GBL-2 - Passion for Bible Study
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GREAT BIBLE LESSONS
GREAT BIBLE LESSONS
“Great Bible Lessons: Lesson 2”
Introduction by narrator accompanied by a cappella singing:
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. Spreading the soul-saving message of Jesus. And now,
What is it that separates Christians from those who just claim the
name of Christ? Friend, it's the way they live that makes us special. It's the
way Christians live that make us unique, and today we're going to talk
about daily Christian living.
We hope you get your Bible as we study this very important subject
In Luke 9:23, Jesus said, “If any man desires to come after me, let
him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
What makes Christians unique? What makes their lives stand out?
What makes it something that ought to be attractive to the world and God
glorifying? The way we live ought to be that answer to the questions that
we've mentioned. Christians ought to live for Christ every day.
Now friend, I know there are those who may dress nice on Sunday. I
know there are those who may proclaim and pretend that they're
Christians. But to really be a follower of Christ, it's a part of my life every
hour of every day. Daily Christian living is one of the great principles that
we read about in the New Testament.
Today we want to think about this wonderful idea of what it really
means to live for Christ every day.
I suspect that every follower of Christ wants to know the answer to
this good question- What do I need to do as a Christian every day to be
faithful to the Lord? Friend, we hope to look to the Bible today and let God
give us the answer.
Now, let's notice the requirements. First of all from Luke 9:23, what
does it really mean to take up our cross daily? First, you've got to have that
desire to live for Christ every day. Watch what Jesus says in Luke 9:23
again, “If any man desires to come after me,” there first of all, in the heart of
man, has to be that strong desire, that overriding emphasis in one's life that
more important than anything else is to do the will of God. I know Paul had
that. Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is
gain.” That needs to be in my mindset. “Be faithful into death,” Revelation
2:10. Live for Christ, more than anything else. I want to have the mindset of
I want to seek the kingdom above all else, Matthew 6:33.
Friend, we ask ourselves today, do we really want to do God's will
above all else? Acts 9:6, the apostle Paul, or Saul at the time, asked a
great, great question that I got to ask myself every day. ‘Lord, what would
you have me to do?’ That's what we're talking about today. In a practical
sense, on a daily level, where the rubber meets the road, what does God
want me to do every day? Do we really have that strong desire to do God's
will? Really we're asking above all else, do I love the Lord first?
What's the greatest commandment? Jesus was asked that very
question by a lawyer in the New Testament. In Mark 12:30 He answered,
“The first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all
your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength.” This
is the first and great commandment. Above all else, do I love God? Am I
willing to sacrifice? Do I have that desire? Friend, here's what we're asking
today- More than anything else in your life, do you desire to go to heaven
first? Do you really desire to put God first? That's what Jesus is
emphasizing at the very outset of Christian living. I'm not talking about one
foot in the church. I'm talking about real commitment above all else to the
Lord and Savior.
Secondly, Jesus said for us to live for Him every day. Not only must
we have an overriding desire to do that, I've got to deny self. Listen to Luke
9:23 again. Jesus said, “If any man desires to come after me, let him deny
himself.” Friend, to really have practical daily Christian living as the theme
and the motto for my life and yours, I've got to be willing to deny selfish
interest, wants and desires. This is a theme that is mentioned over and
over again in the New Testament. Do you remember Romans 12:1? The
apostle Paul said, “I beg you, by the mercies of God, that you present your
bodies a living sacrifice. Holy, and acceptable to God, which is your
reasonable service. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good, and
acceptable, and perfect will of God.” What did Paul say about our life in
Romans 12:1? “Present your bodies a living sacrifice.” There's the idea.
We talk about denial of self. We're talking about laying our self, laying our
body, on the altar of service for God, and that God and Christ and His will is
going to come first. If that means I got to deny myself, I'm willing to do that
for Jesus Christ. Paul thought about it this way in Galatians 2:20, when he
said, as he looked as his Christian life, “I've been crucified with Christ. No
longer I who live, Christ lives in me. The life which I now live in the flesh, I
live by faith in the Son of God who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
That old man, the old desires, the old selfish wants and sinful
attitudes, when crucified with Christ, no longer I who live. That's what the
apostle Paul said. 2 Corinthians 5 tells us the motivating factor for that. 2
Corinthians 5:14-15 says, ‘The love of Christ compels us because we judge
thus, that if one died for all. He died for all that they who live should no
longer live for themselves, but live for him who died for them and rose
again.’ There's the mindset. When I think about God's amazing love, it
causes me to die to self, and live for God and live for Christ every day.
