Sunday, September 20, 2015
September 27, 2015
Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for September 27th: Esther 7:1-6,9-10, 9:20-22; Psalm 124; James 5:13-20; Mark 9:38-50; Theme: our actions have consequences; Song: If it had not been for the Lord 2053 Esther: This is the one time that we will focus on this book. We are focusing on the wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible – which we do not hear from very often. It is easy for us to dismiss these books of the bible, because they often do not focus on God, and there is no real lesson. They are in the form of short stories and poetry. They are often stories about women. But these stories are important. This is a story of a woman who stood up for herself, and her people. She did not ask for vengeance against the enemy of her people, she just told her husband, the king the truth about the matter. The king was able to make a just decision for himself. The wisdom in the story – do the right thing, always be who you are. Trust God to bring about justice and mercy in times of trouble. If you are on God’s side, God is on your side. Mark: This is an example of Jesus threats to us when he is angry. He can scare us into doing to right thing. But it is also an example of what it means to be a powerful Christian. You have to be worth your weight in salt. Jesus us telling us that there is no room for fooling around in the Christian life. We all sin, we all like to blame our sinful nature on the devil and keep on sinning. Jesus says that whatever it is that you are blaming your sin on, get rid of it. Make the right choice and once again do the right thing. There is a reason why God needs us to be wise people – it is our wisdom, it is God’s wisdom that encourages others to do right to. We cannot control other people, but we can control ourselves. We change others by changing ourselves. There is too much work in the kingdom to do for us to slack off now! Questions: When had there been a time in your life when you have had to stand up for your faith? What was it that gave you the strength to stand? What difference did it make to others? What are the things in your life that need to be improved for God’s sake? Who is watching your every move to see what it means to be a Christian? How are you an example to them?