February 18-February 24, 2018

SCRIPTURE

Romans 1:19-21

SUMMARY

Everyone is being discipled either in the darkness or the light. Therefore, everyone is growing in either the darkness or the light. 

In your CG this week, talk about discipleship. How are you growing in the light, or in the truth, as a believer? As you go throughout your days, how do you bring the light to those who are still in darkness? How do you bring the light to those who are in the light? Spend time with this week’s Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

SCRIPTURES:

M: Romans 1:18-32 T: Psalm 1:1-6 W: 1 Timothy 1:12-17 TH: Ephesians 4:17-24

HEAR AND OBEY:
According to Ephesians 4:17-24, what are we to not do? Why? What are we to do? Why?

CONFESS:
Confess how you still, daily, suppress the truth of God. Confess how you still, daily, participate in ungodliness or unrighteousness? Confess how you are still, daily, a sinner. Confess 1 Timothy 1:15-16. To whom can you display Jesus Christ’s perfect patience?

PRAY:
Pray Psalm 1:1-6. Praise God for calling you out of darkness into the light. Pray earnestly for the Lord to grant you a compassion for those still “darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart” (Eph. 4:18). 

February 11-February 17, 2018

SCRIPTURE

Romans 1:18

SUMMARY

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies (or goodness) of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:9). Once you were an object of God’s wrath, but now you are a beloved child. 

In your CG this week, proclaim the goodness of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Spend time with this week’s Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

SCRIPTURES:

M: Romans 1:18-23 T: John 3:16-36 W: Ephesians 5:5-8 TH: Romans 1:18-23

HEAR AND OBEY:
What did you hear from the Scriptures? What truth must you receive by faith? How can these truths produce in you a compassion for those still in darkness?

CONFESS:
Confess your tendency to exclude yourself from verses like Romans 1:18-23. Confess how you were just like “they”. Confess the excellencies of him who graciously called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Confess the truth, that by God’s grace, you no longer suppress. 

PRAY:
Thank God for saving you. Pray for a compassion for those still in darkness, still objects of God’s wrath, still sheep without a shepherd. Pray that God would deliver __________________ (insert name) from Satan, sin, and death.

February 4-February 10, 2018

SCRIPTURE

Romans 1:16-17

SUMMARY

The gospel is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”

In your CG this week, talk about the gospel. Examine yourself to see if you are in actuality ashamed of the gospel. Spend time with this week’s Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

SCRIPTURES:

M: Romans 5:6-8 T: Ephesians 2:1-10 W: 1 Corinthians 1:18 TH: Romans 1:18

HEAR AND OBEY:
What did you hear from the Scriptures concerning the gospel? What truth must you receive by faith? What truth must you declare by faith in evangelism (or sharing the gospel)?

CONFESS:
Confess your shame in the gospel. Confess your cowardice in opening your mouth to share the gospel. Confess your unbelief in the gospel. Or, confess personal testimony to how to gospel is the power of God for salvation. Confess how God has used you to boldly share the gospel with another. Confess your belief in the gospel.

PRAY:
Thank God for the gospel and for saving you through the gospel. Thank God for the person who boldly shared the gospel with you and was used to bring you to faith. Thank God for salvation. Pray that God would help your unbelief in the gospel. Pray for your lost friend. You are obligated to share the gospel with them. Pray that words would be given to you by God when you open your mouth to boldly to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord. 

January 28-February 3, 2018

SCRIPTURE

Romans 1:8-15

SUMMARY

Our activity should align with our identity. This week, we were reminded how we are slaves of Christ Jesus our Lord. And we saw from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, slave activity.  

In your CG this week, continue to talk about your identity as a slave of Christ and the activity that should rightly flow from your identity. Spend time with this week’s Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

HEAR AND OBEY:
What did you hear from the Scriptures below concerning the activity of your identity? 

