CBR Discussion for 03.26.12

Exodus 11, 1 Kings 6, Isaiah 61, Mark 14

Friendship: Loving in the Chaos of Life

In Mark 14, Jesus is in the middle of the storm. The Pharisees are chasing him. Judas is betraying Him. The apostles are falling asleep. Both sides begin to slaughter each other in His midst. It is chaos. It is a miracle that Jesus was able to keep His composure and continue to love and rely on His Father. This wasn’t on the way to the office or the grocery store, this was on the way to the cross. The most loving act in humanity. Amazing. This makes watching Michael Jordan in Game 7, Tiger Woods in his prime at the final round of the Masters, or Peyton Manning in the two minute drill seem like child’s play.

Friendship Question: Share a situation this week where the storm of chaos was stirring? What happened and how did you react in the situation?

Repentance: The trouble with our hearts.

In Exodus 11, God gives his final threat to Pharaoh. Like Jesus, Pharaoh has been living in the chaos of God’s plagues on him. He isn’t responding in love and humility because God has hardened his heart. So much is at stake and it all lies on Pharaoh’s hard heart. No pressure. Because of Pharaoh’s and the Egyptian’s hard heart, God kills many first born sons. Our hearts for God impact the people under our care. If you don’t humble yourself, you must consider how that impacts your spouses, sons, etc.

Repentance Question: How are you convicted and repentant at how your hard heart doesn’t enable you to humble yourself and love in those moments of chaos.

Faith: The First Born Son

There is hope in Mark 14. Jesus is the first born son of God. In our rebellious hearts, we deserve the same treatment as the Egyptians, but God punishes His first born son. God took Jesus, blessed Him, and broke Him for us; just as Jesus did with the bread and wine in the Lord’s supper.

Faith Question: Reflect on Mark 14, what do you love about how Jesus and God love?

Focus/Mission: Blessed, Broken, and Given Away

The Lord’s supper is a beautiful picture of how God uses us to love others. God takes us blesses us, breaks and humbles us, and gives us opportunities to give ourselves to others through love. Just like in 1 Kings 6, God is building a temple of His people and their lives for His glory. We are a part of His work.

Focus Question: Where is God calling you to love someone this way? What will you do this week to give of yourself and what God has blessed you with in that situation or relationship?


Tuesday’s Readings: Exodus 12, 1 Kings 7, Isaiah 62, Mark 15
Wednesday’s Readings: Exodus 13, 1 Kings 8, Isaiah 63, Mark 16
Thursday’s Readings: Exodus 14, 1 Kings 9, Isaiah 64, 1 Peter 1
Friday’s Readings: Exodus 15, 1 Kings 10, Isaiah 65, 1 Peter 2
Saturday’s Readings: Psalm 37, Psalm 38, Psalm 39


CBR Discussion for 03.19.12

Exodus 6, 1 Kings 1, Isaiah 56, Mark 9

Friendship: Comfort Zone

In Exodus 6, Moses is given some tough chores. It is certainly intimating and overwhelming. Moses was not persuasive or a great speaker but God called him to go confront the king of the country holding his people captive. Most of us are pretty blessed that we get to do what we are passionate about and/or good at. But, every once in a while we have to do something out of our comfort zone.

Friendship Question: What was the last thing you did that was out of your comfort zone? What was it like?

Repentance: Avoiding hard work

In 1 Kings 1, David is out of his comfort zone. Another son is usurping his authority and the scripture but his lack of parenting in direct correlation with this issue. David’s lack of parenting isn’t just affecting him but Adonijah, Solomon, Bathsheba, and Nathan.

Repentance Question: Name a difficult work in your life that you have avoided lately. What affects is your avoidance having on those around you?

Faith: Who is the Greatest?

Who and what we know and what we have accomplished are big deals when we consider our rank in circumstances. The disciples are no different. Coming off a literal mountain top experience in Mark 9, the disciples are arguing who at are the best among them. You can imagine that they are using their successes, knowledge, and connections are evidence for where they belong on the rankings. Jesus turns their economy on it’s head by stating that if you want to be first you should be last.

Faith Question: How does this teaching from Jesus encourage you in your relationship with Him and as you think about Heaven?

Focus/Mission: A Gospel for All

In Isaiah 56, A radical new idea is given: salvation for foreigners. The salvation of God is not just for Hebrews but any that worship and honor Him.

Focus Question: In the spirit of hard work, who in your life is God calling you to pray and work toward their salvation?


Tuesday’s Readings: Exodus 7, 1 Kings 2, Isaiah 57, Mark 10
Wednesday’s Readings: Exodus 8, 1 Kings 3, Isaiah 58, Mark 11
Thursday’s Readings: Exodus 9, 1 Kings 4, Isaiah 59, Mark 12
Friday’s Readings: Exodus 10, 1 Kings 5, Isaiah 60, Mark 13
Saturday’s Readings: Psalm 34, Psalm 35, Psalm 36

Stories – CBR Discussion for 03.12.12

Exodus 1, 2 Samuel 20, Isaiah 51, Mark 4

Friendship: Stories Shape Our Lives

Jesus loves to tell stories to reveal the secrets of His Kingdom. In Mark 4, we get a clear picture of this. He doesn’t hit people over the head with truths or tell boring facts unattached from our daily life. He crafts amazing stories to get people thinking about a truth about and the way His Kingdom works that leads them to reflect on their own life. Jesus is a master storyteller. Jesus knows that stories shape our life. He programmed us to learn this way and we experience life this way.

Friendship Question: What are your favorite stories and/or storytellers? Think about movies, TV shows, books, etc. What do you love about them?

Repentance: Is your heart open to stories?

In Mark 4, the parable of the sower is a story of how our hearts interact with God sowing the story of the gospel. David Powlison once reflected on this passage and noticed that the three fields are like our hearts. Three hearts are presented: the path is a picture of a hard heart, the rocky ground is disappointed heart, and the thorny ground is a distracted heart. The hard heart is completely self-centered and doesn’t know how to let God or anyone else in to love and be loved. The disappointed heart gives up too easily when rocky parts of life come along. The distracted heart has too many worries and other interests that choke out our attention to Jesus. We all have a tendency toward each at different times, but we all should strive to be the fruitful heart that receive God’s story in the gospel in multiply it in others.

Repentance Question: Look at the characters of Exodus 1 and 2 Samuel 20, what type of hearts have they developed? Why? What does your heart tend to reflect as you think about the parable of sower? Turn to God and ask him for forgiveness and the mercy to change your heart.

Faith: The greatest story in all of history and we are a part of it.

As you read across the four chapters of CBR, you see the amazing story of God’s covenantal love for us through Jesus. It is a story of rebellion and rescue, recklessness and redemption, lawlessness and love. Jesus is the hero and we are the objects of His affection. If your heart is hard, disappointed, or distracted, there is hope. In Mark 4, Jesus continues and says that you only need only need a willing heart and a small seed in order to produce fruit in His Kingdom. Isaiah 51 is a great example of how to encourage yourself and each other to develop a fruitful heart.

Faith Question: How are you grateful that Jesus includes you in His story? How did Isaiah 51 encourage you to have a fruitful heart?

Focus/Mission: Spreading the seeds of God’s Kingdom

God is writing each of our stories, if you don’t see it you just need to slow down and pay attention. Your story is a great reflection of God’s gospel for his own. We are to spread the story as seeds on the heart of others. Our job is not to till their hearts or provide the rain; only the Holy Spirit can do that.

Focus Question: How will you take time this week to reflect on your life and where you see Jesus writing a story for you to share?  Who is someone you want to share that story of how God is working in your life and how you can lead them to reflect on their own life as a result?

Tuesday’s Readings: Exodus 2, 2 Samuel 21, Isaiah 52, Mark 5
Wednesday’s Readings: Exodus 3, 2 Samuel 22, Isaiah 53, Mark 6
Thursday’s Readings: Exodus 4, 2 Samuel 23, Isaiah 54, Mark 7
Friday’s Readings: Exodus 5, 2 Samuel 24, Isaiah 55, Mark 8
Saturday’s Readings: Psalm 31, Psalm 32, Psalm 33

Treasures – CBR Discussion for 03.04.12

Genesis 46, 2 Samuel 15, Isaiah 46, James 5

Friendship: A few of your favorite things.

In Genesis, Jacob and his family are traveling to Egypt to live closer to Joseph. He brought many obvious things like his family, livestock and goods. I am sure there were a few other things that they must have brought: mementos, creature comforts, etc. In 2 Samuel, David was in a similar position for different reasons. His son created a mutiny to take over the kingdom and the momentum has fully shifted away from David. David certainly had to leave quickly and was only able to take his necessities.

Friendship Question: If you were moving or had to leave your home quickly and you could only take a few valuables from your house, what would those things be?

Repentance: Storing up Treasures

In James, a stark warning is presented to the rich and those who live in comfort. He calls out those who care more about their stuff than their relationship with God and future in Heaven with Him. I clearly asked a leading question above. We can easily be convicted of caring much more about our valuable possessions or creature comforts than preparing our hearts for eternity with Jesus.

Repentance Question: Has there been a time in your life where you have felt convicted that you have laid up treasures and it has distracted you from loving God and working to build his kingdom? What has been the result? Have you been distracted, less generous, etc? Confess to each other and pray for each other as it states in James.

Faith: Treasures in Jesus

A life lived with less treasure will cause you to suffer more. James gives us hope in this work. Jesus will clearly be with us in our suffering and will never leave you with less. Jesus promises to give you tenfold more than any loss you experience on earth.

Faith Question: Reflect on Isaiah 46, where does that give you hope in your work to decrease and Jesus increases.

Focus: Where are you called to decrease?

Our memory verse this week is great picture of what we are called to do. Read John 3:30; our memory verse. It’s easy to think that this feels like death. Remember Jesus loves to care for his own.

Focus Question: What part of your life are you called to decrease so Jesus can increase? What will you do to accomplish that?


Tuesday’s Readings: Genesis 47, 2 Samuel 16, Isaiah 47, Jude
Wednesday’s Readings: Genesis 48, 2 Samuel 17, Isaiah 48, Mark 1
Thursday’s Readings: Genesis 49, 2 Samuel 18, Isaiah 49, Mark 2
Friday’s Readings: Genesis 50, 2 Samuel 19, Isaiah 50, Mark 3
Saturday’s Readings: Psalm 28, Psalm 29, Psalm 30