BSF’s Sharing Day Comment Page

Hello all!

Due to lack of child care, I won’t be able to attend BSF’s Sharing Day (dubbed the “Kiss and Cry” Day by me as I’m told a lot of tears are shed).  So, I would love to hear from you all what you have learned this year. Feel free to comment as much as you want and if you ran out of time during Sharing Day, post the rest here!

I’ll start:

I know more about the Bible and what it says now.  I feel like I can hold a reasonable conversation about the Old and New Covenant, Jesus’s sacrifice on the Cross, and definitely about Isaiah’s prophecies now. I’m not as intimidated because I know more.  I question everything now.  I don’t just accept what my pastor or others experts say because of their position as truth.  I research and find where God says it–then I believe it.

I feel more confident in sharing the Truth and Good News with others.  When you know more, you can say more.  Before, it was hard for me to even begin.  Now, I can at least answer challenges regarding the Word.

I now know the difference between Assyria, Babylon, and Persia. I can even name some significant dates!

I now can find (relatively easily) the books in the Bible.

I like the book of Revelation.

God’s word is paramount.  We must take everything He says in the Bible as the truth and strive our hardest to live up to His expectations.

God’s judgment is out of love for us.  Everything is planned. Nothing happens by accident.

God’s love is unfathomable.  Jesus Christ is proof of that.

BSF is a wonderful organization and does a phenomenal job of spreading God’s word.  I see much potential here in the future.

God bless you all and I’ll be praying for you all to continue to grow with God in every way and share your love of Him with others!  You have truly made this year wonderful, extraordinary, and special!  Hugs to all!

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BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 30, Day 5

Questions:

5a)  The Homiletics Seminar made dissecting the Bible not such a daunting task.  I feel like when I read the Bible I understand more just from mere practice of doing it every day.  Personal Quiet Time emphasized the importance of daily time with God to nurture the soul.  I plan to continue reading the Bible daily and listening to God speak to me through His word.  Through BSF it’s become a habit so I plan to continue this in the coming months.

b)  This has already impacted my writing.  Ideas have flowed into my work and through typing all this out I have become a better writer.  Again, more practice makes perfect.  I hope one day my work will glorify God. I know I’m a better person because of this study.  I am a gentler person as I strive to be more Christ-like.  I think this also impacts my community by the mere act of me interacting with others in it.

Conclusions:  I wish I could have attended more seminars but I didn’t have the childcare.  The seminars definitely add to BSF and are great tools to expand your growth.  I hope to do more in the future.  I hope I reflect God’s glory more now in my every day life than I did before.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 30, Day 4

Question:

4)  I hope others learned from me as I learned from others.  ASK is a great exercise in praying for others and taking the focus of prayer off of yourself.  In the beginning, it was a great exercise in praying for strangers as well.  I learned you can pray for anyone, anytime, anywhere.  The power of many prayers can be seen.

Conclusions:  I love ASK.  I just wish we had more time to find out the results of individual situations we were praying for if people wanted to share.  I know God knows but it’s nice to know we may have made a difference in others’ lives by supporting them in this life.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 30, Day 3

Questions:

3a)  The power of prayer.  God wants to comfort me so I can comfort others.  God remains faithful even when His people do not.  Trust in God and experience triumph.  We reflect God’s glory.  God’s plan and purposes will always prevail.

b)  I pray more.  I think of others more.  I trust in God and His purposes for my life more.  I try to be a better person knowing I reflect God.  Results:  Less worried.  Not fighting God as much in my life.  Accepting what comes my way as His plan.  Trying to be God’s light to others and bring them closer to Him. Completely knowing God is there no matter what.

Conclusions:  Good exercise to review the principles.  I noticed a pattern in ours such as faithfulness, truth, and God’s love that shined out.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 30, Day 2

Questions:

2a)  The single most important lesson has been the importance of God’s word.  Knowing it, understanding it, applying it, obeying it, sharing it–all has been deeply rooted in my soul.  I have never really studied the Bible before.  I’ve always wanted to but to be honest didn’t know where to begin.  I have done other “Bible Studies”, which weren’t in essence Bible Studies.  It was more social hour with other women and read a book and hopefully get something out of it.  I had become bored, yearning for something deeper, when I was invited by a lady from my church to try BSF.

I loved it from Day 1 and as the months went by I began questioning why I hadn’t heard of BSF before.  I was ready for this study years ago but just didn’t know.  I began wondering why my church has never mentioned it.  Why BSF doesn’t advertise (probably monetary reasons)?  At least my church should have said something about it.  I’m assuming most churches know about BSF and would want to promote such a study.  Maybe not.  Maybe they are afraid it would detract from the studies they offer (I think this is my church by the way.  They offer studies at the same times as BSF meets).

