Boundaries

Deuteronomy 6

February 19

Love is one of the most powerful things in the world. You love your friends and your church, but most importantly you love your family. God is our father and he gives unconditional love to us. As we should give him this love he also shows us many times in the Bible, that love comes with boundaries and rules. The commands in Deuteronomy 6 show this. In any relationship there has to be boundaries and rules in order for it to be a healthy and loving relationship. These rules, like not putting your lord your God to the test, must be followed. Love comes with these boundaries and rules to have a steady balance. Look at the relationships you have. The love you have with certain people comes with certain boundaries and rules.

-Genesis Dylewski

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. How do you show your love for God? With your heart? With your soul? With your strength? Are there any areas of your life where you feel you should love God more? How so?
  2. What was to be taught to the children? How? Why? How well are you passing along the knowledge of who God is, and how to love and obey Him to the younger generation? What can you do this week and throughout the year to increase your involvement and effectiveness with teaching and encouraging the children and youth in their Christian faith and upbringing? What will happen if we don’t?

Taking it By Yourself

Numbers 14

February 18

How many times do you think something at work or school is off and you need to take things into your own hands? The Israelites didn’t like what was going on in Numbers 14. They didn’t put their trust in him. They felt like they had to go beyond him and figure things out on their own. That is probably one of the worst things you can do as a Christian.

There’s so many times in a day where you just feel lost and hopeless and you just feel like you need to take a minute for yourself – but don’t be by yourself. Go into a room and pray, when everything feels wrong or off, talk to God about it. If you take a look at how the Israelites portrayed themselves in this passage., they were lost mentally, physically, whatever you want to say. They started losing trust, they started losing faith. They started believing and acting like God didn’t know what he was doing.

I find myself sometimes needing to take a step back from school and even my family and just be by myself in a room turning off my phone and just having an OutLoud conversation with God. Because when all else fails, I know I can always go back and just figure it out with God. I wish the Israelites did that in this passage. If they took a minute and had a conversation with God trying to work through everything, maybe they would’ve found what they were looking for.

Take a look at what Joshua said, which is in verses 7-9.

“The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

He was brave to go in front of everyone and say what he said. He saw the land that God wanted him to see and he understood if God was pleased with them, He would lead them into this land.

-Genesis Dylewski

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. How well do you feel you trust God when faced with difficulties? When you are in the minority? When you feel like a grasshopper? When you are in a scary situation or unsure of the outcome? How do you think more time calling out to God could help boost your faith in each of these situations? What else could help build your trust?
  2. Can you think of a time you went your own way and tried to take care of a situation on your own (perhaps the “safe” way) rather than joining God where He wanted to lead you? What might you have missed out on?
  3. Which was actually the bigger threat to the Israelites – facing the scary heathen foreigners who didn’t know God (with God at their side) or siding with the majority report from the people of God (who were not trusting God)?
  4. What were the consequences of the Israelites choosing to not go where He was leading when He was leading?

10 Were Bad…

Numbers 13

February 17

I think my favorite song from our children’s worship has got to be the song “Twelve Men Went to Spy on Canaan”. Numbers 13 is that story. Maybe it’s silly to sing a children’s song now. At game night tonight we were listening to our favorite worship songs and “You Say” came on. Now I don’t know about you but Lauren Daigle is by far my favorite singer. We related “You Say” to Numbers 13. The song talks about feeling unworthy but then knowing God is there to help you through.


This can be applied anywhere – but for the 12 men, two thought with God they could do it, they could do anything. The ten on the other hand were stuck in the beginning of the song. Stuck fighting the voices that say they aren’t enough. Numbers 13:31 “But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.’” versus what Lauren sings, “You say I am strong, when I think I am weak.” When you are stuck in a rut and think you can’t do the hard things, think about the twelve men. Do you want to be like the ten or the two?

-Genesis Dylewski

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. When have you felt like a grasshopper? (30:33). When have you believed the voices telling you that you are not enough? How do you do battle against them? What truths would God have you believe?
  2. How can remembering what God has done in the past give you confidence for the battles ahead? List 5 of your favorite victories God provided in the Bible. List 5 instances of God’s power, faithfulness and love in your life or those you have known personally.

