Monday, June 28, 2010 Matthew 27:32-66
An account of Jesus’ death is found in 45-46. In verse 46 Jesus is not questioning God; he is quoting the first line of Psalm 22. This prayer reveals the fact that God had forsaken him when he took on the sins of the world, which caused him to be separated from his father (2 Corinthians 5:18-19, 21). Jesus suffers death so that we will never have to experience eternal separation. For whose sins did Jesus die on the cross? Is Jesus’ death and resurrection a dispassionate fact or an emotional experience for you? Why? What is significant about the centurion’s words (54)? What might the disciples believe about Jesus now? Is Jesus truly the Son of God in your life? How do you live that out in your daily life?
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 Matthew 28
Verses 1-10 describe the resurrection. After Jesus was crucified, the Jewish religious leaders persuaded the Roman governor to make sure the tomb was sealed and guarded. Despite this, Jesus couldn’t be kept in the tomb. He arose! How do the women react to the news of the resurrection? How do the guards react? The chief priests? The disciples? Why do the chief priests and elders want to spread rumors that the disciples came and stole Jesus’ body (11-15)? Has the reality of the resurrection dawned upon you? Are you a quick believer or a slow doubter? Verses 16-20 reveal the great commission. What is it? In what ways can you fulfill it in your family? Work? Community? Are you ready for your assignment? Why or why not?
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 Galatians 1
Paul is accused by some Jewish Christians of diluting Christianity to make it more appealing to the Gentiles. They even tell some of these Gentile converts that they have to be circumcised. In response to this, Paul writes a letter. What does Jesus do voluntarily for Paul, and the Galatians, and us (4)? What is Paul called to do (15-16)? How does Paul view his Jewish traditions? Which church traditions help you in your faith? Which ones hinder you? How does your past affect your present life? What do you need to put behind you, knowing that you are forgiven? Pray that God will empower you to share his message with others.
Thursday, July 1, 2010 Galatians 2
In verses 11-21 we read about Paul confronting Peter. What disagreement does Paul have with Peter? Why is Paul so adamant about not demanding that Gentiles follow Jewish customs? What does the concept of justification mean to you? How is a person justified in Christ (16-17)? Have you ever been guilty of double standards, a “do as I say, not as I do” sort of thing? Applying the spiritual concept in verse 20, who is alive in your life right now: “I” or “Christ in me?” If you are a self-made person, how does the gospel of undeserved grace strike you?
Friday, July 2, 2010 Galatians 3
If we belong to Christ, then we are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (15-29). How is the human covenant of a will similar to God’s covenant-promise with Abraham (15-16)? Who is the seed that fulfills this promise to Abraham? Since the law does not replace the promise, what is its purpose (24-25)? Do Christians today fall prey to legalism? What kind? How is your faith liberating you from this bondage? Where do you need to have more faith in your life?
Saturday, July 3, 2010 Galatians 4
Paul shows his concern for the Galatians (8-20). How does Paul express the following emotions in his letter: Concern (11)? Nostalgia (13-15)? Self pity (16)? Jealousy (17)? Compassion (19)? Anxiety (20)? To which weak and miserable principles do the Galatians revert (9)? Paul says that their joy is no longer evident (15). What takes the joy out of our Christian life? Have you slipped back into any bad habits or old ways? Which ones? What can you do about it? Spend some time in prayer.
Sunday, July 4, 2010 Psalm 66
God continues to answer prayers, individually and as a body of believers. We should always praise and worship God. This writer recalls God’s rescue of the Israelites by parting the Red Sea during the exodus. God saved the Israelites then, and he continues to save his people today. The writer reminds us that God listens to prayer and our confession of our sins. We must live with an attitude of confession and obedience. What could you say that God has done for you lately? What sacrifices will you make this week for the Lord? What will be your equivalent of bulls and goats? Lift up your voice in prayer and confession!