What is this in my Right Hand?
10 Commandments – Week 3
This week, we move on to the 2nd commandment, and discuss the dangerous practice of creating things that are not God in His image. We also will further take a look at God’s “jealous” nature, something that may be difficult to explain to those looking to disparage our assertion that we worship a good God.
Deuteronomy 5: 8-10
1.Like we discussed last week, God again describes himself as jealous in this passage of Deuteronomy. Using this passage, what else can we learn about God’s meaning?
2.Why would God punish the descendants of those who create idols in His place? What if they did not follow in their parents’ footsteps?
3.What does the inclusion of the phrase “claiming to be wise” teach us about the situation the people Paul is talking about in Romans got themselves in to?
1.The previous commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me.” What distinction would you make between this and the 2nd commandment? What is the between “having no others gods” and “not making an image in the form of anything?”
2.What are some things we tend to make in the image of God?
3.The idea of an “image” is first mentioned in Genesis 1, when God creates man in His own image. How does that passage shed light on the 2nd commandment?
As you go about your week, start to recognize the things in your life that you may be in danger of creating in the image of God. When you recognize that which may be an idol in your life, consider wither giving it up entirely, or beginning a fast from that thing, to remind yourself of the importance of God’s sovereignty over you.
Kindergarten – 5th grade Suggested donation of $5
Kids will discover the untamable nature of God as they visit Discovery Sites throughout Wildwood Forest. God’s character goes beyond our imaginations as He reveals himself in exciting, unexpected ways.
To Volunteer for VBS
There are so many things to do: help with decorations before VBS week, helping with crafts or snacks, teaching, and all kinds of other ways (big and small) to make an impact on our youngest learners. Childcare provided for volunteer’s kids ages 0-5 years.
There will be a MANDATORY volunteer training meeting Sunday July 1, 2018 from 12:30pm-2:30pm.
Week 2: No Other Gods!
Pastor Mike Halstead
This week we are diving into the 10 commandments proper, with number one: “You shall have no other gods before me.”
Let’s discuss this, the first rule in God’s far-reaching Law, and see if we might be able to apply it to our lives today.
1.Why do you think God says verse 2? Why would he need to say that to the Israelites?
2.Why would this be the first law God gives his people? Why would this be placed above the “behavioral laws” (do not murder, covet, etc.)?
3.In Deuteronomy, God describes himself as jealous. How do we explain this to someone who may see this as a negative personality trait?
4.While Moses was on Mt. Sinai, learning of God’s law, the Israelites were literally building a new god to worship in the form of a golden calf. How do you think they would have reacted when learning of the first commandment?
1.In our society, literal gods aren’t usually what people put before God. What are some of the “gods that we tend to worship instead of our Creator?
2.We all have things we run to when doubt takes hold of us, or when we face difficult times and seek out temporary relief, rather than the eternal comfort of God. How do we stop this habit? What are ways we put God before anything else?
The first step in solving any problem is admitting that the problem exists. Make a list of the thing you tend to put before the one true God. Don’t just think about this these, actually write them down. Keep these things in mind, and when they come up in your life, remember to recognize them for what they might be: a pale replacement of the Almighty.
Pastor Mike Halstead
The ten commandments are a topic everyone knows about- even those who’ve never stepped inside a church building. Unfortunately, familiarity can often lead to an assumption that we know all about the topic – and we may not be right! Starting this week, we are going to take a deep look at the tablets given to Moses on Mt. Sinai that displayed the first ten laws God gave to the Israelites. Before we jump into the laws themselves, however, let’s look at the situation the Israelites were in, immediately before God began dictating the ten commandments (and the rest of His law) to Israel.
1.In this chapter, God has led Israel to the wilderness of Sinai, where they encamp themselves before Mount Sinai. While the whole nation is in one place, God only communicates His law to one person – Moses – who acts as a go-between. Why not simply address the whole nation at once?
2.Why does God say what he does in verses 3-6?
3.Why would the Israelites all need to be consecrated if the only going near the presence of the Lord was Moses?
1.The pronouncement of the Law was clearly a very important time for Israel. What are some things that we treat with the same reverence in the church today? Is there anything you feel like isn’t given the gravity that it should?
2.We learn later, in Exodus 32, that the people became impatient and literally created and began worshiping another God while Moses was on the mountain, because he was gone longer than they expected. Does modern church culture act this way?
3.What would it have been like to be an Israelite during the days of the physical presence of the Lord on Mt. Sinai?
Pray for the coming weeks as we learn more about the ten commandments. Ask God for guidance in understanding the significance of his laws and why these were things important enough to command his people to live under. Each week, before the Sunday sermon, read through Exodus 20 and contemplate the commandment(s) that are being discussed.
Fresh Water Week 6: A Forest Ablaze
As we come back to our series about the power of our speech, let’s take a close look a few verses from James 3, and the vibrant imagery the author uses to describe the danger that our tongues can cause. James compares the tongue to three different objects: a horse’s bit, a ship’s rudder, and a small spark in a great forest.
1.Which of these three metaphors strikes a chord with you? Why?
2.How do the three metaphors differentiate from each other in their implication for how our speech can be dangerous?
3.What are some other Biblical instances that demonstrate the power of our speech? If possible, categorize them under one of these three metaphors.
1.When was a time when you produced a “small spark”, intentionally or not, that caused a “great forest” to be “set on fire?”
2.What was a moment when you had the opportunity to “steer a great ship” (This is, make an important decision or influence another person) with your speech? How did you use that opportunity?
3.What other imagery can you come up with to describe how your language can be used or misused? For example “The tongue is like a 2-year-old, it will inevitably cause trouble if not looked after.”
Pray this week that you will be able to recognize the times when your speech may cause a great fire, and for the ability to put out the spark before it starts the blaze. Ask for wisdom in the times when your tongue is capable of steering the ship of your life.