Teachers Study: "Thoughts on the Person and work of the Holy Spirit."
a) He is a person (John 14:16-17);
b) He is our advocate (John 14:16, I John 2:1);
c) He imparts new life (John 3:3-6);
d) He pleads our case before God the Father (Romans 8:26-27);
e) He bears witness and glorifies Christ (Romans 8:14, Galatians 4:6);
f) He pours God's love in our hearts (Romans 5:4-5, Galatians 5:22-23);
g) He is always with us (Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5-6);
h) He indwells within us (John 14:17, Ephesians 3:16-17);
i) He is powerful and able to do the will of the Father through us (Acts 1:8, 4:31, 10:45);
j) He is essential for our salvation (John 3:5, I Corinthians 12:3);
k) He is essential for our sanctification (Romans 7:21-25, II Corinthians 3:18);
l) He is essential for our service and sharing of faith (Acts1:8);
m) He is Lord, loving, and available to us (I Corinthians 6:19-20);
It is our duty as Christians to recognize the role of the Holy Spirit, to find out our gifts that have been given. Then we must be discipled in those gifts and use our gifts to glorify His Kingdom. In doing this, we become obedient and we receive, rely, and trust in His role. (Acts 19:1-2, Romans 12:1-2, Galatians 5:13-26, Revelations 3:20, Ephesians 3:17, and Luke 11:13)
Remember to begin in prayer!
· Prayer 5 min
· Pick one of the options 5-10 min
· Read lesson and bible passages 10-15min
· Discussion groups 15-30 min
· Going deep 5-10 min
· End in prayer and repeat application. 5 min
Total lesson time 45 min- 1 hr
First read the passage Galatians 2:20 and spontaneously create a "melodrama" or skit to illustrate it. Then have each group redo their skit or melodrama illustrating the opposite trait. For example first good attitude, then bad attitude. Our will for God, vs. our will for ourselves. Anticipate spending time with God vs. not; being alert for God vs. not! And so forth.
Get some marbles and scatter them on the floor, ask students to pick them up with their feet: first shoes on, then with shoes off, and finally with their hands.
§ Ask, which was easier?How is this like reading God's Word with knowing the right way of doing it?
Lesson: "Step I"
(After we have taken a hard look on the importance of the study of scripture, and what it means to us, now we can begin the process of "exegesis." Learn to draw out of the text, the meaning and intent and then transform and apply it to your life.)STEP I: KNOWING THE KNOWABLE BRINGING OUR MIND TO BE RIGHT WITH GOD! If you do not have the right attitude and mindset, you will not get much out of God's Word, because your will is in the way of His!
The Word of God will not allow us to stumble in the dark and be the straw that blows in the wind, dependent on the whims and trends of our culture. By knowing the knowable will keep us centered on what is right and true in a world that has lost its direction and compass. The world's relativism and materialism that has rejected truth and God will not capture us who place our trust in Christ. And our trust will gain momentum and growth through His Word.
Now that you have established a constant devotional time with God that includes Bible reading and prayer, you will find yourself hungering for More! That is the Holy Spirit working in you, desiring you to grow in Him! Desiring you to dive deeper and more earnestly into His Word.FIRST: PRAYER!!! (Psalm 119:18) This is the essential first step to always, always start anything especially studying the Bible with communication to God!
· We must be in tune with the author to be able to understand His book!SECOND: DIRECT YOUR WILL and seize the opportunity!!!
You have to make a commitment and stick to it. By sticking to it will allow you to become more motivated and constant, thus the more you do, the easier it becomes!
Make it a habit! Psychologists tell us it can take over 40 days for an action to become a habit. So be patient and invest the time, and do not expect instant results. Gifted mature Christians have spent decades studying it! So do not give up! Do not be like most people who give up after a few days or weeks!
· Make a VOW, A Commitment. Take the initiative! Be constant and continual, do not expect great grand slams off the first pitches, as with anything, it takes time!
· You must have the desire. (Mat 5:6): "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."
· Pick a Good Time.(Mk 1:35) When you are the most alert and at your best. If you are not a night person then do not do it then! We need to give God the best part of our day, and not our leftovers! Sometimes it is best to split it in two, like morning and evening. BE CONSISTENT!!! Whatever the time, do not stand God up!
