Copy of 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)
 

August 27-September 2, 2017

SCRIPTURE

Genesis 42:1-38

SUMMARY

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” This is what Joseph did when faced with the test of how he would respond to “his enemies,” his brothers, who put him in the pit and sold him into slavery. 

In Genesis 42, we see Joseph carrying out Provers 25:21. When his enemy was hungry, he freely gave him bread to eat. In humility, he looked not only to his interest but also to the interests of his brothers. Though Joseph was in the form of god (Pharaoh), he did not cling to his exalted position, but understanding that too he was a mere man who feared God, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to love his brothers as himself. Therefore, he is more exalted than he ever was in Egypt. He has been given a name that is remembered even today when only a scholar would maybe know Pharaoh’s. 

Joseph points us to Christ who

though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

So let us be like Joseph and point to Christ on this side of the cross. Out of reverence for Christ, and as beloved children of God, let us this week dwell on Ephesians 5-6 so that we may know how to conduct ourselves toward others, to be followers of Christ, and imitators of our Father in heaven. 

STUDY

Spend your time this week reading and meditating on God’s word. Think specifically about your new identity at a child of God. What does that mean for how you daily live? 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.

Monday: Ephesians 5:1-14

Tuesday: Ephesians 5:15-33

Wednesday: Ephesians 6:1-9

Thursday: Ephesians 6:10-20