Our Summer Bible Study

Here it is November and the kids and I have finally finished our summer bible study!  It’s a very in-depth study and completing it in 8 weeks just wasn’t an option for us.  It took us about 4 months after we started it in late June but it was such a good study that it was well worth the extra time.

Have you ever heard of the National Bible Bee?  Several years back in Colorado, we joined the National Bible Bee summer study program.  Several of our friends started a bible bee club where each we would would gather and play games with the intent of helping us remember what we studied during the week.  I remember that first year the study was on Jonah.  We also helped each other study our memory verses because at the end of the summer our local chapter held a huge competition with a written test and recitation of memory verses to see who would qualify to go on to the national championship in November.

This past summer NBB’s study was on the book of James so the kids and I spent weeks pouring over James, learning many greek words, memorizing scripture, singing, praying and being immersed in God’s word.

I love how you can study the same Scripture multiple times and learn something new.  Our workbook gave a summary of James…

…James was written by James to scattered Jewish believers.  It exhorts Christians for all time to live in such a way that their saving faith is vibrant and alive, not anemic or dead.  James gives practical, obligatory maxims that, when put into practice, produce a joyful, Christian lifestyle that is thriving and maturing in God.  We are not told our lives are free of trials, yet our key verse, James 1:2, admonishes us to be joyful in the midst of tests.

Some things that stood out to me from this study…

  • Enduring trials builds our faith and helps us be steadfast.
  • In James it says to ask for wisdom we need to pray in earnest without doubt.
  • The result of a faithless prayer is to be double-minded with little faith.
  • Temptations come from our own desires and lusts.
  • Following the enticements of my own heart ultimately leads to death.
  • James spoke strongly about temptation leads to sin, which leads to death.
  • By remaining steadfast in trials we will become mature in our walk.
  • Those that endure and persevere receive the crown of life.
  • James 1:2 Consider it all joy my beloved brethren when you encounter various trials.
  • We must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.
  • Prove myself doer of the Word.
  • Moral filth in our life is an impediment to our ability to receive with meekness the Word implanted.
  • The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
  • Our tongue can bless and curse… all in the same sentence.
  • God’s grace is sufficient, rejoice in my trials and the power of Christ will rest upon me.

My kids were able to memorize many passages over the last 4 months and they all said this was one of their favorite studies.  Can’t wait for next summer’s National Bible Bee study.

Next up, we are going to go through the DVD series call How Do We Know the Bible is True? by British theologian Brian Edwards.

 

A Make Believe Story…. or is it?

A woman in her late forties, named… Marie, stood at her kitchen sink washing dishes.  She looks up and out the kitchen window and sees her husband, Charles, working hard in their backyard.  Out of the corner of her eye she sees her mom walking to where her husband is working.  Marie realizes that while she was not mean or unkind to her mother, she wasn’t exactly cheerful or welcoming when her mom came to talk to her.  When her mom felt unwanted she went in search of the one person in her life that will almost always make time to talk with her.

You see, Marie’s husband is a wonderful caring man.  Charles loves the Lord, his family, his church and the lost.  Part of his family includes his mother-in-law who lives with them.  How did she come to live with his family?  Years ago, like 14 years ago, it was his idea to have his family live with his wife’s mother and father-in-law for a year to help them out financially; while his wife thought he was nuts she went along with his plan.  After the year was up his family eagerly moved into their own place but it was short lived.  His father-in-law passed away four months later.

His mother-in-law can be difficult to love and yet this God fearing man does just that… He loves her.  Not perfectly but always with sincerity.  Marie has so much to learn from her husband.  Charles is being Jesus to someone who doesn’t really want to hear about Jesus.  He is being light to someone who had a very dark childhood, suffered terrible abuse at the hands of people who should have loved and protected her and feels abandoned by those she once called her closest friends.

Marie wonders why it is so difficult for her to be the light to her own mother.  She feels ashamed as she watches her husband make consistent efforts to love her mom and invest in her daily life.  She has known for some time that she needs to make more of an effort and without God helping her she’ll never be able to do it on her own.  Marie knows that the Scripture says to honor your mother and father but it really goes beyond honor doesn’t it?  She can honor her without investing in her.  She can honor her without being light to her.   She can honor her without giving much thought to where her mom will spend eternity.  But Marie, as a Christian, should be concerned about her mother’s eternity.

That goes back to relationship.  Investing in her.  Seeing her as valuable.  Seeing her as a child of God.