I know, I know.  You come to BSF when God brings you.  I get it. But sometimes I think God needs a bit of help in spreading His word, right?  “I will send some of those who survive to the nations…that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory.  They may proclaim my glory among the nations.”  Isaiah 66:19

So, this is my free advertising for BSF’s sake:  Come one, come all to Bible Study Fellowship for an in-depth study of the Bible. World-wide, BSF appeals to all learning styles and offers classes at different times to accommodate different schedules.  We have a kids program that is phenomenal–guaranteed to teach your little ones (and not-so-little ones) about the Bible.  Come to an introduction class today!  (I picture myself as a circus announcer here!  Very hilarious to see myself in such a get-up with a huge megaphone!)

(Just using modern tools to spread the gospel, ya know!)

b)  I have a 3 year old in the program.  It’s been a benefit for me because I know He is hearing God’s word and it allows me 2 hours a week baby-free to relax in God’s word.  My family gets a happy, more God-centered mama!

Beyond this, it’s hard to say.  I’m not for sure how much he is getting out of it.  He doesn’t talk about it (he can’t get a word in edge-wise with 2 older sisters!), but I know he enjoys it.  He loves going.  He loves his teachers.  I think he’d get a lot more from it if he were older. But I know foundations stones are being laid that will be invaluable to his future faith and growth in God and His word.

Conclusions:  I went off on 2a and to be honest this was the most fun question I have answered all year.  Not for sure where that came from to be honest.  But it made me laugh!

This is how I write by the way.  I have no plan usually.  I write what comes to me and hope for the best.  I think this is more freeing and allows God to creep in more (this is what I tell myself anyway!).

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 29, Day 5: Isaiah 66:17-24

Summary of passage:  Those who follow false gods will all meet their end together, God says.  For because of them God is about to come and gather all the nations to see His glory.  He will set a sign (Jesus) amongst them and send out missionaries to the distant lands who have not heard of His glory to proclaim it. They will bring believers from all nations to God’s holy mountain in Jerusalem as they offer themselves to the Lord.  God will select some of them to be priests.  Their names and descendants shall endure on God’s new heavens and new earth. All mankind will bow before the Lord and they will see the dead bodies of those who rebelled (their bodies decaying, on fire, and loathsome).

Questions:

11a)  They will meet their end together and because of their actions God will come and gather all the nations and tongues

b)  God’s glory through the sign (Jesus) and through missionaries that proclaim Him.  They will bow before the Lord and see the dead bodies of all those who rebelled.

12a)  Isaiah says God’s people will gather together and experience God’s glory.  Their names and descendants shall endure.  The obstinate will die, their dead bodies strewn out for God’s people to see what happens to the rebels–burning bodies and loathsome to behold forever.

1 Corinthians says no one can fathom the great things God has prepared for those who love Him.

Mark quotes Isaiah, saying unrepentant sinners get thrown in hell where their worm does not die nor their fire quenched.

Revelation reveals the great white throne with Jesus upon it.  The dead were judged by Jesus according to what they had done.  Each person was judged from the beginning of time.  Those whose name were not found in the book of life were thrown into the lake of fire for eternity.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I pray my name is in the Book of Life and I will experience God’s majesty for eternity.

Conclusions:  I’m really beginning to like the book of Revelation.  It lays it all out with no wiggle room.  Maybe that’s why some people don’t like it.  People who want to fudge God’s laws or those who don’t want to believe the bad that is to come if you don’t accept Jesus.

I like how Isaiah ends with the most important choice we all have:  to accept God or to reject Him.  Then he lays out the consequences of Man’s decision.

End Note:  Tarshish is modern-day Spain.  Libyan is the modern-day country of Libya in Africa.

Lydia is in modern-day Turkey: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Anatolia_Ancient_Regions_base.svg

Tubal is in modern-day Turkey: http://bibleatlas.org/regional/tubal.htm

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 29, Day 4: Isaiah 66:1-16

Summary of passage:  The Lord says Heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool.  His hand has made all these things.  He esteems those who are humble, contrite in spirit, and tremble at His word.  But those who choose their own ways and offer sacrifices out of mere ritual with no heart, the Lord will bring harsh treatment and dread upon them.  They did not answer or listen to Him.  They did evil in His eyes and chose actions that displeased Him.

