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Lesson 1: The Rhythms of Life *

Introduction: Seasons are something that I have been trying to avoid! How is that? When I was young I lived in Michigan. We had four seasons there. As soon as I could, I moved to the south where we mostly skip the winter season. As I get old, I'm telling myself that I'm pushing back the final season of life. So far it is mostly working! Our new series of lessons is about the seasons of a family. Let's explore what the Bible has to teach us on that subject!

  1. Moving Towards Order


    1. Read Genesis 1:1. Why would God start His message to humans this way?


      1. What does this say about the heavens and the earth? (They had a beginning, God was there at the beginning, and He created them.)


      2. What does this say about God? (That He is superior to the heavens and the earth because He created them.)


    2. Read Hebrews 11:3 and Psalms 33:9. How did God create the universe? (By speaking!)


      1. When I was a child, they taught me how to print my name using a pencil and paper. When I was in high school, they taught me how I could form those same letters by pushing the key on a typewriter. A great improvement! When I first started my law practice I would dictate what I wanted to write and someone else would type it up. Another leap forward! Early in the computer revolution I started using voice dictation. That was even better when it worked properly. What does voice command for creation tell us about God when we compare it to the way we create?


      2. What were the building blocks of God's creation? (Nothing. The text in Hebrews tells us that God made the "seen" out of the "unseen." Humans make new stuff out of existing stuff.)


      3. How can we understand God's awesome power? (Hebrews 11:3 - by faith.)


    3. Read Genesis 1:2. Should this modify our thinking about something being created out of nothing? How do we reconcile this with Hebrews? (We see that something (but not much) existed here. We could understand this to mean that God previously created what was present, or we could understand the "something out of nothing" to mean the final product was nothing like the formless, empty, watery deep.)


      1. How is this very issue such a challenge for evolutionists? (Evolutionists are hard pressed to explain how something could evolve from nothing. Either "stuff" has always existed, raising the question of how it got here, or the supernatural exists which can create something out of nothing. Evolutionists, for this reason, generally start their explanation of origins with stuff already sitting around.)


    4. Read Genesis 1:3-5. What is happening in terms of order? (The earth is moving from disorder to order. Not only is God speaking light and separating it from darkness, but God begins a unit of time and calls it the first of many.)


    5. Read Genesis 8:22. What does this tell us about God's plan and order? (God created order. He believes in order. His order is a constant.)


  2. Life Order


    1. Read Psalms 71:6-8. How dependent are we when first born? (This is the sad thing about abortion. The very people who are supposed to be protecting the helpless, the mother and her doctor, are killing them.)


    2. Read Psalms 71:9. How is being old like being very young? (Once again, you become defenseless. The Psalmist asks God for His protection.)


      1. Is it an amazing coincidence that our society has a special interest in killing the old and the unborn? (Read Psalms 71:11. This reflects the fact that selfish and cowardly people do this because they think they can.)


    3. Read Psalms 71:14-15. What does God give us even when we are weak? (He gives us hope and salvation.)


    4. Read Matthew 10:26-28. Where does real power lie? (In eternal life. Cowards may kill the weak, but true power lies in the gift of eternal life.)


    5. Read Proverbs 4:10-13. What can we do to have better seasons of life? (This chapter in Proverbs teaches that if we accept the guidance of wise parents, and make wisdom part of our life, then we will be protected from problems.)


    6. Read Proverbs 4:7-9. What else will wisdom do in our life? (Not just protect us, but it will exalt us.)


      1. What kind of wisdom is this? (The wisdom that comes from God.)


  3. Interruptions


    1. Read Job 1:1. Is this a fellow who is being wise? (Read Job 1:2-3. We see that following God's ways made him rich and famous.)


    2. Read Job 1:8-12. Does this violate the normal rules of the universe? (We know the rest of the story, Job suffers terribly. His experience violates the normal rules of obedience and blessings.)


    3. Read Job 42:12-16. What does this tell us about the normal rules?


    4. Read Acts 8:1-3. Do you think that Saul believed that he was doing God's will?


    5. Read Acts 9:1-4. What is going through Saul's mind?


    6. Read Acts 9:5-6 and Acts 9:15-17. How has Saul's life been interrupted?


      1. Will Saul (later named Paul) end up, after the interruption, with a life like that of Job? (The statement about how much Saul must suffer, coupled with our knowledge of his life, tell us that the answer is "no.")


        1. Why is that?


    7. In both the life of Saul and the life of Job there is a supernatural interruption. Do both interruptions have the same purpose?


      1. Has your life been interrupted? Do you think it was supernatural, or merely a failure on your part to follow God's rules of the universe?


  4. Modifications


    1. We have seen so far that our God plans for order. There is order in the world around us, and there is a natural order to our life. However, sometimes the order of our life gets interrupted. That can arise from the natural consequences of our failure to follow God's rules, or it can arise from a supernatural intervention. Read Mark 4:24-25. In what other ways can the path of our life be changed? (The measure that we use for others will be applied to us! If we are generous to others, God will be generous to us. If we are stingy with others, God will be stingy with us.)


    2. Read Mark 4:26-28. When we discussed God being generous or stingy with us, are we talking only about money? What do the verses that we just read suggest? (The context of these verses is growing the Kingdom of God. I suspect that money is not the primary topic of the "generous/stingy" verses. Rather, I suspect it has to do with our talents.)


      1. How does our gospel work extend beyond our immediate efforts? (God blesses and increases it even when we are sleeping!)


      2. Many years ago, when I was thinking about "retirement," my plan was to buy a bus, convert it to a motorhome, and then travel from church to church teaching and preaching. I thought that I would enjoy doing that and it would bless others. How would you guess that writing this lesson compares to that plan? (My calculation is that the "bus plan" would allow me to reach 400 people a month - given the average size of churches. This lesson reaches tens of thousands of people a month.)


        1. What gospel work can you do that continues while you sleep?


    3. Friend, what part do you play in God's order? If you are not sure, why not ask the Holy Spirit, right now, to show you what God has in mind?


  5. Next week: The Choices We Make.
* Copr. 2019, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2019 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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