Welcome to online Bible study at the Womens Bible Cafe! We’re discussing week three from the book Jeremiah, Daring to Hope in an Unstable World by Melissa Spoelstra. This week we studied “Opening Our Ears: Listening” and our lessons included:
- Called to Listen
- Reading With Curiosity
- Cling Like Underwear
- The Right Voices
- Keep Asking
The message this week reminded me how we are too busy to hear God. We distract ourselves with social media, television, novels, electronic games and relationships. We take things meant for good, such as Bible study, and turn them into time-consuming tasks. Pride tells us not to miss an online study, so we register for ALL of them and then feel weighed down by keeping up. How can we listen to God when we’re busy listening to more chatter than God intended for His children? Are we being taken captive by something as beautiful as Bible study, and turning it into a people-pleasing, pride filling event? Do we study to draw closer to God…or to show everyone how Christian we are. We all need spiritual heart surgery, cutting out what does not belong and keeping pure towards God. Let the Holy Bible illuminate God Himself. Be quiet enough to let God speak into your heart…
I’d love to sit beside you in a home group and see how you responded to the underwear lesson this week. No doubt there were a few giggles and a raised eyebrow about Jeremiah 13:11. When you look through different Bible translations you’ll see this garment is called a girdle (Amplified), belt (God’s Word), loincloth (ESV), and undergarment (Voice). It amazes me how you can read a passage of Scripture many times and miss a “clinging underwear” word symbol.
Keep focused on the message of listening. Make a personal commitment to disengage from busyness, disorganization, idols, and distractions. Make room in your heart for the Holy Spirit to move freely. Devour God’s word daily…
Jeremiah Week 3 Sample Video
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Basic Study: Complete week 4 in the study guide, about 20-30 minutes each day.
- Deeper Study: Read Jeremiah chapters 25 to 34 in a Bible translation of your choice.
- Digging Deeper resources are available at: http://www.abingdonpress.com/jeremiah
- Optional: Watch session 4 video (optional due to cost).
- Memory Verse: The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve. Jeremiah 17:9-10 NLT
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment here)
- How has God spoken to you through His Word, circumstances in your life, and His messengers (this would include pastors, teachers, books and the Bible itself)? (page 75)
- Melissa Spoelstra writes, “God sometimes takes us through the fire to strengthen us for use in His kingdom.” How have you seen difficulties strengthen you? Give an example of something you learned through a tough time in your life. (page 79)
- On page 85 under “talk with God” you are asked to identify two things that needlessly eat up time that you could spend cultivating closeness with God. What two things did you list?
- What are some creative ways to increase your Bible reading or listening habits? (page 91)
- How is your prayer life? What words did you circle on page 97? How would you like it to be?