Whom Shall I Fear?

Leviticus 26

February 16

How many days of the week are you scared or afraid to do something or be someone? For me, that’s everyday. I’m afraid of so much.

Reading this passage, yes, I could have gone the route and talked about all the punishments God warned these people about. But a few verses stuck out plenty, and these were in the section on the reward for obedience. Leviticus 26:6-8 “‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.’” This sticks out because it’s very comforting. You will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I’m constantly thinking about what others have to say about me. It’s my biggest fear. Probably not alone on that. Knowing when and who to be afraid of is what we should ponder.

There’s a song called “Whom Shall I Fear” with a verse that says, “And nothing formed against me shall stand. You hold the whole world in your hands. I’m holding on to your promises.” There is nothing formed against you to be afraid of, if you are following His decrees and being careful to obey His commands (26:3). The one true God holds the entire world in his hands. Our creator is watching over us. How comforting is that one sentence? We all are holding onto the promises that he gives us because that gives us a reason to not be afraid.

The other part I wanted to talk about was Leviticus 26:13, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.” He has shown he’s powerful enough to free us. He has shown us His power and shown us why we have nothing to be afraid of because He is on our side, when we are on His.

-Genesis Dylewski

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. List the rewards God promises to those who follow His commands. How would you put them in your own words. Which are most appealing to you? Why?
  2. What sorts of punishments are promised for those who do not listen to God or follow God’s commands? Which are the scariest to you? Why? When is fear a good thing?
  3. Can you describe a time you have experienced God’s blessings for obedience? Can you describe a time you have experienced God’s punishment for disobedience? Which do you find more powerful for keeping you on the right track following after God and His commands – His rewards or punishments?
  4. How do you explain when something bad happens to somebody who appears to be following God’s commands or when something good happens to somebody who seems to be disregarding God and His commands?
  5. What is the importance of verses 40-45?

Perfect in God’s Eyes

Exodus 40

February 15

Who here is perfect? No one? Being perfect in society is hard and being a Christian in society is probably even harder. Society has built a whole view of a perfect person. In school you’re perfect if you have a 4.0 gpa, are a scholar athlete, and are participating in 20 billion extracurricular activities. Being a perfect person at work is doing your job to the “T”, having perfect attendance, being dependable, and maybe even being 20 different people at one time. Life is
hard.

As Christians our job is to set an example and show God’s work. Easy, right?

Exodus 40. Building the perfect tabernacle. Building a place fit for God.

Imagine being Moses for a second. This man not only was the one who got to come down from a mountain with God’s commands, but he also got to make this tabernacle a perfect place for God.

Now we can’t be Moses, because God has created us on our own path. But we can work at making our bodies perfect.

James 3:2 “We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.” James 3 is about taming your tongue and your body. I relate these two together. Though I’m not creating a tabernacle, I can create a holy body.

-Genesis Dylewski

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. Many of the chapters in Exodus that we didn’t specifically read this week were giving detailed directions for how to make the tabernacle according to God’s plan. Go back and read Exodus 25:1-9. What was the purpose of the tabernacle? How did Moses get the supplies needed? Why so many directions throughout the rest of Exodus?
  2. In Exodus 40 how many times do we read Moses did, “as the LORD commanded him”? Why is that important?
  3. What directions are given to us throughout God’s Word for creating ourselves to be a perfect place for God?

Knowing to Trust

Exodus 32

February 14

When the people didn’t know what was going to happen with Moses, they turned to Aaron to create new gods. God was very angry.

We have struggled with plenty of fear just in the past few years. Not knowing is a great fear of mine. I struggle with not knowing which college I should go to or what I should do with my life.

The people were dancing and worshiping a golden calf. It says in Exodus 32 that the people are prone to evil. They asked for gods that will go before
them. Do we all struggle with evil or dirty desires? Most likely, but how we handle those desires is what matters the most.

