Online Bible Study: Week Five, Chapters 9 & 10

We’re starting week 5, which means we’re over halfway into the Bible Study!  This is about the point where with busyness and stress it’s easy to miss a chapter or lag behind.  Please be encouraged and don’t give up!  Just read where you are and post when you can so that you don’t miss out on the lessons God wants to share with you and so that we don’t miss out on what you have to add to the discussion.

Chapters 9 & 10:  My Thoughts

It was loud in here this morning.

My youngest had discovered the volume button on the television and was sharing the sounds of Max and Ruby with all our neighbors.  My middle girl pulled out an entire town worth of toys and was neighing for the horses and vrooming for the cars.  My oldest was playing the piano and, in order to compensate for the rising residual noise, she played each note louder and louder.

Sometimes life is noisy.  Sometimes we can do something about it.  We can simplify our schedule, eliminate activities we shouldn’t be doing, take it slow, turn off the electronics for a bit and sit on the back porch on a summer evening and enjoy the silent night sky.

Sometimes, though, the volume of life is outside our control.  There are seasons where no matter how many activities we trim off the calendar, we’re just busy.  We have kids.  We have jobs.  We have carpools and doctor’s appointments, meetings and ministry, caregiving to perform or we’re trading in sleep for 3 a.m. feedings.

There are also seasons of storms, like the hurricane season we’re approaching.  One violent tempest after another shakes our simple fishing boat.  The winds are screaming.  The waves are roaring.  And it’s loud on the sea and no matter what we do, hearing the voice of God is difficult.

The disciples on the boat in the middle of the storm must have been shouting instructions to one another over the wind and waves.  It was loud, frightening and chaotic and there was little they could do about it.

For Elijah, God spoke in a still small voice at the Mountain of God.  But, for Job and for the disciples, God’s powerful voice cut through the din of wind and rain.  Job 38:1 says, “Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm.”  And Mark 4:37-39 tells us:

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

Jesus, Jehovah-Elohim, the All-Powerful God, spoke through the storm and the terrified ones in the middle of the tempest heard Him clearly and they witnessed His power over their circumstances. His is indeed a powerful voice.

And the point of it all, when His voice commands calm in the loudest of our life’s hurricanes, is that He be glorified.  The disciples were “terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!'”  (Mark 4:41).  On page 125, Priscilla Shirer wrote: “Jesus often chose the option that gave Him the greatest opportunity to demonstrate God’s power.”

He’ll be glorified in your storm.  Let that be what we seek—not rescue for our own sake and safety, but miraculous salvation for the glory of His name and so that we can “focus our attention on Him, learn more about Him,and praise Him” (p. 124).

Chapter Outlines:

Chapter 9: A Truthful Voice

On page 111, she notes that Jesus consistently told His disciples, “I am telling you the truth” and that after His ascension, He sent to them the Holy Spirit who would “guide you into all truth.”  What the Holy Spirit says to us will always be borne out in the unquestionable truth of God’s Word.

That truth should shake us up at times because we should allow it to challenge our traditions, feelings, and actions (pp. 112-113).

She also talks about the power of God’s Word to demolish strongholds in our lives, noting on p. 116: “The lies were quieting and His truth was ringing loudly.”

Chapter 10: A Powerful Voice

Please see “My Thoughts” above this week, as I covered much of what she wrote in this chapter.

Your Thoughts:

  • As always, what were some of your favorite quotes, passages, or verses from this week’s reading?
  • Do you have a Scripture that God has used to break down a stronghold in your life?  Maybe a verse that you go to time and again to fight against the attacks of Satan.
  • Tell about a time that you heard God’s voice clearly in a life storm.
  • On p. 126, she asked, “Do you truly believe there is enough power in God’s voice to do these kinds of things in your life today?”  Would you share with us your answer to that question?

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King

17 thoughts on “Online Bible Study: Week Five, Chapters 9 & 10

  1. Michelle Betts Girard says:

    ■As always, what were some of your favorite quotes, passages, or verses from this week’s reading?

    My favorite quote from chapter 9:

    When we read Scriptures, it’s as if He is squatting down in front of us, putting our face in His hands, and saying, “This is who I am, and this is what I am going to do. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Believe Me.”

    My favorite from Chapter 10:

    “Things don’t change when I talk to God; things change when God talks to me. When i talk, nothing happens; when God talks, the universe comes into existence.”

    ■Do you have a Scripture that God has used to break down a stronghold in your life? Maybe a verse that you go to time and again to fight against the attacks of Satan.

