GodSpeak: By the (Good) Book – “Simple Math”

GodSpeak for the Week of September 2

“Simple Math”


We’re between sermon series this week, going back to the Lectionary as we look ahead to the new school year.


Day 1…Read Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 (especially v. 2)

  • Answer this – why would God command His people not to add or subtract to what He’s commanded?
    • Have we ever done this since He commanded this?
    • What has been the result of our additions/subtractions?

Day 2…Read Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 (again, especially v. 6 and ff.)

  • Consider this – God notes that careful observation of His commands will show “wisdom” (i.e., prudence in religious practice, ethics) and “understanding” (i.e., discernment) to other peoples.
  • Answer this – why are wisdom, prudence, ethical behavior and discernment byproducts of carefully following God’s commands?

 Day 3…Read Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 (again, especially v. 9 and ff.)

  • Consider this – there’s an old saying: “History tends to repeat itself.”
  • Answer this – how does that old saying reflect God’s warning in this passage?
    • Why do we have an awful tendency to forget and/or let fade the lessons from history?
  • Answer this – why is it important to teach God’s historical commands to our children?
    • In any lesson necessary to learn from history, how do we help our children relate to and remember that lesson, when he/she hasn’t had the first hand experience upon which to ground it and relate to it?

 Day 4…Read Ephesians 6:10-20 (focusing especially on v. 10)

  • Consider this – in English, v. 10 is translated as: “…be strong in the Lord…”. However, the tense of the Greek verb, here, carries the connotation of: “…be MADE strong in the Lord…”
  • Answer this – what does this distinction do to our understanding of this verse?
    • What difference does it make, if the verse reads: “…be strong…” versus “…be made strong…”?
    • Do we as Lutheran-Christians emphasize one of these understandings over the other? Which one?  Why?

 Day 5…Read Ephesians 6:10-20 (focusing especially on v. 11 and ff.) & Isaiah 59:17

  • Consider this – Paul’s counsel to put on the “full armor of God” provides a vivid, real-life example of how to defend against the devil and his evil plans and powers.
  • Answer this – yet, WHO put on this exact same armor FIRST? (cf. Isaiah 59:17)
  • Answer this – why does Paul not mention for us to put on God’s “garments of vengeance” and “cloak of zeal”?
    • Consider this – what God says through Paul in Romans 12:19.

Day 6…Read Mark 7:14-23

  • Consider this – in v. 18 and in response to the parable He’d just told, Jesus responds to the disciples, saying: “’Are you so dull?’” The connotation of that word “dull” has Jesus saying the disciples are “unintelligent” and/or “without understanding.”
  • Answer this – why is Jesus being so seemingly harsh with the disciples, here?
    • What’s at stake, here, if folks don’t have a proper understanding of what Jesus is saying?