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Abraham, the Great Example of Faith!

To download Minister Hightower’s Bible Study Notes for March 23, 2011, please click here.

To download the Bible Study Preparation Materials for March 23, 2011, please click here.

To download the Supplemental Bible Study Preparation Materials for March 23, 2011, please click here.

Overview of this week’s Bible Study Lesson:


No one may boast of his favor with God, for both Jews and Gentile are declared righteous not because of obedience to God’s Law but because of faith in Jesus’ death (Romans 3:27).  This was a hard idea for Jews to grasp (and probably for us at times too:).

What about Abraham, the father of the nation, whom the Jews considered the most obedient man there ever was?  Surely Abraham had reason to boast of God’s approval!

Do you ever find yourself believing you have grounds to boast of God’s approval?  Paul knew if he could prove that Abraham had no reason to boast, then the matter was settled for any Jew.

This week in Bible Study we will study Abraham’s life and his great example of faith.  We will seek ways to apply Abraham’s example of faith to our own lives.

Read Romans 4:1-25 for its overall message. Ask God to show you what it means to be accepted totally by grace, regardless of your works.


Here is a question I would like for you to consider as you prepare for Bible Study:
Does it seem fair that even sinners can inherit God’s promises if they put faith in God?  Why or why not?

Please fell free to submit your answers below:)

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Discussion, Christian Worship.


Bad News/Good News

To download the Bible Study Preparation Materials for March 16, 2011, please click here.

To download the Supplemental Bible Study Preparation Materials for March 16, 2011, please click here.

Romans 1:18-2:29 has been grim, and Paul isn’t finished with indictment.  We have to face the bad news before we can grasp the magnitude of the good news.

Paul has created a stalemate regarding the Law.  God’s laws are good, he says, but they are incapable of motivating us to live up to God’s righteous expectations.  Whether the law is pressent or not, we can’t obey it perfectly, so we are still sinners.  Quite a predicament!  But Paul is only laying the foundation for the good news that will follow here in Romans chapter 3.

Here are helpful definitions for three significant theological terms used in Romans:

(1) Justification refers to God’s declaration that we are not guilty for our sins.

(2) Redemption means that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross.

(3) Atonement refers to Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf

It is easy for us to question God’s dealings with us.  God’s ways are not our ways, and we will never fully understand the mysteries of his justice and holiness and power.  What would you do with stubborn humanity if you were God?  As the holy Creator, how would you respond to your sinful creatures?  Think about how God has worked in your heart and life recently.  What about your salvation is still a mystery to you?

The scripture of the week that we will be reading and focusing is Romans 3:1-31.  Read 3:1-31 prayerfully as you prepare for this week’s Bible Study.

Here is Bible Study question of the week:

Do you feel more lovable and closer to God when you’ve been doing good things than when you’ve done wrong?  Please feel free to use scriptures (passages) from the Bible if you are able.  You can submit your responses below.

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Discussion, Christian Worship.


God’s Standards, Part II

To download the Bible Study Preparation Materials for March 09, 2011, please click here.

To download the Supplemental Bible Study Preparation Materials for March 09, 2011, please click here.

This week in Bible Study we will continue our study of the book of Romans.  I am very excited about our study of this letter that was written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Rome.  In this letter we find many verses that are commonly quoted by Christians when evangelizing as well as in praise and worship music.  In Romans we find:  1. the righteous shall walk (live) by faith (Rom 1:17), 2. all have sinned and falling short of the glory of God (3:23),  3. if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and you believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, you shall be saved (Rom 10:9), 4. how beautiful are the feet of those who carry the good news (10:15), 5. be transformed by the renewing of your mind (12:2), 6. if God be for us, who can be against us (8:31), 7. in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (8:37), 8. there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (8:1), and 9. therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship (12:1)

Our lesson topic/title for the week is:  “God’s Standards, Part II”

We will continue our study of God’s impartiality in judging all sin.

The scripture of the week that we will be reading and focusing is Romans 2:17-29.

Here is Bible Study question of the week:

In what ways to you seek praise from humans, and in what ways from God?  How would seeking praise only from God affect your actions at home or work?  Please feel free to use scriptures (passages) from the Bible if you are able.  You can submit your responses below.

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Discussion, Christian Worship.


The Righteous Will Live By Faith!!!

