Friday, September 17, 2010

September 26, 2010

Scriptures for September 26th: Jeremiah 32:1-3, 6-15; Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16; 1 Timothy 6:6-19; Luke 16:19-31 Theme: What does it mean to live righteously?

Jeremiah: How can you tell if an idea is just a crazy thing that your mind came up with, or is it truly a vision from God? Does it pull you apart, or help you pull things together? Does it help you or does it hinder you? No matter how crazy the idea, if it helps you make it through a tough time – it is a thought from God. God told Jeremiah to go rebuy his families land at full price, even though he knew that the land would lose value. But it was a hope in the future that God had promised, that his people would come home and inhabit the land. And they did, Jeremiah was not always popular for his decisions, but he never gave up on his relationship with God.

1 Timothy: We are ending our lessons from Timothy in his first letter, and will be going into the second letter. First Timothy reminds us of our moral character as Christians. As the rest of the world is clamoring for success, we should be clamoring for good moral character. Paul says that we are not to pursue riches at all, but learn to be satisfied with what we have. If we have the basic necessities of life, then God is taking care of us. We just need to be clear about what we need and what we want.

Questions: When things are going bad in your life, what is it that gives you hope? What signs do you see in your life that God is finally turning things around and is about to make a difference in your life? What is it about the love of money that seems to make us want more? What are the evils that are produced by greed? How do you control greed?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

September 19, 2010

Scriptures for September 19th: Jeremiah 8:18-9:1; Psalm 79:1-9; 1 Timothy 2:1-7; Luke 16:1-13 Theme: Prayer should be the center of our lives.

1 Timothy: We know that Timothy was a young disciple of Paul, who was empowered to carry on Paul’s message to his own community. He reminds us that prayer is not just something to do, it is a way of life. It essential to our faith and something we should do all of the time. Ironically, we are all quick to say that we do not know how to pray. Timothy says to pray for all people, pray for leaders, then pray for the faithful.

Luke: Sometimes Jesus gives a straight forward message that makes “common Sense”. But most of the time, Jesus wants us to take a second to process and think about what he says and not search for the easy answers. Why would Jesus praise an employee who forgives the debts of others in order to protect himself? Money are other resources are not our life, but they can be used to further the message of God. We should not shy away from those resources, but make sure that they are used for good. But we must always remember that resources are not our end, God is our ultimate resource.

Questions: When we pray, do we just pray for those who are on our side or do we pray for everyone? Do we pray for the Cubs, or do we pray for a game fairly won? How often do you pray? How important is your prayer life? Do you set aside time to pray? What does it mean for prayer to be a way of life? How do you spend your money? Do you spend time praying before you spend? Is your spending connected to your prayer life? What role does Jesus have in what you spend money on?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

September 12, 2010

Scriptures for September 12th: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28; Psalm 14:1-7; I Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-10 Theme: God wants us to repent, not from fear of punishment, but in celebration of grace.

Jeremiah: The weather is about to change, fall is on it’s way. One of the sure ways to know that fall is here, is to listening to the wind. As the weather gets harsher, the winds get stronger. The air gets a little colder. If you listen closely to the impending winds, they can say a lot. Jeremiah is saying that as the fall winds come, they are a warning from God, that judgment is coming. This is not an ordinary wind, it is a little stronger because it needs to get your attention. That it is time for something to change inside of you.

Luke: The gospel lesson is a perfect compliment to the Hebrew bible text. Jesus too talks about judgment. But he adds one important ingredient – that is grace. We are all sinners, when we sin we are lost to God. Just as we celebrate when we find something, the angels of God celebrate when we realize the errors of our ways. Notice that in each case of something being lost the owner throws a party when it is found. We come together every Sunday to celebrate that we are sinners, but never truly lost to God.

Questions: As fall approaches, what changes need to be made in your life? What habits and beliefs have we become so used to, that we have forgotten? Does realizing our sin stop the consequences of what it about to happen? Who do you know in your life who is lost? What do you need to do to make sure that they are found? How are you planning to celebrate?