BSF Study Questions John Lesson 18, Day 5: John 14:8-14

Summary of passage:  Here, Philip really doesn’t get it and Jesus chastises him for it.  He asks Jesus to show him the Father and Jesus answers by saying he has seen the Father since the Father is in him.  He will do whatever they ask in his name to bring glory to the Father.

Questions:

11)  “even after I have been among you such a long time.”  “How can you say” such a thing.

12)  He is speaking God’s words, doing God’s work through miracles, and anyone who asks of him he will do it in God’s name.  Jesus was at the beginning and the Word and he is the Word and the Word is God so thus Jesus is God.  He is light.  He is the way, the truth, and the life.  He is God.

13)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Anyone who has faith in him.  He grants them whatever they ask.  Those in Christ will accomplish his will–which is greater than our will.  We can accomplish great things with Christ at our backs.  The Holy Spirit is the help Jesus has promised us.

Conclusions:  I almost think Jesus wants to hit Philip over the head he’s so dense.  He’s spent 3 years with Jesus and still doesn’t get it.  You’d think he’d at least get the fact Jesus is God but he doesn’t.  Jesus, exasperated, lays it out for Thomas and us.  He is God and believe in him will lead to great things in your life.

End Notes:  Philip wants to physically see God with his eyes.  Philip was so close to Jesus yet still did not understand him.  Many are like this today.

Jesus repeats himself again, saying all he says and does is by and through God.  I wonder how often he said this that’s not recorded.  Mankind is dense, aren’t we?

“I tell you the truth.”  This is the 1st of 3 assurances Jesus will give his disciples on the night of his arrest. He says this is not the end but the beginning of much greater works.  He expected the disciples to carry on his good works after he’s gone.  This will be with the power of the Holy Spirit in them.

After Peter’s speech at Pentecost more people believed than all combined under Jesus’ recorded ministry.  Christianity is now spread throughout the entire world.  This is what Jesus meant.

Jesus will do anything you ask for in his name–true to his character and in his will–not yours.  Prayer aimed at carrying forth the work Jesus did.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 18, Day 5: Genesis 22-23

Summary of passage:  God calls Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac as a burnt offering in the mountains of Moriah. So Abraham faithfully takes Isaac to where God calls him, bounds his son, and prepares to kill him.  On the journey, Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide the burnt offering.

An angel of the Lord stopped Abraham before he killed Isaac, saying he has proved he fears God because he didn’t withhold his son from Him.  God provided a ram instead to sacrifice.  The angel says because of Abraham’s faithfulness the Lord will bless him and make his descendants as numerous as the stars and will rule over the cities of their enemies.

All nations on earth will be blessed because of Abraham’s obedience.  Then Abraham went to Beersheba.

Sarah lived to be 127 years old.  She died in Hebron.  Abraham offered to buy a burial plot from the Hittites and they told him he could pick any plot to bury her in.  He approached Ephron and offered to buy his cave.  Ephron offered to give it to Abraham. Abraham refused and offered to pay for the land.  Ephron reluctantly agrees and the land is deeded to Abraham.

Abraham then buries Sarah.

Questions:

11a)  Honestly, I wouldn’t connect the two if you hadn’t of told me to.  In Abraham’s mind, he has sacrificed Isaac.  His mind was tested and he knew what God’s will was.  He offered Isaac’s body as an act of worship.

b)  Being a living sacrifice is denying ourself and being God’s instead.  We yield our body, mind, and will to God.  It’s reading the Bible instead of watching TV.  It’s helping others instead of ourselves.  It’s giving of our time and money when we’d rather not.  It’s changing your poor attitude, giving up destructive addictions, and changing your thinking to be more in tune with Christ’s.

It is a daily death to self.  We must understand and know the will of God and walk that path every day.  We must change our thoughts by obeying God and God’s word and in turn our hearts will change as well.  We must find God’s will for our life and live it and go where HE directs, not where you direct.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Today I will do my utmost to listen and obey Him and His will for my life.  That includes teaching my children, taking care of my family, doing laundry and dishes, and loving others as myself.  I will try to live and breathe Him as much as humanly possible and at the end of the day hopefully I will find rest in what I have done, which I did for Him, through Him and by Him AND according to His will.  Amen.

12a)  On the surface, he purchased it as a place to bury Sarah.  But really he purchased it to set a precedent of an alien owning land in Canaan.  As a landowner in ancient times, you were accorded certain rights others were not.  Now, Abraham could claim those rights.

b)  God promised Abraham he would take possession of Canaan and Abraham now owns a piece of it.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Good question.  God promises to provide for all of my needs and He has.  I purchase food, clothing, and shelter.  We also own cars to transport us to do His work and care for others.  He also has given more.

Conclusions:  I couldn’t help the flippancy in 11a but my haunches raised when I’m told to read a passage and then told to go somewhere else.

I’m conflicted on this lesson as well like yesterday’s.  It was interesting how Abraham used Sarah’s death as a means to own land.  Not sure if I approve of this.  I did like the living sacrifice example.  It brought out the importance of obeying God not only in word and deed but also in heart and mind.

The exchange between Ephron and Abraham is an example of how bargaining was done in that time and in that culture.  Ephron had no intention of giving Abraham the land but that is how the bargaining started off.  Kindness took precedent and is still predominant in the Middle East today when bargaining.

I liked this concise article on living sacrifices enough to link to it despite the overpowering presence of ads:

http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar27.html

Fun Fact:  Sarah is the only woman in the Bible whose age when she died is recorded.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 18, Day 5 Isaiah 41:21-29

Summary of passage:  The Lord challenges idols to present their case if they are greater than Him.  God asks the idols to tell us the past so we may consider and know if it came true or not and declare the future so we can see if you are gods.  Do something, good or bad, so we can be dismayed and filled with fear.  Nothing.  Idols do nothing so God pronounces them less than nothing and worthless and the people who worship idols are detestable.  God himself has stirred up one from the north (Cyrus) to do His bidding.  He told of this beforehand.  He gave Jerusalem a messenger of good tidings (Isaiah).  Idols have no one to give counsel and do no deeds.  They are nothing.

Questions:

12a) Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome.  Or declare to us the things to come, tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods.  Do something, whether good or bad, so that we may be dismayed and filled with fear.

b) God stirred up one from the North (Cyrus) and told of this from the beginning so we could know beforehand and say He was right.  He gave Jerusalem a messenger of good tidings (Isaiah) to counsel.  But idols do nothing and say nothing.

13) Astrology, Nostradamus, palm readers, occult, Tantra, false religions such as Kabbalah.  Idols are “less than nothing and your works are utterly worthless; he who chooses you is detestable.” Verse 24

Conclusions:  It seems intuitive to me that everyone knows idols are worthless and those who chose them dissatisfy God. Today’s idols are different but none the less potent in God’s mind.

What I saw in these verses is God’s fairness.  He gives idols a chance to prove something and, of course, they can’t.  Then he points out what He has done relative to the times of the people to prove His point (something God doesn’t need to do–He’s God!). I can just picture God talking to some chunks of gold, saying, “Do something!” and they sit there mute.  If God is taking His time to talk to some wood pieces, we should all pay attention to its significance.

“You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…”  Exodus 20:3-5 (emphasis mine)

We’ve all experienced human jealousy over someone we’ve love or loved and I can only imagine God’s jealousy over us!

I cannot over emphasize the importance (of which I cannot fathom) this must be in God’s eyes.