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2011 Bible Study Training - South


Read the Bible when you don't feel like it

Now that the staff is gone, the team leaders are giving the messages. Justin Richardson led Bible study training yesterday morning. He discussed why we need to read the Bible and how our thoughts and emotions are involved.

“It is God’s will for us to read His Word,” Justin said.

But what about when we go through spiritual dry periods? Many people don’t read their Bible unless they want to because they don’t want to be legalistic. Justin addressed this, saying it is a misconception that obedience is primarily a result of emotion.

Emotions play a large role in the Christian life, but they are not a prerequisite for obedience. If somebody doesn’t want to read their Bible, not reading would probably be their worst decision.

Justin also addressed the misconception that we are less pleasing to God when we are emotionally dry.

“Christian hedonism … is at the same time thrilling and crushing,” he said.

We get glimpses of joy in Christ, but it can be crushing when we don’t. However, we find that joy when we read the Bible – when we learn more about Christ. Justin said that “the Bible is a source for our emotions.” He reminded everyone that the basis for God’s pleasure in us is not because of us, but because of what Christ has done for us on the cross.

He continued to explain why we should read the Bible.

“God has revealed himself through people, through relationships, through creation – but primarily, he has given us His Word.”

Proverbs 2:1-5: My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heard to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.



Awake to the Scriptures: What is the Bible?

This morning everyone walked across the parking lot for Bible Study Training at Garden City Chapel.

Elliot Stokes went through what the Bible is and why we read it.

“Here are the most important things about the universe … and you’re being walked through those things (when you read the Bible),” he said.

Elliot started by explaining that all of the Scriptures are about Jesus.

“If we miss that, it’s not just that we’re reading the Bible wrong. It means we have a heart defect.”

He stressed how the Bible is God’s spoken word – that God literally speaks things into existence. He creates and defines truth by his words.  He referenced 2 Timothy 3:15-16 and 2 Peter 3:15-16 to explain this.

Elliot called everyone to open the Bible realizing that they are hearing from God.

He also talked about how “the Bible tells you who God is, and people don’t like that.” People like to make up things about God and choose what they like or don’t like to believe.

“The real God is way, way, way better than anything you would make up,” Elliot said.

Titus 3:3 says, “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.”

“That’s you,” Elliot said. “The Bible tells you the hard truth about yourself.”

The last point Elliot made was that “the Bible didn’t die for your sins.”

“The Bible is not God,” he said. “It reveals God.”

After the message, some of the students said this was convicting, reflecting on how it can be easy to seek forgiveness by getting in the Word rather than falling before the cross.

Bible Study Training is a weekly event. Every Friday morning, a different message is presented, and then we practice the inductive method of reading the Scriptures. This morning, we read today’s verse from Colossians: Col. 1:24.

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.