Have you been amazed by something a little child said? Perhaps it was the way he explained how a toy worked. Or maybe it was the sharing of an exciting adventure. With their uncluttered minds and their simple, trusting ways, children often grasp things we adults miss.
Jesus knew this, and, although He taught profound truths, He taught simply - at a level any child could understand. And, He specifically asked His followers (not only those living during His earthly lifetime, but the many who would come later) to trust Him as little children would.
This is especially true with prayer. Jesus wanted His disciples to pray with this same childlike attitude to be as natural and as trusting as a child talking with his daddy. Jesus wasn't "religious" or showy like the religious leaders who prayed loud, repetitious prayers in public. The Bible tells us that He often slipped quietly away to commune alone with His Father. This communication with God, as we observe in Scripture, was Jesus' lifeline, His source of power for ministry. No wonder the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray!
Although God's book of love letters is called the Bible by most people, it has many other names as well: The Word, Scripture or the Scriptures, and The Law are just a few of them.
In the Bible, God shares how much He loves us and how much He knows about us, too.
The Scripture: Psalm 139:1-4
"O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord."
1. Name seven things God knows about us.
Isn't it wonderful to know we have a God who knows us so well? We shouldn't be surprised, however, because through the Bible we know that God is the one who created us.
However, God didn't just create us and leave us to do the best we could on our own. He gave us the Bible to be our guidebook.
The Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:16, 17
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training for righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2. What are some of the reasons God gave us the Bible?
3. What do you think "God-breathed" means?
"God-breathed" means that the writers of the Bible were men whom God inspired, or gave His mind and will to, so they, in turn, could share them with many others. This means that the Bible is very different from any other book in the world. Because it is made up of the intentions and purposes of God, we can't treat it like we do other books, deciding whether or not we will believe what is written. Although God used ordinary men to write the Bible. He is the real author.
The Bible has correctly been described by some as a map that shows us the way God wants us to walk during our lives.
The Scripture: Matthew 22:37-39
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."
4. What are the two most important commandments?
The Scripture: Matthew 6:31-33
"So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows you need them. But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
5. What are we supposed to seek first?
The Scripture: Psalm 34:12-14
"Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it."
6. What are we to turn from?
The Scripture: 1 John 1:9
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
7. What must we do to be forgiven?
The Scripture: 1 Peter 5:8,9
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same king of sufferings."
8. Who are we to resist?
The Scripture: Ephesians 4:2, 3
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."
9. What should our attitude be toward one another?
It will take us a lifetime to learn all the secrets of living given in God's word.
When we read the Bible, we find it has many things to tell us about itself. For one thing, as God's Word, it has great power.
The Scripture: John 6:63
"The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life."
10. What does Jesus say about His words?
The Scripture: John 8:31, 32
"To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
11. What will Jesus' teachings (the Bible) do if we hold to (believe) them?
Yes, the Word of God can give life or set us free. But that isn't all it does. Scripture tells us that it also has the power to heal, it gives faith, it cleanses, it restrains, it provides warning, it renews our life, it give us understanding and peace, and it helps keep us pure. Certainly no other book in the world has the power to do that.
Let's look at another aspect of its power.
The Scripture: Hebrews 4:12
"The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
12. What does this verse tell us God's Word is?
13. What does it do?
Did you know that anything could be that powerful? God's Word divides our soul and spirit so we can know the difference between our own thoughts and those God gives to our spirit. It also judges our thoughts and attitudes by telling us what they should be, and how we can change them if necessary.
Let's see what else God's love letters do.
The Scripture: Matthew 28:20b
"Surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age."
14. How long will God be with us?
Isn't it comforting to know that if we belong to God, He will be with us at all times, forever? One of the most wonderful things about God's Word is the comfort it gives. It tells us so many things about our relationship with God, how He will always take care of us, and be with us in all kinds of trouble, even when we are old.
The Scripture: Isaiah 40:8
"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."
15. How long will God's Word stand (last)?
The Scripture: Psalm 33:11
"The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations."
16. How are the plans of the Lord described?
The Bible tells us that God's Word is both eternal and unchanging.
Now that we have God's Word, what should we do with it to make it effective in our lives?
The Scripture: 2 Peter 3:2
"I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles."
17. What does this scripture tell us to do?
The Scripture: Psalm 119:127, 128
"Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path."
18. What should our attitude toward it be?
The Scripture: Psalm 1:1
"Blessed is the man...[whose] delight is in the law of the Lord."
19. What is another way we should feel toward God's Word?
The Scripture: John 8:31, 32
"To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to (obey) My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
20. What does this verse tell us to do with Jesus' teaching?
The Scripture: Joshua 1:8
"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.”
21. Finally, what should we do with it?
People throughout the ages have treasured these love letters from God. Are you ready to open your Bible and read what God has written to you?
- When we sit, when we rise, our thoughts, our going in, our lying down, all our ways, what we are going to say before we say it
- To teach us, rebuke us, correct us, train us in righteousness, equip us for every good work
- Inspired by God
- To love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbor as our self
- The Kingdom of God
- Confess our sins and forgive others
- The devil
- We should be at peace with one another
- They are spirit and they are life.
- Know the truth, and be set free
- It's living, active, sharper than any double-edged sword.
- It divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow, judges our thoughts and attitudes.
- They stand firm forever.
- Recall God's words.
- We should love it.
- We should delight in it.
- Hold to it - obey it
- Meditate on it
All scripture quotations in this publication are from the Holy Bible, New International Version
(unless otherwise indicated)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, New International Bible Society
© Aglow International 2007