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The Task-Filled Life Online Bible Study

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The Task-Filled Life Bible Study Table of Contents

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THE TASK-FILLED LIFE Bible Study
Jan Brunette – 2018

Each day's lesson will be posted online according to the date in parentheses following it.

Promote this study in your church with a bulletin byte (Word doc)

Week 1
THE GREAT I AM

Week 2
THE GOD OF ALL HOPE

Week 3
THE GOD OF DELAYS

Week 4
GOD’S FAITHFULNESS

Week 5
ABUNDANT SPIRITUAL TREASURES

Week 6
THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST

Hope in His Righteousness

Week 2, Day 4

Hope in His Righteousness

Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you (Psalm 71:19)?

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 36:5-7 NIV).

No one could say it any better than that! God’s amazing love and faithfulness is beyond comprehension. The spiritual blessings He awards us in our Baptism are insurmountable. His Word reveals His righteousness, His justice, and His unfailing love. Christ revealed it on the cross; we acknowledge it through faith – a faith He grants us on a daily basis. The more power and grace we experience in our active, relentless lives, the more we know of His presence. Whether pounding the pavement, sitting at a desk job, or caring for our growing children at home, there is no limit to God’s righteousness. Even when these blessings appear hidden because of doubts, cares, and concerns, His righteousness is there. When clouded by illness, guilt, and even depression, His righteousness covers us. It reaches the high heavens, the very throne of God, where it is covered by the blood of Jesus and already atoned for. Having experienced every weakness, we may encounter and endured every temptation known to man, He conquered it all, and because He is in us, we, too, are conquerors. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23).

The God of all hope is with us daily. Through His Word, His righteousness reveals how the cross justified us, for it is “just as if I” had never done it. He paid the price, and He brought us into a safe place through His suffering, death, and resurrection. We are His, washed and redeemed for eternity, and someday we will see Him face to face, exposing the full truth of His redemption – for me and for you.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you (1 Peter 1:3-4).

Prayer:

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
No merit of my own I claim But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.
LSB #575, verse 1

Hope When Old and Gray

Week 2, Day 3 

Hope When Old and Gray

So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come (Psalm 71:18).

One of the greatest privileges of life is when we become grandparents. Even if we don’t inherit natural grandchildren, there are so many other children in our lives that can bring us joy and laughter. As reminders of our younger years, we recall the innocence and carefree attitudes they personally possess. However, we also struggle with the need to share with them how the failures they experience in life today will only lay the groundwork for God’s work and vision for them in the future. Needing to help paint their current world with the colors of God’s grace and mercy, we can open new ideas of why struggles occur and how it will eventually become a beautiful portrait of who they will become. Hopeful that the carefree moments we spend in their presence will encourage them, we pray for the ability to reveal a Savior who abides in them and loves them beyond all measure – in spite of what might be going on in their world. Simple messages sent in texts, birthday cards, and Facetime with them may alter the craziness in their own personal task-filled lives. With grades that make or break their day, expectations of others, or disappointments of goals unfulfilled, our responses often lay groundwork for who they will become and the attitudes developed regarding these circumstances.

We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done (Psalm 78:4).

Turning old and gray need not be a time when we believe life is ending. Rather it can be viewed as a time when God’s work is beginning in a new way. While some may have free time, others may be swallowed up with physical ailments and concerns. Regardless of our activity level or our health, God’s work for our families and for others never ceases. What we choose to do in a given day reflects Christ’s divine love. Our family members watch us. Our sisters and brothers in Christ observe how we cope with the aging process. As the Holy Spirit uses us, so His grace and mercy becomes evident, His glorious deeds shared, and His might and wonders observed. It is a special time to know that God is near and to reveal His grace and mercy to all to whom we are sent. What a privilege and a beautiful way to end our days on this earth!

Prayer: Dear Father, be with me in my aging years. Help me to realize that the time is short to share Your love with my family and friends. Prepare the way and give me the strength to do all You have still called me to do. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Hope in Changing Lifestyles

Week 2, Day 2 

Hope in Changing Lifestyles

O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds (Psalm 71:17).

