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Bible Study Notes 2/28/2023

Word Alive! © 2023 Winter Series Living and Thriving Again! Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor

Tuesday, 28 Feb. 2023, Lesson/Chapter 3, Part 1

Thom S. Rainer, Anatomy Of A Revived Church, ©2020

Quiet Time: Thom S.Rainer, Lesson/Chapter 3 (pp. 43-57)

Putting Intentionality Over Score Cards – Renewed life and meaningful change in the Christian life, cannot be attained by merely “keeping score” of our wrongs and rights. Although genuine change does involve deep spiritual reflection and inner adjustments, these should not be the result of obsessive effort. Because we live in a society that gives credence to “how much” we do,have, and engage in certain activities; there’s a tendency to measure success by quantity, rather than quality. When Jesus sat near the temple one day observing the habits of people who participated in the collections, he noticed a stark contrast between those who gave prideful from their large wealth, and one person who had very little, but humbly gave all she had. Jesus redefined how we count generosity, by focusing on the intentional nature of the woman in honoring God with her gift (Read, Mark 12:41-44, NLT). The two coins the woman gave, represented about two cents for every larger coin the others gave. Another way of looking at this is, if the offering of the wealthy who prided themselves on what they gave, represented an eight-hour work day wage; the woman’s gift represented 20 minutes of a work day. Jesus saw the modesty of her offering, and commended her in that she didn’t give from what she had; but all of what she possessed. In the eyes of Jesus, the widow’s gift had much greater value. Our spiritual worth is of greater value than the standards the world measures things by. We should all avoid being tempted by the amount of the things we do. A Christian’s emphasis should be on how intentional we are in being used of God to grow in Christ; and to represent His presence in the church and the world. In our personal lives in Christ, and in our ministry as His body, it is helpful to use some meaningful standard to measure our effectiveness. However, that standard should encourage and help us to grow deeper in Christ; and to see evidence of our Christian lives and ministries in how we reach others outside of Christ. We are encouraged in this way: “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm. God can be trusted to keep His promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:23—24, NLT). Jesus shares a parable

where, among other things, he warns His listeners about holding to obsessive habits and standards that draw attention to self. Of the two men who went to pray, the non-religious man, a self- confessed sinner, is forgiven by God. Only sincerity and intentionality of purpose, will bring spiritual renewal and maturity. In his book, Anatomy of A Revived Church, Thom Rainer says, we measure “to make sure we’re on track.”

__________________________KEY IDEA__________________________

What We Believe!

“We must be intentional, and not obsessive, in our need to revive life and renew vigor in our Christian life and ministry.

  1. Being intentional in our faith, brings maturity and renewal.

  2. Obsessively keeping scores, can harm substantive change.

__________________________KEY VERSES__________________________

Mark 12:41-44, NLT

“Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large sums of money. Then a poor widow came and

dropped in two small coins. Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has to live on.”

Luke 18:9-13a, NLT

“Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer. ‘I thank you God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared

not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow saying,

‘O God be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home more justified before God…”

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