To download the Bible Study Preparation Materials for February 09, 2011, please click here.

To download the Supplemental Bible Study Preparation Materials for February 09, 2011, please click here.

This week in Bible Study we will begin our study of the book of Romans.  I am very excited and hopeful about the start of our study of this Epistle (Letter to the church in Rome) that was written by the Apostle Paul.  I am excited because the book of Romans provides a treasure chest full of foundational principles to help us as we walk by faith with God.  By hopeful I mean that I am hoping that God can touch all of our hearts and inspire us as we read the book of Romans.  As we study the book of Romans I am praying for God to provide an overflow of wisdom  and knowledge to all of us.

Our lesson topic/title for the week is:  “The Righteous Will Live By Faith!”  This scripture comes from Romans 1:17 and Habakkuk 2:4.  I believe that this topic/title pretty much summarizes the book of Romans.  Hence this provides a wonderful entry point into our study of the book of Romans.

I will be using two different books (as well as a commentary on the book of Romans) as I prepare our weekly lesson.  I will be using “A life-changing encounter with God’s Word from the book of Romans” from the Life Change Series of NAVPRESS and “Book of Romans:  God’s Big Picture” by Max Lucado.  The lesson preparation materials will be taken from both of these books.  Please take the time to review the lesson handouts that I am providing from each book.  First work through the primary handout and if you have time then work through the supplemental handout.  This will provide you some early preparation for the Bible Study.  But if you are unable to read the handouts, please  still come to Bible Study.  I believe that all of you (as well as a friend or two of yours) can contribute and bless our Bible Study experience.

Here is Bible Study question of the week:

What have you been set apart to be or do?  What have you been set apart from?  How can you fulfill this holy status better?

Please feel free to use scriptures (passages) from the Bible if you are able.  You can submit your responses below.

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Discussion, Christian Worship.


The Epilogue of Job: God Ties Up Some Loose Ends

To download the Bible Study Preparation Materials for February 02, 2011, please click here.

To download Min. Hightower’s Bible Study Notes for February 02, 2011, please click here.

This week in Bible Study we hope to wrap up our study of Job. We will study the Epilogue of Job which is Job 42:7-17.  Finally, we will find out how the book of Job ends:)  We will also review, from a life application standpoint, what we have learned from our study of Job.  Please take some time to review the notes that you have been taking as we have been studying the book of Job together.  Here are some questions for you to consider as you prepare for Bible Study this week:

  • Does the “happy ending” of Job seem satisfying or unnatural to you?
  • Does God always restore what He takes away?  Why or why not?
  • What are some possible reasons for suffering?
  • Do we need to know why we are suffering?  Why or why not?
  • Is it okay to question God?  Why or why not?
  • Why should we love God?

Here is the question(s) of the week (please submit your answers below):

  1. Compare Job 42:8-9 to Matthew 5:44.  How does Job exemplify Jesus’ teaching?
  2. James 5:11 says that Job’s perseverance is a model for us.  How did Job show perseverance?

Lord willing, I will see you this coming Wednesday, February 02, 2011 at Bible Study at Union Baptist Church in the fellowship hall.

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Discussion, Christian Worship.


An Arm Like God’s

To download the Bible Study Preparation Materials for January 26, 2011, please click here.

To download Min. Hightower’s Bible Study Notes for January 26, 2011, please click here.

Last week in Bible Study, we studied and learned about God’s wisdom and contrasted it with human wisdom.  As we worked our way to the end of the lesson, we noted that after Job beheld God’s wisdom through a series of questions that God directed at Job, Job was silenced.  But Job was not fully satisfied.  Do we ever feel this way?  After receiving many answers to our problems and situations in life (through the word of God), are we fully satisfied?

This week in Bible Study, we will examine God’s second round of questions that are directed at Job.  A judge must not be only wise enough to decide what is right, but that judge must be powerful enough to ensure that right prevails!  Job’s friends thought they knew how to manage God.  They thought they knew how to tell God how to execute his justice.  Again I ask, do we ever feel this way?  Do we ever attempt to manage God in our lives?  Or are we content with letting God manage our lives?

Here is the question of the week:

In your opinion why did not God answer Job’s questions or explain about Satan and the test?  What does this reveal about God?  Considering Job was blameless and upright, his circumstances and all that happened to him, and why it has happened, how do you reconcile these facts or information with James 1:12-1.  If you are able, please provide scriptural reference(s) to support your answer(s).  Please provide your response below.