In our days of social media and the internet, many are driven by what is posted, viewed, and experienced on our iPhones, laptops, and iPads. Small children are addicted to checking on it every day; young people are committing suicide because of bullying; and adults scan programs and practices not fit for any child of God to see. Yet its use is rampant and acceptable today. Children have tantrums when the devices are taken away; young people would rather spend hours on them rather than have personal one-on-one conversations; and adults are more committed to working on the internet than having family time at dinner or on special outings without the devices. When does it end? How can the family connection return and be restored?

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I many fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever (Psalm 86:11-12 NIV).

Social media is incredible for connecting with family and friends or when desiring to share exciting news. The internet is extremely helpful for doing research and sharing the gospel for Christ. In fact, this is one of the chosen avenues through which Bible studies, such as this one, are being sent. As with almost anything in our lives, the newly invented means of communicating can be powerful tools of encouragement and the strengthening of our resolve to live better, healthier lives. Yet, like a bridge over rapidly flowing, sometimes-muddy waters, we need to pray that God will give us wisdom to use the bridge wisely and not fall into the flow beneath, getting caught up in its movement. Otherwise, before long that flow may pull us under and our resolve to use these blessings wisely may drown us in a lifestyle we never would have chosen. It is then that we can cry out to God and say:

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long (Psalm 25:4-5 NIV).

Even in our hectic, fast-paced, task-filled lives, Christ daily beckons us to remain close to Him first. In and through His powerful Word, hope today remains secure. His wisdom and guidance become ours. His truths remain strong as His Spirit becomes our bridge to truth – the truth of Christ. As each day begins, honor Him with praise and the determination to learn of Him first. Whether on our iPhones, the internet, our iPads, or a hard-bound Bible, let us make it our goal to seek Him first and always.

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, prepare my heart today to use the blessings of technology to better serve You and also to always be aware of its lure for things not of You. May Your Spirit forever be my guide and guardian. For Jesus’ sake I ask this. Amen.

Hope in God's Beautiful Planning

Week 2, Day 1

Hope in God’s Beautiful Planning

For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you (Psalm 71:5-6).

God has known it all before time began – from the color of my hair and eyes to the gifts and talents I was to possess. God’s foreknowledge planned the family into which I would be born, the homes I would live within, and the multiple states in which I would reside. He knew the friends I would have, the colleges I would attend, and the marriages I would experience. Even more astounding, God not only beautifully designed the godly parents I would have, but also knew of the commitment to His Word and ministry I would eventually possess. Washed in the redeeming blood and righteousness of Christ, He would also know of my mistakes, my selfishness, and my feelings of inadequacy and fear. Yet Christ, like Solomon to his bride, marveled and said of me, “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Solomon 4:7). He said this because He knew that when the fullness of time had come, He Himself would redeem me, restore me, and receive me as His own (Galatians 4:5-6).

Psalm 139:13-14, 16 – For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made … Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.

Christ saw the beauty in us, even with our faults, flaws, and inconsistencies. From eternity, He allowed, permitted, and prepared the way for us in advance – warts, mistakes, and all. His Spirit would be our constant guide. Through our Baptism into His kingdom, we became His child, His friend, His bride. Even if life seems overwhelming at times, nothing was ever desired other than our best – His best. The bad that happens, He uses for good. The doors that open for ministry and sharing are His to lead and guide. The closed doors are used for the purpose of protection or for lessons in trust through waiting. All is accomplished in love, to draw us closer to Him and to develop an understanding of His cross.

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

When you were born, imagine Jesus saying to the Father, “How beautiful she is for she is one-of-a-kind, destined to love and serve You through the power of Your Spirit. She is My chosen bride, precious and honored in My sight, and I love her” (Isaiah 43:4). No greater gift can be given than knowing of this beautiful, loving plan for our lives.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for revealing to me the greatest love known to mankind. May Your praise forever be on my tongue. Amen.

