Series: Family Privilege
Preacher: Jenniffer Ogden
Reflection: Jenniffer Ogden
Live Wonder: Jessyka Albert
Live Adventure: Jessyka Albert
Live Purpose: Don Pate
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Romans 10:1-21 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Huddled together, grass tucked under our tiny toes, we strategized. We would race as a frenzied mass into enemy territory, grab the flag, and pass it person-to-person while zig-zagging back to safety. And we would win! We would be the Capture the Flag champions! It was the perfect plan. We piled our hands in the center of our circle, counted down, and gave a shout of anticipated victory.
And Tiny Tim (name changed to protect the guilty) took off running. Across the field he darted, yelling joyfully as he raced . . . in the wrong direction. Of course he was tagged and carted off to jail. Our perfect plan was foiled. Our championship dreams were crushed. We had the energy and the plan, but we missed the target.
Paul writes about a nation of great zeal, massive energy, and an eagerness to be correct about God. But their zeal was directed toward the wrong target.
The law of God was exalted above God Himself.
Christ was confused for a counter-cultural crusader rather than the Savior.
An ability to follow the law was elevated above the grace of God.
Passion turned to persecution.
Gradually a nation of zealous God-loving folk became a nation of zealots.
It all sounds so familiar.
How easy it can be for me to slip into the same place! I begin to think once I have one thing figured out, that I have it all together. I can do all the things, all the time. And I kick the Savior out of my salvation.
The great hope, to echo Paul, is that I will call on the name of the Lord, and not my own zeal, to be saved. May Jesus be, and remain, my focus and target day by day.
Recalibrate: How are you rushing ahead with zeal but without Godly knowledge?
Respond: Ask the Lord for His strength to see where your passion may have run ahead of Him and ask Him to redirect that passion as needed.
Research: Read Maybe God Is Like That Too by Jennifer Grant and Galatians 5:22-23. Determine what aspect of God’s character your find attractive and inspiring and examine where your character is in comparison with this ideal.
Remember: “How beautiful are the feet of the ones who bring good news of good things” (Romans 10:15, KNT).
Jenniffer Ogden serves as the children and family pastor for Walla Walla University Church in College Place, Washington. She has been pastoring since 2009 and serves our church community masterfully as she ministers to kids and parents, adults and old folks alike.
At the beginning of Chapter 10, Paul tells us that the Jews do their very best to do what is right, but they aren’t completely lined up in the right direction to follow God. Read Verse 3 out loud: “They did not know the way that God makes people right with Him. And they tried to make themselves right in their own way. So they did not accept God’s way of making people right.” When was a time your child did things their own way and it ended up hurting them more than helping? Share a time with your child about when you did something your own way and it hurt you.
When I was a kid I played on a basketball team and, during one of the games, a player from the other team ran in the wrong direction and shot a basket scoring the points for my team! They were so excited to be making their way to the basket that they didn’t hear the coach and their teammates yelling that they were going in the wrong direction. Paul tells us that sometimes we can be like that with God. Sometimes we need to freeze in place and listen to what God is telling us before we go running ahead in the wrong direction. Today, can you find a way to freeze in place and say a prayer to Jesus asking Him to guide you in the right direction?
Families come in all kinds of packages. People call them “nuclear” and “original” and “single-parent” and “blended” and the list goes on. Your family is your family and, like it or not, you didn’t have much choice in being born into it. My mom came from a very, very fractured family and all of her siblings died by the time they were in their mid-40s. Mom? She joined another “family” as a young adult and it has changed everything for her. This week she turns 90 and she still loves her second family to pieces. The good news? No matter what your first family looks like Jesus offers a larger, better, and more eternal one. This week we’re going to consider that family. Please join me as we study each day.