The Reliability of the Bible

On February 12, our lesson was about the reliability of the Bible.  In our life, we will encounter many people who say that they do not believe the Bible.  It is important for us to have answers for them.  It is also important to have answers for ourselves so that we know why we believe the Bible, and are able to have confidence in the Word of God.  We must stand on it without wavering.  This is such an important lesson because we are building our lives on God’s Word.  And if the Bible cannot be trusted than we have no foundation at all.

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How Do We Know God’s Word is True?

The Testimony of Scripture (emphasis added below)

  • Titus 1:2—“…in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.”
  • Hebrews 6:18“…that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.”
  • Psalm 18:30“As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”
  • Psalm 19:7-9—The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart… the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
  • 2 Peter 2:16-21For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty… and so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretationfor prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

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Fulfilled Prophecy—Hundreds of prophecies in Scripture have been fulfilled.  For example, there are 60 major prophecies in the Old Testament that predict the birth, life, and death of the coming Messiah. Jesus Christ fulfilled every one of those prophecies.  Some people say that’s its just by chance that Jesus fulfilled prophecy.  However, mathematics shows the probability of this to be next to impossible.  The chances of one person fulfilling just eight of these prophecies is equal to 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.

Scientific Evidence—Scientifically, the Bible has been found to be trustworthy.  Many statements in the Bible were written before modern science discovered them to be true facts.  An example of this is found in Isaiah 40:22 which tells us that the earth is round.  500 years ago, people were afraid of falling off the earth even though the Bible was written a couple thousands of years ago.

Many people claim that the Bible cannot be true because it doesn’t line up with the theory of evolution.  However, evolution is simply a theory that has a lot flaws.  Evolution is really a belief system or “religion”.  When you think about it, it really takes a lot more faith to believe that the universe came from nothing, rather than being created by God.

We cannot pick and choose which parts of God’s Word we want to believe.  If we can’t trust one part of the Bible, how do we know that any of it is true?  For example, if we doubt the creation account in Genesis, how can we be sure that salvation is for real?  The Bible provides a basis for absolute truth established by the Creator of the universe.

There are many helpful resources available in learning more about science and the Bible.  My family has learned a lot from Answers in Genesis, Kent Hovind, and Jonathan Park audio drama. We’ve also been encouraged by visiting the Creation Museum in KY.

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Archeology—Critics have often scoffed that the Bible is inaccurate because it described things that were not found in archeology.  However, through the years, many different archeological discoveries have confirmed people, places, and customs/traditions described in the Bible.  Check out this article on the excavation of Jericho.

Remember, science and archeology do not “prove” the Bible is true.  We know that the Bible is true because God said it is (He cannot lie).  God’s Word is the foundation; science and archeology support it. They just happen to reaffirm the Bible—just like we would expect it to!

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The Amazing Word of God—Satan has tried to deceive people and write other counterfeits to the Bible such as the Koran, the Book of Morman, Hindu writings, and others.  But no other book as the credentials of the Bible.  No other book has the message, answers, and logic of the Bible.  The Bible alone explains sin and the only remedy for sin.  Christianity is the only “religion” that:

  • Offers eternal life as a free gift for those who believe.  All other religions teach that you have to earn it in some way.
  • Has a Savior.  Other religions have leaders or teachers who are now dead, but we have a living Savior—a substitute who was perfect, who paid the penalty for our sin, and the only One who ever conquered death.
  • Gives assurance of salvation and eternal life.  In other religions one can never be sure that he will make it to Heaven.

No book has been studied, scrutinized, and attacked more than the Bible.In spite of centuries of attack, the Bible still stands.  If God had the power to create the vast and complex universe, He certainly has the power to preserve His Word

There is a battle raging in the world today.  Christianity is under attack.  The Bible is under attack.  We need to know what we believe and why, and be able to defend the truth.  The Bible is our foundation.  It is trustworthy, and we must examine everything in the light of the truth of God’s Word.  God’s Word is 100% true; we can trust it and build our lives upon it.

For our activity, we divided into teams and each team was supposed to build a structure based on the strength of the foundation and the height.  After each team built their tower, we took a clipboard and created a “windstorm” to see how strong the structures were.  All of them stood firm!  It was a fun reminder how it is important to build our lives on the foundation of God’s Word.

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How to Make a Wise Comment

Due to the fact that our first meeting in January was cancelled because of the weather, and that the Fraser’s were out of town for a month, the lesson “How to Make a Wise Comment” came before the lesson “The Reliability of the Bible”.  Hannah S. led the meeting while we were away and there were several others who stepped in to help with the activity and snacks.  Thank you all so much for your willingness to help out!

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For the lesson time, the girls learned that words are very powerful.  They have the power of life or death (Prov. 18:21).  We will give account for every idle word spoken (Matt. 12:36).  As ambassadors of Christ, we need to choose words that are meaningful, edifying, and profitable to others.  It is important that we learn to relate to others in a way that is respectable, thoughtful, and mature.  Learning good conversation skills is an important part of shining brightly for the Lord.

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Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” -Ephesians 4:29

For the activity time, Havala S. taught everyone how to make lip balm.  It was a fun and girly activity that everyone enjoyed.  You can use it to help you remember to watch the words that come out of your mouth.

