Throughout our study in the book of James, we have spoken about a variety of Greek words.
We have considered their meanings and how they contribute to understanding what is really happening in the book, and how that applies both to those in the first century and to us today. To aid your continued Bible study, we have gathered together all of those different Greek words and placed them in a set of slides that you can download below. You can use this as you are reading through the book of James on your own, so that you can see some of the subtle nuances related to the Greek words.Download James Greek Slides
“And now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32)
I referenced this booklet in my sermon on January 10. It is about my own journey in studying God’s Word, and I trust it will be an encouragement to yours.
For purposes of bragging rights, many Christians often toss out the fact that the Bible is the best-selling book of all time. As uplifting as this makes might sound, the wind is taken out of our sails, when we discovered that very few read it regularly, and even fewer have read it in its entirety. Bibles are given as gifts at graduations, weddings, and other special occasions he finds its place on the family bookshelf wedge between Moby Dick and Huckleberry Finn. The spine of its black leather binding, says HOLY BIBLE. It is viewed by many as a good luck charm to keep demons away. So why do so few read it? Could it be that we don’t know the author and are therefore fearful about taking advice from a stranger?
The study before us is about the Word of God. Paul commends the Scriptures to us so that we might be built up. Believers have an invitation to drink deeply from God’s eternal truth and to feast at His banquet to their hearts’ content I selected this study’s title because grace is our instructor, mentor, and friend—“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:12). We don’t read the Bible so we can master it; we read it so it will master us. To discover its truth is to discover who I am and why I exist. We will never know all about the Word, but the Word will forever know all about us.
The following thoughts about the Word of God, have been collected two years of study and meditation. The personal, I trust the truce will go beyond the bounds of my own life and benefit others. I believe that these expressions about his divine revelation are from his spirit, who promises to guide us into truth.Download “The Word of His Grace”
Imagine Zero is an initiative by The Seed Company to end Bible poverty around the world. There are over 2,000 people groups that do not have a single verse of Scripture in a language they can understand.
In October of 2019, Reston Bible Church partnered with The Seed Company, which currently works with 120 partner organizations and 1,555 local ministries and churches to help bring God’s Word to the Bibleless. As a church, we adopted the translation of the book of Luke into the heart language of the Banyala people in Kenya. When we introduced the project last year, within a few short weeks, all 1,151 verses of the book of Luke were “adopted” by RBCers at $35 per verse.
Now, one year later, the Banyala people now have the book of Luke completely translated into their heart language. By the grace of God at work through your generosity, copies of Luke’s gospel are now being printed and distributed to the Banyalan people. Please continue to pray for the Banyala people, that as the Word of God goes forth, it will not return void (Isaiah 55:11).
Other specific prayer requests from the field include:
- May God continue uplifting those involved in bringing the Bible closer to the people.
- Thank God for a good translation team that will eventually see the New Testament fully drafted.
- Pray for God to give sobriety and self-control to the young people. Since people now spend much of their time at home because of COVID-19, there is a great deal of strain upon families. Many relationships have been impacted negatively, and with the schoolchildren all at home, there have been a lot of teenage pregnancies. The team prays that their translation of the Bible into the local language will help alleviate problems caused by the stress of the pandemic.
- Praise God that although the impact of COVID-19 varies from project to project, all translation teams have been able to continue their work. Travel restrictions have redirected responsibility for staying on schedule more directly to translation teams and communities, who have accepted even greater ownership of the work.
- Praise God that the closing of churches due to COVID has encouraged family worship, and many believers are now reading and studying the Bible for themselves.
- Pray for the pastors and ministers. Many churches have experienced a decrease in offerings and tithes, and some churches are unable to pay their pastors. Please pray for them as they continue to minister to the people in their care.
The video above is the update given in services last Sunday and includes a word of thanks from Nyanjugu Githui, the field project manager. In the video below, Banyalan translator and pastor Fred Egessa shares how translating the book of Luke impacted him personally.
During Sunday worship services, we want to spend less time making announcements and more time worshiping. To help facilitate that, we show a brief video announcement segment 4-5 minutes before each service begins. Grab an early seat just before your service begins so you can take advantage of these pre-service announcements. We’ll also post them here on the Sunday Rewind each week.
MUSIC & SCRIPTURE
Only King Forever (1 Timothy 1:17) – Only King Forever by Elevation Worship
Rock of Ages (Deuteronomy 32:3-4) – Death of Death by Charlie Hall
Your Great Name (Philippians 2:10-11) – Love Revolution by Natalie Grant
Great Things (Worth It All) (Galatians 6:14) –Wake Up the Wonder by Elevation Worship
Unstoppable God (Luke 1:37) – Wake up the Wonder by Elevation Worship
TEACHING: Read Your Bible
The Bible is a book of revelation, showing us what God wants us to know that we could otherwise not know. Read your Bible.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- What was one thing you found particularly interesting, insightful, helpful or difficult to understand from this sermon?
