God and His Leaders

Day 1

Read 1 Samuel 2:12-36

This series has been about the setting of the stage for the David story.  What was going on in the background and leading up to the great tale of how Israel’s greatest king made it to the throne?  It wasn’t great.  It wasn’t great politically, culturally, or even, embarrassingly so, spiritually.  These are all the boxes we see checked now as well and many of us struggle with it.  Eli was the priest and his sons were the helpers in what he did, which was lead the presence of God.  These two were terrible jokers that were at best blasphemous in their work. Again, we seem to be able to find that in the world we are existing in.  

The text doesn’t really say, but do you think that Eli was to blame for the situation and how much responsibility should he take?

What are some things that you see that were a huge problem with what the two sons were doing?

How do you see a version of these things in the world today?

God promises that there is someone else available and he will raise him up.  What are the things that you see are different between Eli and Samuel?

How does this idea and these verses speak into your life and what you see around you to become a prayer?

Day 2

Read 1 Samuel 3

The artistic way of writing the first 5 verses is so masterful in my mind.  The images that are used to convey the point being made are so well orchestrated.  Eye sight means something more than it seems to mean.  The location of Eli versus Samuel is important.  It takes work and requires us to slow down in reading so that we process all of that.  We will be back to these verses next Sunday, but do the work now of considering what this text is trying to show you. 

In my Bible, I have taken the time to underline everything about Samuel that is compared against Eli. They are almost portrayed as polar opposites.  What are the comparisons you see?

What do you think the writer is trying to get us to pay attention to by doing it like this?

How does this apply to what we are going through in life or see in the churches around us today?

Are these verses encouraging to you or discouraging?  Why?

Why not take some time to list out the differences you see with everyone on the messaging app and see if anyone notices some you may have missed?

How does this become your prayer today?

Day 3

Read Matthew 6:25-34

God must surely grow so frustrated with our indecision and lack of making first things first!  In the sermon, we talked about the difference between seeking the kingdom of God and seeking FIRST the kingdom of God.  Surely none of us would attribute our struggles here to 100% just flat out neglect.  We would have excuses.  Most of us would be motivated by our “have to’s” than our “want to’s.”  But this section starts out talking about all of that toil that we experience in life and leaves us with the burden of checking the real motivations of our hearts.  So let’s be transparent:

Take a look at your day or the plans for your day today.  What are your things that are truly first?

How are you treating your relationship with God is the grand scheme of your life right now?

What is something that needs to be a first thing that is not right now?

How do you plan to change that?

What does this make your prayer today?

Day 4

Read 1 Timothy 3

God is serious about his leaders.  The story of the Bible seems to be that we have not been as serious about being those leaders.  Paul was planting churches all over the known world and would leave leaders in place wherever he went.  Some of these were young and inexperienced and the result was some serious issues, like those written about in 1 and 2 Corinthians.  As you read this list, think through the standard that Paul is setting for the young leader Timothy.  

Of these qualifications for overseer/elder/pastor, what seems the most important to you?

Which ones have you seen compromised in leadership in the church?

How did this affect you or the church?

What did this experience teach you, whether good or bad, that you had to work through personally?

How can you pray for the leaders in the churches today?

Day 5

Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Telling children they can do or be anything they put their minds to is such great t-shirt material, but it is also so deceiving.  At the same time, every one of us exists with limitations in our minds and ceilings that we don’t crash through because of what we believe about ourselves.  When it comes to the gospel, it is so refreshing that we are all put on equal footing and reminded that it is God’s work in us that gives us ability, not our abilities that determine God’s work in us.  For some people that is encouraging, reminding them that their inabilities and shortcomings have not held them out of the work at hand.  For others, that is a reminder that we have not done it all and accomplished what no one else could by our greatness.  Both of these perspectives are valuable.

What specifically in this passage helps to keep you encouraged in what you are facing today?

What specifically in this passage humbles you to where you need to be in what you are facing today?

How are you a leader in your area of calling and in your walk with God right now? Who are you leading and what are your goals in leading there?

How does this passage make it into your prayer today?

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