Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 10.19.11

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Series: Refining Faith
This Week: Courage Under Fire

WEDNESDAY— Level 2 Christian: Convenient
Big Point: Being a convenient Christian isn’t bad—unless you never plan to grow from there.

Here’s a poem describing the very popular “Convenient Christian” category:

A CONVENIENT CHRISTIAN

Oh yes, I am a Christian, have been all                                  
along. Just ask me and you will see my
faith is very strong.

But I must tell you, I am
A convenient Christian sitting on a shelf.
A convenient Christian living for myself.

I go to church when it is convenient for
me. But there is usually some place
else I had rather be.

You say there are things in church that I
need to be doing. Well, there are more
important things that I am pursuing.

Do I read the Bible? Well, yes, every
once in a while. But it is really not for
me, it doesn’t fit my style.

Do I support the church financially?
Of course I do. Every time I go to church
I give a dollar, sometimes two!

Talk to God? Well, that is very easy for
you to say. I’m too busy you know and I
really don’t have time to pray.

Tell my neighbor about Jesus? Oh
no, not me! That is what we pay the
preacher for, you see!

As always, I am …
A convenient Christian sitting on a shelf.
A convenient Christian living for myself.

 

READ…What does the Bible say?
Romans 12:14 (New Living Translation)
Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.

Hebrews 12:11 (New Living Translation)
11No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

THINK…Find the answers
Read Romans 12:14. What are we to do for those who persecute us? How do we bless someone who is making our life difficult because of our faith?

What are we not to do?

Have you ever heard someone say when disciplining a child “this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you”? Did you believe them? Hebrews 12:11 states that “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening.” But there’s also a “but.” What does the writer of Hebrews promise?

LIVE…What will you do now?
Being a “Convenient Christian” is not an ending place but a stepping stone to becoming an “all-in Christian.” Where in your life do you see yourself being a “Convenient Christian”?

Has God ever disciplined you for being a “Convenient Christian” and not giving Him your all? Where were (or are) you holding back? How did you sense that God was correcting you?

What steps can you take to move away from your faith being convenient for you to having an active “all-in” faith?

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Look at your life as a believer in Jesus Christ. Ask God to show you areas in your life where you’re still placing yourself before God. Ask Him for help as you move from a “Convenient Christian” to an “All-in Christian.”

We’re going to unpack more of what it means to be an “all-in” Christ-follower tomorrow.

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: 2 Samuel 1-4
In the Hebrew Bible, first and second Samuel is one book, hence the feel that 1:1 starts in the middle of a story. 2 Samuel is about King David; being crowned king over Judah and over Israel, his conquests, his falling into sin and the last years of his reign.
1:1 “Amalekites” A nomadic people who inhabited Judah and Transjordan.
1:2 Tearing one’s clothing and throwing dirt on one’s head were outward expressions of grief in the ancient Near East. 1:10-16 The young Amalekite makes up a story to explain why he is in possession of the King’s personal items (crown and bracelet), but underestimate David’s response. This costly mistake results in the young man’s death.
1:26 Jonathan was David’s best friend during his years of service in King Saul’s place.
2:1 David asked God for His leading in the matter of where he (David) should live. A good example for us today: listening to God is essential to our walk.
3:8 This accusation against Abner is a very serious one, since an act of sexual infringement on the king’s harem would probably have been understood as a blatant declaration of aspirations to kingship. As such it was not merely a matter of ethical impropriety but an act of grave political significance as well.
3:37 David declared his innocence in the death of Abner and acted wisely by backing up his words. When our words and action match, everyone benefits.
4:9 David realizes that adversity is a setback from which we take our greatest leaps forward.


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