- I think the Lord was on to something when He made the Sabbath day a day of rest - no working, no traveling and no cooking. I have found that when I prepare Sunday dinner on Saturday, the craziness that happens after church is minimized. Make your lasagna or meatloaf, throw your chicken or pot roast in the crock pot, brown your meat for tacos or shape your burgers and then store it in the fridge on Saturday. Sunday morning, turn on the crock pot, or set the timer on your oven, or when you get home, just fire up the grill - don't try to prepare anything before church. It will take up valuable time.
- Bathe the children the night before - common sense. A splash of water and a brush should handle any crazy hair and if your child is musical, bed head is fashionable for future hipsters.
- Lay out the children's clothes the night before - not only on Sunday but every day can go smoother if you make this decision the night before - no Sunday morning surprises. It's a lot easier to solve the "I can't find my Sunday shoes" issue on Saturday night than on Sunday morning. Even your husband's clothes can be laid out - this will most definitely save time!
- Put out breakfast bowls and cereal before you go to bed - the kids can feed themselves when they are up and dressed, or if you still need to feed them, it's ready when you come into the kitchen. Be sure everyone puts their own dishes in the sink - a good rule all week long.
- Plan on getting up and dressed before the children, so if they need you, you are already in good shape for church. If they are doing fine on their own, sit at the kitchen counter with a cup of coffee and read a Psalm to prepare your heart for worship that morning!
- The night before, find Bibles and put them on the kitchen counter, ready to be grabbed when it's time to go.
- Also, find your car keys and put them with your Bibles and purse - a great time saver.
- And finally, remember that Momma's mood sets the tone for the day - if you are harried and stressed, the children will wake up cranky and slow. But if you have a song on your lips and a smile on your face, they will wake up feeling loved and excited for the day...
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
- A pictorial dictionary - I have Zondervan's Pictorial Dictionary, but there are several good ones out there. This is exactly what it says - a Bible dictionary. So as you read your section, if there is a word or person or place that you are not familiar with, grab your dictionary and look it up. It will help you understand the context or meaning a bit better. Caution - if you look up Leprosy, don't do it on a full stomach...
- A Bible Handbook - I have The MacArthur Bible Handbook and it basically goes through the whole Bible, book by book, outlining and noting timelines, theological themes, historical events and key people. So if I was going through Luke, I might read the chapter on Luke before I begin or use the outline as my section guide.
- Wilmington's Guide to the Bible - this is a BIG book that is similar to a Bible handbook. It outlines each book of the Bible, gives charts, diagrams, and timelines. It also lays out the Biblical support for the major doctrines of the church, so if you wanted to do a topical study rather than a book study, you could look up "the Doctrine of Salvation" and just work your way through the outline and the scripture associated with it. This is an old school resource that I love and can't imagine not having around...
- Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps and Timelines - this is a great resource for...well, charts, maps and timelines. It has great illustrations of the Temple and Tabernacle, explains a lot of history, has a great section on Nebuchadnezzar's statue and is full of wonderful pictures and facts. This is supplementary - if you were reading through Exodus and were in the portion on the Law and the Tabernacle, this would be a nice resource to give you a better picture than your imagination, perhaps.
- A Bible Commentary - Here's one last suggestion. If you are going to go through a specific book, like Luke, you could buy a commentary by a good author/pastor that would be reliable in helping you understand that book. I use John MacArthur and Kent Hughes for almost every study I do, because I trust their knowledge and I think their styles compliment each other. MacArthur is Truth - he hits hard with a bat, giving the Hebrew and Greek meanings of words, and just says it like it is. Hughes is Grace - he incorporates lyrics of hymns to emphasize the truth, sharing stories of changed lives and church history that sheds light on the passage. Truth and Grace. If you are not sure, check with your pastor on good, reliable commentaries.
- blueletterbible.org - this is a great site for not only Bible translations, but it has study tools you can use
- Logos Bible software - this is a program that you would put on your computer that has hundreds of resources for your study - you'd need to purchase it and get familiar with it
- biblestudytools.com - again, another online resource with lots of study tools...
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Lesson 21 – Peter, Stephen, Philip
I. The gospel extends to the Gentiles – Acts 9:32 – 11:26
· The background – 9:32-43
· The visions – Acts 10
o Cornelius’ vision
o Peter’s vision
· Peter preaches to Cornelius – Acts 10:24-48
· The Jerusalem response – Acts 11:1-26
o Not __happy____
o v.18 – the church acknowledges the ____inclusion___ of the Gentiles
o v. 19-26 – Antioch was about 300 miles from Jerusalem –it was the capital of Syria
· Who was Barnabas?
o He was a ____good___ man, full of the Holy Spirit
o He ____convinced____ the apostles of Paul’s conversion – 9:27
o He served in Antioch and ___confirmed______ that it was of God – v.22-24
o He defended the Gentile church at the Jerusalem Council – 15:12,22,25
II. The death of Stephen – Acts 6,7
· 6:1-7 – the first ___deacon_____ board
· Stephen’s story
· Gnashing of teeth – an indication of anger, not repentance
· Who is this Saul?
