Click here to download a printable version of the Daily Bible Study for 01.12.12.
THURSDAY — Develop Intimacy With God
Big Point: Growing in deeper intimacy with God allows you to honestly confront areas of personal sin and engage the Holy Spirit’s power to turn from it.
* The Response Questions for Loving Jesus are on pages 12 and 13. You will need to answer these questions before completing the Commitment portion of the Missional Membership Process.
It is important to discover the balance between owning the responsibility to grow, which requires resisting what keeps us from growing, and trusting in the help and power of the Holy Spirit to bring about Christ-like character in us. That is the tension that will be with us all of our lives. But if we‘ll commit to move forward, we will experience the blessings of God’s grace active in our everyday lives—and marvel at the resultant miracle of our spiritual growth.
Christ-followers know the grace of God that saved them is only the beginning of His work in them. They gratefully respond by actively pursuing a lifelong process of spiritual growth in Christ and seek to become conformed to His image. To this end, they consistently nurture their spiritual development through prayer, worship, and Bible study.
READ and THINK … Find the Answers in the Bible
1. In Ephesians 4:14-15, Paul describes two contrasting scenarios: traits that should no longer characterize believers, and then traits that should be evident in a Christian. List as many of those dissimilarities as you can find:
Ephesians 4:14-15 (New Living Translation)
14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
Traits that should no longer characterize believers:
Healthy traits a Christian should possess:
2. Tools for Developing Intimacy with God: The Bible
What do the following verses teach about the importance of Scripture in the life of a growing Christian? (See also 1 Peter 2:2-3, Psalm 1:2-3 and Psalm 119:9-24)
Hebrews 4:12 (New Living Translation)
For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.
2. The Purpose of Spiritual Disciplines:
Spiritual disciplines are not ends in themselves. How would you describe in your own words the result of a spiritually disciplined life according to 1 Timothy 4:7-8?
1 Timothy 4:7-8 (New Living Translation)
7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. 8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
3. Read Romans 6:1-11. As long as we‘re forgiven, why does it make any difference whether we sin or not?
Romans 6:1-11 (New Living Translation)
1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. 5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you develop a lifelong practice of spiritual growth through prayer, worship and Bible study. Ask Him to help you confront areas of personal sin and to engage the Holy Spirit’s power to turn from it.
Find the Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Acts 7-9 at www.livingitout.tv