Dick Eastman wrote a book in 1978 called The Hour That Changes The World. It has been reprinted since that time. It’s focus is on prayer. In particular Eastman wants to convey the importance of Prayer and believes that Christians should devote more time to it. In his book he makes a case for having a plan or an outline that would act as a guide for prayer. He gives several categories that could be used to split up an hour into twelve five-minute sections of prayer.
I have used this particular method with a great deal of success. I can say with all honestly that having a prayer guide like this helps one to have focus and will enable you to pray for at least an hour without repeating thing over and over. I am not saying that longer prayers equal better prayers, but if you do set aside and hour for prayer and make the effort to meet God in a sincere heart of worship, then this helps you to do so without rambling. And the great thing about it is that you are not locked into praying one set prayer; it’s just a guide. This is a great crossroads between spontaneous prayer and praying with a plan.
Today I adapted this method for use in the small group that I lead at my home. It was a great time of worship. This is not to say that it would not have been a worshipful time without the guide, but the guide was definitely helpful.
The following is Dick Eastman’s grouping.
1. Praise and Worship
2. Waiting on the Lord
4. Pray the Word
You can download a 10 page summary PDF of this technique by clicking here. You can also find it on my Resource Downloads page. This is a summary that I found somewhere on the internet about a year ago. If you would like tot read Eastman’s book, you can find it on Amazon by clicking here, or on Christianbook.com by clicking here. I have not been paid to endorse the book or been given anything to do so. I just thought people might like to see the information first hand.
In a previous post I explained that I am outlining the New Testament. I begin by typing out the heading in each chapter and then I condense this to make my own outline. I have uploaded the ESV headings in PDF form here and on my resource download page.
In this update I have anded John and Acts.
Click on these links to download the PDF outlines:
The Woman Caught In Adultery
1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” [John 8:1-11 ESV]
One of the interesting parts about this event in the gospel is what happens here at the end. When people tell this story it often seems to be in an attempt to say that we should never call attention to sin. The Pharisees and the scribes were wrong to do what they did. I think these people cared less about her sin or her as a person (did they even see her as a person?) and more about trying to trap Jesus. They were right that she was in sin, BUT their motive was horrible. They had not considered this an occasion to lift a person up, but an opportunity to stone a sinner and bring this Jesus to ruin. There was no love in their motive. They were using their hands to hit, not to lift up and restore.
Now here is Jesus. He rescues her. That’s what Jesus does. He confronted the hypocritical religious establishment and they felt it hard. They left. (more on this below.) That is not were the story ends, although people tend to leave it at this point. Jesus, after saving her from and angry mob, and after releasing her from condemnation, tells her to stop sinning.
My point is this: it is not judgmental to point out sin if the motive is to help restore that person to their relationship with the Lord. This should be done out of love, not self-righteous piety.
The Pharisees and scribes were judgmental, Jesus was not, even though he called what she was doing sin. Jesus wants to forgive us, he also wants our obedience. The obedience can’t save us or make us like GOD in it’s own right, but when he saves us we are to become obedient, we are to become more like him. (1 John 5:3-5; John 14:21)
So, correct: do not judge. However, know this: coming to a person in love and seeking to help restore them to rightful relationship with the Lord is a good thing, and it pleases God. What did Paul say to the Galatians?
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6:1
So if we care for people then let us do this: To the lost, those who do not know the Lord, let us share the gospel. This includes letting them know that we, they, everyone in the world, has been stained by sin. The good news is that while were sinners Christ died for us! (Romans 5:8) That is good news! This woman needed good news. She was afraid for her life, and–I am convinced–of her sinfulness. Christ gave her both a new life and a new beginning.
To the backslidden Christian, Let us in love take their hand, pray for them, and help them to come back to the simple truth of the Gospel: “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
In either case, before we go to a person, let us examine ourselves, making sure we do not carry the same sin. The Pharisees and scribes would have done well to have first done some real self-examination. Even this however, comes from God. May he help us see our selves in truth and help us to help those around us. Amen.
P.S., Belief and unbelief– The un-condemned and condemned
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. [John 3:18 ESV]
As I read this text about the woman caught in adultery, I noticed something that I had not in past readings. Jesus is not only gracious to this woman, but to the Pharisees and the scribes as well. Jesus, on more than one occasion, was very harsh with the Pharisees and scribes but he was not in this case. He was gracious.
He would have been in the right to say as he had in the past, “You hypocrites!” and from there to tear apart their selfish arguments with truth. Instead, he extends to them an opportunity to see themselves as they really are: sinful. What a gift! This is right where we have to be in order to know and understand that we need to be saved. (Romans 6:23) But the saddest thing happens– they walk away.
