Week of May 14th:
When Christ came to this earth, he put death, disease and hell on notice. He saw people who were hurting, suffering, struggling and dying. He saw people who were rejected, bullied, hated and cast aside. He saw people lost, wandering, vagabonds and hopeless. When Jesus came to this earth he saw people, he saw their sin and their brokenness. He entered into the lives of these people and brought them hope. He brought them life, and he brought them salvation.
Read Matthew 4:12-25 to get the general context of the verses.
1. Describe the two things Jesus does in 4:23. How is what he does demonstrate his mission and ministry?
2. Read Luke 4:16-19. How is Luke4:16-19 similar to Luke 4:23-25?
3. Read Revelation 21:3,4. As you look at the future hope where Christ reigns and God is exalted, how is what Christ does in Matthew a glimpse of things to come? Do you see a connection between what Christ does on earth and the future hope? Explain.
4. What would you say was the purpose for Christ healing the diseased and casting out demons?
5. Why does Matthew tell his readers where the crowds came from (4:25)? Is there any significance in their locations?
6. Look back at question 1 and the two things you wrote down. If Christ is embodied in the church today, what should we do and how should we go about it?
7. What does it say about Christ of those who were attracted to him and what he does in responding to them? What does this say about the church’s calling?
8. What will you do today that will show others Christ? What you wrote, turn it into a prayer.
Week of April 23rd:
Proverbs 10: What will be your legacy?
That is a question that comes to mind as you age. The idea is that you want to look at your life and say “I did something important.” In the ancient world, the way to gain legacy or eternal life was to contribute to something or build something that would last long after you died. Cities became a statement of legacy; a king would help in building a city, a city after himself that would give him eternal life. What will you leave behind and what difference will you make? What will be your legacy?
Read through Proverbs 10 and see how legacy is discussed in this chapter.
1. Describe in your own words the two types of people discussed throughout this chapter.
2. As you read this chapter how is legacy defined.
3. How is the idea of eternal life rooted in character and action?
4. Read 10:27 and look at it terms of legacy and not necessarily literal. How does that help in interpreting the verse in light of the context of legacy?
5. Highlight the key verses that stand out to you. Why do those verses seem prevalent to you?
6. Turn the words of this chapter into a prayer for you and your family. Pray over your children, spouse, and other relatives using this prayer.
7. What will you do today to leave a legacy based on this chapter?
Week of April 16th:
Luke 24: Christ the Lord has risen!
Read through Luke 24 at first quickly, then on the 2nd and 3rd time read through slowly picking up details you may have missed. Identify names and places. Describe the conversations that Jesus and the disciples have.
This week we celebrate the power of the cross and the joy of the resurrection. Christ is alive and he has conquered death. The resurrection is a reality. Because Christ arose, we have a future and present hope; we are connected to the end, to the fulfillment of the ages. In 1 Corinthians 15:17 Paul wrote, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” Our hope is certain because Christ has arisen. As you have read through Luke 24, let the truth of the words, the shock of the story refresh you again.
1. How does the truth of the resurrection help you in living your life each day?
2. Who are the people mentioned in this chapter and what is the significance of knowing them?
3. Notice the attitude and actions of the risen Christ in this chapter. What is his main priority now that he has risen from the dead? Typically, if you had been brutally and horrendously tortured and you had a second chance what would be your main priority?
4. Look carefully at the story of the two traveling to Emmaus. Why do you suppose the two are walking to Emmaus? Why is this story told?
5. Read Luke 24:27. What verses and passages in the OT did Jesus use to explain his ministry and life? Do you sense a glimmer of hope beginning to grow in the two walking with Jesus?
6. Read Luke 24:30-32. How did the actions reveal the nature and person of Christ to the two? Why does Jesus disappear when the two recognize him?
7. How does Jesus demonstrate he is alive and that he was to die and rise? What does he keep referring to?
8. Had you been there standing in the room when Jesus appeared to you, what would be your thoughts and first reaction? How does the reality of Christ alive compel you to teach and preach his name?
9. Read through Luke 24:44-52. Turn this into a prayer to honor and bless the risen Christ.
10. How will you live differently today knowing the beauty of Christ’s resurrection?
Week of April 9th:
Psalm 78:1-39: Lessons from History
Read through this passage 2 or 3 times. You can print out a copy of the Psalm and highlight the words and verses you see as important. In the 39 verses, find the one verse that captures the meaning of the Psalm.
1. What is the reason the Psalmist (Asaph) is writing this Psalm?
2. With different color pencils highlight the characteristics of God and the attitudes and actions of the people of God. What stands out to you as you look over the Psalm?
3. What patterns do you see as you read this Psalm?
4. Read Deuteronomy 6:4-8 in comparison to this Psalm. How does this Psalm help fulfill the command in Deuteronomy?
5. How have you demonstrated faithlessness in your life?
6. What besetting sins do you struggle with? What besetting sins does the church struggle with?
7. How does reciting the past, even of your own life, help in overcoming faithlessness?
8. Read Daniel 9:1-19. Make 3 connections with Daniel and this Psalm?
9. Write a highlighted version of your life and of the church you attend (since the time you started attending it). Describe the provision, beauty and love of God in light your actions and the churches. What key events in your life did you see God meeting you and caring for you?
10. Read Ps 78:32-39. Turn it into a prayer of praise, confession and supplication.
Week of April 3rd:
Psalm 1: Walking in Righteousness
Read through Psalm 1 a few times. Read it quickly at first and slowly the second and third time. Read this in several different translations. To do this you can go to Biblegateway.com and look up Psalm 1 in several English translations. Notice the different ways of reading the Psalm and how those differences enhance the similarities.
1. As you read this Psalm describe what the blessed life is and what it is not.
2. What is the significance of the three actions in 1:1 – walk, stand or sit? Read Deuteronomy 6:4 – 8. How is what Deuteronomy reads similar to what is said in 1:1?
3. What metaphors are used for the blessed and the wicked?
4. Read Isaiah 17:3; 29:5; 57:20,21; Hosea 13:3. What is the nature of the wicked as it is understood in these passages and Psalm 1:1?
5. Read Isaiah 43:18,19 and Revelation 22:1-3. Think of a river and the purpose it plays in nature. How is what you read in these passages helpful in described the blessed life?
6. Look at 1:2. Examine the two words: delight and meditate. Why must delight come before meditate? (see Ps 37:3,4). What other words can you use for meditate? Is the word “meditate” the same as quiet time or does it have more depth?
7. Why is the path and way so significant in the way it is used throughout scripture? See in particular Proverbs 3:5,6 and John 14:6.
8. Turn this into a prayer. How would you re-write this so it would sound and feel like a prayer? Read your prayer out loud, before God and even share it with someone you know.