BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 22, Day 5: Romans 12:6-8

Summary of passage:  God has given each of us different gifts.  Let us use our gifts (whatever they may be) for His glory and to the best of our ability.

Questions:

12)  1 Corinthians 7:7b:  Each person has his or her own gift from God.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6:  Each gift we have works to glorify God.

Ephesians 4:11-13:  God gave us each different works of service to build each other up and mature to the fullness of Christ.

1 Peter 4:10-11:  We should use our gifts to serve others, administering God’s grace and speaking as if we are speaking the very words of God.

13)  Prophesy:  “let him use it in proportion to his faith.”  If one hears a word from God, share it.

Serving:  “let him serve”  If one is called to serve in an area of church, serve.

Teaching:  “let him teach”  If one is called to teach, teach.

Encouraging:  “let him encourage”  If one is blessed with encouraging words, share them.

Contributing to the needs of others:  “let him give generously”  If one is called to contribute to the needs of others (which we all are to a certain degree), do so!

Leadership:  “let him govern diligently”  If one is called for leadership, govern according to God’s principles.

Showing mercy:  “let him do it cheerfully”  If we need to show mercy, do so with a kind heart in forgiveness.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He’s given me some of these and others not listed.  I’m always teaching my kids like in homeschool or in daily living.  I teach other how to workout correctly with my fitness/CrossFit jobs.  I serve others be it my family or in my work.  I donate to charity groups.  I serve on a local board and hope one day to be on the Town Board and mayor of my town.  I’m not the best at encouraging but I try.  Same with mercy.  I also write via this forum and my novels.  Every day is an opportunity to do His will in all areas of life and in the areas in which we are gifted.  Do you take advantage of it?

Conclusions:  Great reminder and verses to remind us all that we each have a different purpose here on this planet for Him.  We each have different gifts to use for His glory.  We need to take advantage of these and use them for Him and give Him the glory for all we accomplish for Him.  Is it for Him or for you?

End Notes:  The ancient Greek word for “spiritual gifts” is charismata, which means a gift of grace. This term was apparently coined by Paul to emphasize that the giving of these spiritual gifts was all of grace.

Spiritual gifts are given at the discretion of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:11 says, But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Paul is careful to warn us against being proud of our gifts and exalting them/us instead of God.

Prophecy:  God may give us something to say to an individual or church body that stretches our faith. If we can’t prophecy in faith and trust that God has really spoken to us, we shouldn’t do it at all.

Prophecy in the Biblical understanding, isn’t necessarily “fore-telling” in a strictly predictive sense. It is more accurately “forth-telling” the heart and mind of God, which may or may not include a predictive aspect.

This warns us against flippant, “stream of consciousness” prophecy that has no difficulty saying, “Thus says the Lord” at the drop of a hat.

In proportion to our faith: The ancient Greek text actually has “the” before faith. Paul may be cautioning that prophecy must be according to the faith, in accord with the accepted body of doctrine held among believers.

Some take the proportion of faith to be the proportion of the faith of the audience of the prophecy; this has truth also.

This was a warning that meant more in Ancient Times as many claimed that God spoke to them and then their words were not from God or Biblically-based.  This was a warning against false prophets.

Ministry can be seen as serving in practical ways and not necessarily as a pastor or priest. Paul sees this as important ministry from the Holy Spirit as well.

Teaching has in mind instruction, while exhortation encourages people to practice what they have been taught; both are necessary for a healthy Christian life.

When someone who is called and gifted to be a giver stops giving, they will often see their resources dry up – having forgotten why God has blessed them.

It is easy for leaders to become discouraged and feel like giving up, but they must persevere if they will please God by their leadership.

It can be hard enough to show mercy, but even harder to be cheerful about it. This reminds us that the gift of showing mercy is a supernatural gift of the Spirit.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 22, Day 5: John 16:16-33

Summary of passage: Jesus says he is leaving, but they disciples will see him again after the Resurrection and he appears before them.. The grief will turn to joy once they realize all Jesus’ death means. When they see him again, they will know all. If you ask for things in Jesus name, God will give them whatever they ask and they will have complete joy.

