Want to learn more about Discipleship (2)? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 14-part series.
How do you decide questions that you have about God,
about how to live your life, and about how to bring others to Jesus?
The answer should be “the Bible.” Do you know enough about the Bible
to make informed decisions? This week a controversy over one of the
stars of a television reality program taught me that those in the
media are ignorant about the Bible. The media showed a video clip of
this star standing in church and preaching about homosexuality. The
whole clip consisted only of a quotation from the book of Romans.
Instead of criticizing the star, a proper discussion should have been
about the Bible and what this Bible text meant. Let’s dive into our
Bible study and learn more about this topic!
Metaphor? It is not a town or a person. I’ll not strain
your memory about high school English. You use a metaphor when you
want to teach that one thing is similar or the same as something
else. What are we talking about here? Parables. Stories. Jesus was a
story teller, and His stories were intended to teach us truths about
God and about life. In a book I recently read about the brain, it
asserted that our brains are lazy. If we already have figured out one
thing, when something similar, but more complex comes along, we are
likely to consider them the same and use the same solution. No need
to struggle with the complexity in the new problem. Would God appeal
to lazy brains? Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and see what
we can learn about why Jesus told stories!
How is your prayer life? If you are like me, your
answer is “inadequate and needs improvement.” When I walk in the
morning, I try to pray and look for God’s leading in writing this
lesson. However, my mind is like a squirrel constantly trying to dart
off onto other matters. If you think your prayer life could use
improvement, let’s race into our Bible study to see how we can
improve our conversations with God!
It was a tough time when we left the hospital with our
first born child. When we put the new-born baby in the car seat my
wife was convinced it would kill the baby. I was convinced that if
we did not put our baby boy in the car seat he could die. It was an
unpleasant conversation, and I’m sure the hospital people wanted us
to drive off – which we could not do until we had resolved this
issue. My wife won the debate. On the way home, we thought that the
hospital had given our son some special liquid that we needed to
purchase, but no drug store sold it. Again, we were worried that we
would make a mistake that would harm our baby. No one gave us an
instruction book to consult for these issues. Did you feel that way
with your first-born child? The Bible gives us instructions about
child handling. It does not include car seats, but it is lifesaving.
Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!
Would you like more members in your church? That is the
current topic of discussion in my church! People have ideas for
outreach, but my thought is “Let’s heal some sick people!” Have you
ever considered what a great approach that is to bringing new people
into your church? That was Jesus’ approach, right? Or, was it? Did
Jesus heal people to bring more crowds to hear Him, or did He heal
people because He had compassion on them? If you are healing people
to attract others to the gospel, isn’t that showing compassion? Let’s
dive into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn about how
to deal with sickness!
This lesson gives me mixed feelings. For almost 35
years I was a member of the Adventist Church in Manassas, Virginia.
When I joined, the church leaders immediately asked me to be an
elder. I challenged them: “Why should I be an elder? Because I’m a
lawyer?” On the other hand, I’ve been involved in many evangelistic
outreaches in Manassas. No effort was ever made to bring in educated
“professional class” members. We never converted anyone with a Ph.D
or professional doctorate. Church always seemed this bizarre mix. We
would never target professionals for conversion, but if we had a
professional in the church, they were almost always made a leader.
What does the Bible say, if anything, about these kinds of issues?
Let’s plunge into our study and find out!
Recently, I heard of a Christian singer who walked out
of the Grammy Awards. I said to myself, “Good for her.” I had watched
part of the show and was unhappy that instead of sticking to music,
some of the participants chose to promote evil. This past Sabbath my
pastor pointed to what this Christian singer had done and asked,
“What would Jesus have done?” I thought, “I need to reconsider my
prior attitude.” One way I decide what I should do is to ask myself,
“Will this promote evil or will this promote the Kingdom of God?”
This Christian singer took a stand by saying that she would not be a
part of the promotion of evil. On the other hand, Jesus seemed to
constantly be hanging around with evil-doers. Let’s dive into our
study of the Bible and see what lessons we can learn!
Money is a tricky thing. In the last few weeks I’ve
referred to Deuteronomy 28, which teaches that those who follow God’s
commands will be materially blessed. It was this rule of life that
caused Job’s friends to argue that his loss of wealth and other
problems were due to Job’s failure to obey God. Even Job believed
this, for in Job 31 he recounted his obedience and demanded a hearing
in which God would have to answer him. On the other hand, in Matthew
19:24 Jesus equates money with an inability to get into heaven. How
can obedience lead to wealth, but then wealth keeps you out of
heaven? Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and see what we can
Is government good? God tells us that it is. If that is
true, why is it that government does so much evil? Government
authority killed Jesus! How should Christians relate to those in
power? Let’s race into our study of the Bible and see what we can
How would you describe the primary focus of your
church? Is it focused inward or outward? How about you – are you
primarily focused on yourself or on others? This week we study a
huge shift in God’s work on earth. Instead of being focused on the
Jewish nation, the focus turns outward to the entire world. Let’s
plunge into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn about
our personal focus and that of our church!
Consider Moses and the Apostle Paul. What traits did
they have in common? I think of them as highly intelligent and highly
educated men. Would you consider Jesus’ disciples to have the same
traits? Why did Jesus pick disciples who were not highly educated? We
don’t know how smart they were, but Jesus did call them
“dull”(Matthew 15:16). Moses and Paul were great leaders – but so
were the disciples. Something is going on with the training of the
disciples that might bless our lives. Let’s dive into our lesson and
see what we can learn about the way Jesus trained future spiritual
In Matthew 9:37 Jesus said to His disciples, “The
harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” Since Jesus is
talking about harvesting souls for the Kingdom of Heaven, I would
add, “and skilled workers are even fewer.” I have the handle of an
old scythe in my garage. Scythes are hand tools for harvesting wheat.
They have a long, curved handle, and a long, narrow blade fastened at
a right angle to the end of the handle. I’ve got an idea about how it
works, but it would take on-the-job training for me to use it
properly. What about harvesting souls? How do we become a skilled
worker at that critical task? Let’s plunge into our study of the
Bible and see what we can learn!
In Luke 14:28 Jesus told of a man considering whether
he would build a tower. The prudent thing, according to Jesus, is to
figure out whether you have enough money to finish the tower before
you begin pouring the foundation. Jesus told this story to illustrate
the decision that we have to make when becoming disciples. Have we
counted the cost? Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and see what
kind of accounting we need to do when deciding to follow Jesus!