13th June - God's Commandments - God First

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13 June, 2021Rev Brian HooleDig In - Epic Teachings of the Bible

READ   

Exodus 20:2-3;  

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. 

 

Acts 17:16-34         Paul in Athens 

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So, he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Also, some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities.” (This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) So, they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means.” Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new. 

Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live-in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortal's life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us.  For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ 

Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” 

When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; but others said, “We will hear you again about this.” At that point Paul left them. But some of them joined him and became believers, including Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them. 

 

DISCUSS 

  1. How has your week been?   
  2. How have you seen God at work in your life this week? 
  3. Read the passages again.   
  4. What do the passages tell us about God? 
  5. What do the passages tell us about people?   
  6. What do the passages tell us about our relationship with God? 
  7. What is challenging in this passage? 
  8. Is there anything else the passage is saying to me? 
  9. What am I going to do about it? 
  10.  Who am I going to share it with? 
  11.  Be prepared to share back next week. 

 

PRAY    

God the Father, God beyond us, we adore you.You are the depth of all that is.You are the ground of our being.We can never grasp you, yet you grasp us.The universe speaks of you,and your love comes to us through Jesus.God the Son, God beside us, we adore you.You are the perfection of humanity.You have shown us what human life should be like.In you we see divine love and human greatness combined.God the Spirit, God around us, we adore you.You draw us to Jesus and the Father.You are the power within us.You give us abundant lifeand can make us the people we are meant to be.Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:God, beyond, besides, and around us;we adore you. Amen.

from Uniting in Worship 2 (UCA Publications) 


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More from 'Dig In - Epic Teachings of the Bible'

8 August - Speak Truth

8 August, 2021 Rev Brian Hoole

READ

Exodus 20:16; You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

Acts 5:1-11

But a man named Ananias, with the consent of his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property; with his wife’s knowledge, he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. “Ananias,” Peter asked, “why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You did not lie to us but to God!” Now when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard of it. The young men came and wrapped up his body, then carried him out and buried him.

After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you and your husband sold the land for such and such a price.” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear seized the whole church and all who heard of these things.

DISCUSS

- How has your week been?

- How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

- Read the passages again.

- What do the passages tell us about God?

- What do the passages tell us about our relationship with God?

- What is challenging in these passages?

- Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

- What am I going to do about it?

- Who am I going to share it with?

- Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY

Prayer

Dear Lord,

Lord we come before you in worship with our hands lifted high. But we are aware that we are not right with you. Forgive us for the lies we have said. Your Commandments tell us how we are to live, and in my weakness, I have broken them. Lord, you are the Creator, you alone are perfect, without any flaw. I admit that sometimes it is easier to lie about something than have to speak the truth. But Lord, I know now that was wrong and ask for Your forgiveness. I pray for wisdom to know when to remain silent, and the knowledge to know what to say, when I struggle with telling the truth. Guide my words and actions. Keep me on your path, Lord, the path of truth. I pray and ask, in Jesus' Name, Amen.

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15 August - Contentment

8 August, 2021 Rev Brian Hoole

READ

Exodus 20:17; You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Genesis 37:1-11

Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan. This is the story of the family of Jacob.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.

Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream that I dreamed. There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words.

He had another dream, and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I have had another dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him, and said to him, “What kind of dream is this that you have had? Shall we indeed come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to the ground before you?” So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.1 Timothy 6 9-10

But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

Gen 50:20 Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today.

DISCUSS

- How has your week been?

- How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

- Read the passages again.

- What are things that you covet or desire?

- How do you encourage a desire for good things?

- What do the passages tell us about God?

- What do the passages tell us about our relationship with God?

- What is challenging in these passages?

- Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

- What am I going to do about it?

- Who am I going to share it with?

- Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY

Prayer

Father, so many of us live in a state of discontent when the desire for things consumes our thoughts and actions. We enjoy material things and their day to day function in our lives, but we want to place a higher value on greater pursuits such as growing friendships, solidifying marriage relations, developing godly character, giving without expecting to receive, standing for and giving to worthy causes, especially those of eternal value. On and on the list goes. We will be content as we rejoice in the fact that whether we are in want or whether we have plenty You have promised that You will never leave us nor forsake us. What a treasured promise for the believer at all times. We are content when we realize our all-sufficiency is in You, Lord. And You will meet all our needs according to Your riches in glory. I pray all these things in Jesus' Name, Amen.

