Category Archives: August Theme: Study

Teaching Thanksgiving

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“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise.”  Deuteronomy 11:18-19

I was in South Carolina this week with my daughter and my granddaughter.  Both of them said in elementary school, they were taught that the thanksgiving feast was about the pilgrims thanking the Indians for their help in surviving the winter.  I explained that although they may have invited the Indians as a gesture and friendship and thanks, the primary intention of the pilgrims was to thank God, who brought them to the new world and graciously provided for them there.

This led me to think about how we all have a responsibility to teach God’s truth, not only our children, but everyone with whom we come in contact. In the anecdote above, you can see how quickly even historical truth can become perverted by the world.  If we don’t teach God’s word, in a generation or two, it may be lost.  This happened in the Bible (for an example, read about King Josiah in 2 Kings chapters 22 and 23) and it happens today.  Martin Luther wrote the catechism so that parents could teach their children about God each day in their own home, not just once a week in church.

So don’t allow Thanksgiving to become “turkey day”.  Use it as reminder to have an attitude of thanks every day, all year long.  Let your children, your grandchildren, your friends and neighbors know that you are thankful to the God for all that you have and are.

 

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Interactive Bible Study-Hebrews Chapter 13

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Here is Michele’s take on the last chapter of Hebrews.  Have you enjoyed reading along with her? 

In this, the final chapter, we are told how to live our lives as the disciples of Christ.  By loving one another, being hospitable to strangers, staying true in marriage, and so forth.  Exclaim the message of Jesus on your lips often.  Do good works in His name, with no desire for recognition.  Do not allow yourself to be swayed by false teachings, require all  told to you to be from God’s word.

In conclusion, I have found the book of Hebrews to be a blueprint for how things were before Jesus, and how we should live now under the new covenant.

Thank you for your patience and I hope I have given you some insight into this book.

 

Interactive Bible Study -Hebrews Chapter 12

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Hi, it’s Joan posting for Michele again.  We’re closing in on finishing the Book of Hebrews.  What would you like her to pick next?  I believe she is considering Titus or 1 Timothy.  Send Michele your suggestions, I know she will want to hear them.

As with all fathers, discipline is a necessary thing to keep us on the right track.  In Chapter 12, we are told that God only disciplines those he loves for doing wrong.  We must strive every day to live as Jesus did and witness the good news of His salvation to all.  If we do not witness as commanded by Him, we can expect to be disciplined by our father, God.

All God’s discipline is so that we may share in His holiness.  Use any discipline He sends as a lesson to be more holy and not as a desire on the part of God to punish.

Interactive Study Blog – Hebrews Chapter 10

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For thousands of years, the priests of the temples sacrificed animals to atone for our sins. I cannot imagine how many animals were killed, but because they were not the perfect sacrifice, it never provided the perfect atonement necessary for us. We received the perfect sacrifice from Jesus Christ on the cross. The prior sacrifices were a constant reminder of our sinful nature and that we would never receive the complete atonement we craved. It took our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ, to provide the necessary perfect sacrifice. The moment He did the first covenant was abolished, and the new covenant, the atonement of our sins through the blood of Christ, was installed.

What a wonderful gist He gave us.

God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

Interactive Study Blog – Hebrews Chapters 8 & 9

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Okay so this time I am doing 2 chapters because they seem to need it.

In chapter 8 we are told Jesus was the perfect sacrifice and how because of his crucifixion we no longer have to sacrifice for our sins as per the old covenant. In Exodus (25:40) God tells us that there will be a new covenant coming. When Jesus came and was crucified, that is the new covenant. A perfect sacrifice for an imperfect world.

Chapter 9 goes into the rules of the old covenant in more detail. Now if you have ever read Leviticus (it took me 2 months) the rules and penalties for sin were pretty hard to keep track of.

I can tell you one thing for certain, if I had to sacrifice an animal every time I sinned – there would be no animals left on the planet.

Now God was gracious enough to give us a new covenant, but we didn’t follow the old one. I guess it is a good thing that with the new one we do nothing to receive His salvation.

Well these are my thoughts on these 2 chapters, what do you think? Leave a comment, let me know.

