Monday, January 6, 2014

WEEK 2 READINGS: January 12th Class

Watch for edits to this post throughout the week.  I plan to post questions/thoughts (from my own reading) for you to consider as well.

With Week 1 under our belts, we're ready for Week 2.  Speaking of belts, I think that the apostle Paul will have something to say about our belts as we finish Ephesians with our Day 1 reading.  I feel the need to remind you (and myself) that the point of our schedule is not to be legalistic; rather it provides a structure to keep us on track in reading through God's Word. 

Day 1:
  • Genesis 11-13    Tower of Babel to the call of Abram
    • Gen 11:1-9     
      • What were the problems with this tower (ziggurat)? 
      • The people wanted to "make a name for" themselves (vs. 4).  What name did they ultimately take on (vs. 9)?
    • Gen 12:1-5    
      • God called Abram to go alone, so why did he take Lot? (see Gen 11:27-32) 
    • Gen 12:10-20    
      • How do Abram and Sarai's actions in Egypt line up with what Paul had to say about husbands and wives in Ephesians 5:21-33? 
      • How can Abram and Sarai's experience in Egypt help us better understand our own marriage relationships?
    • Gen 13:1-18    
      • Abram gave Lot part of the land (vs. 8-12), but was the land Abram's to give? 
      • Have you divided the land God wanted to give you?
  • Ephesians 6    Family/church analogy (children and parents), the whole armor of God
    • Eph 6:10-20    
      • Whose armor is Paul telling us to put on?
      • I know that this reading is still off in our future, but this question has me thinking about David in 1 Sam 17:38-39.  If you have time, read 1 Sam 17:32-50.  David may not have been wearing Saul's armor, but how do these verses show us that he had "put on the whole armor of God" (Eph 6:11)?
Day 2:
  • Genesis 14-15    Melchizedek and God's covenant with Abram
    • Gen 14:20-24
      • Who does Melchizedek credit with Abram's victory?
      • Do you think this declaration had any influence over Abram's response to the king of Sodom?
    • Gen 15:7
      • God reveals that He was the One Who called Abram out of Ur.  Looking back at Gen 11:31-12:1,
        • Where was the place that we first see God speak directly to Abram?
        • Before this time (i.e. Gen 15:7), who did Abram likely credit with bringing him out of Ur?
        • Looking back over your journey, has God used anyone to get you moving in His direction before speaking to you specifically?
    • Gen 15:8-21
      • Abram asked God for something to reassure him that what God said would really happen.  How did God respond to Abram's request?  Did He give Abram a sign that he would see come to pass in his lifetime?
  • Psalm 47    God the King of the earth
  • Matthew 1    The genealogy and birth of Jesus
    • With Abram we have seen God make promises, how in Matthew 1 do we see God keep promises?
Day 3: 
  • Genesis 16-18 - Hagar and Ishmael, circumcision, three visitors
    • Gen 16:1-9
      • How does the exchange between Sarai and Abram compare to that of Adam and Eve back in Gen 3?
      • Based on what God had told Abram about his descendants, why was it reasonable for Abram to think that Sarai's plan had merit?
    • Gen 16:10-16
      • What did the name Ishmael mean?  
        • Why did the Angel say he would bear this name?
        • Who actually gave Ishmael his name (vs. 16)?  Why might he have chosen a name with this meaning?
    • Gen 17:1
      • Up to this point, Abram has referred to God by His by the Strong's Concordance says is God's proper name, i.e. LORD.  Here God reveals more of His identity to Abram.  By what name does God refer to Himself in Gen 17:1?
      • Why did Abram need to know God as El Shaddai (Almighty God)?  How does this name relate to God changing Abram's name to Abraham (vs. 5)?
    • Gen 17:15-21
      • What did Abraham say to himself?
      • What did he said to God?
        • Do you ever ask one question in your heart but another with your mouth?
      • Which of the two questions did God answer    the one that was spoken by Abraham's mouth or in his heart?
    • Gen 18:12-15
      • Why is it ironic that Sarah laughed when she heard the LORD  say that she would have a baby?  (see Gen 17:17)
      • Who gets the last word?
    • Gen 18:23-33
      • Is the LORD  really changing His mind throughout this conversation with Abraham?
      • What does vs. 19 reveal about God's purpose is allowing Abraham the leeway to bargain with Him?
  • Matthew 2    from Bethlehem to Egypt to Nazareth
    • Matt 2:11
      • What three gifts did the wise men bring to Jesus?
        • The gold and frankincense recognized Jesus as King and Priest, respectively.
        • Who else have we read about who was both priest and king (Gen 14)?
          • What comparisons does Heb 6:20-7:3 draw between Jesus to this man?
    • Matt 2:13-23
      • What is the theme repeated in these verses?  (Three times by my count.)
Day 4
  • Psalm 11    The Lord our refuge
  • Genesis 19-20    Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham and Abimelech
  • Matthew 3    John the Baptist baptizes Jesus
Day 5
  • Genesis 21-23    Isaac's childhood, Sarah's death
  • Matthew 4    wilderness temptation, beginning His ministry, calling disciples
Can't wait to see you on Sunday, and see where God leads our discussion!

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