Summer Series

Bible 101: Week 6 – Dads, the Devil, and Drama

Bible 101: Week 6 – Dads, the Devil and Drama

Happy Saturday! Last week we continued our segment on “study”as we learned to pull apart the word of God to get at all the deliciousness inside using a whacky tool called “SPACEPETS”. Today, we are going to complete our study segment with a few words about Dads, the Devil and Drama, and give you one more tool to add to your arsenal as you study God’s word.


Dads are simply the bestfatherdelights

I love my dad. I will always be his daughter. No words, no distance, no gap of time can negate the fact that we are related, connected by blood, namesakes.  But the extent to which I enjoy my dad depends upon whether I pick up the phone when he calls, invite him out for dinner dates and engage with him when he stops by, even if just for a quick chat.

Just as I am a daughter of my earthly father, I am also a daughter of my heavenly Father, the living God… and so are you. Your salvation is secure, your position as His daughter is forever. BUT… do you know that the extent to which you enjoy His peace and joy, love and forgiveness, blessing and comfort is up to you?

Whether or not you engage Him, listen to Him, ask Him questions and spend time with Him will determine the richness of your relationship.

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Time + Presence + Authenticity = Intimacy

This dynamic is NO different than any other relationship in your life…Only it is BETTER than every other relationship in your life. Jesus is the only one that will NEVER fail you or fade or leave.  


The Devil Sucks  {aka Guilt vs. Conviction}

It’s a given; you are going to falter. There will be times when you intentionally turn away or distractedly wander away from the Lord. For a time, you may not even realize it. Your distraction overtakes you and your senses are dulled. But then comes that pang of realization, like when my son wandered off at the zoo and once the allure of the exotic animals wore off, he realized he was lost… he was nowhere in sight of the one who would keep him safe and get him home. 

Enter discomfort, anxiety, discouragement, fear, frustration… guilt.

Let your discouragement or discomfort be the reminder that God is pursuing you.

If God didn’t love you, He wouldn’t have allowed you to experience that feeling of sorrow or discontentment. That unrest in your soul is purposed to draw you back! To pull you up short, realize that that tantalizing thing in front of you is not ultimately satisfying! To remind you that there is something, someone better!

But often, instead of running for our Dad in that moment of discomfort, our feelings quickly cascade into guilt – fear that He will be mad we wandered off or dread that it will take too much time or work to “get back.” And so we hide. We give up. We cower. The enemy would love to spin that seed of discontentment that could have turned us toward God, into guilt, and thus deceive you into thinking you are not worthy of God’s friendship. I can’t tell you the number of times my shame and guilt have driven me from God, because I wasn’t able to discern truth from lies.

God doesn’t do guilt. He does conviction. Guilt says “you messed up and you will never change.” Lies from the enemy. Conviction, on the other hand, says “yes, you messed up, but you are forgiven and there is hope for a new beginning, a new reality, a new life. Truth from God.

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So, that “guilt” you have felt as a result of your distance from Jesus? I want to redefine it for you. My prayer is that you would never again listen to the lie the enemy has whispered in your ear that says the road back is too scary or too long. I want to crush that lie. Instead, my prayer for you is that what you have historically known as “guilt” would be newly recognized as a “holy longing”. In the same way that you would recognize unpleasant hunger pangs and immediately grab an apple to satisfy them, that uncomfortable gnawing on your inside can now be seen as just that – a little yellow flag that says to slow up and about-face and grab a snack because your soul is hungry- hungry for something that can only be satisfied by the Bread of Life.

Guilt is transformed into conviction when you take your eyes off of yourself, and fix them on Jesus. He will help you to not take yourself quite so seriously; He will assure you that you will be well fed and not have to work hard for your food. He will satisfy. I pray in the future that those “soul hunger pangs” that you used to know as guilt would be for you an internal alarm, a reminder to you that you will not be whole or content anywhere but in the arms of your Savior.

He is not mad at you.

He is not shaming you.

He is beckoning you.

So, if you find yourself feeling distant today, let this be His invitation to you:

“Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backsliding.” Jeremiah 3:22

I can’t tell you how this scripture has made me weep in seasons when I have wandered from God. And my favorite is the response His people give:

“Behold, we come to you; for you are the LORD our God.”

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Let this be our collective response today… Lord, we are coming!


Be Encouraged in your Study

If you are arriving and Week 6 and realizing that your passion has waned, you are just reading through the post but not actively engaging, be encouraged.

A) You are not alone.

B) God knows and still loves you.

I am praying for a holy discomfort that gets you fired up and hungry for MORE.

If you are showing up today gaining momentum, praise God! But make no mistake, He is no more pleased with you than He was when you started, or than with your sister who is struggling. Your performance does not enhance or detract from His love for and pleasure in you!  But I would bet that you are enjoying Him and delighting in the knowledge of His presence more than you were when your head was turned the other way…

His desire is for you to taste and see that He is GOOD!


