MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, October 1, 2017, Friday Morning Prayers

5 Friday.JPGMONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, October 1, 2017, Friday Morning Prayers – thoughts from the sermon The King of Bread (Not).

QUESTIONS

NOTE

SOURCES

The photo is by Brett_Hondow and is from Pixabay.

This post is based on the sermon series Out of the Chair, Into the World at Kinmundy United Methodist Church. Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, October 1, 2017, Thursday Morning Prayers

4 Thursday.JPGMONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, October 1, 2017, Thursday Morning Prayers – thoughts from the sermon The King of Bread (Not).

QUESTIONS

NOTE

SOURCES

The image of the women healed while reaching the hem of the garment of Jesus is frequently used on the internet. The artist is unknown and this blog would request help to identify the artist and provide proper credit.

This post is based on the sermon series Out of the Chair, Into the World at Kinmundy United Methodist Church. Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, October 1, 2017, Wednesday Morning Prayers

3 Wednesday.JPGMONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, October 1, 2017, Wednesday Morning Prayers – thoughts from the sermon The King of Bread (Not).

QUESTIONS

NOTE

SOURCES

The photo is a portion of an advertisement for a training event at Willow Creek Church and found at https://rock.willowcreek.org/GetImage.ashx?Guid=315b351c-5588-4a81-989c-49254e60c373.

This post is based on the sermon series Out of the Chair, Into the World at Kinmundy United Methodist Church. Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, October 1, 2017, Tuesday Morning Prayers

2 Tuesday.JPGMONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, October 1, 2017, Tuesday Morning Prayers – thoughts from the sermon The King of Bread (Not).

John 6:13 So they gathered them up and filled 12 baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. Verse 14. When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, “This is indeed the prophet who has come into the world.” They were amazed because of the bread. Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, the king who would provide everyone with all the bread they wanted, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

He literally walked away from them because what they wanted was the bread. And notice: they had high energy. They were highly committed, fully devoted followers of Jesus. They were followers of Jesus Christ that would do anything to get closer to him. Look at the next verse after the walking on water part. Verse 22: On the next day, the people who remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. However, boats from Tiberias, the other side of the Sea of Galilee, came near the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the people saw that Jesus wasn’t there, nor his disciples, they themselves got in the boats and went to Capernaum to seek Jesus. “Where’s Jesus? Where’s the guy who has all that bread? Because I need me some bread.”

Verse 25:  when they found them on the other side of the sea, a long hard trip. They said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” I think you can hear in those words, “we like to know your schedule. We like to know where you’re going to be because we know that where you are, there’s going to be plenty to eat.” Now, if you’ve ever been starving, you can kind of understand that motivation perhaps, the desperation that people have when they have nothing. But the important point is why do they have this intense desire to follow Jesus? Jesus names what it is.

Jesus names what it is. Remember the 12 basketfuls; these are apples not bread but still there’s a lot of apples there. There is a lot of bread in 12 baskets full. Verse 26, “Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you.'” Whenever he says that he really means it. “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me not because you saw the signs–“ and the purpose of the signs was to help you believe. “You seek me not because you saw the signs, because you ate your fill of the loaves.” They didn’t want him. They wanted the benefit that he brings. They wanted to be full. But what kind of full are you seeking? Is it a fullness of bread and the answer to your prayers or is it the fullness of Christ to be filled up with faith?

It might be more acceptable if these people were starving, but they had lots of energy to chase after Jesus. It seems more to me that in Jesus they saw a sure thing, one who would provide for all their needs … if they were close to him. And so their desire was for what he could provide, not a desire for him. They did believe in him … but what they believed is that he would give them what they wanted. It’s a question we should ask ourselves: are we here because of the benefits of our faith?

If that’s all that’s true, we have a faith that will last as long as the bread lasts. It’s a faith focused on our own self-interest and perhaps also on fear of punishment or abandonment. A psychiatrist once asked a troubled child why he loved his parents. “That’s easy,” he snorted. “They’re bigger than me and they have the food.”

And if we get a better offer, we’ll be following someone else. In time, Jesus knew,  some of these seekers after bread would cry out “Crucify him!” Everything is fine until the bread runs out.

QUESTIONS

How important are answered prayers to you? How do you feel when God says “No” or “Not yet” to your prayers? Will you still be faithful if you don’t get what you want? Would you still follow Jesus if it got a little harder? When the hard times come? Or while the bread lasts?

SOURCES

The photo “farm-1183991_1920” is by judymccleary and is from Pixabay.

This post is based on the sermon series Out of the Chair, Into the World at Kinmundy United Methodist Church. Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, October 1, 2017, Monday Morning Prayers

1 Monday.JPGMONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, October 1, 2017, Monday Morning Prayers – thoughts from the sermon The King of Bread (Not).

