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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

View the printable PDF of the full Bible study, The Task-Filled Life

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

Christ for all, in all, and through all

Week 6, Day 5

The Ultimate Conclusion: Christ for all, in all, and through all

For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).

My heart is filled with awe and wonder for the still untold stories of God’s grace and mercy. What final words can I give today that have not already been said? My mind is full of the goodness of the Lord in my life, and I will never cease sharing it. Yet there are days when crazy things pop up into my very hectic, task-filled life, and I have had to remind myself of the mercies from the past. It is on those days that He has opened the truths in Scripture I desperately needed, at just the right moment in time. It is then I knew Christ remained faithful as He brought me closer into His fold and transformed me in attitude and desire. 

Often times when I questioned Him, I used the following verses as reminders of the hope I have in Him:

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is the everlasting rock (Isaiah 26:3-4).

With the perfect peace of Christ abiding in me, I take comfort in the fact that I am assured of His tender love. I would not want anyone to walk away with any other knowledge than that of Christ and Christ alone as a result of these devotions. Christ is for all, in all, and through all. He is everything we need. The overseeing eyes of the Lord are continually on us as we walk through this valley here on earth. No matter our mistakes and our occasional bumbles along the way, we are still His ambassadors as though God were making His appeal through us (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). He loves us as we are! Nothing will ever change that. The Father will continue to mold and make us into His Son’s likeness even when our task-filled lives are difficult. Rejoice in them, for they are the tools God uses to shape us.

To conclude I want to give you the following verses which I hope will encourage and uplift you in your on-going journey through life:

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13), and THAT He did for us! YOU are His friend, His bride, His baptized child. Live and walk in His grace – living, loving, and serving others for Him.

Have you ever experienced such exciting news that you wanted to shout it from the rooftops? More importantly, have you ever felt that way about your love for Jesus? Hopefully, YES!

Dear Jesus, words cannot express the gratitude I feel not only for Your sacrifice but also for granting me Your perfect peace. May I live for You today and always. Amen.

The I AM’s of Jesus

Week 6, Day 4

The I AM’s of Jesus

For those who have remained with this study from the beginning, this is a reminder of the verse in Exodus 3:14: God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM sent me to you.” 

Over these past few weeks, we wondered why it’s hard to say we’re valuable. We delved into the prideful steps of admitting that we need Him. We pondered on the idea of wanting to praise when our task-filled lives are pounded with too much work, too much anxiety, and too many schedules. Through this journey of faith, we learned that it is not about our task-filled lives, our workload, our anxieties, or our busy schedules. It’s about discovering the power and love of the Savior of our world. It’s about exposing the truth in the hidden corners of our lives. Being vibrantly strengthened through our Baptism, we choose to remain in His Word and rejoice with His Presence in our lives. Most miraculously we learned that Christ endured the pinnacle of extremes to bring us back into His fold and to restore us into His loving heavenly kingdom. He not only revealed love through His suffering, death, and resurrection, but He also claims us as His own for He is the Great I AM.

  • As the Bread of Life, Jesus is the true bread from heaven who gave His life to the world. Our spiritual hunger will be filled in and through Him (John 6:32-35).
     
  • As the Light of the world, He frees us from the darkness of sin and makes His light shine within us, enabling us to become His shining light to others (John 8:12).
     
  • As the Door [Gate], through whom we entered in our Baptism, He restores and redeems us through His shed blood on the cross (John 10:7-9).
     
  • As the Good Shepherd, He laid down His life for us and now carries us close to His heart (Isaiah 40:11 and John 10:11-15).
     
  • As the Resurrection and the Life, we can know with certainty that our future rests in His hands and in His presence. There is eternal life after death and in Him is Life (John 11:25-26).
     
  • As the Way, the Truth, and the Life, we understand it is only through faith in Him that we can know the One who opened the way into heaven. In addition, we embrace the knowledge that He is truth as it is revealed in His Word and are assured that we can live in the joys of eternal life today (John 14:6).
     
  • As the true Vine, Jesus refreshes us with His sap, His heavenly sustenance, throughout our lives, as we receive His abiding presence on a daily basis (John 15:1-5).
     
  • As the Giver of Living Water, He provides the power of the Holy Spirit to refresh us continually through His Word, which springs up into an amazing love and trust in Him (John 4:13-14 and 7:37-39).

All the I AM’ s of God were fulfilled in Christ. He is all we need now and into eternity. We are in Him now and will remain in Him even after the Lord calls us home. On the Last Day, this Great I AM will raise us into a new life in heaven with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17) so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

Prayer: Dear Jesus, You are truly the Great I AM. Grant me Your Spirit that I may understand and acknowledge that You are all I need and You are enough. Amen.

