Speaking the Truth in Love: Hitting Home
Speaking the truth in love is not just an abstract idea for classrooms and sermons. When the challenges of life hit home with people close to us, we need to be ready to follow Jesus’ example of truth and love.
Daily Prayer: Thank you for giving me family and friends. Help me to live as a witness of your truth and love among them regardless of the cost. Amen.
Monday, September 14
Read Matthew 12:46-50. It is likely this is the scene of a family intervention. Jesus was obviously out of his mind and his family had come to get him. What is Jesus’ response? What does this say about who our “family” is? Is Jesus anti-family? Wait until tomorrow to answer…
Tuesday, September 15
Read Mark 7:1-13. The Jews had a rule that allowed them to take money saved for aging parents and use it for themselves by declaring the money to be “dedicated to God.” What ways do we skirt responsibilities through convenient technicalities? Who suffers because of that? How can we be of assistance to those who fall in through our manmade “cracks?”
Wednesday, September 16
Review the story of Esther, focusing on Chapter 4. Esther is Queen, but doing the right thing might get her killed. What does she decide to do? Name a situation with family or a friend where doing the right thing also meant damaged relationships… or worse. How do we speak the truth in love in these situations?
Thursday, September 17
Read 1 Peter 3:1-7. Peter knows some believing women are married to unbelieving men. Are the wives to “make” their husbands believe? If not, how are they to win them over? What cues should we take from this when we have unbelieving family or friends?
Friday, September 18
Read 2 Samuel 9. There was more than a little conflict between David and Saul. (Note 1 Samuel 19:9-10) It was common to take revenge upon a whole family. Who do you hold a grudge with? What would it look like to model David’s generosity in your situation?
Saturday, September 19
Read Philemon. Onesimus was Philemon’s slave who had stolen from Philemon and fled. Paul met Onesimus and he became a Christian. This letter is pleading to Philemon to take him back as a brother. Why is it so important for Paul to make this appeal (truth)? What is Paul willing to do to make it happen (love) ? Who needs reconciliation in your life? How can you help that happen?
Bethel Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN – bethelstpaul.com