You will pray in Jesus’ name.  At last, the disciples get it and Jesus rejoices.  A time will come when they will be scattered.  In Jesus, they will have peace even though in this world they will have trouble.

Questions:

11a)  If we have faith in Jesus and ask in his name, God will answer our prayers according to His will.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To do His will through my writings and my kids.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Whether to work for money in the immediate future or whether to work for Him for patience for money to come.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus has overcome Satan to rule and despite any troubles we will be with him one day.  Knowing I’m following him despite troubles is a great comfort.

Conclusions:  Personal day.  Understanding who Jesus is and belief in Him will allow God to answer all our prayers.

End Notes:  The disciples didn’t know like we do that he is about to be arrested and crucified. Jesus is telling them he will rise from the dead. This obviously would confuse anyone.

The disciples are talking among themselves, asking if anyone knows what Jesus is saying here. Jesus interrupts them to give them more clarity. He says their grief will turn to joy once all is revealed. This is true. We see no writings of regret from the apostles. They got it after all!

The disciples will have access to God through Jesus by speaking in Jesus’ name.  There will be no need for Jesus to do it for them.  They can go directly to God in prayer since they have loved him and have faith in him and God will hear them.

Our love for God is evidence that He loves us.  Jesus’ death shows God’s love and God’s love is the reason for Jesus’ death–so we can be saved.

Verse 28 is a summary of God’s love and work for us:  Jesus is God, born into this world as man, and he will die and rise again into heaven.

The disciples declare they finally get it, but Jesus warns their faith will be shaken and tested.  They will leave Jesus, but he won’t be alone–God will not abandon him (nor us) ever.  It would be God and Jesus at the cross–together forever.

He concludes his discourse with his disciples, offering them peace in Him.  It’s not a promise; we have to find it.  He offers peace with God and peace with others and peace realized through conflict and struggle, which is promised we’ll have.

Fun Fact:  Jesus speaks of his victory.  “Overcome” is used only once here but 22 times in the 1 John and Revelation.

The world conquers when it comes between you and God.  Jesus is in control.  He never abandons us.  He loves us.  He overcomes.  Be of good cheer!

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 22, Day 5: Revelation 17:15-18

Summary of passage:  The angel tells John that the woman is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.  The waters are the peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.  The beast will kill the prostitute according to God’s purposes and allow the beast to rule.

Questions:

12)  God is in control and He’s the one who puts it into their hearts what to do.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is in control here and always to accomplish His purposes here on earth.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Knowing God wins makes it easy to proclaim His glorious name.  I’m not experiencing persecution at this time and haven’t really.  Knowing God’s word helps me see through deception.

Conclusions:  Question 12 & 13 are redundant and the same.  Question 14:  It’s not about knowing God wins; it’s about knowing God.  Weak lesson.

End Notes:  We are told who the woman is:  “the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”  Some scholars say this is Rome and in the minds of the first century Christians it was definitely Rome.  Still, futurists say the city could be Jerusalem or the entire world system.

All the people will come together under the Antichrist until God turns their hearts to destroy the great city.  They will turn on themselves and destroy the prostitute.  Scholars say this is probably during the mid-point of the Tribulation.

God is the one orchestrating all of this as the angel states.  He is using the ten kings to judge the prostitute.

In the next chapter we will see Babylon’s destruction.

Conclusions to Lesson 22:  The most powerful lesson here in Revelation 17 is one we often forget:  God orchestrates world events.  He makes world leaders act for His purposes.  God is a God of action.

