Concordia Adult Bible Class
Summary: Dig deeper into God's Word with Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.
Saul was not patient in waiting for Samuel to make a burnt offering and give him a word from the Lord. Because of Saul’s lack of patience, Israel’s kingship was lost to his family. Impatience results in loss. This is why God is so patient with us – because He wants to keep us (cf. 2 Peter 3:9)!
It can be scary to witness to the Christian faith! Jesus’ frank witness to who He was got Him crucified. Sometimes, we need to tell the truth, even if it is uncomfortable or frightening. Like Jesus, being brave should never mean being obnoxious. But it can mean telling the truth, even when the truth will cost us.
Jesus knows that sometimes a pointed question can be just the thing needed to open a deeper conversation. When Jesus asks the disabled man by the pool, “Do you want to get well?” He is opening up a conversation about what this man believes. Does he believe, superstitiously, that some magic pool can heal him, or is he looking for healing from the Son of God? What questions can we ask to identify people’s spiritual beliefs and needs.
Though nations like North Korea have rattled sabers for a long time, 2017 seemed to mark an uptick in such provocations, especially from the isolated nation. And awfully, ISIS is still wreaking havoc across the world. In a world that feels dangerous and frightening, God promises peace. But His peace can only come to us when we believe that He – and not we – has everything under control.
Sadly, scandals of infidelity and assault dominated many of the headlines of 2017. In a world that has divorced intimacy from commitment, Jesus reminds us that true intimacy must be bounded by and grounded in a marital covenant.
Hurricanes, wildfires, and even a total solar eclipse. Nature made a lot of headlines in 2017! It can seem as though nature is fickle. But we must remember that with natural disasters also come natural wonders. And even in natural disasters, we can be confident that Christ is Lord over nature. So, in storms, we fix our eyes on Him.
Mass shootings in places like Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs were major headlines in 2017. But from a place of tragedy arose a stronger community. As God’s people, we have the privilege of being a part of the ultimate community – the Church. In the Church, we rejoice in the hope we have while also sharing the burdens of those caught in tragedies, understanding that God can use tragedy to strengthen His community.
As joyful as the holiday season is supposed to be, for some, this time of year brings grief, especially if they have recently lost a loved one. Jesus too knows the pain of loss. He weeps with you in your loss. But He can also overcome your loss with His promise of everlasting life.
When families get together, conflict can abound. We can get frustrated with each other instead of celebrating with each other. James reminds us that, instead of fighting with others, we can trust in God to bring ultimate justice to all, even when we feel as though others have wronged us.
During the holidays, there are parties to attend and presents to buy and relatives to visit and too many things to do! The stress of the season can steal joy from the season. It is important that, rather than overscheduling ourselves, we take time for rest and, when we need it, be willing to ask for help.
It is easy to get so focused on the gifts of Christmas that we forget about the Gift of Christmas! Materialism is rampant not only during the holidays, but in our society, all year long. In Luke 12, Jesus tells a parable that reminds us that the earthly things we store up for ourselves are not nearly as important as the spiritual inheritance that is ours in Christ.
Sometimes, we get so caught up worrying about what we have stored up, we forget that, no matter how much or how little we may have on this earth, God has something fantastic in store for us – nothing less than a crown of righteousness. In a world that test and try our faith, we can be confident that our faith will be vindicated when Christ returns.
If we are going to store up things, what things should we be storing? Jesus invites us to store up things that are imperishable – things that last into eternity. Thus, in this life, we ought to store up God’s Word in our hearts and we ought to store up people in our lives, for these treasures last.
The first principle of stewardship is this: no matter what we may store, it ultimately belongs to God. Any store house is finally God’s house. To help us understand this, God has given us a tithe. In the tithe, we not only give to God, we give back to God, since everything we have comes from Him in the first place. When we give back to God, we learn that God continues to give us what we need and even beyond what we need.
Soli Deo Gloria explains how we should live. Everything we do should be connected to Christ. In this way, we have no spiritual life and everyday life, we only have a Christ-centered life. Do you do everything with Christ in mind?