Saturday, November 8, 2014
Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for November 16th: Judges 4: 1-7; Psalm 123; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30; Theme: Jesus depends on us ; Song: Jesus Keep me Near the Cross UMH 301 1 Thessalonians : This lesson is a precursor to advent and the season of preparing for the second coming. It is Paul’s demand that we listen and to prepare ourselves for that day. Paul warns us that there should be a huge difference between Christians and others. People should be able to spot us a mile away, simply based in who we are and how we handle every day life. Paul is telling us that we don’t know when Jesus is coming back, but the second coming should always be in the back of our mind. Preparation is not just for a season, it is for a lifetime. It is our lifestyle that will qualify us to go with Christ, when he returns for us. We will receive a reward for being faithful. We have been practicing our faith for thousands of years, Christ is aware of our faithfulness, our we aware of his to us? Matthew: This is another good message for advent. This is a message to get our lives in order. Each of us have spiritual gifts, and they were given to us in order to be used. God is watching how we use them. They are not to be used for ourselves, but to benefit others. We are reminded that the time is now for us to use our gifts, we are not to wait until later. We don’t know when our day will come. Jesus is giving us a call to action. So we all need to give some serious thought to our plan. But when we have a plan, know that God is with you and will give you the strength to fulfill what he has planted inside of you. If you have only one precious gift in the world, who would you give it to? How would you use it? Go ahead, the time is now to use your gift, tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us. Questions: What do you think about the second coming? Are you really prepared for Christ to return? What do you still need to do? What is your talent? How do you need to give it away? What would you do if you lost your talent? What are you prepared to do if God gives you a new talent?
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for November 9th: Joshua 24:1-3,14-25; Psalm 78:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13; Theme: choose who you will serve Song: Battle Hymn of the Republic UMH 717 Joshua : This is my favorite verse if the bible. The 40 years of wandering is over. As a matter of fact, the first leader has passed on. Now the second generation is taking over. As the second leader, Joshua has a new task. It is time for people to settle down and get to work. In order to help people realize the change, he has a special service for them. But he is not asking them to be spectators on what it going on, but participants. Everyone needs to do their part in order for the community to begin a new life. Jesus tells them to choose ye who you must serve. Is it God or is it yourself? And he asks them to make a commitment that very day – to serve God. I have a sign in my house – As for me and my house we choose to serve the Lord. That is Joshua’s commitment – what is yours? Matthew: This is the story of the bridesmaids. They are waiting for the groom, five of them are ready with oil in their lamps and five of them are out of oil. The lesson is that we should be prepared for the groom when he comes. For many, this is the beginning message of advent. It is time for us to prepare for Jesus to come. We don’t know when the second coming will be, but the message is that we should live our lives as if he is coming back at any moment. It is not about when he comes, it is about how we live our lives. Advent is not just about Christmas, it is about how we live our lives. There is never a time when we should not be alert and ready. God appears in our lives in so many ways at so many times. Questions: When has there been a time when you needed to stop and take account of your faith? How do you choose God? How do you choose other things instead of God? What do you have to give up in order to be clear about serving God? Are you prepared for the second coming? When do you think the second coming will come? Is there really something wrong with waiting until the last moment to do something?