BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 26, Day 4: 1 Kings 6:1-13

Image result for 1 kings 6

Summary 1 Kings 6:1-13:

Four hundred and eighty years after God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, Solomon began the building of God’s temple. As the building of the temple was taking place, God came to Solomon and told him to keep His decrees, carry out His laws, regulations, and commands, and God would fulfill all the promises He gave to David through him.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 26, Day 4: 1 Kings 6:1-13:

9) God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. David spared Saul’s life. Solomon builds God’s temple here. Jesus is sacrificed here, just on the other side of Mount Moriah. These are all places God spared people, which is what the temple does. It spares people of their sins once the atoning sacrifice is made. The final atoning sacrifice was made with Jesus’ crucifixion.

10) God came to Solomon and told him to keep His decrees, carry out His laws, regulations, and commands, and God would fulfill all the promises He gave to David through him. God also promised to live among the Israelites and not abandon them. God is omniscient so He knows the mistakes Solomon is about to make (idol worship, marrying foreign wives, building altars to foreign gods, etc). God is trying to warn Solomon before he chooses to make those mistakes.

11) Personal Question. My answer: He reminds me of my blessings in subtle ways like the beautiful sunrise or sunset. He places people in my life I can touch in small ways, like co-workers. He keeps my in His word with BSF. He reminds me all things are from Him.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 26 Day 4:1 Kings 6:1-13:

I love how God blesses and then He reminds to follow Him always. Then it’s just a matter of if we listen or not.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 26, Day 4:1 Kings 6:1-13:

This time reference gives us dates for the Bible: The reign of Solomon began in 971 BC and ended at 913 BC (the temple was begun in 967 BC). This means that the Exodus took place in 1447 BC.

It took probably about three years to prepare timber from Lebanon for use in building. If Solomon began the construction of the temple in the fourth year of his reign, he probably started organizing the construction in the very first year of his reign.

Yet the work was carefully organized and planned even before Solomon became king. 1 Chronicles 28:11-12 tells us, Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat; and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things.

The writer of 1 Kings never tells us exactly where the temple was built, but the writer of 2 Chronicles tells us that it was built on Mount Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1), the same place where Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac and Jesus would be crucified (on another part of the hill).Image result for 1 kings 6

Four Main Structures of God’s Temple

  1. The temple proper (the house which King Solomon built), divided into two rooms (the holy place and the most holy place).
  2. The vestibule or entrance hall on the east side of the temple proper (the vestibule in front of the sanctuary). It was thirty feet (10 meters) wide and fifteen feet (5 meters) deep, and the same height as the temple proper.
  3. The three-storied side chambers (chambers all around) which surrounded the temple proper on the north, south, and west sides.
  4. A large courtyard surrounding the whole structure (the inner court mentioned in 1 Kings 6:36)

The temple proper was approximately 90 feet (30 meters) long, 30 feet (10 meters) wide, and 45 feet (15 meters) high. This was not especially large as ancient temples go, but the glory of Israel’s temple was not in its size.

Allowing for the outside storage rooms, the vestibule, and the estimated thickness of the walls, the total size of the structure was perhaps 110 feet, 37 meters long and 75 feet, 25 meters wide.

The dimensions of the temple also tell us that it was built on the same basic design as the tabernacle, but twice as large. This means that Solomon meant the temple to be a continuation of the tabernacle.

How God works

The stones used to build the temple were all cut and prepared at another site. The stones were only assembled at the building site of the temple.

  • The temple had to be built with human labor. God did not and would not send a team of angels to build the temple. Yet Solomon did not want the sound of man’s work to dominate the site of the temple. He wanted to communicate, as much as possible, that the temple was of God and not of man.
  • Often the greatest work in the Kingdom of God happens quietly. Yet the building site of the temple was only quiet because there was a lot of noise and diligent work at the quarry.

Image result for 1 kings 6God’s promise to Solomon

God promised an obedient Solomon that he would reign and be blessed, fulfilling the promises God made to David about his reign (2 Samuel 7:5-16). He also promised that His special presence would remain among Israel as a nation.

There was nothing particularly new in this promise. These are essentially the same promises of the Old Covenant made to Israel at Sinai. But this was an important reminder and renewal of previous promises.

God was careful not to say that He would live in the temple the way pagans thought their gods lived in temples. He would dwell among the children of Israel. The temple was a special place for man to meet with God.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 26, Day 4: John 25-27

Summary of passage:  At the cross was Mary, Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary, Mary Magdalene, and John.  Jesus tells his mother John is her son and tells John his mother is his now. John cares for Jesus’ mother from here on out.

