40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 3 – Group Bible Study

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13 “You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.  14 “You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13 – 16)

 

Today, we will continue our focus on our theme for this year – A World in Need.  Over the last two days, we considered the references to salt and light in the passage above.  Thanks to all the commentators who are already adding richly to the study!

Please prayerfully read the passage again and answer this short quiz:

  • Do you study the Bible enough to use it as a basis for addressing the problems faced by those around you? (2 Timothy 2:15 – Study to show yourself approved…..)
  • Do you regularly pray for the lost with love, especially those in your sphere of influence? (Romans 10:1…. my heart’s desire and prayer to God…is that they may be saved).
  • Do you spend your time wisely – sometimes sacrificially – in service of peole in need, or do you spend too much time on “entertainment” or “work”? (Ephesian 5:16 – making the most of every opportunity (“redeeming the time”), because the days are evil.)
  • Is your speech typically “seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:5- 6 …. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,….)? In other words, are you typically gracious in your interactions with non-Christians?

Questions:

  • How did you do on the quiz?
  • What specific areas can you talk to God about to seek His help in improving your interactions with a world in need?

Sharing your thoughts could be a big help to someone else.  Please leave a comment on the blog.

 

9 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 3 – Group Bible Study

  1. These questions went really deep..Like a punch below the belt. I find in my life I have seasons and my spiritual life has never been exempted.
    I do study the bible, but “enough” no, not compared to other commitments.
    I do pray for the lost, but “regularly” no. “with love” hmmm, this part really got me thinking as I assumed if I’m praying for the lost it’s because I care and love them, however on closer inspection we can be so programmed to do things with out the right motive or attitude.
    Do I spend my time, wisely, with (experience, knowledge and good judgement) most but not all the times.
    I’m such a stickler on speech that I can genuinely say most of the times I’m very conscious of the messages I’m delivering, how they connect with my hearer, I try not to offend but to build up, and not tear down with my words. Even when angry I try to get the point across without intentionally inflicting daggers.
    All these are areas I have to keep talking to God about.

  2. Even though this shouldn’t feel like a pop quiz for Christians my grade would indicate my lack of preparedness. I am thankful for God’s grace and gift of grading on a curve. 🙂
    Let’s just say there is room for improvement in all of these areas. I plan to seek the Lord for guidance and help to have a sensitivity towards the things that break His heart.

    • I like the thing you said about “there’s a room for improvement “. The Lord wants us to always try to improve for him. As Christians we continue to grow each day and that’s perfectly fine.

  3. 1. I need to invest more time in studying the Bible, and using the principles for solving problems. 2. My prayers are regular, and include those who are in my zone of influence. 3. I certainly need to re-prioritize the use of time . 4. I am happy to say that I am comfortable in the area of speech. I tend to listen more, analyze, pray and then respond to situations in a positive way. However, this is not always received with joy.

  4. The Bible is my “Life Book”. I know all questions, especially the tough ones, can be answered by the contents of the Bible. I’d give myself a good grade on that first question.

    As for the other questions, when I really thought about them and answered them honestly, I have to admit I am lacking in those areas. I need God’s help and guidance, as well as self-discipline, to be a child of God who prays for the lost and makes sure the words I speak are “seasoned with salt”.

  5. While posted in Japan I usually attend this bible study group in my church called IBS, or International Bible study group. This is the longest bible study group I’ve been attending as I am a member of YIBC for 31 years. But of course I also attended many bible study groups in the 11 countries I’ve lived so far for my husband’s tour of duty as diplomat. I’m also a member of BSF a worldwide bible study group held on Tuesdays. This year because my knee therapy falls on the same time, I took a break from BSF. On Sundays, after the service I also attend a group bible study for women or sometimes join the Filipino bible study group. To me bible study is very important. It’s like a battery charger for me. It gives me assurance, hope, and having fellowship with my sisters and brothers in Christ is vital to my growth as a Christian. Writing down the prayer request of each member and praying for them everyday gives me a purpose-full life. Praying for the lost and their salvation is always included in my prayer.

    I feel here in Japan, I live a very calm life. Not like when posted abroad with so many official duties as a wife of a diplomat and many parties/ gatherings to attend. I know you can pray anywhere, anytime and I do that most of the time. Like I just talk to God especially when I sense the prodding of the Holy Spirit. It feels really good after I talked to God in prayer.

    As Christians I believe we all aim to glorify our God in our actions and words. Of course we rely on His words to help us achieve this goal , but when we commit mistakes such us offending others with hurtful words, our only choice is to humble ourselves, reflect on our sins and ask for forgiveness. I guess for me, the realization of my shortcomings is something I’m always grateful for, because this can only happen when grace and mercy of God is bestowed on us, and we can move forward with the hope of trying to achieve our main goal in life….to give glory to our creator. I set
    a high bar for myself in this area of my life.

    My weakness maybe somewhat funny. Sometimes I tend to fall asleep while still praying at night. I don’t like it when it happens so in the morning, I ask the Lord to forgive me for not finishing my prayer last night. I guess my prayer life is like talking to God anytime. My prayer can also be short at certain times like really just telling him anything even mundane things. I feel I have a companion in the Lord. He is with me all the time, anywhere I go, whatever I do. Being grateful and knowing I am a child of God inspired me to try to please him in my actions and word.

    Please pray for me and my husband’s safe travel by bullet train back toYokohama tomorrow. We are in Mie prefecture since yesterday. We attended a funeral of my husband’s aunt, who died at the age of 94. Corona virus is spreading in Japan so it’s actually not a good time to travel long distance by train. The Lord protects us. Thank you for prayers.

  6. Answering for 28th. We have a month of close family birthdays. My mother was 95 on 28th. I don’t know if my bible understanding is influenced by her as she reads every day. I never new this when I was younger and now we attend a BSat one church group together. She does practice some of what we preach, as I do, would those also close yo us do the same? Do I season others loyally in God’s way, I pray so. Surely I have also been Salted. I have a great opportunity with all the family gatherings with friends attending to ‘work’ at salting others in love and pray on that as we are bonded by our short holiday of celebration together over the next 2 weeks.
    I have happily carried out long seasoning works in honour of those we loved after their passing doing Meals on Wheels and volunteering in charity shops or collecting for needy with purpose many times over the past 40 years, some connected to churches and some of my own choosing. I pray that I have been a part of the link to God for those who did not know him. I daily pray for all those in need and the ones who denounce his works. It is worse when these are people we like and some that we would really like to love more. The hurt is so much deeper then, and difficult not to be despondent at times. I pray for us on this study to gather others from the outer ‘bushes’ onto our spiritual garden of love.

  7. No to the first question.
    I belong to a Bible study so helps me.
    i do the best I can the other two.
    Due to still having to work to survive I can’t do volunteering but I do help in many other ways.
    I try not to be sarcastic or judgmental to the last question.
    At least I am conscious if I am.

  8. Belonging to a women’s bible study helps me. Should do more though but getting there.
    Yes I help others by being there for them.
    Can do better but limited with surviving so time and limited resources but I am ver approachable and talk to everyone with a smile.
    Goes a long way to some lonely people.

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