Sabbath School Lesson for August 8-17, 2020
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In order to understand how the Word of God blesses our ministry this week, we will explore…
- some symbols for God’s word (Sunday)
- the creative power found in God’s word (Monday)
- the benefits of studying God’s word (Tuesday)
- how to apply God’s word (Wednesday)
- how to share God’s word (Thursday)
One way to remember the importance of the word of God is to fully appreciate the fact that it is the fullest revelation of Jesus we have available to us. The primary goal throughout the Scriptures is to reveal Jesus as the Savior of the world. The Son of God is so intertwined with the Scriptures that He is actually referred to as the Word (John 1:1).
Our goal in sharing God’s word then is not to share our doctrinal beliefs or even to learn how to live our lives. It’s so much more than a “how-to” manual, as we may have thought of it in the past. Its purpose must constantly be to bring us to the feet of Jesus. To allow us to feel God’s presence as we study its pages.
Memory Text: ” ‘So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’ “ Isaiah 55:11 NKJV
God is truly in charge of how the Bible is received by those we witness to, as well as what we extract from it ourselves. Only with devout prayer can we be sure to understand what Jesus would have us know from His word. Only God can enable us to get the blessing we need from reading and studying the Bible. Without the Holy Spirit, we are powerless to benefit from its teachings.
Sunday: Symbols of God’s Word
The Bible serves so many functions that several symbols are used to describe it. These symbols help us visualize and remember how we are blessed by studying the message it contains.
This message is clearly centered on Jesus Christ, the Messiah. So thoroughly connected are the Scriptures and our Savior that most of these symbols are also used to represent the Son of God.
- lamp (Psalm 119:105)–Jesus (the Light of the World, John 1:9)
- fire and a hammer (Jeremiah 23:29)
- seed (Luke 8:11)–Jesus (Galatians 3:16)
- bread (Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3)–Jesus (John 6:35)
These functions are…
- to light up, illuminate, our life, showing us the way to salvation (a lamp)
- to consume sin, or get rid of it (fire)
- to break up our hard hearts, and build a new way of life (hammer)
- to help produce a harvest of life-giving blessings to share with others (seed)
- to continually satisfy our hungering souls for something more in life (bread)
Every one of these symbols are necessary tools for man’s survival, emphasizing the importance of systematic, engaged Bible study in our lives.
Bible Verses to Consider:
- Besides using a hammer to crush or pound something, how does it also aid in the building process?
- How can fire be a purifying, beneficial element, as well?
- How does light show us what darkness is?
- How does light expel, or get rid of, darkness?
- When does the seed, the word of God, become a source of life for us?
Monday: The Creative Power of God’s Word
The author of Hebrews summed up the creative power of God’s Son. Hebrews 1:1-3 points out Jesus’ creative ability. His life-giving, life-building, and life-sustaining power is clearly revealed to the reader of Hebrews. We get to know our High Priest as the Creator of our world. He not only represents us in the heavenly courts, He is the One responsible for our existence.
The Son of God spoke words that brought our world to life. His word, contained in the Bible, also brings us a new life, when we believe and follow His counsel.
Every command there is a promise. A promise that we can be transformed into His likeness, which was God’s desire from the very beginning (we were made in His image–Genesis 1:27).
Psalm 33:6, 9
- Why is creative power also needed to sustain life?
- In what ways could breathing also be a symbol of God’s word?
Hebrews 4:12 and Ephesians 6:17
- Why is a sword also a good symbol for God’s word?
Tuesday: The Benefits of Studying God’s Word
Here are some benefits of studying the Bible. The Bible…
- helps us be more like Jesus–we become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4)
- shows us how to be saved–the word is “able to save your souls” (James 1:21)
- builds us up, making us ready for heaven, our “inheritance” (Acts 20:32)
- reveals truth and exposes error–is “profitable for doctrine” (2 Timothy 3:16)
- corrects our faults–“for reproof” (2 Timothy 3:16)
- changes our thinking–“for correction” (2 Timothy 3:16)
- points us to Christ’s righteousness and shows how to make it our own (2 Timothy 3:16)
- prepares us to serve others–equipping us for good works (2 Timothy 3:17)
2 Corinthians 3:18 reminds us that we are changed into what we look at. What we focus on, dwell on, does eventually change us into that image. This makes focusing on God’s word of utmost importance. We cannot neglect making the Bible a central part of our daily life.