    My most favorite verse ever (this year) is Lamentations 3:22-23

    The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
    they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

    When I am beating myself up because I messed up AGAIN usually doing the same thing as before this verse brings me peace. To me this reminds me that God knows my intention, my struggles, and where my heart is. His mercy is new every morning. While I know we have to face the consequences of our choices I just feel like this verse is God saying “It is a new day. What happened yesterday doesn’t matter. Who you were yesterday doesn’t matter. Today is a new day with a clean slate. Talk about the ultimate do-over! past failures have always been a stronghold for me and this has helped me to move past SOME of that.

  2. Louise Carlton says:

    As usual it is all about where we put our focus as to what we see. Adjustment along the way of the Christian’s life is so important. We get caught up in doing the good, the right but our aim, our eye contact, our focus is off center! He is always to be glorified, to always receive our ultimate focus, it is eye to eye contact, heart to heart entwined, in and out of the storm!

  3. Janis Hedgepeth says:

    I too liked the following quite from Ch. 9
    God stands behind His Word. When we read scriptures, it’s as if He is squatting down in front of us, putting our face in His hands, and saying, “This is who I am, and this is what I’m going to do. Don’t let anybody tell you differently. Believe Me.” Anyone who refuses to act on the knowledge God reveals in Scripture will never know how to discern His voice. Where the Scriptures are ignored, He remains the unknown God.

    I thought the imagery was powerful and I could just picture God talking to His children in that way. I also included the warning toward the end of the quote which spoke volumes to me. I can’t ignore the scriptures or I will definitely miss out on important voice discerning.

    The following quote also stood out for me in Ch. 9:
    “The Bible is God’s message to everybody. We deceive ourselves if we claim to want to hear His voice but neglect the primary channel through which it comes. We must read His Word. We must obey it. We must live it, which means rereading it throughout our lives.” Elisabeth Elliot

    I take this as a personal challenge to me. I don’t think God is speaking to me any clearer than through this study, “Get in my Word, meditate on it, and let it be your guide to discerning not only My Voice, but My Will for you my child.”

    Strongholds against truth that Satan uses remind me of The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. Has anyone else read this one? It’s very powerful in explaining how Satan uses things which could be traditions, etc. in our lives to keep us from God. It is quite an eye opener.

    Libby’s story of hope and healing was inspiring as was her scripture memorization.
    The power of God’s voice described in Ch. 10 is beyond human comprehension. I told my daughter, Heather, that the information in this chapter did not hold any surprises. In my rather limited human capacity I do understand the power of God’s voice.

    • Michelle Betts Girard says:

      I take this as a personal challenge to me. I don’t think God is speaking to me any clearer than through this study, “Get in my Word, meditate on it, and let it be your guide to discerning not only My Voice, but My Will for you my child.”

      I feel exactly the same way. While I think this study has been great on discerning God’s voice for me it has been more about How much time I spend WITH God. Through prayer, through reading scripture, through memorizing His word building a more authentic relationship with God first seems to be where it is hitting me.

    • Marie Auker says:

      I read The Screwtape Letters (sorry for poor grammar, I don’t know how to underline a book title while on here). It was a big eye-opener on how Satan and his croonies are always behind the scenes planning and scheming. It will certainly remind you of the spiritual battle we’re always in.

  4. Heather K. Pantano says:

    These chapters for me really reinforced the essence of this book – “Get in the word and you will hear God’s voice.” While I do try to have daily reading time my challenge is using God’s Word in a personal way. I find that the majority of time I spend in the Bible is based on studying the word and what it means; studying the Word to understand God better. While this is all good, what I am missing is using the word to apply to MY life on a personal, daily basis. I have no problems going to God in prayer when I have an issue or problem but I somehow always “forget” to go to the Word for this same thing. The quote that struck me regarding this was, “Anyone who refuses to act on the knowledge God reveals in Scripture will never know how to discern His voice. Where the Scriptures are ignored, He remains the unknown God.” If that is not God speaking to me I don’t know what is.

    I have talked about my struggles with my own emotions getting in the way of truth sometimes. So another quote that really resonated with me: “This kind of truth doesn’t depend on how you feel or what you think, because whether you believe it or not, it is pure truth.” I wonder sometimes if I avoid scripture when going through something because I’d rather rely on MY emotions then surrender to the pure TRUTH of Scripture?

    Another quote I loved just because it seemed like such an awesome thing was: “The Holy Spirit is the only One who has direct access to the truth of God’s thoughts concerning you, and He has a desire to share these revelations.” It is amazing that our God who created EVERYTHING would care about me in such a personal intimate way and love me enough to want to reveal Himself to me! It is almost too much to comprehend, especially in light of all my faults. GOD IS AWESOME!

