Day Five

Week Five - Day Five
Share God’s Truth

LISTEN

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 - Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

LEARN

Deuteronomy 6:4 is the beginning of The Shema, the most important prayer in Ju- daism. Shema is the Hebrew word for “Hear” or “Listen.” In this section of Deuter- onomy, Moses had just finished reminding Israel of the laws they must obey in order to be blessed by being in right relationship with God. He commanded them to teach and share with others how to be in right relationship with God. Moses instructed them to be talking about the laws constantly all the time. Binding them “as a sign on your hand” or “as frontlets between your eyes” meant keeping God’s word at the forefront of their minds and with hands that were ready to complete the laws. For the Israelites, knowing and living out God’s word were inseparable.

This passage from Deuteronomy certainly applies to Christians as well. In Mark 12, Jesus repeated part of The Shema in his response to the lawyer who asked about the greatest commandment (Mark 12:28-34). In that section of Mark, Jesus closely tied the love of God with the love of others. Moses had tied the love of God with obeying his commands. (By the way, so does Jesus in John 15.)

What Moses wrote about in Deuteronomy 6 and what Jesus confirms for us sheds some light on how we might follow God: simply talk about how much you love God! Whatever you are doing, talk about God while you are doing it. Sitting, standing, walking, sleeping - whatever! “...for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

It doesn’t matter what we are doing - teaching/disciplining our children, talking to our neighbors and friends, or buying groceries from the clerk at the grocery store - when we treasure God and his word, it is easy to share with others - it simply spills out of us. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34).

LIVE

  • How can you treasure God's word in such a way that it's on the frontlets of your eyes and bound to your hands? What connection is there between loving God, loving his commands and loving others?
  • Who will you share the treasure of God's word with today? Consider finding a friend to memorize Scripture with this week or asking God for opportunities to share about him and his word.

Day Four

Week Five - Day Four
Write it on your Heart

LISTEN

Psalm 119:9-40 - How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it accord- ing to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me! My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times. You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments. Take away from me scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies. Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes. Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes! Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me. I cling to your testimonies, O Lord; let me not be put to shame! I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart! Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared. Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good. Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

LEARN

Did you know that Psalm 119 is a love poem about God’s law? Not only that, but it is an acrostic every line within a stanza begins with the same letter from the Hebrew alphabet and there is a stanza for each letter! This is no tongue-in-cheek limerick paying a token of tribute to God’s law, but rather, it is a deeply thoughtful, passion- ate, and creative outpouring of worship for God’s law. The Psalmist says that God’s commands “...have set my heart free” (v. 32). The Psalmist so tenderly treasures God’s word that he not only “meditates on [God’s] precepts” and “considers [God’s] ways” (v. 15), but he also recites them (v. 13) and has “hidden it in his heart” (v. 11). The Scriptures contain the written instruction for us to live in relationship with our Creator. His word is a blessing to us.

LIVE

• What portion of Scripture causes you to respond and love God’s word, as the Psalmist does? What Scriptures will you practice reciting or “write on your heart” this week? If you don’t know where to start, try Psalm 119:9-16, Romans 1:16-17 or 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Day Three

Week Five - Day Three
God’s Truth Revealed

LISTEN

Luke 24:26-32 - “Was it not necessary that the Christ should su er these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

Hebrews 9:13-15 - For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit o ered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that re- deems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

LEARN

In Jesus’ life, he explained that he was not creating a new order, but was fulfilling the requirements that God has set for his people (Matthew 5:17). It’s in his walk to Emmaus with his disciples that he explicitly describes how he is the fulfillment of the whole of the Old Testament. God had promised a Redeemer to reconcile his people to himself. Human sin separates us from God, but God had promised a Savior that would bring us back in right relationship with God. The Jews thought this meant another earthly king. But in the writings of Moses and the Prophets, God taught that the payment for sin was innocent blood (Leviticus 5:5-13). The writer of Hebrews agrees with the Old Testament laws: “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Heb 9:22). The Jewish people didn’t seem to understand that the sacrificial system in the book of Leviticus was temporary; it could never fully atone for our sin. A perfect sacrifice had to be made in order to be redeemed for eternity.

Even before Jesus was born, Isaiah’s prophecy foretold his su ering (Isaiah 53:3-5). Perhaps it was with this Scripture on his mind that Jesus starts his Bible study with a question, ”Wasn’t it necessary that the Christ should su er these things?” Every- thing Jesus said and did perfectly matched God’s word (John 7:16). He was the fulfillment of prophecy and everything God had promised. He is the way we are brought back into right relationship with our creator God.

LIVE

Spend 5 or more minutes journaling of God's faithfulness in your life. How does believing God keeps his promises help you to endure difficulties that come your way? How can you help others rely on God's promises in times of trials?

Day Two

Week Five - Day Two
What is Truth?

LISTEN

Luke 24:13-18 - That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from rec- ognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

Luke 24:25 - And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!”

LEARN

Can you picture the scene? As Jesus joins the disciples on their walk, he casually asks what they are discussing. The two men are so surprised their companion is naive, they actually stop walking. “Are you the only visitor who does not know?” they ask. As evidenced by their re-telling in verses 19-24, these men know the facts. They even describe the empty tomb and an angel telling of the resurrection (vv. 22-23). If these men had understood Jesus’ words about his death and resurrection, they would not be confused, sad and defeated - they would be rejoicing! Despite the fact that Jesus repeatedly told his followers that he would rise again (Mark 8:31, Mark 9:31, Mark 10:33-34, John 2:19, John 11:25-26), they didn’t wholly understand. Mark 9:32 says, “But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.”

