Saturday, February 25, 2012

March 4, 2012

Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for March 4th: Genesis 17:1-7; 15-16; Psalm 22:23-31; Romans 4:13-25; Mark 8:31-38; Theme: Covenant – Our Promise to God; Where he Leads Me – UMH 338 Genesis: Abraham was 75 years old when he started his walk with God, and God promised that Abraham would be the father of many nations. When he is 99 years old, there is still no baby. He and his wife have given up hope. But God never gives up on his promises. The baby is born, and the story continues. We are a part of that story. We are a part of that covenant. The Isrealites, the Ishmaelites, the Edomites all consider themselves to be a part of the covenant, because they are descendants of Abraham. Through Jesus Christ, we become a part of the family. When we are faithful to Christ, we become a part of the promise. However, we live in a world, where we sometimes wonder if God maintains his promise. God’s promise is never a straight line that we understand, it includes the twists and turns of life. Mark: What good is a messiah that suffers? The messiah is supposed to have all of the answers, the messiah is supposed to be an example for those who are struggling. And yet Jesus is saying that he will suffer and die. The disciples can’t understand what is going on. But Mark gives hints of what must happen in order for Jesus to be the messiah all throughout the book. What good is a messiah who suffers? – He can relate to what we are going through, and we can relate to him. Lent is an invitation to follow to Christ to the cross, to be willing to suffer. When we accept suffering, we are prepared for victory. And we come to understand why the messiah must suffer. Questions: When God makes a promise, he elevates our status. What does God promise of faithfulness mean to you? How do you maintain your promise to God? How do you remind God of the promise? What does the messiah mean to you? How does suffering affect you? Do you feel Christ’s presence in your suffering? Can you think of a time when you were able to claim victory in Christ over your suffering?

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