Saturday, November 9, 2013

November 17, 2013 - 26th Sunday after Pentecost

Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for November 17th: Isaiah 65:17-25; Isaiah 12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Luke 21:5-19; Theme: The end is near Song: Soon and very Soon UMH 706 Isaiah: They are still assessing the damage from the hurricane in the Phillipines. They are saying that as many as 10,000 people could be dead. And the damage is unspeakable. Here in Illinois we have never experienced having to recover from a disaster of that magnitude. But how do you even begin to put the pieces of your life together as such a catastrophe? One block at a time. Sometimes the damage may not be physical, it may be spiritual. It is next to impossible to rebuild, unless you have hope for the future. God realizes the in order for his people to go forward, he has to give them hope. He has to help them to realize that they are not rebuilding alone. God is has already seen what must be. If you knew that it was all going to be destroyed, would you work to rebuild? But if you knew that things would finally get better, that all that you have hoped for would come to fruition, you would move forward. God encourages us to move forward in our lives, and to know that what we are rebuilding is the first steps to heaven. 2 Thessalonians: Paul gets to the point in chapter 3, by telling others that if they do not work, then they should not eat. Common people felt that there was no need to work, because the end was near. Those who were rich, felt they would rely on others to work. Paul continues to help them understand that waiting for God does not mean giving up and working less. As a matter of fact, it means working more. Work is a part of our faith. We have to work in order to build the foundation of the kingdom of God. But what does work mean? What type of work must be done? Is God a taskmaster, like an earthly boss? Work for God should be fulfilling and should energize us, not wear us out. When we do not work, Paul says that we become busybodies. He also said that we should never get tired of doing what it right. God has a purpose for us, when he calls us- he calls us to a task – to a job. May we always have hope in God and his plan for us. Questions: What would you hope to see in a new world? What are you willing to give up in this world? Do you look forward to God promise of a new world, or is it scary? What is you attitude toward work? Do you see God in the work that you do? What do you think about tose who freeload off of others? How do we encourage everybody to give their equal part?

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