From the Well - July 20, 2015

A high school senior must choose between three different schools. Which one should she choose? Two job offers. Which one do we accept? The doctor is offering two options for your cancer treatment. How does one make a choice? Have you ever needed to make a decision and just didn’t know what to do?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could.

(Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

We cannot go down two paths at once. There comes a time when we must choose. The children of Israel faced a crossroad in their wilderness track. The Lord instructed Moses to have the people choose. God gave Moses a contract and asked him to put it before the people. Do they say “yes” or do they say “no?” Will they obey God’s voice and keep the covenant or will they go another way? What do we do when God asks us to be in covenant with Him? Do we obey His voice and say “yes” or do we say “no?”

Questions for the week

Consider journaling your response to these questions:

The Ten Commandments are the basic “rules of the road” for how people are to relate to God and each other (Exodus 20:1-17, p. 61-62 in The Story). How would your life and faith mature if you followed these commands (in action and in spirit?) What can you do to embrace and follow these commands more fully?

When Moses comes down from the mountain for the first time and gives the people the law they rejoice saying, "everything the Lord has said, we will do."  Yet when Moses returns up the mountain and stays longer than they expect they quickly become afraid. They turn from worshipping God to worshipping an idol they forge out of their melted down jewelry.  Have there been seasons in your life when you felt God had left you? Have you ever found it hard to wait on God?  What sustained you in those times?  What parallels do you see between how God reaches out again and again to the people of Israel even as they repeatedly pull away from Him and how God acts in your own life in your moments of doubt or fear?

God no longer dwells in tents or temples; he lives in us (Acts 7:48-50, I Corinthians 6:19). How does recognizing that God dwells in us impact how we live our lives?

God dwelt with the Hebrew people as they journeyed through the wilderness. What are the ways you experience the presence and care of God in your daily life?

Prayer Time

As you take time to pray, here are some ideas to get your started:

·        Ask God to give you a clearer vision of who he is. Pray that it will not be tainted by personal desires or goals.

·        Welcome God, in growing measure, into your heart, home, church, and workplace.

·        Ask God to help you remain in covenant relationship with Him.

Between Sessions

Personal Reflection:

How can you connect more closely to God and make him a part of your story and life? Are you doing your part to strengthen the relationship with God? How are you constantly remaining in Covenant with God? Are you seeking healthy relationships and loving others the way you want to be loved? Are you constantly asking God to dwell in your life and heart? How can you celebrate God’s presence? How can you communicate with God and how can you do it more freely? 

Personal Action:

Jesus took the helpful, life-giving information of the Ten Commandments and clarified them in the Sermon on the Mount. Read Matthew 5:17-48 this week. Let Jesus’ teaching grow your understanding of how the commandments of God bring life and hope into your life. 

Read for next session

Read Chapter 6 in The Story