Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Bait of Satan - Chapter 6 - Book Discussion

The Bait of Satan, Chapter 6 - Hiding From Reality

The author states that we should not leave a church out of offense, but wait upon the Spirit's leading so that we can depart peacefully without offense. The decision to leave a church depends on the will of God, not on the condition of the church, or how bad things are, or the behavior of other people.

You will know that you are released when you are at peace and don't feel the need to justify your departure to others.

We become children, or "teknon" of God when we receive Jesus as our Lord. "Teknon" means babies or immature sons. Baby/immature Christians are unlikely to follow the leading of the Spirit and tend to react selfishly to circumstances.

We become "huios," or mature sons, when we follow the leading of the Spirit instead of our own will.

Spiritual maturity and growth come as the result of obedience. We often flee from experiences that would cause us to grow spiritually, develop character, and heal hurts, because it's painful and uncomfortable for us. It means swallowing our pride and becoming humble, something that our flesh rebels against.

Sometimes God will release us from doing His will if we are intent on following our own will. However, as long as we are avoiding God's will, we will continue through the cycle of offense and remain trapped. The problem will not go away and, in fact, will affect other relationships. We can only be healed when we face the problem and seek healing and forgiveness.

Chapter 6 - Key Points/Bible Verses:

2 Timothy 3:7 - Some Christians never come to the knowledge of truth because they don't apply what they learn to their lives.

Isaiah 55:12 - When God instructs you to leave a church, you will go out in peace, regardless of the condition of the church.

Romans 8:15 - 16 - The word "children" in this verse is based on the Greek word, "teknon," which means a child by birth, or babies or immature sons. We become "teknon" of God by accepting Christ as our Savior.

Romans 8:14 - The word "sons" in this verse is based on the Greek word, "huios," which means one who can be identified as a son because he displays the characteristics of his parents. We become "huios" through spiritual maturity.

Hebrews 5:8 - Jesus was already a "huios," but learned obedience through the things He suffered.

1 Peter 4:1 - When we cease sinning, we become a mature Christian, choosing God's ways over our own.

John 20:23 - When we don't forgive others, we are holding on to offense.

1 Kings 18-19 - Sometimes God will allow us to flee a situation if our heart is set on it, even if it's against His will. God allowed Elijah to flee from Jezebel even though it was God's desire for Elijah to face her. God's will was then fulfilled in people other than Elijah.

Numbers 22 - Balaam's intent to follow his own desire was unshakable and caused God to release him.

Day 11 and Day 12 - Devotionals: Days 11 & 12, in the devotional at the back of the book, cover Chapter 6 of The Bait of Satan.

Describe a time when God released you from a church and allowed you to maintain peaceful relationships until you left.

This is not applicable to my situation.

What are you learning about suffering and obedience right now in the church in which you find yourself? How are you growing in your attitudes, thoughts and emotions so as to avoid taking up offense against others or God when you face suffering or are required to fulfill obedience?

Again, since I don't physically attend a church, but watch on TV from home, this really doesn't apply to me.

Complete the following sentences:

When I suffer, I respond: by feeling sorry for myself.

When I must obey, my attitude is: sometimes humble, sometimes rebellious.

Write a prayer surrendering all in obedience to God and offering yourself as a vessel willing to suffer for Christ:

Dear Father, Help me to be obedient to you, even when it means leaving my comfort zone. Give me the strength to stand alone when obeying you makes me unpopular with others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Read the following verses and jot down what they say to you about judging and blaming others:

Matthew 7:1-5 - The manner in which we judge others is the manner in which God will judge us.

Matthew 5:21-26 - We are not to hold anger against other people in our hearts. We need to seek peace and forgiveness.

Luke 6:36-37 - We are to be merciful to others as God is merciful to us.

Romans 2:1-2 - We should not judge others, for many of the things we judge we, ourselves, are guilty of.

Romans 12:17- 21 - Repay evil with good. Be kind to your enemies. Do not take revenge.

Romans 14:10-13 - Do not judge others. We will all stand before the judgement seat.

James 4:11-12 - Do not judge or speak evil of others.

Write a prayer asking for God's help to face offenses and not run from them:

Dear Father, Help me face offenses so that I can grow spiritually and become a mature Christian. I understand that as much as I hate adversity, it is necessary for me to grow and become more like You. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Chapter 6 - My Thoughts

This chapter was a clarifier for me. In Chapter 5, I had perceived that the author was telling us that we aren't to leave a church for any reason. In actuality, he is saying that shouldn't leave a church out of offense, but wait for God to release us from that church if that is what His desire is. That makes sense to me!

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