- Read and discuss Psalm 1 and 1 Corinthians 2:6-16. What do these verses tell us about revelation? What do they tell us about the Word of God? What are the general implications of these verses? What are the personal implications for your life?
- What does it mean to meditate on the Word of God? How does that give us life?
- What are some things the Bible says about itself?
- As we read, study, memorize and mediate on the Scriptures, the following sequence is often played out: Information > Insight > Guidance > Comfort. Have you seen this in your own life? What examples can you give?
- What is the significance of Jesus being the living Word of God (John 1)?
- What excuses do you have for not being in the Word of God regularly? How can your Shepherd Group help hold you accountable to be faithful in reading, studying, memorizing and mediating upon the Scriptures? Spend some time in prayer for this while thanking God for the wisdom of His Word.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NIV)
LOVE IS PATIENT: Thank you for being patient with my shortcomings. It makes me feel accepted by you.
LOVE IS KIND: Your kindness is more than I could ever wish as it makes each day something to look forward to.
LOVE IS NOT ENVIOUS: I have never felt your envy toward me which makes our relationship one of encouragement and not competition.
LOVE IS NOT BOASTFUL: You never speak highly of yourself which becomes an example for me to emulate.
LOVE IS NOT PROUD: Your humility landscapes the lives of those around you, and my life has been shaped by it.
LOVE IS NOT RUDE: There are no sharp edges in your speech or manners. I can express my thoughts without fear of attack.
LOVE IS NOT SELF-SEEKING: The fact that you are not self-seeking makes me feel important and not just tolerated.
LOVE IS NOT ANGRY: You never seem angry which makes me feel protected and safe when I don’t measure up.
LOVE DOES NOT KEEP SCORE: I have the freedom to fail without being reminded of past failures.
LOVE DELIGHTS NOT IN EVIL: Your avoidance of evil is a moral safeguard in our friendship.
LOVE REJOICES IN TRUTH: Your pursuit of truth gives me confidence that you are making wise decisions.
LOVE PROTECTS: I feel secure that you desire to protect my reputation, emotions and the hidden fears of my heart.
LOVE TRUSTS: Your consistent trust in me removes any suspicion and replaces it with trust in you.
LOVE GIVES HOPE: When you give hope to my life, I feel valued.
LOVE PERSEVERES: Your persevering love has been a faithful guide for my earthly pilgrimage.
YOUR LOVE HAS SET ME FREE.
On behalf of HomeFront, a family life community here at RBC, here are several resources to help you get off on the right foot this year with your plans for reading the Bible. There are so many different options to help you read just certain sections, certain themes, or the whole Bible this year. There is no excuse–make the Bible a part of your daily routine!
Online Reading Plans
If you’re wanting to go paperless, a Bible reading app is an excellent way to do it. Here are several options.
- YouVersion: With tens of millions of users, the YouVersion app offers lots of great reading plans from nearly all major publishers. Check out the complete list of reading plans! You can either use these on your computer, or carry it with you on any smartphone.
- Glo Bible: Many laptop/tablet users prefer the interface and tools built into Glo. Note that there is a nominal charge if you want to use all of the features. Several reading plans are offered: you can learn more here.
- Journeys from American Bible Society: These are shorter, topic-driven reading plans that can really help you get into the habit. You can even make your own journey and share it with friends, your Shepherd Group, or others.
- 23 Bible Reading Plans: Excellent roundup in this blog post.
Printed Reading Plans
Print these out or keep them handy on your computer. These offer a guided plan for reading through part (or all) of the Bible this year. It’s a great idea to go through a plan with your kids if they are old enough–never too early to get them into the habit!
For you HomeFront attendees, don’t forget to discuss this week’s HomeFront homework: Discuss how you are going to make the Lord your #1 Priority in 2015. Don’t attend HomeFront? We meet at 9am Sundays in the Youth Building – drop by anytime!
We hope these resources are a blessing to you. Make 2015 the year that you really grow in your daily Bible study!
– Brad Hill on behalf of The HomeFront Team
We hope many of you take on Pastor Ed’s Scripture memorization challenge from last week’s sermon, Give Me Life According to Your Word. He asked that all RBCers consider memorizing 12 verses over the summer months – these are 12 verses we’ve selected from throughout Scripture that tell us about Scripture. If you didn’t get the memory verse cards passed out last Sunday, those are available by request at the Welcome Desk in the lobby.
We’re also pleased to recommend another resource for Scripture memorization called BibleMinded. BibleMinded is a free app published by the American Bible Society that allows you to select specific verses to memorize, follow along with pre-made memorization plans, or create your own customized memorization plans. It’s a great resource as we read, delight in and obey the Word of God.
