Bible Study & Prayer 101: Meet the Teacher

Bible Study

Summer is almost officially over. Ugh, as depressing as that sentence is for me to write, I am pressing forward and getting excited about pumpkin spice lattes and scarves and school.  I’ve always been a teacher: first to stuffed animals, then real human children, and now to my own human children as a homeschool mom.  Plus, once a week, I teach a class of first graders at the homeschool co-op we are a part of.

About three weeks ago, we had back to school orientation and meet the teacher night.  I bought a few little tubs of play dough, made a list of rules and a letter introducing myself and we were all set.  I waited for my fresh little pupils to walk through the classroom door and wondered what the were thinking.  Were they nervous?  Were they going to size me up and figure out how to push my buttons and take over the class?   Were they going to give me hugs and tell me they were so excited for me to be their teacher?

Well, it was a pretty uneventful night.  They came in quietly and we exchanged names and a few words.  Then they played calmly with their play dough and went home.  A few days later we had a successful first day of first grade full of learning new things and growing friendships.

But what if THIS would have happened on the first day of school instead:  The children walked in, I had all the books and materials sitting on the tables, with a note that said,

“Let me know when you’re ready to learn.  I’ll be sitting in my chair, waiting to teach you everything you need to learn today.”

Well, you know some of them would be stubborn.  They would want to teach themselves because they already think  they know it all.

Some of them would be overwhelmed and decided they would rather play all day instead.

And so I,  the teacher, would just sit and wait.  I would sit and watch them waste their time that could be used gaining so much valuable knowledge for life.  I would lovingly watch them open their books and try to figure out how to read all by themselves, and my heart would hurt because I would want to help them.

I think this is how Jesus feels when we sit down to read our bibles without acknowledging him as our teacher.  Without realizing that HE IS IN THE ROOM WITH US.

I am guilty of this.

I walk to the coffee pot like a zombie, reach the couch, open up my bible and not once do I pray  to the One who is in fact the bible made flesh.  The One who knows exactly what I need to learn and remember for the day ahead.  The One who knows my needs before I even ask them.  I just read away, highlight some insightful sounding verses, jot some notes down that seem good, and check bible reading off my to do list for the day.

And I wonder why I rise from the couch to feed the masses in my house with a grumpy attitude and an unchanged heart!

BUT there are some mornings that go down like this:  I walk like a zombie to the coffee pot (that part is guaranteed), and I sit down and worship for a moment.  I look at this book and realize GOD wrote it.  He wrote it and he is alive–  like in the room with me at the moment.

–THE AUTHOR OF THE BIBLE IS IN THE ROOM WITH ME AS I READ IT.–

This is a profound thought.  I know I didn’t come up with it;  because my eight year old told me.  {But out of the mouths of babes, right?} This is a huge, I say paramount truth about reading the bible that should revolutionize a dry bible reading experience.

In John chapter 14, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit to his believers.

6 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you…

26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will TEACH you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.  John 14:26

Without the Holy Spirit, we are like first graders trying to teach ourselves. We aren’t going to grow very much.  We can copy phrases or verses, but we are not going to acclimate the material into our lives.  We need his help.  So what do we do?

  1.  Make sure you know your bible teacher.  Have you met Jesus?  I’m not asking if you are baptist or catholic.  I am asking if you know him.  He doesn’t care what you’ve done or where you’ve been.  He loves you and is waiting patiently for you to reach out and get to know him.  So if you don’t know him, now’s the time!  Introduce yourself to him now even though your eyes can’t see him.  Let him know you believe in Him and want to get to know him better.
  2. Acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s presence and worship the Lord before you read the Bible.  This does not necessarily mean you have to turn your favorite worship song on and raise your hands and sway side to side!  This is a matter of the heart.  Pray and talk to God before you open up your bible to read.  Acknowledge He is near, reflect on the fact that He is God, and give him praise for it!
  3. Ask God to show you what He wants you to learn from His Word for today.   As the scripture above tells us, the Spirit will guide us into all truth.  We don’t have to know everything about the bible before we sit down to read it.  Our teacher is with us.  He will show us what we need to learn for today. Then, tomorrow, he will teach us what we need to know for tomorrow. Isn’t that a relief?

Can you believe what a Good Teacher He really is?  He didn’t leave us by ourselves to figure out this enormous bible all on our own.  And it is a good thing.  Because we would have been missing out big time.  The treasures inside of it are more valuable than anything we could desire. So meet the teacher and enjoy His Word!  Check back next week for more posts on this series, or click the follow button to receive them via email. Praying it blesses your personal bible study!

