Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Bait of Satan - Chapter 7 - Book Discussion

The Bait of Satan, Chapter 7 - The Sure Foundation

This chapter marks our halfway point! Seven chapters down and seven more to go.

In this chapter, the author explains that the revealed Word of God is the foundation or "rock" in which we are to build our Christian lives. The revealed Word of God is an annointing; it comes to us when we open our hearts and receive what God says to us.

It is not just about reading and hearing the Word of God, but actively seeking wisdom from God and listening to what He places on our hearts. When listening to a minister preach or reading a Christian book or the bible, we should pay attention to words that seem to explode in our hearts and spirits.

Jesus used a parable of two houses, one built on a rock and another built on sand to illustrate two different kinds of people. Those whose foundation is built on a rock (the unveiled Word of God) are able to withstand adversity and weather the storms of life. Those whose house is built on the sand will crumble and fall when adversity strikes.

Chapter 7 - Key Points/Bible Verses:

Isaiah 28:16 - I believe the tried stone, the precious cornerstone, the sure foundation in this verse is referring to Jesus. Jesus is the living Word of God. When we have a strong foundation, we will not act in haste, but in wisdom and understanding.

Matthew 16:13, 15 - 17 - Jesus asks His disciples who the crowd is saying He is. He thens asks His disciples who they say He is. Only Simon Peter is able to answer. He says, "You are Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus tells Simon that it was God the Father who revealed Jesus' correct identity to him. Simon's answer was not based on the opinions of other people or by what he was taught.

1 John 2:27 - The annointing that we have received from God is within in us and teaches us.

Matthew 16:18 - Jesus will build His church on the rock, the foundation, the revealed Word of God. In this verse, Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter. The name Simon means "to hear" and the name Peter is derived from the Greek word "petros" which means "a stone." As the result of hearing the revealed Word of God, Simon became the substance of which a foundation is built with.

Psalm 119:130 - When His Word enters our hearts, it gives light and understanding.

Mark 4:16-17 - A repeat from previous chapters, that those who are not rooted or have a strong foundation are easily swayed and offended.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11, 24 - This verse explains the covenant of marriage. We are to stay with our spouse even if we were not a Christian when we were married and did not seek the counsel of the Lord when selecting a marriage partner.

1 Peter 2:5 - We are living stones. Stones are small pieces of a large rock.

1 Corinthians 3:11 - Jesus is the living Word of God; He is our foundation.

John 5:16 & John 6:15 - Jesus was being persecuted by religious leaders and the Jews. When His followers wanted to make Him king by force, He refused and walked away, which caused many of His followers to became offended.

John 6:53, 60, 61, 66 - Many of Jesus' followers didn't understand the statement He made in John 6:53, and therefore, became offended. After that, many of His disciples (but none of the original 12) refused to follow Him anymore. Those followers did not have the foundation of the revealed Word of God.

John 6:67-69 - Jesus confronts His 12 disciples and asks them if they, too, want to leave. Simon Peter once again confirms that he knows Jesus to be the son of God. In the face of adversity, Simon Peter stands firm in his beliefs and refuses to cave.

Day 13 and Day 14 - Devotionals: Days 13 & 14, in the devotional at the back of the book, cover Chapter 7 of The Bait of Satan.

How does the Word illuminate your life weekly? Check each of the following ways you hear God's voice for your life?

I checked: bible study, bible reading, preaching, teaching, reading Christian books.

When you hear a Word from God that contradicts a feeling, thought or behavior, what is your immediate response? Prioritize from most often (1) to least often (7):

I get angry: 5
I am confused: 2
I feel hurt: 3
I repent: 5
I rejoice in learning what God is saying: 3
I get offended: 4
I blame others or God: 6

Write a prayer thanking God for His Word and the many ways to illuminate it for your life:

Dear Father, Thank you for providing us with your steadfast Word. Help me to keep my heart open to hearing from You. Please bless me with wisdom and understanding. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Describe a time in your life when you took offense at the Word and did not obey. What were the consequences?

It's hard for me to think of a specific instance off hand, but what comes to mind is that until recently, I never took obedience to God's Word seriously. Throughout most of my life, I did what I wanted and that lifestyle came with some serious consequences. I would say the dominant consequences have been guilt, regret, and damaged relationships. I regret that I can never erase my actions or my words and have often felt plagued with guilt because of the sins I committed. However, I realize that through repentence, the blood of Jesus has washed away my sins and He has forgiven me.

Have you attempted to build a house on the sandy foundations of this world's system? Check any of the wordly foundations listed below that you have been tempted to use. Briefly describe the result:

I checked money, success, power, and possessions. These things were all important to me in my young adult years, however, I have found that nothing in life is permanent and that these things do not bring happiness. Everything here belongs to God and He has the authority to give and take at any given time. Therefore, I realize that I cannot base my happiness and spiritual well-being on things of this world.

Write a prayer asking God's Spirit to reveal His Word to you and to help you to build your life upon the Rock of Christ:

Dear Father, I open my heart to You and ask You to speak to me and reveal your Word to me. I believe that I have a good start in building my life upon the Rock. Please help me to stay strong and stand firm and to be like the house that was built on the rock. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Chapter 7 - My Thoughts

I love the story of Simon Peter. I love how he was so deeply rooted in his faith that when many of Jesus' followers left in offense, Simon Peter stood fast and firm. I love how Jesus recognized that in Simon Peter and gave him a new name.

Looking back on my life, I can see where many times I have abandoned my beliefs in order to be part of the popular majority. What actually comes to mind as I write this is a situation at my son's wedding this past year. My son made a specific request, which I passed onto others, and many people in my family did not honor it. Instead of speaking up about it, I chose to "keep the peace" by not saying anything. Looking back, I wish that I would have confronted those people, gently, but firmly.

I don't believe that I am carrying offense in my heart about this situation, I just wish that I had chosen to handle it in the way that I believe God would have wanted me to handle it. I know that I will face situations similar to this one in the future, and I pray that I will stand firm and strong and not waver.

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