CONFESS:
Confess how you forgot your identity in Christ this week. How was your activity affected? Confess to each other and to the Lord, persuade one another, that you have been made a slave of Christ Jesus our Lord to be used for His glory and His purposes. Use the Scriptures below to aid you in your confession.

PRAY:
Thank the Father for divinely persuading you of his Son. Thank him for bringing you under the loving Lordship of Jesus. Beg the Father that you would be a good slave of his Son and not lose focus of the work and mission of making disciples. Pray for the unreached and the lost. Pray that they would come to be persuaded by God through your witness to the gospel. Pray that God would, daily, help you remember who you are.

SCRIPTURES

Read Romans 1:8-15.
Read 1 Peter 1:13-23.
Read Acts 20:17-24.
Read Romans 1:16-17.

January 21-January 27, 2018

SCRIPTURE

Romans 1:1-7

SUMMARY

We are who we are because of God’s provision of grace. Along with the grace of God, we have also been recipients of a purpose. We are recipients of both salvation and mission—“to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations.” 

In your CG this week, continue to talk about who you are and why you are here. Spend time with this week’s Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

HEAR AND OBEY:
What did you hear from the Scriptures below concerning your identity
and purpose? 

CONFESS:
Confess how you forget the two together and solely focus on either your identity or purpose. How is remembering both better? Confess to each other and to the Lord, the truth of who you are and why you are here. Use the Scriptures below to aid you in your confession.

PRAY:
Thank the Father for reconciling you to himself and giving you the ministry of reconciliation. Pray for the unreached and the lost. Pray that they would come to be reconciled to God through your ministry. Pray that God would, daily, help you remember who you are and why you’re here.

SCRIPTURES

Read Romans 1:1-7.
Read Ephesians 2:8-10.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-20.
Read Romans 1:1-7.

January 14-January 20, 2018

SCRIPTURE

Romans 1:1-7

SUMMARY

We are who we are because of the gospel God promised “through his prophets in the holy Scriptures concerning his Son,” Christ Jesus—fully God and fully man.

[15] He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. [16] For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. [17] And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. [18] And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. [19] For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, [20] and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

[21] And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, [22] he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, (Colossians 1:15–22 ESV) 

In your CG this week, talk about the hypostatic union* of Christ Jesus. Spend time with this week’s Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

* “The hypostatic union is the mysterious joining of the divine and the human in the one person of Jesus” (David Mathis). For more on this topic, visit https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-is-the-hypostatic-union

HEAR AND OBEY:
What did you hear from the Scriptures below concerning Jesus? Why is it important that Jesus be fully God and fully man in one person?

CONFESS:
Confess how you blur the
hypostatic union of Jesus? What is the danger of making him more man than God or God than man? What is the danger of making him two persons (God and man) rather that the one person he is? Repent and confess who he is. Jesus is one person, fully man, fully God. Use Colossians 1:15-22 to aid you in your right confession. 

PRAY:
Thank the Father for who you are because of who his Son, Christ Jesus is—fully God and fully man. Pray that the Holy Spirit would conform you more to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for the unreached and the lost. Pray that they would come to be reconciled to God through your witness to this God-man. 

SCRIPTURES

Read Romans 1:1-7.
Read Colossians 2:9.
Read Hebrews 4:15.
Read Romans 1:1-7.

January 7-January 13, 2018

SCRIPTURE

Romans 1:1-7

SUMMARY

The story goes:

Many centuries ago in the land of Israel, one of the early rabbis was returning home from a long day in the House of Study. It was later than usual, and as he walked home, the sun set. Lost deep in thought, he took the left fork instead of the right when the path split. Instead of nearing home, he ended up by a Roman outpost.

“Who goes there?” boomed a deep voice in the dark, shaking him from his thoughts. Confused, the rabbi tried to figure out who this was at his home.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” the voice called again as the Roman centurion now stepped into view.

The rabbi quickly realized the mistake that he must have made. Instead of answering the centurion’s questions, he replied, “How much are you paid to stand here every day?”