III. The Ministry of Philip – Acts 8:4-40
· v. 4-8 – Philip had the ___sign____ gifts
· Philip was evangelizing in _____Samaria____ - mix of Jews and Assyrians
· An angel sends Philip to the road to Gaza – v.26-40
· Philip and the eunuch’s story
· Philip is __snatched___ away – why?
· Philip preached his way north to Caesarea and twenty years later he is still there – Acts 21:8
Monday, March 26, 2012
- Genesis - it all starts here. It is story-driven and a wonderful way to get your feet wet because it is full of beginnings - marriage, sin, government, sacrifice, the chosen people, etc.
- Any of the Gospels are a great choice - John is very deep, so if you are a deep thinker, start there! Luke is the woman's gospel - the most stories involving women are recorded and it's the longest one - we love details, don't we? Mark is more succinct and Matthew is a great option, too - studying the life of Christ is very easy with this method
- Proverbs - just listing out the character qualities of a fool and a wise man is pretty simple, though I would prefer you start with a study on God
- Joshua and Judges are more story based, so they are easier to read and understand - Joshua covers the conquest of Israel as the nation returns from their time of wandering in the wilderness. Judges teaches a cycle of sin and salvation
- Psalms are wonderful, too! They reveal the character of God in a beautiful way and stress man's dependency on his Creator. They are full of emotion and description - there are even Messianic Psalms that draw pictures of Jesus. My personal favorite is the longest chapter in the Bible - Psalm 119, which tells you the benefits of having the Word in your life!
- Exodus covers the wilderness wanderings of Israel and would have powerful application of the character of God - even looking at the basic law would reveal a lot of who God is
- I will talk about the epistles later - if you wanted to start with one of them, I'd go with one of the smaller ones - Galatians, Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians or James. Even though they are small, you'll take a while to get through them because there is a lot in each book
Lesson 20 – Pentecost, Peter
I. Introduction – Review
· God created, man ___fell___
· God cursed, man ___rebelled_____
· God flooded, man __died____
· Man clung, God __scattered______
· God chose, Abraham ____followed____
· God worked, Joseph ___saved__
· God spoke, Israel ___left____
· God led, Israel __conquered____
· God ruled, Israel ___failed_____
· God relented, Israel _divided___
· God released, Israel ___mourned_____
· God fulfilled, Israel ___rebuilt____
· Israel floundered, God ___silenced____
· John cried, Jesus ___appeared_____
· Jesus healed, people ___responded______
· Jesus taught, leaders ___rejected_______
· Jesus continued, death ____plotted______
· Jesus sacrificed, mankind __SAVED_____
· Jesus resurrected, death ___DEFEATED____
· Jesus ascended…now what?
II. The Final Instructions – Acts 1
· v. 1-8 – The Great Commission
· v. 9 – The Ascension
· v. 10,11 – The Promise of Jesus’ return
· v. 12-14 – the replacement of Judas
· Peter’s character development:
o He was a ____fisherman__ – Matthew 4:18 – 20
o He was ___married_____ – Matthew 8:14,15
o He was ___impulsive____– Matthew 14:28,29; Matthew 16:21,22; Matthew 26:35; Mark 9:5; John 13:9; John 18:10
o He was _____inquisitive_____ – Matthew 15:15; Matthew 18:21; Luke 12:41
o He was ___humble______ – Luke 5:8; John 6:66-68; John 13-6-9
o He was part of the _leadership___ team – Matthew 17:1; Mark 13:3; Luke 8:51
o He boldly declared the __truth____ of Who Jesus Christ was – Matthew 16:13-16
o Jesus prophesied that He would build His church on Peter’s ___testimony____– Matthew 16:18
o He __denied_____ Jesus during the trials – Matthew 26:69-75
· John 21 – Peter returns to his old life – fishing
· v. 15-17 – Jesus recommissions Peter
· Sin is never an excuse to check out of your __relationship___ with Christ – no matter what you’ve done, He wants you to follow Him even after you __failed_____ Him
IV. Pentecost – Acts 2
· v.1-4 – the Holy Spirit arrives in a great fashion
· v.5-13 – the people were speaking actual ____languages_______
· The role of the Holy Spirit:
o He ___teaches_____ – John 14:26
o He ___guides_____ – Romans 8:14
o He ___commissions___ – Acts 13:4
o He __commands___ – Acts 8:29
o He __intercedes______ – Romans 8:26
o He ___inspires______ – II Peter 1:21
o He ___convicts____ of sin – John 16:8-10
o He ___indwells______ – I Cor. 6:19
o He is a __pledge_______ – II Cor. 1:21,22 – like an engagement ring
o He produces ____fruit___– Galatians 5:22,23
o He __assures_____ us of our salvation – Romans 8:16
· v. 14-36 – Peter’s Pentecost Sermon
· v. 38-40 – Peter instructs them to ___repent____ and be ___baptized______
· v.42-47 – description of the first church:
o devoted to the apostles’ teaching
o devoted to fellowship
o devoted to communion
o devoted to prayer
o sense of awe
o signs and wonders through the apostles – validated their message
o shared what they owned
o meeting together in the temple and in homes
o gladness and sincerity of heart
o growing daily