Believing the Promises of God - in His Word

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. ~ Romans 4 [selected 18-21]

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

COME TO THE TABLE = Pathway to the Words of Jesus

"COME TO THE TABLE" = Pathway to the Words of Jesus
by Stephanie K. Brower © 2010

5-week Bible Study
The Cost of Being a Disciple_____LESSON 1

Luke 14:25-35 [NIV]
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said: 26 "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple."

Over the last 6 weeks we have been studying the Words that Jesus spoke while here on earth. My Bible study group traveled deep into the word of God - walking hundreds of miles with Jesus over the course of our study. We not only found ourselves in the gospels as you would consider the place to find Jesus' words - but we journeyed back in time to dig out backgrounds of why He said what He said.
The thing this study was meant to reveal was setting our hearts in a place to RESPOND to those Words that Jesus spoke to them - then - and to us - now! We saw these Scriptures in a new light - trying to feel what Jesus felt. We studied others as well - like John the Baptist - a figure that most people [believers and non-believers] know very little about and even if they do - they just don't consider much about him. Yet when we read about him [John the Baptist] through the words that Jesus spoke of him, we learned about the committed and devoted life that he lived - one that became a prime example and pattern for us to follow. Just like when Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ." We could say the same of John the Baptist in terms of his devotion to Jesus.

Jesus said this of John the Baptist:

Matthew 11:1-15
1After Jesus had finished instructing His twelve disciples, He went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.
2When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, He sent his disciples 3 to ask Him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
4Jesus replied,
"Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6 Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of Me."
7 As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings' palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written: " 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.' 11 I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 He who has ears, let him hear. [emphasis added]

We also saw how John's life tied the Old Testament to the NT with prophesy of his coming in Malachi [the last book of the OT] and the fulfillment of his life in the opening of the NT. God connected many dots for us through this study. We viewed special video clips [from simple truths®] which God gave us each week that tied in with our lessons. God's Word came alive in a new way because we saw, heard, smelled, tasted and touched a LIVING JESUS in our midst.

We ended our last [6th] week with our Bible study dinner last night. After we ate - we headed out to the Sanctuary Circle and ate a Communion meal together [following the example of Jesus] and reading from 1 Corinthians 11 - partook of the elements.

A thundershower came through before we headed out there around 8PM - and some had seen the rainbow that had appeared with it. The air was awash with freshness and newness of life. The earth had taken a long deep drink of the water poured down from heaven - reminding us of Isaiah 55:8-11.

Here are some other pictures of the sights and sounds of our last meal together:

Some of my girls!
A Dogwood Tree was Planted in Shepherd's Walk today as a Memorial
Thanking God that He completed this work!

This Memorial [Tree Planting] and the placing of 12 Stones of Remembrance
is significant to God's covenant and it also marks this day -
June 1st, 2010
as a New Season Beginning! ********************************
Along the Pathway = Before the Rains came down!
Our Communion Meal Prepared in little Napkin Envelopes!
One last pose! Back Row left to right: Lynne, Joan, Chris, Stephanie, Gwen, Claire

2nd Row: Mary D.

Seated: Donna A. Bonnie, Peggy, Donna P.

Not shown: We missed you Annette!


Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

thanks for sharing this with us Stephanie! I just love to see pictures - it really makes me feel like I am right there with you.

Great message here. May we all come to His table ready to partake of the power of His Holy Word.

Warren Baldwin said...

I know your class was uplifted. Looks like it was a great study and community-building experience.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I loved the tree and stones... a memorial indeed! I so wish I could have studied the Word with you and your gals. I'd love to be one of them.

Great talking with you today; I hope we can do it again soon. Perhaps I'll venture to Shepherd's Walk someday soon, maybe in the Fall, so I could rest and tend to the "depth".

You're a good friend. How glad I am to be sharing the kingdom road with you.

Prayers and peace`elaine

Melanie said...

I love the memorial.
Thank you again for a timely word in the card you recently sent. I do so want to hear Him singing over me.

prashant said...

Great message here. May we all come to His table ready to partake of the power of His Holy Word.
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