“Three drachma,” replied the centurion.

“I see,” said the rabbi. “I will pay you twice as much to stand in front of my door and ask me the same questions every single day.

Though the centurion remained at his post, the rabbi often told this story to his students. He reminded them that though we spend much time trying to come up with the right answers, we don’t spend hardly enough time coming up with the right questions.

Who are you and what are you doing here? Understanding who you are and why you are here is vitally important, as a Christian, or follower of Christ. In Romans 1:1, we saw who Paul was and what he was doing here, or his identity statement. He was:

  • a servant of Christ Jesus
  • called to be an apostle
  • set apart for the gospel of God

It is safe to say that, along with the Holy Spirit, having a clear answer to just these two questions made Paul an extremely, focused, fruitful, and effective follower of Christ.  

In your CG this week, begin answering these two questions. Spend time with this week’s Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

HEAR AND OBEY:
What answers did you hear to these two questions from these texts? Who is Jesus? Why did Jesus come? Who are you? Why are you here? 

CONFESS:
Confess how often you forget who you are and why you are here. Confess how such forgetfulness causes you to lose focus of Christ or the set apart life to which he has called you. Confess how forgetting makes you ineffective and unfruitful. But also, confess the reality of who you are, Christian. What verse(s) do you cling to for your identity in Christ? 

PRAY:
Pray that God would give you understanding as to who you are and why you are here. Pray that you would remember and that your life would be fitting to your identity in Christ. Pray for your unbelieving friends—that God would reveal himself to them through your witness so that they too would be reconciled to God. 

SCRIPTURES

Read Romans 1:1-7.

Read Mark 2:13-17.

Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.

Read Romans 1:1-7.
 

November 26-December 2, 2017

SCRIPTURE

Romans 11:33-36

SUMMARY

C3 believes God is the source of all blessing, temporal and spiritual. All that we are and have…we owe to Him. As a Christian, we are in debt spiritually to the rest of the world, because we are now a trustee of the Gospel (Romans 1:14-15). God has set us free from bondage to serve Him with our time, talents, and material possessions, which have been entrusted to us by God for the use of His glory and for helping others (Malachi 3:8-12). Christians should contribute out of their means cheerfully, worshipfully, regularly, and liberally for the advancement of the Kingdom (2 Corinthians 9:6-9) (C3Rowlett.com/what-we-believe). 

In your CG this week, talk about what it means to be saved to the glory of God Alone. Spend time with this week’s Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

HEAR AND OBEY:
What truths from this week’s text do you specifically need to believe and obey?

CONFESS:
Confess how you have attempted to scrutinize the ways of God. How have you attempted to be his counselor? What repayment have you demanded because of your “gift” to him? But in humility, also confess the truth found in this verse.

PRAY:
Pray Romans 11:33-36. Pray for your unbelieving friends—that God would reveal himself to them through your witness so that they too would be saved to his glory alone.

 

November 19-November 25, 2017

SCRIPTURE

Galatians 3:6-11

SUMMARY

C3 believes that salvation is the gift of God brought to mankind by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed on the Cross for the forgiveness of sin (Ephesians 2:8). There is no salvation a part from the saving work of Jesus Christ. Salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. Regeneration is a change of heart brought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, repentance, toward God and faith in Jesus Christ (Mark 1:15). Justification is God's full graciousness of making humans "right" with Him (Titus 3:7). It brings mankind into a relationship of peace and favor with God. Sanctification begins with regeneration, by which the believer is "set apart" for God's purposes, and begins maturing spiritually through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit (2 Thessalonians 2:13). Growth takes place when the believer begins to resemble His Redeemer more and more everyday. Glorification is the final state of the redeemed, and is the final culmination of salvation for the believer (Revelation 21Revelation 22:1-5). (C3Rowlett.com/what-we-believe). 

