BSF Study Questions John Lesson 30/Lesson Review

Questions:

Day 1:

1) I learned more how much God loves me by sending His one and only Son as a sacrifice for me.  God’s love for me is infinite and I’ve learned just how hard that is to grasp.  Like any thing that grows me closer to Him, I try to live my daily life and actions according to His will.  I’ve tried to remember how much He loves me, especially in the bad times.  I’m sure I will have more clarity on the minute changes in my life as the years progress.

Day 2:

2) I learned I needed Him more than I thought I did.  I just think my faith is stronger in Him than before.  I also learned to trust in Him more as He is the conductor and I am merely a player in my life.

Day 3:

3) I look for Him more.  I talk to Him more.  I pray more before I do something.  I’m more compassionate towards others.  I’m trying to love others more as Jesus commands us to do and have more sympathy for others in my life.  I desire Him more.  I desire Him to do His will in my life more.

Day 4:

4) I think I understand him more and appreciate him more.  I love him more.  I understand suffering more and the purpose behind it.  I am more accepting of what happens to me in my life because of the trials in Jesus’s life.  I try to be more compassionate to others because of him as well.  More understanding.  And just be there more for others as well.

Day 5:

5)  While I cannot say for sure as I am not omniscient like God, I do believe He plans to prosper me and do His work while preparing me for the future and leading others to Christ.  I have started a new blog based on one of my other passions.  I may have a new job that is much more flexible for my family life and has the potential to be more lucrative.  I am sure He wants my kids in school as they age and mature.  And I continue to write my novel.  Slowly but surely.  And one day I’ll be a published author.  He has great things in store and I can’t wait!

Day 6:

6)  It’s not just during the study of John.  It’s all the time.  I want to tell them how God is good and true and faithful and He is there and His plan is to prosper you as you become more like His Son, Jesus Christ.  God is working, all the time, whether you see it or not.  Have faith!  All of my family needs to hear this.

Final Thoughts on the Study of John:  While I enjoyed this study, I’m glad it’s coming to an end.  I was unable to attend most of the lectures due to a schedule conflict with my children.  They were unable to attend as well because of this schedule conflict.  So that was disappointing.  I know I didn’t get as much out of this as I normally would have but at this stage in my life I did what I could and you all helped me with your comments and being faithful.  Hence, my proposal for lectures available online.  I attend a night class and it’s late both for me and the kids.  Having this as an option would be amazing!  And does it really matter if more people would listen at home?  I don’t think God cares.

Usually BSF asks a whole question on the kids’ program and how it affected your kids.  This year it seems more like an after thought.

I enjoyed my group this year who pushed me to dig deeper into God and His word.

My answers seem trite for Lesson 30.  For me it’s hard to quantify how God has worked in my life when the changes are so very small.

I am looking forward to the break.  To reading some good books and writing one.  To listening to God’s voice in my life this summer.  To hearing Him speak.  To finding a summer bible study.  To watch Him work in my life even when I don’t understand it.  God is good!

Have a great break and see you all in the Fall!

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BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 30: All Days

Since the last lesson of BSF is always personal questions, I just sum up my answers.

I’ve learned a lot about the End Times, who’s going to heaven and who’s not, Satan and his methods to deceive the saved, God’s faithfulness, timing, and goodness, and the importance of Jesus.  Jesus is paramount in God’s plan for this world.  He’s the linchpin.

Overall, the study was great.  Great discussions in my small group.  Great questions.  Great material.  Great God who showed up in the midst of it.

Some repetition that some liked and others didn’t.  Could have delved deeper into the differing End Times eschatological views.  Could have gone deeper into the possible meanings of symbols and passages.

My love for God has deepened as I’ve learned just how much God loves us by sending His son to die for us and planning a home for us in the future.  He is good despite what society says.

Not for sure if I see yet how this study has impacted me and God’s will for my life.  Some changes don’t show up immediately and because we are so close to ourselves often we don’t see it.

It has been a blessing to study alongside you all and listen to your thoughts on the material.  I hope I have broadened the base of discussion just a tiny bit.  I will miss you all and be praying for you during the summer.

God bless you all on your summer break and we’ll see you all in the Fall for the study of John!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 30

Hey all,

As all of these are personal questions, I won’t be posting my answers here.  I’ll just give you all a summary of what I learned for the year.  This will be my Sharing Day so to speak.

I learned that God only desires our faith in Him and obedience.  That’s it.  Later, it’s changed to faith in His son, Jesus Christ.  It’s so simple that most people are tripped up by it.

I learned how truly amazing Moses was.  Everyone knows about Moses but most people just know him as the guy who parted the Red Sea and turned some water into wine (this was my impression at least).  But Moses was so much more.  He was the closest to God a person can be.  He did amazing things for 40 years for millions of people.  He had a heart for God.  He stumbled and paid the price like we all do.  But his life was extraordinary.  It gives courage to those of us who live ordinary lives.

