Category Archives: Devotion

Lectio Divina (DEVOTION)


Lectia DivinaTime

25-40 minutes
Description

This method of studying Scripture was originally established by St. Benedict in the 6th Century.  Lectio Divina means “divine reading.” It focuses on Scripture as the Living Word and engages us holistically: heart, mind, spirit and body. Use this method when you want participants to go deep into a particular Scripture passage and come away with personal Words from God.

 

Scriptures

  • Any of your choosing

 

Materials

  • Optional – Slide that describes the four parts of Lectio Divina to use as a handout or to project on a screen (You can download the slide from the “Lesson and Material Downloads” page at www.teachingthem.com.  It’s named, “Lectio Divina – Slide.”)
  • Optional – Computer, LCD projector and screen if you want to project the slide
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Optional – set up screen and projector to project slide or make copies of the handout for all the participants.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We’re going to use a method of studying Scripture that was originally established by St. Benedict in the 6th Century.”
  • “It’s called Lectio Divina, which means ‘divine reading.’”
  • “It focuses on Scripture as the Living Word and engages us holistically: heart, mind, spirit and body.It is made up of four steps: (Advance slide each time as you mention “heart, mind, spirit and body.”)
  1. We Read or Hear the Word and allow it to speak to our hearts. (Advance slide.)
  2. We Reflect on the Word with our minds. (Advance slide.)
  3. We Respond to the Word by praying through our spirits. (Advance slide.)
  4. We Rest in the Presence of God with our bodies. (Advance slide.)
  • “Let’s practice this.  I need a volunteer to read the Scripture we’ll study today.”  (Have a volunteer read the Scripture you have chosen.)
  • “This was the Read step.”
  • “Now, I would like you to Reflect.”
  • “Take about five minutes and think about what you’ve heard.”
  • “What is God’s personal message for you through His Word today?”
  • “If it helps you to journal your thoughts as a way of reflecting, feel free to do so.”  (Allow five minutes for reflection.)
  • “Would anyone like to share a personal Word or insight given to you by the Holy Spirit.”  (Allow several people to share.)
  • “I need another volunteer to read the same Scripture again.  Listen carefully for words or phrases that God wants to highlight for you.”  (Have a volunteer read the same Scripture.  Sometimes it’s good to try different translations or even different languages if your participants are multi-lingual.)
  • “Let’s Reflect again, but this time, do it in your groups (or in pairs).”  (Allow groups or pairs 10 minutes for discussing what they are hearing from the Scriptures.)
  • “Okay, let’s read the same passage one more time, listening carefully for God’s unique message for you.”  (Have a volunteer read the passage again.)
  • “Now it’s time to Respond and Rest.”
  • “Take the next 10 minutes, and pray and rest in God’s Word for you.”
  • “You’ll take the first few minutes to pray – or take as long as you need.”
  • “When you finish praying, just sit quietly, and try to keep your mind clear.”
  • “Allow the Holy Spirit to continue to speak to you during this time. (You can have participants pray individually or in pairs or in a group. After they finish praying, they will sit quietly until the time has expired and just allow the Holy Spirit to continue to speak to them.  When the time is up, you can ask people to share what they heard through the study and how they feel about Lectio Divina as an approach to doing devotions.)

 

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Filed under Bible study, Devotion, prayer

Consulting – Nathan and David (DEVOTION)


David and NathanRead the Scriptures listed below.  Then answer the following questions in your table groups.

 

  • 2 Samuel 7:1-17 (Nathan’s advice to King David)
  • 2 Samuel 12:1-14 (Nathan rebukes King David)

 

  1. What mistake did Nathan make in the first story?
  2. Why do you think he did it?
  3. What can we learn from it?
  4. How did Nathan anticipate and prevent King David’s resistance to his message in the second story?
  5. Why do you think this worked so well?
  6. What can we learn from his approach?

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Filed under Consulting, David, Devotion, Nathan

Only One Left (DEVOTION)


Bowling - One StandingAs a group, read the following Scriptures and answer the questions below.