Jesus stood before a huge crowd of people and one broken woman. Every one of them recipients of grace, and all but one walked away. Yes, they dropped their stones, but instead of falling at the feet of the only one that could bring them life they turned their backs on him looking for another way out. But the woman stayed.
Which one are you? Do you know the love of Christ? Do you have forgiveness? The point is not to be a follower of rules but a follower of GOD. Ask yourself, “Do I know this Jesus?” If you want to know more you can visit this link: http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/ or send me your questions in the form below.
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Mat 11:28-30 ESV]
Many of the people that visit my Blog also download the various Bible study worksheets that I provide. Today I want to share another with you that I found on www.heartofwisdom.com. The site is operated by a woman named Robin and it’s focus is centered around Christian homeschooling. I have uploaded one of the many templates that she has on her site. I suggest you go visit the site, especially if you download this template.
The file I have uploaded here has seven pages and includes the following bible study templates: Bible Notes, Bible Passages, Bible events, Bible characters, cause and effect lessons and How to make an outline. The image above is one example from the PDF.
Click here or on the image above to download the PDF. Alternatively you can visit my Bible study templates page and down load it from there while you peruse the other templates I have uploaded.
I’m currently taking a New Testament survey course. One of the tasks we are required to do for the course is to read and outline the New Testament. Our outlines have to be a condensed one page overview of the chapter. Before I make my own I read the book I am about to outline, and then I copy all of the headings out of the chapters along with the references for each. This allows me to be able to “see” the book as a whole and I then look for major divisions and make my own outline.
It occurred to me that some of you might like to have the long outlines that I have made from the study Bible, so I am posting them here. I’m posting the long versions which I made by typing out the headings, not my one page summaries. I would encourage you to look at them and see if you can see the major divisions in the books. As I finish them I will post the long versions here and on my resource page.
Outlines of the books of the New Testament (ESV, long)
Today I met with some friends of mine to discuss how to study GOD’s word. I pointed out that there is a difference between just reading the Bible and actually studying it. I believe it is best to do both: Read through the Bible as a book (because it is), and intentionally study the Word in smaller portions. Reading through the whole Bible helps you to gain a “big picture” view, while studying helps you to get down to the “meat” of the text.
There are many methods and templates one can use to study the Bible, but the basic premise comes down to four parts: prayer, observation, interpretation, and application. Prayer is essential in the reading or studying of GOD’s word because the Bible is inspired by GOD and therefore a spiritual thing.
[1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV]
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
I would give an in depth explanation here, but instead I think that you should download the packet that I made for my friends and read it. There are two articles –one from precept.org and one from christianity.com) that give a good overview of the basic principles of Inductive Bible study (Prayer, Observation, and Interpretation.) Observation is looking at the text to determine what it is saying. Interpretation involves looking at your observations and determining what the text means. Application is taking what you have learned and putting it into practice. This is crucial.
[James 1:22 ESV]
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
There are examples in the handout, along with a template for the S.O.A.P. devotional method. You will also see a page with the text of 1 John 1. I show how I use BlueLetterBible.org to copy the text of the Bible and paste it into a word document, giving myself a wide column on the side to write down observations.
If you see anything in the packet that confuses you feel free to contact me and ask questions.
I made this handout with information from the following sources. Check them out. They are worth the purchase. I was not paid or given any incentive to use or promote these sources. I just found them helpful and pray that they might help you in your journey of learning the Word of GOD.
Next week the small group Bible study that meets at my home will be discussing how to study the Bible effectively. I thought it fitting, therefor, to talk this week about why we should study the Bible.
Have you ever wondered why do read this book? Have you been asked that question and wondered what to say? There are many reasons to dig into, meditate, and apply the wisdom and good news from GOD’s word, and below is a summary chart of some of the reasons we discussed in our small group Bible study.
You can download a copy of the PDF summary here:
If you have not yet read the article titled “When should we address error?” at shepherdthesheep.com, take a minute to check it out. My last post dealt with defending truth and this article ask the question, should we fight error on the internet. I have asked myself the same question many times, and came to a similar conclusion as was given in this article. Arguing with people on the internet is fruitless at best, as many-if not most- people are not going to listen to what you have to say. I have rep roofed error on the internet in the past, but don’t spend a lot of time chasing down online heresy. I only have so much time to devote to this sort of thing and it seems better to me to invest in the people around me. It is far better to be a ” pillar and buttress of the truth” when you encounter it in person.
Originally posted on Shepherd The Sheep:
Any given day we can find something heretical and dangerous on the internet (do we even call it the world-wide-web anymore?). An exhaustive list of heresies would fill more pages than Scripture. Some of those errors are obviously wrong — for example an article claiming Jesus is not God. There are other doctrines that seem to skew Scripture ever so slightly and yet reek havoc on the soul like the family integrated faith movement. So how should we respond to error?
