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Friday, November 21, 2014

Scripture & Questions for Sunday (11/23/14)

The Hanging of the Greens will be Sunday at 5:30 chili and cornbread will be provided please bring a dessert to share.

Jeremiah 1:4-10 (ESV)  
    Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
    [5] "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    and before you were born I consecrated you;
    I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
    [6] Then I said, "Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth."  [7] But the Lord said to me,
    "Do not say, 'I am only a youth';
    for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
    and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
    [8] Do not be afraid of them,
    for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord."
    [9] Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,
    "Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
    [10] See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
    to pluck up and to break down,
    to destroy and to overthrow,
    to build and to plant."

Jeremiah 7:1-11 (ESV)  
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:  [2] "Stand in the gate of the Lord's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord.  [3] Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place.  [4] Do not trust in these deceptive words: 'This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.' 
[5] "For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another [6] if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm,  [7] then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever. 
[8] "Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail.  [9] Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known,  [10] and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, 'We are delivered!'—only to go on doing all these abominations?  [11] Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord.  

Questions for Reflection
1.    What does it feel like to bring news that you know will be unpopular?
2.    When have you been chosen for a task for which you felt totally unqualified?
3.    How did God announce to Jeremiah that he was chosen as a prophet? (1:5)
4.    What was Jeremiah’s assessment of his own abilities in relation to God’s call? (1:6)
5.    How did God respond to Jeremiah’s reservations? (1:7)
6.    What promise did God make to Jeremiah from the outset of his ministry? (1:8)
7.    What difference can it make to know that God knew us and set us apart even before our birth?
8.    What reservations do you have about your ability to serve God according to His call?
9.    When we tell people about Christ, whose words do we speak?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Scripture & Questions for Sunday (11/16/14)

Isaiah 36:1-3 (ESV)  
In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. [2] And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer's Field. [3] And there came out to him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.

Isaiah 36:13-20 (ESV)  
Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: "Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! [14] Thus says the king: 'Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. [15] Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, "The Lord will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria." [16] Do not listen to Hezekiah. For thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, [17] until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. [18] Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, "The Lord will deliver us." Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? [19] Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? [20] Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?' " 

Isaiah 37:1-7 (ESV)  
As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord. [2] And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz. [3] They said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah, 'This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. [4] It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.' " 
[5] When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, [6] Isaiah said to them, "Say to your master, 'Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the young men of the king of Assyria have reviled me. [7] Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.'" 

Questions for Reflection

  1. When have you seen high or low morale determine the outcome of a challenging situation?
  2. When have you been persuaded that it is fruitless to fight against some group of people, trend, or opposing opinion?
  3. What message did the commander address directly to the people on the wall of the city? (36:13-15)
  4. For what reasons did the Assyrian urge the people of Jerusalem to surrender? (36:16-17)
  5. Why was the Assyrian field commander convinced that God could not help the people of Jerusalem? (36:18-20)
  6. What was the Assyrian field commander’s purpose in approaching the city ahead of the army?
  7. How can Christians stand firm even when they are aware of their own weakness and the strength of an enemy?
  8. According to the prophet Isaiah, how did God view the words of the Assyrian field commander? (37:5-7)
Readings for the Week of Nov. 17-23

Nov. 17 Monday          Isaiah 36:4-12
Nov. 18 Tuesday          Isaiah 37:8-13
Nov. 19 Wednesday  Isaiah 37:14-29
Nov. 20 Thursday          Isaiah 37:30-38
Nov. 21 Friday  Isaiah 38:1-22
Nov. 22 Saturday          Isaiah 39:1-8
Nov. 23 Sunday  Jeremiah 1:4-10; 7:1-11

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Scripture & Questions for Sunday (11/9/14)

The youth will be having a bake sale at Hill Country Sporting Goods Saturday 10am to 1:00pm. If you would like to bake something please drop it off at the church Friday. 