I learned how incredibly stubborn God’s people were and how this explains much of how we are today.  Man’s nature never changes.  Neither does God’s.  Repeatedly, the Israelites fell. Repeatedly, they rebelled.  Repeatedly, they turned away.  Always God picked them up.  Always God forgave them.  Always grace prevailed.  God is amazing and loving and awesome. Compassionate, forgiving, and omnipotent.  Protector.  Provider.  Comforter.  The story of the Israelites journey out of Egypt is a story of grace and God’s goodness.  His will in all.

I learned about the importance of helpers.  How we all need them.  Asking for help is okay. Humbly receiving it is even better.

I learned how God’s grace and judgment are not to be questioned.  We all know His ways are not our ways.  We all deserve death.  Anything we receive in our walk on earth is all by Him.  Every breath is by His grace alone.  One day we will all take our last when He deems it so.  What would happen if we all lived out that truth?

The Study of Moses was a struggle for my kids, especially the giving of the laws.  The first half of Moses they loved.  Full of heroic stories and deeds.  The second half was a drag.  Archaic laws that went over their heads.  But they came and they had fun and I know they got something out of it. Even if they don’t realize it until later on down the road.

Anytime I read God’s word my faith is strengthened.  Moses is a man after God’s own heart. Knowing more about him helps me to know more about what God wants for me.  Moses’s walk was an extraordinary one.  I only hope I can lead one half as well!

Final Link:  Just a little summary in a nutshell of Moses’s life and some important lessons to glean:

http://www.gotquestions.org/life-Moses.html

Thank you all for studying with me, for sharing your thoughts, for being my “group”.  It was amazing.  I can’t wait for Revelation!  Bring it on!  Have a great summer break and God bless!

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 30: Review Questions for Book of Matthew

As always, the last lesson in BSF is a review lesson and a reflection on what you have learned throughout the year at BSF.  I will not be posting my answers as they are all personal questions, but I will leave you with some of my final thoughts for the year.

I learned Jesus had to rise from the grave so that we could.  I learned how everything Jesus did was for us.  The connection between the Old and New Testaments was strengthened in my mind as I gained a deeper understanding of prophecy and especially how it relates to Jesus.

I learned how God briefly turned His back on Jesus at the cross but Jesus never turned his back on God.  Important for us to do as well when we think God has abandoned us.

I gained a much deeper understanding of the disciples.  Before, I thought little of them to be quite honest and what I did think of them was idealized.  Now, I know they were just like you and me–common folk who were flawed but with a good heart–who yearned to understand and follow Jesus even when they failed.  But they never gave up.  And in the end, they fulfilled God’s purpose for their lives here on Earth.

I learned the key to healing is having faith.  Those who had faith in Jesus were healed.  Those who didn’t, were not.  Unseen faith is the key to heaven.

I learned everything Jesus did had a purpose.  He wasn’t just indiscriminately walking here on Earth.  Every footfall was planned from the beginning of time.

Jesus himself became more real to me.  I saw him more as a human who had the same emotions and problems as we do here on earth.  He had to be God and man at the same time–I would imagine not easy to do.  He formed close connections with those close to him and felt pain when they failed him or betrayed him.  He had expectations that were let down.  He had burdens to carry that we could never imagine.  Yet his courage gives me strength.  For if Jesus could bear the sins of the world, then I can bear whatever little problem is going on in my life.

My favorite story/lesson was John the Baptist’s beheading for I saw just how easy it is to sway young people to do horrible acts because of their ignorance.  This is important for me to remember as I raise my kids in this Fallen world where at every turn they are bombarded with images of how they should be or how they should act and messages of how premarital sex is okay and smoking marijuana is healthy.

You can never fail when you study the Bible for God is with you and He never fails.  He speaks to you right where you are even if you’ve heard these very familiar tales a hundred times.  Overall, I loved the study of Matthew.  I’ve never really had the opportunity to study Jesus in depth and now I feel confident in speaking about his time here on earth with others.  Studying the Bible makes it more accessible and real and the life lessons are ones we need to hear over and over again in order to live them out.

I am, however, looking forward to the break where I have much writing planned (2 re-writes and a non-fiction book to begin), which I believe is my calling here on Earth.  Naturally, I am excited to begin!

I thank all of you for joining me in this study.  You have enriched it infinite-fold with your comments and presence.  I look forward to next year with Moses (or Revelation for some of you). God bless and have a rejuvenating break!

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 30, Day 5: Genesis 49:28-33

Summary of passage:  Jacob gave each son the appropriate blessing.  He requests to be buried in the same tomb as Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Leah.  Then he died.

Questions:

13)  He requests to be buried in the Promised Land where God brought him and his people.

14)  Acts 20:35:  Through hard work and helping the weak and giving you will be blessed.

Romans 4:7-8:  Must have faith in Jesus Christ to be blessed and have all sins forgiven and not counted against him.

Ephesians 1:3: Believe in Christ and you will be blessed with every spiritual blessing

Titus 2:13:  If we say not to ungodliness and worldly passions and live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives and wait on Jesus then we will be redeemed from all wickedness and purified.  [Please read the entire sentence and not just the middle as suggested by BSF–verses 12-14 for a deeper meaning].

James 1:12:  “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he had stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

1 Peter 3:9:  “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

Revelation 1:3:  “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it.”  I would expand this to say blessed are those who live by God’s word and instill it in your heart for all time.

Conclusions:  Not sure why this passage is singled out as significant except for maybe question 13 which to me is intuitive.  Will continue to believe this lesson was too drawn out as exhibited by question 14, which had nothing to do with Jacob’s death.

James 1:12 is a great memory verse.  My goal for the week!

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 30, Day 4: Genesis 49:22-27

Summary of passage:  Joseph is a fruitful vine that overflows.  Enemies attack but Joseph remains steady because of God who blesses him.  His blessings rest on him, the “prince among his brothers”.

Benjamin devours and plunders.

Questions:

10)  Joseph is a fruitful vine:  Joseph prospered in Potiphar’s house (Genesis 39:2). Joseph prospers in jail (Genesis 39:21).  God elevates Joseph to second in command in Egypt (Genesis 41:41).

Archers attack him:  His brothers sold him into slavery (Genesis 37).  Potiphar’s wife falsely accuses Joseph (Genesis 39:14).

He remains steady because God helps him:  He is falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife but God is with him (Genesis 39:21, 23).

11)  The Lord blesses his land with dew from heaven, the deep waters, and the sun and the moon, the choicest gifts of the mountains, the fruitfulness of the hills, the best gifts of earth and God’s favor.  He will gore the nations.

12)  God shields Benjamin all day and God loves him and can rest secure in Him.

Conclusions:  Will echo yesterday’s sentiments:  didn’t like this lesson either.  I’ll leave it at that.

End Notes:  The idea of verses 24-25 is that God’s hands are on Joseph’s hands, helping him to hold his bow steady and defeat his enemies.  Just as God’s hands are on our hands as well.  Even when we don’t know it.

The tribe of Benjamin was known for its fierceness (devours and plunders).  See Judges 19 & 20.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 30, Day 3: Genesis 49:8-21

Summary of passage:  Judah’s brothers will praise him and bow down to him.  The scepter will not leave Judah’s hand until it comes to whom it belongs and obedience is his (reference to Jesus).  His (Jesus) robes will be washed in blood, his eyes darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.

Zebulun will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships.  Issachar will submit to forced labor.  Dan will provide justice for his people.  Gad will be attacked but he will attack back.  Asher will have rich food.  Naphtali is free.

Questions:

5)  “Your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you.  You are a lion’s cub; you return from the prey…like a lioness who dares to rouse him?”

“The scepter will not depart form Judah nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.”

6a)  The obedience of the nations is his.  His colt is the choicest branch.  His robes will be washed in blood.  His eyes will be darker than wine.  His teeth whiter than milk.

b)  Revelation 5:5 “The Lion of the tribe of Judah has triumphed.”

c)  Personal question that has nothing to do with this passage.  My answer:  He is my Lord and Savior.  I am unworthy.  He is ruler over all and in control of all things.

7)  Zebulun lay by the sea and the lake along the Jordan.  It settled between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea so Zebulun could see both seas.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Issachar was the third largest tribe (Numbers 26).  Hence, they were often targets for the enemy.  Eventually, they were put into servitude.

9)  Two possibilities:  Samson (Judges 13) or Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:26-33).  Some scholars believe the “serpent by the roadside” might even be referring to the Antichrist coming from the tribe of Dan (Daniel 11:37; Jeremiah 8:16).  Of course, we are not sure who Jacob is referring to here.

Conclusions:  Didn’t like this lesson.  Feel like Genesis 49 is being drawn out for filler purposes.

Most people would not know the answer to these questions unless they used a commentary (which is what I did).  This is what irks me about BSF.  They ask these questions that only someone intimately familiar with the Bible (which is not me) would know and then they tell us not to use outside sources.  Ridiculous.  And borderline hypocritical to me.  Don’t ask if 95 % of us will miss it.  It only creates doubts about the level of our faith and whether or not we should know this.  It does nothing for our understanding of the Bible UNLESS we do use outside sources.

Map of 12 Tribes Showing Zebulun’s Location:  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:12_Tribes_of_Israel_Map.svg

End Note:  “He will tether his donkey to a vine” emphasizes the richness of Judah’s land as well.  They were wine growers.