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Bible Study: God’s Spirit empowers believers for success


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.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.

Bible Passage: Judges 6:1-10

Discussion Questions:

  • Why is it so easy for God’s people to turn their backs on His blessings and forget His acts on their behalf?
  • We often recognize destructive patterns in other people’s lives. When it comes to our lives, do we fail to recognize such patterns or not care to break the cycle? Explain your answer.
  • How do we resemble the people of the Old Testament? How does God’s call and expectation on your life resemble His call and expectation on the Old Testament judges?

Food for thought:

If given the opportunity and resources to create your own paradise, what would it consist of? A cabin in the woods? A mansion on a mountain? A beach house on an island somewhere? A penthouse in a major city? Would it be perpetual springtime? Always snow-covered? Would you be surrounded by nature or by people to see and things to do?

What about a promised land flowing with milk and honey?

The children of Israel had been promised and had received their paradise along with numerous examples of God’s blessing. But as author and teacher Priscilla Shirer observes, “Israel’s experience reveals a stunning reality: we can spoil paradise and ruin God’s abundant blessing.” Such was the case when we come to the book of Judges.

Negative effects lingered from Israel’s halfhearted devotion and partial obedience. Mired in a destructive cycle, they followed a predictable pattern: “(1) rejection of God’s way, (2) decline of God’s people, (3) consequences allowed by God’s hand, and (4) restored relationship to God’s presence.”

Unfortunately, you and I and the people around us frequently follow the tragic example lived out by the ancient Hebrews, often surrendering to God only amid desperate circumstances and drifting away from Him once He has calmed the storm. But like the biblical judges of the past, God desires to use us to stem the tide of decline and reel people back into obedient fellowship with Him.

Shirer highlights three specific functions of the judges we share: preserving unity, waging war (spiritual war in our case), and staying empowered. No judge nor contemporary believer has what it takes to accomplish these functions on his or her own. All must depend on “empowerment by God’s Spirit … for success.”

Like the judges of old, turning the tide takes not only the power of God but courage and bravery on our part. Disobedient people do not take kindly to the suggestion they will answer for their disobedience. Yet restoration to God’s presence requires their — and our — acknowledgment and surrender.

MasterWork

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 Lifeway.com/masterwork.

    About the Author

  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources