Three companions of Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” each have their own “If I only had…” song. If we’re paying attention to the narrative of Genesis 29-30, three characters also emerge with their own “If I only had…” song. So what does Jacob have his heart set on? What about Leah? And what about Rachel? And why do all of them end up in profound disappointment?
We need a balanced approach to our Bible Reading and Meditation if we are to get the most we can out of Scripture and actually make its message a reality in the way we live. We discuss 3 approaches we need.
In the second of two sermons, we move beyond diagnosis of the problems with our thinking and work toward the solutions which are available in Christ. If Christ is the redeemer of our entire being, then He is also the redeemer of our minds. We explore 8 categories of thoughts from Philippians 4:8 on which we should be focusing our thinking.
In the first of 2 sermons, we do some thinking about thinking. What goes on in our minds as we process information, form ideas, and generate images? And what are some of the ways our thoughts become corrupted and in need of redemption?
Developing habits, virtues, skills, resistance against sin, everything else involved in our walk with Christ shares parallels with development in professional or athletic fields. Stan Hammonds walks us through allowing the text of 2 Peter 1 to become the basis for a development plan.
Our instincts have been trained to come to Martha’s defense. After all, she’s the servant. She’s getting things done while others sit. She should be the one commended here. But is it possible that even something good like service can be elevated to a place of priority it was never meant to hold? And may it actually be drying out our soul…and even masking some deep voids?
The language of offering is all over the New Testament - applied to financial contributions, converts in mission work, bringing worship to the throne of God, even our bodies being a living sacrifice in service to others. But to understand the significance of the Quality of an offering, we need a passage like Malachi 1 to shake us up and open our eyes to how God sees anything which falls short of our best.
We do not just read the Bible. We do not just study it. We are told repeatedly to meditate upon it. And as we meditate upon it, the implanted word will guide the content of our prayers back to God as well. In this lesson, we give 3 samples of what it means to meditate on a passage and use that passage in prayer - one psalm, one parable, and one section from an epistle.
Self-reflection is a necessary discipline. But it can only go so far into your inner thoughts, desires, and will. Only God can reach the deep recesses and bring to light what is hidden there. But are we willing to let Him do His searching and resulting conviction?