Category: Bible Study

WHO’S WHO IN ACTING WITH MERCY?

“The one who treated him with compassion…” —Luke 10:37 The pagan sailors treated Jonah with mercy. They mercifully placed more importance on Jonah’s life than on their own safety, working hard and risking much to spare his life. Sadly, Jonah, the religious man, didn’t reciprocate that mercy back to the sailors. Through his guilt and disobedience, Jonah put their lives in great danger and it didn’t bother him a bit; he slept peacefully while they risked their lives to save him (Jon 1:5ff). Similarly, the religious authorities, the priest and Levite (temple assistant), did not treat the wounded man in...

LIFE IN THE SPIRIT OR DEATH

“The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit, but rather One That makes us strong, loving, and wise.” —2 Timothy 1:7 We live in a world of “destruction and violence,” strife and “clamorous discord” (Hab 1:3). What are we to do? “Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily” (Hab 2:2). We receive visions from the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:17). We must not only have a vision and be able to express it, but we must also see the vision fulfilled (Hab 2:3). We do this by faith (see Hab...

GOD’S LOST AND FOUND

“For the sins of my children I am left desolate, because they turned from the law of God.” —Baruch 4:12 Is there any greater anguish than that of a godly parent who must watch their child choose to forsake God? (Bar 4:8) “With joy” these parents “fostered” the faith in their children (Bar 4:11). Then, after their child has rejected God, they must “let [the child] go” with “mourning and lament” (Bar 4:11). If you have experienced this, imagine the experience of God the Father. Could anyone foster children (see Hos 11:4) better than the Father raises every human being?...

VOICE LESSONS

“We have been disobedient to the Lord, our God, and only too ready to disregard His voice.” —Baruch 1:19 Jesus commented that His sheep “recognize His voice” and “follow Him” (Jn 10:4). Jesus’ followers “will not follow a stranger; such a one they will flee, because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice” (Jn 10:5). Sometimes the Lord’s voice is not easy to hear. Jesus speaks softly, not crying out (Mt 12:19). The Lord often speaks most powerfully in “a still small voice” (1 Kgs 19:12, RSV-CE). Like Mary of Bethany, we must choose the better part, put everything aside,...

NO FRILLS

“Say to them, ‘The reign of God is at hand.’ ” —Luke 10:9 Jesus sent the seventy-two disciples on mission with no extras and no comforts. Their primary mission was to proclaim to the mission towns that the kingdom of God was at hand (see Lk 10:9, 11). This proclamation was so important that all else took second place. As an example of this, Jesus told his disciples not to move from house to house when they entered a town (Lk 10:7). This might seem like a nit-picking type of command, but this has a purpose. Jesus wants his missionaries...