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2BC Journal

Week Eight -- July 16-22

Scripture Memory:  Matthew 7:17-20

Overview - Luke 7:36-50

None can truly perceive how precious Christ is, and the glory of the gospel, except the broken-hearted. But while they feel they cannot enough express self-abhorrence on account of sin, and admiration of his mercy, the self-sufficient will be disgusted, because the gospel encourages such repenting sinners. The Pharisee, instead of rejoicing in the tokens of the woman’s repentance, confined his thoughts to her former bad character. But without free forgiveness none of us can escape the wrath to come; this our gracious Saviour has purchased with his blood, that he may freely bestow it on every one that believes in him.

Christ, by a parable, forced Simon to acknowledge that the greater sinner this woman had been, the greater love she ought to show to Him when her sins were pardoned. Learn here, that sin is a debt; and all are sinners, are debtors to Almighty God. Some sinners are greater debtors; but whether our debt be more or less, it is more than we are able to pay. God is ready to forgive; and his Son having purchased pardon for those who believe in him, his gospel promises it to them, and his Spirit seals it to repenting sinners, and gives them the comfort.

Let us keep far from the proud spirit of the Pharisee, simply depending upon and rejoicing in Christ alone, and so be prepared to obey him more zealously, and more strongly to recommend him unto all around us. The more we express our sorrow for sin, and our love to Christ, the clearer evidence we have of the forgiveness of our sins. What a wonderful change does grace make upon a sinner’s heart and life, as well as upon his state before God, by the full remission of all his sins through faith in the Lord Jesus! - Matthew Henry Commentary

Simon is at the top of Jewish society: male, a Pharisee, honored, and privileged. The unnamed woman is at the bottom: female, unmarried, “a sinner.” However, it is the woman who responds to Jesus, is reconciled to God, and receives public affirmation for her faith. Simon’s evaluation of Jesus completely misfires because he doesn’t see himself rightly; he does not recognize his own need for forgiveness. Consequently, he doesn’t recognize who Jesus is, receive forgiveness, and is called out publicly for his lack of hospitality.

Simon the Pharisee and the forgiven woman illustrate two different reactions to Jesus. Simon sees Jesus as a merely another teacher not even worthy of common courtesy. The woman on the other hand has
a radical reaction to Jesus. She reacts with great sacrifice (pouring out the expensive perfume), and undignified affection (wiping his feet with her hair). The woman’s reaction flows out of her profound recognition of Jesus forgiveness of her great debt. Simon’s reaction comes from the fact that he does not believe he needs much forgiveness (i.e. he believes his debt is small). One of the greatest inhibitors to being transformed by God is the lack of recognition of your own sinfulness.

Matthew Henry Commentary, Luke 7


Day One

 Read Luke 7:36-50

OBSERVE: Make an outline of the major points from the text. What stood out to you? Did you see any repetition? Lists? Commands? Promises? Are there questions that you have trouble answering?

SUMMARIZE: In a sentence or two summarize the main idea of the passage.

APPLY: Where are you in the story? How do these words challenge you? What is God asking you to do in obedience to His Word?


Day Two

 Read Luke 7:36-50

1. How do you view others who don’t have lifestyles similar to yours? Do you view them as wrong and unwilling to make good choices? How can you find common ground to talk and relate to them?

2. How has your Christian walk made it easier to have empathy and relate to others?

3. This incident in Jesus’ life recounts the response of two distinct personalities when they are in His presence: a religious leader, and a woman of questionable character. What is the reaction of each to being in the presence of Jesus? How did Jesus react to the reception each gave Him?


Day Three

 READ Luke 7:36-50

1. How does the Pharisee react to the actions of the woman?

2. How is the woman affected by the Pharisee as she comes into Jesus’ presence?

3. What reactions do others experience from you as they come into the presence of Jesus?


Day Four

 Read Luke 19:1-10

1. Jesus encounters a tax collector in an unusual setting. What is the reaction of Jesus to the strange encounter? How does Jesus view the tax collector?

2. What action does Jesus take that allows a developing relationship? How did the actions of Jesus likely make the tax collector feel about Him?

3. How did Zacchaeus respond to Jesus? How should this story direct us to introduce Jesus to others?


Day Five

READ Matthew 19:16-30

1. An intelligent young man approaches Jesus and asks a deep religious question. Do you think the young man was sincere in wanting help from Jesus?

2. How did Jesus react to the question He was asked? How did Jesus use the question presented to move to the most important decisions?

3. What lessons can we learn from this story that would guide us in talking to others about their greatest spiritual needs?


NEIGHBORS & NATIONS - Buff McNickel

Buff and Cissy are church planters in Philadelphia with the North American Mission Board. They have served in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area for 4 consecutive years, and are one of our church’s strategic partnerships. Buff and Cissy have been married for 12 years and have 3 children, Jedidiah, Judah, and Bella. Buff currently pastors Grace Falls Church in Absecon, NJ, and is the Planting Coach over all Philadelphia Church Planters.

Pray that Buff and Cissy would be encouraged in their ministry. Ministry in the Northeast is hard, and the ground is difficult, but the Lord is at work.

Pray that the Gospel would go out in mighty ways through the city of Philadelphia.

Pray for the strongholds of drugs, sex trafficking, patriotism, and wealth to be broken in order for people to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus.

