Concordia Adult Bible Class
Summary: Dig deeper into God's Word with Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.
The First Commandment reminds us that God is to be first. Yet, every one of us struggles with putting other things before God. We all struggle with idolatry. On Independence Day Weekend, we are reminded that nothing – no matter how good – is to come before God. He is our focus and our hope.
It can be so easy to look at others and judge them! We all struggle with self-righteousness. As Jesus reminds us, however, judgment starts with discerning our own sins rather than decrying the sins of others. When we jump to judging others, it can be very difficult to be for others.
It is so easy to try protect what we have. We can try to protect our finances, our health, and even our church. David stepped up to fight a giant when everyone else was simply trying not to be conquered by the giant. On Father’s Day Weekend, we are reminded how we can be brave in how we live for Christ!
One of the best ways we can show our faith to our world is by contributing to needs. In the early church, Tabitha was well known for serving others. Her death caused many to grieve, but her new life became a testimony of Jesus’ power. What do we want our lives to contribute to this world?
It can be so easy to become click-ish. We have our friends, our cultural sensibilities, and our faith community. The early church struggled with this, too. But Peter and James reminded the early church that the Church should not put up barriers to entry, for it is by grace that we are counted as God’s family.
After 70 years in exile, God allows the Israelites to return from where they are living in the kingdom of Persia to their homeland of Israel, thanks to a ruler named Cyrus. When they return to Israel, things are not as they have been. They have to rebuild Jerusalem – its walls and its temple. Some are upset that things are not as they have been (Ezra 3:12). In this time of new things, we can ask: what new things is God doing for us?
When we face a crisis, one of the best things we can do is take it to the Lord in prayer. Hezekiah does. God also gives Hezekiah a sign that his prayer has been answered. He turns back the sun in the sky (2 Kings 20:8-11). In what ways have our prayers been answered during this time? Have we thanked God for turning back this pandemic?
Before this pandemic, we felt safe. Now, our safe havens and presumptions have given way under the unforgiving reality of a worldwide disease. And it has caused us plenty of dis-ease. The Psalmist reminds us that in changing times, God is unchanging. And in shaky times, God is rock solid. We are invited, then, to put our faith in Him.
There is so much to do when we are homeschooling our kids, working from home, and trying to keep everything going. Martha knew that feeling as she prepared for a visit from Jesus. On Mother’s Day, we take a special look at the pressures mothers face during a crisis like this and explore what it means to sit at the feet of Jesus.
Jeremiah is commanded by God not to marry or have a family while Israel is living in Babylon. Other Israelites, however, can. For those who are alone during this coronavirus crisis, the feeling of loneliness can be exacerbated. How do we find community in isolation?
At a time when millions are losing their jobs, financial fear is on the rise! Poverty is nothing new. A widow in the town of Zarephath is so poor, she is down to her last meal before she starves to death. How do we trust in God’s provision, even when our resources seem scant?
In a survey from the University of Phoenix, 68% respondents said that they feel as though their lives are out of control because of this COVID-19 crisis. But what feels out of control to us is in Jesus’ perfect control. In John 6, Jesus takes an out-of-control crowd and blesses it. He can take our out-of-control lives and bless us, too.
Fear often arises because we feel as though something or someone is stronger than us and is out to get us. Daniel knows this feeling when he faces his adversaries in the Persian Empire. They want to destroy him, and almost do, when they get him thrown into a lions’ den. But Daniel’s God is stronger than any fear or foe – and He still is!
Peter utters three simple words to Jesus: “Lord, save me!” And Jesus does. When we are afraid and cry out to Jesus, Jesus hears and helps. Instead of worrying because of fear, we are called to pray – to cry out to God – in the midst of our fears.
This past week was the Jewish festival of Purim, which is based in the book of Esther. Esther’s story is unique in that God is never mentioned in this biblical book. Nevertheless, He is working behind-the-scenes to help and save His people. He is with them. In a time like this, it can feel like God is absent. But He is not. He is working to help and save us. He is with us.