Job 31:1-12. In this passage, Job is defending himself against the accusation of adultery. This is quite an accusation for a guy who has just lost everything. The Bible understands a lifelong commitment to purity can be challenging. And so we get more than a list of rules. We see in Job’s response that his idea of a pure heart goes beyond not committing adultery. This is surprisingly similar to Jesus! For Job, a pure heart that translated into pure actions protected the well-being of his family and resulted in a community better able to recognize the values & purposes of God.
We thank our God for you always. Report from Mel Latorre on the work in Brazil.
Jesus’ identification of justice as one of the “weightier matters of the law” did not offer a new insight to the audience listening to his condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees. The Bible’s persistent teachings about God’s justice provided an anchor for the Jewish peoples’ hopes; they were awaiting the day when God would exercise His justice on their behalf and free them from oppressing nations. Even though the people listening to Jesus teach would have given God’s justice a “weightier” place, Jesus applied God’s justice in a way that resonated with the Bible’s teachings while, at the same time, challenging conventional understandings. We will therefore consider the weightier place Jesus gave to justice and explore the place it should have within our lives.
In Matthew 23:23, Jesus indicated that justice, mercy, and faithfulness hold priority in obedience to God. This lesson will consider the balance Jesus’ comment pointed toward and will explore other passages that help map out that balance and the place it ought to have in our lives as followers of Jesus.
Matthew 5:33-37 God is a God of truth, honesty and plain speech. He calls His people to tell the truth, even when it hurts.
Selfless & Faithful: The story of Ruth
1 Corinthians chapter eight contains part of Paul’s response to a question raised by the Christians in the city of Corinth – he told them to think less about their rights and more about their selfless service to one another. This lesson examines Paul’s response as part of our series examining the selflessness that ought to define our lives as followers of Jesus.
Paul told Timothy to give attention to the public reading of scripture. This lesson uses that instruction as the motivation for its public reading, and exploration, of Genesis 18.
Luke 9:23-26 The four gospels repeatedly record Jesus warning the crowds of interested people who listened to him about the high cost associated with following him. This lesson considers that cost and its meaning for our lives.
John 14:25-26 Even the Holy Spirit is depicted in Scripture as “He”. Why is God, an eternal Spirit, careful to depict Himself in this way? There’s something necessary about a male authority figure who is both firm and kind.
Jesus never seemed to shy away from drawing lines in the sand. Matthew mentions one of those lines when, in Matthew 20:20-28, he records Jesus telling his disciples, “whoever would be great among you must be your servant”. That teaching illustrates the important place Jesus gave to the combined ideas of selflessness and service and how they offer a surprising, counter-cultural expectation that forms the heart of being a Christian
Mark’s quick-paced introduction of Jesus’ ministry offers a very compacted but deliberately told account of the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. This lesson will explore that account and consider what insights it offers us into Jesus and the place he should have within our lives
1 Kings 21 Life can easily consume me with thoughts of, well, me! We covet and do not get, which leads to strife. But the Bible’s teaching helps us to rejoice with others, rather than take from them. We also learn to appreciate the value of work and to not look past others in need. Jesus says: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15
Matthew 5:43-48–Jesus’ challenging teachings include his repeated command to love one’s enemies. This lesson concludes a series examining the place love ought to have within the lives of those who follow Jesus by considering his teachings about loving one’s enemies, its place within the Bible’s larger body of teachings, and the ways it ought to express itself within our lives
The Bible repeatedly instructs its readers to love others as they love themselves. Struggles with our sense of self-worth, however, make it difficult for us to fulfill that command. As we continue to explore the love that should characterize us as followers of Jesus, we will consider the love that we should have for ourselves and how that love motivates our proper treatment of other people
Paul made a sweeping comment in Romans 13:8-10 when he wrote, “love is the fulfilling of the law”. He had good reason for that understanding – Jesus himself offered the same assessment in Matthew 22:34-40. We will therefore consider both Paul and Jesus’ understanding about the love we should have for one another by trying to see it within the larger biblical story
Matthew 22:34-38 –The Bible records God’s repeated command for people to love Him, a command in tension with our culture’s portrayal of love as a spontaneous, free, and emotional thing outside of one’s control. That tension raises an a question – how should we think about God’s command to love Him? We will therefore, in this lesson, consider that command and its place in the love that should define us as followers of Jesus.
Romans 13: 8-10 — This lesson begins a series exploring love’s place in following Jesus by considering the the New Testament’s descriptions of love as “the fulfillment of the Law”.
Galatians 5:13 In light of the upcoming July 4th celebration, our combined service with Southpoint focused on freedom. Rather than focusing on the freedoms we enjoy in our nation, the service devoted itself to praising God for the freedoms He offers to us through Jesus. For the devotional: The spirit is greater than the law. Freedom comes from the spirit.