Questions:

8 )  John’s focus is on the more personal and how Jesus’ death affects those closest to him.  He shows how even at death Jesus is thinking of others as he commissions John to care for his mother.  John is focusing on individuals.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus honored his Father and obeyed his Father to the cross, accepting the physical pain of death out of love for us.

10)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I would grow closer to God and my life would be more joyful and fulfilling.

Conclusions:  Would have liked to focus more on the women at Jesus’ feet and the disciple rather than on myself.  And on how Jesus gave his mother into John’s care.  How awesome!

End Notes:  Mary must have been suffering almost as much as Jesus to see her son dying before her eyes.  She had to have been weeping and calling out to God herself.  All these women were there to support Mary.

This was the author John’s humble way to refer to himself in the story, as he does four times in his Gospel (John 13:23, 19:26, 21:7, 21:20). John told us that he was at Jesus’ crucifixion and saw these things with his own eyes (John 19:35).

Jesus never once thought of himself.  It was always about us.

Jesus did not call Mary mother probably to spare her more pain.  He also didn’t need to be specific.  Both Mary and John knew what Jesus was asking of them.

We know Mary had other children with Joseph who could have cared for her into old age (Matthew 12:46-47, 13:55-56, John 2:12 and 7:3-10).  Instead, Jesus chose John for the job.  What an honor!  Scholars speculate reasons for this:  Jesus knew John would outlive his siblings.  His siblings were not yet believers and Jesus wanted her with a believer.  He did this to honor John who was the only disciple to stand at the cross of Jesus.  He did this to show you can care for others outside of blood bonds.  Who knows?  It could be all of these reasons.

Great summary of who was at the cross with biblical references to try and reconcile the different accounts in the Gospels HERE

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 26, Day 4: Revelation 21:1-8

Summary of passage:  After the final judgment, John sees a new heaven and a new earth and a new Jerusalem come from heaven.  God will dwell with men here and be their God.  The old order has passed, vanquishing death, pain, tears, and mourning.  God declares all to be new and He who believes shall inherit the new earth while the unbelieving rot in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

Questions:

7)  The world today because it is full of sin.

8 )  In the Garden of Eden, God walked alongside Adam and Eve until the Fall.  Once the Fall happened a separation between man and God took place and God dwelled in heaven.  He would appear to man however such as Moses in Exodus in a cloud or a burning bush or on Mount Sinai to guide them.  He also spoke to prophets such as Joseph, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc in dreams.

Until the tabernacle was toppled by the Romans in 70 AD, God dwelled in the holy of holies, close to man and accessible by the priests (Levites).  God sent His son Jesus to be Immanuel and walk alongside of us again.  Jesus sacrificed his life to usher in the Holy Spirit, which indwells all believers today and serves as our guide until Jesus returns.  After the Second Coming, a new Jerusalem will take place and this world will fall away and we will once again walk alongside God.

9a)  Personal Question that has nothing to do with this passage.  My answer:  It’s affected everything.  I pray for guidance in decisions.  I pray for peace of mind and His will to be done.  I try to walk with Jesus and do what Jesus would do in all aspects of my life.

b)  Personal Question we’ve answered many times before.  My answer:  He is everything.  Without Him I have nothing.  Hence, He is my hope, joy, and reason for worship.

Conclusions:  Would have liked more questions on the new Jerusalem.  Weak to say the least.

End Notes:  “Then I saw” begins the last major section of the book of Revelation, ushering in the new earth and the hope we all have.
The idea of a new earth was spoken of by many prophets:  Isaiah 65:17-19, 66:22; Psalm 102:25-27; 2 Peter 3:10-13.
Paul says death will the last thing destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:25-26), which we see in Revelation 20. In 1 Corinthians 15:24 the end will come after Christ destroys every rule, authority, and power.
The first heaven here is not the one where God dwells.  The Bible uses “heaven” in three senses:  “first heaven” as the sky, “second heaven” as the stars in the night, and the third heaven where God dwells.

