Welcome to online Bible study at the Womens Bible Cafe! We’re discussing week two from the book Jeremiah, Daring to Hope in an Unstable World by Melissa Spoelstra. This week we studied “Recognizing Counterfeits and The Real Deal: Idolatry” and our lessons included:
- Spotting a Fake
- Counterfeit Consequences
- Making a Fake
While we have access to the Holy Spirit- Christ in me (Galatians 2:20)- many Christians today are spiritually dry. We forget to replenish ourselves with the pure and living water, and instead we fill our souls with counterfeit substitutes. Our culture is saturated with good things that easily consume our time and attention, pulling our attention away from a jealous God.
You must not bow down to them or worship them (idols), for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. Exodus 20:5 NLT
Throughout the Bible we know that God hates idols and idol worship. Deuteronomy 16:22 NLT says: Never set up sacred pillars for worship, for the Lord your God hates them. We commit spiritual adultery when we yearn for counterfeit substitutes. Where you spend your time, money and thoughts is a reflection of your personal idols. “We need to release and surrender what we hold too tightly to so that God can give us the real deal: Himself,” explains Melissa Spoelstra.
As a women’s ministry leader, I’ve seen women hold onto their illness, financial struggles, past sin, and even relationships…rather than surrendering these to God. Soon their identity is rooted in disease, money, addictions and bitterness..rather than the Glory of the Great King. Don’t let your idol define you. Reclaim your identity as a Daughter of the King.
Sample Video Session 2
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Basic Study: Complete week 3 in the study guide, about 20-30 minutes each day.
- Deeper Study: Read Jeremiah chapters 14 to 24 in a Bible translation of your choice.
- Digging Deeper resources are available at: http://www.abingdonpress.com/jeremiah
- Optional: Watch session 3 video (optional due to cost).
- Memory Verse: Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come. Jeremiah 33:3 NLT
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment here)
- What are some practices, relationships, or objects in our culture today that can become idolatrous traps when they draw our hearts away from God? What are some tools to help you remember Him, just as you remember important things in your life? (page 45)
- Melissa says, “Like the fake pearls the little girl clenched in her hand, we need to release and surrender what we hold too tightly, so that God can give us the real thing: Himself.” What do you need to surrender today? What have you elevated above God in your life? (page 57)
- True religion is caring for orphans and widows (James 1:27). What will you do in the next month to help the poor in your community? In the world? (page 61)
- “God wants to give us good gifts but not have those gifts take priority over Him,” writes Melissa Spoelstra. What non-necessity item are you willing to give up if God asked you to? (page 64)
- When things got tough in the days of Jeremiah, people turned to astrology and fortune-telling to give them hope and comfort. These false idols angered God. Why do you think Christians today still seek hope in astrology and psychic mediums, instead of seeking God?