But with a David C Cook study kit, all you need to do is invite your group. You’ll get study books, videos, and leader material to help guide your group toward a stronger faith in God and deeper relationships with one another. (more…)
Yesterday we posted about ways to kickstart your yearly Bible study goals.
Today, we’re back with another of a different kind: free Bible study starter packs.
We all come into the new year with different goals. Some of us just want to finally nail down a habit of Bible reading, while others have loftier goals, like learning (or relearning) Greek and Hebrew. [Read more…]
This post is the second in a series adapted from Anticipating His Arrival, a family Advent devotional by Rick Brannan. We will be posting one devotional a day through Christmas.
Isaiah 64:1–4, 8–11
Would that you would tear the heavens and come down;
the mountains would quake before you,
as fire kindles brushwood,
the fire causes water to boil,
to make your name known to your adversaries,
that the nations might tremble from your presence.
When you did terrible deeds which we did not expect, you came down;
the mountains quaked because of your presence.
And since ancient times they have not heard,
have not listened,
no eye has seen a God except you;
he acts for the one who waits for him…
Yet now Yahweh, you are our father;
we are the clay and you are our potter,
and we all are the work of your hand.
You must not be exceedingly angry, Yahweh,
and you must not remember iniquity forever!
Look! Behold, now! We all are your people!
Your holy cities have become a wilderness;
Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.
Our holy and beautiful temple, where our ancestors praised you has been burned by fire,
and all our precious objects have become ruins.
What is the relationship between the Lord (Yahweh) and the people?
Response: The people claim the Lord (Yahweh) as father (v. 8). The image of clay (the people) and a potter (Yahweh) is used to reinforce this.
Why would Yahweh be angry?
Response: Because the land is in shambles (vv. 10–11). The holy cities are empty. Jerusalem is desolate. And the temple, the very house of the Lord, has been destroyed.
How does this relate to joy during the Advent season?
Response: The people expect the Lord to return and bring salvation to the land. They call upon him to rebuild the temple, to annihilate their enemies, and to exalt his people to their proper place. Though the situation is dire, they rejoice at the thought of his return, which will restore the world to how it should be. We should exhibit the same joy at the thought of his second coming.
For more Bible study resources, browse the Logos Christmas sale.
When Jesus told his disciples to “make disciples,” it wasn’t a suggestion. He didn’t say, “I really think you should make disciples.” He didn’t say, “Boy, I really wish someone would disciple the nations.” He used the imperative voice—he made a command.
But thankfully, he didn’t just tell us to make disciples, he also told us how. And he did it through three participles: “go,” “baptize,” and “teach.” Discipleship is different from sharing the gospel with people we come across here and there. It’s a focused intent to move someone from new believer to mature believer who is prepared to disciple others.
Jesus chose 12 men to disciple during his three years of earthly ministry. They traveled together, shared meals, and learned from Jesus daily. He would speak to crowds and heal people, but Jesus taught the disciples privately. He explained his lordship, the parables he used when preaching, and encouraged the disciples in their faith.
What we can learn from this example is that disciplining someone is an intensely personal experience. You’re showing a person how to devote their lives entirely to Christ and his will. You get to help them learn to live out what they believe.
Ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of the person(s) whom he wants you to disciple. Don’t worry about being a perfect example—that’s Jesus’ role. You can, however, emulate simple things Jesus did with the 12 disciples like sharing meals, studying Scripture, and sharing the gospel.
Jesus tells us to go to all nations. The command to “go” doesn’t mean you have to be a missionary to follow Jesus’ will. However, it may mean you have to step out of your comfort zone. God may be calling you to disciple someone you know but don’t have much in common with. That’s okay! God will give you the wisdom to connect and befriend them.
Jesus specifically chose the 12 men, but he interacted with each of them differently.
He was especially close to three of them: Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:1). John, however, was the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23). John was present for very intimate moments of Jesus’ life. He witnessed the transfiguration, was entrusted with caring for Jesus’ mother, and was given special revelation to write the book of Revelation.
