Going Deeper

10.11-10.16.2021

We want to help you "Go Deeper" by moving Christ a little closer to the center of your life every day. The following resources are provided to help connect the weekly message to your every day life and reveal God's desire to be in relationship with you.


Questions?

Pastor Jim Hoffman

816.523.6788

circleemail

  • SCRIPTURE

    • Matthew 19:13-30; Mark 10:13-31; Luke 18:15:30

  • REFLECTION

    When we look at the world around us, many of us see a divided world.  Unfortunately, in our corner of the globe it appears to be mainly over partisan politics that has crept into every crevice of our lives.  Activists of all sorts are using tactics that many of us never imagined and may even consider to be beyond decency and decorum.  And yet in the age where everyone has a camera and social media account in their hands, we’ve all become reporters and shapers of events and public opinion.  In spite of our common vision to be more united, my sense is that we as polarized as we’ve ever been, if not even more so.

     

    The writer of Ecclesiastes penned these words of reminder: “There is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecc. 1:9) We act like this is the only time in history when we’ve been this divided which means that we’re not paying attention to human history.  History is replete with stories of division over everything under the sun – race, religion, gender, class, education, and more.  Even for us in the Christian community, we are reminded that we are divided – externally and internally.

     

    The synoptic gospels link two stories together – the first one is of Jesus blessing the lowest and most vulnerable of people in his day; the little children.  In his blessing he says that to be a part of the kingdom of heaven you have to have the faith of a little child.  Their faith isn’t dependent upon power, possessions, and status.  It is built on trust in those who provide for them.  Conversely, the rich man could not get past his reliance upon himself, his power, his possessions, and his status.  This would be his downfall because he could not imagine his life without these things – he could not imagine himself having the faith of a small child.  Maybe what we should wrestle with in this edition of Going Deeper is the search for a middle ground, if there is such a thing. 

     

    I invite you to take time and read each of the scriptures above as you move to reflect on the questions below.  Take a moment and contemplate your reliance upon yourself verses your reliance upon God.  Lastly, I pray that God bless the reading of God’s Word and the meditations of your heart.

  • QUESTIONS & ACTIONS

    Questions to Consider this week:

    • Monday:  Can you recall a time when you lived paycheck to paycheck?  What were your circumstances and what did you learn from that experience?
    • Tuesday:  What level of reliance do you place upon yourself to receive “your daily bread?”
    • Wednesday:  What are you relying upon God to provide you?  Beyond spiritual needs, is there anything material on your list?  What is it?
    • Thursday:  When you read the two stories linked together, what are your impressions?  What is God saying to you through them?
    • Friday:  If you found yourself in the dire circumstances of Job, who lost everything, how do you think you would respond?  What would be your emotional and spiritual responses?
    • Saturday:  Is there a middle-ground?  If keeping everything for yourself isn’t an option, and few of us are capable of walking away from everything, what practices do you believe will cause you to rely more on God than on yourself?

     

    Actions for the Week:

    • Head:  Jesus says to people who have complete reliance upon self and possessions that they will not enter the kingdom of God.  Pray this week that God teach you what it means to be more reliant upon God than self.
    • Heart:  Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.”  Examine your heart today and determine where your treasure is; if it is not the things of God, pray that God challenge you to have a change of heart. 
    • Hand:  Each of us has a threshold where we cross over from relying upon self to relying upon God.  Examine your practices today and live into ones that will cause you to truly pray that God “give you your daily bread.”

  • PRAYER

    Almighty God, source of all life, giver of all that is good, we gather to offer our praise and thanks.  The richness of our lives, when we stop to take measure, is more than we can comprehend.  We have blessings of joy and hope, the challenge to labor and the luxury of leisure.  Your world is full of wonder, and its beauty delights us.  We praise your generosity and confess that we are ungenerous receivers.  We are slow to share and quick to squander.  We take for granted what we have and anticipate more.  Give us an awareness of our blessings so that we will share joyously and live responsibly.  Give us a sense of self-worth so that getting things does not usurp other values.  For all your goodness, let us express our gratitude by genuinely caring for our world through the grace of Jesus Christ.  Amen.