BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 26, Day 3: James 1:19-27

Summary of passage:  James offers some practical advice, saying everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger for man’s anger does not bring about righteous life.  Get rid of all moral filth and evil and humbly accept the word planted in you.

Do what the word says.  Anyone who doesn’t is like a man who just looks in a mirror and forgets what he sees.  Anyone who follows the law will be blessed in what he does.  Keep a tight rein on your tongue and look after orphans, widows, and keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Questions:

8a)  Quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, get rid of all the moral filth and evil and accept the word planted in you.  Do what the word says to do.  Keep a tight rein on your tongue.  Look after orphans and widows and keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I don’t listen very well and I do get angry easily.  I don’t guard my tongue as I should.  All of these I need to work on.

9a)  Well, widows and orphans.  The homeless.  Kids on the streets.  Latchkey kids.  People in nursing homes.

b)  We have a responsibility to all those less fortunate than ourselves.  We can donate to charities that help these people.  We can serve in food kitchens.  Donate to food banks. Visit nursing homes (especially with our kids).  Be vigilant when God puts certain individuals in our way to help.

Conclusions:  Not as meaty as yesterday in terms of personal application but just as important.  Important to heed James’s advice on how to live and to remember we are here to serve others.

My favorite was “to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”  So often these days no one takes responsibility but we are just as responsible for being influenced by the world as the world is.  Probably more so.  We must keep ourselves away from situations where we are more likely to fall, limit what we are exposed to, and live according to the Word.  This goes for our kids as well.

For I believe we cannot help/serve others effectively if we ourselves are “polluted”.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 26, Day 3 Isaiah 58

Summary of passage:  Here.

Questions:

5a)  The Sabbath was a day set aside by God to honor His Creations–Earth and everything upon it.  You shall get all of your work done in 6 days and rest on the 7th.  Thus, the Lord blessed it and made it holy.  The Sabbath was to be the sign of God’s everlasting covenant with His people.  Anyone who desecrated it was to be put to death.  If you delight in the Sabbath and keep it holy by not going your own way or doing as you please, then you will find joy in the Lord and feast on the inheritance of your father, Jacob.

b)  Matthew 12:1-12:  The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.  It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.

Mark 2:27-28; John 5:10:  The Sabbath was made for man so the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.  Jesus healed on the Sabbath and told the man to do work i.e carry his mat.

John 9:14:  Jesus healed a blind man on the Sabbath.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Galatians 4:10 means to me that any day can be the Sabbath and probably should be. Colossians 2:16-17 means to me that you should not be judged by your activities on the Sabbath as in OT times, which were rituals put in place anticipating Jesus’s coming.  Now, the reality is Christ and if you accept Him, no one should judge you except God.  Jesus has put everything right with God for us.

Jesus made God’s law of keeping the Sabbath holy void.  Now, instead, we are to carry our rest in God in our hearts through the gift of the Holy Spirit, which dwells inside each of us.

To answer the question:  I’m not for sure what BSF is getting at here.  In my view, the list of things to do and avoid in Isaiah is now void if we have Jesus in our hearts (the Holy Spirit).  My attitude toward the Sabbath is my attitude every day as listed above:  live my life as Christ-like as possible, seeking God at every opportunity, and listening for prompts to share the Gospel with those around me. That’s not to negate the good works Isaiah says:  share your food, help the poor, etc.  I think those are now just examples of what Christ would do and therefore what we should do–examples of good deeds to help your fellow man.

6)  You will find joy in the Lord.  He will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.  Your light will break forth and your healing. Righteousness and the Lord shall be with you.  Then when you call out to the Lord (with your heart in the right place), He will answer:  Here am I.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The definition of delight:  a high degree of gratification, joy; something that gives great pleasure.

Yes, God gives me great pleasure.  Most days.  Sometimes I feel far away or my mind is caught up in human problems but when I do turn to God in those moments it is a true delight for He will speak to me if I listen and comfort me as I pour my heart out to Him.  Even when I’m doing good in life my time in the mornings with God is life-giving and nurturing and makes my days so much more fulfilling.  I do this daily in the morning when the kids are sleeping.

Conclusions:  I liked how BSF broke this up into what the Old Testament says about the Sabbath versus how this changed when Jesus came in the New Testament.

I wish BSF would have us read the whole passages like this quote below from Mark, which is just below Mark 2:27-28.  It gives the whole picture of the circumstances of Jesus’s healing and I think gives us a greater understanding.  It’s not a whole lot more to read.  My only conclusion is BSF just wants us to answer on those listed verses but if the goal here is to understand the word better I think we need more of the word.

Mark 3:4  “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” Jesus asked the Pharisees.  I think this makes it clear good works on the Sabbath is acceptable.  But more than that, aren’t we called to do good works every day, not just the Sabbath?  Are we ever supposed to do evil or kill (kill unlawfully kill not kill a cow for meat)?

So, I will be curious to see where BSF is taking this one.  If they say everything is acceptable or only good works.  My belief from Day 2 is since God dwells in our hearts every day should be like the Sabbath: we go about our days, living like Jesus did, reading His word and praying, and sharing the Good News with others. Nothing should be condemned solely based on which day of the week this occurs (except of course sin–which is virtually every day).  For me, I sin every day.

I found this article on the Old Testament definition of the Sabbath versus the New Testament definition, curiously as I was researching Day 1:

http://www.gci.org/law/chr-sab3