Bible Study: “The Seven Habits of a godly life.” Week # 6

(By Dr. Charles Stanley

Prayer:

Oh Lord my God, I wonder at Your mercy and Your miracles today. Lord God, we as Your people need You to help us be what You desire us to be. It get hard, but You have promised us You would never leave us nor will You forsake us in time of need. We all trust You, Lord. We ask that You bless us with a giving heart to You, and to all others. Sometimes, Lord, we don’t even know how to do this, but through Your Holy Spirit, we know we can. Jesus, come what may, help us to never leave Your love. Give us the child-like trust we need to keep ourselves in Your love to You, and to all others. Father, today I thank You for friendship. As I spend some time thinking of the people You place in my life, help me and all others to see the unique and wonderful way You’ve made each of them, and show me how to love them better, and to give to them, in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Subject Lesson: Giving to God and others.

Let’s recap and then study more on

We have a promise in Luke 6:38: “Give and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” We can never out give God. But by not giving, we are claiming that we really don’t need Him but can manage on our own. Only God can predict and provide for our future needs.

The most unbelieved beatitude in the Bible is: “It is more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35). The giver happier than the getter? Surely some mistake? That goes against all our intuitions and instincts. So let me help you to believe it and act upon it by giving you ten reasons why it is more blessed to give than to receive.

1. Giving obeys God’s command

The Old Testament has way more commands about financial giving – who, when, and how much – than the New Testament. Maybe the New Testament writers just assumed that as God had given far more to us in the New Testament – giving Himself to death – that our giving should follow fairly logically and easily. But, just in case we might miss the link, there are clear New Testament commands also (e.g. 1 Corinthians 1:2). As all of God’s commands are given to enhance our lives, obeying this command will increase our happiness.

2. Giving submits to God’s Lordship

Every act of obedience recognizes that there is a higher authority in our lives, that there is a Lord over us who is entitled to honor and respect. Due to our temperament, personality, or circumstances, we may find some commands relatively easy to obey. Our submission is really tested in the areas where our own nature and situation make obedience more difficult. For most of us, money is one of those areas. Our wallet is often the last citadel to fall to God’s rule, and even when it does fall, it gets rebuilt and re-secured again all too quickly. If only we could remember that Divine Lordship is not a threat; rather it’s the place of greatest safety.

3. Giving exhibits God’s heart

God is THE giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). As His image-bearers we are called to copy His giving, to be mini-pictures of His infinitely large heart. The larger our hearts (and the wider our hands), the larger the picture we paint of God’s character. What do people think of God when they think of the way you use your money?

4. Giving illustrates God’s salvation

At the heart of the Gospel is sacrificial self-giving (John 3:16). That’s why when the Apostle Paul wanted to encourage the Corinthians to give more, he pointed them to the person and work of Christ. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 2:9). Yes, you abound in faith, love, etc., but “see that you abound in this grace also.” When we give sacrificially, painfully, for the benefit of others, we are faintly and on a small-scale preaching the Gospel message.

5. Giving trusts God’s provision

The biggest deterrent to giving is fear, the fear that if I give away too much I won’t have enough for this or that. When we give sacrificially, above and beyond what is comfortable and easy, we are expressing our faith and trust in God to provide for us and our family. This is not an argument for folly, but for faith. Many Christians have discovered the joy of casting their crumbs of bread upon the waters and multiple loaves returning after many days (Ecclesiastes 11:1). It’s such a joy to see God fulfill His promise of provision when we obey Him.

6. Giving widens God’s smile

The Lord loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 2:7). It delights Him to see His people gladly opening their hearts and hands to provide for the needs of His Church and indeed of all His creatures. Through Paul, God repeatedly commends and praises those who gave of their funds and of themselves to Gospel work (2 Corinthians 8:1). There’s nothing that makes a Christian happier than knowing that she’s made God happy, and happy giving means a happy God.

7. Giving advances God’s kingdom

Many of us have contributed to Apple in one way or another. We have helped to grow the company from a garage operation to the worldwide empire it is today. And I’m happy about that, as it’s a company that has brought many blessings to the world. But think of what blessing results when we fund the mission of Christ’s church. We are paying salaries of ministers and missionaries. We are funding resources for outreach, evangelism, and discipleship. But above all we are investing in the spiritual and eternal welfare of people from every nation, tribe, kindred and tongue. Our dollars are changing homes, relationships, countries, and even the eternal destiny of many souls.

