December 27 – Do Not Judge

a quote that I have heard used as much as anything that Jesus ever said…

It is going to be cold tonight, but if you are able to come out come on over as we move through the Sermon on the Mount.  We begin chapter 7 tonight with a quote that I have heard used as much as anything that Jesus ever said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”   Continue reading “December 27 – Do Not Judge”

December 13 — When you fast …

Matthew 6:16 – 18

We covered the Lord’s prayer last this week.  We spent some time trying to understand why we needed to pray, “Lead us not into temptation”.  Our native French speaker told us that when she learned it that it doesn’t sound like that.  I guess the Pope wants to help us, I just heard that he is planning on changing the English translation to change that wording.

This coming week, we will look into fasting.  Bring your thoughts and questions about this subject.

Here’s a good article on fasting in the Wesleyan tradition:  The spiritual discipline of fasting

Try to make some comments before we get together this coming Wednesday.

November 8  – Wednesday Night Group

early in the morning with a Bible, notebook and a pen

Matthew 5:3 – 16

We began by looking at 1 – 12 last night.  I realized that I probably spent so much time on the overall picture that we didn’t have enough time to talk about all of the section of verses 1 – 12.  So we will stay in the area where Jesus tells us what the subjects of his kingdom are like.  I think there is a real break after verse 16, so I extended our section to that verse.

To prepare for Wednesday night let this section speak to you this week.  How do you do that?  We all have to develop something that works best for us.  For me it is early in the morning with a Bible, notebook and a pen.  I need to read, pray and write.  I can and do one or two of those things without the other, but I have found that when I do all three together, I get more out of my time.   Learn what works best for you.

I like to stay away from commentaries or any kind of external influences to Scripture for this part.  But after I have done the read, pray and write piece I will read what others have written about it.  I read a series of books a few years ago by James Bryan Smith which he called The Apprentice Series.  (Here’s a review on the second book)  This is one my favorites on the subject of this section of Matthew.  There are thousands of commentaries, books, articles and a gazillion more on the web.  So, find something you like and use it.

Whatever method you develop it will require that you set aside some time.  Time seems to be the one thing that is hard to come by for many people today.  But I will remind you that we are all given 24 hours today.  How will you spend it?

Assignment

See if you can spend a few minutes each day in these 14 verses.  I believe a consistent approach will do us more good than a cram the night before.

Try to make a comment on this post during the week.  Leave a question, tell us about some insight that you have or remind us to pray for you.

That’s an average of 2 verses a day.  It doesn’t sound like much, but it will make a difference in your day if you let these words sink in each day.  These are words of life.

Wednesday Night Group

The one who has clean hands and a pure heart… – Psalm 24:4

November 1 – Matthew 5 – 7

Read through Matthew 5 – 7 once or more and then go back and focus on 5:1-12.  Think about the same type of questions as last week: who, what, why…  Then take one of the Beatitudes (blessed are the …) and think about what it means to you.  This is where we will spend our time next Wednesday.

October 25 – Luke 15

Read this chapter and answer some questions:

  1. What are the common ideas in all three stories that Jesus tells?
  2. What is different between the three stories?
  3. Why is he telling these stories?
  4. Who is the audience?
  5. What is the one big thing that you get from this?

Our new group began last Wednesday with some new faces.  We discussed our hopes of seeing a better world and how we should be part of that.  The verse that stood out was:

The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god. – Psalm 24:4

You are invited to join us every Wednesday night as we search the Bible together.