In your CG this week, talk about what it means to be saved through Faith Alone. Spend time with this week’s Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

HEAR AND OBEY:
Fill in the blank from this week’s text: “because if you ____________ with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and ____________ in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be ____________.
What else must you do to be saved?

CONFESS:
Fill in the blank from this week’s text: “For with the heart one ____________ and is ____________, and with the mouth one ____________ and is ____________.”
What else have you depended upon for your salvation? Confess your only hope!

PRAY:
Read Romans 10:11-15. Pray for your unbelieving friends and the lost in general. Pray for people in specific places where we are engaged as a church (London, Congo, and Dubai). Pray for Rowlett and the city in which you live. Pray that the Lord would send you to preach the gospel so that the lost would hear, believe, call on the name of the Lord, and be saved. 

 

November 12-November 18, 2017

SCRIPTURE

Ephesians 1:1-14

SUMMARY

C3 believes that salvation is the gift of God brought to mankind by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed on the Cross for the forgiveness of sin (Ephesians 2:8). There is no salvation a part from the saving work of Jesus Christ. Salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. Regeneration is a change of heart brought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, repentance, toward God and faith in Jesus Christ (Mark 1:15). Justification is God's full graciousness of making humans "right" with Him (Titus 3:7). It brings mankind into a relationship of peace and favor with God. Sanctification begins with regeneration, by which the believer is "set apart" for God's purposes, and begins maturing spiritually through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit (2 Thessalonians 2:13). Growth takes place when the believer begins to resemble His Redeemer more and more everyday. Glorification is the final state of the redeemed, and is the final culmination of salvation for the believer (Revelation 21Revelation 22:1-5). (C3Rowlett.com/what-we-believe). 

In your CG this week, talk about what it means to be saved by Grace Alone. Spend time with this week’s Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

HEAR AND OBEY:
According to this week’s Scriptures, who were you apart from Christ? Who are you now in Christ? (look for specific identity statements)? Were you saved by good works or for good works. What is the difference?

CONFESS:
Confess how you have forgotten who you are in Christ. Confess who you are in Christ. Does understanding your identity affect your activity?

PRAY:
Pray for each other. Pray “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe…” (Ephesians 1:17–19 ESV). 

Pray also for your unbelieving friends. Pray that the Holy Spirit would open opportunities to speak the gospel through you so that they too would believe and be sealed for the day of redemption. 

November 5-November 11, 2017

SCRIPTURE

Colossians 1:13-18

SUMMARY

C3 believes that Jesus is the eternal Son of God. He became man without ceasing to be God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary with the purpose of revealing God and redeeming sinful humanity (Luke 1:35). Jesus never sinned. Through complete obedience to the Father, and His substitutionary death on the Cross, He made provision for the redemption of humanity from sin (Romans 3:24Ephesians 1:7). He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to many followers for forty days. His resurrection from the dead was proof that God the Father had accepted the sacrifice that Jesus had made on our behalf. He ascended into Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of the Father where He is our Mediator and is constantly making intercession for the believers (Hebrews 7:251 John 2:1-2). Jesus is the only name in Heaven and on Earth by which mankind can be saved (Acts 4:12). One day, He will return in power and in glory to judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1) (C3Rowlett.com/what-we-believe). 

In your CG this week, talk about what it means to be saved by Christ Alone. Spend time with this week’s Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

HEAR AND OBEY:
According to this week’s passage, what does the Bible say about Christ Jesus? What do you need to believe about Jesus?
(Compare specifically Luke 2:26 and Luke 2:30.)

CONFESS:
Confess to one another how you have not believed that Christ Alone is sufficient for salvation. What have you turned to instead for salvation, or right standing with God? Confess how Christ Alone is enough!

PRAY:
Pray as a group. Pray that you would believe that Christ Alone is enough for salvation. Pray for your unbelieving friends. Pray that they would come to know Jesus through your faithful life and witness.

