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Galatians: Free from Bondage God’s Way | Week 3

By | Free from Bondage God's Way, Inductive Bible Studies | No Comments

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Welcome back to our online Inductive Bible Study on the book of Galatians, “Free from Bondage God’s Way” by Kay Arthur.   We just completed Week Three, “Where’s Freedom from Your Flesh?” Can you believe it?  We are already half through our study.  We have had some awesome discussions in our small group time.  Can it get any better?  God wants you to know His Holy Word, so hangeth thou in there and keep studying.

In our study this week, Paul doesn’t mince words.  He calls the Galatians, “foolish” (verse 1) and “are you so foolish?” (verse 3).  Why are they foolish?  They started out in their Christian walk in the Spirit, but somehow they got off track and tried to be perfect in their own human effort.  They were gullible and listened to false doctrine which claimed they can get to heaven by doing good works.  Paul had taught the Galatians that faith in Christ was the only way to salvation.  But they just didn’t get it.

Can you relate?  Sometimes simplicity just seems too scary, because nothing in our lives and our world is simple today.  We live in a very complicated society and have grown up with rules and regulations, do’s and don’ts.  So our thinking has also become distorted, and we begin to feel that we have to be good and do good works, to obey all rules and laws in order to get into Heaven.  None of us can obey all rules and regulations perfectly.  That is an impossible task.   You see, although we have to have standards and rules to live by, it is impossible to follow all rules and laws perfectly. God gave us the Ten Commandments to live by for our protection, but how many of us have obeyed all Ten Commandments perfectly?  It’s impossible. This is proof that we need Jesus Christ as our Savior.  He came to free us from the law.  The law cannot save us, but what it can do is point us to the Savior.  Christ is the only way to freedom and to salvation!

“Therefore, the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” Galatians 3:24-25

Kay Arthur writes in the “Thought for the Week”…

“Keeping your set of “laws” can’t change you and give you an inner sense of being right with God, can it, my friend?  No matter how hard you try, no matter how much you go through your form of worship (whatever it is), no matter how much you try to obey the laws of your religion or try only to do good deeds instead of bad ones, there is no peace inside nor victory over your own flesh…”

When we became believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we are under a new covenant.  We are no longer in bondage to the law. We have been set free!  I am so thankful for this simple truth, aren’t you?

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:

  • Join a small group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students. https://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCInductiveStudies/
  • Complete your study of Week Four, “You’re an Heir of Grace…Live Like It!”
  • Pray before you begin your study.  Ask your resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
  • Do an online word study on “law” (Galatians 3:10) at www.blueletterbible.org. Record your findings on the Word Study Form located in “Files” in the Inductive Studies chat room.
  • Store in your heart Galatians 3:23-24 (Week Three, Day Seven).

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment here)

  1. What did you learn from marking the words justified and justify in Galatians 2 and 3? According to God’s Word, how is a person justified (made righteous) before God?
  2. According to James 2:10, if you live under the law, what is your obligation to the law?
  3. What problem were the Galatians having in relation to the law? When you come to Christ, what is your relationship to the law?
  4. What are some ways people seek right standing with God other than the way of grace through faith? Why are these ways tempting?

Blessings,

Sheree Poole

Joseph journey to forgiveness womens bible cafe

Joseph Journey to Forgiveness | Week 3

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Joseph journey to forgiveness womens bible cafe

We’re on our third week of study as we continue our discussion of “Joseph, the Journey to Forgiveness” by Melissa Spoelstra. You’re half-way through the study- congratulations! If you’ve been involved in our small groups then you know we’ve had some incredible conversations. I’ve observed that we resisted the pity-party in our conversations (though we have many reasons to create one) and put the focus on God instead, just like Joseph. You’re demonstrating great wisdom and spiritual growth.

After reading the study book you now realize that forgiveness without God is virtually impossible. We depend on Him for healing the hurt and rewriting the past. We depend on Him for mending a bruised heart. We depend on Him for redesigning  our words from poison to fruit (see Proverbs 18:21). True forgiveness is centered in Christ, not ourselves.

I’m raising teenagers and one recently said, “Mom, you’re always forgiving me even when I really mess up!” While her offenses do involve consequences…one consequence is that I will not bleed bitterness into her heart. “I forgive because I am a follower of Christ,” is my often repeated response.

Perhaps since we started this study, you’ve had a few unexpected opportunities to practice forgiveness? You may be in a testing season, refined by experiences you never desired to have in your life. Are you going to throw the book away and say, “That stuff is not for me!” Or are you going to say: “I forgive because I am a follower of Christ.”

You’re at a week three crossroad in your life. You can go back to the path of unforgiveness, and carry the hurt inside your heart for the remainder of your life. You can follow the footsteps of Jesus and the Hall of Faith-ers from Hebrews 11 of the Bible. What path are you on in this season of your life.

It’s tempting to hurt back, seek revenge, gossip, or play a few social games with someone who hurts us. What if you waited like Joseph, before you respond. Pause and pray. Are you willing to place seeds of forgiveness inside your heart and live more like Jesus? Pray and ask God for clarity on your forgiveness chart.

