Want to learn more about The Christian Life? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
We just finished our series of lessons on the gift of
prophecy. 1 Corinthians 13:2 tells us that if we have the gift of
prophecy, but do not love, we are nothing! How appropriate it is to
start our new series of lessons on the Christian Life by studying
love. Let’s dive into the Bible and see how we can go from nothing
to something by being loving!
We are told that faith is not a rational conviction. Do
you agree? Consider that the disciples believed Jesus was coming back
during their lifetime. (See 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18). It is now about
2,000 years later. I’ve waited for people who are late, and I’ve
been late. But, on the face of it, this seems a little ridiculous.
Have you ever believed anything which was completely irrational?
Something on which there is not a scrap of evidence? We call these
superstitions! What does the Bible say about faith? Is it beyond
evidence? Are we expected to wait thousands of years without any
proof whatsoever that we are not fools? Or, does faith have an
evidentiary root on which we can build? Let’s dive into the Bible
and find out!
Do you feel that your hopes are sinking? When I was in
my early 20’s, I believed that the United States was heading into its
sunset years. Why not? All sorts of nations rise and decline. Why
should we be different? Then Ronald Reagan was elected President and
my attitude was completely changed. I had hope about the future of my
country. Now the United States, and the world in general, looks like
it is entering difficult times. How should a Christian look at these
things? We all live in different countries, does our hope for the
future turn on the future of our country? Be honest, do you want to
be sitting in a dark, cold basement holding onto spiritual hope
alone? Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and see what kind of
hope God offers to His followers!
Have you ever contemplated your life? What course is it
taking? Where would you like it to go? With our jobs, television,
the Internet, kids, housework, and errands, it is easy to be occupied
with the “immediate” all day. If we get a moment to rest, we spend
it on something other than just sitting and thinking. Meditation is
probably something related only to yoga, as far as we are concerned,
and not part of our life. Let’s take some time and contemplate,
through the words of the Bible, what it means to live. Let’s consider
what goals God has for you!
Does it seem reasonable that anything as complex as the
universe, or even as complex as you, came about by accident? Isn’t it
more reasonable to believe that Jaguars (the car) are assembled by
chimpanzees(the animal), then to believe the universe came about by
chance? The more reasonable questions are these: What kind of a God
do we have? Has He decided to talk to humans and tell them about
Himself? How can we find His messages? Let’s dive into our study of
the Bible and see what it reveals about all of these questions!
Imagine a spouse who deliberately irritates you.
(Hopefully, this is hard to imagine!) Is an attitude like that one of
love? Does this teach us something about sin and God’s law? A
troubling number of Christians claim that they can do anything they
want and still be loving followers of Christ. They argue that the
law is no longer in effect, so there is no need to pay any attention
to God’s desires and directions. Is this true? Is it sensible? Why
does God give us directions? Let’s dive into our Bibles and find out
more about sin!
When a Jewish friend of mine discussed religion with
me, he claimed that Christians “highjacked” his religion. In
response, I would say we “completed” his religion. To make the
logical point, I would ask him what the sanctuary service and the
offering of the lamb was all about? If it was merely about killing
animals to take away sin, why not carry on with the tradition? A
temple is not necessary to have sacrifices! Consider this: Judaism,
Islam and Christianity all accept the Old Testament as the word of
God, but it is only Christianity that completes the logical
connection to grace. Jesus, the Lamb of God, takes away our sins.
That is what the Old Testament sanctuary service was all about! Let’s
jump right into our study of grace!
If something needs to be done, I want to do it now. If
you are wired like me, then “guilt-free” rest is of great value.
That is why I love the Sabbath so much. I know I’m not supposed to be
working on it, and therefore I can rest without feeling guilty.
During law school it was wonderful. My diligent friends would be
studying every day in order to get the best grades. On Sabbath I did
not study law and I was blessed for it. Let’s dive into the Bible
and find out why a Sabbath rest is still a central part of God’s plan
What motivates you in life? Money, reputation, power,
love, success, God or all of the above? Why did I list God among
human motivators? Because God is in the motivation business. One
major motivator is His promise of heaven for those who are faithful.
Last week I asked you to consider Satan’s strategy when it comes to
undermining the authority of God. What do you think is Satan’s
strategy when it comes to the issue of heaven? If heaven does not
exist, sin (which does exist) looks pretty good, right? At least at
first. Let’s dive into the Bible and see what it says about our
“Lead, follow or get out of the way” is a saying
attributed to Thomas Paine, a “founding father” of the United States.
If I gave you the choice of those three, how many would choose
“follow?” I suspect not many. Most like to lead or go their own way.
Our lesson this week is about following. What does it mean to be a
disciple of God? Is it the traditional kind of follower? Or, is this
a follower who also gets to lead? Let’s dive into the Bible and find
The order of the lessons is backwards, right? We
enjoyed the lesson about the weekly day of rest, then we learned
about that eternal vacation, Heaven. Last week we started to get
back to work with “discipleship,” and now (horrors) “stewardship!”
Shouldn’t we be ending on a rising note? Or, is stewardship a rising
note? Whenever some official shows up at my church to discuss
stewardship, it almost always means they want more money or more work
out of me. But, I think we will discover this week that the Bible has
a more positive approach to the idea. Let’s plunge into our Bible
study and learn what is great about stewardship!
My uncle was a godly man. Born shortly after the turn
of the century, he spent his entire life as a pastor and
administrator in the Salvation Army Church. One day I asked him what
change he saw in the Christian community over the years. He told me
that television had replaced the church as the center of community.
Before the advent of television, churches (and, I assume, bars) were
the focus of social interaction. Now, he said, people stay at home
and enjoy community through television. If he were alive today, I
suppose he would name the Internet and cell phones as the community
of the next generation. What plan does God have for community? What
is His goal for those who follow Him? Is technology a help or a
hindrance? Will the church make a comeback? Let’s plunge into our
study and find out what the Bible has to say about community!
Do you know someone “on fire” for Jesus? Was that you
at some point in your life? Next question: do you know someone who
is on fire for Jesus their entire life? I’ve seen plenty of people
who are “fired up” at first, but I do not recall anyone who maintains
their initial level of fervor. Why is that? Is that a normal part of
our Christian mission? Is that consistent with God’s will? When we
are called by Jesus to mission, what does He expect of us? Let’s
plunge again into the Bible and see what we can learn!