The Greek word new here (kaine) means fresh or better.  Scholars debate whether there will be a completely new planet or not.  Most say yes based on Luke 21:33 and Isaiah 65:17.
This new heaven is after the Millennial strongly indicated by the absence of the sea (Psalm 72:8; Isaiah 11:9, 11; Ezekiel 47:10, 15, 17, 18, 20; 48:28; Zechariah 9:10; 14:8).
The Jews of the day see the sea as a place of evil (Revelation 13:1, 20:13; Isaiah 57:20; Psalm 89:9) and scholars debate whether this is figurative or literal with no seas.  Some point out (Daniel 7; Revelation 13; Revelation 14) which show seas as representatives of people and therefore a removal of boundaries amongst mankind.
This new Jerusalem is the one of our hope and eternal dwelling place (Hebrews 12:22; Galatians 4:26; Philippians 3:20) prepared by God for believers and saints (Hebrews 11:16; John 14:2, 1 Corinthians 2:9).
The bride beautifully dressed is the perfect image for John of what the new Jerusalem will be like.  We saw this imagery of the bride in Revelation 19:7-8 where we see the bride as the holy people of God and the bright clothing representing the pure and righteous deeds of the saints (Ephesians 5:25-27).  More will be described about the bride of Christ in verse 9 through the rest of chapter 21.

This holy city embodies elements of Jerusalem, the temple, and the garden of Eden.
Some translations say “tabernacle” instead of “dwelling”, which gives us a better idea here.  Remember God dwelled in the tabernacle until it was destroyed in 70 AD.  Here, John is saying God will dwell among us with no curtain separating us.
God’s ultimate plan for mankind will come to fruition again as “they will be his people and God will be with them and be their God.”  Jesus rids the world of sin and delivers the new Jerusalem to God as a dwelling for Him and mankind (Colossians 1:15-18)
Here we see God speaking directly from His throne.  Note the present tense (known as prophetic certainty):  God is making all things new right now.  It has begun!  Paul conveys this idea when he says we are all being made new  (2 Corinthians 4:16, 5:17).
God’s plan was sin so that we could be redeemed through the blood of Jesus. Redeemed man is much greater than innocent man and we gain so much more in Jesus than we ever lost in Adam.
There are no tears in heaven.  This is speaking of the tears here on earth.  Isaiah uses the same imagery to show God’s comfort (Isaiah 22:4; 25:8).
John was told to write.  He was so astounded by seeing this vision he had forgotten!
It is done!  (Ephesians 1:10).  It is finished!  Again Christ identifies himself as the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8), the first and the last, the beginning and the end of all things.  The crown of life has arrived! (Revelation 2:10-11).
Man being thirsty emphasizes his need for God’s drink (Isaiah 55:1-2).  Jesus said these words in John 7:37-39.
The cowards are most likely those who refuse Jesus and instead love their life more.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 26, Day 4: Deuteronomy 12-16

End Notes: My end notes will only cover the passages we are asked questions about. It is too many chapters to do in one week.

Summary of passages:  Deuteronomy 12:  Moses tells the people to destroy all the altars to other gods, burn their Ashram poles, and cut down their idols.  Don’t worship God in the way the pagans worshipped their gods.  The people shall rest once they have finished defeating the pagans.  Then God will chose the place they will worship Him and they are to bring their offerings to Him there.  Moses says they may kill animals but never eat their blood.  They are to eat their tithe only in the presence of the Lord.  Do exactly what God says to do without adding or detracting in any way.

Deuteronomy 13:  Do not believe false prophets who try to lead you into worshipping other gods.  This is a test sent by the Lord to test your heart.  That prophet must be put to death for his crimes.  If your brother, sister, son or daughter try to lead you to other gods, they must be put to death as well.  If people in your town are leading you astray, they must be killed and the town destroyed along with all the livestock as a burnt offering to the Lord.

Deuteronomy 14:  Lists clean and unclean food the Israelites could eat (repetition of Leviticus 11).  Moses reminds the Israelites about tithing.  Set aside one tenth of your produce each year for the Lord to eat in His presence or exchange it for silver if you live far away to but items at the tabernacle to be consumed in the Lord’s presence.  Every three years the tithes are to be stored for the Levites, aliens, orphans, and widows to live on.

Deuteronomy 15:  Review of Jubilee year (Leviticus 25), freeing servants (Leviticus 25), and setting aside the firstborn animal for God (Exodus 13).

Deuteronomy 16:  Review of the Passover Festivals, Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23).   Moses tells the people to appoint judges for each tribe in every town.

