Hi, this is Noel. Today Denise is going to talk about the example of Jesus spending time with His Father. I am going to help you with Step 1 in Bible study--seeing the Facts of a passage by going over a 4th example.
You can either read the Lesson or watch the video. To take notes either print out the Lesson, follow along in the book, or use a separate piece of paper to write out the answers to the questions below.
Example: Jesus and the Father
Mary is not the only Bible character that lead with their Desire. Jesus acts on His Desire to be with His Father as described in Hebrews 1:3,13.
There are many things that are significant about Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father, but don't miss the significance of the fellowship they were having. Jesus is spending time just being with the Father.
Hebrews 1:3,13 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven... To which of the angels did God ever say, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?" (NIV)
Deeds and Desire
There is nothing wrong with good works. But leading with them will tend to smother your desire. In Revelation 2:2-5 God acknowledges the hard work and perseverance of the believers in the church of Ephesus, but He says they have fallen greatly from where they started.
Revelation 2:2-5 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you can not tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. (NIV)
When they started, they were motivated by love and by Desiring a relationship with Him. He urges them to return to being Desire-led.
God did not create us for cheap labor, as if He needed our labor (Acts 17:24-25). We are not just worker bees. He could do our work so much faster and more efficiently than we do. But He allows us to blunder along, doing His work, because it is good for us.
Acts 17:24-25 "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else." (NIV)
If you are a parent, and you have a 5 year old child learning to tie his shoes, it is tempting to reach down and tie them when you are in a hurry. But most of the time you wait and let him tie them because it is better for him to practice and learn to do it himself.
God is patient with us. He lets us practice doing things for Him, but He wants us to focus on Him, not on our work for Him. In fact, Revelation 3:16-21 points out the futility of thinking we are self-sufficient performers. It says rather, that we are blind, pitiful, and poor when we act independently.
Revelation 3:16-21 So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, "I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing." But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (NIV)
We don't need to act independently from God. He offers the fellowship we need. He is willing to let us sit down with Him on His throne.
He has given us a supernatural Desire for Him--the Ferrari within. But some of us settle for the tricycle of Discipline. We are peddling around as fast as we can, working hard with all the Discipline we can muster. But God values fellowship.
In our culture we are what we do. Our value is in our work. But to God, a quadriplegic is just as valuable as an ablebodied person because fellowship with God is Spirit to spirit not Spirit to resume.
It is all about following your Desire to have fellowship with Him.
Skill Time: Seeing the Facts, Example 4
The first step in devotional Bible study is to see the Facts in the passage. Look at the Bible passage below and write down what you see. There are no wrong answers. If you see something, write it down.
Colossians 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (NASB)
What do you see in the passage?
Watch the video or check the answers below to compare what you see in the passage with what we get.
Next time, Denise will talk about God's Desire-led Pattern and I'll talk about Seeing Facts in the Bible, Example 5.
If you are stuck, reply to this email and ask a question.
Skill Time: Bible Passage (Your list can be different and shorter. More are presented here to help you get the idea.)
He is not talking about one specific act
He is looking at how you do anything
This is about doing (in deed) and about saying (in word)
Do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus
Bring Jesus along in whatever you do or say
He wants us to give thanks in everything we do or say