And the Bible must also be the center of our witnessing. Witnessing is not about sharing our own ideas and words, but about sharing the Word of God. Preaching the Bible, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, is what gives our witnessing its power. The benefits are from that source alone. They come from God and His word.
Bible Verses to Consider:
2 Timothy 3:14-17
- What specific ways has the Bible impacted your life?
- Why does the world hate the messages given to us in the Bible?
2 Corinthians 3:18
- How does Bible study draw us away from the things of the world?
Wednesday: Applying God’s Word
Studying God’s word and actually using it to make a difference in our life are two distinct goals. Before we share the truths in the Bible, we must apply them to our daily practice. As James 1:22 tells us, we must “be doers of the word, and not hearers only”.
Our faith allows us to act on what we learn in the Bible. The promises in the Bible (more than three thousand of them) are all we need to experience true, saving grace. These promises include being forgiven, cleansed from doing wrong, and strengthened to withstand the trials of life. Yes, God cares so deeply for us that He’s even promised to provide for all our needs.
The Bible reveals to us a God who loves us enough to forgive us, who has the power we need to handle our many challenges, and who is willing to provide us with all our basic needs when we ask Him to come into our hearts and fill us with His Spirit.
Why would we not want to serve a God with such attractive qualities–who provides us with so much in return for our loyalty and devotion?
Bible Verses to Consider:
1 John 1:7-9 and Philippians 4:13, 19
- What are we told to do, and what has God promised to do for us?
- What makes it possible for us to have all our needs supplied?
- What’s the difference between a need and a want?
Hebrews 4:2 and 11:6
- In what ways do we show a lack of faith in God?
- Why is it important to believe in God, before He can bless us?
Matthew 13:58 and 17:20
- How do we prevent Christ from working for us?
- How much faith is needed before God will act in our behalf?
Thursday: Sharing God’s Word
How excited we can be when it comes to sharing joyful events in our life–such as becoming a parent or grandparent, getting a new job, car, or house we had longed for. We want to share shout the good news from the rooftops–to share it with everyone!
When we first embark on a real relationship with God or discover new truths in the Bible, we also feel compelled to share that feeling of joy and discovery with everyone we meet. There is a compelling desire to let everyone know what we’ve experienced or learned.
As Peter, when confronted by the authorities and told to stop preaching about Jesus, we want to say we “cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Like Paul, we are “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ” (Romans 1:16)
Sharing God’s word becomes natural to us. We may be clumsy in our efforts, but our sense of enthusiasm will go far in promoting God’s love to others. They will catch a glimpse of heaven, when they see it on our face and practiced in our actions.
Bible Verses to Consider:
Isaiah 50:4 and 2 Timothy 4:2
- How do these verses show that God expects us to share His word?
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7 and Proverbs 15:23
- How do we know when it is the right season to talk to someone about the Bible?
The Holy Spirit has proven to be an active partner in our witnessing efforts on every front. He provides us with opportunities, skills, miraculous interventions, spiritual gifts worth sharing, and, as we learned this week, the message from God, neatly packaged in the sacred pages of the Scriptures.
We don’t have to invent the material worth sharing to the world. It’s all right there for us in His holy word. The Bible is the main instrument in our witnessing tool box. It alone brings to life the plan of salvation to thirsting souls.
Studying and understanding the truths in the Bible must be the center of our devotional life and ministry. Those truths, seen lived out in the life of a Christian, become the magnet that draws people to God.
The promises in God’s word give us strength and courage to forge ever-widening opportunities to witness. The examples throughout the Bible encourage us to stay on the path of righteousness and bring others into Christ’s fold with us. Keeping our eyes focused on the Good Shepherd changes us into witnesses, who serve as shepherds themselves.
Next Week’s Lesson: Ministering Like Jesus
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