October 29-November 4, 2017

SCRIPTURE

2 Timothy 3:1-17

SUMMARY

At C3, we believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the verbally inspired Words of God. The Bible was written by men who were "carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21). The Bible is free from error and without fault in its original writings. The Scriptures are "God-breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16), meaning, when the Bible speaks, God is speaking. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true, trustworthy and the final authority for faith and life (C3Rowlett.com/what-we-believe). 

In your CG this week, talk about what it means to live by Scripture Alone. Spend time with this week’s Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

HEAR AND OBEY:
According to this week’s passages, what does the Bible say about the Bible? What do you need to believe about the Bible?

CONFESS:
Confess to one another how you have not believed that Scripture Alone is sufficient for faith and life. What have you turned to instead for truth, wisdom, knowledge, comfort, or hope? Confess how God’s word Alone has proved sufficient.

PRAY:
Pray as a group. Pray: 

Help us believe that what has been written has been written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Help us live by Scripture Alone (Adapted from Romans 15:4).

October 22-October 28, 2017

SCRIPTURE

Genesis 50:1-26

SUMMARY

Throughout our study of Genesis we have been able to behold over and over the faithfulness of our God. Also, throughout our study, we have been given the privilege to observe the righteous who live by faith. Men like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob/Israel, Joseph, and some would even argue Adam, have given us examples of what it means to live by faith. This week we saw specifically how, because of his faith, Joseph was able to forgive his brothers, comfort them, and speak kindly to them. 

In your CG this week, talk about what it means to live by faith. Spend time with the Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

HEAR AND OBEY:
What is faith according to Hebrews 11:1? Did these faithful men and women mentioned in Hebrews 11:2-22 simply believe, or did action accompany their faith? What does it mean to live by faith?

CONFESS:
Confess to one another how you have not been living by faith. What fruit did you bear this past week? Did you bear good works that come from faith, or did you sin because you were not living by faith? Confess praise to God for his faithfulness and for sending Jesus to die for your faithlessness.

PRAY:
Pray for each other. Pray Hebrews 12:1-2 as a group. Pray also for the lost in your life. Pray that they would come to Jesus through your life of faith. 

October 15-October 21, 2017

SCRIPTURE

Genesis 49:1-33

SUMMARY

Genesis 49 has given us the account of when Jacob blessed each of his sons, speaking “as one who speaks oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11). From this report, we saw the faithfulness of Israel—fully assured and convicted of things not yet seen (Hebrews 11:1). But we also got to behold the faithfulness of God. In 2017, we can say with confidence that God was indeed faithful to the prophecy, especially of Judah. The scepter came to Judah when David became king, and it has not departed from between his feet because Jesus (the Lion of Judah) is on the throne now and for always. 

In your CG this week, talk about the faithfulness of God. Spend time with the Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

HEAR AND OBEY:
What facts are stated about God or the LORD in Psalm 16? What facts do you need to trust about Him?

CONFESS:
Confess how you have not believed these facts you have discovered in Psalm 16. Confess also your own testimony of God’s faithfulness. For example, David confesses that “the lines have fallen for [him] in pleasant places; indeed [he has] a beautiful inheritance” (Psalm 16:6). How has God shown his faithfulness to you?

PRAY:
Pray for each other. Pray that you, like a child, would believe in God’s faithfulness. Pray also for those in your life who are separated from your faithful God. Pray that they would come to know God through your witness to his faithfulness.



 

October 8-October 14, 2017

SCRIPTURE

Genesis 48:1-22

SUMMARY

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” 

In Genesis 48, we waded in the depths of God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge when we saw once again the younger being placed in prominence over the older—something which doesn’t make sense to man. What then should be our response?

In your CG this week, talk about what it means “to present your bodies as a living sacrifice” to this glorious God. Spend time with the Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

HEAR AND OBEY:
“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them” (Romans 12:6). Are you using the gift(s) that have been given to you by God? What gift(s) do you possess according to the list in Romans 12:6-8? How could you exercise your gift(s)?

