The Christian life is simply a matter of faith. Yet to grow in that faith, we must develop certain beliefs, rhythms, and practices. We must find our satisfaction in Christ alone and understand that our spiritual growth is a joint effort between God and us. We also must have a sincere desire to imitate Christ. This will lead to practices such as silence and solitude, fasting, a consistent combination of Scripture reading and prayer, and sacrificial giving.
The Secret of Satisfaction
We are blessed when our actions display a hunger and thirst for righteousness.
There's no denying the fact that we live in a culture that has made the pursuit of happiness its chief goal. The Bible never encourages us to seek happiness as an end in itself. According to Jesus, happiness is a byproduct of seeking God's kingdom way of life. The first spiritual discipline is living for the only thing that will satisfy.
Spiritual Growth—My Job or God's?
Sanctification involves a mysterious partnership with God.
Some Christians have taken the position that sanctification is solely God's job. Others are determined to make themselves holy, and the church becomes a place of competition to see who is the most holy. This study will examine the flaws in these ideas, and explore the mysterious partnership we forge with God in our quest for holiness.
Jesus' life was marked by mediation, proclamation, and compassion.
With three broad strokes of his pen, the earliest gospel writer delineated the pattern of Jesus' life and ministry. We can summarize the picture that has been sketched for us by Mark in three words: meditation, proclamation, and compassion. This study will look at each of these.
Silence and Solitude
These disciplines supply fuel for the soul.
1 Kings 19:9–18; Psalm 63; 130:5; Luke 5:15–16
The more consistently you pull away to be alone with God, the better your life will become because of the perspective you will develop. This study will challenge you to regularly discipline yourself to take time to be silent before God. You will discover that this is fuel for the soul.
The Benefit of Fasting
Fasting is the voluntary denial of an otherwise normal function for the sake of intense spiritual activity.
Psalm 12; Joel 1:14; Matthew 5:6; 6:16–24; Acts 14:23
Fasting seems out of step with the times. In fact, fasting has been in general disrepute in the church for some time. What would account for such total disregard of a discipline so frequently mentioned in Scripture and so ardently practiced by Christians throughout the centuries? This study will attempt to answer that question.
Four simple steps can help Christians become transformed.
An ancient Christian tradition with the Latin name Lectio Divina is a tool for developing a closer walk with Christ. It's a centuries-old method of Bible study designed to create lasting spiritual change in the lives of followers of Jesus Christ. This is the goal we all should have when we read Scripture—to read it not just for information but to experience transformation.
Our trust grows when we give to God in ways that make us dependent on him.
1 Kings 17
When we are able to let go of the security of having an abundance, we discover a dependency upon God that cannot be found in any other way. This is opposed to everything our society teaches, but God wants us to discover him through this act of obedience. This study will examine how we can become sacrificial givers.
This Study Through the Bible Course is based on a sermon series by Steve May.