Dr. E. Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston
Series: Get in the Game
Week 2 – I’m Open!
PDF file for printing: 09-15&16-2018
- Icebreaker: Share about a sports team rivalry that you grew up with or that you are now into as an adult – whether in football or any other sport.
- 2 Timothy was one of the last letters Paul wrote before he was killed for his faith in Jesus Christ. As one of the final writings of Paul’s life, this was important content. Read our Scripture for this series and work on memorizing it together as a group:
2 Timothy 3:16–17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
- When Paul wrote that the Bible is “God breathed,” he was reminding us that the Bible is both inspired and illuminating. Why is the Bible unique? Why is it worth giving the Bible special consideration in our lives?
- Proverbs 14:12 reads: There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Give examples of how you have observed the truth of this verse in our culture today.
Our focus this week is the phrase: “useful for teaching, rebuking and correcting.”
Useful for teaching
- There is something about reading the Bible that causes us to learn things we wouldn’t otherwise know. Share some things you’ve learned from the Bible that you wouldn’t have otherwise known.
- Read John 17:17: Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Jesus says that God’s word is truth. So if we want to know the truth, we should take time to get to know what God’s word says. Our culture is very confused these days about what is true and what isn’t. Do you believe that absolute truth exists, or do you think that truth is actually relative? Explain your answer.
- Read John 1:14: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Why is it important to balance grace and truth as you read God’s word?
Useful for rebuking
- A rebuke is an expression of disapproval. In our culture today, it’s out of fashion to say that anything is wrong. Why to people think that? Where do you think that kind of thinking comes from?
- Read Hebrews 12:5b-6: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Parents who discipline consistently and lovingly provide their children with a sense of security that helps them flourish. What problems arise when someone lives life without any rebuke?
Useful for correcting
- To correct is to help someone improve. If you’re willing, share about an area of your life where you would like to improve.
- Read Luke 8:4-15:
While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”
When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’
11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
- The hardened soil is a closed mind (see Luke 8:12)
- How can a person cultivate an open mind?
- It’s important to allocate time and space to listen to God’s word for ourselves. (see Luke 8:6)
- The shallow soil is a superficial mind (see Luke 8:13)
- The soil with weeds is a preoccupied mind (see Luke 8:14)
- How do you eliminate distractions so you can hear from God in His word?
- Part of being open is to cooperate with what God says (see Luke 8:15)
- Read James 1:22: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
What does James 1:22 add to your understanding of how to get the most out of reading the Bible?