Thursday, July 18 2024 - 8:21 AM

Sharing Scripture — June 29, 2024

The Triumph of God’s Love

 

For use: June 23 – 29, 2024
Texts: Revelation 22:11,12; Jeremiah 30:5-7; Psalm 91:1-11; Jeremiah 25:33; Revelation 21:2; Revelation 20:11-15

Simone Biles knows the world is watching, and only time will tell if she will rise to the challenge. You may remember the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when Simone Biles, USA gymnast, got a case of the “twisties” and dropped out. This year she will once again be a part of the USA team, and all eyes are on the most decorated gymnast (to date) as she aims to add to her collection of Olympic medals.

Not all competitors come to the events with such high expectations as Biles. In previous Olympics, even unlikely teams came onto the scene with an eye on the prize.

You may also remember the Jamaican bobsled team in the 1988 Winter Olympics. The 1993 Disney film, “Cool Runnings,” told a loosely based story of how a team from a tropical country ended up earning a spot to compete. That first year they did not finish, but in later Olympics placed in the 20’s and even once as 14th.

Whether athletes come to the events as a “sure winners,” or are seen with not a chance of winning, all go through the rigors of training. The rigorous schedule and long hours have not dissuaded the nearly 10,500 athletes who will gather in just a few weeks in Paris to compete at the 2024 Summer Olympics.

No matter their likelihood of winning or the blood, sweat, and tears put in to get there, each participant considers it an honor to have earned the opportunity to vie with others for those cherished three top spots of gold, silver, and bronze. Each contender proudly wears the colors and costumes of the country they represent as they give their best efforts in hopes of standing on the podium.

During training leading up to competitions, what is their focus? Are grueling hours of daily practice what has the athletes’ attention or is the focus on what happens at the contest?

While we would never want to minimize End Time events, is it possible those final events have become the focal point taking precedence over what should be our ultimate focus as we look forward to finally being with Jesus in person, to being with Jesus face-to-face?

Why is it that we don’t hear people worrying about who will win when the wicked are raised and the Holy City descends? It’s because we already know Who will win. We confidently look forward to eternity because we believe in God’s promises. We don’t worry about the end of the Millennium because we know that Jesus will be with us.

Why, then, do we tend to look toward the events at the end of time with such angst?

The same God Who will lead us through eternity has the power to lead us through those events just before Jesus comes to take us home, forever.

For Reflection

 

Connecting: When thinking of what will happen just before Jesus returns to Earth, what feelings do you experience? Do you experience excitement, anxiety, hope, or other emotions?

Sharing: Psalm 91 is familiar to many because, along with proclaiming God’s strength, it promises protection. As you read this passage, are the promises conditional? Which of the statements follow the message/intent of the passage?

  1. God is our fortress, our safety, and can be trusted.
  2. The Lord protects us from traps only if we are smart enough on our own to avoid them.
  3. We don’t need to worry about dangers at night or in the day.
  4. We can run to the Lord for safety.
  5. God will send angels to protect us.
  6. Other

Applying: You may have had experiences in your life that you never could have imagined. What, or who, led you through those experiences? How can those experiences help you feel confident toward the time right before Jesus returns?

Valuing: As you reread the memory verse for this week, take time to thank God for what we are promised. “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away’ ” (Revelation 21:3, 4, NKJV).

~ Joy Veverka


Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

 

I rushed through the parking lot towards the entrance of my church, sopping-wet hair bouncing off my back as I chided myself for running late; I guess squeezing in that last-minute shower before our team meeting wasn’t the best idea I ever had. It left me with no time to dry my hair, no time to apply any makeup. I looked a total mess.

So much to do, so little time. But, I was there, I reminded myself.

My pace tempered as I entered the church’s conference room, eyes scanning for an empty chair and finding one next to a couple dressed to perfection, sporting perfectly coiffed hair, sipping water from tumblers that cost 9 times that of my clearance-rack tee.

I tried to melt into my seat and go unnoticed, a hard thing to achieve as the last arrival.

It wasn’t until after the meeting had concluded that I could evaluate the situation with clearer vision.

We both had every right to be there. It makes no difference to God if I’m in a $5 tee or a $500 blouse. We were there for God, to learn how we could better reflect the love of Christ to our local community.

A heart devoted to Jesus is all that matters.

 

Stefani Leeper | Content Coordinator

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