Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 17, 2013

Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for February 17th: Deuteronomy 26:1-11; Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16; Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13; Theme: Living in the shelter of the Lord’s Journey; Song: A Mighty Fortress is our God Deuteronomy : This scripture talks about the importance of tithing. It connects our spiritual life, our worship life, and our regular life together. We are reminded that tithing is not just a promise we make to the church, it is a way of life. The decision to give is not a momentary decision, it is ongoing. We examine our lives every day, to see where we are and how much we can give. We make the decision about what we will give in the future, by looking at what God has done for us in the past. We look back and reflect on what God has done for us. In Corinthians, Paul says that God loves a cheerful giver. This scripture says that stewardship is an attitude of celebration. God has bought us to the promised land. We have been given plenty – we say thank you by giving back. When we are able to be grateful, we always have something to say thank you for, no matter what else is going on in life. Luke: It is fitting that on the first Sunday of our 40 days of preparation, that we would examine the 40 days of preparation of the Lord. After Jesus was baptized, he felt the need to go into the wilderness. As he was alone with himself, all of those inner temptations came to haunt him. He knew that he had to find the power to overcome them. The temptations spoke to him about who he was as a person, and who he was supposed to be as a leader. Jesus knew that God loved him, he knew that he had a special purpose. This taught him that he had the strength to carry it all through. Just because he fought back the devil, he would be learning all the way up to his last breath on the cross. But after this testing, he could always be sure that God was with him, he was no alone in this journey. We can know that if God is with Jesus through his tough times, then Jesus is always with us through our tough times. We have the strength to overcome it all! Questions: How do you feel about tithing? When you give sacrificially, how do you celebrate? What do you have to be grateful and to say thank you to God? What do the three temptations of Jesus represent? What temptations do you face in your life? What do they say about you? Who do you know that demonstrates for you how Jesus is present in the midst of suffering? What can you learn from how they are able to face life?

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