Friday, October 19, 2012

101 Wednesdays, Week 4

Well, after a few days of having a heavy heart for an unexplainable reason, today I woke up joyful. In the words of Rapunzel and the song that keeps going through my head this morning, "At last I've seen the liiiiight, and it's like the fog has lifted..." Sing it, ladies. You know you love it too.

So are you following along in our study here? What do you think so far? Did you love reading about Moses and freeing the Israelites from Egypt? Exodus is one of my favorite books of the Bible.

This past Wednesday, when I met with the ladies in our face-to-face study, we agreed to slow up the pace a bit and go deeper into the stories instead of moving so quickly. So we will have fewer chapters to read in the JSB so we can turn more to our regular Bibles. That way, you also get practice in using it, finding things, and becoming more familiar with it in general.

I really want you to grow not only in knowledge, but also in comfort with using God's word as a tool. If you're learning to sew, using a sewing machine seems difficult and overwhelming at first. But over time as you practice and learn how all the parts work together, it becomes an indispensable tool. It's no wonder so many of us have left our sewing machines as well as our Bibles in a closet to collect dust. They are both complex, but unlike a sewing machine, the words in your Bible really do have the power to change your life.   

Week 4
Chapters 14-16, through p. 135
Jesus Storybook Bible

1. This week, we'll look at the person of King David. He is the only person in the Bible to earn the description "a man after God's own heart." He was loved by the Lord, used by the Lord, and stood as a forerunner of Jesus in many ways. Yet, at times, David's life was a total mess. He was a man of great faith and great failures.

Our first story is about how he was chosen by God to be King. Look up 1 Samuel 16 in your Bible. The prophet Samuel was supposed to find the king among many brothers in one family. Naturally, he went to the oldest, strongest brother and asked the Lord if this was to be he. Read verses 6-7. What does it say God uses as his criteria? What about man's criteria? How do you observe this same truth at work in our world today?

2. It is a surprise that David is chosen because he is only a boy and the youngest in a long line of brothers. The next glimpse we see of David is on the battlefield with Goliath. He was not a soldier, and the Philistines were Israel's greatest enemy. Look up 1 Samuel chapter 17 in your Bible to find the whole story. Read verses 45-49. In verse 48, what was David's reaction when Goliath started to advance at him? Now think about the giants in your life. What is your typical response to them? What would that kind of courageous faith look like for you?

3. Finally, the JSB takes us to the Psalms, which is another word for songs. David was a prolific songwriter and a great musician, did you know that? Go to your Bible and flip through the Psalms. You'll notice that many Psalms have the words "A Psalm of David" at the start of it. Find one that particularly speaks to your heart and write it out (or the portion that means most to you) in your notebook. Briefly share why you chose the one that you did.

4. If you want to learn more about David and his biggest failures, read 2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12 in your Bible. Among being an unbelievable warrior, leader, loving king, and man of faith, he was also an adulterer, murderer, and liar. Because of his great sin, God took the life of his child born through his adultery. But in amazing grace, God brought redemption to David's mistakes by blessing his later marriage to the same woman, Bathsheba (he had killed her husband, after all), and giving them Solomon for a son. Solomon came to be known as the wisest man who ever lived, and succeeded David on the throne. If you look in your Bible's table of contents, you'll see that after the Psalms comes Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. All three of these books were written by King Solomon. What does this legacy tell you about what God can do with, and in spite of, a person's shameful past?

Have a great weekend, friends!

Tomorrow, I'm posting something I realized I never put up on my own blog but appeared on Casey's a few months back for my mentoring series. It can be a little weekend read. Next week, I hope to share more of what I learned from Beth Moore last weekend. You all had such an amazing response to my first post on the weekend. It makes me so thankful for teachers like Beth, anointed to bring us God's living, active words that cut through our hearts right to what matters most. I hope and pray I have one ounce of her influence and her gift of teaching in my life. It is truly such a gift and I'm in awe every time I hear her. I think because I know it's so not her. I have no temptation to idolize Beth Moore because it's so clear to me that she is just a mouthpiece, just a willing and humble tool being used by God for mighty and powerful work.

He is such a generous God to speak to His children as He does.


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