Bible Study: Dec. 23 & Dec. 30, 2018

by staff/LifeWay Christian Resources, posted Thursday, December 20, 2018 (6 months ago)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Both the Dec. 23 and Dec. 30 Bible studies are published below.

Bible Study: Dec. 23, 2018

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 curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week's Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.

Bible Passage: Luke 1:26-38

Discussion Questions:

-- How is the keeping of family Christmas traditions the keeping of a promise? To whom are you keeping the promise?

-- What promises do you associate with the Christmas season? What does Jesus' birth reveal to us about God and His promises?

Food for thought:

Christmas is about promises kept. We promise to be home for Christmas, even if that is only in our dreams. We promise to get that special gift for that special loved one. We promise to be on our best behavior at the family gathering. If we break one of these promises, we can be assured that we will hear about it for years to come.

Even our family traditions are forms of promises as we keep memories alive and build new ones of future generations. Christmas is about promises kept.

Luke reminds us that the first Christmas was also about promises kept. He peppered his account of that first Christmas with allusions to promises. Nazareth, a virgin, house of David, the throne of David, and eternal rule over the house of Jacob all remind us of Old Testament promises.

Isaiah 7 and 11, 2 Samuel 7, Psalm 89, Daniel 7 are all pointed to in Gabriel's visit with Mary. These Old Testament passages emphasize the coming of a Messiah who would rescue God's people. God, the One capable of keeping all His promises, was doing just that. The promised Messiah was coming!

The promise of Christmas points to another set of promises yet to be fulfilled. The angel declared to Mary that God would give Jesus the throne of David and His reign would be eternal. Jesus promised to return some day and establish His forever kingdom.

Just as children await the opening of that first Christmas package, we wait in anticipation of the promised return of Jesus. God has been faithful to keep all His promises and we have no reason to doubt that He will fail to keep the remaining promises yet to be seen. The coming of Jesus is about promises kept.

Explore the Bible

Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at LifeWay Christian Stores.


Dec. 30, 2018

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 curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week's Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies For Life curriculum.

Bible Passage: Luke 2:25-35

Discussion Question: What's something you never thought you'd see in your lifetime?

Food for Thought:

More and more people are buying 3D printers. Far beyond the way old-school printers reproduce words on paper using ink, 3D printers create objects in myriad shapes from various materials.

But what if a 3D printer could be used to reproduce, say, a human liver? Researchers are already looking into the possibility. Instead of stacking successive layers of some material to create an object, a "bioprinter" would use a person's own cell tissue to construct living tissue. In the future, you could receive a transplantable organ with no risk of rejection.

Far-fetched? Just think how far-fetched a 3D printer once sounded, or walking around with a hand-held device with a camera, phone, and more computing power than NASA had for the moon landings. We have seen these amazing things in our own lifetimes.

The Jewish people had waited for centuries for the Messiah. God had promised He was coming through the prophets, but would it happen in their lifetime? One man in the Bible knew the answer. We don't know a lot about him, but we know this one thing: he knew he would see the Messiah before he died.

Simeon wanted to do one thing before he died. In fact, we know of only one thing on Simeon's "bucket list." Simeon had waited his whole life for this one thing, and it was definitely something worth waiting for. Simeon's desire was to behold the promised Messiah who would come to save us from our sins. Luke noted three revealing characteristics about Simeon.

-- Simeon was righteous and devout.

-- Simeon was looking for the Messiah.

-- Simeon was full of the Holy Spirit.

Just as the Spirit promised Simeon he would see the Messiah, now Simeon was "guided by the Spirit" to enter the temple at just the right moment. We might wonder what Simeon felt when he first saw and held Jesus. In those moments, this servant of the Lord saw and held what he eagerly had anticipated his whole life. We may not know what he felt, but thankfully we know what he said.

At that point, Simeon saw what others did not: salvation was not limited to one nation. Therefore Simeon's words could be viewed as a missionary hymn. The mission of the Messiah was to bring us all to God, and for that we can be eternally thankful.

Bible Studies for Life

Bible Studies for Life connects the Bible to life for adults, students and kids. Bible Studies for Life helps individuals and groups know God's Word through trustworthy content, creates biblical community through engaging and conversational group studies, and helps people engage the culture missionally by unpacking what the Bible says about real-life issues. More information can be found on the Internet at www.biblestudiesforlife.com.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at LifeWay Christian Stores.


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