CBR Discussion for 05.28.12

Monday’s Readings: Leviticus 161 Chronicles 4, Jeremiah 40, Acts 11
Tuesday’s Readings: Leviticus 17, 1 Chronicles 5, Jeremiah 41, Acts 12
Wednesday’s Readings: Leviticus 18, 1 Chronicles 6, Jeremiah 42, Acts 13
Thursday’s Readings: Leviticus 19, 1 Chronicles 7, Jeremiah 43, Acts 14
Friday’s Readings: Leviticus 20, 1 Chronicles 8, Jeremiah 44, Acts 15

In honor of a friend’s request I’m going to try something different. I am going to give you over arching insights and questions across the week’s reading. As always, I would love your feedback.

Acts 11-15: The Affects of Following Jesus

This week in Acts, we focus on the out-working of Peter’s vision to eat what is against Hebrew tradition. People directly connected to Peter and Peter, himself, experience extreme suffering because they broke one little rule. At face value, it isn’t worth it. Just eat what the rule says.  But they are not bucking authority for the sake of breaking down authority. This work is a symbol of the inclusion of the Gentiles. Clean behavior does not equal salvation. Jesus equals salvation. He can save anyone. Even someone who eats a bird. The week crescendos with James and Peter fighting for the Gentiles to be included in the church with great success. Praise God for their work which directly impacts our inclusion in the church. Remember, we are Gentiles too. So, as you read is week, remember every stone and imprisonment directly affects your ability to be in the community of the church. Also, consider who you are called to advocate for as Peter, James, and others advocated for. Who are the people today that are too sinful or untouchable by the community of the church because of their self righteousness? What can you do in your position to promote inclusion of the modern day Gentiles? Think about the non Christians in your life. How can you love them this week?

Leviticus 16-20: The Measuring Stick

Moses goes through some high standards this week in Leviticus. At the end of chapter 20, he summarizes the 5 chapters quite clearly and says. You must be holy. Why? Because God is holy. Oddly enough these very rules are what incited the Jewish Christians in Acts to deep self righteousness. What rules to you see in Leviticus that are the very rules that are being confronted by the apostles? The rules are not bad. This would be a beautiful life. The real problem is our inability to achieve the life described by God through Moses. The other problem is that all these rules are rooted in an over arching rule: love your neighbor. As your read this week, how do you see yourself convicted by your sin? As you read this week, how do you see yourself focusing too much on rules and therefore disqualifying people from deserving your love? Praise God that He saves us from both of those sins.

1 Chronicles 4-8: Our Family Tree

In 1 Chronicles 4 and through the rest of the week, the reading focuses on long lists of names. The reading in this section at face value is quite boring. No real story or insights exist at first read. But, imagine if the reading was the geneology of your family and how you were connected to the great history of God’s kingdom. Now you are paying attention. Where do I fit in? Who am I connected to? This is what it was like to read this when it was first written. So, as you read this week consider how your life fits into God’s kingdom. Consider your family and who you are proud of and who you are ashamed to be connected to. What is God doing in both of those relationships?

Jeremiah 40-44:

Last week we finally saw Jerusalem fall at the hands of Babylon. This week Jeremiah tries to lead a defeated people back to the Lord and away from the temptation to become like their captors or like the people where they will go and exile.  So as a result, two things happen. First, the people fight against Babylon and die. Second, the people worship the idols of Egypt where they are in exile. We are just like The Hebrews. So as you read this week, consider how you don’t honor authority, regardless of their deserving it. Also consider how you are bent towards the habits and rituals of the world and how that cause you not to worship God.

Saturday’s Readings: Psalm 64, Psalm 65, Psalm 66


CBR Discussion for 05.21.12

Leviticus 11, 2 Kings 24, Jeremiah 35, Acts 6

Friendship: Food Fight

In Leviticus 11, God is setting the menu for Israel. God isn’t trying to be high maintenance. He is keeping them from danger physically. Though, I can imagine that people would only eat some of the things he forbid if they were desperately hungry.

Friendship Question: What is something crazy that you ate out of experimentation or desperation?

Faith: The blessing of obedience

In Jeremiah 35, the Rechabites have been given huge blessings for their obedience. We have not measured up to this level. We’ve never keep all the requirements of God for a single hour. Praise God for Jesus. Because of his obedience we get the benefit of his blessings!

Faith question: Share one way that you are personally grateful for the work of Jesus in your life where you get the blessing. Name an area of life that you have recently seen the the benefit of the gospel: marriage, parenting, friendships, work?

Focus: Bringing the Gospel

In Acts 6, the disciples assign 6 people to bring it: to intentionally and personally bring prayer and scripture into all parts of their life and community.

Focus Question: Think about your positions in the community, family, work, etc. What is one place you can bring prayer and scripture to one of those areas this week?