There's a group of people in the Bible in 2 Corinthians, chapter 8, that
are going to be commended as very liberal, very generous givers. Here's
why they can do that. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 8:5, “They first gave
themselves to the Lord.” Paul would put it this way. Here's the daily aspect.
I die daily. That's what we're talking about. You see, when we think about
living for Christ, when we think about that denial of self, this is what our life
is about as a Christian. No longer living for our interest, our desires, our
wants, fulfilling man's passion and every whim and desire, but it's to be
lived for God. When I obeyed the gospel, did we (live) realize that's what I
promised to do? “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy
Spirit who is in you? Whom you have from God?” Listen to this, “and you
are not your own.” What do you mean, Paul? “For you are bought at a
price. Therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are His.”
I need to deny self, because now, since I've been bought with that
great price, I'm no longer going to live and act and talk the way I used to.
Thirdly, as we think about the mindset and the readiness and what it
really means to live daily for Christ, I got to have a strong dedication to
follow Jesus. Listen to what the Lord said again, “If any man desires to
come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow
me.” I’ve got to have that dedication to take up that cross and follow Jesus
every day. Peter said it this way in 1 Peter 2:21, “To this, were we called,
because Christ also suffered and died for us, leaving us an example that
we should follow in his footsteps.” There's the mindset. I want to follow in
the footsteps of Christ every day. I want to imitate Paul as he imitated
Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1. I want to be like those in Revelations 14:4 who
followed the lamb, whosesoever He went. That's the attitude, that's the
mindset, that's the commitment. Wherever Jesus goes, I want to go. The
way Jesus talked, the way He acted, I want to emulate and have the
dedication in my life to follow the Savior to the best of my ability.
Now, once we have that mindset, once we realize the ingredients, an
overriding desire to follow Christ. A denial of self and a complete dedication
to the Lord. What aspects are there then of daily Christian living? Here's
what we're asking. When we look to the Bible, what does the Bible say are
some things the child of God should do every day? What's part of the
ingredients of daily Christian living?
Well friend, the Bible first of all says daily Bible study is a part of daily
Christian living. Let's notice Acts 17:11. It is said of the Bereans, “These
were more fair minded than those in Thessalonica.” Why? “In that they
received the Word with all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures.”
Here's the word, “daily, to see if these things were so.” What does the Bible
say is a part of daily Christian living? Daily Bible study. Friend, are you
reading your Bible regularly? That's a part of daily Christian living according
to the scripture. Am I studying my Bible? Am I taking time to read the word
of God? Am I being encouraged and strengthened by the scriptures?
Here's the value of that. John 8:32, it's the truth that sets us free.
“You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” 2 Timothy 2:15
tells us, we want to study not only to be free, but to show ourselves
approved unto God. The heart of the righteous studies how to answer,
Proverbs 15:28. I want to be ready always to give an answer for everyone
who asks a reason of the hope that is within me with meekness and with
fear. “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to
your Word. Your Word I've hid in my heart that I might not sin against you,”
Psalm 119:10-12. Here's some things that the Bible says ought to be part
of every Christian's life every day. Friend, Bible study ought to be right up
at the top of that. Let's look at our lives, let's ask ourselves, let's be honest-
Am I studying my Bible like I ought to? Remember it's the Lord who said,
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from
the mouth of God,” Matthew 4:4.
If I had to stand before the Lord and give an account of how much
I've studied my Bible, how would I fare? How strong am I as a Christian?
The Bible gives us strength. Bible ignorance is one of the things the
scripture clearly teaches as contrary to the will of God, and I want to make
sure that unlike the people in Hosea 4:6, that I'm not destroyed for a lack of
Secondly, as we think about things a Christian ought to do every day,
let's realize that daily evangelism ought to be a big part of that. Acts
chapter 5, the apostles have been beaten. They've been told in Acts
chapter 4, ‘we don't want you speaking about the name of Jesus.’ They're
eventually going to be imprisoned by that because of that. In Acts chapter
5, now they've been beaten and they've been told again, ‘don't fill
Jerusalem with this doctrine. Don't be speaking about Christ anymore.’
