2 Corinthians 12.9-10 – July 2, 2020

2 Corinthians 12:9–10

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (2 Corinthians 12:9–10, NIV)

What more do we need than the grace of God?

Thought Questions:

What is your initial reaction when you hear the statement: power is made perfect in weakness? How do you think most people think about power?

Why do people think it weak when we have to rely on someone else or depend on their strength?

In what ways have you been able to delight in weakness, hardships, or difficulties? How have these things served to strengthen your faith?

Intended For His Glory – July 28, 2019

2 Chronicles 21.1-23.21; Romans 11.13-36; Psalm 22.1-18; Proverbs 20.7

Think about everything you have or own. Have you ever considered why you have those things and the purpose they are to serve as you use them? Paul writes that everything comes from the Lord and intended for his glory. Does this match how you use the things you have? What needs to change for this to be the case?

Questions:

How would you like to live a life where your obituary read: “No one was sorry that he died?”

In what ways is God both kind and severe?

Have you ever felt like God abandoned you? What caused you to feel this way?

How can you work to walk in integrity?

Please God Not People – July 27, 2019

2 Chronicles 19.1-20.37; Romans 10.14-11.12; Psalm 21.1-13; Proverbs 20.4-6

It probably seems to be a foregone conclusion that our actions should seek to plea God, not the people around us. Yet all too often, what we actually do is the opposite. We give in to the pressure of others or at the very least, we take into consideration their response as we try to live our lives. How do we ensure we are living for God, not for others?

Questions:

How would you go about your life is you knew with certainty that the Lord was with you in everything you did? Why do you not have this certainty?

How are you being “beautiful feet” in taking the message of salvation to those who need to hear it most?

How does God “capture” our enemies today?

What is the difference between loyal and truly reliable?

Sent People To Teach – July 26, 2019

2 Chronicles 17.1-18.34; Romans 9.25-10.13; Psalm 20.1-9; Proverbs 20.2-3

One of the patterns we see repeated throughout the Old Testament story of God’s people is that they follow God, but soon forget him. It would seem that Jehoshaphat knows this to be the case because he sends his officials to teach the people from the book of the Law. How do you ensure you are being taught from God’s word?

Questions:

Whenever you face some challenging event, or perhaps even a moment that looks to offer great rewards, do you stop to inquire of the Lord if you should proceed? Why should you do so?

In what ways do you call upon the name of the Lord for salvation?

What are the desires of your heart? How has God met those desires?

“Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor.” If this is true, why do more people not try to avoid fights?

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?