2 Corinthians 3.12-18 – April 22, 2020

2 Corinthians 3:12–18

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate  the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:12–18, NIV)

The Spirit of the Lord does not hold us captive, but rather, offers us freedom!

Thought Questions:

Why does hope allow you to be bold? In what ways does God’s hope make you bold for him?

How does Christ bring us new freedoms, freedoms that were not known in the days of Moses?

How would you respond to someone who says that following God prevents you from having the freedoms you long for?

In what ways has following Jesus brought freedom to your life? Let us know about it by clicking on “Leave a Comment” below…

1 Corinthians 10.23-24 – April 21, 2020

1 Corinthians 10:23–24

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. (1 Corinthians 10:23–24, NIV)

Think about your schedule today? In what ways are you working to seek the good of others?

Thought Questions:

What is something you would say you have the right to do, but would not consider it beneficial?

Why do we tend to seek our own good first and foremost, ignoring the consequences it has on others?

How well do you think Christians follow the guidelines stated here and what effect does you think that has on non-believers?

Have a great idea on how to seek the good of others? Tell us about it by clicking on “Leave a Comment” below…

Mark 4.21-25 – April 20, 2020

Mark 4:21–25

He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
 (Mark 4:21–25, NIV)

What’s the purpose of a lamp? To shine light. What’s your purpose? Are you fulfilling it?

Thought Questions:

How crazy is it to think one would buy a lamp and then hide it so no-one could see the light from it? Why do people try to hide those things they have–ability or message?

How difficult is it for you to understand what you have been given and your ability to use those gifts?

Why do you think people who “do not have” will have what they do have taken from them?

Matthew 25.31-45 – April 18, 2020

Matthew 25:31-45

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” (Matthew 25:45, NIV)

“Our biology works everything toward self preservation / gratification. This passage has really been one of my favorites as it reminds us that God has woven us into a great tapestry of his plan. Even when we have weak times, the ties to others in our family holds us tight and our strand is the only one capable of strengthening the life strands of other who are not finding their place in the tapestries of Gods plan. You are only able to touch the strands that you are able to cross but God has woven a great number of other strands to pull their strands close also. So never miss a chance to put out a hand, lend an ear, give some time. And No strand you touch was not supposed to be in tapestry somehow God is an amazing weaver!”

Thought Questions:

If you read all of Matthew 25.31-46, you discover that those who served “the least of these” are the ones commended. How often do you look at your small acts of kindness as service to God versus just something nice you did for someone else? How can we understand this as service to God more?

Why do people have a hard time understanding that our service does not have to be “big” in order for it to matter? Why do people assume any service we do does not matter as much as the service of someone we deem “more important?”

Even in a time of social distancing and stay at home orders, how can you show small acts of service to others, even the least of these?

John 6.35-40 – April 17, 2020

John 6:35–40

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:35–40, NIV)

What is it that you value or long for? What drives your ambition or is your motivation to live the way you do? What is the bread that you seek to fill the emptiness you have?

Thought Questions:

What does Jesus say is the key to receiving the bread of life he offers?

Why is belief in Jesus more difficult at times than relying on our own strength or power to accomplish our life’s goals/desires?

In what ways do you focus and increase your belief in Jesus as you seek to have eternal life?

Joshua 24.15 – April 16, 2020

Joshua 24.15

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24.15, NIV)

The choice is yours. Who’s it going to be?

Thought Questions:

Can you think of any reason why serving the Lord would be undesirable? Why do you think Joshua felt the need to ask this of the people?

By the same token, why would serving other gods seem so desirable to these people?

In what ways is your choice to follow God demonstrated on a daily basis?

Joshua 1.1-18 – April 15, 2020

Joshua 1:1–18

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’ ”
12 But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, 13 “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you after he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest by giving you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, ready for battle, must cross over ahead of your fellow Israelites. You are to help them 15 until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
16 Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!” 
(Joshua 1:1–18, NIV)

“The passage is uplifting and speaks about taking refuge in God when in fear.”

Thought Questions:

The Israelite people were about to move into the land that was promised to them by God, and although God was with them, they were entering a land that the people there didn’t really want to just give up. How do you think Joshua felt as he was tasked to lead these people?

Why is the instruction to be strong and courageous so important for people who follow God?

In what ways has following the laws of God helped you be a better leader to people around you?