"We behave as we behave because we believe as we believe." Think about this quote. Isn't it the truth? If we truly believe that it is important to spend time in the Word, we will make time to read the Bible. If we believe that God honors prayer, we will ensure time for daily prayer. Today's lesson reinforces this truth.
The New Testament writings cover Romans through Jude. These books are letters to the early church and their relevance for us has not diminished in two thousand years. There are 21 letters of which Paul wrote 13. Nine of these were directed to churches that were dealing with various issues of immorality and persecution. The letters were written to the churches and to us as lessons of instruction, correction, and encouragement.
This section of the Bible is divided into three areas by the presenters of today's lesson. They are identified as the 3 D's: Doctrine, Discipline, and Deceit. Biblical Doctrine teaches us what to believe about God and us. We learn that God is a loving God (see 1 John 4:8 and 1 Cor. 13). The proof of our love of God is seen in our obedience to His Word.
Spritual discipline includes those actions that we take as believers to mature in our faith. A book titled Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster was referenced in today's lesson. In his book, Foster describes three different kinds of discipline. The first is "Inward Discipline" which focuses on personal examination and change. These disciplines include meditation, prayer, fasting,and studying. The second is "External Discipline" which focuses on making the world a better place to live. This discipline requires service and evangelism. "Corporate Discipline" is the third component of today's lesson outline. Corporate discipline is designed to bring us closer to each other and most importantly, closer to God.
Our lesson facilitator today shared several of her personal strategies for prayer. She mentioned that she finds time for prayer before the day gets busy, she prays aloud, and prays on her knees. She also mentioned that she prays the scripture. These are some great strategies for regular prayer.
The final "D" in today's lesson addresses the issue of deceit. The last 8 letters of this section address this issue of false teaching that appeared to be problematic in the early church just as it is today. The letters were warnings against adding to the Woird of God or taking away from God's teaching. Also, the lesson facilitator makes the point that it is important to know the truth so that we can recognize false teaching when it occurs around us. Here is a list of verses referenced in today's lesson: John 14:6, Ephesians 6:2, Romans 12:2, Titus 2:3-5, Hebrews 12:5-11, Ephesians 6: 11-17, and Col. 3:12. Let's all keep the doctrine of the Bible in our hearts and minds and practice the disciplines of the Bible in order to accomplish this task and let's be prepared for the false teaching of Satan and the world. have a great week....and, GIG'EM, Aggies!