Archive for the ‘trust’ tag
The text for this lesson is Luke 1:57–80.
- In John, God graciously provided for Zechariah and Elizabeth, and all creation received the forerunner of the Messiah. As John pointed people to Jesus, we also are led to see Jesus through God’s Word preached and His Sacraments administered.
- Law: As a child of the first parents, Adam and Eve, I am sinful and in need of salvation.
- Gospel: The son of Elizabeth and Zechariah pointed to the world’s Savior from sin.
- Law: In sin, I doubt what God says and trust my own thinking.
- Gospel: Christ came to save me from all my sins, even when I doubt God’s Word.
- How important is it for you to keep a promise that you make? How important is it when someone else makes a promise to you? How do you respond if they break that promise? How do you respond when they keep that promise?
- First, Luke gives us the birth of John the Baptist foretold (Luke 1:5–25), then he gives us the birth of Jesus foretold (Luke 1:26–56). Now we read the story of John’s nativity as preparation for the nativity of our Lord Jesus (Luke 2:1–20). Look again at Luke 1:57–66. After Elizabeth gives birth to John, in what do the family and friends rejoice? What is significant about John being circumcised on the “eighth day”? See Genesis 17:12; 21:4; Luke 24:1; and 1 Peter 3:20.
- What is the significance of John’s circumcision? Also see Genesis 17:10–11; Luke 2:21; and Colossians 2:11–12.
- Zechariah’s song, the Benedictus, closely resembles the hymns of praise in Psalm 144 and 1 Chronicles 29:10–19 as it recounts God’s past deeds of salvation and then looks forward to what God promises to do for His people. Look again at Luke 1:67–75. How does Zechariah recount God’s past covenant and works of salvation? For key events of God’s past covenant, see Genesis 12:1–3; 15:17–21; Exodus 12:43–51; 24:6–11; and Jeremiah 31:31–34. How does this covenant come to complete fulfillment in Jesus Christ? See Luke 22:20; Matthew 26:28; and Mark 14:24.
- Now look again at Luke 1:76–79. How does Zechariah sing of God’s future deeds of salvation? What is the content of that salvation? What is “the sunrise” that will “visit us from on high”? See Matthew 2:2, 9; Revelation 22:16; and 2 Peter 1:19. What is “the way of peace”? See how the Gospel of Luke brings out this “way of peace” in Luke 2:14; 2:29; 10:5–6; 19:38; 19:42; and 24:36.
- In Luke 1:80, what does it mean that “he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel”? See Luke 3:2 and 1 Kings 19:4–8.
- We have seen how John the Baptist serves as a kind of “bridge” between the Old and New Testaments. Not only does he lead us to look back to the Old Testament Law and covenant of God, but he also leads us to look forward to see how these things are fulfilled and completed in the coming Christ. How does your pastor’s sermon in the Divine Service do the same thing? That is, how does the sermon serve as a “bridge” that leads you to look back in the service to the Scripture readings given and then to look forward to the Christ who comes in His Holy Supper?
- Both Mary (Luke 1:54) and Zechariah (Luke 1:72) sing of “remembering” God’s mercy and covenant. What does this “remembering” mean, and how does it strengthen our faith in God’s goodness and mercy? Think especially of when we hear our Lord say, “This do in remembrance of Me.”
The text for this lesson is Genesis 27:41–28:22.
- God revealed the certainty of His presence now and forever to Jacob in his dream. God reveals Himself and His plan of salvation for us in His Word and Sacraments; we respond with praise and worship.
- Law: God wants me to trust His plan for my salvation.
- Gospel: Because of Jesus, I, too, am guaranteed a heavenly home.
- Law: I sin when I think God does not care or has left me alone.
- Gospel: God promises in His Word never to leave me.
- Law: God wants me to worship and praise Him.
- Gospel: God’s good and gracious love and salvation move my heart to worship and praise Him.
- Have you ever had a major falling out with someone in your family? What were the consequences? How did you reconcile?
- Have you ever ventured on a long or difficult journey alone or been separated from your family, friends, or traditional support mechanisms? How did it feel? What did you do to make it through?
- Read the end of chapter 27. See how the cycle of sin continues and worsens after the events that we studied in the last lesson! Read Galatians 5:19–24. How is the cycle of sin broken?
- What did Esau do in 28:6–9? Why do you think he did this? What were his motivations?
