Matthew 20.29-34 – March 22, 2020

Matthew 20:29–34

As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”
34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
 (Matthew 20:29–34, NIV)

Not sure what to pray today? How about this: Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!

Thought Questions:

Matthew does not tell us, but what do you think these two blind men knew about Jesus prior to his walking by where they were seated?

Why do we so often dismiss those who are seeking help from Jesus, or those who are a “distraction” in the ways they ask for help?

Why do you think Jesus asks these two what they want him to do? What was he trying to get from them–surely he knew they wanted to have their sight restored, right?

John 17.3 – March 21, 2020

John 17:3

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent (John 17:3, NIV)

In a world that seeks to live forever, it is nice to know how to find eternal life.

Thought Questions:

What are ways our world tries to live forever, or at least extend their life? How much time do you think people spend thinking about “life ever-after?”

How do we know God?

What does it say about God that he sent his son to us, versus hiding somewhere we we would have to try to find him?

Proverbs 31.10-31 – March 20, 2020

Proverbs 31:10–31

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies. 

31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

(Proverbs 31:10, 31, NIV)

“It shows women how God wants us to act, and allows men to see what they should seek in a wife.”

Thought Questions:

When you think about someone who might win the award of “Best Woman Ever,” what characteristics do you think of? How do your characteristics compare to those described in Proverbs 31.

How important is it for a woman to display Godly characteristics? How can all of us work to help one another, as well as ourselves, display those characteristics more?

What are ways you can honor women in your life who are women of Godly character and actions?

Romans 8.35-39 – March 19, 2020

Romans 8.35-39

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: 

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35–39, NIV)

This may be one of the most cherished questions in all of Scripture: Who can separate us from the love of Christ? No one, of course!

Thought Questions:

Why do you think so many people have a hard time understand that God loves them, instead thinking God is “out to get them?”

What does it mean to be a conqueror? How does the love of God help us conquer?

In what ways do you assume something or someone can separate you from God’s love? How can you live differently now that you have read this passage?

Number 6.22-27- March 18, 2020

Numbers 6:22–27

The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.
 (Numbers 6:24–26, NIV)

What is known as the “Priestly Blessing,” these words from God, to Moses, to the priests to give strength to the people. How important is such a blessing from God to you?

Thought Questions:

What does it mean to be “kept” by God? How does this help you face the challenges of today?

How important is it for you to know that God is the one to give you peace? In what ways have you seen his peace in your life?

How can you say a word of blessing to others, drawing them closer to God through that blessing?

Psalm 33.20 – March 17, 2020

Psalm 33:20

We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield. 
(Psalm 33:20, NIV)

“God is our help & shield.”

Thought Questions:

Why is waiting such a difficult thing for us to do? How does having hope help that time of waiting become easier?

In what ways does the Lord give you hope?

Make a list of the ways God has been both your help and your shield.

Mark 1.35-39 – March 16, 2020

Matthew 1.35-39

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
 (Mark 1:35–39, NIV)

Someone once said the greatest single argument in favor of prayer is this: Jesus prayed.

Thought Questions:

How does the start of Jesus’ day compare to the typical start of your day? In what ways might you make your day more like Jesus’?

What do you sense Simon’s thinking was in trying to find Jesus? What was most important to him? What was most important to Jesus?

How are prayer and “preaching” related? What might you pray to better help you share the message of Jesus with others?