Isn’t it interesting how Jesus had different levels of connection with the 12 disciples? It’s not necessary to be best friends with someone to help them understand their faith. God wants us to take the first step of reaching out, and he will guide us the rest of the way.
Baptism is a sign and seal of our salvation, of our being made dead to sin and alive in God through Christ’s death and resurrection (1 Pet. 3:21; Col. 2:12).
Although there is some debate about how and when to baptize people (sprinkle with water? Fully immerse? Baptize as infants, or after a period of testing to ensure sincere faith?), there is no doubt about the command to be baptized.
Not only does it publicly mark us as Christians, it is a declaration from God himself that we belong to him.
There’s nothing that matters more than someone knowing Jesus as Savior. It changes their life on earth and eternity. What’s incredible is that God chose people to share the good news of salvation through Jesus.
You may feel unqualified to teach others about Jesus, but he equips those he calls. Consider this: Paul wrote most of the New Testament. Before his conversion, Paul persecuted the Church, and many Christians were understandably frightened of him after his salvation.
The church at Antioch commissioned Barnabas to accompany Paul on his first missionary journey. Barnabas was a faithful believer whose name means “son of encouragement.” Paul would face unbelievable challenges and persecution. But God provided him a friend and encourager in Barnabas. He was never alone and had a someone to lean on throughout his trials.
You don’t have to memorize loads of Scripture to teach about the love of Christ. Start with your salvation experience. God has given you a unique story that only you can tell. Remember, you’re never alone on your journey. You have a “Barnabas” in the Holy Spirit. He is your encourager, and you can depend on the him to provide the right words at the right time.
Acts 1:8 ends with a promise from Christ: “I will be with you always.” In this context, “always” means the whole of every day. In other words, Jesus never leaves us alone as we reach out to disciple people. The Holy Spirit will give you wisdom and direction as you lead someone closer to Jesus. It’s a promise he gives that will never end.
Now that you’ve learned more about discipleship, what’s the next step you need to take? Maybe it’s calling someone to schedule coffee so you can get to know them more. It could be starting a Bible study so you can lead others to a better understanding of the Bible. Take some time to pray and ask God how you can obey his call to make disciples.
Make sure to download your free guide, How to Lead a Women’s Bible Study.
This post is the first in a series adapted from Anticipating His Arrival, a family Advent devotional by Rick Brannan. We will be posting one devotional a day through Christmas.
As Christ’s arrival draws closer, a natural consequence is joy. When the thing we have been waiting for gets closer and closer, joy increases. [Read more…]
R.C. Sproul1 was ready to escape his dry campus for an evening at the bar when he realized he was out of cigarettes. Recalling the vending machine in the dorm, he returned to pick up a 25¢ pack of Lucky Strikes. We don’t often hear of smoking as a catalyst for good things, but that night Sproul’s nicotine craving led to a conversation about God.
Beware of missing the forest for the trees in Titus 21
While Paul certainly has particular instructions for older men, older women, young men, young women, slaves, and masters, the overall thrust of the chapter is equally important.
Let’s take a closer look at Paul’s instructions to walk away with a balanced understanding of the chapter—and in the process, learn a few simple steps we can apply to our Bible study, whatever the passage.
But if you don’t know what morphology is, is Logos beyond you?
Not at all. [Read more…]
For the past several months, my team and I have had the pleasure of building the brand-new Logos 8 libraries.
We’re thrilled with how customers are responding. One loved the new libraries so much she bought four—“more than ever for any new Logos release,” she said.
So what’s new to the Logos 8 libraries? [Read more…]
In previous posts, we drew from Michael Heiser’s Angels to find out what the Bible tells us about angels. We know that angels are immaterial members of God’s heavenly host, and we also discussed why Christians should care about angelology in the first place.
In the first post, we saw that heavenly beings make up a council over which Yahweh presides. But what does this council do? Do they float through heaven all day playing harps? Do they simply worship Yahweh? Or do they observe, or even participate in, the decision-making? [Read more…]