Looking back on 'Over and Above'
If you read the Monday Memo this last week, you got this prayer,
Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits that you have given us,
For all the pains and insults that you have borne for us.
Most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and brother,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly, day by day.
Richard of Chichester-1197-1253
Consider handing a copy of this prayer out and talking about its relevance to this series in our personal lives. Then I suggest you pray it together aloud, perhaps as you begin or end your group study time over the next four weeks. It can be unifying and uplifting experience to keep our eyes on Him together.
Regarding the message itself, you might try to get at by asking, “What does the title, Over and Above, have to do with the message? Let people offer suggestions. Then check out some of the quotes and allow time to discuss the three Working it Out questions in the looking back section- perhaps in small groups. Men/women?
Looking Ahead to 'Bottom Up'
See how people did in identifying the grouping of the verses. For your information, the first refer to the individual, then to marriage and family, then the church and finally civil government. Understanding that these are all established by God can provide clarity on the limits of government and the responsibilities and rights afforded to each of the others.
From Sunday's Bulletin:
I Pledge Allegiance: Over and Above - Mark 12:17
“...and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mark 12:17) Could it be that the things that are God’s are the only things that can make government function for the common good? And who is it that can/must render these things to God? God, Government and ME?
THINKING IT THROUGH
What will we do as the earth is set loose from its sun?
The safe guard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.
We have no government armed with powers capable of contending with human passion unbridled by morality and religion...our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
If you will not have God...you should pay your respects to Hitler and Stalin.
WORKING IT OUT
1. What deep thoughts are you thinking/pondering these days about God, government and you?
2. How aware are you of the fact God is over and above you and what difference does it make in your life?
3. How is this study helping you clarify how to pray for yourself, fellow citizens and the government?
I Pledge Allegiance: Bottom Up - Mark 12:17
It is easy in government to get things turned upside down. Most think that government works from the top down. In a limited way, that is true. But God’s emphasis is on more than one “authority” or government at work in the world at the same time. These
authorities work from the Bottom Up, and ideally are respected by one another. What are they? That’s what we are about to discover this week.
LOOKING IT UP
1.Look through each grouping of Scriptures below and then seek to describe what level or realm of authority or responsibility is emphasized in each.
Genesis 1:26-28, 2:15-17; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Matthew 16:27; Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:12
Genesis 2:18-25; Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Ephesians 5:22-6:4; Colossians 3:8-21; 1 Timothy 5:4, 16
Matthew 16:18; Acts 6:2-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; Hebrews 17:13; 1 Peter 5:1-2
Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-15; 1 Timothy 2:1-4
2.As you ponder the core “authorities” found in these groupings, how do you think they should relate to one another in practice?
3. Where do you see yourself in them?
Posted on Fri, October 12, 2012
by Tom Oyler