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Study &  Book Club Ideas

Bible Study

Hello lovelies! I hope your summer has been the perfect mix of restful and adventurous thus far. How’s your soaking in of God’s Word been lately?

I’ll tell you how mine’s been. At the start of the summer, some ladies from my home church decided to have a casual bible study in the book of 1 John on a back porch while our kids all played in sight in the backyard.

Pros of this idea:

We didn’t need babysitters.

We didn’t take away from evening family time.

It was so nice & laid back!

Cons of this idea:

The kids were still there & some moms had a hard time focusing or were interrupted a lot.

One little boy got hurt & broke his arm on the swing set! 😦

After this group concluded and BASKING ended, I felt the nudge from the Spirit to read Hosea, and ladies, I loved it to pieces.

The theme that occurred to me over and over was just how good of a Father God is. He loves Israel & loves us so much, that he will allow us to wander into the wilderness, just like he allowed Israel to. Only so we can see our desperate need for him and be wooed back into his loving arms.

“I led Israel along with my ropes of kindness and love.  I lifted the yoke from his neck, and I myself stooped to feed him.”  Hosea 11:4

Another thing reading Hosea did for me was just get me excited about reading full books of the bible. To dig into the context of why it was written, who wrote it, what was happening when it was written, etc. The Word is so rich when you are able to study it layer by layer.

This book had me take a hard look at myself & my idols. I don’t have statues sitting around on shelves, but I had things taking God’s place in my heart & he was oh so faithful to point them out! Per usual, he helped me make a list of changes that needed to happen.

“So now, come back to the LORD your GOD!  Act on the principles of love and justice, and always live in confident dependence on the Lord your God.” Hosea 12:6

One action I needed to take was to dive back in to a bible study for my daughters and a group of their friends. Not just any old bible study,

{{Princess Bible  Study.}}


They wear princess dresses.  We talk about being daughters of the King of Kings and how that is a reality they can be sure of in this ever-changing world.

I LOVE the verses we have learned so far.  They answer the questions every girl will ask themselves.

WHO am I?  

Answer:

“I am CHOSEN. ROYAL {PRINCESS}. HOLY. A SPECIAL TREASURE TO GOD.

 But God chose you to be his people. You are royal priests. You are a holy nation. You are God’s special treasure. You are all these things so that you can give him praise. God brought you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

I wish you could hear their sweet little voices saying it in their tiaras!

WHAT makes me beautiful?  

“My beauty’s on the inside, inside, inside, a gentle quiet spirit is precious to God.”

Instead, your beauty comes from inside you. It is the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Beauty like this doesn’t fade away. God places great value on it. 1 Peter 3:4

What’s most important in life?  

“Love the Lord with all your heart, all your heart, all your heart, your soul and your mind.” Matthew 22:37

I’ve used a few resources for inspiration for what I’ve taught these little princesses, and I’ve included the links below:

http://www.adisneymomsthoughts.com/2011/11/faith-and-disney-little-mermaid.html

http://www.currclick.com/product/83448/Summer-Girls-Study-Being-a-Princess-of-the-KIng-of-Kings

We plan on carrying on this princess bible study for four more weeks this summer and I am praying for some o-so-sweet memories and truth that will last a lifetime.

I am also reading so great books that I plan on reviewing soon!  They include:  

Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan

and Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst.

Stay tuned to hear about those and for what’s coming next here at Refocused Bible study.  I’ll give you a hint:  it’s almost time to go 

Back to school 

and

gain wisdom.

  Details coming soon!

 

ALIVE! A Bible Study Method

Bible Study, John

Happy first day of March!  Spring is on its way and new LIFE is soon to be seen springing up all around us.  I love how God gives us this reminder every year that he makes all things new.  Things that were dead will be coming back to life, just like Life Himself did!

God’s word gives us the opportunity to experience hope of new life every singe day.  Old, dead or hopeless situations in our lives can blossom when truth is breathed on them.  This is my prayer for everyone taking part in this bible reading and study plan for March!  Today we embark on a life giving journey through the book of John, using a simple pattern to read a chapter a day and write out and apply one verse from that chapter a day using the method in the video below.  If you missed the plan and journal, you can find them here:

http://refocusedbiblestudy.com/2016/02/27/alivebook-of-john-journey-for-march/

The video below walks you through the Alive bible study method:

 

Here is my #Write It Out verse for today:

 

Here is my ALIVE! Journal page for today:

 I pray you stay connected to the Source of Life and Light today as we start this new month and look forward to Easter!