For those who tremble at His word (the faithful):  The Lord will repay the faithful’s enemies (those who hate His people because they worship Him) and be put to shame.  One day the Lord will deliver Jerusalem without pain (as in the pain of childbirth).  God will close up the wounds (womb) of Jerusalem upon His delivery.

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her.  Love her.  Those who do will be comforted, satisfied, and have an overflowing abundance.  The Lord will bring peace to Jerusalem and to nations (the Gentiles) and will comfort them.  You will flourish like grass and have the hand of the Lord known to you.  God’s fury will be upon His foes.  He will come with fire, anger, fury, flames, and sword in judgment and execute those found guilty.

Questions:

9a)  God is the Creator.  He is above all things.  He made us and can do what He wants with us.  He can squash us with His foot if He so desires.  We cannot possibly build God a house or a resting place.  He is the builder and the provider of rest.

b)  Humble (not prideful, insignificant) and contrite (penitent over sins) in spirit:  Have a spirit of insignificance and penitent

Tremble at God’s Word:  Have a healthy fear of God’s power.  To know when God speaks you listen or face a time-out!

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God has reiterated this year over and over the truth, power, and expected obedience to His word.  That what God says you better do or face the consequences.  That knowledge has created a new reverence for Him and His word in me.  I stand more at attention when He speaks.

10a)  The Lord esteems those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at His word.  Those who tremble at His word (the faithful)–for those who hate you, they shall be put to shame and repaid all they deserve.  Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her and love her for God will one day deliver her without pain (like in labor).  Then you will be comforted and will delight in overflowing abundance.  The Lord will grant peace to Jerusalem and to the Gentile nations and be comforted.  You will flourish like grass.  The Lord will make himself known to you but His enemies will be His foes.  The Lord will bring judgment to all men and execute those found guilty.

b)  Isaiah 66:7-9; John 3:3-8  Jerusalem (Zion) will be delivered and reborn; reborn when baptized and accept Holy Spirit in our lives

Isaiah 66:10-11; John 16:20-24  Rejoice for Jerusalem and receive comfort and abundance; from great pain comes great joy (from childbirth come baby)–from Jesus’s death comes great joy (salvation for all)

Isaiah 66:12; Romans 5:1  Jerusalem and nations shall have peace; through faith in Jesus we are justified and have peace with God

Isaiah 66:13; Corinthians 1:3-4  God will comfort us as a mother does; God comforts us in all our troubles so we can comfort others

Isaiah 66:14; Matthew 28:19-20  You will flourish like grass and know the hand of the Lord; be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and He will be us always to the end of time

c)  Isaiah says the Lord is coming with fire, bringing His anger, flames, and rebuke.  He will execute judgment upon all men and slay some with His sword and fire.

Matthew warns us to beware of false prophets and false Christs before the end time.  He implies the coming of the Son of Man will be visible to all.  The sun will be darkened, the moon will fade, the stars fall, and heavenly bodies be shaken.  The sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and all earthly nations will mourn.  The Son of Man will descend from heaven with power and glory.  Angels will announce His arrival with loud trumpet calls and they will gather His elect from all corners of the world.

Thessalonians reiterates Matthew, saying the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven in blazing fire accompanied with powerful angels.  Jesus will punish those who do not know God and who have rejected Him with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord forever.  At this time, He will give relief to those who are troubled and pay back trouble to those who trouble you.

Revelation says Jesus will be riding a white horse, bringing justice.  His eyes are blazing and He wears many crowns.  His robe is dipped in blood and He is followed by the armies of heaven.  He will strike down the nations with His sword.  His robe says King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  An angel calls out to people to gather around at God’s table.  The enemy (beast or Devil) comes against Jesus and His army but the beast is captured along with his cohorts.  They were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.  The rest were killed by Jesus’s sword.

Not a pretty picture for unbelievers, evil-doers, or unrepentants.

Conclusions:  God is all powerful and if  you obey, believe, repent, have faith, love others, and do your best to be like Jesus, you’ll be fine.  If not, watch out!  The Lord lays it out what will happen in the Second Coming and none of it is pleasant.

I like how Isaiah includes the Gentiles in God’s almighty plan and will have the same benefits as His chosen people.  I like how God says to rejoice for Jerusalem, God’s people, and if you do, you will have abundance.  I like how God distinguishes those who follow Him from those who don’t by laying out, really, how simple it is to obey Him and then to receive His promised gifts. Great messages!

End Note:  I changed 10b Matthew 28:20 and included 19-20 since being baptized is the quintessential symbol of being re-born and the culmination of accepting Jesus into your heart.