GodSpeak for the Week of February 17
“The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But…”
We go back to the Lectionary this week for a brief, three week tour of assigned Sunday readings, before starting a new sermon series for Lent.
Day 1…Read Jeremiah 17:5-8.
- Consider this – the Hebrew word for “trust” carries the notion of “throwing something at something”; thus, it’s believed the Hebrew word came to mean “trust” in the sense of “throwing our belief at something else.”
- Answer this – given that clarification on what “trust” means from the Hebrew perspective, how does that add and clarify to our understanding of what God is saying, when He notes through the prophet: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh…”?
- What is God saying about throwing one’s belief at man/mere flesh?
Day 2…Read Jeremiah 17:5-8 (again)
- Consider this – for the one who trusts in man, God compares him to a “bush in the wastelands”/one who “dwells in the parched places of the desert”.
- Consider this – contrast that to the one who trusts in the Lord God – the Father compares him to a “tree planted by the water”.
- Answer this – what are the differences between the one man and the other?
- What does God say the one who trusts in the Lord get, that the other man doesn’t?
Day 3…Read 1 Corinthians 15:9-11
- Consider this – Paul notes here that he is the “least” of Jesus’ apostles. Specifically, he means here that he is of the lowest rank of Jesus’ apostles, because of his persecution of early Christians.
- Other apostles – Peter, James, John, et. al. – rank much higher than Paul, because of his awful persecution of early Christians.
- Consider this – but, Paul notes that despite his sin…despite his being “on the wrong side of history” (to borrow a contemporary phrase), God’s grace was shown to him…
- …and it was “not without effect.” In Greek, that notion means that God’s grace was not fruitless – it DID SOMETHING in Paul, that God wanted done.
- Answer this – from what you know about him, what “fruit” did God’s grace create in Paul? (hint – this could be a long list!)
Day 4…Read 1 Corinthians 15:9-11 (again)
- Consider this – in the middle of v. 10, Paul takes a bit of (dare we say, selfish?) pride in noting that he has worked harder for Christ than all of the apostles.
- But, very quickly, Paul catches and corrects himself.
- Answer this – what is REALLY the SOURCE of his ability to work for Christ?
- Who gets the CREDIT for EVERYTHING Paul has done, is doing and will ever do for Christ?
Borrowing from our sermon title for this week,
THAT is the truth…the WHOLE truth and nothing but!
Day 5…Read Luke 6:17-19
- Consider this – Luke is very specific to note a distinction between the “large crowd of disciples” who gather around Jesus versus “a great number of people” who were also there from Tyre, Sidon, etc.
- Answer this – what do you think is the difference between people in the two groups Luke distinguishes?
- What does this say about Jesus and His ministry to this point in the story?
Day 6…Read Luke 6:17-26
- Consider this – here we encounter Luke’s version of Jesus’ “Beatitudes”.
- Consider this – in v. 20 the Greek word for “poor” means those who are “lacking” or “reduced to begging.”
- Answer this – what would be “blessed” about being in that state of being?
- What might this “lacking”/being “reduced to begging” produce in a person, that be more well off might not?
- Consider this – in v. 22 the Greek word for “hate” is pretty straightforward…it means to “detest”;
- …while the Greek word for “reject” means to “cast off” or “cast out”.
- Answer this – again, what would be “blessed” about being hated and cast off?
- For whom is the person described as “blessed” being hated and cast off?
- Why does that matter? What could possible make that a “blessed” thing?