September 2024 - Peculiar Parables

September 2024 - Peculiar Parables



"In [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:3

Sep 1: Jesus teaches us how to pray.

Synopsis: The Persistent Widow pestered a cruel and uncaring judge until she got the justice that she wanted. The point here is not that God is like an uncaring judge, or that we need to pester Him with repetitive prayers until we get our way. The point is that this widow continued to appeal to the judge without giving up. And she did so for one key reason; because she knew that the judge held the power to grant her request. When we really believe that God changes things, we pray differently. We pray with more frequency, more boldness, and more desperation, because we believe that our prayers really matter.
Scripture: Luke 18:1-8

Sep 8: God honors repentance above self-righteousness.

Synopsis: The sinful tax collector prayed a simple prayer, “God have mercy on me; a sinner.” He had no fancy words. He had no righteous acts to tell God about. He didn’t name his sins. He didn’t even promise to change his ways. All he did was desperately cry out for God’s mercy. The Pharisee had it all together. He lived the right life, prayed the right words, and listed off all of his righteous deeds. But the tax collector was justified, and the Pharisee wasn’t. Why did God honor the prayer of the sinner, but not that of the Pharisee? The tax collector had one thing that the Pharisee didn’t; an understanding of his desperate need for God’s mercy. The Pharisee’s good works didn’t make him right with God. God is the only one who justifies us. And He does so when we recognize our need for His mercy and grace. 

Scripture: Luke 18:9-14

Sep 15: God will make all things right in the end.

Synopsis: A farmer’s enemy scattered weeds in his field so that they would ruin his crop. When the farmhands asked if they should pull out the weeds, the farmer said, “No. Let them grow. We’ll deal with them later. After the harvest, we’ll separate the weeds from the grain, store the grain, and burn the weeds.” This world is full of weeds like sin, injustice, poverty, oppression, immorality, war, and disease. It can seem like there is no end in sight to the evils that surround us. Sometimes it can cause us to lose hope. But with this parable, Jesus reminds us of something we should never forget. In the end, God will sort everything out. He will deal with all of the world’s evil, and keep all that is good for Himself. 
Scripture: Matt 13:24-29

Sep 22: Jesus loves people who are far from God.

Synopsis: A shepherd uses his voice to direct his sheep. A stray sheep is one who either wasn’t listening, or wasn’t obeying. But the Good Shepherd ditched his entire flock to go look for one disobedient lamb who decided to go his own way. God’s heart burns with passion for those who are far from Him. But sometimes we don’t agree with God. Sometimes our hearts are full of judgment for people like this. We point fingers at their behavior, instead of seeking their salvation.
Scripture: Luke 15:1-7, Luke 19:10

Sep 29: God’s grace is bigger than you think.

Synopsis: Some farmhands complained to their boss, because he gave the same full day’s pay that they received to some guys who sat around all day and then showed up to work a few hours before quitting time. The boss responded, “You got what you were promised, and I can do what I want with my own money.” Then he asked the disgruntled workers if they were angered by His generosity. If we put ourselves in the shoes of these workers, and if we aren’t being pious, their frustration is legitimate. God likens the way He distributes grace to a financially irresponsible boss who, without explanation, grossly overpays some tardy, lazy, low-contribution workers, and does so for no other reason than that he wants to. His grace is bigger than we tend to think it is.
Scripture: Matt 20:1-16


September Memory Verse: 
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Included Each Week: A craft, wiggle-tamer, table time activity, discussion questions, take-home page, and more.

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