Questions:

9a)  Destroy completely all the places where the nations worshipped their gods.  Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, and burn their Ashram poles.  Cut down their idols and wipe out their names from those places.

b)  Because only in that place would the presence of God dwell.  The people are to worship in His presence.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t be worshipping with God.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Worship is to be taken seriously and if God is not invited in and not present, then it’s meaningless.  We are to worship Him and He is to receive it.  Going through the motions is unacceptable to God.

10)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  False prophets, relatives (brother, son, daughter, wife or other relatives), and townspeople (wicked men).  Honestly, they don’t trouble me because I don’t associate with them.  False prophets are easy to spot.  My relatives are mostly believers and the ones that aren’t aren’t close to me.  I also don’t associate with friends who would lead me astray (Admittedly, I don’t have much contact with the outside world so my connections are limited).

Conclusions:  Loved the emphasis on worshipping God where He is and taking it seriously.  Question 10 was a toss-out.  I am a very strong personality, very strong beliefs, and am very opinionated and not afraid to say it.  So it’s hard for me to be influenced by others.

Much of this passage was review of Leviticus.  Thank goodness!

End Notes:  Deuteronomy 12:  The destroying of the places of worship went completely against contemporary practice.  In the ancient world, it was difficult to build buildings and time consuming.  They had only simple tools and machines.  Nothing like we have today.  So the ancients would re-use buildings and if one empire conquered another, they’d simply remove the old temple’s accessories and replace it with theirs.  Not here.  God wanted no part in a building not meant for Him.

As usual, the Israelites did not fully follow these rules and tear down the places.  Hundreds of years later in a temple renovation a priest discovered the Book of the Law (scholars believe it was a copy of Deuteronomy), which resulted in a renewed vigor for God (2 Kings 22-23).  God’s work never ceases to mystify–how He uses disobedience for obedience hundreds of years later.

The Israelites had been doing their own thing with regards to worship.  “No more,” God says.  “Once you are settled, there will be a place dedicated to me.”  Rejoicing is commanded, both here and in the New Testament (Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16).

Animals could be killed for purposes of meat only.  It didn’t have to be just for a sacrifice.

Tragically, the Israelites were infected by the Canaanite worship of their god, Molech, that demanded children as sacrifices.  From Solomon on, the worship of Molech is recorded and was a systemic problem throughout Israel’s history.  One can only wonder what would have happened if the Israelites had done as the Lord said–destroyed the people and their places of worship and followed Him whole-hearted.  Wonder if earth would be any better off?

Deuteronomy 13:  It is rare for God to speak solely through a dream.  One must look for confirmation of that dream.  Deuteronomy 18:22 speaks of the easier one to discern:  a dreamer whose prediction does not come to pass.  Here we examine a dreamer whose prediction does come to pass but then tries to turn you away from God.  This is a test from God of your heart for Him.

Jesus warns in Mark 16:17 that signs follow believers; believers are not to follow signs as Satan will arrive, performing miracles (2 Thessalonians 2:9).

We must remember ancient Israel was a theocracy where the civil laws matched the religious laws.  Hence, some penalties that seem harsh to us today were permitted by God before Jesus came and ushered in the New Covenant.  Israel was the only true theocracy sanctioned by the One, True God.  Some say some Islamic countries are theocracies but non of them are pure–some secular laws are in existence there.

As we studied in Matthew 10:37 last year, God is above family.  The same is here.  Leading someone away from the Almighty is punishable by death since God is the giver of eternal life, you essentially have damned them.  Again, casting of the first stone is seen here as well.  (See also Matthew 18:6).

“Detestable” used to be translated “abomination”, which is a much stronger word and much more correct in translation.  It meant anything God could not stand and was impure, unholy, and unclean.

By destroying all within the city, it ensured no one would profit from the ruin of the city.  This deterred false reports.

The city was to remain a ruin forever.  Archaeologists believe these ruins (known as tel or tells) are the towns mentioned here.  Click HERE and HERE for examples.

Map Showing the King’s Highway and Israel’s Camp:  http://www.biblenews1.com/maps/moabcamp.gif

Time Fact to Complete This Lesson:  3 days and 4 hours.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 26, Day 4: Matthew 26:31-35; Mark 14:27-31; Luke 22:31-38

Summary of passages:  Matthew 26:31-35:  Jesus tells his disciples they all will fall away from him and he will rise and go ahead of them into Galilee.  Peter denied he ever would abandon the Lord but Jesus said he would 3 times.  Peter still denied it.

Mark 14:27-31:  Same as Matthew.