 

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I am looking forward to seeing all of you again this Thursday… its been a long time and I can’t wait to see you again!

How to Be Wiser Than Your Enemies (Scripture Memorization)

December 18 was our last meeting of 2014. We learned about the importance of Scripture memorization. P1100443Every verse of Scripture is a precious and valuable treasure.  God wants us to diligently search for the wisdom, insight, and understanding hidden for us in His Word. Memorizing Scripture helps us understand things that we might otherwise overlook.  We have to slow down and think about it to memorize it.  This opens up rich insights and gives us new thoughts about the passage.  Memorizing the Word of God establishes a solid foundation of truth in your life (Psalm 37:31), gives you ready answers (1 Peter 3:15), and guards you from sin (Psalm 119:11).

Our mind is a battlefield and Satan wants to fill our minds with lies.  We need to combat those lies with the truth of God’s Word.  Things that we say over and over to ourselves become a part of us, become our beliefs, and effect our actions and attitudes.  We need to memorize Scripture so that we can think about it and say it to ourselves.  God’s Word is our foundation and is the truth that overcomes every lie of the enemy.

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Tips for Memorizing Scripture:

  • Don’t do it alone! Find someone to memorize with you and/or to hold you accountable– preferably someone who memorizes at the same pace/speed as you.  Perhaps choose someone from BL to be your partner.
  • Review it often! Don’t expect to learn it without looking at it and saying it. Repetition helps to ingrain it in your memory.
  • Write it out! I have found that writing out the passage helps me to memorize and retain it better. Write it several times and carry a copy with you to review throughout the day.
  • Read it out loud! This helps you not to miss any words.  There’s also something about hearing it while you’re learning that is very helpful.
  • Listen to it! I have memorized verses before simply by listening to them being sung/said on CD. You can also have someone read it to you.
  • Draw it out! If you are a visual learner, you might find it helpful to draw pictures for the key words in the passage.  Then you can remember the passage by the pictures that go with it.
  • Don’t give up! Even if you’re discouraged, don’t give up. Satan doesn’t want us to have God’s Word in our hearts and will do what he can to stop us.
  • Come back to it! Even after you’ve moved on to another passage, come back and review the previous one so you don’t forget it.

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We want to do more than just memorize the Bible, we want it to live in us and to become a part of us.  We want to abide in Jesus and let His Word abide in us.  Memorization is a first important step, but next we want to meditate (think) about what we have learned.  Meditation is spending time in quiet thought.  What do you find yourself thinking about throughout the day?  The more we turn our thoughts to the Lord, the more we will learn about Him and draw closer to Him.  Meditation is not emptying our mind, but rather filling it with God’s Word by thinking about it over and over.  There are many benefits/rewards of meditating on Scripture (Josh. 1:8; Psalm 119:97-98; Psalm 119:99; Psalm 1:2-3; Psalm 119:9-11)

Suggestions for Meditating on God’s Word:

  • Quote through a verse or passage that you have memorized.
  • Think about what the verse is saying and thank the Lord for it.
  • Pray the Scripture to the Lord, making it personal.
  • Think about how you can apply the it to your life.
  • Meditate each night as you are falling asleep (Psalm 63:6).

As followers of Christ, our main goal is to have hearts that are seeking the Lord, not to have a lot of “head knowledge” or be able to boast in our accomplishments.  Often times, those who are young are able to memorize more easily.  This is also the time in our lives when most likely have most free time than we will later.  We should take this challenge seriously to memorize as much as we can during our youth.  Make the most of your time for God’s glory!

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After the lesson, we split up into groups of two to memorize a Bible verse.  The girls used different methods to memorize, including actions, writing it out, and of course, repetition.

Then, for our activity time, we did a special Christmas activity.  The girls were split into four groups (or “towns”) and they had to send letters via the Christmas Train to the other towns to discover the message from each town.  Each town’s message was a name of Jesus associated with Christmas.  It was a fun activity, although the train needed a lot of repairs along the way.

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Delighting in God’s Word

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The Bible is the one true source of wisdom that God has given to us.  We can’t expect to find true wisdom apart from His Word.  Since the Bible is the source of wisdom and truth, we spent some time looking up verses and making a list of the benefits of His Word.  Here’s just a few of them:

  • Psalm 119:105— It is our lamp and light
  • 2 Tim. 3:16— It is profitable for correction, & instruction (lots more in this verse)
  • Psalm 119:11— It gives us power over sin
  • Psalm 119:130— It gives light and understanding to the simple
  • Rom. 15:4— It gives us hope

God’s Word is powerful and changes lives.  No wonder Satan wants to keep us from our Bibles!  If we are committed to seeking wisdom, what better thing can we do than spend time filling our lives and minds with the wisdom from God’s Word?

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Being the Word consistently can be a major challenge in our busy lives and we often say that we don’t have time. But think about this: we make time to do what we value and enjoy. Do we value our relationship with the Lord enough to make time to invest spending time with Him?  In this stage of our lives, we have less responsibilities and more free time than most adults and so we want to be using this time and opportunity wisely by deepening our relationship with the Lord through being in His Word.