Transformed into His Likeness

Week 6, Day 3

Transformed into His Likeness

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).

Jesus loved to reach the untouchable. He transformed people, both physically and spiritually. He sought out the beggar, the leper, the adulterer, and the thief. No one was too low or too high in his eyes. The centurion’s servant was worthy of healing. The demon-possessed was released from his bondage. The thief on the cross entered paradise upon his death with Christ’s words of forgiveness. Jesus even honored the love and faith revealed by individuals who lowered their friend through a roof, only to discover this friend gained both physical and spiritual healing.

One truly beautiful example of Christ’s love was revealed in His reaction to the woman with prolonged menstrual bleeding whom He freed from her stigma of shame by a single touch of faith. Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me” (Luke 8:46). The woman standing near Him tried to hide but could not. Trembling, she fell down before Jesus and declared before everyone that she had done the unthinkable. Because of her long-term discharge of blood, she was considered unclean. Risking that any man, let alone a rabbi, be touched by her impurity was risky. The Levitical law laid out strict guidelines for this woman’s condition (Leviticus 15:25-27). Yet that touch, that awesome touch on His garment transformed her from a stricken outcast to one who experienced immediate healing. Rather than scold her, Jesus honored her by saying, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace” (Luke 8:47-48). This woman’s transformation moved her from shame to ecstasy, from outcast to one of the redeemed. 

At some point in our lives, we may have been faced with the feeling of being an outcast. We may not be a beggar, a leper, or a prostitute, but we may have faced the embarrassment of bullying, of shattered dreams from a broken marriage, or the unwholesome touch of a sexual offender. All are devastating. All are worthy of the transformation and healing from Christ who granted us His fullness. In the life of a believer, Jesus uses the tragedies in life, no matter how huge or cruel, to draw us to Him and His grace and then says, “How are you going to help others who are going through similar circumstances?” He uses those events to transform us into His likeness and to grant us His freedom – a freedom from our past and into His future, filled with peace and grace.

We are not here by mistake for he [God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us (Acts 17:26-27).

We are not here simply for ourselves, no matter where our pasts and our current tasks may lead us. We are here for the Risen Christ, who takes the twists and turns of the world and molds them into a beautiful sculpture for Him in the heavens. 

Prayer: Jesus, use my broken, transformed heart to bring others to You, even if it means I have to lower them through a roof to do so. In Your name I pray. Amen.

The heavens declare His glory.

Week 6, Day 2

The heavens declare His glory.

The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory (Psalm 97:6).

One of the most amazing ways to appreciate our fullness in Christ is to enjoy the wonders of God in the Psalms. It is in the Psalms that the grieving find comfort, the joyful offer praise, and the confused learn of hope. This devotion explores five areas of wisdom revealed in Psalm 19 as David sings his praise and honor to the Lord. Enjoy the journey!

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork (v. 1). Even on our gray and dismal days, one can view the sunrises and sunsets in awe. The birds that soar in the heavens and the rains that drench our soil with moisture are reminders of God’s continuous care and provision. The brilliant blue skies that fade into the ocean horizon reveal the vastness of His grace and mercy. They truly declare the glory of God.

Day to day pours out speech and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat (vv. 2-6). Even when we are led to believe that God is not listening, the wonders of nature still serve as reminders of His goodness. From the small hummingbird that sucks nectar from beautiful flowers to the softness of a baby’s cheek, God’s wonders can be experienced. What are not visible to the human eye can be sensed in the aroma of lilacs that filter through the air. His voice in nature can be experienced in and through all our God-given senses. 

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward (vv. 7-11). The law (the Word) reveals who God is. As we seek Him daily, we discover that we are not disappointed in Him and in His fullness.

Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression (vv. 12-13). Herein reveals our own protection of grace! As David’s knowledge of God’s love was expressed, we now have it revealed to us in Scripture through his heir, Jesus Christ. We rest in the assurance that in Christ, we are blameless and innocent of any transgression.

And the finale comes in verse 14, for it is our response to the Lord: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Amen and Amen.

He Desires a Relationship

Week 6, Day 1

He Desires a Relationship

I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down Thy head upon My breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was, so weary, worn, and sad;
I found in Him a resting place, And He has made me glad.
LSB 699, v. 1

Jesus desires our presence. He loves us so much that He opens the doors of heaven, welcoming us to listen to His Spirit through the Word every day. He promises to be our rest as we remain still before Him and know that He is God – no matter our stresses, our joys, or our doubts. He invites us to come to Him as our Bread of Life and to daily feed on His amazing love, grace, and mercy (John 6:35, 48). He calls to us in our crazy, hectic lives and says, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37-38).