Here's what the Bible says they did. You might think they might throw in the
towel or give up. The Bible says, “After they were beaten and released, and
daily, (there's that word), daily in the temple, and from house to house, they
cease not teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”
As I look to my Christian life every day, what's one of the things I
need to do? I need to find, look for, and make opportunities to spread the
good news of Jesus Christ. What a privilege that is! Jesus said, “Go into all
the world, preach the gospel unto every creature,” Mark 16:15. Go to all
nations, Matthew 28:18. “Him we preach, warning every man, teaching
every man, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus,”
Colossians 1:28. Think about the people in your life and the people in my
life. My family, my friends, my coworkers, those that I come in contact with
on a regular basis every day-that's a mission field. Those are opportunities.
Those are people that I can impact with the good news of Jesus every day.
It's something I ought to want to do. 1 Peter 2:9 says that “we've been
called out of darkness to proclaim the praises of him who called us out of
that darkness into his marvelous light.” That's one of the reasons I've been
called as a Christian, is to share the message of Jesus Christ. Like in the
book of Acts, Acts 8:4, Christians went everywhere preaching the word. We
need to have that same mindset that we're going to go as far and as wide
as we can to tell others the saving message of our Lord and Savior, Jesus
As we think about practical Christianity, something I can do every day
for the Lord, not only can I study my Bible, but I can also look for
opportunities to say to someone, ‘Have you heard the good news about
Jesus? Have you studied your Bible? Are you sure you're a Christian? Do
you want to have the hope and joy of forgiveness in your life? Would you
like to sit down and study and see what the scripture says about God's plan
of salvation?’ Friend, while there may be those who don't hear, my
responsibility is simply to sow the seed. My responsibility is simply to try to
share God's Word with him. Whether they respond properly relies on their
heart and their desire, but I have that wonderful privilege to share the good
news with others.
Then a third aspect of daily Christian living that the Bible identifies is
prayer. How much are you praying every day in your Christian life? Friend,
the Bible teaches that prayer ought to be a part of every Christian's life
every day. Listen to Psalm 86:3. The psalmist said these words: “I cry unto
you daily.” The psalmist knew how important prayer was. “The effective
fervent prayer of a righteous man, it overcomes much.” This is why Paul
would say, in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” Jesus would
say, “Men ought to pray always and never lose heart”, Luke 18:1. This is
why, as we think about the model for everyday Christian living, the Bible
says in Mark 1:35, of Jesus’ own day, in the morning, a great while before
daylight, He departed, went to a solitary place, and there prayed. Jesus
saw it fitting to pray every day. The Bible says we ought to be a people of
prayer. Think about what prayer does for us. Prayer takes Christians before
the throne of God. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the
throne of grace, that we might find grace and mercy to help in time of
need.” There's help to be had. I can approach the very throne of grace
through the avenue of prayer.
So as we think about Bible study and evangelism, let's also include
as part of our Christian life, prayer. How much are we praying? You know,
we sing about prayer, we preach about it, we talk about praying, we believe
in it, but do we really practice? Do we really make it a part of our everyday
life? We need God's help. We need God's strength. We need wisdom. “If
any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,” James 1:5. We need to be a
people of prayer. Great men and women of the Bible who we think about
that conquered great battles, that won victories on behalf of God, that were
faithful to the Lord- you also look at their life, and these were people of
prayer as well.
Another aspect of Christian living on a daily level is we need daily
encouragement and daily exhortation. The Hebrew writers talking to
Christians in Hebrews 3:12-13, some of whom are contemplating going
back to the world. Some of whom are thinking about giving up on Christ,
giving up on their faith, and he says, instead of giving up, we need to
encourage one another every day. Listen to Hebrews 3:12-13. The writer
says, “Beware brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief
and departing from the living God, but exhort or encourage one another
daily, while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the
deceitfulness of sin.”
Every Christian needs encouragement. In the Old Testament, Moses
needed encouragement. God put Moses in battle, and He told him that as
long as his hands were held up, they'd win the battle; but when Moses'
hands begin to sag, and become weary, they propped hands up. He
needed that encouragement and help and strength. Friend, I need the
same today, and so do you. We need to encourage, try to be an
encourager. Barnabas, in the Bible, is known as the son of encouragement.
He was evidently very good at encouraging others, and every day, I need
to look for opportunities to encourage someone and to strengthen those
who I can to help in any way as a child of God.
A fifth aspect of daily Christian living is daily benevolence. Acts 6:1,
we read of in the New Testament, those who are helping the Grecian
widows, and the Bible says those who are being neglected that there was a
daily distribution for them. When you read about Christianity, Christianity is
all about helping others and doing good, isn't it? Those who are poor, those
who are needy, those who are hurting, those who are sick, as a child of
God, I need to look for opportunities in my life to do good. Isn't that part of
real Christianity anyway? What's pure religion all about? If I said to you,
break down Christianity, and one of its purest forms. What would it be?