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1 August - Honour Property

1 August, 2021 Rev Brian Hoole

READ

Exodus 20:15; You shall not steal.

Romans 7:13-20

Did what is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in

me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the

commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is

spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my

own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do

what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact, it is no longer I that do it,

but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is,

in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I

want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no

longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

1 Timothy 6 9-10

But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless

and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of

money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have

wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

DISCUSS

1. How has your week been?

2. How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3. Read the passages again.

4. Do you have a bucket list? What is on it.

5. Are you content with what you have?

6. What gives you your greatest joy?

7. What do the passages tell us about God?

8. What do the passages tell us about our relationship with God?

9. What is challenging in these passages?

10.Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

11.What am I going to do about it?

12. Who am I going to share it with?

13. Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY

Oh Lord, You are my shepherd and I should not be in want, but so often I struggle to be content and do want; forgetting that you have graciously provided me with every spiritual blessing in Christ and everything I need for life and godliness. Thank you for often not giving me what I want because my desires would draw my heart from being satisfied in You. Help me to be content in You with what You have given me and to not be focused on what my flesh wants or the world tells me I should have. Protect me from coveting possessions or people, talent or influence, relationships or prestige. Keep my heart from being anxious for what I don’t have and make me thankful for the numerous gifts that You have already given. According to Your Word and steadfast love, fill me with the joy and satisfaction of contentment in Christ. Help me learn to be content in any situation like Paul and to quickly reject the idolatry that dwells beneath the surface of my coveting. I ask you to continually bring to mind your faithful provision for all of my needs, that Christ died for the sin of coveting, that in Christ I am free to be content and live righteously, and that godliness with contentment is greater gain than pleasing my flesh. And may I be humbled and changed by the ultimate example of contentment; of Christ becoming poor in order that I could become rich, and being content to go to the cross to fulfill the Father’s will to rescue a people for Himself who can be free from discontent and zealous for good works. a prayer for finding contentment written by Kevin Halloran:

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25 July - Honour Life

25 July, 2021 Rev Brian Hoole

READ

Exodus 20:13; You shall not murder.

Genesis 4:3-5, 8-11 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So, Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground! And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

Matt 5:21-22 “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.

DISCUSS

- How has your week been?

- How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

- Read the passages again.

- Why do you think Cain killed Abel?

- When you get angry is it a long slow burn or an explosion?

- When is it OK or even good to be angry?

- What do the passages tell us about our relationship with others?

- What do the passages tell us about our relationship with God?

- What is challenging in these passages?

- Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?

- What am I going to do about it?

- Who am I going to share it with?

- Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY

Lord, as we have reflected today, we are aware of the damage that anger and violence can do to our community, our homes and our church. We are aware of times that anger builds up inside of us and the effect that has upon us and our relationships. Lord we need your forgiveness and your spirit to conquer this evil and cast it from our lives. Forgive us and empower us anew we pray.

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11 July - Sabbath

11 July, 2021 Rev David Baker

READ

Genesis 2:1-3

Thus, the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So, God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.

Exodus 20:8-11

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore, the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.”

DISCUSS

- How has your week been?

- How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

- Read the passages again.

- Do you have a time of rest?

- Rest is an important part of our well-being. What do you do to rest?

- What is the pattern or rhythm you have to ensure that you have a rest or a break?

- What do the passages tell us about our relationship with God?

- What is challenging in this passage?

- Is there anything else the passage is saying to me?

- What am I going to do about it?

- Who am I going to share it with?

- Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY

Heavenly Father, we thank you, for this rhythm of rest in our life of work. We hear your heart- beat when we are quiet and we listen quiet my heart I pray, and help me to be still before You. Lord, in the quietness of my mind and in the stillness of my heart, I ask that You would pour out the living water of Your Word to refresh my spirit and soul, and shower me with renewed strength, that only comes from You.

Thank You, that You have promised times of refreshing to all who turn away from sin and selfishness, and who have trusted the Lord Jesus as Savior.

