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Grace UMC prepares for Sunday worship by reading the scripture for the coming Sunday’s sermon. Below, you fill find questions that can be used for Bible Study, small groups or personal devotion. Let the scripture speak in to your life! Expect great things!
Kind and gracious Lord, you are the creator of all things, the author of life, and our loving God. We thank you for your faithful presence in our lives, and we thank you for the Word of God.
As we prepare to study your Word together, we ask you to open our minds. Help us clear away the clutter and quiet any outside voices so we can hear only what you long to speak to us.
Scripture: Luke 18:9-14 (Common English Bible)
9 Jesus told this parable to certain people who had convinced themselves that they were righteous and who looked on everyone else with disgust: 10 “Two people went up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself with these words, ‘God, I thank you that I’m not like everyone else—crooks, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week. I give a tenth of everything I receive.’ 13 But the tax collector stood at a distance. He wouldn’t even lift his eyes to look toward heaven. Rather, he struck his chest and said, ‘God, show mercy to me, a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this person went down to his home justified rather than the Pharisee. All who lift themselves up will be brought low, and those who make themselves low will be lifted up.”
What is God’s future for our lives? Our families? The church? The world? As believers, we are not called to wait on the future, but to walk into it. We are marching to Zion! The future is now!
The Pharisees live on past glory while the tax collector opens himself to new possibilities in Christ. All who humble themselves will be exalted. The future is now!
- What is a word, phrase or image that comes to mind when you read or hear the text?
- This scripture shows a contrast between a Pharisee and a tax collector. One thinks of himself better than others. The other asks for mercy. Using your “holy imagination” what do you think happened for the Pharisee for him to get off track? What do you think led the tax collector to ask for mercy? For us in the church, how do we get off track? What do we need to ask for mercy from?
- What does this scripture teach you about humility?
- What does God invite you to do, change or be through this passage?
Discipleship Huddle Questions:
- How is it with your soul?
- How does your soul prosper?
God, who lifts up the humble, give us guidance to see how we might be part of your mission of the redemption of the world. Give us the hands of compassion to extend your love and grace. Amen.