The Bread of Life

Remember your first memory verse? Let’s circle back to the beginning, and revisit it…

 

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“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. –John 6:35 (NIV)

This verse sums it all up. We get to feast on the living Bread of Life, and one of the many ways of doing that is to dig deep into His word and discover all of the treasures inside. Today we are acquiring another tool to do just this: Andy Deane’s Daily Bread.


Daily Bread- Week 6’s Tool

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The following is a step by step method that will help you filet the Word of God and be able to absorb all the flavors God has prepared for you to experience.

Step 1: Choose a passage, paragraph, or chapter to study

You will get the best results when you work your way through the Bible systematically rather than randomly. By studying the Scriptures in this way, you will also become familiar with the whole counsel of God’s Word.

Step 2: Pray – Ask God to meet with you

Before you begin your Bible study, spend time in prayer asking the Lord to reveal Himself to you through His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see Jesus today. Simply ask for an encounter with the essence of who He is, and then wait and listen. Pause. If even for a few seconds- do it. 

Step 3: Think about the passage you are studying

Reread the passage a number of times and thoughtfully consider what it is saying. Meditate upon the meaning of the text and how you can apply it to your life. A great way to do this is through apply these six “P’s” as you think through the passage:

  1. Picture it! Visualize the scene. Imagine how you would react if you were there. How would you have felt to be a part of what was going on? Is there anything in your life today that you can compare this situation to?
  2. Pronounce it! Read the verse aloud several times placing emphasis on a different word each time.
  3. Paraphrase it! Restating the passage in your own words helps you to understand it better. Using contemporary language to express timeless biblical truths helps you to bridge the gap between the past and the present.
  4. Personalize it! Put your name in place of the nouns or pronouns that are used in the Scripture and read it aloud (i.e., For God so loved ____________).
  5. Pray it! Make the verse a prayer. The best way to express faith in God is by taking the promises and truths found in His Word and praying them back to Him.
  6. Probe it! Use the S-P-A-C-E-P-E-T-S acrostic to help you locate the different themes of the passage.

Step 4: Plan one application

Write down one application based on the insights you have discovered through your study of the text. Writing your thoughts down will help you to fully think them through and make them easier to remember and apply. It has been proven that writing promotes memory, and helps you to express what you have learned more clearly to others. Remember to make your application personal, practical, and provable.

Step 5: Carry your favorite verse with you

On a small piece of paper (i.e., post-it-note or index card) write down the verse that impacted you the most from your study and carry it with you throughout the day. Occasionally, pull the card out and read the verse. This will help you recall what you studied and keep those truths fresh in your thoughts. You might also want to use this system to begin memorizing Scripture.

Extra Extra

The beautiful thing about this tool is that it has various applications. You could print the steps, tuck them in your Bible, and anytime you come across a verse you want to unpack, a story you want to study, or a parable you desire to understand, you can utilize the steps to aid you in your study. In step 3, you can use each of the six “P’s” or depending on the time you have, or the passage you are studying, even just one or two.

My prayer are these steps would bless you as they have for so many others!


Dealing with Drama
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Clearly, this 8 week series is not exhaustive when it comes to navigating and studying the Bible, but I pray it gives you a great, practical start in your understanding!

That said, one important tool I want to leave you with is a concordance. Simply, this is a topical index of scripture. Say you have some drama in your life as a result of your loose tongue? Or an issue has arisen that you need to address personally or with a friend – lying, jealousy, insecurity, faith, lust, fear? God most likely has something to say about it. So you pop into BibleGateway or your Strong’s Concordance, look up “gossip” and are given a list of verse references that deal with that topic…. voila! You then apply Daily Bread, and the result is a transformational study taking in the whole counsel of God’s word. God is not only our Father, but also  claims to be our counselor; he has infinite wisdom and desires to speak into the details of our lives.

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Again, while it is important to move through scripture systematically {take in and understand an entire epistle, for example} such that we do not take verses out of context or misunderstand God’s character, there is something to be said for searching out all the wisdom there is on a particular area of our lives: self-control, or God’s will or pride or speech. When we look at an exhaustive list of Scripture dealing with a particular subject, we can begin to get an idea for what God intends, and invite a surgical overhaul to occur in our lives! So if you have a recurring “drama” in your life? Get after it. 

“…be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2


Week Recap

This week we dug even deeper into the idea of “studying” the word of God, by walking you through the steps of the Daily Bread method and 6 different p’s of actions to do as well in regards to reading your Bible. We also talked about how the Lord loves you and desires to spend time with you just as a earthly father would, and we just need to step into that and fully embrace it. We talked about the presence of evil in our lives, and the contorted lies he throws at us to bump us off track. We hope you got a lot out of this weeks post, and are encouraged even deeper in pursuing a walk with the Lord.

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Until Next Time

Can’t wait to hit one of my favorite ways to interact with God’s Word next Saturday. Until then, I pray your hearts find satisfaction and your souls find rest!

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