CONFESS:
In examining your life according to Romans 12:9-21, what command(s) do you need to obey? “All of them” is a great answer! But which specific one(s) do you need to obey? Do you genuinely believe that Romans 12:9-21 is the best way to live? In confessing how you fall short, also declare praise in how the Holy Spirit is enabling you to obey any of these commands. 

PRAY:
Pray for each other. Pray that you would become so in awe of God that you would worship (Romans 12:1) this way. Pray also for those in your life who are not saved. Pray that they would come to know God through your daily life of worship and witness.



 

October 1-October 7, 2017

SCRIPTURE

Genesis 47:1-31

SUMMARY

In Genesis 47, not only do we see God’s word coming true and therefore demonstrating his faithfulness, but we also get a good picture of a faithful people living in the world. We see Israelites unashamed of their identity and occupation (or calling they have received) while holding a healthy view of a temporary life. We also see the blessed people of God being a blessing to the families of the earth (12:3). And we also see a people, because of the salvation they have received, “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14) and eager to serve their deliver. 

In your CG this week, talk about how we, the faithful people of God, might be living among the people of our world today. Spend time with the Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

HEAR AND OBEY:
What is the good news found in Titus 2:11? According to Titus 2:12, what does the grace of God do (or what should it be doing in your life as someone who has been saved by this grace)?

CONFESS:
Confess ungodliness and worldly passions to each other. Use Titus 3:2 to examine yourself. Use Titus 3:3-7 to confess praise to God for saving you from who you were. 

PRAY:
Pray for each other. Pray that you “who have believed in God may be careful to devote [yourselves] to good works” (Titus 3:8). Pray also for those in your life who are not saved. Pray that they would be saved, washed, regenerated, and renewed by the Holy Spirit as you have been. 

SCRIPTURES

Read Titus 2:11-15.

Read Titus 3:1-2.

Read Titus 3:3-7.

Read Titus 3:8-11.



 

September 24-September 30, 2017

SCRIPTURE

Genesis 46:1-34

SUMMARY

In Joshua 24:1-5, Joshua said to the people of Israel, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, Your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many, I gave him Isaac. And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it, and afterward I brought you out.” Genesis 46 gives us the account of God sending Israel down into Egypt.

But, as we have already seen numerous times throughout our study of Genesis, we again witness God’s faithfulness to his people and his word. Israel is faithful and obedient to go because of the faithfulness of God. And once in the land of Egypt they no longer have to resort to deceitful schemes. Because they believe God, they now display a confidence to speak the truth and live righteously in the land of Egypt. 

In your CG this week, talk about how the faithfulness of God can affect your ability to live righteously among people who do not know the Lord. Spend time with the Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

Key Term: gentile - one who does not know God.

HEAR AND OBEY:
What does Ephesians 4:18 say about the Gentiles? What does Ephesians 4:19 say that they have given themselves up to because of what Ephesians 4:18 says? What does Ephesians 4:20-32 encourage us as believers to do?

CONFESS:
Confess how you are still living like a Gentile. Confess praise to God for how you are no longer living like a Gentile.

PRAY:
Pray for each other. Pray also for those in your life who are still gentiles,
“darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” Pray for the Lord to reveal himself to them through your love and witness.

SCRIPTURES

Read Ephesians 4:17-19.
Read Ephesians 4:20-24.
Read Ephesians 4:25-28.
Read Ephesians 4:29-32.

 

September 17-September 23, 2017

SCRIPTURE

Genesis 45:1-28

SUMMARY

A high view of God’s sovereignty leads us to be able forgive others. Joseph understood that, even though it was his brothers who sold him into Egypt, it was God who ultimately sent him there in order to preserve life. Joseph was, therefore, able to forgive his brothers, quick to encourage them to not beat themselves up over what they did to him, and eager to bless them and the rest of the family. 