Keep working through the study…you are loved~

BIBLE STUDY TIP: This is the time when you may feel tempted to drop out. You’re starting to create the habit of daily study, 20-minutes a day with the Lord. Changes must be made in your daily schedule and inside your heart. If you don’t adjust and create a routine of daily study, then you’ll slip into the temptation to quit. Resist the devil when he makes you feel discouraged, distracted, or doubtful! Ask your small group leaders to pray for you and persevere through the next three weeks of study.

Assignment For the Week

  • Read Week Four: The Rollercoaster Ride in your study book and complete the daily lessons.
  • Optional: Watch video session one if you are using the DVD set- available at Amazon

 Discussion Questions – Answer in your small group or post a comment below

  1. We saw this week that Joseph waited two more years in prison before he received blessings and fulfillment of his dreams. Have you ever experienced a waiting season, where God’s delays were not His denials?  Can you think of a time when you thought something would never happen but then it did? Briefly share your testimony (page 70)
  2. Complete these statements from page 77: It is beyond my power to _____________( insert your present situation). But God ___________( insert what He is doing in that situation).  Example: It is beyond my power to heal my child, but God has her under His wing.
  3. Melissa writes on page 78, “His confidence is not in himself but in the God who has helped Joseph take steps toward forgiveness.”  What might happen if Joseph tried to forgive on his own, without God? How does that apply in our own lives?
  4. Do you agree or disagree with this statement from page 82 in the study book: “We are active participants in God’s divine plan.”  Let’s take it a bit further and talk about significance or insignificance in the Kingdom of God. Where do you see yourself right now? Why?
  5. What is a key concept that you discovered this week in your study? What advice on forgiveness would you tell a friend, based on what you’ve learned so far?

Praying for you,

christine abraham

 

womens bible cafe joseph 2

Joseph Journey to Forgiveness | Week 2

By | Joseph | No Comments

womens bible cafe joseph 2

Welcome back to online Bible Study at the Women’s Bible Cafe™.  We’re discussing WEEK TWO from the book “Joseph, the Journey to Forgiveness” by Melissa Spoelstra. This week we reflected on Joseph’s time in prison and his opportunities to forgive and reflect on his offenders. He was literally waiting…to be remembered and released from prison. While in prison he probably experienced a multitude of emotions. Have you experienced similar emotions in your own season of forgiveness?

As I write this, one of my close friends is in a prison season. She has no control over the circumstances that brought her to a time of waiting. She does have a choice in her response, just as we learned this week in our study of Joseph. She can respond with anger, hurt, depression, worry or fear, and those emotions are often expected given her situation. It’s easy for her to gather a group of friends to validate her justified emotions. Yet another response is for her to pray, listen, and allow God to heal her heart. That response is much harder because it’s often done alone, in a prison season.

We can produce fruit from the season of waiting: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). 

We can uncover tiny pebbles and big boulders in a season of waiting.

We can draw closer to Jesus.

Yet our flesh wants to respond with frustration, fear, revenge, gossip and regrets. As Sonya Morris Nelson says, “The wild horse is at it again!”

My personal advice is to get off that horse, get on your knees, and petition your requests to God. Most likely He’s going to lead you to a healthy and permanent restoration of your heart… only when you are quiet enough to listen.

Let’s move on with our lesson and learn the freedom of complete forgiveness!

BIBLE STUDY TIP: Set a reminder on your cell phone with an alarm to attend a small group and complete your reading assignments in the study book. I am finishing online classes at Liberty University and this is how I keep up. I calendar the assignments and schedule time for them using a repeat alarm on my phone.

Assignment For the Week

  • Make sure you subscribe to our email updates so that you receive email updates each week on Monday.
  • Select a small group day and time that fits your schedule. The small group schedule will also be pinned to the top of our private Facebook Group.  Arrive to the private Facebook group for the one hour meeting you chose to attend. Save the group to your favorites list so you can find us each week.
  • Read Week Three: Dreams Coming True in your study book and complete the daily lessons.
  • Optional: Watch video session one if you are using the DVD set- available at Amazon
  • Download Answers to the Video Session from our facebook group (Look under files tab in group)

 Discussion Questions – Answer in your small group or post a comment below

  1. On page 46 Melissa writes, “Forgiveness of atrocities requires time. If it happens too quickly one might question the sincerity and depth of it…prospering in our prisons means sorting through the wrong done to us.” Do you agree or disagree, why?
  2. Can you think of a time in your life when you were angry or offended by something that stung initially, but later you realized it was for your own good? (page 56)
  3. Melissa uses the metaphor of small pebbles that can fill up a backpack with too much dead weight and boulders that can weigh you down. Which are you carrying in your heart right now…a sack of pebbles, medium rocks, or big boulders? (page 56) What plan do you have to unload the weight?
  4. In our study we are reminded that forgiving others does not open the entrance to heaven; salvation is given through Christ on the cross. Yet it’s important to forgive others and ourselves, and to have a pure heart.  How can we tell when our heart is pure or bitter? What should we do if we observe a friend is steeping a bitter heart?
  5. What is a key concept that you discovered this week in your study? Does the study make you uncomfortable and want to hide, or is the topic helping you learn forgiveness?

Praying for you,

christine abraham

 

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