The young preacher gave a powerful and stirring message. He was only 33 years old. Thousands of people came to hear what he had to say.

At the close of the message, when he invited people to pray, they came forward in large numbers to kneel at the altar. As the young preacher stood there and watched them, they prayed fervently. He took a moment to come closer and walk beside each one and was a little shocked at what they were praying.

He stood next to a businessman: “I want my money,” was his prayer. He stood next to someone who was obviously poor. “I want my food,” that person said. He walked down further to someone who was obviously ill: “I want my healing.”

And the young preacher despaired. “Isn’t there anyone here who wants Jesus Christ?”

Who was the young preacher? Well, I’ve updated a little bit to the customs of today, but I want to suggest today that the young preacher was Jesus Christ. Jesus had wanted to step aside from a busy ministry to spend time in prayer and with the twelve disciples, so he took a boat across the Sea of Galilee to find a private place to pray. But as the boat came closer to shore, a crowd of people was already waiting for him.

He had compassion on them because he could see their needs. The crowd grew through the day. And at the end of the day, they were hungry, and Jesus took two fish and five loaves of bread and miraculously fed 5,000 people.

Last week, we talked about Peter walking on the water. The week before, we talked about the disciples in the storm and Jesus walking on the water. Today, we’re going to talk about the crowd they left behind. Or tried to leave behind, because the crowd kept following after Jesus. Why were they so committed and driven to follow him?

Consider one possibility: what kind of followers were these? They had discovered that Jesus delivered. Jesus provided what they wanted and needed, and so they came in thousands. The problem, however, is that the purpose of the signs and wonders was so that the people would believe in God and believe in Jesus. The purpose of miracles is to increase faith; today, we would say that the purpose of miracles was to strengthen the ongoing relationship between the believer and Jesus Christ.

But these people aren’t really believers – they are receivers. They are not here to learn and grow in their faith in Jesus Christ – they are here to get their needs met. Jesus is not a person to them but a tool to get what they need and want. Jesus is a means to their ends. Jesus is like a store where everything is free because they need it, and they don’t mind using him to get what they need. They are like people lined up all night on Black Friday, to get something cheaper by being in the front of the line. You’ll find a crowd wherever they find a bargain. They are not believers as much as they are receivers.

QUESTIONS

When you pray, what percentage of the focus of your prayer on what you want and need? When you pray, what percentage of the focus of your prayer on what others want and need? Do your prayers show that you are at heart a receiver?
When you pray, what percentage of the focus of your prayer is a conversation with Jesus Christ about your relationship, on growing and understanding your faith? Do your prayers show that you are a believer?

If we find ourselves caught up in a receiving mindset, or perhaps even an addiction to that mindset, how do we move toward a believing mindset? How do we shift our focus away from our own needs and problems when those needs and problems seem so overwhelming to us?

 

SOURCES

The photo is from Why We Don’t Have Altar Calls in Our Church
JUNE 22, 2012 BY NOLLIE from http://www.twoagespilgrims.com/pasigucrc/2012/06/22/why-we-dont-have-altar-calls-in-our-church/

This post is based on the sermon series Out of the Chair, Into the World at Kinmundy United Methodist Church. Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, October 1, 2017 – Sunday Evening Prayers

0 Sunday.JPGMONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, October 1, 2017, Sunday evening prayers – thoughts from the sermon The King of Bread (Not).

QUESTIONS

In your chair time, your time of conversation with God each day, where is your focus? Are you asking for needs to be met … asking for the needs of others be met … or asking for a deeper relationship with Christ or a stronger faith?

NOTE

The sermons for the past several months have focused on how life changes when we organize life to have what Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church calls “chair time.” It’s his goal for every one of the thousands of people that attend public worship at Willow Creek to also attend what John Wesley called private worship in their own personal time of devotion.  Here’s a video where Bill Hybels explains the importance of chair time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTCUNtxtP-I

SOURCES

The photo is an advertisement for Willow Creekers to attend a class to develop their own “chair time” and can be viewed at https://rock.willowcreek.org/GetImage.ashx?Guid=315b351c-5588-4a81-989c-49254e60c373.

This post is based on the sermon series Out of the Chair, Into the World at Kinmundy United Methodist Church. Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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SUNDAY SERMON for Pentecost, September 24, 2017.

MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, September 24, 2017 – thoughts from the sermon Into The Neighborhood.

QUESTIONS

RESOURCES

The photo

This post is based on the sermon series Out of the Chair, Into the World at Kinmundy United Methodist Church. Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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