Daily Bible Readings:
Monday, October 18. Read Genesis 1:26-31. 1) What is the number of the pronouns in this text? Why do you think that is the case? 2) What is God’s intention regarding God’s creative act on this day of Creation? 3) What do you learn about God’s desired relationship with man?
Tuesday, October 19. Read Genesis 3:8-19. 1) How does humanity now relate to God? What caused this change? 2) How did the change affect God? 3) What do you learn about God here?
Wednesday, October 18. Read Exodus 19:1-6. 1) What did God tell Moses on “the mountain”? 2) How did God show God’s desire for relationship with Israel?
Thursday, October 17. Read John 1:9-18. 1) What role did the Word play in the creation of the world? 2) How did humanity respond when the Word came to live among them? 3) What did John say about the Word in 1:14? 4) What does this say about God’s desire for relationship with us?
Friday, October 16. Read Titus 2:11-14. 1) What did Paul say that the “grace of God” did? 2) What did this “grace of God” do among humanity? 3) What does 2:14 say about God’s desire for relationship with us?
Saturday, October 17. Read Exodus 33:11-23. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Prayer for the Week:
Dear Father, what a picture of you, standing outside the tent of meeting. Waiting. The gods of wealth, security, status, and education also stand there, nearby. Beckoning to us. Please remind us that you are the only God that has our well being in mind. May we choose you. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.
Hymn for the Week:
Lord of All Being, Throned Afar
by Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1848
Lord of all being, throned afar,
thy glory flames from sun and star;
centre and soul of every sphere,
yet to each loving heart how near!
Sun of our life, thy quickening ray
sheds on our path the glow of day;
Star of our hope, thy softened light
cheers the long watches of the night.
Our midnight is thy smile withdrawn,
our noontide is thy gracious dawn,
our rainbow arch thy mercy’s sign;
all, save the clouds of sin, are thine.
Lord of all life, below, above,
whose light is truth, whose warmth is love,
before thy ever-blazing throne
we ask no lustre of our own.
Grant us thy truth to make us free,
and kindling hearts that burn for thee,
till all thy living altars claim
one holy light, one heavenly flame.
Devotional Article of the Week:
by Russ Lawson
I’ve been thinking lately about friendship and those who are friends. It seems that there is almost no end to those trying to define ‘friendship,’ so who am I to buck the trend.
There are, of course, different degrees of friendship. Dan Bennett said, “Nothing in the world is friendlier than a wet dog.” Having been the ‘caregiver’ for a couple of dogs, I can vouch for the truth of that statement. A dog seems more than ready to have you share in its condition of ‘wetness.’ But to my mind, that is not necessarily the best type of friendship in which to share.
Someone else said that friendship is when you are willing to give up something of yourself to or for your friend. Again, that may not always work out just as we think it should. I read of a couple of boys who were eyeing the last piece of pie. One said to the other, “You know a friend always wants his best friend to have the good stuff.” Reaching for the pie he said, “Guess what, today I’m going to be your best friend!” When we have to share whether we want to or not, I’m not sure that’s really an example of friendship.
Did you hear about the two friends who were out walking in the woods? They stumbled upon a mama bear and her two cubs. She reared up and gave a loud bellow of warning and rage at the two friends. One of the guys dropped down and began to pray, the other dropped down and tightened his shoelaces. The guy who was praying said, “What are you doing, you can’t hope to outrun that bear.” To which the second guy replied, “I don’t have to out run the bear, I only have to out run you!” Of course the question is, “I thought you were my friend?”
That’s not a new problem is it? Remember Judas who betrayed Jesus with a kiss. It’s interesting what Jesus said to him when he did that in Matthew 26:49-50. Notice the verses, “And straight away he came to Jesus and said, ‘Master!’ and gave him a kiss. And Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, do that for which you have come.’ Then they came and put hands on Jesus, and took him.” Notice that Jesus called him “friend,” but the friendship was one-sided wasn’t it? Proverbs 18:24 tells us, “A man who has friends must himself act like a friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Another translation of this verse reads, “There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but there is a real friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
I guess the point I am trying to make is that true friendship requires something of us if we want to remain friends. True friendship can result in great comfort and support; however, it is a give and take situation. Sometimes we are on the receiving end, while other times we are on the giving end of the relationship. However, there is one friend who is always the giver, always the exhorter, and always the caregiver. That friend, of course, is Jesus Christ — our Lord and best friend.
Exodus 33:11 says that Moses and God used to talk with each other like friends. It’s an interesting take on what kind of relationship God wants to have with us. The question is, “do we want to have that kind of relationship with him?
May our God grant us the understanding of the friendship he offers to us.