Daily Bible Readings:
Monday, March 1. Read 1 Corinthians 3:18-20. 1) What does Paul warn against? 2) How does God think about the wisdom of the world? 3) Where does human wisdom lead?
Tuesday, March 2. Read Luke 10:21-22. 1) Who does Jesus say are not able to see? 2) What kind of people are able to see these things? 3) Why do you think that is the way spiritual sight operates?
Wednesday, March 3. Read Matthew 12:38-42. 1) What did the religious leaders tell Jesus they wanted? 2) What did Jesus say about people who look for “signs”? 3) What sign did Jesus say he would give them?
Thursday, March 4. Read Matthew 16:13-20. 1) What did Jesus ask his disciples? 2) What was their reply? 3) What did Jesus tell them “sternly”? Why do you think he responded in that way?
Friday, March 5. Read Isaiah 53:1-3. 1) We generally think of leaders of movements as charismatic people. What does Isaiah say about this servant leader? 2) How does Isaiah say people will respond to this person. 3) How do you think we treat Messiah in our age?
Saturday, March 6. Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-25. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Prayer for the Week:
Dear Father, we want the strong and smart and certain. The idea of being weak before you is frightening, and yet we know that is where your best work is done. Please help us to trust you. To not be drawn to what the world calls strong and wise. Because it isn’t. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hymn of the Week:
In the Cross of Christ I Glory
by John Bowring, 1825
In the cross of Christ I glory,
towering o’er the wrecks of time;
all the light of sacred story
gathers round its head sublime.
When the woes of life o’ertake me,
hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
never shall the cross forsake me.
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.
When the sun of bliss is beaming
light and love upon my way,
from the cross the radiance streaming
adds more luster to the day.
Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
by the cross are sanctified;
peace is there that knows no measure,
joys that through all time abide.
Devotional Article of the Week:
by Tim Archer
It’s the right time of the year. Maybe not the exact week nor the exact day. But this is the time of the year when Jesus Christ was crucified. For many of us, it’s hard to imagine all of that really happening: the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the conflicts at the temple, the Last Supper, the prayerful night in Gethsemane, the betrayal, the arrests, the trials, the terrible death on the cross.
It’s easier to think of this story as a fable or fairy tale. Fodder for movies, Renaissance paintings and children’s picture books, but not a part of the world we live in.
But the crucifixion is a fact of history. God sent his Son to the earth, and evil men put him to death.
Even the resurrection seems out of place in our world, though it fits the season better. Dead people stay dead in our world; the thought that Jesus escaped unscathed from the tomb seems like an unrealistic plot twist.
Yet the resurrection also has its place in history. The two things go together. The cross makes no sense unless the Innocent One lives again. The resurrection receives its power from the sacrificial death that made it necessary.
That’s why those things are at the heart of the good news of Jesus. He came to this world, was rejected and killed, then overcame death and the grave. One day he will come again, and God will judge the world through him. Those who have put their faith in Jesus, being born again of water and Spirit, will live with him forever.
It’s real. It’s true. It’s our past, our present and our future.
Jesus’ death and resurrection opened the way for us to become children of God, for us to enter into a relationship of confident love with our Heavenly Father.