We at Into Thy Word Ministries will provide you with the "map" of discipleship tools, questions, and a how to guide in studying the Bible; but you must provide the will. To surrender our will to God's will is the essential element of being a growing Christian. God's Word provides the way; you simply provide the means.
There are many ways we can study the Bible effectively. There is no "best" way, only that we do it! Many Christians feel all they have to do for Bible lessons is sit in a pew, turn on the television or radio, or naturally receive their knowledge for being a Christian; but this is not how to transform our lives. We must read and get into the Word of God ourselves: Through prayer, hard work, discipline, concentration, application, and even more prayer!
So set aside time each day free from distractions and go for it with passion and vigor. Let Christ transform you through His Word.
"For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12 KJV)
PRELUDE INTO GOD'S TREASURE CHEST:
ATTITUDE: Start with the proper attitude! You are going before a Holy
God, so adjust yourself with these attitudes:
REVERENCE: (Hab 2:20, Psalm 89:7) Prepare your heart and mind, you are not going to a football game! Be quiet; clear your distracting thoughts and desires away!
YOUR WILL: (John 7:17f) We must be willing to not only read but to obey God's decrees! It is not about you, it is about God! Make it your choice!
ANTICIPATION: (Psalm 63:1) We must come before God with eagerness and expectancy. This is not a chore; it is fellowship with the creator of the universe, what better time could there be!
BE ALERT: (Prv 1:7; 3:5-6) Find a time where you are most alert and awake!
BE IN LOVE: (Job 23:12; Jeremiah. 15:16) Fall in love with His Word! Have the appetite, as it was better than your favorite meal! Do not let it be just a duty! The love will increase as we increase in our effort and study!
"Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law." (Psalm 119:18)
A very important point: For this to work, you must have a relationship with Christ, with your trust in His grace. Without it you are programming a computer without any knowledge of its language or design. You may attempt it, but all you will get is "foolishness;" as Scripture tells us, the knowledge will be hidden from you.
"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment." (I Cor. 14-15)
In God's eyes it is far more important why we do something than that we do something, even good. (I Sam 16:7, II Chron 25:2) Thus we do not want to do the right thing with the wrong attitude and motives.
Open: Have all the students tie each other's wrists behind them with masking tape, so they cannot move their hands. The teacher will have to read the Bible passages. They cannot try to break free and must remain sitting down! Do not tell them why they are being tied!
1. What is it like not to be able to move your hands?
2. Read Hebrews 4:12 in several versions if available. Explain that this imagery is like an animal being cut opened and the guts coming out! (Girls should like this one)
Q. Why does the bible use this imagery to describe itself?
3. How can the Word of God get into you so you become divided and everything is exposed in you? (Explain the importance of surrendering our will, so God can use us. He usually does not when we get in the way.)
4. How can you develop a good attitude, and why would that be important in life as well as bible study?
5. Why is reverence so important, what does it mean to you?
6. Why should we be alert?
7. What happens when we do something such as operate heavy machinery or drive a car when we are not alert?
8. Have you ever set aside time to do devotions and read the Bible by yourself on your own accord?
9. If so, how did it go? How long did you last?
10. If you stopped, why and what would be the essential ingredient (s) to keep plugging
away at it?
11. How powerful is God's Word in your life?
12. Have you ever anticipated something real bad? What was it like to anticipate? How
did you feel when you received the anticipated answer?
13. See scriptures I Sam 16:7 & II Chron 25:2: Why is it more important to have a why
to do good stuff instead of "just do it?"
Place a $5 bill on the table in front of the students (do not expect it back) and ask them to try to get it without breaking their masking tape cuffs. Explain having a negative attitude is cutting them off from the blessings and wonder that God has in store for them. You may not be rich or famous, but that is not important, it is the positive attitude of life and receiving His redemption and blessing that will give you meaning and true happiness that no car, job, house, spouse or anything that could ever bring you!
Negative attitudes will tie us up from experiencing life, joy, fulfillment, peace, love and happiness! Negative attitudes will also get in the way of refusing to give our will up for our Lord and savior. Go through the next week being fully aware of your attitudes, keep a journal of them, that is keep track of your negative attitudes and positive attitudes. Then notice your feelings and responses in those situations.
"Prayer Walk." Spend as much time as you can, or schedule this at a different time, maybe after church, or before church next week, instead of games for youth group, etc.
Go to a public place such as a shopping mall and greet people at random and say something nice and uplifting.
(Do not witness your faith for this exercise. You can and should at a different time, because it will give you much different results. Maybe have 2 of your group witness, and the other 2 just greet. Try it!) At the same time be praying silently for the people you are talking too. Notice the attitudes of the people you are encouraging, and notice your attitude as people return kindness or bitterness. Keep in mind how you can be a bitter free person who is an encourager to others.
(c) 1980, Into Thy Word, www.intothyword.org