For those who call on Him in prayer, in meditation, and in fellowship with Him in the Word, He promises to heed our coming and to be near us (Psalm 145:18 and Isaiah 55:6). Devoting ourselves to prayer is our way of communicating with God. It reflects a relationship, a relationship which He desires. It is not simply something we do; it is part of who we are. It is more than making requests; it is honoring Him with our praise, our thankful hearts, and our trust. Whether begging for the healing of a sick child, the eternal rest of a parent, or the daily mundane and boring tasks that lay before us, prayer is the bridge of communication with One whom we love. Developing a relationship with anyone takes time and effort, and that is true also of our relationship with our King of kings and Lord of lords.

I often hear people say, “I don’t believe I should bother God with the small, seemingly insignificant things in my life.” My response: “Maybe if we did so daily, the larger things would be easier to handle.” The love that Jesus has for us, the love He died for, is beyond measure. 

Jeremiah 33:3 has often been called “God’s telephone number.” Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. If it’s difficult to memorize, we can put it in our phones which are usually kept with us all the time. The most incredible thing about God and this number: it is available no matter where we are, what we are doing, or how difficult our concerns and problems are. It surpasses time and space. We are never put on hold. He listens every time and answers in His time and way.  

Prayer:

I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one, Stoop down and drink and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived, And now I live in Him.
LSB #699, v. 2

THAT’S A RELATIONSHIP!

The Fullness of Christ

Week 6, main session

The Fullness of Christ

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV).

As teenagers, life appears hopeful and filled with wonderful ideas – most of the time. As a young adult, we look forward to exciting new adventures, both in the workplace and in family life – most of the time. When middle-aged, we embrace watching our children move on into their teen and young adult years, so full of hope and challenges – most of the time. Upon retirement, excitement is generated as we think about those trips we always wanted to take and the freedoms we will enjoy serving the community, the church, and our grandchildren – most of the time. “Most of the time” is often interrupted by life – the life we didn’t anticipate. The challenges, the unexpected, and the uncontrolled often splatter our plans with colors on a canvas that were neither desired nor explained. We wonder of its purpose. We wonder why God’s plans have to be so different than ours. We may even wonder if at times God is really an ever-present help for us. 

As Christians, we want to believe that the plans, the wondering, and the unexpected things all center in the love and grace of Jesus Christ – that is, in His fullness. We desire to cling to the assurance in Jesus’ words to His disciples in John 16:33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulations. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Yet the depth of His love, which is beyond all comprehension, may seem difficult to grasp in the midst of trials and tribulation.

Prayer: Dear sweet Jesus, You promised Your fullness through the power of the Holy Spirit and for that I am truly grateful. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation as I learn more of Your fullness in the study of Scripture, especially when tests and trials add unexpected color into my life. In Your name I ask this. Amen.

Life without Christ as its center does not make sense. In fact, it can appear hopeless. The opening reference in Ephesians 3:16-19 confirms that love – His love – is revealed in all our confusing, devastating, and even debilitating times. His victory over sin, death, and the devil is assured, and exposure to His fullness in us will expand and explode in each and every circumstance we encounter. In fact, it is beyond our imagination.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all that we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV).

May the Holy Spirit open the windows of our hearts through His Word as we discover who we are in Christ and how, as a result, we possess His fullness.

THE FULLNESS IN CHRIST – THE RECEIVING OF HIS LOVE

Lord, Thee I love with all my heart;
I pray Thee, ne’er from me depart,
With tender mercy cheer me.
Earth has no pleasure I would share.
Yea, heav’n itself wert void and bare
If Thou, Lord, were not near me.
And should my heart for sorrow break,
My trust in Thee can nothing shake.
Thou art the portion I have sought;
Thy precious blood my soul has brought.
Lord Jesus Christ, my God and Lord,
My God and Lord, Forsake me not!
I trust Thy Word.
LSB 708, v 1

In the fullness of Christ, one of the blessings He bestows on us is the desire to love. His love in us overpowers the selfishness and egos, the greed and pride. His love requires commitment, determination, and hard work. His fullness of love views us as we can become. He doesn’t see us as we are in the center of our heartbreak, broken dreams, and misshaped lives. Rather the Father views us as ones who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and who have received His amazing love. That love, Christ’s love, continues to cover our daily, heavily-burdened lives with His redeeming grace and tender mercy.

Refer to:
Galatians 3:26-27
Ephesians 2:6-9
Titus 3:4-7

The love of Christ that flows into and through us is not of our own doing. However, it is revealed in our hands- those that touch the untouchable, reach out to the homeless broken men and women on our streets, listen to the grieving heart, and serve when serving is the last thing we want to do. It is an impossible love that reaches across the chasm of prejudice and preconceived ideas of humanity. It is a love that understands we don’t love because we have it bottled up in us naturally, but rather is a love that can only come from another Source – from the fullness Jesus provides to us as His restored, baptized children.

