Final Words – March 23, 2019

Numbers 36.1 – Deuteronomy 1.46; Luke 5.29-6.11; Psalm 66.1-20; Proverbs 11.24-26

The book of Deuteronomy is basically three speeches given by Moses to the people of Israel just before they enter the Promised Land. Moses would not go into the land with them, he would die before entering. He was aware of this, yet was still trying to encourage the people as the entered. After what we have read about Moses and his relationship with the people of Israel, what do you think your final words to the people would have been if you were him?

Questions:

How do you think the people felt when they realized what should have taken 11 days travel actually took 40 years?

In what ways do you work to save lives versus destroy them in the way you treat others?

As you tell others to come and listen to you, what stories will you tell them about what God has done for you?

Describe a time when refreshing others has created a time of refreshing for you?

That’s My Land – March 22, 2019

Numbers 33.40-35.34; Luke 5.12-28; Psalm 65.1-13; Proverbs 11.23

God tells his people not to defile the land they live in, for he lives there himself. Do we view the places we live in the same way? What would change in our lives if we assumed God was a co-resident with us in the places we live and spend most of our time occupying?

Questions:

Why was it important for the people of Israel to drive out the people living in the land of Canaan?

Why do you think people could not help but share the amazing things Jesus had done, even when he told them to not tell others? What have you shared about him today?

What prayers has God answered for you with awesome deeds?

Reward or judgment?

I Am Sinful – March 21, 2019

Numbers 32.1-33.39; Luke 4.31-5.11; Psalm 64.1-10; Proverbs 11.22

I often wonder what we would do if Jesus walked in the door today? While I certainly believe we have open access to a relationship with God, I have my suspicions that we would not walk over and give him a high five. Instead, like Simon, I think we would hit the floor, for we are sinful people. In the presence of deity, our sinfulness seems that much greater, doesn’t it? How are you addressing the sinfulness in your life as you come before God today?

Questions:

A list of the places the Israelites had traveled can only mean the journey is drawing to a close. How do you think the Israelites feel, camped along the Jordan River overlooking the Promised Land?

What implications are there for our own ministry when we read that Jesus insisted that he had to go to other towns to preach?

Who are the enemies you seek protection from? How does your list compare to the enemies of the psalmist?

What can you say … have discretion. How have you seen a lack of discretion render someone helpless and pointless, like gold in a pig’s nose?

Good News – March 20, 2019

Numbers 30.1-31.54; Luke 4.1-30; Psalm 63.1-11; Proverbs 11.20-21

What is God obligated to do for you? I know, the question probably makes you uncomfortable. It’s a little too direct for our liking. Yet many of us have some sort of idea as to what following God will do for us. We have expectations about the role of Jesus in our lives, just like the Jewish people did about the Messiah. For many of them, they assumed they would receive great reward. Imagine their surprise when the Good News was for the poor, the captives, the blind, etc. How have you seen the Good News of Jesus impact those who need it most, versus those who have it all together?

Questions:

Why was God so concerned about Israel fully defeating the Midianites?

What reasons might the people in Nazareth have given as to why they were so upset about Jesus’ mention of the widow of Zarephath?

How do you earnestly search for God?

What things do you do to keep your integrity intact?

Wait Quietly – March 19, 2019

Numbers 28.16-29.40; Luke 3.23-38; Psalm 62.1-12; Proverbs 11.18-19

One easy way to understand what God is saying in Psalm 62 when he writes “wait quietly” is to think of a child right before Christmas. They can hardly keep still, they are so excited. Everything in them is awash with movement, longing for that moment when they can open their presents. In fact, they may even go so far as to try and peek at the present or at the very least, shake it to so they can determine what is inside. This is NOT the picture of waiting on the Lord. How do you picture someone waiting quietly before God?

Questions:

Why do you think the people of Israel needed this reminder (see Leviticus 23) about the ways the Feasts were to be performed?

Why is our lineage so important? Why was it important for Luke to include Jesus’ lineage?

How have you received honor because of following God?

In what ways has God brought you life?

Passing the Baton – March 18, 2019

Numbers 26.52-28.15; Luke 3.1-22; Psalm 61.1-8; Proverbs 11.16-17

As we continue to follow the story of God’s people Israel, we will soon discover that leadership is an important part of their successes or failures. I think it is significant that Moses, upon hearing he would die soon, is concerned that God give the people a new leader. How well do we plan for leaders of faith in our lives? How can we do a better job of this?

Questions:

No one on the census of individuals we read yesterday was on the previous census taken before the people wandered the wilderness. Based on what you know about the story of Israel, what should we expect to happen next to the people?

What do John’s responses to the people’s questions of “What should we do…” tell you about what it means to follow Jesus?

How would God’s leading you to “the towering rock” look today? What situations are happening in your life where you need to allow him to lead you and provide you safety?

How have you shown kindness to someone today?

This Is A Big One – March 17, 2019

Numbers 26.1-51; Luke 2.36-52; Psalm 60.1-12; Proverbs 11.15

Someone I know, when talking about important decisions or struggles he is facing, admits that he often says to God: “This is a big one, Lord, you better let me handle it.” In what ways do you do the same? And how do we move to a place where we can say to God: “Please help us … human help is useless”?

Questions:

What significance is there to the fact that we have a whole chapter recording a census of the people of Israel? How does this help us as we work to be better followers of Jesus?

We know Jesus was found at age 12 visiting with the teachers of the law (who were amazed at his understanding, by the way). What other events do you think Mary faced while raising the Son of God that caused her to have to pause and reflect on who her son really was?

How does God’s holiness help give you comfort to rely on his promises?

Why would putting up deposit for a stranger’s debt be a concern for people trying to follow God?