We talked about some of the practicalities of being in the Word, such as: Make a commitment, Choose a definite time, Find a quiet and private place, Set a goal/Use a Bible reading plan, Find an accountability partner. We also were encouraged to hear from Deborah about her commitment and ideas for being consistent in reading the Bible.

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Reading the Bible is important, however so many Christians stop at that. They think reading it is enough. But how can you know and understand what God says if you don’t study it for yourself? You can’t rely on someone else to study the Word for you.  To mature as Christians, we need to study the Bible ourselves rather than being spoon-fed by others (like the Bereans-Acts 17:11- & Timothy-2 Tim. 2:15).  We reviewed some ideas/tips for studying the Bible on our own (here’s the list we handed out).

Beyond Bible reading and study is delighting in God’s Word (Ps. 119:97-99, 103, 129-131).  This starts with a decision, not a feeling. The emotions will come, but it begins with a commitment to be in the Word consistently and faithfully. The more time we spend in God’s Word, the more it will be our delight and joy.

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Reading, studying, and delighting in God’s Word is not a duty we should dread, but rather a great blessing! The more we get to know the Lord and His Word, the more we will naturally want to spend time in it. It’s not something we have to do—it’s something we have the amazing privilege of doing!

Matthew 4:4 says: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.‘”  To illustrate this, we had a basket of fresh, homemade rolls in front of us.  Bread is nutritious and filling. Just as food helps us to grow physically, God’s Word helps us grow spiritually. If we want to be strong for the Lord, it is vital that we are daily receiving nourishment from God’s Word. And if we want to be wise, it is vital that we are going directly to the source of wisdom—the Bible.  If we neglect God’s Word, our appetite for it will diminish. However, the more we spend time in it, the more our appetite will grow.

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Instead of small groups, we had split up into groups of three to practice studying the Bible (and we got to eat the fresh rolls while were were at it).  For our activity, we divided into teams.  Each team was given a ten different Bible events (summarized in a sentence).  They had to place them in chronological order.  Then, all the teams came together and had to put all 40 of the events in the order in which they happened in the Scriptures.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the girls knew their Bibles.

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We enjoyed snacks and fellowship together to finish off the evening, including these adorable cookies that one of the families made.  It’s so fun to see everyone’s creativity as they sign up to bring snacks for the meetings! :)

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How to Receive a Rebuke

On November 22 we studied a difficult topic, but one that is important to growing in wisdom.  We learned about receiving rebuke. Everyone will receive rebukes at some point in life. They will come from all directions: parents, teachers, friends, enemies, and God. Proverbs tells us that a wise person will learn from a rebuke, but a foolish person will get angry when corrected. If you are able to receive a rebuke in a godly way, this is a true sign of wisdom and maturity (Prov. 9:8, Prov. 12:1, Prov. 15:10, Prov. 15:31-32.

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We asked the question, is rebuke good or bad?  In Heb. 12:5-11 we read that God brings correction and rebukes into our lives in order to teach and train us. This is a demonstration of His love . Since God Himself rebukes, we know that rebukes can be used for good.  2 Tim. 3:16—God’s Word is a tool for correction and training (2 Tim. 3:16). We should take seriously the rebukes and instructions that God has written in the Bible.  Sometimes God uses other people to do the rebuking for Him (like Nathan and David)–usually our parents at this stage in life. If we handle the rebuke properly, we learn the lesson God is trying to teach us.

When rebuked by someone, our normal responses are to defend ourselves (“I did not”), blame others (like Adam blamed Eve), blame the rebuker (“You did it too”), get angry, argue back, or ignore them.  It is natural human nature to respond in these ways. You don’t have to practice it! Why is it so difficult to receive rebukes? Pride is what keeps us from admitting that we are wrong—especially if someone else tells us.  Pride is perhaps one of the biggest enemies that we face in life – it often keeps us from making choices that honor the Lord. Humility is the key to applying this lesson in our lives. Remember: God gives grace to the humble! (1 Peter 5:5).

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If we want to respond properly we must make a conscious decision of how we are going to act when God brings a rebuke into our lives. We should make that decision now.  Those who are wise actually desire rebukes because they want to learn, grow, and remove sin and folly from their lives. A wise person knows that there are weaknesses in his or her life that may be plain to others but they themselves might not see. Others have a different perspective and are able to see things that are hidden to us.

No one likes being rebuked, but it is an important part of the process of being conformed into the image of Christ. The challenge is to stop thinking of the rebukes as something negative, and begin seeing how God uses them for our good.  The key to applying this lesson is humility. If we have a humble spirit, we will be able to admit that we have faults and need to grow—and even thank those who rebuke us!

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For our activity we did small group skits (everyone cheers!).  The girls love doing skits and by coming up with skits relating to the lesson, they get think about how the topic applies in everyday situations.  Here’s some pictures of the skits:

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Mom scolding you when you didn’t clean your room like she told you to
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Receiving rebuke from your teacher when you disobey the rules
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Your sisters correcting you while you are doing your chores
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Being rebuked by a police officer because you were speeding

See you all on December 4th!