MONTHLY ARCHIVES: September 2018

Bold Faith

Posted on September 25, 2018 by Karah

PAUSE

Listen to “Breathing” by Lifehouse (No Name Face, 2000). Meditate on the meaning and your heart toward God as you read through this devotion.

What does it mean to have bold faith? Journal your thoughts.

“Then He told her, ‘Because of this reply, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.’ When she went back to her home, she found her child lying on the bed, and the demon was gone”. —Mark 7:29-30

Read Mark 7:24-30 in your Bible. Ask yourself:

• What is your first impression of this story? Explain.

At first glance, it may seem that Jesus’ response to this woman is curt and uncaring. However, Jesus acknowledged that the priority of His mission was to bring salvation to the Jews. He did not completely exclude the Gentiles, but said that the Word of God must go to the Jews first, and then to the Gentiles.

• Underline the word “kept” in verse 26. What kind of faith did she show? Explain.

• Why did the woman’s reply cause Jesus to grant her request for His healing? Explain.

RESPOND

During Jesus’ time, men and women did not interact like this in public. This encounter crossed cultural and religious boundaries. The woman took a risk in faith, and Jesus responded to her belief and courage.

• What are some ways that you can be courageous in your faith? Jot down a few in your journal.

• What’s one thing you can do tomorrow to demonstrate your compassion for someone who is different from you?

• Think of a time when you persistently asked God for something and your faith was rewarded. Journal about that experience.

BEHIND THE STORY

The Israelites were God’s chosen people. Jesus’ first obligation was to the Jews so the whole world would be blessed through them, as God had promised Abraham (Gen. 22:18). However, that didn’t mean God wouldn’t pursue the Gentiles. After Jesus ascended to heaven, God gave Peter a vision, telling him to take the message of salvation to the Gentiles (Acts 10:9-16). Paul’s ministry was also famous for being focused on the Gentiles (Rom. 1:16-17).

THE POINT

God rewards bold faith, and believers should always be encouraged to come to Him with their requests.


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Jesus is Sovereign

Posted on September 12, 2018 by Karah

PAUSE

A few minutes before you begin today’s study, find a relaxing place to sit. Take a deep breath and ask God to help you focus on being with Him.

“They were astonished at His teaching because His message had authority. … Amazement came over them all, and they kept saying to one another, ‘What is this message? For He commands the unclean spirits with authority and power, and they come out!’” —Luke 4:32,36

Read Luke 4:31-37 in your Bible.

• Highlight the word “authority” throughout the passage. What does it mean that Jesus’ message had authority? Explain.

Circle the name “Holy One of God.” In the Old Testament, God was often called the Holy One. In this passage, the demons’ referring to Jesus as the Holy One of God shows their recognition of Him as the Son of God. The demons asked Jesus if He had come to destroy them; even they recognized His authority over evil and were terrified. Biblical scholars suggest that the demons weren’t just afraid of Jesus’ preaching and purpose, but that they feared His presence.

• Why do you think the demons feared Jesus’ presence? Why is this important?

RESPOND

• What does Jesus’ power over evil mean for you? Jot down a list of prayer requests about your future, your community, and the world that appeal to Jesus’ sovereignty. Pray for those requests each day this week.

• Examine your heart. Do you recognize Jesus’ sovereignty? Have you fully surrendered your life to Him? Journal your thoughts.

• If you have not trusted Jesus as Savior, talk to your parents or one of your camp counselors about what it means to be a Christian

BEHIND THE STORY

The demon in today’s passage testified about belief in God. James 2:19 says, “You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe— and they shudder.” James also said that faith without works is useless (v. 20). Although demons believe in God, their total disobedience and rebellion against Him has separated them from Him forever. Redemption is about reconciliation—it’s not just about knowing that God exists, but about accepting His salvation through faith and living a life surrendered in obedience to Him.

THE POINT

As the Son of God, Jesus is sovereign over everything.


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The Power to Speak

Posted on September 4, 2018 by Karah

PAUSE

Think of one of the names of God (Shepherd, King, Rock of Our Salvation) and dwell on what that means to you.

Now, read Isaiah 35:5-6. The prophet Isaiah told of Jesus’ healings in the Old Testament. Throughout the Book of Isaiah, physical illness was often a metaphor for a spiritual issue. The complete healing indicated in theses passages parallels new life in Christ.

“Just as they were going out, a demon-possessed man who was unable to speak was brought to Him. When the demon had been driven out, the man spoke. And the crowds were amazed, saying, ‘Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel!’ But the Pharisees said, ‘He drives out demons by the ruler of the demons!’”—Matthew 9:32-34

Read Matthew 9:32-24 and complete the following.

• Circle each variation of the word “speak” or “say.” Underline the word “demon” each time it appears.

• Look back at the Scripture in Isaiah. Why is it important that the man spoke? Explain.

• The Pharisees thought Jesus’ authority came from the ruler of demons (v. 34). Read Luke 11:17-19. What was wrong with their theory? Explain.

RESPOND

The Pharisees sought every excuse to believe that Jesus was not from God. He had turned their world upside down by interpreting the Scriptures with authority and performing great signs. Instead of seeking God, they sought to prove they were right.

• When God turns your world upside down, do you struggle to trust Him? Do you have faith that no matter the circumstances He has your best interests in mind? Why or why not? Journal your thoughts.

• List two ways you can trust God’s ultimate authority in your life.

• For further study about God’s purpose and plans for you, read Romans 8.

BEHIND THE STORY

In John 1:1, Jesus was called the Word. He created the universe by speaking, and in many gospel accounts, He drove out demons with a rebuke. In today’s passage, Jesus restored a man’s ability to speak by casting out the oppressive evil spirit that kept him in silent. Jesus’ authority over all creation allows Him to banish evil and fully restore human beings to the image of God.

THE POINT

Because He is God, Jesus has sole authority over evil.


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