8. Giving promotes God’s sanctification

Giving not only promotes God’s work through us, but also God’s work in us, our sanctification. Giving money, especially when it pains us, requires much self-denial and self-crucifixion. However, as every act of giving weakens and even breaks our sinful and selfish nature, the more God’s grace spreads in our hearts. Yes, money leaves our pockets, but sin also leaves our heart. And that’s a great deal. Priceless actually.

9. Giving testifies to God’s power

Although we are not to let our left hand know what our right hand does, it’s pretty obvious that Christians give a lot to their churches and Christian charities. Even secular observers have noticed with amazement how generous Christians often are with their money. They may not say it but they surely must think it: “This must be the real deal for people to give away so much of their own money. They must really believe this stuff. The God they worship and serve must be incredibly powerful to make people so generous.”

10. Giving praises God’s character

Giving in a right spirit is an act of worship. It is rendering Him a tribute of praise. It is saying. “You gave me everything and here is a small expression of my gratitude and praise for all your good gifts. It’s only a token, a sample of what I really feel, but you know the heart that lies behind it. As David sang, “What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits towards me?” (Psalms 116:12).

11. Giving better than getting?

Do you now see how giving makes us more blessed than getting? We can get so much happiness when we see how God is glorified in our giving and when we see Him bless others through our giving.

Week #6

Questions:

1). Read (Luke 6:38), give a time you received because you gave.

2). Do you believe this Scripture (Acts 20:35)? Explain.

3). Give some Scriptures that command on giving.

4). Explain submission to divine Lordship.

5). Read (James 1:7), and explain it.

6). Explain God’s giving in (John 3:16).

7). How is giving trusting God?

8). Read (Ecclesiastes 11:1). What do you think it means?

9). Explain 6, 7, 8 in the list of the ten reasons it is more blessing to give than to receive.

10). Explain 9, 10, 11 in the list of the ten reasons it is more blessing to give than to receive.

Weekly Stay Focus:

Weekly Life Principle:

Weekly Prayer Focus:

Closing Prayer:

Weekly reading assignments: (Hebrews 11-12)

Closing Prayer:

Lord God, I want to do thing Your way. Give me/us Your wisdom so that I/we can make the most of every opportunity. Lord, in our trials and tribulations help us to depend upon Your Holy Spirit to comfort us and live a joyful life unto You. Lord, we spend most of our time looking for things. From the lofty (meaning, purpose, security) to the mundane (bargains, missing earrings, mislaid phones), we are always seeking. Help us remember, Holy Spirit, that nothing matters more than to seek the face of God. In Your presence all is well; all is beautiful. We long for intimacy with You, Lord Jesus. We depend upon You always and forever; AMEN.

Weekly reading assignments: (Hebrews 9-10)

I have read my weekly assignment!

Week # 5 Bible Study Devotional


Walking in the Holy Spirit

KEY PASSAGE: Galatians 5:16 | SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:2, 26 | Zechariah 4:6 | John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:8-14 | Acts 1:7-8 | Romans 8:5-7, 11,14-16 | 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 | Galatians 5:25 | Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:11-12 Colossians 1:16 | 1 Peter 1:13

Many believers go their entire Christian lives and never understand the necessity and work of the Holy Spirit.

Yet this topic is one of the most important ones in the Bible. Apart from the Holy Spirit, you and I simply cannot live a godly life. It is His ability that empowers us to resist sin and obey God. He helps us interpret Scripture and enables us to fellowship with the Lord. Without Him, no one can have a genuinely fruitful Christian life. The apostle Paul knew the significance of relying on the Holy Spirit. He wrote, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). Although we are new creatures in Christ, each believer still has the flesh operating within him or her. The flesh is our tendency to sin or to rebel against God’s will for our lives. By walking in the Spirit, you and I can have the power to overcome the flesh and live victorious Christian lives.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Along with God the Father and Jesus the Son, the Holy Spirit is a member of the Trinity. As such, He was equally involved in the creation of the world (Gen. 1:2, 26). Like Jesus, the Holy Spirit is a Person, with a personality, a will, and emotions. He is not an impersonal force.

What does the Holy Spirit do in our lives? He . . .

