WEEK OF NOVEMBER 19TH, 2017

Day 1 – 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11

In the letter to the Thessalonians, St. Paul issues a warning that Jesus will come when the time is right and we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. Consequently it encourages us to be prepared for His arrival, not participating in the deeds of darkness that are so common in our day and age. But rather we should practice the acts of faith and love that demonstrate our relationship and trust in Jesus Christ.

Read 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11

Head
Paul talks about deeds of darkness. Talk together about what those kinds of deeds are. How do you see this happening in what people around you, at school or work, are doing? 

What is it that makes it a deed of darkness? Read Mark 12: 28-31, how do these works of darkness break the two greatest commandments? 

Heart
Paul mentions having put on a breast plate of righteousness and a helmet of salvation. What does he mean by these terms? Talk why those pieces of armor were so important.

Share stories of your own journey to faith, you could share baptism stories and how you want to have a home that talks about and makes faith a priority by putting on this “armor” daily. 

Hands
Paul not only talks about walking in the light, but also tells them to encourage and build one another up. How will you work on building one another up in your home?
Consider encouraging one another in: gratitude, prayer, saying thank you, making time for devotions etc.

Take time to split up and pray with one other person. List out some of the deeds of darkness you previously talked about and pray against temptation for that other person.


Day 2 – Matthew 25: 14-30

As we continue the theme of Jesus second coming, we find Jesus continuing his warning to be prepared. Following up on his story of the ten bridesmaids, Jesus now relates the story of three servants who are entrusted by their master with various amounts of wealth and property to manage. When the master calls his servants later to give an account of their stewardship, we find two that made use of their master’s property that resulted in adding to his wealth. The third servant, however, made no attempt to add to the wealth that had been entrusted to him, and was punished. 

God has entrusted each of us with capabilities that we are called to use to further his kingdom, contrary to the world, that invites us to use these gifts for our own pleasure and comfort. God invites us to see these gifts differently, rather than “how have we expanded our own wealth and pleasures?” it is “how have we expanded God’s kingdom?” 

Read Matthew 25: 14-30

Head
November is the end of the Church Year. It is during this time of year we have readings that look to the end times. Why is being reminded of the conclusion of time important for living in the now? Does the idea of Heaven comfort or scare you? Why? 

Heart
How does serving others relate to Heaven and managing God’s wealth?

Talk about this saying: God does not NEED your good works, but your neighbor DOES!

Now talk about this: We are saved by grace alone, but grace is never alone! It acts and cares for others

Hands
What are some of your abilities or gifts, and how could you use them to bless others and expand God’s kingdom?