Thursday, July 31, 2014

Venture Expeditions Northern Tour Team @ NMBC

Pictured here are the eighteen cyclists from across the country beginning their final day of travel to New York City having departed from Seattle on June 8th. This is the third summer NMBC has hosted Venture's Northern Tour team. These cyclists make this cross country trek to increase awareness and raise funds for mission work in Southeast Asia. You can go here for more information about Venture Expeditions and the mission work that is supported.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Parables: The Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) Questions for Reflection

Dig Deeper

At one time or another we’ve all attempted to negotiate with God, “God if You ______, I promise I will _______!” I imagine most of us have also sought to appeal to God on the basis of our “spiritual résumé”, “God, consider how I’ve faithfully _________, especially compared to __________. Surely You will __________.” In His parable, The Workers in the Vineyard, Jesus uses the relationship between a generous landowner and day laborers to illustrate how we ought to approach God.

Read the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard in Matthew 20:1-16. What do you observe about the following parables in this parable?

Landowner--

Workers recruited in the early morning--

Workers recruited at 9:00 AM (third hour), Noon (sixth hour), &  3:00 PM (Ninth hour)--

Workers recruited at 5:00 PM (eleventh hour)--

Read Acts 8:18-25. A man known as “Simon the Sorcerer” sought to negotiate with the apostles for the power to perform spiritual works. How did the apostle Peter respond to him? What does this reveal about the folly of attempting to negotiate with God?

Read Philippians 3:4-9. In Philippians 3:4-6 the apostle Paul lists his “spiritual résumé” prior to his conversion to Christ. What did he ultimately conclude about appealing to God on the basis of one’s own merit?

Read Jesus’ Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18:9-14. How is the approach of the tax collector and appeal based on God’s goodness?

Application

The third verse of the hymn Rock of Ages reads, “Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to the cross I cling… Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.” The phrase “cleft of the rock” comes from Exodus 33:22, “So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.” (NKVJ) How ought understanding Christ as your Rock affect your approach to God?

Memorize This


Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” NIV