1 Kings 18:22 (“I am the only one left.”)

1 Kings 19 (entire chapter – Elijah despairs)

1.    How often did Elijah say that he was “the only one left?”

2.    Why did he feel so alone?

3.    How do you know that he wasn’t ever really alone?

4.    How did God help Elijah?

5.    Why is it important to have fellowship with other believers when we go through stressful times?

6.    How can you protect yourself from despair during times of trial and stress?

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Filed under Devotion, Elijah, Stress, Trial

Healing the Sick (DEVOTION)


Read Matthew 10:1-8, and then discuss the questions below in your table groups.

  • Why do you think Jesus gave the disciples power to heal the sick?
  • Why does Jesus often link the coming of the Kingdom of God with healing the physical body? (See also: Matthew 11:1-6)
  • What do you think this means for Christians today?
  • How is our ministry contributing, and what else could we do?

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Filed under Bible study, Body of Christ, Devotion, Healing, Health, Kingdom of God

Conflict and Anger (DEVOTION)


In your table groups, read the following Scriptures, and discuss the questions that follow:

  • Mark 11:25
  • Luke 6:27-36
  • Romans 12:14-21
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
  • Ephesians 4:26-27

What themes do you notice from these Scriptures?

 

Is it okay to be upset with someone?  What conditions does God place on anger?

 

How are we to act towards our enemies?  Why do you think this is so?

 

Read the parable of the Unmerciful Servant in Matthew 18:21-35.  Consider that this Scripture is most likely about forgiving a Christian brother or sister (notice that Peter asks about forgiving “my brother,” that Jesus is making a comparison to the “kingdom of heaven” and that the other man is referred to as a “fellow servant.”).  If that’s true, what is Jesus saying about forgiveness?  (Hint: the jail cannot be hell, and the torture cannot be eternal in hell if this is about believers.)

 

 

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Filed under Anger, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, Devotion, forgiveness

Conflict Escalation – David (BIBLICAL CASE STUDY)


Read the story of David’s war with his son Absalom in 2 Samuel and try to determine the events that relate to the Five Stages of Escalating Conflict.  When you think you have them all identified (hint: some occur multiple times), draw a graph on a flip chart, and label it with these events to show the 5 Stages.

The Scriptures you will want to focus on are: 2 Samuel 13:1-39; 14:21-33; 15:1-17; 18:1-17

 Environment

  • Conditions for conflict exist, but neither party has acted on them.
  • One side may even be unaware of the potential conflict even though the other side is resentful.

Eruption

  • A triggering event (or events) leads to escalation of the conflict by adding fuel to the fire.

Escalation

  • Intensified behaviors include demands, threats, ultimatums and open expressions of hostility.
  • Polarization occurs as people pick sides.
  • Opponents are dehumanized to make it easier to see them as the enemy, and selective perception filters out evidence that might justify opponents’ behaviors.
  • Fighting generates new grievances, sometimes becoming new triggering events.
  • Goals often change as initial solutions no longer satisfy.
  • Unresolved old issues are revived.

Endurance

  • Sides “dig in” for prolonged conflict.
  • Compromise seen as a sign of weakness.

End Point

  • Stalemate occurs as sides run out of resources, support or energy to continue.
  • Realization occurs that cost of conflict outweighs benefits of winning.
  • One side achieves a lasting victory.

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Filed under Biblical Case Study, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, David, Devotion, Relationships

Conflict Among Believers (DEVOTION)


In your table groups, read the following Scriptures, and discuss the questions that follow:

  • Matthew 7:3-5
  • Matthew 5:23-24
  • Matthew 18:15-17
  • Luke 17:3-5
  • John 13:34-35
  • 1 Corinthians 6:1-8
  • Ephesians 4:1-3
  • Colossians 3:12-14

What do these Scriptures have in common?

Whose responsibility is it to take initiative toward reconciliation?  When does this apply?

How would you describe God’s view on conflict within the Body of believers?

Why does God want believers to be reconciled to one another?

What are some general principles you can take away from these Scriptures?

 

 

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Filed under Body of Christ, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, Devotion, forgiveness, Relationships