Lesson One: God Spoke So that
Good morning, Bible Study friends. Are you as excited as I am?! Our official first day has finally arrived. Great anticipation fills my heart as we gather in my kitchen this morning. How grateful I am for each and every one of you. Your comments have filled me with such joy…reading each and every one blessed me more than you will know. Thank you for taking the time to write and share your hearts with me and for sharing your prayers.
It is definitely a day for celebration. We now have over 6300 subscribed to our on-line studies! This is truly only something God can do!! Our “biggest small group ever” just keeps growing because you so graciously share our studies with your friends. Thank you. We are still taking new members, so if you have a friend or friends you would like to invite, please share this post and encourage them to sign up by registering in the sidebar for the on-line studies as well as subscribing to the blog to receive the weekly posts in their inbox.
Each week we will have a video lesson, a memory verse, a prayer and homework questions.
Please forgive inconsistent spacing issues in the homework. I am not sure why it will space correctly sometimes and not others.
The lesson will be up all week so that you can do it on your own time. Remember if you want to receive the homework in your inbox, you will need to subscribe to this web site. To do that, look at the top right side of my web site. There you will find a link that says “Subscribe to Updates.” Simply type your e-mail address in the inbox and press “Go.” You will then receive each week’s lesson in your inbox on Tuesdays. If you want to see the video, you will have to visit my web site directly. To get to the web site, you may click on the title of the post in the e-mail. It will take you directly there.
Winners of “Living So That” Bible Study.
Before we get to the lesson, it’s time to announce the winners of the “Living So That” study I teach here in Charlotte. I was only going to give one, but since so many of you responded, I am going to give away twelve. It will come in the form of a PDF. When it arrives, print it out. It fits perfectly in a 1″ notebook. The winners are:
Susan who posted on 11/5 at 3:28 pm
Renee who posted on 11/5 at 8:39 am
Jennifer who posted on 11/5 at 8:56 am
Bev who posted on 11/5 at 9:08 am
Amy Moe who posted on 11/5 at 3:28 pm
Debbie G who posted on 11/5 at 3:42 pm
Peggy who posted on 11/5 at 4:35 pm
Gayel who posted on 11/5 at 5:33 pm
Cherylyn who posted on 11/5 at 11:13 pm
Kathy who posted on 11/6 at 11:29 am
Nancy who posted on 11/10 at 1:07 am
Carolyn who posted on 11/10 at 11:53 am
Please send your full name and e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will send you the “Living So That” study.
Okay….we’re off!!! Below please find our video lesson for this week.
This Week’s Memory verse: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good purpose.
This Week’s Prayer:
Father, today begins a new day in my spiritual journey with You. Thank You for bringing me to this study for setting apart this time and place for me to be in Your Word. As I begin my first lesson, I come boldly before Your throne, asking to be filled with the full, deep, and clear knowledge of Your will for me this year. Please use my time here to invigorate, refresh, strengthen, and renew me. Father, speak Truth in my life. Your Word calls me to action… to a life that will make a difference for You and Your Kingdom.
Open the eyes of my heart to see that life. Give me a heart that desires that life above all else. If I am not living in a way that pleases You or loving others in a way that honors You or studying in a way that changes me, convict my heart by speaking Truth in love. Make my heart tender to receive rebuke and discipline. You have drawn me here, and I want to receive ALL You have for me!
As I join my sisters to study Your Word, knit us together in perfect unity. Allow there to be absolute trust and confidence in all we say.
Father, plant our roots deep in Your Word and use us to continually build each other up. Help us to be patient and gentle with each other. Help us teach, admonish, and train one another with grace in our hearts. May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing to You, oh, Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. Father, bring Your living and active Word alive in my heart. Invade every part of my being. Transform me from the inside out.
A. Do you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God? If you answered “no,” what do you believe about the Bible and its accuracy and authenticity?
B. Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17, this week’s memory verse. What does Paul say about God’s Word? List the four reasons God’s Word is profitable and explain how each applies to your life.
1.. Read Romans 15:4. What does Paul add here?
2. Read 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11 and share what you learn about the purpose of God’s written Word?
3. What is the “so that” in 2 Timothy 3:17?
The King James Version says, “That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
“Perfect” is from the Greek word artios and refers “not only to the presence of all the parts that are necessary for completeness but also to the further adaptation and aptitude of those parts for their designed purpose.” It does not at all suggest sinless perfection. Rather, it implies being fitted for the use for which God created us.
