Our Story: Tools for Week 2 (and week 1)

Every week we’ll be posting some ideas on how you can more deeply engage the Old Testament. Parents: these tools will be written in a way so that you can use them with your kids.  If you do use them with children, it may work well to pick one question/activity per day.  This will keep things short and simple, while giving you a touch point each day.

Week 2 – June 13-18

We covered some ground this week, moving from Adam and Eve’s decision to choose their own way, through Cain and Abel, Noah, long genealogies and Babel (missed the sermon? You can find the podcast by clicking here). Here are some questions to help you go deeper this week — knock them all out in one sitting — or reflect on one each day.

  1. This week, memorize the names of the first six books of the Bible in order (Genesis, Exodus…Joshua).  We’ll add three more books each week so that by the end of summer you can have all of the books memorized.
  2. Read Genesis 3:1-5.  Today — this week — how are you being tempted to choose your own way vs. God’s way? (if you’re breathing, you’re almost certainly facing this temptation).  Be on the lookout today.  Watch for those places and times when another way ‘looks pleasing to the eye.’  Spend a minute praying, asking God to give you strength in those moments.
  3. The serpent questions God’s ways (vs. 1), says that God can’t be trusted (vs. 4) and that God’s ways are restrictive (vs. 5).  At first glance we may say that the serpent’s accusations are ludicrous — but pause for a moment and ask yourself, have I ever been tempted by the same thoughts?  Are there times when you doubt God — or doubt God’s ways — or believe that God’s ways would hold you back from really living?
  4. Every relationship was fractured when Adam and Eve chose to go their own way:  Their relationship with creation itself, with each other, with God and personally are all impacted.  Take a few minutes to:
    • Reflect on the world at large.  Where do you see the most brokenness (i.e. in humans relationship with each other or in or relationship with creation, etc.)?  Spend a few minutes praying for that area.
    • Reflect on your life.  Which of these relationships (with creation, each other, God or yourself) would you say you are experiencing the most brokenness? Take time to pray, asking God to heal and restore this part of your life. What step could you take today to move toward healing?
  5. Read Genesis 11:1-4.  The people of Babel continue the pattern of humanity to this point: choosing autonomy and their own way instead of God’s.  Specifically, the people of Babel want to “make a name for themselves.”  Take a few minutes to survey your life. Where are trying to make a name for yourself?  What might God be asking you to change?
  6. Read Colossians 1:15-20.  Jesus is the image of the invisible God.  He perfectly reflects God to us and us to God.
    • What does Jesus show us it looks like to perfectly live in the image of God? (vs. 20).
    • What is one concrete thing you could do today to follow Jesus and lay down your life?

 

 

Week 1 – June 6-11

This week we looked at Chapter 1 of Genesis (next week we’ll cover chapters 2-11!).  The story of Creation isn’t just the story of how things were.  It’s also the story of how our world should, and one day will, be.

For reflection:

  1. Genesis 1 shows us that God is before and above all things.  Think about the splendor, complexity and beauty of creation.  Take a 3-4 minutes (by yourself or with others) to list as many things as you can from creation that tell you about how great God is.
  2. On Sunday we talked about how we are created for each other.  What is one relationship you could invest in this week?  How could you do that?  One idea could be to write a note of thanks to this person (handwritten, text, Facebook).  Another idea  could be to invite someone(s) over for dinner this week.  Be creative!
  3. Read Genesis 2:1-3.  Consider (or discuss with others): why you think God rested.  Did God have to rest?  What do these verses mean for us?
    • Do you/your family have a rhythm of work and rest?  Are you currently all work — or all rest?  Do any changes need to be made?
    • Pick a day (or, part of a day) this week that you can declare a day of rest!  Decide ahead of time what you would do…and then do it 🙂  Enjoy the day and at some point in the day, take a minute to thank God for the way in which he restores us through rest.
  4. Read Genesis 1:1-25.  Repeatedly God declares that creation is “good.”  What does that word mean, in this context, do you think?  Is God saying that it’s “fine” — “ok”?  What might be the full, deeper meaning of that word?
  5. Read Genesis 1:26-28 and 2:4-20.
    • What are the responsibilities given to humanity (1:27, 28, 2:5, 15 and 19-20)?
    • What does this tell you about God’s intentions for our lives (hint: it’s not to sit on the sidelines)?
    • What are some of the ways that you see God giving you, and others, significant responsibility and meaningful work?
    • To bear God’s image (1:27) means that we have the chance every day to use our gifts, resources, intellect and energy (to name a few) to bring more and more “good” to the world.  How might you bring “goodness” to the people/places you will go today?
  6. To do throughout the week: memorize the names of the first three books of the Bible in order (Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus).  We’ll add three more books each week so that by the end of summer you can have all of the books memorized.

 

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