Tuesday’s Readings: Leviticus 12, 2 Kings 25, Jeremiah 36, Acts 7
Wednesday’s Readings: Leviticus 13, 1 Chronicles 1, Jeremiah 37, Acts 8
Thursday’s Readings: Leviticus 14, 1 Chronicles 2, Jeremiah 38, Acts 9
Friday’s Readings: Leviticus 15, 1 Chronicles 3, Jeremiah 39, Acts 10
Saturday’s Readings: Psalm 61, Psalm 62, Psalm 63

CBR Discussion for 05.14.12

Leviticus 6, 2 Kings 19, Jeremiah 30, Acts 1

Friendship: The Huddle

We have entered Acts 1. Jesus has left his disciples, but has promised to be with them through the Holy Spirit. They are still nervous and huddle in the upper room where they pray and try to encourage one another.

Friendship Question: When is the last time in your life that an event caused you to huddle and pray with your friends. Who was there? How were you encouraged?

Repentance: A Strategy for Repentance

In Leviticus, Moses is given a great strategy for repentance. How to talk to God about it and how to talk to the offended person about it.

Repentance Question: What do you notice particularly that shows God’s character in how He is calling them to repent in Leviticus 7? Do you interact with your sin this way?

Faith: Faith for Battle

In 2 Kings, Hezekiah displays amazing faith in the face of opposition. His prayer is amazing. The goal? That all would know God.

Faith Question: Where in your life are you battling and this encourages you faith?

Focus: Outdoing Evil

In Jeremiah, God is promising to out do evil and restore the broken. This week’s memory verse is Romans 12:9-10:

9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Focus Question: How can you outdo evil this week by loving and honoring? What is one small way you can do that?

Tuesday’s Readings: Leviticus 7, 2 Kings 20, Jeremiah 31, Acts 2
Wednesday’s Readings: Leviticus 8, 2 Kings 21, Jeremiah 32, Acts 3
Thursday’s Readings: Leviticus 9, 2 Kings 22, Jeremiah 33, Acts 4
Friday’s Readings: Leviticus 10, 2 Kings 23, Jeremiah 34, Acts 5
Saturday’s Readings: Psalm 58, Psalm 59, Psalm 60

CBR Discussion for 05.07.12

Leviticus 1, 2 Kings 14, Jeremiah 25, Luke 20

Friendship: Snappy Comebacks

Today we are focusing on Luke 20. Jesus always seems to have the right things to say at the perfect moment. This chapter has at least 3 situations where Jesus just nails it. He has the perfect come back. No hesitation. There are those moments in life where you walk away from a conversation, disagreement, or general circumstance and say “I should have said that.” It happens to all of us.

Friendship Question: Think back to a time when you thought of the right things to say after a conversation or confrontation. What was it? What does that feel like?

Repentance: 2 Types of People

In Luke 20, there are two types of people. The teachable students of Jesus and the Pharisees. The Pharisees were putting constant confrontations and traps in front of Jesus. They sat back and critiqued. As the saying goes, “It’s much easier to critique than create.”

Repentance Question: Think back to a recent time where you were critical of someone or some thing. What was it? Why were you critical? Where do you see your sin in it like the Pharisees? Cry out to God and ask Him to send His spirit and break the cycle.

Faith: 2 Types of People: the right ones

The first type are the faithful. Humble, teachable and hungry for more of Jesus. What a great disposition. What do they get as a result? The secrets to the kingdom. Amazing insights into Jesus’ work and identity and how to deal with Rome and their money.

Faith Question: What is the latest benefit you have experienced or gained as a result of studying and relating to Jesus in His word and scripture?

Focus/Mission: Avoiding Long Robes, Sweet Words, and Seats Of Honor

Jesus closes the debate with a stark warning. Don’t be like the Pharisees and wear long robes, flatter each other, and claim the good seats. The cost is clear: great condemnation. Not convinced? Hope over to Jeremiah 25 and 2 Kings 14 to be convinced. The goal? Giving yourself as a sacrifice. The best worship to God. Humble yourself and He will exalt you. Leviticus 1 is a great picture of sacrificial worship.

Focus Question: what is one way you can make a smaller deal about yourself and a bigger real about Jesus this week?

Tuesday’s Readings: Leviticus 2, 2 Kings 15, Jeremiah 26, Luke 21
Wednesday’s Readings: Leviticus 3, 2 Kings 16, Jeremiah 27, Luke 22
Thursday’s Readings: Leviticus 4, 2 Kings 17, Jeremiah 28, Luke 23
Friday’s Readings: Leviticus 5, 2 Kings 18, Jeremiah 29, Luke 24
Saturday’s Readings: Psalm 55, Psalm 56, Psalm 57