Sunday, May 31, 2009

Blog Off for the Summer

Hopefully we'll fire back up in the fall. Enjoy your summer!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"I Wonder What God Thinks About 'Gay Marriage'?" - Romans 1:18-32

Romans 1:18-32

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Pray. Ask God to give you insight into this passage.

Why is the wrath of God being revealed?

How (where) are God’s “invisible qualities” seen?

What happens when God allows people to pursue their own desires?

What roles do truth and knowledge play?

How does Paul present homosexuality?

What are some of the manifestations of a “depraved mind”?

What's the difference, in Paul’s argument, between practicing and approving of sin?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Come! Hebrews 12:18-29

Hebrews 12:18-29

You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned." The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear."

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."

If you can, then make the time to read Hebrews 10-12 to have a better understanding of the context of our passage for this week.

The writer of Hebrews is making a contrast with the Mountain of the Old Covenant with the Mountain of the New Covenant. A quick read of Exodus would be helpful in understanding his argument.

1. How are the 2 "mountains" different?
2. The writer says that we "come to" a lot of things? What are they?
3. What warning does he present?
4. What does it mean that we are receiving a kingdom?
5. What does it mean to worship God "acceptably with reverence and awe"?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What God Wants - John 4:20-26

John 4:20-26

"Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."

Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."

Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."

Pray. Then carefully read all of John 4.

1. What is the setting/context for Jesus speaking words about worship?
2. How is salvation "from the Jews"?
3. Where should worship take place?
4. What does God want from worshipers?
5. Why is Jesus the definitive word on worship?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Acts 2:38-47 Devotion

Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call." With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Pray. Then carefully read the text from Acts 2

1. What does Peter tell his audience to do?
2. Once they did this, then what did they do?
3. Where did they meet?
4. How was the world around them reacting?
5. What is God doing with all this?