Read 1 John 4:10-19 and take note of this incredible, undying love that is given to us through Christ. Then read Colossians 1:19-20 to see how, in Christ, this all came to pass.

THE FULLNESS IN CHRIST – MADE ALIVE IN CHRIST

We are not the same as we were ten years ago, twenty years ago, or even more. Our attitudes have changed, our desires are different, and our direction in life focuses on serving others in ways altered from when we were younger. As a result, our former sometimes-draining tasks now rest on the back burner as insignificant when viewed in the whole scheme of things.

The same is true for our spiritual lives as we continue to ask, seek, and knock for Christ’s wisdom and understanding. Because we better understand what it means to be made alive in Christ, our heart beats truer to His guidance and grace offered one day at a time, no matter who we are or what we still plan to achieve.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5).

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him (1 John 4:9).

A faith-filled life with Christ abounds in the realization of His wonders and finds joy in His presence. That doesn’t mean our circumstances will be easy or even tolerable. But it does mean that when we are on our knees weeping and sobbing in despair, He is still carrying the heaviest part of the load and we are covered by His everlasting arms. (See Matthew 11:29-30 and Deuteronomy 33:27.)

Refer to the following verses to discover the joys and wonders of being alive in Christ.
Colossians 2:6, 13
Romans 6:23
1 John 5:11-13, 20

Living in Christ, in His fullness, means that we inherit eternal life today but only because He is in us. While its full reality will not be inherited until the moment of our death, He provides eternal blessings of His kingdom now.

“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

Now because of being made alive in Christ, we can be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:9-10).

THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST – A NEW CREATION

Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if a mirror is our greatest enemy. As we gaze into it, we see not the beauty God created, but the flaws and undesirable conditions that contradict the TV version of what beauty is. Our value is determined by what others see and how that translates into worthiness. Yet some of the most beautiful people I’ve seen have never won a beauty contest nor have they had their pictures mounted on the walls of cosmetic offices. Their beauty comes from within and brings about an unexplained radiance and peace. They are filled with a grace that flows from a heart received from Christ Himself, for He has clothed them with all His goodness and supplied them with His fullness. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, they have been able to make choices that reveal the resurrected life. Refer to Ephesians 4:22-24 and 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.

Upon our Baptism, we became a new creation in Christ. Supplied with the Holy Spirit, we are provided with spiritual rivers of living water (John 7:38-39). Created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, we are privileged to do the joyous work of being Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We not only have received the fullness of Christ, but have been clothed with Christ Himself. (See Galatians 3:26-27 and Colossians 2:9-14.)

With that thought in mind, review Philippians 4:8-9 and Colossians 3:12-15 and list the qualities that can be developed through living a sanctified life in and through the Holy Spirit.  

THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST – COMPELLED BY HIS LOVE TO LOVE OTHERS

As we continue to move through our lives of sanctification, sometimes we need to be reminded, it is not about us, but about Christ Jesus in us. It is about a desire to do the Father’s will in our daily task-filled lives.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God … for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children as light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord (Ephesians 5:1-2, 8-10).

As a result of that light, that love, that fullness, we can reach out to others with unexpected results as we remember some very important truths.

Romans 12:1-3, 9-16
Romans 14:7-8
2 Corinthians 5:14-15

For now, we have come full circle: from God’s love for us → His presence in us → a new creation → His love compels us to love others → for Him. All of this is because we are in Christ through our Baptism. As a result of His redemptive sacrifice on the cross and the resurrection, we receive freedom to live our lives for Him, filled with the measure of faith He grants to us.

When we are mopping the kitchen floor, we are in Christ. As we transport our children to and from school and school activities, we are in Christ. Sitting at an office desk, overseeing an ailing or dying spouse or parent, we are in Christ. No matter the tasks, the trials, or the tests, we are in Christ and He is in us, and because He is in us, so also abide His love, His fruit, and His powerful presence – daily, hourly, in all places, and at all times. His forgiveness is secure when we fail. His power is granted in our weakness. His amazing love never leaves us, even though we may feel more unlovable than ever. His grace captures us in our task-filled lives and assures us that all is understood and redeemed. For love, Jesus died! For love, He allowed all our sins to be nailed to the cross and our punishment to be paid in full. That fullness is ours, for our sins were buried with Him when He was buried. Then united with Him in our Baptism, we live free, resurrected lives as we live to serve Him and others out of love.

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank You for the fullness that I possess as a result of my Baptism. As I study Your Word, open my eyes daily to the incredible joy, peace, and power available because You are in me every day. In Jesus’ name and for His sake I ask this. Amen.

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