· Remember the Morning Watch. (Psalm 90:14) Most Christians through the centuries gave God that time! Because that is when we are usually most alert and uncluttered with the days activities.
If you start off halfheartedly you will fail!
You must allow the reading of the Word to be securely rooted in who you are as a person. Tell others what you are doing so they can hold you accountable!
THIRD: LOGGING TIME
· Spend time keeping the Bible Dusted. By reading and re-reading it!
· Make a commitment on how much you will read. Use a chart or a list to see your progress.
· RELAX!(Psalm 46:10) Quiet yourself and spend a little time Waiting on God, listening. Do not rush into God's Word! (PSALM 139:23-24) Do not be in a hurry, do not race through the Word of God! And do not bite off more than you can chew,reading more than you can.
SET GOALS FOR YOURSELVES.
· Make a commitment to how much time you will spend. I suggest starting off at 15 minutes after mastering the "7" minutes and then build up. Do not start with too much or you will burn out! Most mature Christians spend over 1 hour a day. 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes at lunch and 15 minutes before bed will = 45 minutes. (You have 168 hours in a week, how much will belong to God?)
· Make a commitment when you will read; For example: Start off in the morning and then again in the evening, and slowly start to increase the time. Do not watch the clock, stay focused!
REMEMBER: Quality is more important then Quantity!
· Have a Special Place. Have a place you can go constantly that has few distractions and is comfortable with good lighting and secluded. (Gen. 19:27, Luke 22:39) Be alone, where it is quiet and you will not be disturbed, where you can pray out loud too.
· Watch your life change as the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ works out in your life (Philippians 2:1-18).
· Then, Pray, and pray again!
FOURTH: BE OPEN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
· Unless you are open to Him, how can he teach you? (John 16:13)
· John 1:9: "The true light that gives light to every one was coming into the world."
· Do not go into Bible Study with your own agenda; rather let the Holy Spirit direct you.
· Always use discernment and guidance from experienced Bible students!
· Rely on the Power of God!
God's Word is knowable to us! As clear as crystal, in fact more clear than anything ever written in religion or philosophy; clearer than your daily newspaper!
ALWAYS: BEGIN and END YOUR STUDY IN PRAYER.
Ask the Lord to open your eyes for guidance, insight and application; open your heart to His Will. (II Tim 2:15)
1. What are you thankful for in life?
2. What do you take for granted?
3. How have you studied scripture in the past?
4. Have you ever put a significant effort into prayer before you read?
5. Why do we tend not to?
6. If it is so important, why do we not put in the effort in the things that are the most important, such as relationships, Bible, devotions, etc. it seems the most important aspects of life are the ones we spend the least effort?
7. So do you take the Bible for granted with its abundance and availability? Some people in closed countries like China would literally cut off a hand to get a copy of God's Word?
8. How does it make you feel that some people truly desire to study and know God's Word, but have no access to it?
9. What can you do to have a thirst and desire to know God's Word?
10. Why do people fail to be consistent in their devotions?
11. Have you ever thought much in the role of the Holy Sprit in your life?
12. How can you rely on the Holy Sprit?
13. If God's Word is so clear, then why are there so many interpretations out there? And why do people, including Christians, not take it seriously?
14. What are the steps you can do to develop a consistent Spirit filled and joyful time of Bible reading and devotions?
15. Are you willing to make a commitment and stick to it, to put in the effort so it is a joy and not a chore? How?
"Q & A:"
Spend a few minutes answering group questions and asking what did they learn in the small groups?
"Application:" Pick one of the following:
A. Have students write a letter of commitment to themselves to:
1. Pick a time, and place to read the Bible as devotion.
2. Pick a book of the Bible and commit to studying it within 6 months.
Collect the letters and give them back after 6 months.
B. Give a copy of a chapter from the Bible, such as I Cor. 13, and have the students practice "getting the right mindset."
"Going Deep:" Close in a song or hymn with the lights out.
© 2000, Rev. Richard .J. Krejcir Ph.D. Discipleship Tools www.discipleshiptools.org