Remember

God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

Interactive Study Blog – Hebrews Chapter 7

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This chapter explains that Melchizedek was such a great priest, that even Abraham gave him a tenth of his plunder. The Bible does not give his genealogy, which is a little unusual, but we can come to the conclusion that he is someone who it regarded in very high esteem. But no matter how great he was he did die, whereas Jesus is the Great High Priest eternally. It goes further to explain that only Jesus can intercede for us with God because He has a pure soul. This just restates the knowledge that only through the Son, Jesus Christ, can we have a relationship with the Father, God.

See you soon for Chapter 8

God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

Interactive Study Blog – Hebrews Chapter 6

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Most people like cake – There is a lady at my church who thinks the best part is the frosting. The sweeter the better. This chapter is again telling us about maturing in our faith, so I figure that I will compare it to eating cake. I like cake, I like frosting but to get the entire taste experience you need to eat both, I mean German Chocolate cake without the pecan & coconut frosting would not be that great.

What I am saying is that we cannot just live by the parts of the Bible we like, we have to live by all of it. We cannot pick and choose the rules, we have to adhere to them all.

We cannot grow in our faith (mature) unless we eat ALL the words, not just the parts we like. I hope this makes sense.

God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

Interactive Study Blog – Hebrews Chapter 5

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Okay everyone – I am sorry this is taking so long to post between chapters, bear with me, we will get through this together.

In this chapter we are given more information about Jesus as the Great High Priest. At the end of the last chapter, we are introduced to this role of His and how He can sympathize with our weaknesses because, He himself, has suffered and triumphed over the same. We are told that a High Priest is selected among men (Jesus was fully human) and is also selected by God (Psalms 110:4). We are also being told that Jesus learned obedience through His suffering. The chapter ends with a warning that we are to constantly immerse ourselves in the spiritual food of the Word to mature in our faith or we are nothing more than infants in our comprehension of God’s many gifts. We should never let down our guard against evil, for if we do, it will slowly creep in until it permeates the very fiber of our life and faith.

Wow, this is something that I am not really good at. I have been studying the Book of Hebrews, but can I honestly say that I immerse myself on a daily basis? No I don’t, but I can always try to do better. How about you? What do you do to immerse yourself daily in God’s word? I want to know, leave a comment and tell me.

As always, thank yous o much for reading and following this and all the blogs.

God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel

Developing Spiritual Habits

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Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.

My husband and I are in real estate together, and he is currently taking a training course that I took a few months back. The other day, he came out of the class and was so excited to tell me about something that I had learned a few weeks ago. Funny, though, how I had completely forgotten about it until just then. That is what happens when you only look at something once. For it to become a part of your daily habits and routine, it has to be studied, re-visited, and discussed on a daily and weekly basis. This is how I see spiritual study as well. The more time that is spent in daily meditation and learning, the more likely one is to reflect those qualities of love and good spirit within their daily life. Your spirituality is a muscle that requires constant learning and growth. In this way, studying the bible for spiritual growth is no different then exercising to retain strength and health. The Bible is not a nice book to be read once and then put in the stack with the other used books. It is a manual and a guide for life that must be read, re-read, and discussed daily to have any real meaning. My goal for the year is to take at least 15 minutes daily to turn off the TV and reflect on God’s word. Anyone else want to join me in this?

The Book That Matters Most

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I guess by now regular readers know that I read a lot.  I’m currently reading a novel by Ann Hood, called The Book That Matters Most.  It’s about the members of a book club who have decided that the theme for the year is “The book that matters most.”  Each member gets a chance to choose a book that changed their life, or that was especially significant to them.  Most of the choices are classics:  Anna Karenina, The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, etc..

Of course, this made me think, what is the book that matters most to me?  I’ve read many, many books in my life but not one of them stands out this way for me except the Bible.  It has something to say about every aspect of human life:  being young or old, married or single, Jewish or Christian, slave or free.  It addresses every human emotion: anger, grief, love, compassion, joy, anxiety, and more.  It teaches history and theology.  It has biographies, adventures, sermons, poetry and practical advice.  It uplifts, it inspires, it challenges.

Here’s a quote from The Catcher in the Rye (one of the books selected by the club):

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.  That doesn’t happen much, though.”

Guess what, with the Bible that does happen.  It’s God’s love letter to you and me.  We can talk to Him about it (or anything else) whenever we want.  There’s just no contest — what book could matter more?