MONTHLY ARCHIVES: December 2015

Who’s Ready?

Posted on December 15, 2015 by Karah

_MG_5550Pause

Find a quiet place where you can be alone. Begin your time with God in prayer. Ask Him to help you understand His Word.

Scripture tells us that God sent a special prophet, John the Baptist, into the world to prepare His people for the coming Messiah. Learn more about him in Luke 1:2-25, 57-66.

“And he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.” —Luke 1:17

Consider these questions:

Reread Zechariah’s response to the angel in verses 5-25. Was Zechariah ready for the message? How do you know? Explain.

Were Zechariah’s and Elizabeth’s neighbors and families ready for the truth about John? Why or why not?

Focus on verse 17. Elijah was one of the most revered Old Testament prophets whose ministry was centered on calling the people back to God and His righteous ways. John would do the same. Why is this important?

Respond

God had a purpose for John, and He has a plan for you, too. Pray that you will grow in relationship with God and walk according to His ways and wisdom and fulfill His purpose for your life.

Knowing God’s purpose for your life is intricately tied to knowing Him. What specific steps will you take this week to grow in relationship with Him? List two below.

Think about how you came into a relationship with Jesus. How did the Holy Spirit prepare you? Who did God use to bring you close to Him? Record your thoughts in your journal. End in a time of prayer, thanking God for pursuing you.

For further study of how others responded to God’s call, read Genesis 22:11; Exodus 3:4; and 1 Samuel 3:10.

Behind the Story

Hundreds of years before John the Baptist’s birth, God had spoken through the prophet Malachi of a time when He would send “Elijah the prophet” to His people. This Elijah would “turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Mal. 4:5-6). Malachi’s prophecy isn’t about the reincarnation of the most revered prophet in Israel’s history. Instead, this promised prophet would share the same mission as Elijah: to call the nation back to God. In Matthew 17:10-13, Jesus identified John the Baptist as the Elijah whom Malachi had foretold.

The Point

God used John the Baptist to prepare the people for the coming Messiah.


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Shout Out from Dr. Rainer, President of LifeWay

Posted on December 4, 2015 by Phil

Check out this video of Dr. Rainer, the President of LifeWay Christian Resources, giving Camp Ridgecrest and Camp Crestridge a shout out.  It’s cool to hear other people who are as excited about what is happening at the Camps. Watch this short clip…


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Jesus Is Truth

Posted on December 1, 2015 by Karah

IMG_6224Pause

Thank God for the ability to meet with Him and study His Word so you may walk in truth. Ask Him to teach you as you dig into Scripture today.

Throughout history, the church has faced a number of false teachings, many centered around Jesus, His role, and His incarnation. Think about the misconceptions about Jesus people have today. Circle all that apply and list a few of your own.

Just a teacher.

One of many ways to God.

Not that important.

Wasn’t really resurrected.

Just a historical figure.

Not who He says He is.

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So, what does the truth of Jesus’ incarnation have to do with fighting false teaching? Read 1 John 4:1-6 in your Bible.

“This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” —1 John 4:2

What does this verse teach you about how to separate correct teaching from false teaching? Write it in your own words below.

Now, read 2 John 1:7.

“Many deceivers have gone out into the world; they do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh.” —2 John 1:7

What message did John say “deceivers” carry into the world? Explain.

All week, you’ve studied Scripture about the incarnation—that Jesus became flesh and lived among us. Think through these questions:

Why do you think John emphasizes that belief in the incarnation is a way you can know if someone is speaking by the Spirit of God?
Why would denying the incarnation be detrimental to the gospel?

Respond

Listen carefully to the messages you hear about Jesus today. Whether from discussions at school, things you hear on the radio, or messages from a teacher at church, what do they teach about Jesus?  Consider: Does this message affirm that Jesus was God in flesh? Or is it some false message?

Behind the Story

The core of the Christian message is that Jesus—fully God and fully human—lived a sinless life and died on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins. Any teaching that denies this truth is not true Christianity. Be careful to pay attention to the claims people make about Jesus.

The Point

The truth of the incarnation helps us to identify and counter false teaching.


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