“Furnished” is from the Greek word exartizo and means to “furnish completely.” God, through His Word and His Spirit, gives us exactly what we need to be the women He created us to be. The Word of God equips us so that we can live the life God laid out for us before time began. The logical conclusion is the better you and I know the Word, the better able we are to live out God’s plan for our lives.
The Word equips us for ministry. And ministry is not limited to pastors, priests, nuns, speakers, authors, and Bible teachers. Ministry is doing God’s work wherever He has placed us in our homes, in our schools, in our workplace, in our community, in our neighborhood, in our circle of friends, in our world.
4. In your own life, how has God used His Word to prepare and equip you?
C. Read Luke 8:4-15. Our “so that” is found in verses 9-10.
Don’t you love to know a secret? I feel really special when someone entrusts me with a secret. That is what Jesus tells His disciples here. Because they are special, He is entrusting them with Kingdom secrets. The word for secret here is musterion and refers to a “sacred thing hidden which is naturally unknown to human reason and is only known by the revelation of God.”
Matthew Chapter 13 (where we also find this same parable) tells us that Jesus taught this parable from a boat. One commentator surmises that as Jesus was teaching, He looked out upon a billowing cornfield that descended to the water’s edge. Running through that field was a well- worn path. Also within His purview, He could see rocky soil and ground overridden by thorn bushes. And, in the distance, on the other side, there was good, rich soil that distinguished itself from the barren soil around it. With this visual in mind, let’s dig in to Luke’s parable.
In Jesus’ time, farmers planted seed by hand. The farmer in this story went out to plant his seeds. As he scattered the seeds, they traveled to four locations in the field. Some fell along the dirt path. Because people continually traveled this path, the soil was packed down hard. Once it landed on the soil, it could not take root. It would simply lie on top until the birds came and ate it. Some seed fell among the rock. This refers not to a pile of rocks but rather a place where a thin layer of soil covers a rocky ledge. So there was enough soil for the seed to take root, but its roots could not go deep. Thus, it could not feed itself, and it soon withered and died. Other seed fell among thorns. The good seed took root and grew up alongside the thorns, but the thorns grew faster and overtook the good seed and choked out the very life they produced. Finally, some seed fell in the rich, good soil. It was this seed, Luke says, that produced a crop that was “a hundred times as much as had been planted.” (NLT)
1. When Jesus finished the parable, His disciples were confused. Before He explained it, what did he say? (v. 8) What did Jesus mean by these words?
The New Living Translation says, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God”
2. Was Jesus really speaking in parables to hide the Kingdom from “others,” from those outside His circle? Explain.
It does not seem fair, but that is what He appears to say. What we can infer from Jesus’ words is that He is looking for “listening ears.” If we have listening ears, we will hear and understand. Jesus purposely spoke in parables to distinguish between those who had “ears to hear” (those with responsive hearts) and those who did not. His words in verses 9 and 10 imply an element of culpability.
Now let’s open our ears so we can hear the truths Jesus wants us to glean from this parable.
3. Who is the sower? Can there be more than one sower?
4. What does the seed represent? What does the soil represent?
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we receive a new heart, a heart which can perceive and understand the things of God. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our heart because it is the wellspring of life. Matthew teaches that where our treasure is our heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21) The state of our heart determines the quality of our “listening ears.”
5. Jesus speaks of four types of soil, each one representing the heart of one who reads or hears the Word of God. Take a moment and dissect each soil as it relates to the heart and explain why that impacts the heart’s ability to receive the message.
6. Is your soil fertile? Is the Word taking root in your heart as you receive it? If yes, share evidence of it taking root. If not, what do you need to do to allow it to take root?
D. As we read through John’s gospel, time and time again we find phrases like this: “I am telling you now;” “I have told you before,” and “I have told you this.” Read the following examples and answer the questions. Also note that each one contains a “so that.”
Read John 13:19 and John 14:29:
1. I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. John 13:19
a. What is Jesus telling them now? (for more insight read John 13:18-30)
b. Why is he telling them?
c. Why is strengthening their belief so important?
The disciples’ task after Jesus’ death would be to spread the message of the Kingdom. Jesus knew that, as it stood, they were not strong enough to take on such a monumental undertaking. He needed to strengthen their belief. The fact that Jesus knew of Judas’ betrayal and prophesied it in advance bolstered the disciples’ faith. Jesus used many “so that” statements like this to build their faith.
2. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen, you will believe. John 14:29
a. What is Jesus telling them before it happens? (for more insight read John 14:28-31, Mark 8:31, Mark 9:31-32)
b. Why is he telling them?
c. Why would strengthening their belief in preparation for that moment in His ministry be imperative?
Jesus wanted His disciples to know that although He would be absent physically, He would not be gone altogether. They would still experience His presence even though they would not see or sense Him physically.
3. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
a. Jesus begins by saying, “I have told you these things.” Define “these things.”
b. In whom do we have peace? How is that possible?
c. What does it look like to “have peace” in Christ?
d. Practically, how do we live in the fullness of God’s peace?
Jesus knew that His death would create great despair in the hearts of His followers. They had spent every moment with Him for the past three years. He was their teacher and their leader. He led them and fed them. He prayed for them and cared for them. And because Jesus was human, He perceived their fears of persecution and even death. He wanted to speak hope into their lives before He left. He wanted to assure them that even though in this world they would have trouble, they should not be anxious or afraid. He wanted them to know that peace would be theirs, an everlasting peace that no one could take away.
How is peace like that possible? Because of the Holy Spirit. Even though Jesus is physically now sitting at the right hand of His Father in heaven, He has not left us. He is with us spiritually. Through God’s Holy Spirit, we are connected with Jesus for eternity! We are free to encounter Him every day in His living and active Word. We are free to come boldly before His throne of grace with our every need. And we can know that when we come, He will hear us. We can find peace in times of pressure and uncertainty, in times of fear and waiting. We must never forget that even though in this world we will have trouble, our Savior has overcome the world! He is the Prince of Peace and His Peace reigns.
John 14:27 tells us that His peace is not the peace the world gives.
4. Distinguish between the world’s peace and the peace of Jesus.
5. How do we secure that peace in our lives? (read Philippians 4:6-7)
E. Our next “so that” is from the book of Colossians. Read Colossians 1:24-2:8.
1.What did Paul tell the Colossians?
2. Why did he tell them this?
We must continually move forward in our faith. It is when we stand still or slide backward that we open ourselves up to Satan, the enemy of our souls. Jesus identifies Satan in John 8:44 as the “father of lies.” Peter warns us in 1 Peter 5:8, “your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
The word Paul uses is “deceive;” the King James Version says “beguile.” We are not to be “deceived” by fine sounding arguments. This is from the Greek word paralogizomai, which means to deceive by false reasoning. It is clear from much of Paul’s writing he experienced continual spiritual conflict, wrestling against Satan and his minions who were deceiving new believers, attempting to lead them astray. He desperately wanted believers to live together in unity and live in the fullness of Christ’s blessings. Paul knew, as Jesus knew when he spoke to Cleopas and his friend on the road to Emmaus, the one and only way to overcome Satan was through the Word and prayer.
The world bombards us daily with lies and deception. If we do not know Truth, we will be led astray. If we are not continually in the Word and daily in prayer, we will slip backward, making ourselves vulnerable to Satan.
3. What does Paul want for us in Colossians 2:2?
4. In Christ, we have what according to Colossians 2:3?
What a gift we have in Jesus! In Him we have “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Any man made philosophy that contradicts or comes against His Word has no place in the life of a believer and should be unworthy of our consideration.
We must continually be aware of the world’s “fine-sounding arguments” and “enticing words” (KJV). These words in the Greek mean “persuasive words.” These are words that use logical but false arguments. God calls us to be alert and aware of such words. But that does not just happen. We must prepare in 0rder to be aware.
How can we prepare? Be in the word. Pray for discernment. Pray for understanding. Pray for wisdom.
Friend, we have Jesus! We are rich in the One who is our All in All. He is our Sufficiency. He is our Portion. He is Wisdom. He is Truth. He is enough. He is all we need!
In my research, I found the following quote in a sermon preached by Thomas Bevers. I am not sure if he is the author, but I thought it a fitting conclusion for this week’s lesson:
“This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s character. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. Follow its precepts and it will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for eternity.”
How we have delighted in the Lord’s Word this week! I don’t know about you, but I have been filled to the fullness of what I am able to receive. My heart is overflowing with TRUTH!
What I have learned is that I must fill my mind with God’s spoken Word because you and I act on what we BELIEVE and not on what we know. What fills our hearts and minds will determine our actions.
My Call to Action:
Prayerfully ask the Lord if He has a call to action for you based upon our lesson this week. If you hear “yes,” write a prayer below asking the Lord to help you obey what you have heard. List a few steps you will take to carry out your call to action.