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Posts Tagged ‘Bible study’

“For this the earth shall mourn,
    and the heavens above be dark;
for I have spoken; I have purposed;
    I have not relented, nor will I turn back.”

-Jeremiah 4:28 (ESV)

Last week, we looked at chapter 4 in Jeremiah and saw God’s frustration with Israel’s idolatry.  At the end of the day, we learn how God’s wrath is on its way.  It is presented as inevitable as well as eventual with an invasion from the North.

How can I pardon you?
    Your children have forsaken me
    and have sworn by those who are no gods.
When I fed them to the full,
    they committed adultery
    and trooped to the houses of whores.

-Jeremiah 5:7 (ESV)

God refuses to hold back as He stated in Jeremiah 4:28.  Yet, the rebellious children of Israel refused to repent.  God calls out for them to repent.  God calls them on their mess, expecting them to turn their hearts again towards God, but they continued to rebel and not repent.

As you read through chapter 5 this week, answer the following questions:

  1. What is God’s desire for Israel as He presented in the first 4 chapters of Jeremiah?
  2. How does God describe Israel’s rebellion?
  3. Write down some key terms from chapter 5 that let you know what has become of the relationship between God and Israel.
  4. Summarize your thoughts and ideas regarding chapter 5 in one phrase or sentence.

Feel free to answer these questions via comments directly to the blog post, i.e. Question #1: God wanted loyalty and fidelity from Israel, especially the House of Israel.  Keep your eyes out for a special activity this weekend as we move on to chapter 6.

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The Jeremiah Journey continues as we look back and look forward.

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Looking Back (Jeremiah Chapter 3)

God’s Anger Led to God’s Wrath (Israel’s Idolatry)

Last week we read Jeremiah chapter 3.  It showed us how God had some stinging accusations against both Israel and Judah.

The Lord said to me, Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah.

– Jeremiah 3:11 (NIV) 

One of the keys to keep in mind is that God’s accusations are accurate.  He sees all.  He knows all.  He can see beyond the surface and deep into the recesses of our hearts.  He knows our intentions.

What does God see in your heart today? It’s totally between you and Him.  Be mindful that He is neither mocked nor fooled by any deception that we may seek to put forth.  He sees us for what we really are.

But like a woman unfaithful to her husband,
    so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me,”
declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 3:20 (NIV)

Despite all that He spoke out against Israel and Judah.  God sought their repentance.  He called for the faithless to return to Him.  He sought to cure them.  He desired to offer them hope and cleansing.

“Return, faithless people;
    I will cure you of backsliding.”

-Jeremiah 3:22 (NIV)

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Looking Ahead at Jeremiah Chapter 4

Anguish and Agony Ahead (God’s Warning of Things to Come)

C.H. Spurgeon simply said that we can either be humble or be humbled.  That was the plight of this faithless nation.  God’s call for its return to Him fell on deaf ears.  He answered with a rebuttal of the disaster to come.

As you read chapter 4 of Jeremiah, be sure to pay close attention to the prophecy of things to come.  See the words that God uses to describe the anguish and agony the nation will suffer due to its refusal to repent.

 

 

 

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Why do you contend with me?
    You have all transgressed against me,
declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 2:29 (ESV)

Part of our work last week was to look at chapter 2 and reflect.  Our reflective responses are still being collected this week.  Be sure to log and submit your answers for us.  We want to share our collective responses in the near future.

Looking Ahead

If a man divorces his wife
    and she goes from him
and becomes another man’s wife,
    will he return to her?
Would not that land be greatly polluted?
You have played the whore with many lovers;
    and would you return to me?
declares the Lord.

-Jeremiah 3:1 (NLT)

The opening lines of chapter 3 are enough to make some Christians unsettled.

God’s judgment is direct and open.  There is no holding back.  He lets loose and it is all fire.  He doesn’t give the people any break or leeway.  He just speaks on what they have done and what it really looks like to Him.

. . .You have played the whore with many lovers. . .

The comparison to whorees is a direct correlation to the idolatry of Israel.  It is akin to Isaiah’s opening chapter.  It is reflective in a metaphoric sense to God’s appeal to Hosea, utilizing Hosea’s match with Gomer as a symbolic object lesson about His own relationship with a whore-like nation of “chosen people.”

If a man divorces his wife
    and she goes from him
and becomes another man’s wife,
    will he return to her?
Would not that land be greatly polluted?

Spend some time this week reflecting on one single question: Has my relationship with the Lord been pure or polluted lately? Which one and what makes you say so? Think about it as you read chapter 3 in Jeremiah.  Compare it to Isaiah chapter 1.  Look at it in light of Hosea’s major  hurdle.  Then look at your response again after having read chapter 3.  Feel free to comment directly to this post with your responses.

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The Jeremiah Journey Promo Slide

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While Paul was saying these things to defend himself, Festus said loudly, “Paul, you are out of your mind! Too much study has driven you crazy!”- Acts 26:24 (NCV)

Paul has met his divine appointment.  He has faced fate faithfully, sharing his personal testimony blended with a thorough mix of the Good News and a  history of God’s people of faith.   Yet, we also learn that God can prepare us for a lifetime for that divine appointment.  He can train us for years for just one singular moment.  I suggest 5 strategies for approaching your Bible study lessons to take your teaching and preaching to another level.

  • Purpose: Identify the “why” for your study.  Why are you studying this text/ passage? What’s the point? Know your purpose before you even start.
  • Preparation: Once armed with your purpose, you can prepare accurately.  You cut to the chase in your Bible study and sermon preparation.  You will see things differently, seeing a clear pathway to your goal as the Spirit leads you.
  • Practice: You practice to perfect.  As you practice, you review your material with your audience in mind.  You start to get a feel for your pace and how to personalize your presentation.
  • Performance: You have to show and prove.  That’s where you give it your all and hold nothing back.  Do what you do to His glory.
  • Post-Performance: You have to review what you have already done.  You want to perfect your presentation skills.  Did you connect with the people?Did you connect the people with your material? Be able to identify what needs more work and how to rework it to make it work out for the better.

Let this simple serve as a general guide for you.  As you become more and more practiced, you will be able to identify particular methods that help you more than others as you prepare to teach and preach.  This simple guide is a plan to help you get started and stay on track from start to finish.  Keep in mind that God’s will is supreme and overrides all that is suggested here.  Let what is presented here simply help you become more confident in what God has for you as it confirms what He lays upon your heart.

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Psalm 119 can be broken down in a variety of ways. It is actually an acrostic poem of the Hebrew alphabet. Each verse of the psalm speaks of God’s Word, His statutes and His precepts. Every eight verses are set up in 22 sets. These 176 verses have been studied and analyzed by C.H. Spurgeon, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, C.S.Lewis and John MacArthur just to name a few. A daily study of Psalm 119 will definitely help a believer look at the lessons of his or her past and the outlook of his or her path in life.

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