Gladden my heart, refresh my soul and fill my mind with whatsoever things are lovely and of good report, and bring me into the unity of spirit and singleness of purpose with all who are called by Your name.

And Lord, I pray that as I am renewed in spirit and refreshed in my heart, that You would use me to be a vessel through whom times of refreshing is poured out to others, to the praise of Your holy name. In Jesus' name I pray,

Amen.

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27 June - God's Commandments - YHWH - God's Name

27 June, 2021 Jesse Caulfield

READ  

Exodus 3:13-15 The Divine Name Revealed

13 But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”[a] He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[b] the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’:

This is my name forever,

and this my title for all generations.

Ex 20:1-7

1Then God spoke all these words:

2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 you shall have no other gods before[a] me.

4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation[b] of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

Matt 6:9 9 “Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

DISCUSS

- How has your week been?

- How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

- Read the passages again.

- Have you ever deliberately misused something?

- What’s in a name 

- How do we revere God’s name in every aspect of our lives?

- What do the passages tell us about God?

- What do the passages tell us about people?

- What do the passages tell us about our relationship with God?

- What is challenging in this passage?

- Is there anything else the passage is saying to me?

- What am I going to do about it?

- Who am I going to share it with?

- Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY 

Using the words of Psalm 99 (v.1-6, 9)

The Lord is king; let the people's tremble!

He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!

The Lord is great in Zion;

he is exalted over all the peoples.

Let them praise your great and awesome name.

Holy is he!

Mighty King, lover of justice,

you have established equity;

you have executed justice

and righteousness in Jacob.

Extol the Lord our God;

worship at his footstool.

Holy is he!

Extol the Lord our God,

and worship at his holy mountain;

for the Lord our God is holy.

Amen

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20 June - God's Commandments - One God

20 June, 2021 Rev Brian Hoole

READ  

Exodus 20:4-6;

You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

2 Kings 22:11, 13,

When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes saying, “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our ancestors did not obey the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”

2 Kings 23:1-6

Then the king directed that all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to him. The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him went all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the covenant.

The king commanded the high priest Hilkiah, the priests of the second order, and the guardians of the threshold, to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. He deposed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to make offerings in the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem; those also who made offerings to Baal, to the sun, the moon, the constellations, and all the host of the heavens. He brought out the image of Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem, to the Wadi Kidron, burned it at the Wadi Kidron, beat it to dust and threw the dust of it upon the graves of the common people

DISCUSS

- How has your week been?

- How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

- Read the passages again.

- What do the passages tell us about God?

- What do the passages tell us about people?

- What do the passages tell us about our relationship with God?

- What is challenging in this passage?

- Is there anything else the passage is saying to me?

- What am I going to do about it?

- Who am I going to share it with?

- Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY 

God the Father, God beyond us, we adore you. You are the depth of all that is. You are the ground of our being. We can never grasp you, yet you grasp us. The universe speaks of you, and your love comes to us through Jesus. God the Son, God beside us, we adore you. You are the perfection of humanity. You have shown us what human life should be like. In you we see divine love and human greatness combined. God the Spirit, God around us, we adore you. You draw us to Jesus and the Father. You are the power within us. You give us abundant life and can make us the people we are meant to be. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: God, beyond, beside, and around us; we adore you. Amen.

from Uniting in Worship 2 (UCA Publications)

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2 May - The Holy Spirit can live in us

2 May, 2021 Dom Chan

READ: John 14:15 - 31, 16:5 - 15

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

“Come now; let us leave.

John 16:5 - 15

5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

DISCUSS

1. How has your week been?

2. How have you seen God at work in your life this week?

3. Read the passage again.

4. What does this passage tell us about Jesus?

5. What does this passage tell us about the disciples?

6. What does it tell us about our relationship with Him?

7. What is challenging in this passage?

8. Is there anything else the passage is saying to me?

9. What am I going to do about it?

10. Who am I going to share it with?

11. Be prepared to share back next week.

PRAY

Holy Spirit, as you dwell in us, we pray that we might be aware of your presence in our lives

That we may learn to turn to you in our times of confusion, fear, and hunger for more

Help us to listen and be still when we need to

To have the courage to take action when we need to

And to follow where it is that you lead us

Now and forever

Amen

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