- Compare God’s blessing of Jacob in 28:13–15. How is this similar to Isaac’s blessing of him in 28:3–4? How is it different? How is it similar or different from other blessings we have studied previously in Genesis (compare especially with Genesis 12:3)? What does this tell you about God’s plan and providence?
- Read John 1:43–51 in which Jesus alludes to Jacob’s dream. What does it mean to have “heaven open” or to be the “gate of heaven”?
- What does Jacob’s vow tell you about his spiritual condition?
- The cycle of sin went on, yet God’s blessing continued with Jacob. What was the effect of the dream of the ladder on Jacob? Bethel means “house of God.” With this in mind, how does God’s blessing come to us today? How does God break our cycle of sin?
- When does God, surrounded by angels, speak from heaven to us? (Hint: When do we say together “with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven”?) Consider Hebrews 12:22–24 in this light. The singing of the “Holy, holy, holy” is also called the Sanctus, for the Latin word for “holy.”
- Jacob made a vow to the Lord that seemed to be testing God. What are we to make of this? Should we make these kinds of vows to the Lord? Consider Luke 11:9–13. What does this say about “attaching strings” to our prayers?
The text for this lesson is Genesis 25:19-34; 27:1-40.
- God worked through Jacob and Esau, despite their sin, to advance His plan of salvation. In spite of our sinful actions, God accomplishes His will and plan for our lives.
- Law: God does not want me to lie and deceive others.
- Gospel: Because of Jesus, His Son, God forgives all my sins.
- Law: God wants me to follow His ways rather than my own.
- Gospel: Through God’s Word and Sacraments, God reveals His plan for my life.
- Law: God wants me to honor and obey my parents.
- Gospel: In Christ, God forgives me when I disobey my parents and provides for me through them.
- Share some times when parents or other authorities instructed you to do something that you really did not want to do, or something that even seemed to be unwise. How did you react? How does God want us to react?
- How do we view inheritance? What is its significance for us today? How does the way we divide our inheritance demonstrate this significance?
- What does it mean for the Church that Jesus is the heir of God the Father?
- In these accounts of the birthright and blessing, which people acted righteously? Consider Rebekah’s call to Jacob to obey her (27:13–14). Was it right for Jacob to obey her? What other commandments were being broken? By whom? How?
- If none of these were righteous, how could God continue to bless them and bless the whole world through them (27:29; 28:4; compare 22:17–18; 12:1–3)?
- Meditate briefly on the blessings that Isaac gave to Jacob (27:27–29) and to Esau (27:39–40). Name some of the particular blessings mentioned here and, if you remember from other Bible readings, how they were fulfilled. Discuss how the blessing of Jacob differed from the blessing of Esau.
- Look at the prophecy spoken to Rebekah in 25:23. How does “the older shall serve the younger” point to Christ coming after Adam to redeem Adam?
- Esau appeared outwardly to obey his parents, but his heart was not faithful to the Lord, and he married unbelieving women. Consider the Bible’s final verdict on Esau in Amos 1:11 and Hebrews 12:16. Why is Esau condemned and Jacob forgiven, even though they were both disobedient?
- How are we partakers of the inheritance of Jacob? How does this compare to earthly inheritances that may or may not satisfy our earthly needs? In Christ, eternal life and rule with Christ is our birthright!
- Some of those in the account may have had good intentions, yet all ended up breaking God’s commandments by not trusting, by lying, coveting, or disobeying their parents. How does a reverent knowledge of the Law of God and trust in His provision help us in our daily life? What assurance do we have from the blessing of Jacob that God’s forgiveness is greater than any transgressions we commit in our daily life?
- It can seem troubling that the Lord “hated” Esau. But we know that Esau’s condemnation and Jacob’s blessing are the result of God’s Word preached to them. Think about the Word of God we hear in preaching, Absolution, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. What does this mean for anyone who hears and trusts these words? Even when we don’t understand the election of God, we are assured by the words He does speak to us in the Divine Service that we are forgiven and will inherit all of His blessings.
The text for this lesson is Genesis 21:1–7; 22:1–19.
- As God provided a sacrifice for Abraham and Isaac, so He provides the perfect sacrifice for our sin, His Son, Jesus, the Lamb of God.
- Law: God demands that I trust Him completely.
- Gospel: Because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, God gives me faith to trust in Him.
- Law: God tests my faith.
- Gospel: Jesus was tested in every way and grants me strength to trust God when my faith is tested.
- Law: God requires a sacrifice (payment) for my sin.
