Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bible Study Notes for Night #1

I told you guys I would post my notes for the Bible study I begin leading tomorrow night. I wish I had done this for the last studies I led. Maybe sometime I will get a chance to post the old notes as well. Please disregard grammatical errors - these are for me to refer to - no one else will see them (well, no one in my class). The first night I always play a get-to-know you game of some kind. This time I am passing out a huge bowl filled with Starbursts, Lifesavers, and Jolly Ranchers and I am telling each person to take 4 pieces of candy in different colors. Then I pass out a paper that has questions labeled with the colors ---for example if you pick a red piece of candy you have to tell everyone "What is one goal you would like to accomplish before you die?". Corny, I know, but a good way to get to know people.

I am also giving a "pop quiz" tomorrow night. The questions are as follows:

1. Who does God talk to?
2. Does God talk to you?
3. How do you know God talks to you?
4. How does God talk to you?
5. When does god talk to you?
6. Why does God talk to you?
7. What do you want to get from this study?

This way the ladies can look back at their answers in 6 weeks and see if any of them have changed or if they got the answers they wanted from this study.

Over the next 6 weeks, we are going to be learning how to distinguish the voice of God from all the other voices we hear telling us what to do (including our own).

I think we all have times when we question whether something we are doing or getting ready to do is of God or if we are going out on our own without His blessing (I am good at that - an expert actually). This study is going to help us all learn to know when God is speaking to us. We’ll talk more about that later.

I have said this before, but I think it is important to say it again. I heard Chuck Swindoll say that 90% of Christians pray 30 seconds or less per day. That means we spend more time talking to our dogs than we do talking to God. We spend more time picking out our shoes for the day than we do talking to God.

Have someone read Jeremiah 2:32
32 Does a maiden forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number

This verse tells us that God is shocked that His people can go days without fellowship with Him.
Have someone read Psalm 5:1-3
"Give ear to my words, O Lord. Consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King and my God. For unto Thee will I pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning. O Lord in the morning, will I direct my prayer unto Thee and will look up." There are several other verses that speak to meeting God in the morning.

Just like God said to give the first fruits of your money because that determines what I’m gonna do with the rest of it ---He says give me the first part of your day because that determines what I’m gonna do with the rest of it.

Do I believe that we REQUIRED to come to God in the morning? No, but there must be something to it since He made it a point of mentioning that to us in His word.

Let’s all try to make it a point to meet God first thing in the morning - maybe that is not the time you have your Bible study, but let's definitely meet Him with prayer that He will help us to really GET what He is telling us through this study and that He will help us to actively listen and anticipate Him speaking to us.

They say that habits are formed by doing something repeatedly for 6 straight weeks, so if you don’t have a daily quiet time or have gotten out of the habit of having a quiet time - this study is going to be a great way to get into or back into the habit.

Matthew 17:5
While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud covered [a] them, and a voice from the cloud said:
This is My beloved Son.
I take delight in Him.
Listen to Him!

He didnt say obey, He didnt say serve, He didnt say worship in this verse -----He said LISTEN!!!! You cant listen to someone who does not speak, can you?

Do you really believe that God speaks today?

We have all heard people say “God spoke to me” or the “the Lord is leading me to do….”, but do you really believe it?

Raise your hand if you have ever had doubts that God will speak directly to you….

Do you expect Him to speak to you - are you listening for Him to give you a specific Word meant just for you?

We have all heard it said that our faith is not a religion, it’s a relationship……how can you have a relationship with someone who cannot communicate with you?

God loved us enough to send Jesus to die for us, He loves us enough to speak to us. Over and over the Bible tells us that God is jealous for us. He made each one of us, He is jealous because He is not first in our lives, He sent His son to die for us----does that sound like Someone who will not speak to us personally.

He says He is the Good Shepherd and ‘My sheep know my voice’ - how can we know the voice of someone who does not speak to us? We can’t.

John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God”………He IS the Word……what does the Word do? It speaks.

At the end of class I will ask everyone to get on their knees facing their chair and pretend Jesus is there in that chair. We will confess that we dont always or have not always believed that He talks to us ---that there have been times He has spoken and we have ignored Him, we need to be forgiven for our unbelief and we are asking for a fresh Word directly from HIM to us.

And barring any major catastrophe, that will be Night #1...............

I will post notes from Night #2 as soon as they are put in understandable form..................... :-)


Anonymous said...

That sounds great. I like the idea of incorporating the ice breaker----it's hard to be open and vulnerable with people you don't know. Do they get to keep and eat the candy? :)

I hope the study goes well. it sounds like a good one. It's a shame that we don't spend more time with the Lord. I've heard all sorts of excuses. Some say they are too busy, but if you can find to brush your teeth everyday there's no excuse for not spending any time with Him!

Earen said...

I sure wish I could be apart of this study with you! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your blog about. I look forward to reading them...as always!! You're a blessing to me Bethanne!

jennyhope said...

I love this part...I remember beth saying oneday this is my son...shut thee up!!
Matthew 17:5
While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud covered [a] them, and a voice from the cloud said:
This is My beloved Son.
I take delight in Him.
Listen to Him!

He didnt say obey, He didnt say serve, He didnt say worship in this verse -----He said LISTEN!!!! You cant listen to someone who does not speak, can you?

Kelly S. said...

Sounds great!! Praise God that He would communicate with us....its almost too much to take in. My family is on the second round of strep and my two year old is on a steriod to boot. That equeals me CRAZY.
However, we started our winter study this week too and I am so excited about it. We're doing Stepping Up the Psalms of Ascent.

May God reveal a new "wonder of His person" to you and your group and may you see (and hear) His GLORY!!

Fran said...

LOVE THIS!!! I love what Jenny said....."this is my son, shut thee up!" Amen Momma Beth!!

Yeah...we gotta put our listening ears on. We have to be tuned in to Him in everything!!

I'm praying for you and your group. It will be awesome. He'll show up and do His glorious thing!


Alana said...

That is AWESOME, Bethanne. Great job. I know the ladies will be so blessed by the hard work you are putting into this study!!

Anonymous said...

How did the study go?

Kelly S. said...

Had an idea on my way home from the doctor....again. Have you heard Mandisa's song "God Speaking" might fit your subject matter. Just a thought?

BethAnne said...

Thanks, Kelly, I need all the suggestions I can get! ;-) Is everyone better at your house?