The God of All Hope

Week 2, main session

THE GOD OF ALL HOPE

Climbing the two steps toward the horse, I made my first attempt to sit in the saddle. With the desire to learn to ride a horse as a target on my bucket list, I was nonetheless terrified of this huge beast after hearing the trainer warn me of all the possible, frightening choices this horse could make. Yet yearning to proudly say I was able to cross this item off my list, I was determined. Once sitting high astride this big monster, I began to wonder if I had bitten off more than I could chew. With the feeling of sitting atop a mountain that could throw me at any time, I knew it was too late to change my mind and decided to make the best of it. My greatest hope was to make it through the experience without having a major catastrophe. As my horse trainer gently led me – and the horse – through the steps of using the reins and my legs to nudge and guide her through our one-hour experience, I still felt insecure, yet proud of myself for the attempt. It wasn’t until it was time to dismount that I realized my most challenging obstacle lay ahead. Needing to hoist my right leg over the back of the horse, I soon discovered that this 73-year-old lady’s leg simply couldn’t stretch far enough to lift that leg, and being a tall person, there was a lot of leg to lift. Fortunately, after numerous tries, my attempts proved successful and I thought, “Maybe next time my hope of easily riding this horse will come to fruition.” Although I knew I hadn’t truly learned to guide the horse around the arena on my own, my hope of doing so did not fade. However, I was painfully aware that some personal stretching and additional trust in the trainer would be absolutely necessary.  

My experience on the horse reminded me of the words in Psalm 147:10-11: His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Yes, the horse was strong and beautiful, and yes, the legs of this woman were not. But I realized my greatest accomplishment was not in the completion of something I did on my bucket list. While it was truly an experience I will never forget, yet even more amazing is my relationship with Jesus Christ. His ultimate presence far surpasses anything I could accomplish on my bucket list. The training I would have encountered on the horse will never come close to the successful training I receive in Christ through the study of His Word. Because of that, the Living Word adventure will remain the number one item on my bucket list. All else is temporary and will fade when this life ends.

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, the need for hope is crucial, as many people die emotionally or give up on life without it. Scripture tells us that if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience (Romans 8:25). Give us that patience as we learn more of the hope that can only come through You. In Jesus’ name and for His sake we ask this. Amen.

MY HOPE RESTS IN YOU, LORD

The task filled life often overwhelms us.Though technology has greatly simplified how we do things, the extra freedom we have may cause many to fill the time with even more activity. Before we know it, a mountain of responsibility looms large and we wonder if we will ever be able to cross over to the other side where rest and relaxation are possible. With brains focused on work, business obligations, the children’s activities, and our own personal agendas, we decrease the time in the Lord’s house or in His Word. It is only when a crisis occurs or exhaustion takes over that we realize we need strength to dismount, or cross over from, the temporary to the eternal.

God’s solution for all circumstances is possible – a solution that includes a Rock of safety, a Rock that equips us to reach the heights and beyond.

How can knowing of God’s security give us hope during those times when the tasks to be done in this life seem insurmountable? Although we may not be learning to ride a horse or physically climbing a mountain, be assured that hope in the renewing and reviving love of Jesus is always ours.

HOPE MAY REQUIRE STRETCHING

When there is a mountain of responsibility or challenges looming before us, blocking our way forward, we have four choices. We can:

  • Pray that God moves the mountain, which takes faith. Maybe it isn’t a physical mountain that needs to be moved but rather confidence in what He can do as we face the challenges. See Matthew 17:20.
     
  • Take the cumbersome, tedious trek up the mountain to get to the top or other side. Perhaps we are already moving forward in faith and we simply need strength to take one step at a time. No matter our circumstances, we can pray for a new perspective. Read Habakkuk 3:17-19 to discover an attitude that is possible to attain.
     
  • Remain where you are, while waiting for God’s wisdom and guidance in taking another step or finding a way through. Sometimes the wait is excruciating, but it may be the vessel that God chooses to strengthen us and embolden us to perceive Christ’s sacrifice and His own grace in the process. It is one of the best ways to learn trust, no matter how painful the wait. See Psalm 27:14 and James 1:5-6 to learn of encouragement during this difficult time.
     
  • Make the choice of so many others to sit and whine about the challenge and do nothing. 

