A Place To Stand

January 29, 2012

Jay Strother · Ezra 7:8-10

1. What is the “foundation” for most of your thinking and decision-making? Do you place the greatest weight on your ability to reason, your life experience, biblical teaching (Scripture) or traditions?

2. Last week we discussed why the Old Testament is important. Let’s apply these today:

  • How is God the hero of Ezra’s story?
  • How do we see God’s promises (covenant) to His people carried out?
  • How does Ezra’s experience parallel and validate our own experience trying to follow God?
  • How does Ezra’s story point forward to Jesus?

3. What did Ezra “set his heart firmly” on? At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, what did Jesus say was “the rock” that can withstand life’s greatest storms? Based on these two examples, what difference does the foundation of your life make?

4. James 1:22 tells us that if we are only hearers of the Word and not doers, we deceive ourselves. What does this mean? Why do we have a difficult time with making clear and specific application of the Bible to our lives?

5. ACTION STEP: Take one passage of Scripture this week and walk through the “Reading for Transformation” steps encouraged by Dr. George Guthrie (“Read the Bible for Life”):

  • Approach the text with an attitude of humility and begin in prayer
  • Read carefully for understanding, using study tools to help
  • Identify and write down the main point and key supporting ideas
  • Find common ground with you and the original audience; also, consider key differences
  • In a series of concentric circles beginning with your own life and working outward, think about the contexts of your life to which this Scripture applies
  • Write down a specific application and action step that is clear and concise. What is my “next step” with what God has revealed to me through His Word?