The Chosen Reading Plan – Week 2

We’re back for the 2nd week of reading Scriptures and working through The Chosen Season 1. Check it out here.

If you missed the first week, it should be easy to catch up. Check out the first post here.

Day 1
Genesis 2:1-3
Exodus 20:8-11
Deuteronomy 5:12-15
(Shabbat, or Sabbath, background)
Day 2
Exodus 12:26-27
Deuteronomy 11:18-21
(importance of teaching children about God)
Day 3
Proverbs 31:10-31
(Jewish tradition was to sing this passage before Shabbat dinner)
Day 4
Mark 1:19-20 (James and John intro)

John 1:43-51 (“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”)
Day 5
Matthew 17:24-27
Matthew 18:15-17
(the status of tax collectors)
Day 6
Watch Episode 2
The Chosen: Episode 2 from Heritage Church on Vimeo.

Questions to Consider:

God rested on the 7th day. He wants us to rest in Him (Matthew 11:28). Rest is a gift! Are you accepting that gift? How can you honor God through rest?

Knowing that Matthew becomes one of Jesus’ disciples, what significance is presented by Praetor Quintus’s comment to Matthew (about betraying his people)?

Simon Peter and Andrew were in a difficult position. What do you think about Peter’s attempt and methods to handle the situation?

Mary shares a great testimony to Nicodemus saying, “I was one way, and now I am completely different, and the thing that happened in between was Him.” Not even sure who Jesus was at the time, she makes a powerful statement: “I will know him for the rest of my life.” Thoughts?

Which Sabbath dinner depicted was Jesus a part of? Which Sabbath dinner would you have been at?

Share your thoughts with us!

Again, thanks to “Down the Hobbit Hole Blog” for some ideas on Scripture readings and thought-provoking questions.

The Chosen Reading Plan – Week 1

We’re going to be reading through and watching the first season of “The Chosen”–an awesome production showing the ministry of Jesus and his apostles. Check it out here.

We hope you’ll follow along with us in the daily readings, and watching one episode per week in this 8-week series.

Day 1
Isaiah 43:1

Luke 8:1-15 (Mary Magdalene intro)

John 7:32-52 (Nicodemus intro)
Day 2

Luke 5:27-32 (Matthew intro)

Matthew 4:18-20 (Simon and Andrew intro)
Day 3
Matthew 3:1-12 (John the baptist intro)

Matthew 15:10-20
Day 4
Matthew 23:13-39
Day 5
Mark 4:11

Ephesians 3:5

Colossians 1:26
(the mystery of the Kingdom)
Day 6
Watch Episode 1

Questions to consider:

It’s interesting to see how the religious and political environment looked in Jesus’ day. What kind of people did Jesus spend the least and most time with? What do you think of Nicodemus’ comment “we are men God, it is not our custom to enter the red quarter”?

What did you think of how Matthew the tax collector and Simon Peter were portrayed?

What do you think about Nicodemus’ question, “What if we’re not seeing the whole picture?”? How do you think that will influence his perspective moving forward?

“I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are mine.” How can we remind ourselves of this truth and live it out practically?

The plan starts today! Join us! We’ll post each week’s plan here.

Thanks to “Down the Hobbit Hole Blog” for ideas on Scripture readings and thought-provoking questions.

Anger: Righteous Indignation or Wrath?

Anger is a tough subject to tackle because it touches on so many things.  It is a common motivator in our lives for both good and ill.  It can make you say things you would never say to a loved one or make you stand up to a bully at school or at work.  There are a many good reasons to be angry as well as bad ones.  Anger itself is not inherently bad but there is a balancing act to it.  On the one side, being assertive is biblical and Christians are supposed to rebuke wrongdoing and sin among brothers and sisters in Christ.  Jesus whipped the moneychangers out of the Temple for usury (John 2:15).  However, the Bible makes it clear that anger should be used sparingly and warns us against wrath.  The Scriptures repeatedly tell us to be slow in anger.  Proverbs 14:29 states that “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.”  James 1:19-20 asserts that “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”  Notice that these Scriptures say to be “slow” in anger.  It does not say that anger is unwarranted or bad, but anger must be kept in check.

We must distinguish the two forms of anger: righteous indignation and wrath.  Righteous indignation is the anger moves us to resolve an issue or correct someone out of love.  For example, Paul rebuked Peter for showing partiality with the Jews at Antioch.  Peter ate with the Gentles until some Jews came, and then he only ate with the Jews.  Peter “fear[ed] the circumcision party” and did not want the other Jews to see him eating with the Gentles.  Paul reprimanded Peter of his hypocrisy in front of everyone, saying that he “walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:11-14).  Scripture outlines how to handle a sinning brother.  If a brother sins against you, go to him in private.  If he does not repent, get a third party to intervene and if he still does not repent then take before the church to be rebuked.  (Matthew 18:15-17).  Righteous indignation rebukes sin in the moment but it does not linger or fester.  Rebuking is not meant to destroy a person’s esteem but correct and point them to God’s glory.  It teaches others to enforce the God’s principles, but it does not judge others like God.  Anger, in this state, is a tool for the moment and must be replaced with forgiveness as quickly as possible.   

In contrast, Wrath is an uncontrollable anger devoid of love and compassion.  It does not reprimand out of kindly regard, but eviscerates all goodwill.  Wrath takes control over the mind and arrests the heart into submission.  It spreads like a wildfire consuming all the love and goodness it can get.  As fire destroys without regard to life or property, so does wrath.  Wrath makes itself an idol sitting on the heart’s throne like a god casting judgement and finding everything wanting.  Wrath sows discord among friendships, destroys familial bonds, and separates the church fellowship through its vindictiveness and malice.  The more we give power to wrath, the more it consumes us bringing us to despair. 

Ephesians 4:26-31 sums all of the argument up nicely: 

 “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” 

Jesus should be on the throne of our hearts, and we should listen to the Holy Spirit for guidance.  When we do this, our anger does not become wrath but a tool rarely to be used.  The key difference between wrath and righteous anger is whether or not it’s motivation is love.  Without love, anger is wrath and as Psalm 37:8 proclaims, “Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.”  

“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” Colossians 3:8

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”  James 1:19-20.