October 2018

Explore the Bible Lesson for October 14: True Compassion

October 2 2018 by Anteneshia Sanders, member, The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham

Focal Passage: Galatians 6:1-10, 14-15
Humans are moved by compassion. The sense of joy we feel when we see it is innate. We love to fill our social media timelines with stories of people being extraordinarily kind to other people. Part of the reason why we love to see compassion on display is because we don’t see it often enough. We are also bombarded by senseless tragedies and natural disaster. Compassion sometimes seems like an exception to the rule.
But as believers, we are called to live this way all the time. As Paul concludes his letter to his beloved Galatians, he admonishes them to be a people of compassion. Paul taught that compassion and bearing each other’s burdens are demonstrated in several ways. He notes that the church should seek to restore other believers who have fallen into sin. The Galatian believers are also challenged to make good of the resources that God has given them by providing for the needs of others in the faith.
The importance of a lifestyle of compassion is emphasized when Paul discusses sowing and reaping (Galatians 6:8)
Whether we choose to sow to the flesh or to the Spirit, we will reap consequences from our choices. To be compassionate toward others is to sow to the Spirit. For this reason, Paul says, we do not give up. We know that the grace and compassion we show to others will reap eternal benefits.
Paul ends his letter in the same way he began – putting on display the person and work of Jesus. The apostle reminds us again that there is nothing we can add to what Christ has already done. Our salvation is by faith. What matters now, Paul says, is that we are new. And because we are new, we are free to live generously and compassionately. We forsake the notion that our good deeds somehow earn us merit with God. But as those who have been justified by faith, we seek to honor God by loving one another.

10/2/2018 11:35:22 AM by Anteneshia Sanders, member, The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham | with 0 comments

Bible Studies for Life Lesson for October 14: The Object of Our Prayer

October 2 2018 by Tyler Frank, young adult pastor, Biltmore Church, Arden

Focal Passage: Matthew 6:9a; Psalm 103:1-5, 11-13, 19-22
One of the biggest adjustments I had to learn as a new husband was to change my jargon and lingo when I was with my wife. As I spent most of my time with dormmates and friends, I had to learn how to more coherently converse with her. (Trust me guys, calling her “bro” and “dude” doesn’t work!)
I had to learn that how I viewed my wife determined how I talked with her. Likewise, the way we view God forms how we communicate with Him.
In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us something fundamental about prayer. The most basic and foundational element of your prayer life should be to focus on seeing God as your loving Father. In this framework, your prayer life can thrive.
Apparently, the disciples saw prayer as a struggle, while prayer was a normal rhythm of life for Jesus.
In Matthew 6:9-13, we see a clear structure and model for our own lives as apprentices to Jesus – and the first step is to reshape our minds around how we view God.
God is, as He makes clear, our loving Father who works on behalf of us.
You can find a poetic reflection on this reality in Psalm 103.
The psalmist declares qualities that help shape our hearts and minds about our heavenly Father. We see a call to praise the God who forgives, redeems and satisfies us as we remember the benefits we have in Him.
He has compassion on us (v. 11-13), just as a father has compassion his children.
We have access to Him as our father, and therefore the benefits are accounted to us as His people.
As we begin this study, Jesus is calling us first to reform our minds about how we view God. After that, the praise and the petition will follow.
When we realize to whom we are talking, we can then pray properly. And this gives us hope in our prayer life.

10/2/2018 11:35:03 AM by Tyler Frank, young adult pastor, Biltmore Church, Arden | with 0 comments

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