Melting with Fear – April 10, 2019

Deuteronomy 34.1-Joshua 2.24; Luke 13.22-14.6; Psalm 79.1-13; Proverbs 12.26

The story we read from Joshua shows the contrast of what it looks like to be strong and courageous (Joshua) and what is looks like to be afraid and have no courage (the people of Jericho). Why are the people of Jericho afraid? How does God’s power allow us to have no fear, in contrast to the people of Jericho?

Questions:

Do you think you would like to know God face-to-face? Why or why not?

How have you seen the seemingly least important end up being the most important?

Have you ever wanted God to pay back your neighbors for what they have done? When is this an appropriate response? When is it not appropriate?

What kind of advice are you getting: Godly or wicked?

Closed for Business – April 9, 2019

Deuteronomy 33.1-29; Luke 13.1-21; Psalm 78.65-72; Proverbs 12.25

The Pharisees’ response in today’s story from Luke always boggles my mind. Here is someone in need of healing, yet the response they get is: Come back tomorrow, we are closed. Just how hard-hearted does one have to be to refuse to help someone in need? Or perhaps a better question would be: In what ways do we refuse to help those in need–physically or spiritually–because it does not fit with our schedule?

Questions:

If you were going to give a blessing to your friends or church family as you drew to the end of your time with them, what would that blessing be?

How have you seen a small amount of Christian influence creating a large result?

Psalm 78 goes through a long explanation of what God has done and how the people have responded to conclude with “God chose David.” What purpose do you think this psalm served for the people of God? For us today?

How has worry weighed you down? How can you be free from that worry?

Holiness – April 8, 2019

Deuteronomy 32.28-52; Luke 12.35-59; Psalm 78.56-64; Proverbs 12.24

As Moses concludes his speeches to God’s people in Deuteronomy, we are told he goes up on Mt. Nebo in order to look over into the Promised Land … the land he would not be able to enter because he failed to demonstrate God’s holiness. In many ways, this is a heartbreaking moment. Here is the man who put up with the disobedience and rebellion of the Israelites, yet at the end of the day, would not be able to join them in the land they were promised. What do you think was going through Moses’ mind as he looked out over this land? What goes through your mind as you read this story?

Questions:

What would you include in a song about your history of following God, recounting both how you had acted, but also what God had done for you?

What have you done today in anticipation of Jesus returning? How have you “kept your lamp burning?”

As you read through this account of God’s people in Psalm 78, how do you think you would have responded to them if you were God? In what ways are you thankful that God does not respond as you would?

How have you worked hard today?

God Will Lead You – April 7, 2019

Deuteronomy 31.1-32.27; Luke 12.8-34; Psalm 78.32-55; Proverbs 12.21-23

Near the end of Moses’ life, God calls Moses and Joshua in order to “formally” give leadership to Joshua. I think there are a couple of things that important here. One, there is no question who the next leader will be for God’s people. (This will not always be the case and will cause problems for the people later.) Two, and I think more important, Moses (for God) gives the command to Joshua to be “strong and courageous.” Why would strength and courage be so important for the leader of the Israelites?

Questions:

How does the fact that God goes before you affect your perception of the “battles” you face today?

How have you sought the Kingdom of God today?

Would you say you have ever given God just lip service in your dedication to him? How can you ensure you are fully committed to him?

Someone once said it is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubts. What response do you think the writer of Proverbs would have to this saying?

Do Not Fear – April 6, 2019

Deuteronomy 29.1-30.20; Luke 11.37-12.7; Psalm 78.1-31; Proverbs 12.19-20

Jesus often tells people to not be afraid, which leads me to believe that the people he comes in contact with are often … afraid. Why do you think people would fear Jesus? How do you react to him and how do his words bring you comfort?

Questions:

One of the ways it becomes easier to obey God is to remember what he has done. What has God done in your life that prompts you to obey him?

How were the Pharisees unclean on the inside, even if they were clean on the outside?

Do you listen to God’s instruction? How can you do that more?

How have words of truth you have said continued to be not only true, but also valuable over a long amount of time?

If You Obey… – April 5, 2019

Deuteronomy 28-1-68; Luke 11.14-36; Psalm 77.1-20; Proverbs 12.18

Deuteronomy marks a point in the book where Moses begins to list off a collection of blessings and curses that would happen to people if they did or did not follow God. Knowing the consequences of sinful behavior should keep people from doing those things, but that is often NOT the case. Why do you think this is and what might we do to recognize the consequences of not following God?

Questions:

Why do you think the list of curses is longer than the list of blessings here in Deuteronomy?

Why would anyone think Jesus was from Satan?

After reading the Psalm text for today, why do you sense the author thinks that God has rejected him?

How have your wise words brought healing to someone today?

Martha, Martha, Martha – April 4, 2019

Deuteronomy 26.1-27.26; Luke 10.38-11.13; Psalm 76.1-12; Proverbs 12.15-17

Pull out your calendar. Now, take a moment to review it and ask yourself: How much “white space,” that is, unscheduled time, do you have? We often find our value in our work, ignoring those things that may be more important, such as time spent with God. Which are you – a Mary or Martha? Which do you think you should be and how can you work to be that sort of person?

Questions:

Recite your spiritual history, either for your children or just to remind yourself of your story in God.

Pray the Lord’s Prayer today.

How have you seen God to be more glorious and majestic than even the highest mountains? If you are not a mountain person, what is the most beautiful nature scene you have experienced. God’s more majestic than that, by the way.

Think of the last time you were insulted. How did you react?