Engaging Scripture: Scripture Readings

Deuteronomy 11:18-20—God’s Word nearby

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. . . .”

Response

Consider the following questions:

  • This passage envisions a community that is shaped and guided by God’s Word—one in which God’s people keep God’s Word continually in front of themselves and pass it on to others. How do the Christian communities you are a part of (such as family, friends, church, other groups) live out God’s commands in this passage?
  • How might you “fix God’s words” in places where you and others in your communities would see them often?
  • How comfortable are you with talking about God’s words with family, friends, and strangers? What has contributed to the way you feel about that?
  • How might you share God’s Word with someone in one of your communities today?

Isaiah 55:10-11—God’s Word goes forth

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Response

Consider the following questions:

  • The verses right before this passage are about forgiveness of sins, and the verses right after are about the joy of having the curse of sin lifted. How does this passage give you hope, both for your own life and for the world?
  • In what ways have you felt God’s Word helping you “bud and flourish”?
  • Meditate on the statement “It will not return to me empty.” What does this mean to you?
  • Where do you see God’s desires and purposes being accomplished today?

Luke 24:45-49—Scripture fulfilled in Jesus

[Jesus] said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised. . . .”

Response

Consider the following questions:

  • Do a little research into what was written about the Messiah in the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms. How did Jesus fulfill those things?
  • Luke says, “He opened [the disciples’] minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” What do you think that revelation might have felt like to these friends of Jesus?
  • What does it mean to you to be a “witness” to the truths of the gospel? How do you (or might you) do that in your everyday life?
  • When Jesus says, "I am going to send you what my Father has promised. . . ." he is referring to the coming of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:8; 2:1-41). What difference does the Holy Spirit make in your life? Are there specific ways your life would change if you were more receptive to the Holy Spirit's presence and work in your life?

James 1:22-25—Doing what we hear

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Response

Consider the following questions:

  • How might “merely listening to the word” cause us to deceive ourselves?
  • The command to “do what it says” is pretty plain. But what if we disagree about what God’s Word says or how to apply it? How do we find clarity?
  • What opportunities have you had recently to do what God’s Word says?
  • How does “the perfect law” give freedom?