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Bible Study Notes 6/6/2023

Word Alive! © 2023 Spring/Summer Series Dare To Dream And Grow Your Faith! Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor Tuesday, 6 June 2023 Lesson 1, Part 1


Rick Warren, Created To Dream, © 2023

Quiet Time: Rick Warren, “Created To Dream..."


Created To Dream In this study, we will look at principles in Scripture that help us see God’s intent for His created people. Specifically, how we grow and mature through various phases of our lives, as our faith is further developed. It is through our belief in God’s fundamental nature to bring us to new and enriched places, that we come to understand the value of imagining His eternal purpose for our lives. In our devotional book for this series, Created To Dream, author and pastor Rick Warren, says: “God dreams. Just look around…You can’t get past the first phrase of the first verse of the first chapter of the Bible without coming face-to-face with God’s creativity. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created.” God imagined and spoke everything into existence…” We will note that to dream is to imagine. The base term in imagine or imagination, is the word “image.” We were created in the image of God. This simply means, we were created to become “like” God in attributes which are revealed. The term imago Dei, means “in the image of God.” A dream becomes an image of a reality that commends itself to us. In the prophecy of Jeremiah, the Lord warns the nation to avoid following the false dreams of others. God spoke of His image and dream for Israel’s future and survival. (Read, Jeremiah 29:8-9; 11, NLT). Dreams which have meaning and purpose in God’s divine plan, often are created against the background of some calamity or uncertainty. In the great Creation narrative, God conceives (dreams; imagines) the earth, which is then created out of what appears to be chaos (Read, Genesis 1:1-2, NLT). God brings order from the vague and obscure. In the sacred wisdom writings in Scripture, whatever God imagines or dreams is a part of His eternal nature. Unlike pagan deities who depend on external forces to give them credence; wisdom and thought are inherent in God’s divine nature. Wisdom testifies of its place with God from the beginning. (Read, Proverbs 8:22-26, NLT) Although wisdom was a part of God’s nature, it was Jesus Christ, who participated with Him in all of creation. (Read, John 1:2, NLT). As Christians, our faith in Jesus Christ is the source of our spiritual growth and our imagining. We become mature in the faith, through our fellowship with Christ, and in learning and living the principles of Scripture. Our spiritual development and formation are not automatic; but occur through the various phases of our lives that God uses to help us mature, and to dream. Our dreams do not derive from what people outside of us imagine; but the source of our dreams is rooted in our relationship with the Lord and His plan for our lives. By faith, all Christians should dare to dream!


Created To Dream, Part 2 The Scripture is clear, that God has a destined purpose in our lives. The God who has a divine imagination, and creates, can do “infinitely more” for us than we could ever perceive and create ourselves. (Read, Ephesians 3:20-21, NLT). Pastor Rick Warren reminds us that God has created intricate systems in the galaxies, and with all living things on earth. A portion of this divine imagination and creativeness, Warren says, God also has put in us: “He [God] gave you the ability to create too, by giving you the capacity to dream, imagine, andplan.” We should always acknowledge any capacity we have, is given by God, and is subject to His scrutiny. Zerubbabel’s motivation to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem after the exile, came to him by an angel after a vision-dream. The angel assured Zerubbabel; only with God’s guidance and participation, the task would be completed and the dream fulfilled. (Read, Zachariah 4:4-7, NLT). Rick Warren observes, “Typically, the older people become, the less they dream and think about being creative.”

He rightly stresses the fact that a person’s faith is integral to their ability to conceive something better in life. We should never stop dreaming. The late Dr. Howard Thurman often said, “If a person has a dream in their heart, they will never lose the significance of living.” Age should neither be a barrier to dreaming; nor to using our faith to re-imagine God’s continuing purpose in our lives. Any desire, dream, or imagination we have, requires faith. The writer of the Book of Hebrews clearly states the relationship between desire and faith (Read, Hebrews 11:6, NLT). Often, we pray for the changes and resources we desire; however, the Scripture states the conditions of prayer, require knowing that God exists; and believing that He will reward us with the petitions we offer and the needs we have. John, in his First Epistle, states that our desires (dreams) must be aligned with the will of God. (Read, I John 5:14-15, NLT). The great emphasis in this verse, is God acting on what pleases Him; and our spiritual maturity in knowing that what we ask God for, is not contradictory to His will. The emphasis we find in a purely human approach to dreaming, places the complete fulfillment of the dream within our human capacity, alone. When dreaming, desiring, or re-imagining are spoken of within the Christian faith, it must always be grounded in God’s purpose for us; our faith in God; and knowledge of His sovereignty (Read, Romans 4:16c-17, NLT). The prophets of old spoke out against the diviners and fortune-tellers. Their visions and dreams were neither corroborated with, nor approved, by Yahweh. Only God speaks life, hope, and true destiny to the faithful!


KEY IDEA

What We Believe!

“Dreaming is an initial step God uses to bring change.”

  1. "With God, dreams have a divine purpose for fulfillment!

KEY VERSES

Jeremiah 29:8-9 11, NLT

“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel says, “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams, because they are telling you lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the Lord… “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”


Genesis 1:1-2, NLT

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the water.”


Proverbs 8:22-26, NLT

“The Lord formed me from the beginning, before He created anything else. I was appointed from ages past, at the very first, before the earth began. I was born before the oceans were created, before the springs bubbled forth their waters. Before the mountains were formed, before the hills, I was born – before he had made the earth and fields and the first handful of soil.”


John 1:2, NLT

“God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him.”


Ephesians 3:20-21, NLT

Now all glory to God, who is able through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen.”


Zachariah 4:4-7, NLT

“Then I asked the angel, “What are these my lord? What do they mean?” “Don’t you know,” the angel asked. “No my lord,” I replied. Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Nothing not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will become a level plane before him! And when Zerubbabel sets the final stone of the Temple in place, the people will shout: “May God bless it! May God bless it!”


Hebrews 11:6, NLT

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists, and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.”


I John 5:14-15, NLT

“And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for.”


Romans 4:16c-17, NLT

“For Abraham is the father of all who believe. This is what the Scriptures mean when God told Him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.”


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