Jesus’ followers were expecting an earthly king that was prophesied about in Gen- esis 49:8-10 and 2 Samuel 7:16. For their Messiah to su er, die, and resurrect did not fit the Jews’ expectation for their king. It did not fit their understanding of ”truth” even though it had been foretold many years before Jesus was born.

Isaiah 53 is a text that speaks prophecy about the coming Messiah. Isaiah describes a Savior who su ers and dies; but, in verses 10-12, he also describes this Savior to “see his o spring” (v. 10), have a long life (v. 10), and be given a hefty reward for his work (v. 12). These are not things of a dead Savior, but one whose death has brought victory. It is possible that the Jewish concept of the Messiah being a political king was an Old Testament understanding mixed with the beliefs of neighboring nations. Moses prophesied a Savior similar to himself, with leadership of the nation. It had been promised to David that the Messiah would be from his royal line. But, the whole understanding of who the Messiah would be was not understood by the two disciples on the road. It required Jesus to correct their understanding with the Scriptures.

LIVE

  • What false "truths" (acceptable social opinions, political ideologies, scientific theories, etc.) are you clinging more to than God's word about himself?
     
  • What would happen if you believed all of what the scriptures say? If this is difficult to understand, consider some of Jesus' teaching in Matthew 5-7.  

Day One

Week Five - Day One
Truth to be Treasured

Listen

Luke 24:17-32 - And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him.

But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of an- gels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should su er these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

Learn

As these two disciples set out for Emmaus, trying to make sense of Jesus’ death, they had no idea that God himself was going to meet them along the way. Jesus joins their conversation and does something interesting: he explains how all the prophecies of Moses and the Prophets were fulfilled through the death and resur- rection of Jesus. Why didn’t Jesus simply reveal himself to prove that he had risen and to convince them that he was the Messiah? Why did he go to the Scriptures to show them the truth?

These Hebrew men had grown up learning and believing the Old Testament writings; they believed wholeheartedly that God had spoken through Moses and the prophets. These Old Testament writings gave the disciples revelation of who God was and how they were to respond to God. These men truly believed the prophecies which stated that one day a new king would arrive from the line of David (2 Samuel 7). The Scriptures of the Old Testament were the revelations of God in writ- ten form, while Jesus was the revelation of God in human form. John 1 explains how the “word” of God “became flesh” (vv. 1-18).

Jesus knew that seeing the glory of God does not cause someone to believe; how- ever, in John 11, Jesus explained that believing allows us to see the glory of God. These verses share the story of Jesus raising his friend, Lazarus, from the dead. When Lazarus’ sister, Martha, hesitated to open her dead brother’s grave, Jesus responded, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” Even among those who personally witnessed Jesus raising a man from the dead, there were some who doubted (John 11:46).

So, how does one believe? Paul writes that “faith comes from hearing, and hear- ing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). We can see that God has written a beautiful story through Moses, the prophets and the apostles that allows our hearts to come alive to his truth!

Although the two men walking from Jerusalem didn’t initially realize their companion was Jesus, their hearts still responded to his revelation about himself. This confirmation in their hearts was evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work. As we recognize the revelation of God within his word, God confirms its truth within our hearts. He begins to give us a hunger and a thirst for his word; a longing to know him more that only he can satisfy (John 4:14). As Psalm 119:103 describes, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

Live

  • This past week how did your heart respond to God's word?
  • Is his word sweet to taste or more like a chore?
  • Where do you need Jesus to reveal truth in your life? If you don't know, go to him in prayer and ask him to show you. 
  • Spend some time in prayer asking God to give you a hunger for his word. Record your responses and share with someone in your Discipleship Group or family. 

 

Week Five Discussion Questions

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  • How does your life reflect that you treasure the Bible?
     
  • What ways do you share God's truth with others?
     
  • Where do you tend to avoid sharing God's truth? Why?
 

ACTIVITY

Spend 15-20 minutes reviewing John 8:31-36. Use the Listen, Learn, Live worksheet to help you understand and apply this scripture to your life. Then gather back up into your discussion group and discuss your findings for 5-10 minutes. 

STEP 1: LISTEN - What does it say?
Pray and ask God to illuminate the Scriptures. Read the whole chapter, then re- read the verses indicated. Make note of key verses and repeated words.

Passage:

Key verses:

Repeated words:

 

STEP 2: LEARN - What does it mean?
Who; is the author? is speaking? is being spoken to?

What; does this say about God? about me or others?

When; does it take place? Where does it take place?

Are there; any commands to obey, sins to avoid, promises to believe?

Are there; any cause/e ect relationships or unique aspects of this Scripture?

 

STEP 3: LIVE - How does it apply to me and others?
Make an emotional connection with the Scripture. Journal your thoughts, meditate on it for a period of time, and/or pray through it until God’s truth models your mind, heart, and actions.

Conviction(s):

Do I embrace this truth in my heart? If not, where is there a Gospel disconnect? Do I have sin (commission & omission)? What does God desire for me?

How does this shape my view of God? How does this shape my view of myself? What happens if I believe this? What happens if I don’t believe this?

Response to my conviction

How can I live this out today?
What is stopping me from changing? How can I help bring about gospel change?

How can I bless others? Who may benefit from this?

 

Debrief

  • Spend the first 5 minutes in debrief answering the below questions to yourself. Then, share your responses with the group. Help each other grow as disciples by specifically sharing question #3.
     
  • What happened? Summarize the teaching and apprenticeship module in a few words. Were you encouraged or challenged by anything in particular?
     
  • How can you use today's teaching or apprenticeship module to disciple others in your Discipleship Group, home, workplace, family, etc?