- Gospel: God sacrificed His own Son, Jesus, for me.
- Compare Isaac to our Lord Jesus Christ. There are stark similarities. Yet, there is one crucial difference. What is this difference? How does this difference display our heavenly Father’s sacrificial love for us? Read 1 Corinthians 10:13. What did our heavenly Father put His Son through that He did not ask of Isaac? How did His providing of a ram to Abraham and Isaac foreshadow the Lamb of God, who took our place on the sacrificial wood of the cross?
- Genesis 22:1 describes the sacrifice as a test. Certainly Abraham felt that the desire to protect his son conflicted with his desire to submit to the will of his gracious Father in heaven. This was more of a result of the real test than the test itself. What was the real test?
- Mount Moriah, where the sacrifice of Isaac took place, would later become the location for the temple. See 2 Chronicles 3:1. The ram that took the place of Isaac would be the first of hundreds of thousands of beasts to die for the sins of the Church. Skim Exodus 29:38–46 and Leviticus 5:14–19. Now read Mark 14:53, 64. Where did Jesus receive His death sentence and from whom did He receive it? The lambs and rams of Leviticus 5 were measured out in silver. With what coinage was our sacrificial ram bought?
- God provided a ram as a sign to accompany His Word. From whence did the ram come? Why does God continually bring forth a visible, tangible sign of His promises of mercy for us even as He gave Abraham the ram while He spoke with him from heaven?
- After the test, God reaffirmed His promise concerning the multitude of Abraham’s offspring. God’s promises seem to be conditional based on Abraham’s actions. Read James 2:21–23. How does James not contradict the Christian doctrine of justification before God by faith alone? Was Abraham’s promise granted to him because of his works or his faith?
- Read Job 19:25–27. How does Job’s profession of faith complement Abraham’s
trust in the resurrection of the Redeemer and, consequently, his belief in Isaac’s own rising on the Last Day?
- Moses adds that the mountain is called this to this day (Moses’ day). What does the fact that Abraham named the mountain after God’s work rather than his own signify to the future generations? How does God’s providing on this mountain relate to them now? How does it relate to us?
- Your church is also the place of God’s visitation. In your church, He gives His gifts of forgiveness and salvation through the Word and Sacraments. How does your church name reflect that “Yahweh will provide” in this space?
The text for this lesson is Matthew 1:18–25.
- Just as the angel proclaimed to Joseph that Mary would bear an infant who is the Son of God, the Savior, so God proclaimed to us in His Word that this same Jesus is our Savior from sin and death.
- Law: “Seeing is believing,” or so we tell, or, rather, deceive ourselves. We live by sight, not faith in the divine Word. Worse yet, most often we see only what we want to see. We school our eyes to perceive reality as we desire it to be, not as it really is. In our own eyes, our own senses, we trust, not Christ.
- Gospel: God tells us what is real, what is true, what is trustworthy. He acts in a way perceptible not necessarily through the eyes, but through the ears—ears attuned to what God says. Believing is not seeing, but hearing, for “faith comes from hearing” (Romans 10:17) and is “the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is in Immanuel, God with us, cradled in a virgin womb.
The text for this lesson is 1 Samuel 17:1—58.
- As David slew the giant Goliath, so David’s greater Son—Jesus—slew the jeering Goliaths of sin, Satan, and death with the weapon of His own death.
- Law: The enemies that face Christians are hardly pipsqueak rivals easily trounced. The devil is a roaring lion, not a hissing kitten. Danger and death await the believer who belittles these foes. Beware.
- Gospel: We do not fight our adversaries alone. In fact, there is one who fights for us: Jesus Christ. With His word of truth, He fells them as easily as David downed Goliath with a sling. His victory is our victory. “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). More than conquerors are we, for we are kings and queens with the King of Kings Himself.
The text for this lesson is Joshua 6:1–27.
- God saved the Israelites by causing the fortress walls of Jericho to tumble and fall and by guiding them through His servant Joshua. God saves us by causing the fortress of sin and death to tumble and fall through the redeeming work of Jesus so that we might become and remain His people.
- Law: Prideful, I place my trust in the false walls of self-security; my works and my accomplishments weakly crumble around me.
- Gospel: God delivers me from the ruin of my sin and provides me a mighty fortress in Christ.
- Bible Words: Psalm 46:10.
- Faith Words: exalt, Jesus, salvation, sin.
- Catechism: The First Commandment.