Bible insights from your friends at La Jolla Lutheran Church

Recognize the time God visits you

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You can seek and find God any time. But there are also occasions when God visits in a powerful way, and our decisions in those seasons can have lifelong significance.

Monday Exodus 19:17-20 (NRSV)

Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God. They took their stand at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the LORD had descended upon it in fire; the smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, while the whole mountain shook violently. As the blast of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses would speak and God would answer him in thunder. When the LORD descended upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain, the LORD summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

Some visitations from God are hard to miss. But even after seeing this spectacular scene in Exodus 19, the people were ready to leave God and worship a golden calf less than two months later.

If you had been one of the people present, what would you have thought of this encounter?

If you had been Moses, what would you have felt?

Not everyone experiences this dramatic an encounter with God. What are some ways you have felt God’s presence?

Tuesday Luke 19:37-40 (NRSV)

As [Jesus] was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!"

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, order your disciples to stop." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out."

What do you think this procession was like?

Where are you in the picture:

One of the multitude praising God with a loud voice?
One of the silent bystanders?
One of the Pharisees ordering the crowd to be quiet?

Wednesday Luke 19:41-44

As [Jesus] came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, "If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God."

Jesus wept because the people did not recognize the day of their visitation from God.

What does a visitation from God look like?

What does it feel like?

What do you want to pay attention to so you don’t miss a day of visitation from God?

Thursday Luke 19:45-48

Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, "It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers." Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.

This text directly continues from Jesus saying people did not recognize the day God visited them.

What information does it add about what a visitation from God looks like?

What does it feel like?

Friday Acts 19:24-28 (NRSV)

A man named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the artisans. These he gathered together, with the workers of the same trade, and said, "Men, you know that we get our wealth from this business. You also see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost the whole of Asia this Paul has persuaded and drawn away a considerable number of people by saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be scorned, and she will be deprived of her majesty that brought all Asia and the world to worship her." When they heard this, they were enraged and shouted, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"

When the story of Jesus threatened the fortunes of silversmiths crafting shrines of Artimas, trouble broke out.

In what respects is Paul’s proclamation to the Ephesians a visitation from God?

What would the visitation have felt like for the silversmiths?

What are some ways Jesus has impacted your occupation or your buying habits?

Saturday

What are have you done this week because of Jesus?

What do you want to do next week because of Jesus?

What do you need help with?