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Understanding God’s Word

Read Nehemiah 8:5-12

“So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading” (v. 8).

I love to read the Jesus Storybook Bible to my grandchildren. From the first Genesis story, it points to Jesus. The story of redemption is woven throughout the entire Bible. As they say in an advertisement for a popular cell phone plan, “It’s not complicated!” However, we sometimes get bogged down in some of the harder-to-understand details. As Ezra read the Word of the Lord to the people in our passage, several appointed men explained it and helped the people understand what was being read. If you struggle to understand the Bible, don’t allow the enemy to convince you to use that as an excuse to neglect daily time in the Word! If you truly desire to understand it, there are steps you can take to do so. First, ask. Ask the Holy Spirit to break up any stony ground, to illuminate your mind, and to reveal His Word to you. Next, find some good study helps. A commentary will explain the content, context, historical background, and language used in the text. Websites (such as thebibleproject.com) and rich Bible studies are also available to help you. Don’t be haphazard, grabbing a Biblical “snack” here and there; be purposeful and organized when feeding on the Word. Finally, engage your mind. Remove distractions and get serious about studying! It will require effort; it may even require sacrifice. But the rewards are well worth it! (Faith M. Trussell)

“Help me to understand the meaning of your commandments” (Ps. 119:27).

2019-01-23T10:00:25+00:00January 23rd, 2019|Categories: Opening the Word, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

A Prayer for a Lesson

Heavenly Father, I ask for your wisdom and enlightenment as I study for next week’s lesson.
Help me, Lord, to understand your Word. I know that hundreds of years separate us from when your Word was written. The culture today is very different from that of those to whom your Word was first written. Therefore, I pray for your help as I seek to understand how the first hearers of Scripture understood what you were saying to them and then bridge it to our context and culture today.
Father, I ask for wisdom in applying your Word. Help us not to use your words as “proof texts” to create legalistic rules with which you are not pleased. Yet help us also to regard your Word as authoritative, rather than merely “good suggestions” for living.
I pray also that you would give me creativity and passion in delivering this lesson. Help me to present it in such a way that my students are truly engaged with the topic and text. Help me to teach it with such passion that the students are not bored or might think that the text does not matter to their lives.
Thank you for the help you are sure to give. Amen.
2018-10-05T09:00:55+00:00October 5th, 2018|Categories: Teacher Helps|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Studying Bible Themes

What does the Bible say about marriage? Have the students list several themes from Scripture that characterize God’s intentions and plan for matrimony. Talk about the purposes of nuptials, and mention some of the differences that may be present in a Christian marriage vs. a secular or ungodly one. Have the class members share some blessings that they have experienced in their own marital relationships, or allow them the opportunity to tell of examples of couples who have followed God’s plan for a Christian home. Perhaps you could explore possible decisions that individuals might make that would take them away from a godly ideal of marital bliss. Discuss barriers to happiness that a wedded twosome faces which may prevent the unit from achieving God’s will for their lives. Ask the group for principles to live by that class members could share to bolster the strength of marriages today.

2018-02-07T04:00:00+00:00February 7th, 2018|Categories: Teacher Helps|Tags: |0 Comments