I’m still trying to catch my breath after this past week! It’s been a busy one. Keeping up with Bible reading goals can be a challenge when our days (or life!) get turned upside down. I usually prefer to do my Bible reading on my own, but this week, being able to listen on an app has been helpful. If you’ve gotten behind, don’t be discouraged! Just plunge in and catch up as you are able.
Sometimes what I read doesn’t always begin to gel in my mind until days or even weeks later. That’s been the case with the readings about Absalom. David’s response–his intense grief over Absalom’s death–in spite of Absalom’s rebellion against David, is something many parents can relate to. As I continue to think about that, I’ve been considering how David points us to Jesus. It makes me think about how grieved Jesus’ heart is when I resist His rule in my own life, yet His love persists. Absalom’s attempts to seize his father’s throne bring to mind my own attempts to grasp control, usurping Christ’s rule.
Old Testament Reflections…
- What do David’s last words and his song of praise suggest about his heart?
- As you read about the building of the temple, consider that as believers, we are the “temple” in which God’s Spirit now dwells (I Cor. 6:19). What did the building of the temple mean to Israel? How does the idea of being the temple of the Holy Spirit challenge you? How does it encourage you and give you hope?
- As you read about the kings of Israel and Judah, how do you see the Lord’s words to Samuel (I Samuel 8) coming to pass? Have you ever made requests of God that resembled Israel’s plea for a king?
- How do the accounts of the kings—even the “good” ones– point to Israel’s need for Jesus as their true King? Is there some irony in the ways the Jews yielded to the authority of earthly kings, yet rejected Jesus’ authority? Perhaps there are some applications to the rule of our own hearts???
- Elijah is quite an interesting Bible character! What do you learn from his example and experiences?
New Testament Reflections…
- John’s gospel begins differently from the other three gospels. Consider revisiting John 1:1-18…let your heart camp out there a while. Does it give you goosebumps to think about that babe in the Christmas manger being the “Word who was with God and the Word who was God”?
- The accounts of the gospels can become very familiar to us. Try “mapping” the picture of Jesus given in John 1:1-18 onto each “story” included in John’s gospel. (You might use chapter headings and subtitles to help you identify the specific stories.) In other words, as you are reading about Jesus in John’s Gospel, keep Jesus’ identity as the eternal One “who was with God and who was God” at the forefront of your mind. How does Jesus’ identity as God impact each story?
- What miracles has John recorded so far in this gospel? How does each miracle point to Jesus as the Son of God? How do various people respond to the miracles?
- In John 7:1-9, we see an interaction between Jesus and His brothers. Based on this exchange, how do you think Jesus’ brothers viewed Jesus and His ministry? What do these verses suggest about Jesus’ brothers?
- In John’s gospel, we read about people who witnessed Jesus’ miracles and heard His teaching. However, they did not follow Him. What reasons do you see for people rejecting Christ or following for a while, and then turning away? What did it take for people to persist in following Jesus?
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