?

Questions:

David seems quick to spare the lives of individuals who have attacked or confronted him, even when his advisors seem to think he should do otherwise. How can we take on the attitude David had toward those who were against him?

What do you think you would have been doing if you were one of Jesus’ disciples and he was killed, raised again, and went back up into heaven? What’s next for you?

Have you ever felt far from God, perhaps even felt like you were in a different county you were so far away from him? How did you keep hope in God through these dark times?

What examples can you give from your own life that demonstrate the ways you have valued wisdom more than silver and gold?

Conflicted – June 1, 2019

2 Samuel 18.1-19.10; John 20.1-31; Psalm 119.153-176; Proverbs 16.14-15

We know from what scripture says about David that he was a man after God’s own heart. We also know he was a man of integrity, honoring God even when it seemed to not make sense. We also know David was not without his faults and his family suffered the consequences of David’s sinful actions. And in the story today, we discover his deep love for his son, in spite of his sons actions towards him. How difficult would it have been to be David and love deeply, yet also know his love was aimed toward someone seeking to take his own life? What would you have done were you in David’s shoes?

Questions:

An unnamed man had more honor for David’s kingship and his son than some of the heros of David’s life. Why do you think this man who refused to kill God’s son is never mentioned by name? Why should he have received a greater honor than he did?

Why does seeing make believing so much easier? How do we believe when most of the time, we cannot see that in which we believe?

How does following laws and regulations revive someone, rather than causing them to be under a burden? Is this how you view God’s regulations?

What might cause a king to become angry and a deadly threat?

The Lord Is Working – May 31, 2019

2 Samuel 17.1-29; John 19.23-42; Psalm 119.129-152; Proverbs 16.12-13

You have to pay careful attention to the story of David and Absalom and their advisors. Just about the time you think one advisor (in this case, Ahithophel) has the upper hand and is influencing Absalom, another comes in and changes the wanna-be king’s perspective (as is the case with Hushai). In the midst of the tension of who will actually end up with the most influence, remember that at the end of the day, it is God who is at work and his plans will prevail.

Questions:

Why do you think Ahithophel had such a strong reaction to his advice not being followed?

Is there ever a time when it is appropriate to be a secret follower of Jesus? Why?

How have you found following God’s laws to be a simple thing to do? Do you find them more simple than complicated or vice versa? Why is this the case?

How do we show our love for people who speak honestly?

No King But Caesar – May 30, 2019

2 Samuel 15.23-16.23; John 18.25-19.22; Psalm 119.113-128; Proverbs 16.10-11

It is interesting to me that in the midst of a hurried trial to try Jesus for failure to follow the Jewish law, that the leaders of the Temple would suddenly exclaim: “We have no king but Caesar.” Let me get this straight: You want to kill someone for claiming to be the king instead of God, who is the only king, but you are willing to deny God as the only king and advocate Caesar as king … when it best suits your interests? What are other ways people “adjust” their allegiance to God when it benefits them?

Questions:

What do you think you would have been anticipating to happen in the future as you watched David your king leave Jerusalem because of the threats made by Absalom?

If Pilate knew Jesus was innocent–which it appears he did–why do you think he allowed him to be treated so brutally?

What does it mean to fear the Lord? Why is trembling in fear before him a good thing?

How does the Lord’s demand for “accurate scales and balances” impact how you do your job?