  5. Janis Hedgepeth says:

    I too have a problem with getting into God’s Word to get to know Him on a more intimate and personal level. I tend to read it as His love letter to me, but fail to really meditate on it and let it really speak to me. I do hunger for that type of relationship with the Lord so I’m happy that this study is really driving that point home.

  6. vickie mason says:

    I was just thinking and meditating on knowing God personally today – not juts knowing about Him. I started thinking about Jer. 29:11, Romans 8:28 and many other verses and who God is, knowing that He loves me. When I start my tantrum because I’m not getting my way, I was reminded about how God knows all and loves me. He knows what the future holds and by not giving me what I want, when I want it, He is protecting me as well as teaching and molding me. We all need those periodic reminders.

  7. Marie Auker says:

    A lot of us seem to be getting the same things from this study as far as spending quality & quantity time with God as well as meditating on His Word. Most everything I have underlined or highlighted in my book, someone has already brought up. So I thought I’d take a moment to answer Heather’s questions on scriptures and hearing God’s voice in storms.

    Scriptures: My first favorite that I use A LOT most everyone has probably already memorized. It is Phil 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I use this for a variety of things. When I have to face medical issues, like giving blood, I probably say it 15 times! When I’m feeling like God has called me to a task that I don’t feel capable of, it’s usually the first one that comes to mind. I have had strength from it when I’m just physically and mentally exausted and something else comes up that requires my attention. Another favorite one is Psalm 27. Of course the whole Psalm is good. I read it often. I often have to meditate on Psalm 27:1, The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? I also love John 16:33, I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. Of course, there are many more. I could go on all day!

    Clearly hearing God’s voice in a storm: I developed anxiety attacks while in Carolina. What I get are heart attack symptoms. That scared me to death on more than one occasion. Of course, I went on medication. What finally worked for me, was being able to pray, breathe deeply, and talk to God. On another occasion, I went into preterm labor with Brian. He decided that at only months into this whole thing, he was coming out. During my week-long stint in the hospital, I had many issues. First of all, I’m not a good patient! I don’t handle medical things very well at all! If I don’t go into anxiety attack symptoms, I at least won’t be able to concentrate on anything, and will usually cry myself to sleep, if I get any at all. Of course, I had the usual machines hooked to me to monitor blood-pressure, pulse, etc. When my numbers would get elevated enough to be of concern, Billy would read the Bible to me. It wouldn’t take long, and the numbers on the monitor would start going down. I often thought it helped. I now had medical evidence that it helped! On yet another occasion, God gave the verse, “I will turn your weeping into joyful dancing” to me three times in one week. Then my dad died. I didn’t even remember that in the midst of everything going on at the time. About 3 months later, God gave it to me again. It wasn’t until that moment, that I realized he was trying to prepare me mentally for what was to come. It was very clearly His voice at that time letting me know that all along He knew what was coming and it was going to be okay. When Mom passed away, was another trying time. While I was sad, I still had a peace. For those of you that don’t know me, she was in an automobile accident with a friend. The friend was driving. They went through a red light on Route 17 and were t-boned instantly. The driver was killed and my mother was flown to Sentara Trauma Center in Norfolk. Ten days later, I had to sign papers taking her off life-support. It was hard. All I know is, God was in control and he has changed my life! If not, I guess I would have responded as a lot of others thought I might have. I have NO ill feelings towards anyone at all over the accident. It was simply her time to go.

    I can tell you that memorizing Bible verses has helped me through many situations. You never know what they’re going to help you through. If you haven’t put them in, then the holy spirit cannot “remind you of these things.”

    • Michelle Betts Girard says:

      John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” is one of my favorites.

      Peace is a big thing for me 🙂

      • Heather C. King says:

        I love that one, too, partly because Jesus is no faker or politician. He isn’t promising a life of ease or some mystical blessing. He tells us straight up—-this world is tough. Bad things happen. You’re going to face some trouble.

        And then He gives us the reason to hope—-He has overcome the world.

        Praise God!

  8. Linda Meredith says:

    I have noticed a calm and quietness about the division with my daughter, my family and others do not understand my peace with my situation. Of course, I know the reason-God says, “My peace with you I leave, not as the world leaves, but as I do” He is enough! He is my all in all. Of course in my humaness, I have moments of tearfulness. But——I know God is in control and sees every detail of what is happening. He loves Jenn and her family as much as He loves me. He will take care of all of us in the midst of the storm. He will be glorified in whatever happens. My church family is as important to me as any of my biological family, and I know I can get God from you all!

  9. Terri Harmon says:

    This month my church, Yorkminster Presbyterian is doing a sermon series on prayer. Today the sermon was about “Pray so God will Answer”. I thought that this went right along with this online bible study so I wanted to share this verse from Luke 11:9, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” I am going to read this verse for the next week and mediate on it and see what happens.

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