Thursday, May 28, 2009

Things I Love: The Bible

Big Idea:
Beyond being the best selling book of all time, the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God that reveals the character and majesty of the Creator of the universe, while also presenting His love and purposeful plan for us. However, the Bible is only effective when we allow it to penetrate our hearts, minds, souls, and spirits. We must receive the Word and permit it to take root in our lives, resulting in change that will last for all eternity.     

Summary:
The Bible is a special book because it is God’s Word.  Although written by human beings, it is also the inspired Word of God.  God has revealed Himself to us through His written Word, which points us toward Christ. He shows us truth, reveals our hearts, disciplines us, encourages us, and prepares us for life. Reading the Bible helps us maintain and refresh our relationship with God. Additionally, the Word of God has the power to heal and transform our lives. God's word is not like the word of man; it is living, effective and self‑fulfilling. It diagnoses the condition of the human heart and brings blessing to those who receive it in faith.   

Jesus tells us that people have different responses when they encounter the Truth found in God’s Word – The Bible. The first hears the Word, but the philosophies of this world drown it out and actually make it sound like foolishness. This person rejects the Truth of God because they did not understand. The second person hears the Word and initially believes, but because they receive no instruction, they sadly end up falling away and rejecting Truth. The third person hears the Word, believes it, grows in it, but after time they become distracted by the cares, worries, lusts, and riches of this world. However, there is the person who hears the Word, believes it, grows in it, embraces it, perseveres in it, and allows it to completely transform them. The power of God’s Word will change this person and cause them to fulfill the very plan that God designed for them. They end up living a life of spiritual victory and abundance.

Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)

Luke 8:4-15 
1.     What does the seed represent? What is the growing process? 
2.     Elaborate on each of these types of ground:  
  • Along the path: How does the devil take away the word from their hearts? 
  • Among the rocks: What do the rocks represent? Why do you suppose they fell away? 
  • Among the thorns: How do these things "choke" the Christian life? What are indications of maturity? 
  • On good soil: What are characteristics of people who not only receive the message well, but also produce fruitfulness after much perseverance? 
3.     How can people in the first three categories develop good soil? 
4.     And how can those in the good soil maintain the condition of their soil? 
5.     What type of soil are you growing in?   

Taking Action: Analyze the condition of your soil. Is your life experiencing spiritual growth and are you producing much fruit? Intentionally nourish your soil by frequently watering it. Spend time in God’s Word; allow Him to renew your mind. Put the things of God’s Word to work in your life and watch the growth and transformation happen. 

Ministry Time

4 comments:

Becky said...

Praise God! Nice Post. When I first read the book of Matthew about 5 years ago it completely opened my eyes and changed my life!
I prayed for understanding first.
The Bible definately is like a mirror - it showed me my sinful condition.
I was a Christian (or so I thought) before that, but I didn't live like one. I was a self proclaimed Christian but I didn't live it AT ALL. I was not born again.
After reading Matthew, there was a season of sorrow and brokenness about my sin, but it was Godly sorrow which led to repentance.
That sorrow is nothing compared to the JOY of the Lord and following Him. I love the Bible...I read it first thing in the morning...the Bible is completely God breathed! No Bible...no breakfast...for me anyway! It's more important than food it's soul food!
For anyone reading this, repent, follow Christ, read His word, He has a new abundant spirit-filled life for you too!

Philippians 3:7
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

Eric Jones said...

Becky,
I really appreciate your comments and your evident heart for Christ.

Becky said...

I like your postings they have been an encouragement to me! Do you mind if I use that Bible Study one maybe in a personal bible study with my nieces?
I don't know why I found this site...I really only blog early in the mornings on my own site and then leave comments for encouragement on my cousin's site...but I really like this site too! It's been a definate encouragement!
I clicked on your link about Africa, how amazing! God is awesome!
My husband, 2 children and I live in Las Vegas (well, Henderson).
Now that I think about it, I think I came across your site by googling a topic about spiritual leadership and then was led to your site!
Must be God!
Thanks so much!
-Becky
Have a good day!

Eric Jones said...

Becky,

No problem. Feel free to use these studies. I am blessed by you comments.

Eric