Bible Study: Embracing God's guidance
NASHVILLE (BP) -- This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
Bible Passage: 2 Timothy 3:16-17
-- What difficult decision have you recently had to make? How did you determine what decision to make?
-- How do you land on an answer to the question, "What is God's will for my life in this situation?"
-- How has the Holy Spirit used God's Word to help give clarity to a decision you had to make?
Food for thought, with insight from J.D. Greear*:
How do you make decisions? Roll the dice? Flip a coin? Make a pro/con comparison chart? Determine the consensus opinion among your friends? Check the daily horoscope for a good day to make decisions? Look for a Bible verse that says, in so many words, "Thou shalt choose option A"?
Many Christians at least occasionally find themselves struggling with a decision and wondering, "What is God's will for me/us in this situation?" How DO we know the will of God?
In his book, "Jesus, Continued ...," author J. D. Greear stresses that the Holy Spirit is Jesus continued. The Spirit does the work now that Jesus did while He walked the earth. In that capacity, it is the Spirit's responsibility to help Christ followers know the will of God. Some believers deem experiencing the Holy Spirit to be a very mystical, subjective endeavor. Other Christians seem to wish to avoid experiencing the Spirit in any manner. But Greear points out that we experience the Spirit primarily through the objective Word of God. The Spirit guides us to know God's will through the pages of God's Word, handed down to us over thousands of years.
Not all matters requiring decisions on our part are directly and overtly addressed in Scripture. Does that mean the Spirit will be quiet at those times, that we are on our own? Of course not. Greear delves into three categories of such decisions: matters of righteousness, matters of good judgment, and matters of triviality. He offers insight into God's guidance in each realm.
Still concerned about those less-than-obvious choices before you? Greear closes out this segment of the study by directing us to an embraceable promise. Even when you cannot find the specifics of your situation in the pages of the Bible, God has provided the promise that when we trust Him with all our hearts and acknowledge Him in all our ways, He will direct our paths (see Proverbs 3:5-6). Discernment and decision-making might prove challenging, but we need not feel isolated and alone in the process.
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at www.lifeway.com/masterwork.
*J.D. Greear is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, N.C.