Unsung Heroes, August 5: Gideon

 

Discussion Questions

Have you ever asked for a sign from God?  What happened?

How do you feel about Gideon asking for a sign?  What about his apparent doubt that God will act?

When was a time the task in front of you seemed impossible?  What happened?

 

Acting on the Word

Spend time in prayer  asking God to tell you what task he wants you to accomplish for him this week. Then do your best to do it.

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:        Judges 6:11-18

Monday:       Judges 6:19-24

Tuesday:       Judges 6:25-32

Wednesday:  Judges 6:33-40

Thursday:     Judges 7:1-14

Friday:          Judges 7:15-23

Saturday      Judges 8:22-28

What do you learn of Gideon?  What were his strengths?  His faults?  (You may want to read all of Judges 8 for a more troubling side to Gideon).

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Unsung Heroes, July 29: Balaam

Discussion Questions

Who are some people who are seen both as a hero and as a villain?

When has someone not taken your “no” as a final answer?  How did that feel?

When have you missed something God was trying to tell you?

When has it seemed as though God’s answer has changed?

 

Acting on the Word

When someone tells you “no” this week, accept that answer; don’t try to change their mind.

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:        Numbers 22:1-35

Monday:       Numbers 22:36-23:12

Tuesday:       Numbers 23:13-26

Wednesday:  Numbers 23:27-24:13

Thursday:     Numbers 24:13-25

Friday:          Deuteronomy 23:3–6

Saturday       Revelation 2:12-14

What do you learn about Balaam and about God in each passage?  Is Balaam a hero or a villain?  (Note, you may want to consult a study Bible to learn more about Balaam and how he is portrayed in Scripture.)

 

Next Week: Gideon.  What can you learn about Gideon between now and next week?

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Unsung Heroes, July 22: Shiphrah and Puah

 

Discussion Questions

Who comes to mind when you think of heroes? (real-life or fictional)

What makes them heroes?

Can lying/deception ever be heroic?

When is disobeying authority heroic?

Had you heard the story of Shiphrah and Puah before?

 

Acting on the Word

Read up on human trafficking, one form of modern slavery, at https://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/human-trafficking.  Is there a way you can help resist the evil of human trafficking?

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:        Exodus 1:15-22

Monday:       Joshua 2:1-7

Tuesday:       2 Samuel 17:17-22

Wednesday:  Daniel 3:14-18

Thursday:     Acts 4:13-21

Friday:          Acts 5:27-32

Saturday       Proverbs 24:11-12

Each passage speaks of defying earthly authorities or rulers; Why? When are we called to break the rules made by our leaders?  When are we called to keep them?

 

Next Week: Balaam.  What can you learn about Balaam between now and next week?

 

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July 1: The Spirit Calling Forth Justice

Discussion Questions

What does “justice” mean to you?

What does good news to the poor sound and look like?

How is the Spirit calling you to bring about justice?

    Who are oppressed today?

 

Acting on the Word

Find a way to offer good news to the poor this week.

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:        Luke 4:16-21

Monday:       Isaiah 61:1-4

Tuesday:       Isaiah 1:15-17

Wednesday:  Psalm 146:5-9

Thursday:     Jeremiah 22:13-17

Friday:          Micah 6:6-8

Saturday:      James 2:1-9

What does each passage say about justice?  How might the Spirit help you practice justice?

 

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June 24: The Spirit Building Up Community

Discussion Questions

What is your favorite part of the body?  Your least favorite?

Are there parts of your body you are ashamed of?

How do these experiences of your body speak to the idea of the church as a body?

What does it mean for how we deal with church or community members who make us uncomfortable?

 

Acting on the Word

  • Spend time in prayer this week giving thanks to God for your body
  • Choose one person in church or the community who is very different than you; spend time each day pondering the gifts they bring to the community; pray for God to work through them.

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:        1 Corinthians 12:12-31

Monday:       Psalm 133

Tuesday:       John 15:1–8

Wednesday:  Romans 12:3–8

Thursday:     Ephesians 4:1–6

Friday:          Ephesians 4:1–6, 11–16

Saturday:      Colossians 3:12–17

 

What does each passage say about the faithful as the body of Christ? (Or in Psalm 133, about unity?)

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June 17: The Spirit and Christ’s Presence

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion Questions

What books or movies can you think of that involve orphans?

Do you know someone (or is there someone in your family tree) that was orphaned?

When do you feel most alone?

What most helps you know that God is with you?

Acting on the Word

Reach out to someone you know who is alone, and spend some time with them this week.

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:        John 14:16-27

Monday:       Romans 8:31-39

Tuesday:       John 16:12-16

Wednesday:  Romans 5:1–5

Thursday:     2 Corinthians 13:13

Friday:          Luke 1:39–43

Saturday:      Luke 2:25–32

 

What is the connection between the Spirit and the presence of Jesus in each passage?

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June 10: The Spirit Sighing When We Have No Words

Discussion Questions

Psalm 139 pretty well states that you cannot hide anything from God. Is this a comfort to you, or a concern for you?

Have you ever had a time when you didn’t know how to pray or what to pray? Have you ever been at a loss for words when you tried to pray?

Have you ever tried to pray without words?

Have you ever had a situation or an occasion when you think the Holy Spirit interceded for you?   

Acting on the Word

Any time you find yourself sighing in frustration or despair this week—or saying something along the lines of, “Oh, God,” pause and remember that this is the Spirit praying through you. Let your sighs, tears, or silence be a prayer.

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:        Romans 8:26-30

Monday:       Psalm 5:1-2

Tuesday:       Psalm 88:1-3

Wednesday:  Matthew 10:16-20

Thursday:     2 Corinthians 5:1-5

Friday:          Ephesians 6:18

Saturday:      Jude 20-21

What does each passage say about prayer and/or the Spirit?

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