Grow deeper Devotionals

a follow up to Concord Trinity UMC weekly sermon

The Week of April 18

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Monday – Matthew 5:38-45. Why would Jesus tell his followers to let others hurt them without retaliating against the “enemies”? Go the second mile is a reference to living under Roman occupation. The Roman soldiers could point to a Jewish person as they were traveling along and require that person to carry their pack for a certain distance. What does Jesus tell that person to do? How Christ-like is our response to others who have hurt, inconvenienced or offended us? 

Tuesday - Leviticus 24:17-22.  Retaliation justice is found in the Code of Hammurabi and here in Leviticus 24. Yet, in Matthew 5:38-45, Jesus sets love, grace and forgiveness as the new expectation for God’s people. Are you more of an “eye for an eye” person or a “love your enemies” person? Why? Read Leviticus 19:17-18. Do these verses seem to contradict some of what was read in Leviticus 24? Why or why not? What does it look like to love your neighbor as yourself if you are angry at your neighbor?

 

Wednesday - Romans 12:14-21.  What are some of the characteristics of a true Christian based on these verses? Why does the Bible keep telling us to show kindness and mercy to our “enemies”? What is your understanding of vengeance? What is your understanding of justice? Are they the same or different? 

Thursday – Luke 5:27-36. How are these verses similar to Matthew 5:38-45? What is the message Jesus is trying to get across to the listeners? How often do you think Jesus gave the same kind of “sermon” as he traveled around speaking with others throughout the land? Do you think it was heard and received the same way each time? Why might people hear the same message but walk away with different understandings? What do verses 35-36 tell you about God?  

Friday – 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. What radical ideas about love do you find in these verses? Why is leading with love such an important part of a Christian’s life? In what ways can we grow in faith, hope and love throughout our lives? Is the love you have for God and others maturing as you grow to be like Christ? If yes, how? If no, why not?