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 Bible Studies For Life curriculum.
Bible Passages: John 1:26-34, 3:26-30
Discussion Question: When has God kept His promises in a way that helped you trust Him more?
Food for Thought:
Self-centered living defines this world. The rationale for many is that, if this life is all there is, you should do all you can to enjoy it for yourself and to exalt yourself in order to gain significance. But this life is not all there is, and we are not the center of our own little universe. It’s all about Jesus Christ. When we encounter Christ and choose Him over ourselves, we truly find significance.
John the Baptist’s birth was, to say the least, unusual. John’s mother and father worshiped the one true God and yet were without a child, which in that culture was often seen as a sign of divine displeasure. Then came the day when Zechariah was performing his priestly duties. An angel appeared and told the priest he was going to have a son who would be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he was born. People everywhere would rejoice at his birth and he would turn many people back to God (Luke 1:5-17).
Years later, the story of John the Baptist takes an interesting turn. John moved out into the middle of the desert. He lived as a hermit, wore clothes made out of camel hair, and ate locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:1-4). He made a point to insult pretty much everyone of importance, calling the religious Pharisees a brood of snakes (v. 7) and publicly rebuking the ruler of the region (14:3-10). He also gained notoriety as a preacher whose message was always the same: One would come after him who would take away the sin of the world.
All John’s life work can be summed up in John 1:29: “Here is the Lamb of God.”
All the deflected praise and the wandering in the desert were not his refusal to live significantly. They were a refusal to live insignificantly. John would have utterly wasted his life had he spent his effort on anything except Him who was eternally valuable — the Lamb of God.
As Christ-followers, we’re called to the same task John was given: to exalt Jesus. We place the focus on Christ when we:
— Point to the greatness and salvation of Jesus,
— Point to our encounter with Jesus, and
— Point to Jesus, not ourselves.
Your life is going to point to something. Your clothes, relationships and speech are all signposts pointing somewhere. The question is whether you will take an active stance in making sure all those things point to Jesus.
Bible Studies for Life
Bible Studies for Life connects the Bible to life for adults, students, and kids. Bible Studies for Life helps individuals and groups know God’s Word through trustworthy content, creates biblical community through engaging and conversational group studies, and helps people engage the culture missionally by unpacking what the Bible says about real-life issues. More information can be found on the Internet at LifeWay.com/BibleStudiesForLife.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at LifeWay Christian Stores.