1).Teaches believers and reminds us of what we have learned (John 14:26). He brings to mind verses and scriptural truth we may have forgotten.

2). Convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11).

3). Testifies about Jesus, rather than Himself (John 15:26). He reveals our need for Christ and shows us how to depend on the Lord.

4). Guides us into all truth (John 16:13).

5). Dwells within every believer (Rom. 8:11). He lives within us from the moment of salvation.

6). Guides our steps and helps us discover the Father’s plans for us (Rom. 8:14).

7). Assures us that we are saved. He “testifies with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:16).

8). Gives us spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:4-11).

9). Empowers us, especially for evangelism (Acts 1:7-8). The disciples waited for the Holy Spirit before sharing the gospel even though they had walked with Jesus for three years.

10). Equips us to minister to others (Eph. 4:11-12).

11). Helps us pray. The Bible says He intercedes for us “with groaning too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26).

12). Seals our salvation (Eph. 1:13). God chastises believers who sin.

However, our status as His children doesn’t change.

What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?

This phrase means to live each moment in dependency on the Holy Spirit, sensitive to His voice, and obedient to Him. As we go through each day, we should be aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit with us. We should be totally submitted to Him. That means we must be sensitive to the initial promptings of the Holy Spirit. When He speaks to our hearts, you and I should immediately obey. For example, we may be convicted to turn away quickly from things that tempt us to sin. The Spirit can give us the right words to encourage a hurting person, or lead us to do something unusually kind for a stranger. He may even guide us to take a different route. Sometimes it will become clear why the Holy Spirit directed us one way and not another; other times, we may never know why. However, the wise man or woman will obey the Spirit’s voice at once. The Holy Spirit knows all things, including the future, and His guidance is always for our benefit.

Setting our Minds on the Things of God

There is no doubt that we are in a spiritual battle. The good news is that the Holy Spirit is available to help us wage war against sin. The key to victory is in setting our minds on the things of the Spirit, not the things of the flesh (Rom. 8:5). In other words, we don’t think about how to gratify our sinful desires. Instead, we choose to focus on things which glorify and honor God. The Spirit of the Lord will equip us to live godly lives if our minds are set on Him. Three things work against us as believers: the world, the flesh, and the devil. This means that aside from direct temptation, Satan works through our own sensual desires and the world’s system, or way of thinking and operating. Remember that the devil can’t force believers to sin. He can tempt us—and will certainly try to do so. But we can resist Satan’s lies through the power of the Holy Spirit. How do we do that? We should begin before we are even faced with temptation. If we have made up our minds to obey God, no matter what, we are far more likely to win the spiritual battle and not act sinfully. On the other hand, if we entertain temptation as an option and imagine what it would be like to fulfill sinful desires, we will almost surely give in to temptation eventually. Why? Because the mind governs how we speak, act, and handle different situations. That’s why the Bible says “prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit” (1 Peter 1:13). What we think about determines, to a great extent, how we live.

Surrendering to the Holy Spirit

I challenge you to begin each morning with a prayer that goes something like this: “Father, I want You to guide me today and lead me. Speak to my heart. Make me sensitive to what is happening around me in the lives of those I meet. Fill me with Your supernatural joy, and use me today for Your purposes. I surrender fully to You.” If you yield your will to the Holy Spirit and depend on His ability rather than your own, He will enable you to live a life that is pleasing to Christ.

Respond Personal:

Do you want to live with real peace, contentment and joy in life?

Do you want to have the power to overcome temptation or persevere through adversity?

The answer is found in total surrender and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

Set your mind on the things of God and trust the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide you, enable you, and empower you to obey His voice. When we remain sensitive to the Spirit’s guidance, depend upon Him totally, and obey Him, we have life at its very best.

When you think of the Holy Spirit, what image comes to mind?

Reread 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. What spiritual gifts has the Holy Spirit given you?

How are you using these gifts to glorify our heavenly Father and further His kingdom?

How does the Holy Spirit help us distinguish between good and evil; Clarity and confusion; Truth and fiction?

Weekly Prayer Focus

Speak Lord Jesus

Do everything in dependence on Me. The desire to act independently apart from Me springs from the root of pride. Self-sufficiency is subtle, insinuating its way into your thoughts and actions without your realizing it. But apart from Me, you can do nothing: that is, nothing of eternal value. My deepest desire for you is that you learn to depend on Me in every situation. I move heaven and earth to accomplish this purpose, but you must collaborate with Me in this training. Teaching you would be simple if I negated your free will or overwhelmed you with My power. However, I love you too much to withdraw the godlike privilege I bestowed on you as My image-bearer; Use your freedom wisely, by relying on Me constantly. Thus you enjoy My presence and My peace.

Read: John 15:5; Ephesians 6:10; Genesis 1:26, 27.

Weekly Life Principle

Counsel (Life Principle # 27)

We waste time not asking God what He wants. When we make important choices without seeking His counsel, we’re heading for danger. If we’d only ask for guidance and commit to His will and timing, we would see Him move in astounding ways to help us.

Are you ready for God to make you the most fruitful person you can be? Then, no matter how busy you are, take a few quiet moments to seek Him. You’ll find this time spent with God will be the best investment you make every day.

Quiet your heart so you can listen to the Lord and enjoy His presence. Then find out what He desires in your situation and pray for that. Rest in His love for you, trust in His provision, and allow Him to order your steps. He will keep you from moving in the wrong direction or wasting your time. The Holy Spirit is our Counselor!

Weekly Stay Focus

Freedom in the Spirit

Wherever the Spirit of God goes, freedom follows. If His Spirit dwells in you, you will experience more freedom than you have ever known. You will no longer be inhibited by selfishness and resentment. You will be free to do what you were created to do; live in right relationship with your Creator. Don’t struggle to free yourself. You haven’t the power or the strength. Invite God’s Holy Spirit to come inside your heart and free you in the process. This is good advice to stay focus!

Week # 5 Questions/Answers

1). What does it means to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit?

When an individual accepts Christ as personal Savior, the Holy Spirit gives the believer the life of God, eternal life, which is really His very nature (Titus 3:5; 2 Peter 1:4), and the Holy Spirit comes to live within him spiritually. The fact that the believer’s body is likened to a temple where the Holy Spirit lives helps us understand what the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is all about.

2). How do we depend on the Holy Spirit?

The Spirit is the purchase of the Son, bequeathed to us through his death, resurrection, and ascension to God’s right hand. He gives the Spirit to give us life and to secure, seal, sanctify, and assure us. It is by the Spirit that we live, walk, worship, pray, serve, and suffer. The Spirit opens eyes, strengthens hearts, enables holiness, and fills us with the fullness of God. We depend on Him by seeking to hear His voice through trust.

3). What does the Holy Spirit do?

He assures you that you belong to God. He teaches you to call God, "Father" (Romans 8:15-16). He bring things back to your remembrance. He is God’s seal of ownership and your guarantee of complete salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14).

He is making you to be more like Jesus Christ.

4). How can we do what pleases God?

We must obey Him in the fullness, and love Him back. Accept the Holy Spirit and not ignore Him or try to live the Christian life without depending on Him.

5). What do it means to cooperate with the Holy Spirit?

Cooperating with the Holy Spirit means to depend on Him and His divine resources, and by keeping in step with the Holy Spirit; we must submit to Him.

6). How does God’s Holy Spirit works?

God’s Holy Spirit always works in and through His Word.

7). What does the Word train in 1 Timothy 4:7 means?

It means daily sustained effort. Just as it takes practice to be skilled in a particular sport, so it takes practice to be skilled in living the Christian life through the Holy Spirit.

8). Who do you turn to for daily guidance on how to live or what decision to make?

The Holy Spirit will guide you into all the truth; He will not speak on His own , but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come, (John 16:13).

9). What do you think about this statement “are there any conditions placed upon guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives?”

Yes there are! We must stay yielded to the Holy Spirit, and we must say yes to the Holy Spirit when He prompts us to take a certain action or say a certain word, and then we must obey the Holy spirit and follow through with it.

10). How do the Holy Spirit speak to us?

The Spirit often speaks to us in the stillness of our hearts with a word of conviction or assurance. I can actually say, this is true !!

11). How can you know if you are yielded to the Holy Spirit?

You are yielded to Him when you can say to Him, “Here is what I desire. But if Your answer to this is ‘no,’ it’s all right. I’ll do what You say.”

12). What did the Holy Spirit come to do for us?

The Holy Spirit has come to reveal the truth to us,and He has come in His all-knowing ability to impart to us what we need to know in order to live obedient and faithful lives.

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