Sunday, September 30, 2007

Generation to Generation III

This week we conclude our thoughts about generations with a call to unity.

Ephesians 4:1-6

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

  • What in this text strikes you as remarkable?
  • Who is Paul speaking to? [This is crucial for our understanding.]
  • What is his main point?
  • What do you think it means to "live a life worthy of the calling"?
  • How we develop and maintain humility?
  • What does it mean to "bear with one another in love"?
  • What effort can you make to "keep the unity of the Spirit"?
  • Think about each of the 7 "ones," why are these 7 so important?
  • How do these 7 "ones" impact unity?
  • How can we use this passage to create greater unity among the generations?
  • How does passage fit with this statement? We are baptized believers participating in the life of God for the sake of others.

What else is on your mind this week?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Generation to Generation II

As we continue to carefully explore generational responsibilities and differences, lets look at what Paul says to the Titus who is ministering on the island of Crete.

Titus 2:1-8

You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

  • As you read this what are the first things that come to your mind?
  • What in this text strikes you as remarkable?
  • How many groups does Paul mention?
  • What are the instructions for each group?
  • What is the role of Titus?
  • What specific behaviors, practices, and values is Titus called to by Paul?
  • Is there a distinction between the behavior of leaders and others?
  • How does passage speak to intergenerational interaction and communication?
  • How does passage fit with this statement? We are baptized believers participating in the life of God for the sake of others.

What else in on your mind this week?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Generation to Generation

This week we begin a new, short, series entitled Generation to Generation. We begin the series with this text.

2 Timothy 1:3-7

I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

How does this text speak to intergenerational relationships as far as faith is concerned?

What in this text do you find interesting?

What else is on your mind this week?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Word & Flesh - Life Connected

Our text this week has a couple of familiar verses in it, but I want you to notice the context in which they are found. The questions below give you some help in exploring the context.

2 Timothy 3:10-17

You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

  • As you read this what are the first things that come to your mind?
  • What in this text strikes you as remarkable?
  • What is the main point of Paul’s words to Timothy?
  • How does Paul emphasize the character and integrity of people?
  • What role does Scripture play in character development?
  • What role does character play in the authority of Scripture?

So what else is on your mind?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Checking It Out

As we begin a transition away from Acts into different parts of the Story of God, I want us to consider this story found in Acts 17:1-15.

When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,’" he said. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women. But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: "These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus." When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go. As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. When the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, they went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. The brothers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. The men who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.

The title of this blog is inspired by the Bereans, but I want us to think about the entire story. Here are some questions to help you:
  • What in this text strikes you as remarkable?
  • What is the main point of this story?
  • Why does Paul go to the synagogue first?
  • What is Paul’s message specifically?
  • Why do you think he emphasizes this?
  • How do (most of?) the Jews react to Paul’s message?
  • Focus on the Bereans: what does Luke say about them?
  • What can we learn from them?

What else is on your mind this week?