I had a conversation a few day ago with a gentlemen about GOD and the Bible. He saw me reading the Bible in a public place as I sat waiting for my wife and he asked me about what I was reading. Toward the end of our discussion he stated that he had come to the conclusion that “No one religion is right, because we are all God’s children.” I found it an interesting statement considering that he said that he regularly reads the four gospels.
My response to him was polite, but definite. “According to the GOD’s word, there is only one GOD and only one way to him: Jesus Christ. While it is true that we are created by the Lord, we are not all considered his children. In fact the Bible says:
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 (ESV)
GOD has given us an objective truth in the scriptures. They are not suggestions or opinions, but God-given principles and commands that he expects to be followed. Truth is real and it comes directly from GOD.
GOD’s word is truth and it:
…is sanctifying: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17 (ESV)
…Purifies: “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,” 1 Peter 1:22 (ESV)
…is part of a Christian’s armor: “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,” Ephesians 6:14 (ESV)
…is a statue that stands forever. “24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” [1Pe 1:24-25 ESV]
What is the churches relation to the truth?
First of all it is the means by which we come to GOD. Jesus is the truth and his gospel was given to reconcile us to him. 2 Tim 3:15 says that the scriptures are able to make us “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” Jesus even calls himself both the Truth and the Way in John 14:6.
In 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul calls the Church “a pillar and buttress of the truth.” This architectural metaphor is important, and means that GOD’s people are to uphold the truth, especially the truth of the Gospel.
How is truth attacked?
One can see three tactics used by Satan in his attack on the truth by looking at Genesis 3:1-6. These include doubt, denial, & deception.
In Gen 3:1 Satan tries to introduce confusion or doubt. He says to Eve, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” He knew exactly what had been said, and he was there to tempt both Adam and Eve into rebelling against GOD. Eve initially does well and clarifies what GOD had actually said to them. This is a common way that the world attacks the truth of GOD’s word. A confused mind is a disabled mind. Don’t be fooled by things that “sound right” but are actually misinterpretations. Christian’s must make every effort to understand what the word ACTUALLY says.
The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. (Pro 18:17 ESV)
“You will not surely die.” Genesis 3:4 (ESV)
Denial is an aid to doubt in the attack on truth. In Genesis 3:4 Satan is calling GOD a liar. Those who do not believe the word of GOD will often employ this tactic. We must remember, however, that the word of the Lord is both true and eternal, despite what the world thinks. (John 17:17; 1Peter 1:24-25)
In Genesis 3:5-6 we see the art of deception at hand. Satan is trying to convince Eve that eating the fruit of the tree is not only a good thing, but that it will make her like GOD. Repeated attacks on the truth and an ineffectual and almost non-existent defense of the truth on the part of Adam and Eve results in the fall of mankind:
How should we combat the attack on truth in our lives.
Recall: Know and meditate on the word of GOD.
There is no substitute for knowing and understanding the word of GOD.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8 (ESV)
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalms 119:9-11 (ESV)
Reproof with scripture: defend attacks on scripture with scripture.
In Mat 4:1-11: Jesus is in the desert fasting and praying and Satan comes to tempt him. Three times Satan attacks Jesus by twisting the scriptures to say what ever he wants. We see a pattern similar to the one used in the fall, only now he is using scripture.
- Mat 4:3 “If you are the Son of God turn these stones to bread…” Doubt
- Mat 4:6 “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,…” Doubt and Deception
- Mat 4:9 All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me. [Satan] Deception
Satan attacked the very identity of GOD the Son by trying to plant doubt and stir up pride and greed through use of deception. Each time Christ met the challenge with the word of GOD. Each time Satan attacked Jesus answered the same way: “It is written.” Leave out your opinion; let God argue his own case, use the scriptures. Give the proper context so that the scriptures cannot be twisted or perverted.
In Genesis 3:2-4 Eve initially gets it write when Satan tries to tempt her by attacking the truth. She know just what GOD said and correct Satan. Adam and eve should have taken that as a win and left at that point. What good did it do for them to stay and listen to a snake that was actively twisting GOD’s word in an attempt to temp them? What resulted was the fall of mankind and separation from GOD. When presented with an attack on GOD’s word, correct it, but don’t feel like you have to stick around. Remember what joseph did when he was tempted?
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them. Proverbs 22:5
You must be saved if you are to understand GOD’s word.
Recall, Reproof with scripture and Retreat are good tactics to use if the truth is under attack, but you simply won’t know the truth or understand it until you accept Christ as savior.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV)