Righteous – July 16, 2019

1 Chronicles 22.1-23.32; Romans 3.9-31; Psalm 12.1-8; Proverbs 19.13-14

If I told you that you needed to be righteous, my guess is that your mind would immediately focus on how to be perfect, or act least do everything in the right way for the right reasons. We are conditioned to assume that our rewards are only the result of hard, hard work and effort on our part. Here’s the good news of Jesus: You are not made righteous by what you do (you could never be good enough, anyway), but by your belief that Jesus died so you might be considered righteous. Good news, indeed.

Questions:

How does David’s reason for not being allowed to build the Temple (he had shed too much blood) compare to what we read in Samuel and Kings. Why do you think there is a difference here?

How do people try to be right with God based on the things they do, or the works they perform?

It would appear the psalmist is describing our own time: The godly are fast disappearing. In what ways do you see this to be accurate to today’s times?

A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as a constant dripping. [Editor’s note: I don’t write them – just read and report on them!] What message is the proverb writer trying to give us here?

Where’s Bathsheba? – July 15, 2019

1 Chronicles 19.1-21.30; Romans 2.25-3.8; Psalm 11.1-7; Proverbs 19.10-12

As you read through the Chronicles, you discover that some of the stories are handled in different ways than we see in Samuel or Kings. For instance, today we read that when the kings went off to war, David stayed behind in Jerusalem. If you have read 2 Samuel 11 carefully, you recognize that the story of Bathsheba follows this introduction, yet in 1 Chronicles, there is no mention of her. Why do you think this is the case? In what ways is it possible to talk about an event in history–especially God’s history–and highlight things you want to bring out (and not mention other things) without altering the truth of the story?

Questions:

How do misunderstandings destroy relationships? How can we prevent this from happening?

Why is doing something more important than knowing about the need to do that something?

What can the righteous do when the foundations of law and order collapse?

How have you been a sensible person and overlooked the wrongs committed by others? Why was that the right thing to do?

Kind, Tolerant, and Patient – July 14, 2019

1 Chronicles 16.37-18.17; Romans 2.1-24; Psalm 10.16-18; Proverbs 19.8-9

It is interesting to listen to the perceptions of God from others, especially those who do not believe in him. You will often hear people talk about his vengeance or his punishment against those who do wrong. Yet Paul says in Romans that God is “wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient.” (v. 4) Why is there a disagreement between what people say about God and what we hear the Bible writers say about him? How have you found God to be?

Questions:

Do you realize that when God sees you, he sees someone “very great,” as David describes in his prayer to God? How can we recognize–and act on–this more?

If God does not show favoritism, how can we work to be sure we do not either?

In what ways does knowing that God knows the hopes of the hopeless help you follow him more?

Why is acquiring wisdom a demonstration of living yourself?

Bread Alone – July 13, 2019

1 Chronicles 15.1-16.36; Romans 1.18-32; Psalm 10.1-15; Proverbs 19.6-7

Today’s proverb reminded me of a card I once received which read: Man cannot live by bread alone, but if you have bread, man, you won’t be alone. Why do we want to be friends with the person who has “bread?” Why might this not be a good thing to do?

Questions:

Summarize the song of David in a sentence or two.

How has God made the truth about himself obvious?

How do you move from a state of trying to do everything to one that recognizes you are helpless and cries out to the Lord?

Why would the relatives of the poor despise them?

God Did It! – July 12, 2019

1 Chronicles 12.19-14.17; Romans 1.1-17; Psalm 9.13-20; Proverbs 19.4-5

When you accomplish something big in your life, something like, let’s say, defeating the entire Philistine army, what is your response? OK, we have never defeated the Philistine army or probably any other sort of army, but we certainly have accomplished things that might cause us to pat ourselves on the back. Notice, however, David’s response: God did it! How do we keep reminding ourselves of the great things God has done for us and give him the proper credit when he does so?

Questions:

Who are the men of Issachar today, people who understand the times and know what we should do?

How would Paul’s visit to the churches in Rome helped them grow strong in their faith?

How have you been rescued by God and perhaps more importantly, in what ways have you shared that with others?

Why does wealth make friends and poverty drive them away? Can this be avoided?

Boldly Proclaiming The Good News – July 11, 2019

1 Chronicles 11.1-12.18; Acts 28.1-31; Psalm 9.1-12; Proverbs 19.1-3

If I told you Paul welcomed all who came to him, boldly sharing the Good News, and no one tried to stop him, you probably would not be surprised. This just describes who Paul is, doesn’t it. But, if I told you that all of this happened while Paul was in prison, what would you think?

Questions:

What does the reaction of the follower’s of David tell you about his standing among the people? Would you expect anything less from him?

What do you think you would have thought upon seeing Paul bitten by a poisonous viper, yet not facing any harmful effects from the bite?

During times of suffering and crisis, how has the Lord shown himself to have not ignored you?

People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord. When have you seen this to be a true statement about people?

Saul Was Unfaithful – July 10, 2019

1 Chronicles 9.1-10.14; Acts 27.21-44; Psalm 8.1-9; Proverbs 18.23-24

The book of Chronicles (the two parts are one continuous story) contains stories that are a repeat of things we have read in the books of Samuel and Kings. One of the questions we try to determine is why these stories are repeated and in what manner are they told with a different emphasis, so that we can determine the purpose of each of these books. To this end, Saul is said to have been killed due to his unfaithfulness of God. Why was he said to have been killed in 1-2 Samuel? Why the difference and do you think it is significant for understanding the purpose of the Chronicles?

Questions:

What is the reason the people of Judah were exiled to Babylon? How does this impact our own understanding of God’s punishment today?

How did Paul go from being ignored when he gave recommendation on when to sail to someone that all of the crew and officers listened to and did what he said?

How do your children show you God’s strength?

There are “friends” who destroy each other. Why would we ever call these people friends in the first place?