Luke 22:31-38:  Jesus says that Satan has asked to sift Simon Peter (test him) so Jesus has prayed for him that his faith may not fail and tells Peter to strengthen the brothers.  Peter says he is ready to go with Jesus to death.  Jesus says Peter will deny him 3 times before dawn.  Jesus tells the disciples to bring a purse, bag, or sword for they are about to be persecuted.

Questions:

8a)  Peter was arrogant and cocky.  He says he will never fall away after Jesus tells them all are going to and even after Jesus tells Peter he will deny him 3 times Peter says he won’t.  To deny someone 3 times is weak in my opinion

b)  He says he won’t fall away, not him.

c)  Peter thinks he won’t fall away and he’s sure of himself even to the point of death.  When one is over-confident, failure tends to happen.  He is more susceptible to tricks when he believes he isn’t.

9a)  God’s sovereignty over Satan:  Satan had to ask God for permission to “sift” Simon or test him.

The tempted Christian:  Jesus prays for us that our faith may not fail and that we will be stronger afterwards to strengthen others

Jesus:  Jesus prays for us and is with us throughout the temptation.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not for sure when I failed God knowingly although I’m sure I have failed many a time.  I definitely don’t feel like I have helped others because of my failures.  Hurt others would be more like it.

10a)  They will all fall away and Peter is going to deny Christ 3 times that night.

b)  Christ will rise and go ahead of them into Galilee.

Conclusions:  Easier than the previous days for the mere fact the passages are shorter and only covers one small event.  Question 8 should have been one question for the answers were all similar in nature.

End Notes:  By telling Peter he will deny him 3 times, Jesus is giving him a chance to pray to God to strengthen him for on his own, Peter is weak.  Peter, over-confident of his own abilities, dismisses Jesus’ claims–a mistake on Peter’s part that will haunt him the rest of his life.

As Peter demonstrates, it’s okay to stumble in our walk with Christ as long as we get back up. Peter made some mistakes but did he ever make up for them!  We are human and we will stumble.  To expect otherwise is unrealistic.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 26, Day 4: Skimming Joseph’s Story in Genesis 39-41

Summary of passage:  Genesis 39 tells how Potiphar’s Wife wanted to sleep with Joseph but he refused so she told her husband he tried to take her and he ended up in prison. Genesis 40 tells that while Joseph was in prison he began interpreting others’ dreams. Genesis 41 tells how Joseph languored in prison for 2 years until he was called upon to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams.  Joseph credits God and seeing that God is with him Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge of all of Egypt–second in command beneath him.

Questions:

9a)  Jacob refused to be comforted and was disconsolate when his favorite son, his whole world, died.  He refused to rejoice that Joseph was in heaven, in a better place.  Instead, he only wanted to die.  This was from his emphasis on Joseph as his favorite son.  When Joseph died, so did Jacob.

b)  Throughout all the circumstances that happened to Joseph, he rose to become the number two guy of the most powerful nation on earth.  He not only saved God’s chosen people but he also saved Egypt and all the peoples around.  God used Joseph to ensure all prospered.  Joseph’s family was reconciled.

Just like Romans 8:28 says “In all things God works for the good of those who love him”. All things work together for my good.  Even the bad works for good.  We just have to remember to trust God and what He is doing for He has a purpose that we cannot see nor understand.  God is in control and no matter what happens to us or around us we must not worry.  For His plan will prevail.

10)  Thrown down the cistern and sold by his brothers.  Potiphar’s wife lied to have him thrown in prison.  He explained a dream to a cellmate who forgets about him.  There he sat for 2 years until he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams.

11)  God protects Joseph from the death of his brothers (Genesis 37).  Potiphar’s wife tempts Joseph day after day but he tell her he cannot sin against God (Genesis 39:9). Potiphar puts him in jail when he could easily have killed him and while in jail Joseph is favored by God (Genesis 39:21) and put in charge of the prisoners and God “gave him success in whatever he did” (Genesis 39:23).

While in prison, Joseph meets those who will tell Pharaoh about him, the chief cupbearer.  Joseph credits his interpretations to God (Genesis 40:8; 41:16)

Conclusions:  Honestly, didn’t like this lesson.  Not much point to it.  Why not just be assigned to read the passages and then answer questions?

9b is why the story of Joseph is so powerful and why almost everyone (even non-Christians) know his story. For despite all the terrible things that happen to Joseph, he never once gives up on God and God never forgets Joseph.  I think this story particularly resonates with Americans who hold the American dream:  that no matter where you come from you can rise to succeed.  No matter how many hard knocks you take, you must always get up and keep fighting.

