1 Samuel 15:34-16:13, Psalm 20, 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17, Mark 4:26-34
1 Samuel 15:34-16:13:
- What does it mean for God to be sorry God did something? I hope God is never sorry/disappointed over something done in relation to me! What weighty words.
- This is a classic story of God calling an unexpected person. David seems to be the last choice of all the brothers - except to God.
- "how long will you grieve?" God asks Samuel. Sometimes we can get bogged down in bad decisions, plans gone wrong, etc., that distract us from following God. God says - Get on with it. There are other plans. Other ways I can work. You just have to keep moving, keep being open to God's creativity.
- "for the Lord does not see as mortals see" - THANK GOD for that!!! God sees insides, not outsides. God sees potential, not past.
- This is a psalm that is a prayer of blessing for someone else: "May God do ____ for you." Do you pray blessings on others? Do you let them know you are doing so for them?
- "May [God] grant you your heart's desire, and fulfill all your plans." - What is your true heart's desire?
- "Some take pride in chariots, some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God." Well said. Where does your pride come from - what do you put your pride in?
- "we walk by faith, not by sight." I've played trust-building games at camp when I was little, where one partner would be blindfolded, the other leading the blindfolded one on a "faith walk." For those who have the gift of sight, this kind of play is a real challenge. God asks us to make our whole life plan based on where God leads, not the road that we may see ahead of us. That's a challenge!
- "we make it our aim to pleas God." Sometimes when I've struggled to know what was right or wrong in a situation, I've reframed the issue: "What action would be most pleasing to God?" Looking at it this way has helped - something may not be wrong per se, but I can sometimes figure out what might please God the most.
- "well known to God." Ah, Paul and his ego. Are you well known to God? I hope so, but I'm not always so confident of myself as Paul ;) "to boast about us." Paul uses the word boast more than any other person in the scriptures. This has always been my struggle with Paul. I know what he's saying, but the way he says it...
- "we regard no one from a human point of view" - instead we're called to see each other through Jesus' eyes, through God's eyes. How does that change how you see people?
- "new creations" - a new chance in Christ. Clean slate. Fresh hope.
- What's this first section of parable about? Chris Haslam says that Jesus is saying that the kingdom of God will continue to grow even if we don't see it, and even if we do "not know how", like the planter here. Still, the kingdom arrives and harvest comes. Don't miss it! It happens with us or in spite of us.
- "greatest of all the shrubs"? Hardly! Sure, the mustard seed will grow into a hardly plant, but not enormous. But Jesus' point is that the kingdom of God is deceptively pervasive! He exaggerates the analogy to make the point - bigger than you can imagine!
- "explained everything in private to his disciples." What's the benefit of not explaining the parables to everyone, do you think?