As we launch into the Year of the Bible, we are taking a very different approach to God’s Word. How is that approach different from the way we normally handle the Word of God?
If you are the discussion leader, have everyone open to this page on their device. Take turns reading and discussing together.
First off, describe your feeling about the “Year of the Bible” in one word.
How is that going so far? How are you keeping up? Are you finding this easier, or harder than you thought?
What kinds of things are you reading that jump out at you so far? What is sticking with you? Has anything surprised you? Confused you?
The beginning of Genesis (specifically Genesis 1-11) is intended to introduce certain ideas and themes to the reader. In your reading, did you pick up on any of those?
Throughout the opening chapters in Genesis we see again and again humanity rebel against the God who desires to be in relationship with them and the good created world spirals further and further into evil and brokenness as a result. What do these chapters make you, the reader, long to see happen in the rest of the story? Are there any questions you want to see answered or conflicts you hope will be resolved?
On Sunday, I made the claim that we don’t approach Scripture as it was intended in the first place… I said we read for a “quick fix,” not to dine on God’s Word, as He intended. What is your response to this? Is it true?
What imagery came to your mind when I described that Hebrew word, “Hagah?”
Larry the Dog (left) and MacKenzie (right)
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Think about that for just a moment… Scripture is “breathed out by God.” The Greek word is Theopneustos. (pronounced: Theo news toes) It literally means “God-breathed.” What does that mean?
Combine the thought of the “breath of God” along with “Hagah,” from earlier. How does that all work together, and what should it mean for us?
What kind of difference could being filled with the “breath of God” mean for you and me?
What could it mean for our church this year?
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
It seems like a lot of times, people gather together around discouragement and doubt. Especially this past year, as things did not look very hopeful. But, this verse says God gave us his Word to bring us hope. That is great news, isn’t it? So, why do we believers wag our heads, down talk others, post negativity on Facebook, and so forth?
What needs to change about that?
In the next verses, what is the hope that Scripture really points us to?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The value of the Word isn’t in knowing verses, commandments, principles. What does John tell us (above) that the real value is?
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
When reading Genesis, and the rest of the Old Testament, what do we need to keep in mind?
This Sunday, I am beginning the first Year of the Bible message series… “The Bible and Authority.” We’ll be looking at what the Bible was intended to be, what common misconceptions there are, and how to really understand it well.
Message one is “The Problem With The Bible.” I hope you can make it.