MONTHLY ARCHIVES: April 2019

Worship the King

Posted on April 23, 2019 by Karah

PAUSE

Think of a few words that describe how God is worthy of our worship (ex: holy, eternal, magnificent) and praise Him using those words.

“Now He came near the path down the Mount of Olives, and the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen: The King who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven!” —Luke 19:37-38

Read Luke 19:28-44 in your Bible and complete the following.
• In your journal, sketch a picture of the scene described in verses 37-38. Jesus humbly entered Jerusalem on a donkey, but was greeted by a royal procession worthy of a king. His triumphal entry moved His people to praise.
• These people recognized that Jesus came in God’s name. Why is that significant?
• The Pharisees asked Jesus to rebuke His disciples for calling Him “the blessed One” and “King.” Examine Jesus’ response and write it in your own words.
• Read through the passage again and note how the crowd worshiped Jesus. Note in your journal the attitudes and actions of the crowd.

RESPOND

• Look at what you noted about attitudes and actions in the above question. Examine your heart. Do these words describe the way you worship God?
• List attitudes and actions in your own life that need to change to enhance the way you worship God.
• For further study on worshiping God, read Psalm 118:26; Psalm 150; and Romans 12:1-2.

BEHIND THE STORY

Jesus was not the king that most Jews expected. Some expected a political leader who would free them from Roman rule through diplomacy; others looked for a military leader who would overthrow the Roman government. They didn’t expect a king who would free people from their sins.

THE POINT

Jesus is our King— worthy of honor and glory. We should worship Him.


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Purified

Posted on April 16, 2019 by Karah

PAUSE

Take a moment to clear away any distractions so you can fully focus on God as you study His word today.

“Then He began to teach them: ‘Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!’” —Mark 11:17

Read Mark 11:15-19 in your Bible. Ask yourself:
• How was Jesus portrayed in this story? How does this relate to the character of God in regards to purity?
• Why did Jesus overturn tables and throw out the people who were buying and selling in the temple complex? Explain.
• Compare and contrast “house of prayer” and “den of thieves” in your journal (v. 17). 

Jesus cleared out the money changers and those selling animals for sacrifice. They defiled the temple, which was designed as a place of prayer and worship. These business people set up their tables in the court of the Gentiles—a space intended to allow non-Jews to worship. The people lost sight of the temple’s purpose.
• Can you think of an example of this today? When have you lost sight of your main purpose as you follow Jesus?

RESPOND

The Bible says that our bodies are sanctuaries of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19).
Impurity comes in many different forms and affects different people in different ways.
• Do you struggle to keep your mind pure? Your body? Your heart? Journal your response, confessing your need for Jesus to help you stand strong in the face of temptation.
• List three ways you can guard your heart against impurity.
• For further study on keeping God’s temple pure, read Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11; Matthew 21:12-13; and Luke 19:45-46.

BEHIND THE STORY

In Jesus’ day, Jews had to pay a temple tax and often needed to buy sacrifices for the altar. The type of money used varied in each city and region. The money changers set up shop to help people convert their currency in order to pay the temple tax. Some money changers made extra profit by loaning their own money along with investor money and charging interest rates of up to 300 percent each year.(1)

THE POINT

Jesus’ cleansing of the temple pointed the people back to the true purpose of the temple—worshiping and glorifying God.

(1)Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, eds. Chad Brand, Charles Draper, and Archie England, (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003),Under “Money Changers.” Accessed via mywsb.com.


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In Remembrance of Me

Posted on April 9, 2019 by Karah

PAUSE

Listen to Matt Maher’s song “Remembrance (Communion Song)” (Alive Again, 2009) to prepare your heart for today’s devotion.

“For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.” —Matthew 26:28

Read Matthew 26:17-30 in your Bible and consider the following.

While observing the Passover with His disciples, Jesus explained the significance of the Passover meal, which we know as the Lord’s Supper, often called Communion.
• What was the significance of the first Lord’s Supper?
• What does this symbolic event help Christians to remember?

Verse 28 says that Jesus’ blood was shed for our forgiveness. Our redemption rests in Christ and was made possible through His blood. (See Eph. 1:7).
• Explain in your own words the new covenant that would be established through Jesus’ blood.
• How does the Lord’s Supper help you acknowledge God’s love for you?
• Read Romans 6:22-23. We are all slaves to sin before we trust Jesus as Savior. Describe how the Lord’s Supper demonstrates freedom from slavery to sin.

RESPOND
• Think back to the first time you took part in the Lord’s Supper. Journal about that experience.
• Develop a plan for how you will observe the Lord’s Supper differently next time. How will you prepare your heart? Include prayer points and Scriptures to meditate on.
• For further study on blood and atonement, read Leviticus 16; 17:11; Ephesians 1:7-8; and 1 Peter 2:24.

BEHIND THE STORY

There is no atonement for sins apart from blood. In the Old Testament, animal sacrifices were required to atone for the sins of the people. The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary points out that “Jesus, the God-man, gave up His life and experienced the reality of death so that those who identify themselves with Jesus might experience His life and never taste death as He did. He died as a sin-bearer that we might live for righteousness and become healed (1 Pet. 2:24).” (1)

THE POINT

Participating in the Lord’s Supper helps us to remember that Jesus’ sacrifice freed us from the bonds of sin.

(1) Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, eds. Chad Brand, Charles Draper, and Archie England, (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003),Under “Blood.” Accessed via mywsb.com.


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The Savior We Need

Posted on April 2, 2019 by Karah

PAUSE

Confess any sin you may be currently holding onto. Allow yourself to trust in Jesus’ forgiveness as you spend time with Him today.

“But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.” —John 1:12-13

Read John 1:10-13 in your Bible and think through the following.
John painted a picture of Jesus as One who was fully God and yet willingly humbled Himself by taking on flesh as He came to humanity to be the Savior for those who would receive Him.

• Verse 11 says Jesus “came to His own.” The Jews were God’s chosen people. Why do you think the Jews rejected Jesus? Explain.
• Why is it important to note that Jesus created the world, but the world did not recognize Him? What hindered their recognition?
• What do you think it means to receive Jesus? Why is that important? Only God has the power to save. He sent Jesus to provide salvation and offer a way for people to be restored to God. However, people must still respond by trusting Jesus as Savior.

RESPOND

Each car has a blind spot, or place where the driver can’t see by using side or rearview mirrors. We all experience spiritual blindness in our lives. Before we know Christ, we are unable to clearly see Him for who He is. Once we trust Him as Savior, our eyes are opened and we are able to know Him.

• In your journal, list some things in your life that helped you realize your need for a Savior.
• Consider the story of how Jesus opened your eyes to who He is. How did you respond to Him? Whom can you share this story with? Journal your response.
• For further study, read the article Why We Need Jesus by Michael Horton at http:/www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/december/why-we-need-jesus.html.

MEMORY VERSE

Write out Matthew 26:28 on an index card, drawing symbols to replace key words. Place it somewhere where you will see it throughout the week.

BEHIND THE STORY

Humanity’s need for a Savior can be traced back to Genesis 3. In the garden, Adam and Eve enjoyed a close, intimate relationship with God. But when they disobeyed God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they damaged their intimate relationship with Him. Adam and Eve’s turning away from God is often referred to as the fall, which created a lineage of sin. Jesus’ perfect life, sacrificial death, and resurrection restored to God those who choose to trust in Him as Savior.

THE POINT

Jesus came to show the world their separation from God and their need for a Savior.


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