lENT 2021 bIBLE rEADING PLAN
March 13th: The Shema : Strength -- Dr. Tim Mackie (bibleproject.com)
We finish our study on the Shema by looking at the Hebrew word me’od, which is translated as strength. In the Shema, listeners are called to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and me’od (that is, strength). But the Hebrew word technically means “very” or “much.” So while it might sound funny, this famous verse could also be translated, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your muchness.” What do you have much of? Sometimes we love having much instead of using what we have to love God and others. How do we avoid hoarding our muchness to enjoy the freedom of loving God with everything we are?
Read and Discuss
Video Question :How did the video expand your understanding of the word me’od?
Read Matthew 6:19-34
What do we have much of? Our “muchness,” or how much we have, can easily become what we love. But God calls us instead to use all that we are and have to love him and others. When we use our muchness in this way, it receives the joy and security of God’s own muchness and becomes even more valuable.
Question 1: What did you observe as you read the passage? What beliefs and responses do you think this passage is inviting you to?
Question 2: Think of all the experiences, challenges, talents, relationships, possessions, time, and health that you have. This is what you can think of as your muchness. List three to five specific examples of your muchness.
Question 3: Sometimes we think our muchness is not very much, so we anxiously hoard it. Next to each of the things you listed in the above question, write one way you might be prone to worry.
How do these worries hinder you from using your muchness to love God and others?
Take some time now to admit your worries to God in prayer.
Question 4: Jesus’ teachings remind us of our value and also of God’s generous provision to help us in times of distress or worry.
Next to each item on your list, write one way God has expressed his care and provision towards you.
Take time now to thank God in prayer.
Question 5: Consider your list again. What would it practically look like to use your muchness to love God and others? What is one step you can take today? Remember that God is with you, strengthening you to carry it out.