Just because you can’t see what has gone over a mountain or you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t push for greatness. The kingdom is our goal. It is our motivation. We must trust in what we can’t see or can’t understand at the moment. We must understand that just because God sent Moses over a hill and we couldn’t see him and his plan – we must know there is one.

-Genesis Dylewski

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. The people were quick to take (sinful) action when they felt like they had been abandoned by God and Moses. Have you ever felt (even for a moment or a day) like you were abandoned by God and/or those who have represented Him to you? What options did you have in how you reacted? What would have been the best course of action?
  2. How can you build your trust in God so that even when He is harder to see, you know He and his plan can be trusted?
  3. What false gods or unhealthy practices are you tempted to turn to when you battle fear? What consequences are there in these actions or attitudes?

Why the Fear of God?

Exodus 20

February 13

God, as we know, is all powerful. He freed the people from a land of slavery. (Exodus 20:2) God is a loving God, but he can be a jealous god. (Exodus 20:5). He can show us just how powerful he is. (Exodus 20:5-7,25-26) When I was younger, I was always confused by the saying “Fear God”. As I got older I have come to better understand this. We aren’t to fear God like we are the devil, but we are to fear him because we know His strength and power. We are supposed to fear Him so that it keeps us from sinning.

He has shown us and told us what we are to do and not to do. We are to honor our mother and father. We are not to commit murder. We are not to commit adultery. We are not to steal or give false testimony against our neighbor. These are just a few of the commandments. In order to follow these God wants us to fear His power and in a way fear disappointing him. He is our Father in heaven. It’s the same fear we should have for our earthly parents. Exodus 20 is a great chapter because it shows us all the things we should do to please God.

-Genesis Dylewski

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. Look closely at the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). How would you describe each commandment in your own words? Now consider, why do you think God included each of these commandments?
  2. What is the overall subject of the first 4 commandments? And of the last 6? Which do you generally find more challenging – having a good relationship with God or having good relationships with people? While recognizing the importance of all 10, choose one commandment from the first 4 and one commandment from the last 6 to focus on this week. How will you better align your thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions with these commandments?
  3. Can you think of a time the fear of God kept you from sinning? Explain. Can you think of a time you should have feared God more? Explain. How can you work on developing a healthy fear of the LORD?

Battlefield of the Mind

Jeremiah 21-22 and Hebrews 2

Going to God is easy when it’s something good. It’s easy when it’s something you are proud of, but what about those times when you are going through something hard or you did something wrong? Why is it so hard to go to Him then? We shouldn’t feel scared or ashamed to admit when something bad happens, we should feel comfortable telling God all, the good and the bad.

In Hebrews 2:7-8, it says, “You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor and put everything under their feet.” These two verses specifically talk about how God created humans just a little lower than his angels. He created us with glory and honor. That glory and honor doesn’t go away because we made a mistake.

Jeremiah 21 is all about God rejecting Zedekiah’s requests. Just because God rejects a request doesn’t mean he thinks you are a horrible person. Going along with telling God all, people aren’t built for guilt. God didn’t create humans to be guilty; he expects us to tell him everything. And when I say not feel guilty I mean he knows we aren’t going to be perfect human beings. Failure is normal. A lot of the greats in the Bible failed but God still held them to a high power. An example of this is David who committed a lot of sins and God still said he was a good man. Peter denied Jesus 3 times but he’s one of the greatest apostles. The reason being was they still came to God in their bad situations. Many of the people in the Bible did bad, but they came to God and did more right by him. People aren’t wicked just because they did one thing wrong. It’s okay to be weak as long as you admit to it and repent.  Turn from your sin and return to God. God was still giving Zedekiah another chance to turn from his sin before judgment came. Will he take it? Will he choose life or death? Remember that the devil can get to you easily, it’s the battlefield of the mind. 

-Genesis Dylewski

Today’s Bible reading passages can be read or listened to at BibleGateway.com here – Jeremiah 21-22 and Hebrews 2

%d bloggers like this: