Weekend Bible Study
Theme of the Week: Stretched by God
Saturday, May 3, 2014
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God will do whatever it takes to make you into the man he wants you to be. That's good news! But the road most certainly won't always be easy. Just like gold heavy with impurities, our character must be refined. Today's passage clearly communicates that discipline and trials aren't signs that God has abandoned us. Instead they're proof that God is treating us like sons (v. 7, ESV). He will richly reward those who submit to his discipline with godly character that shines like pure gold and an inheritance that will never fade.
- Why is God's discipline necessary?
- What encouragement (v. 5) can we find in the midst of discipline?
- Think back on some times when God disciplined, stretched, or tested you. What did he teach you through those experiences?
- What are some of the rewards in this passage for submitting to God's discipline? (See also Rom. 5:1-5; James 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 1:3-9; 2 Pet. 1:3-11.)
- In what ways can you prepare yourself to respond well in difficult seasons?
Key Study Passage:
Spend Time in Prayer: Thank God for his faithfulness in shaping you into the man he wants you to be; ask him to help you submit in times when he stretches you beyond your comfort zone.
5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,
"My child, don't make light of the Lord's discipline,
and don't give up when he corrects you.
6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child."
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn't we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God's discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
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Prayer for the Week
Lord, growth happens most often in times of stretching; please give me the grace to humbly submit myself to your will—even when it hurts—and let you transform me into the man you want me to be.
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