“Pure and undefiled religion, before God the Father is this: to visit, (and that
word means to take care of, not just go over and say hi), to visit the widows
and the orphans in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the
world.” In its purest form, Christianity is doing good and helping others.
How do we know that? Well that's the model Jesus set, right? Jesus fed the
hungry. He healed the sick. He helped those who were having problems.
He did good to all men. Why do you think it's said of Jesus, “The common
people heard him gladly?” Mark 12:37. Because those are the very people
who Jesus was with day in and day out. He helped them. He healed their
sick. He fed those who were hungry. He cast out demons of those who are
were possessed. Every Christian needs to look for opportunities to help the
needy and help the poor.
Why do we want to do that? To just fill their stomach, to make them
feel better? No, because we want them to see the love of God. We want
them to see the love of Christ, and we want to make an impact in their life
and open a door to share the gospel with them. Benevolence is not an end
in and of itself; it is a means to do good, to show the love of God, to help
people see the good news of Jesus Christ.
Now, what is it in view of all that we've talked about today, in daily
Christian living, what is it then that motivates me that kind of gives me a
push? A motivation every day to want to live for Christ? Even on those
days when maybe things don't go right, or maybe I'm a little more sluggish
or maybe I just need somebody to kind of push me, what is it that motivates
me every day to live for Christ?
Friend, I'm motivated in view of the second coming of Christ, and the
end of the world. God has appointed a day in which He'll judge the world in
righteousness, Acts 17:30-31. He's given a proof of that by Jesus Christ
that He is coming again to judge the world. Matthew 24:36 Jesus said,
“Heaven and earth will pass away. My words will never pass away.” There's
a great day coming when Christ is going to come to receive His own. We
don't know when that day's going to be. We know that this life is not going
to last forever, and friend, I want to be ready when the Lord comes so that I
can serve Him and so that I can be faithful to Him in every way.
As we think about today, this idea, and as we think about the coming
of the Lord, we want to think, are we ready for that day?
Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you. If I go to prepare a place
for you, I will come again and receive you to myself,” John 14:1-3. The
Bible teaches that when Christ comes. If we're alive when He comes, we're
going to be caught up with him in the air. Don't you want to be ready on
The Bible teaches clearly that this life is not going to last forever. ‘The
earth and all that's in it is one day going to be burned up.’ Friend, are you
living daily for Christ? Are you ready for the coming of our Lord?
James said in James 4:14, “What is your life? It's but a vapor that
appears for a little while, and then it vanishes away.” Life's short, life's brief,
I've got to make sure that I give my best to live for the Lord each and every
Friend, if you're not ready, the encouragement today is, let's get
ready. Let's make sure we're obedient to God and His will. Jesus asked the
question in Luke 6:46 to certain Jews, certain pious hypocritical Jews, who
thought they were the next best thing to Jesus Christ. Jesus said to them,
“Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do the things which I say? It's
not everybody that looks up in heaven and says ‘Lord, Lord,’ that's going
there, but he who does the will of the Father.” We must be obedient to the
Lord each and every day.
Friend, if you're not a child of God, our encouragement to you today
is, become a Christian. Be a part of a life that is more meaningful, that is
bigger, that has an eternal perspective, and that's the life that follows our
Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Do you today believe Jesus is God's son?
John 8:24. Would you be willing to repent of sin and turn to Christ? Luke
13:3. Would you make that good confession, I believe Jesus is the Christ,
the son of the living God, Acts 8:36-38? Would you be immersed in water
for the forgiveness of your sins? Acts 2:38.
Maybe as a Christian, you know your life's not being lived every day
for Christ. Maybe you know there are things that are deficient, that are
missing in your life. Friend, make that right. Make sure that you're living for
God every day, and then you'll hear those words, “Well done, good and
Study Questions for: “Great Bible Lessons: Lesson 2”
1. What does Jesus tell us to do if we desire to follow Him in Luke 9:23?
2. According to Revelation 2:10, how long should we be faithful?
3. What should we seek about all else according to Matthew 6:33?
4. According to Mark 12:30, what is the greatest commandment?
5. Who did they give themselves to in 2 Corinthians 8:5?
6. According to 1 Peter 2:21, what shall we do since Christ has died for us?
7. According to Acts 17:11, why were the Bereans more fair minded?
8. According to Matthew 4:4, what shall we live by?
9. What does 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tell us to do?
10. According to Matthew 24:36, what will never pass away?