Please Read Micah Chapter 6 and 7

My sermon will focus on:
Micah 6:6-8 (ESV)  
    "With what shall I come before the Lord,
        and bow myself before God on high?
    Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
        with calves a year old?
    [7] Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
        with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
    Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
        the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"
    [8] He has told you, O man, what is good;
        and f what does the Lord require of you
    but to do justice, and to love kindness,
        and to walk humbly with your God?

Questions for Reflection

  1. When faced with difficult circumstances, on whom can you most depend for help?
  2. What was God’s indictment against Israel? (6:1-5)
  3. How did Israel propose to make up for its sins? (6:6-8)
  4. What did God desire from His people? (6:8)
  5. What were some of the sins in which Israel was involved? (6:9-12)
  6. What does it mean to act justly? love mercy? walk humbly with God?
  7. In what way does God want us to be a force for good against evil in the world?
  8. If all Christians were spiritual people who always obeyed God faithfully and acted justly, how might our society be different?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 2014 Newsletter

To view this month's newsletter, click on the link below.

November 2014 Newsletter

Monday, November 3, 2014

Scripture & Questions for Sunday (11/2/14)

Please read all of 2 Kings chapter 4

Questions for Reflection
1. What are the feelings that go along with debt and financial hardships?
2. Whose prayers do you want when you are facing life’s most daunting problems?
3. What was the predicament of the widow of one of the prophets? (4:1)
4. How did Elisha make use of what little the widow had to provide for her by faith? (4:2-6)
5. When did the oil stop flowing for the widow and her sons? (4:6)
6. What circumstance have you faced in which you were afraid to hope?
7. What were the evidences of faith in how the Shunammite woman behaved after her son’s death?
8. In what different ways did Elisha show compassion in this set of incidents?
9. When have you hesitated to ask someone to pray for you because you felt self-conscious?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Scripture & Questions for Sunday (10/26/14)

Following morning worship Sunday we will hold a congregational meeting to elect a nominating committee for Elders Class of 2017.  That will be followed by a pot luck church family luncheon. Please bring a dish to share.

1 Kings 3:3-15   
Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. [4] And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. [5] At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, "Ask what I shall give you." [6] And Solomon said, "You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. [7] And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. [8] And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. [9] Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?" 
[10] It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. [11] And God said to him, "Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, [12] behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. [13] I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. [14] And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days." [15] And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants. 

Questions for Reflection

  1. What have you fantasized you would ask for if you had three wishes?
  2. What did God say to Solomon in a dream while he was at Gibeon? (3:5)
  3. How did Solomon see his own place in the history of God and Israel? (3:6)
  4. What did Solomon find humbling about being king? (3:7-8)
  5. In Solomon’s view whose nation was Israel? (3:8)
  6. What request did Solomon make of God and for what purpose? (3:9)
  7. How did God feel about what Solomon had chosen to request? (3:10)
  8. What difference did it make that Solomon asked God for wisdom? (3:10-14)
  9. Why are riches and honor of less ultimate value than wisdom?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Scripture & Questions for Sunday (10/19/14)

2 Samuel 11:26-12:16 (ESV)  
When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband.  [27] And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord. 
[12:1] And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, "There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor.  [2] The rich man had very many flocks and herds,  [3] but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him.  [4] Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him."  [5] Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, "As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die,  [6] and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity." 
[7] Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul.  [8] And I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more.  [9] Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.  [10] Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.'  [11] Thus says the Lord, 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.  [12] For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.' "  [13] David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.  [14] Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die."  [15] Then Nathan went to his house.
And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and he became sick.  [16] David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.  

Questions for Reflection

  1. In what ways do you agree or disagree with the adage “Power corrupts”?
  2. To what extent do you believe public officials should be accountable for their private behavior?
  3. How did Nathan use the story to convict David? (12:7-9)
  4. According to Nathan, what would be the consequences of David’s sin? (12:13-14)
  5. Why was the parable Nathan told to David so effective?
  6. In what sense can a definite “no” from God in response to our request actually be a relief?
  7. Why is our sense of outrage easily sparked against strangers but difficult to muster in relation to our own actions?