The first three require a trust in God. The fourth admits defeat and relies on self. Any option is possible. Our prayer is that the fourth option may be overcome, for when we choose this option we begin to lose hope. Remember that true hope rests in the person of Jesus Christ, not in what we do or the selection we make. It is in the process of climbing the mountain or dismounting the horse that we stretch and grow. It is viewing Christ as the true Rock on which our hope remains. It is there that we can shout, “My hope rests in You, Lord,” and it is through the stretching process that we have learned to view His glory in the climb. 

Find encouragement in the following words as your group reads these words together:

For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you…O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?... My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed. And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long (Psalm 71:5-6, 17-19, 23-24a).

Read Romans 5:1-5, 8. Note how many times the word “hope” is used. Also record the progression of how hope is acquired. Verse 5 in the ESV states: God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Share what the significance of that verse means in your personal lives. Conclude with verse 8, which grants us the confirmation of where our true source of hope rests.

Other verses that may strengthen our hope in the Rock, Jesus Christ, are:

Ephesians 1:17-18
Colossians 1:27
Hebrews 10:23

The power and love of Jesus Christ is beyond our comprehension. The sacrifice He made for us far exceeds any pain or emotional turmoil we are required to endure. Like mounting a horse for the first time at the age of 73, we may be filled with fear because of viewing the heights below, yet Christ is our example of courage and strength. He never faltered to give His very life for us. It is His very own hope for us that He wishes to share with us. He is the Living Rock on whom we stand, even when crushed under the weight of our task-filled lives. When answers are long in coming and there appear to be no answers, Christ Jesus is still the answer. When all seems hopeless, it is then that we can shout, “My praise is continually of you…I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge” (Psalm 17:6b, 13-15).

STUDY TIME

In our daily studies for the week, we will use Psalm 71 to focus on how hope plays a part in our entire lives, from before conception to the time we reach our heavenly home. As you walk through this journey in life, remember the following:

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you  (Psalm 33:18-22 NIV).

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that You are my hope and my solid rock on which to stand, even when climbing the most difficult mountain experiences of my life. May Your strength be mine in the journey. Amen.

Excuse #5

Week 1, Day 5

Excuse #5

We have one last excuse – or should I say, one last plea for a release from the assignment!

But [Moses] said, “O, my Lord, please send someone else” [bold added] (Exodus 4:11).

After all that God has revealed, my human reaction to this would be to clinch my teeth and fists and say, “Really? Moses, what are you thinking? God assured you that He would be with you as you serve Him; He revealed His divinity as the “Great I AM”. Signs and wonders poured from His hand, and then He promised to speak in and through you. How much proof do you need that He will be your strength, wisdom, and guide?”

PERSONAL THOUGHTS:

Was your reaction the same, or could you see yourself using this excuse? If so, name the circumstances you encountered that motivated it. Then reveal how God responded.

Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well … You will speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do” (Exodus 4:14-15).

Amazing! There was NO excuse God would accept. It all rested in His hands, and it was a mission too important to give to someone else. Leading millions to the “promised land” was Moses’s calling. God designed it. God planned it. He would see Moses through to the end.

God didn’t give up on Moses in spite of his many excuses. “I AM” had an incredible job for him to do and knew he was the “man of the hour.” Although angry with Moses, God nonetheless offered a solution for this last excuse. By doing so, He enabled Moses to finally yield to the position of service laid out for him. Acceptance and knowledge of Moses’ frailty didn’t stop God from pursuing – and forgiving – Moses, and God does not fail to forgive us and pursue us.  As His called and chosen, He can and will continue to lead and guide us. The field is white; the harvest is waiting.  We need to heed the burdens of our hearts and trust the doors will open – in His time and way. It may be days down the road, or perhaps, even years (after all, it took Moses 40 years to be prepared for his calling). As we believe, His calling will become evident and His power will be ours.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

How large or small is your calling? What are its challenges? Christ is larger than all of them and His Word reveals it. Through the Holy Spirit, you can conquer your fears, get rid of excuses, and learn to trust.  The journey ahead may not be leading a nation but rather leading little children. Whatever your calling, believe that through the journeying process you will learn to love, cherish, and adore the great “I AM”! 

May it be so, sweet Jesus. May it be so!

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