Secondly, we see that God wins and therefore, as Christians we win.  We cannot be defeated by Satan.  Emmanuel, God is with us, and if we’d keep that in mind–the big picture–our everyday circumstances and trials will be nothing but chaff in the wind.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 22, Day 5: Psalm 90

Summary of passage:  A prayer by Moses to God.  Moses praises God’s majesty and His power and anger.  He says life is quick to man but not to God.  He asks for a heart of wisdom and asks God to relent His wrath and have compassion on His servants.  Show love and favor upon them.  Make His work the work of their hands.

Questions:

12a)  In this passage, Moses is praising God and has a healthy fear of God.  He is also afraid.  He is yearning for God to show him a heart of wisdom and for God’s favor.  He is pleading with God to have compassion and love on them.

b)  Omnipotence, omniscience, compassion, love, goodness, God’s wrath, God’s power, God’s judgment, God’s unchangingness

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Anytime I think on God it helps me be a better person, inspires me, and gives me purpose in life.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Well, I had underlined in my bible verse 12.  It’s a great, short prayer for us to use each day wisely and grow in Him.  It’s a good prayer model all around as it speaks to God’s greatness, God’s favor, God’s compassion, and God’s will for our lives.

Conclusions:  No one is sure when Moses wrote this.  It could have been at any time so to correlate it to Numbers 20 is a stretch.  I believe our time would have better been spent in Deuteronomy 3:23-27  where Moses pleads with God to undo His judgment upon Him.  Perhaps we will study this later but now would be a good time while all these events are swirling around in our heads.

Questions such as part d are becoming more and more frequent it seems and are just filler to me. I’m not sure how I feel about them as of yet.  They are so broad that it’s hard to truly get anything out of them.

End Notes:  If indeed Moses wrote this (scholars are not 100% sure but believe most likely only Moses could have written this), it’s about God’s eternal character and man’s limited time and ability to connect with God while on earth.  Therefore, we see Moses’s appeal for wisdom to not waste his life (or our lives) in such little time and do His will.  For living our way leads only to “trouble and sorrow”.

Moses speaks of being satisfied in the morning with God’s unfailing love.  This is the gathering of manna and for us the Word of God.

We see man’s frailness in the dust, a brief watch, and grass which ultimately dies.

Great verse 14 that shows Moses asking for joy and gladness and to know that their afflictions are for their own good.

Only when we do God’s work for our hands will we grow our hearts, souls, and minds. Not our will but His be done.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 22, Day 5: Matthew 22:1-14

Summary of passage:  Jesus told another parable, saying the kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.  He invited guests but they refused to come.  He told the guests about the succulent meal and they still refused to come.  Then they beat the servants who carried the message and killed them.  The king then sent an army and destroyed the murderers and their city.

Then the king invited anyone they could find both good and bad on the streets to come and the wedding hall was filled with guests.  The king discovered a man not wearing wedding clothes and had him thrown outside into the darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Many are invited but few are chosen.

Questions:

11a)  God invitation to us to accept Christ as the sacrificial lamb, believe in him, that he paid our penalty on the cross

b)  The servants would be prophets or missionaries or believers doing God’s work and then punished or martyred because of it.  All the disciples were martyred except John and Judas Iscariot.  Stephen.  Most likely Paul.  Joan of Arc.  Kenneth Bae.

c)  Jesus’ crucifixion or Jesus’ second coming

d)  Believers in Christ

e)  Isaiah says garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness and jewels.

f)  The will have God’s army sent upon them and be destroyed as murderers and their cities burned.  They will also be thrown out of heaven out into the darkness where there is weeping and a gnashing of teeth.

12a)  Same.  They are too busy to come or they are too preoccupied with things they bought (material items) or too distracted or they are worshipping an idol such as a new spouse.  Anything that is more important than God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Those who reject God and Christ will not have a taste of God’s banquet.  This is a warning to believe in Christ or face eternal damnation.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Yes because I have faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and are thus justified by His grace through Jesus’ blood.  Thus, I am therefore clothed in a robe of righteousness and a garment of salvation with jewels that symbolize the Holy Spirit within.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God extends His invitation to all but in the end He only opens the eyes and ears of those chosen to receive Him and His Son and accept Him and believe.  Those who put God first will be chosen.

