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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Scripture & Questions for Sunday (8/3/14)

Romans 9:14-33 (ESV)  
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!  [15] For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."  [16] So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.  [17] For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."  [18] So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. 
[19] You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"  [20] But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"  [21] Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?  [22] What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,  [23] in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— [24] even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?  [25] As indeed he says in Hosea,
    "Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,'
        and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.' "
    [26] "And in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,'
        there they will be called 'sons of the living God.' "
[27] And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved,  [28] for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay."  [29] And as Isaiah predicted,
    "If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,
        we would have been like Sodom
        and become like Gomorrah."
[30] What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith;  [31] but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law.  [32] Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone,  [33] as it is written,
    "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
        and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."

Questions for Reflection

  1.  How did Paul defend the accusation that God is unjust in His treatment of people? (9:14-15)
  2. What determines how God bestows favor on people? (9:16)
  3. What examples from history did Paul use to demonstrate God’s choice of blessing? (9:17-18)
  4. What right do we have to question God? (9:19-21)
  5. Why does God show great patience with us even though we deserve His wrath? (9:22-24)
  6. What did the prophets Isaiah and Hosea tell us about God’s patience and justice? (9:25-29)
  7. On what basis does God choose people to inherit His promises?
  8. How have you experienced God’s mercy and patience in your life?

August 2014 Newsletter

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August 2014 Newsletter

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Scripture & Questions for Sunday (7/27/14)

Don't forget the end of Vacation Bible School dinner Friday night at 6:00 pm. Come and enjoy hamburgers, hot-dogs and good fellowship. If you would like to bring something please bring a desert or salad to share.

Romans 8:26-39 (ESV)  
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. [27] And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. [28] And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. [29] For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. [30] And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. 
[31] What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? [32] He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? [33] Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. [34] Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. [35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  [36] As it is written,
    "For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
        we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
[37] No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. [38] For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, [39] nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Questions for Reflection

  1. What type of sacrifices do people commonly make for the sake of a future reward?
  2. How did Paul describe the difference between his present and his future? (8:18)
  3. What is the world waiting to see? (8:19)
  4. For what reason has the world been forced to wait? (8:20-21)
  5. To what human experience did Paul compare his waiting? (8:22-23)
  6. For what are the children of God waiting? (8:23)
  7. What is and is not genuine hope? (8:24-25)
  8. In what ways do Christians live in glorious freedom?
  9. What frustrations do Christians feel as they wait for Christ to return?
  10. What do we learn about God’s love for us when we realize that the Holy Spirit helps us even when we cannot pray?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Scripture & Questions for Sunday (7/13/14)

Rev. Ronald (Ron) Guinn of Austin TX, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. Our sympathies go out to his wife Ann, and family during this difficult time. Condolences may be sent to his wife at the address listed below. 

Celebration of Life Service ~ Saturday, July 26, 2014 ~ 2:00 PM
Longhorn Village
12501 Longhorn Village Drive
Austin, TX 78732

Ann Guinn
521 Vaughn Cove
Austin, TX 78732

Romans 8:1-11 (ESV)  
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. [3] For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, [4] in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. [5] For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. [6] To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. [7] For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. [8] Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 
[9] You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. [10] But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. [11] If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 

Questions for Reflection

  1. What impact can a good father or a bad father have on a person’s life?
  2. What is the status of a person who trusts in Jesus Christ? (8:1)
  3. How is a person set free from the law of sin and death? (8:2)
  4. What did God do that the Law was powerless to do? (8:3-5)
  5. What is the difference between those who live according to their sinful nature and those who live according to the Spirit? (8:5-8)
  6. How can a person know if he or she is controlled by the sinful nature or by the Spirit? (8:9)
  7. What promise is given to people living in the Spirit? (8:11)
  8. What feelings of condemnation and rejection may Christians feel?
  9. In what ways does knowing Christ set us free?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 2014 Newsletter

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July 2014 Newsletter

Thursday, June 5, 2014

June 2014 Newsletter

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June 2014 Newsletter

Scripture & Questions for Sunday (6/8/14)

Acts 2:1-13 (ESV)  
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. [2] And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. [3] And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. [4] And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 
[5] Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. [6] And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. [7] And they were amazed and astonished, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? [8] And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? [9] Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, [10] Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, [11] both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God." [12] And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"  [13] But others mocking said, "They are filled with new wine."

Questions for Reflection

  1. Where did a violent wind come from? (2:2)
  2. What was the importance of the wind and fire? (2:2-4)
  3. When the Holy Spirit filled the believers, what did they do? (2:4)
  4. How did the God-fearing Jews visiting Jerusalem react when they heard Christians speaking their languages? (2:6-11)
  5. Why is the coming of the Spirit associated with wind, fire, and different languages?
  6. What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
  7. How does God use us to witness to others?
  8. When has God enabled you to do something that you didn’t think you could do?
  9. How could your church benefit from greater sensitivity to the Holy Spirit?