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Bible Study and Prayer

October 13, 2018

YOU’VE GOT MAIL

The story is told of a soldier who was stationed thousands of miles away from his bride-to-be. James would pour his heart out to Sallie on the pages as though she were right there with him. The only thing that kept the two connected were the letters they would write to each other. The mail was often inconsistent, and there were times when Sallie wondered what James was thinking and what he was doing. There were even times when she wondered if he still loved her. James wrote faithfully, but often the messages would get lost or misplaced or even misdelivered. On one occasion he spelled out his commitment and love to her with unmistakable passion and certainty. But the letter that could have deepened their love for each other somehow got lost in the mail room in San Francisco. The loving words were lost in the cracks of the shelves in the post office.

James and Sallie married. On their fiftieth wedding anniversary they talked about how during those years apart they would anxiously wait for the other person to write or call. They reflected on the disappointment when the other person seemed to be silent.

Meanwhile, the old post office was being disassembled, and the letter written more than 50 years ago was discovered by a postal worker named Bob. Bob searched for an updated address and made sure the 50-year-old love letter was delivered. Upon delivery, Sallie opened the letter and burst into tears of joy at the words she read. She checked the date and realized that even in the times of silence James was still communicating his love to her. The message simply never got through.

In what sense is God’s message to people in Scripture like a love letter to us?

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Sabbath

FOR STUDY

Memory Text: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17, NKJV).

Our Beliefs, no. 1, The Holy Scriptures: “The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration. The inspired authors spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to humanity the knowledge necessary for salvation.”

Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 130-134

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Sunday

RESPONDING

Read Matthew 7:7, 8.

Benjamin wants to start studying the Bible regularly and living what it says in his everyday life. He hasn’t done this before and is a bit skeptical about being able to be consistent. He doesn’t really know where to begin or whom to talk to. Most of his friends don’t seem to have an interest in spiritual things. His family goes to church only occasionally. Where does he begin? What would you say to him?

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Monday

BIBLE ANSWERS ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

Read Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 30:5, 6; John 17:17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20; 21.

What do these passages say about the Word of God? Why is it important that you study the Bible daily as you seek to understand God’s will for your life?

The Bible is God’s love letter to us. The Holy Scriptures contain the revelation of God’s will to us. While God speaks to us through His Word, we can communicate with Him through prayer. He instructs us to “ask,” “seek,” and “knock” (see Matthew 7:7,8). If we “hunger and thirst” after His righteousness, He will honor our requests as He sees best.

Explain in your own words what the Bible passage in 2 Timothy 3:14-17 means to you. How can you gain wisdom from the Bible?

How can you make Jesus your best friend? Can you explain?

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Tuesday

REFLECTING

Every promise in the Word of God furnishes us with subject matter for prayer, presenting the pledged word of Jehovah as our assurance. Whatever spiritual blessing we need, it is our privilege to claim through Jesus. We may tell the Lord, with the simplicity of a child, exactly what we need.” “It is through the name of Jesus that every favor is received. God will honor that name, and will supply your necessities from the riches of His liberality” (Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 133).

How can having a conversation with someone help you grow closer to him or her? For instance, how does having a daily conversation with the person who has a locker next to yours make you better friends? Why is it important to speak to your parents every day?

How can having a conversation with God on a daily basis bring you closer to Him?

How would you describe your communication with God? Explain. See 1 Peter 1:8, 9.

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Wednesday

BIBLE INSIGHTS

Decode the message by finding each substitute letter or symbol. A few of the letters are given to help you get started. List the Scripture reference in the space below.
Q = T
C = W
L = S
Z = P
M = H

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
W S H T P

Q M Y
L Z U G U Q
M Y S Z L
P L
U T
D P G
C Y N R T Y L L .
C Y
X D
T D Q
R T D C
C M N Q
C Y
D P H M Q
Q D
Z G N J
E D G ,
K P Q
Q M Y
L Z U G U Q
M U B L Y S E
U T Q Y G O Y X Y L
E D G
P L
Q M G D P H M
C D G X S Y L L
H G D N T L .
N T X
M Y
C M D
L Y N G O M Y L
D P G
M Y N G Q L
R T D C L
Q M Y
B U T X
D E
Q M Y
L Z U G U Q .
K Y O N P L Y
Q M Y
L Z U G U Q
U T Q Y G O Y X Y L
E D G
H D X ’
L
Z Y D Z S Y
U T
N O O D G X N T O Y
C U Q M
Q M Y
C U S S
D E
H D X .

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Thursday

CONNECTING

Review the memory text.

Just like spending time with your best friend, you need to spend time communicating with God. In order to keep the relationship alive, you need to take time regularly to nurture the relationship. Friends who do not see each other communicate through letters, phone calls, e-mails, and other ways. How is your communication with God? Are you reading the Bible, His letter for you? What is your response to God as you pray and study the Bible? The more you spend time with God, the more you get to know His will. The natural outcome will be that you will want to be more like Jesus, and your prayers will be expressions of your trust in God. The fact that He will never stop loving you is right there in His Word (Jeremiah 31:3, Psalm 139, Isaiah 1, Ephesians 1).

The Bible is full of messages for you, not simply to tell you what to do, but to encourage you and strengthen you (Romans 15:4). There is a message in Scripture reminding you that you are God’s child. It’s in there. You just have to study, and as you do, God’s Word will change you.

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Friday

APPLYING

The following questions will help you study and understand the Bible and have a prayerful conversation with God.

Step 1 Take time to pray quietly and invite God to speak to you.

Step 2 As you read the Bible passages listed for today, pray for a deeper understanding of their meaning. Look at each word. Observe the details.

Read the following passages: Romans 15:4; Matthew 26:40, 41; Psalm 119:4, 5; Romans 8:26, 27.

Answer the questions listed below:
1. Is there an instruction to follow?
2. Is there a promise to claim?
3. Is this passage calling us to praise or thank God for something?
4. Is there an example to follow?
5. Is there a truth to believe?
6. Is there a rule or counsel to guide my life?
7. Is there a challenge for me?
8. What is the passage saying to those of us who read it? Put it in your own words.

Step 3 What is the message God has for me in the passage? What do I hear Him saying to me?

Step 4 How can I live differently today in light of my conversation with God?