Conclusions:  I like the wedding parallel as most people can relate to the symbolism.  A wedding is usually one of the biggest events in a person’s life.  Here, a royal wedding would have been a spectacular affair, one everyone would have prized an invitation for.  Similar to Prince William and Kate’s royal wedding.  This illustrates just how illogical people can be when refusing God’s invitation.

Those cast out of the party were because they did not have a heart for God.  They were there for selfish reasons (free food) and could care less about the people involved.

End Notes:  In Jewish culture invitations were often sent out twice, once announcing the event and second when the event was ready.  God is always ready for us.  Are we ready for Him?

Man chooses as does God.  Man refused to come.  God chose to not accept him.  The great dichotomy of the Bible.  We must choose God.  God must choose us by His grace.  It’s a two-way street.  Many hear the call.  Few respond.  Few God chooses to respond.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 22, Day 5: Genesis 28:10-22

FINALLY!!!  SOMETHING NEW!!!!

Summary of passage:  So Jacob left Beersheba to Haran.  He stopped along the way, put a stone under his head, and had a dream.  In the dream he saw a stairway from heaven to earth on which the angels of God were going up and down.  The Lord was there and He repeated His promise to Jacob (the covenant He gave to both Abraham and Isaac), saying He’ll give Jacob the promised land and his descendants will spread out.  All people on earth will be blessed through him.  God said He is with him and will watch out for him wherever he goes.

When Jacob woke, he took the stone he had been lying on and poured oil over it and called the place Bethel. Then Jacob vows that God will be his God and the stone will be God’s house and he will give God a tenth.

Questions:

12a)  The stairway linking heaven and earth now reveals access to God.

b)  Jesus is the stairway, the way to heaven.  Jesus says the angels of God ascend and descend on the Son of Man.  John 14:6 says he is “the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Hebrews says we will enter the Most Holy Place (heaven) “by the blood of Jesus.”

13a)  “I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.  Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south.”

b)  Same as a. “I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.  Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south.”

c)  “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.”

d)  “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land.  I will not leave you until I have  done what I have promised you.”

14a)  He had the fear of God now and realized God was with him and in this place.  He took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil over it to make the place, which he named Bethel or house of God.  He made a vow, saying if God does what He promises, then God will be my God, the pillar will be God’s house, and he will give God a tenth of all that God has given him.

b)  Through the Holy Spirit, God is with us and watches over us wherever we go.  He will not leave us until His work is done. (See Philippians 1:6 for a similar message).  We return a tenth to God of what is His.  He is our God and our pillar.  Hopefully, we believe first and then receive without the same stipulations Jacob makes (see Conclusions below for elaboration).

Conclusions:  Well, we moved on but I literally typed up most of the passage for my answers.  It felt like a copy exercise I might give my kids for school.  I did like saying specifically He is with us wherever we go and He will not leave us.  Something I needed to hear today.

The significance of this passage is that Jacob has finally realized God is everywhere and not just in certain places.

However, what BSF missed and what I find fascinating (of course we could see this next lesson if we repeat this passage again as seems to be the custom), is how Jacob responds to God’s promises.  Jacob doesn’t quite believe God will do all of these things He promises.  We see this in his response in verses 20-22:  IF God will be with me and IF He will provide, THEN the Lord will be my God.”

Do you see it?  He’s not quite sure if God will be with him and if God will provide.  But only after Jacob sees all this, then will God be his God.  Jacob is trying to make his own deal with God instead of humbly accepting God’s promise.  However, in God’s grace, He punishes Jacob through Laban in order to gain Jacob’s whole heart.

End Note:  Now God has personally appeared to all three patriarchs:  Abraham, Isaac, and now Jacob.

Fun Fact:  Bethel means “House of God” and is second only to Jerusalem to the number of times a town is mentioned in the Old Testament.  God even refers to Himself as the “God of Bethel” in Genesis 31:13.