BibleMinded is available on Apple, Android and Kindle Fire mobile devices. You can search for BibleMinded from within your device’s store or marketplace or visit http://biblemindedapp.com/.
The 12 verses from Pastor Ed’s memorization challenge are included in the app as a featured memorization plan. To access it, download the app, touch Add a Verse and select Plans. As one of the options, you’ll see “Delighting in God’s Word” from Reston BIble Church. You can Add This Plan and start memorizing! Many thanks to RBCer Scott Wennermark of the American Bible Society for setting this up for us.
MUSIC & SCRIPTURE
God Is Able/Christ Is Enough (Ephesians 3:20-21) – Forever Reign by Hillsong Chapel/Glorious Ruins by Hillsong
Lord I Need You (Hebrews 4:16) – All The People Said Amen by Matt Maher
Hosanna/Hallelujah (Our God Reigns) (Mark 11:9-10) – Savior King by Hillsong/Forever Reign by Hillsong Chapel
In Christ Alone (Galatians 2:20) – Let The Future Begin by Kristian Stanfill (Passion)
Always (Psalm 121:1-2) – Here For You by Kristian Stanfill (Passion)
TEACHING: Give Me Life According to Your Word
Psalm 119 admonishes us to read God’s word, delight in His word, and obey His word. Revelation from God in the Bible – when understood, delighted in and obeyed – puts us on the path that leads to genuine life.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- What was one thing from this message that was particularly helpful or insightful? What was one thing that was difficult to understand or put into practice?
- Read and discuss Psalm 119:1-8, 33-40. What do you observe about the nature of God? What is implied in these verses about the nature of man? What do these verses tell us about God’s word?
- How would you respond to Pastor Ed’s three questions – Do you (currently) read God’s word daily? Do you (currently) delight in His word, the Scriptures? Do you (currently) obey God’s word?
- What does it mean to hide God’s word in your heart (Psalm 119:11)?
- Can you think of a time when the word of God gave you comfort or ministered to you specifically during a difficult season or situation?
- How does the word of God free us from guilt & shame and show us the path to life?
- In Psalm 119:33-37, what are the five requests the psalmist makes as he approaches God’s word? How can you incorporate these into how you approach the word?
- What does it mean to delight in God’s word? What should you do if you have no delight in it?
- How might your love for God’s word be kindled or re-kindled through Scripture memorization? Discuss as a small group if you would be willing to work together this summer to memorize the Scripture memorization packet provided with this teaching (these are available at the Welcome Desk if you did not get one on 5/18.)
Last weekend as part of his Revolutionary Love series, Pastor Mike shared a reading based on 1 Corinthians 13. Since many asked for a copy of it, here it is below.
Thank you for being patient with me and all my shortcomings. Your kindness has worked its way into my heart. The way you genuinely rejoice when others are blessed instead of being envious has taught me to follow your example. Your lack of boasting and pride make me feel safe to be around you. Your gentle spirit erases the painful rudeness of life. I am drawn to you because you are never self-seeking and desire to bless me above yourself. You never seem angry when I fail you, which has been a model for me to do the same. Thank you for not rehearsing my wrongs as your love has covered a multitude of my sins. You draw daily from the tree of life and shun evil which so refreshes my very being. I love the way you rejoice in the truth because knowing the truth sets me free. You so desire to protect my reputation and character which allows me to focus on the Lord. Your consistent trust in me has made me feel very special and the fact that your hope in my success always perseveres. Your love simply never fails. You make me feel like I am the greatest because the greatest of these is love.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (Matthew 26:26-30)
What an incredible picture: our Savior singing praises alongside his disciples. That’s a passage I have passed by many times and never really thought about. But it’s absolutely magnificent.
Why did Christ and his disciples sing? Why do we sing? Singing together tends to bind us together. It enables us to spend extended periods of time expressing the same thoughts and the same passions. Singing can help us use words to demonstrate and express our unity – our unity as believers, our unity as a church.
Scripture doesn’t only speak about congregational singing–but it is clear that a dominant theme of Scripture is believers singing together (2 Samuel 6:1-23, Psalm 95:1-2, 100:1-2, Acts 16:25, Romans 15:9, Hebrews 2:12, Hebrews 13:15). We are called to sing together. The question is not, “Do you have a voice?” The question is, “Do you have a song?” If you are redeemed by Christ’s cross then you do have a song.
So why do we sing? One simple reason: God deserves our praise. This is good, this is right, and this is true. But worshiping the Lord is something that we each must decide to do for ourselves. We choose to sing. And yet, by our actions, we often decide that He should not receive something that He declares He wants. But we must not withhold from the Lord the glory that is due to Him.
We sing together to shift the allegiance of our hearts from the kingdom of self to the Kingdom of God. We sing together to realize there’s something more important in life than our own plan and our own pleasure: The glory of God.
That’s why we sing. May we sing loudly. May we sing freely. May we sing together.