In your CG this week, talk about how your view of God’s sovereignty can affect your ability to forgive (positively or negatively). Spend time with the Scriptures below and ask yourself the following questions:

Do you believe like Jospeh that God is sovereign and in control of all things? How does the forgiveness of others depend on your view of God’s sovereignty? 

How do you struggle with forgiveness? What might help you become a person more ready to forgive, comfort, and bless when people sin against you? Read Matthew 6:14-15. Do you believe this verse applies to you or just to those who have hurt you? 

Read Ephesians 4:31-32. What are some practical things you could do this week to practice forgiveness in view of God’s sovereignty? Perhaps you can use this fill in the blank with someone: 

Person’s name I forgive you for their sin. But don’t beat yourself up over what you did. God explain how God used their evil for good. Then seek to bless them.

SCRIPTURES

Read Matthew 6:14-15.

Read Ephesians 4:31-32.

Read Psalm 115:3.

Read Romans 9:19-21.


 

September 10-September 16, 2017

SCRIPTURE

Genesis 44:1-34

SUMMARY

Genuine repentance bears fruit. Joseph’s test of his brothers in Genesis 44 was to see if they had changed and repented of their actions. Upon finding Benjamin with the lord’s silver cup, the reader is faced with some questions: Would they let the lord of the land keep Benjamin? Would they betray their father’s other favorite son and leave him “in the pit?” Would they tear his garments and claim that he too was devoured by a fierce animal? No. Judah and his brothers do the right thing. They tear their clothes and, in love, return to the city for their brother. Genuine repentance has seemingly taken place. 

But what can they say? How can they clear themselves? They reckon themselves, particularly Benjamin, guilty. Judah does only what he can—he pleads for mercy and the return of his brother. This too is indeed another sign of genuine repentance. For let us remember, it was Judah who proposed the sale of Joseph in the first place.

As repentant believers in Christ, we should, likewise, be bearing the fruit of our repentance. Our lives now should be marked with love and concern for our brother and earnestness to see our fellow man have the mercy of God and redemption that is in Christ Jesus bestowed upon them. If this fruit is not evident in our lives, might we examine ourselves to see if we have truly been born again?

In your CG this week, talk about genuine repentance. Spend time with the Scriptures below and ask yourself the following questions:

How would you know if someone is truly repentant? How can you tell if someone has truly moved from death to life? What are some things you could observe or examine?

What level do you find yourself pleading to God in prayer for another image bearer? Do you plead to the Lord for the salvation of others? Do you even “lay your life down” so that they may be saved?

SCRIPTURES

Read Colossians 3:1-11

Read Colossians 3:12-25

Read Romans 9:1-3

Read Romans 10:1-4
 

September 3-September 9, 2017

SCRIPTURE

Genesis 43:1-34

SUMMARY

Our God is merciful—withholding from his elect what they rightly deserve. Our God is also gracious—bestowing what is unmerited on sinful humanity. After Peter denied Jesus in John 18, Jesus graciously met Peter with breakfast in John 21. Peter had heard Jesus say, “everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32). Peter rightly deserved to be rejected by Jesus before his Father. Jesus, however, commissioned Peter to feed his sheep—to acknowledge Him before men. What mercy! 

God displays this same type of mercy in Genesis 43. After being betrayed by his brothers, Joseph (the Christ figure) mercifully does not give them what they deserve—death. Instead, he graciously sustains their lives by giving them lunch.

The same mercy and grace are extended to us as well. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” when we should have died. “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood (grace), much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God” (mercy). So we “rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now [mercifully and graciously] received reconciliation (Romans 5:7, 9, 11).

STUDY

Spend your time this week reading and meditating on God’s word. Think specifically on the mercy and grace you have been given in Christ. Must we now acknowledge him before men? We encourage you to even break these passages up throughout the week for daily devotions, ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Scriptures for you, and use a study bible to help provide understanding.

Read John 18:1-11

Read John 18:12-27

Read John 21:1-14

Read John 21:15-19 (20-25)