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 curriculum and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passages: Joshua 1:1-9; Judges 2:11-19; Ruth 4:14-17
What are some of God’s best earthly gifts to you? How are you tempted to find wrongful rest, peace and joy in them? How can you enjoy them rightly? How can you let them point you to Him?
Food for Thought: Rest
Hebrews 4:8-9 tells us: “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people.”
Ah, finally the promised land. They’d arrived. They could sit down, kick off their sandals and put up their feet. Rest. How they needed it! After slave drivers in Egypt and scorpion stings in the wilderness, Joshua ushered the people of Israel into a land flowing with milk and honey. God had promised they would find safe harbor here from all their enemies. Bread baskets were supposed to bulge, as were the wombs of their merry young wives. All good gifts, no doubt.
But you know what? This wasn’t the end. The promised land wasn’t their ultimate rest. It was just a shadow that pointed to something greater, like the paper-thin slice of shade attached at the heels of a real-live person standing in sunshine.
Imagine stepping from a 2-D world into a 3-D world — how gripping, pulsating and delicious life would suddenly become. That’s the difference between the rest the best things of this world offer and the rest of dwelling in the presence of Christ forever.
Where does your heart look for its rest? If only it were the weekend…. If only I were married…. If only I got that promotion…. If only I could get control of my schedule…. If only I could get out of this town…. If only I could get that house. Do you really want to spend your life striving after two-dimensional shadows?
Take stock of all of God’s good gifts to you and thank Him. But then strive to enter His rest and don’t become disobedient (Hebrews 4:11). God is saying to you, “You think these things are good? Just you wait — I’m even better!”
The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a Christ-centered curriculum that examines the grand narrative of Scripture and how the Gospel transforms the lives of those it touches. Through a three-year study plan, participants are immersed in the Gospel through stories, theological concepts and calls to missions from Genesis to Revelation. Separate study plans for kids and students/adults ensure the proper focus and depth. The Gospel Project is designed to unify an entire church under a single Christ-centered curriculum. More information, free samples and The Gospel Project blog can be found at gospelproject.com.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.