Pray that men and women would desire to join Buff and his team, and serve in Philadelphia alongside them as church planters.

If you would like to support Buff’s ministry or spend time in Philadelphia serving with Buff, please contact the church or Buff at Buff@gracefallsac.org.


Week Nine -- July 23-29

Scripture Memory:  Matthew 7:1-20

Overview - Matthew 25:1-13

It is a mark of our Lord’s stooping to human weakness that His preaching often appealed to the lowest motives of His hearers. I mean that He often appealed to base self-interest. For example, when He was making a call to discipleship he would say. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36). That statement is based on simple calculation of the advantages and disadvantages of a course of action. We might have preferred Him to say, “Follow Me because that is the right thing to do” or “Follow Me because the sovereign God demands it.” But although He could
have said that, He makes a different appeal: “This is the way to save your life, which is precious to you; it is the way to be approved in God’s judgment.”

In this story, the five foolish virgins miss the wedding banquet, which they had no desire to do. They wanted to attend but they missed it, and the fault was no one’s but their own. Jesus warns His listeners against such folly. The rich fool wanted to enjoy himself. But he missed eternal happiness by a foolish preoccupation with this world’s goods. The shrewd manager was wiser in his own way than many who profess to be God’s people because he planned for the future.

The lesson of the foolish builders, who built without a foundation, and the wise builders, who built their house on rock, is evident. In each of these stories the Lord challenged His hearers to see life in terms of eternity and plan accordingly.

Jesus tells how ten young women were invited to a marriage feast. Five were wise and five were foolish. The wise women showed their wisdom by planning for the possible delay of the bridegroom. The story is a masterpiece; it is not difficult to see its main points. Especially is that true of its chief point: the vast difference between the wise and the foolish women. In many respects they were alike. But in their preparation or lack of it they were perfect opposites. On that difference the lesson of the story turns.

So the first point of the parable is a question: Are you ready? Or are you among the five foolish women who had received the invitation, responded to it, and had some form of affection for the bridegroom, but who were not inwardly prepared? You should be among the wise who, although they, too, had fallen asleep, were nevertheless ready. On that distinction hangs your soul’s destiny.

Is Jesus your Lord? Make sure of it, if you are uncertain. And “watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour” in which you will be called to meet Him.

Boyce, Parables of Jesus, pp. 111-112

 


Day One

 Read Matthew 25:1-13

OBSERVE: Make an outline of the major points from the text. What stood out to you? Did you see any repetition? Lists? Commands? Promises? Are there questions that you have trouble answering?

SUMMARIZE: In a sentence or two summarize the main idea of the passage.

APPLY: Where are you in the story? How do these words challenge you? What is God asking you to do in obedience to His Word?


Day Two

 Read Matthew 25:1-13

1. Using verses 1-10, compare and contrast the five virgins who were ready and the five who were not.

2. The parable is summed up in verse 13. The imperative often translated as “keep awake” might best be rendered, “be vigilant.” How should you be vigilant in waiting for Christ’s return?


Day Three

 READ Matthew 24:36-44

Jesus cautions against useless speculation about the signs or the timing of the coming of the Son of Man. Rather we are to be awake and ready at all times as they await his coming, for the coming will be at an unexpected hour that only the Father in heaven knows.

1. Do the words of Jesus in this passage scare you, encourage you, or challenge you? If so, how? Describe how these three examples
illustrate being ready and watchful.
Noah
Field worker
House owner

2. How does the Christian remain watchful while continuing to go about daily (and sometimes mundane) tasks like working, school, cleaning, resting, raising children, and so on?


Day Four

 Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Paul argues in great detail from Scripture and from reason that there is a future for our physical bodies, as well as for our souls. But before he can adequately defend the believer’s resurrection, he has to deal with Christ’s resurrection, for His paved the way for ours.

1.Using verses 1-4, write out the components of the gospel message.

2. How do you view your sin (verse 9)? Like the apostle Paul, do you see your sin for what it really is?

3.Do you work hard for the Lord (verse 10)? What would those who know you say? How can you labor more efficiently for Christ?


Day Five

READ Titus 2:11-15

Paul provides for Titus and the church in Crete an overall handle on what God was doing through the life, death and reigning Lord Jesus Christ.

1. List the changes in verses 12-14a that happen to a genuine believer as God’s grace transforms them.

2. What are ‘worldly passions’? List at least five kinds. What does it practically mean for you to live “sensibly, righteously and godly”? Write down two decisions that you made because of this godly pursuit.


NEIGHBORS & NATIONS - Conway Ministry Center

The Conway Ministry Center is one of the best ways that we are able to partner with what God is doing in this city.

While opportunities to volunteer at the Ministry Center are limited to certain times of the year, the Storehouse has an ongoing need for supplies and food. If you would like to donate, please contact the Ministry Center directly for an up-to-date list of items needed. In addition to supplies, the Ministry Center and its staff could use our prayer. Their labor is difficult.

Pray that God gives them wisdom and insight into making the best decisions on direction for the ministry.

Pray that many people come to know Jesus because their basic needs are being met through the efforts of the Ministry Center.

Pray for the churches that are housed at the Ministry Center, that they would engage the community surrounding them.

Pray for more churches to be involved in what is happening through the Ministry Center.

Conway Ministry Center
501-358-6098 | info@ministrycenter.org | 766 Harkrider Street