With one caveat:  As long as you give God the credit.

I know, even non-Christians rise and succeed but it is all God’s plan and God’s credit even if they don’t believe nor acknowledge it.

But as Christians we must.  His glory.  Never ours.  As Joseph so wondrously shows us how.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 26, Day 4: James 2:1-13

Summary of passage:  James tells believers bluntly not to show favoritism because Jesus didn’t.  Favoritism is discriminating and passing judgment on others (Jesus’ job, not ours).  God judges the heart, not appearances.  God chose the poor to be rich in faith and yet the people (you) insult them.  The rich often sin against you (the people) in their quest for money.

If you show favoritism you sin.  Even if you stumble and break just one law you are guilty of breaking them all.  We are not to choose which laws are more important.  We are called simply to obey.

We are free to show favoritism or not but out of mercy we must choose not to for this mercy will then be shown to us on Judgment Day and mercy is greater than judgment.

Questions:

10)  Preference is “to like better or best; the act of giving advantages to some over others”

Favoritism is “the showing of special favor; partiality; a special privilege or right granted or conceded”  Both according to Webster’s Dictionary.

Preference and favoritism is much the same.  If you prefer or favor someone you grant them special favors or concessions.  Friends by definition (“one attached to another by affection or esteem” Webster’s) is someone you show favor to.  Not everyone is your friend.  Why not?  Because you don’t like them.  So not for sure what BSF is aiming for in terms of friendship here.

Co-workers and Christians should all be treated the same.  Much of the time however favoritism is involved and it’s hard not to do this.  If you like someone better, you are partial to them.  It’s human nature and something we must fight against in a professional setting.

My guess is the answer is this:  it’s okay to show favoritism to your friends because you choose your friends.  Your co-workers and Christians you should treat equally because God chose them.  Just a guess here.  Still not sure what BSF is aiming for here.

11a)  Any thing in the political world.  The rich are courted because to win an election unfortunately these days it all comes down to money raised.  I would say schools as well at least charter and private schools that rely on outside funds.  They constantly solicit money for this project or that project and in my limited experience the administration knows who has money and who doesn’t and plays favorites.  Sports as well at least in the early years.

Favoritism is a human trait and must be a choice to be overcome.

b)  Well, I’m not a member of any group to be honest with you.  Yes, I vote.  I homeschool.  My kids do sports. And I go to church.  But I am not intricately involved in terms of the nitty-gritty.  I choose not to be.  My calling is elsewhere.  And I don’t see favoritism in any of these places I traverse.  Not saying it doesn’t exist. Just saying I don’t see it on my level of involvement.

12)  James is saying in this verse that you cannot pick and choose which laws to follow.  You must follow all of God’s laws or you will be guilty of breaking them all even if you just break one (basically you will have sinned and need forgiveness).

Personally, I would not use this verse to speak to an unbeliever.  I don’t know about you but I sin every day of my life and I repent every day of my life.  I am a sinner and I need Jesus.  Every day of my life.  This verse is hard for us to swallow.  Yes, it’s true.  But it’s not a good place to begin a conversation with an unbeliever.

Some unbelievers don’t even know what a Savior is.  You have to start with the fundamentals before diving into the nitty-gritty.  First, talk about Jesus, who he is, what he did for you, and how Jesus can save the unbeliever.  THEN, dive into the laws of God and keeping them.  First, explain the Savior.  Then explain the reasons behind.

Just my opinion, of course.

Conclusions:  Not for sure what these questions have to do with the passage to be honest with you.  Didn’t like Question 12 at all.  In truth, I wouldn’t begin a conversation with that verse.  Most people don’t like to hear the fact they are guilty of anything but this says if you break just one little law you are guilty of the whole crime.  Not for sure unbelievers would jump on the band wagon after this verse.  Better to start off with “Jesus loves you” than this one.

Did not get much out of this.  I just didn’t.  Favoritism is everywhere and being that we can only control ourselves and the rest is in God’s hands I’m not for sure the overarching lesson in these questions.  The passage conveys my role much better than the questions.

Maybe I’m missing something here.  Any thoughts?

End Note:  Lesson I learned from the passage:  I liked the verses (9-11) that compared and contrasted adultery and murder.  For we are not here to choose which laws to follow and which ones not.  We are called to obey.  God decided.  He made the laws.  We do not question.  We do not judge.  We merely obey.