Lord willing, I will see you Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at Bible Study at Union Baptist Church in the fellowship hall.

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Discussion, Christian Worship.


Wisdom

To download the Bible Study Preparation Materials for January 19, 2011, please click here.

  • I hope that you are enjoying this beautiful snow filled day.  It is truly a blessing to look or go outside and see the awesomeness of God’s power and glory.  And I am grateful to have an extra vacation day too:)  So I am thankful.
  • I am torn about Bible Study tonight, because I was ready and excited about the beginning of our study of God’s response to Job and his friends.  Tonight we were going to study Wisdom and hear for the first time (since be began our study of Job) what God has to say concerning Job’s situation as well as the issues raised by Job and his friends.
  • It would be dangerous to come out in the snow this evening because the temperature will start dropping tonight and the roads will be snow filled and/or slippery still (if not freezing).
  • So Bible Study will not be held tonight (January 12, 2011).
  • Prayerfully, we will come together for Bible Study next Wednesday, January 19, 2011.

In the meantime, I have put together a few questions for us to discuss via our web blog.

Answer any one or more questions (below) to which you would like to submit a response.  Please submit your responses below.

  1. Job’s visitors think they understand God.  Zophar is sure he knows what the Almighty will say if He comes (see 11:5-6).  Imagine that, like them, you don’t know what the Lord is going to say to Job.  What would you expect Him to say?  Why would you expect this?
  2. Would you be satisfied that God is good if you were Job hearing 38:1-39:30?  Why or why not?
  3. Does everything in the world focus on man?  What does 38:1-39:30 say?

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Discussion, Christian Worship.


What Does It Mean To Fear The Lord?

To download the Bible Study Preparation Materials for January 05, 2011, please click here.

Happy New Year!  I hope that all of you started off your New Year feeling blessed and looking forward to what God has in store for you in 2011.

While I was down in Atlanta, Georgia on vacation with my family, I attended a Watch Night Service at a local area church in Fairburn, GA.  At the time I was feeling very tired and exhausted from 2010.  But little did I know the pastor had a word for me!

The pastor preached from Matthew 14:22-33.  I believe that this is a passage that many of you had read before.  It is passage about Jesus walking on water and following dialog taking place between Jesus and the disciples:

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”   “Come,” he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

The theme for the night as well as the year at the church in Fairburn, GA was :  “Regaining Your Focus (on Jesus Christ) in 2011!”

Maybe 2010 was a tough year for you.  Perhaps there were times when you stumbled.  Maybe you were disappointed with yourself.  Well take courage and don’t be afraid.  2011 is a new year!  Whatever happened in 2010 is in the past!  Leave it in the past!  This is a new year in which I believe Jesus is calling the body of Christ to a greater and more powerful witness.  What do you believe Jesus is requiring of you in 2011?  What new ministry do you believe Jesus Christ would like to give birth through you?  What is your passion?  What makes you tick?  What brings you joy?  What opportunity to disciple and witness has Jesus placed upon your heart?  Is there anywhere within your local church that you can see an opportunity for you to serve?  What are your spiritual gifts?  Perhaps Jesus is calling you to use those gifts in some capacity for the Kingdom of God in 2011?  Jesus Christ will be right there with you, calling you to do great and marvelous things for Him in 2011.  Hallelujah!

So with that, I am excited and focused in 2011 on the Kingdom!

I cannot wait to witness what Jesus has in store for the body of Christ in 2011!  I do not know precisely what will happen to me in 2011, but I hope when Jesus Christ beckons me to “Come!,” I will obediently heed the call no matter what it may require!

As you prepare for tomorrow’s Bible Study, please read Job 28:1-28 and consider the following questions:

  1. What does it mean to fear God?
  2. Should Christians fear God and why?
  3. What is the difference between wise fear and faithless fear of God?

Please feel free to submit your answers with a post (below) on this blog:)

If possible please use scripture to support your answers:)

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Discussion, Christian Worship.


What Does God Want Your Relationship With Him To Be Like?

To download the Bible Study Preparation Materials for December 22, 2010, please click here.

The debate between Job and his friends centers around the nature and character of God- whether He is truly just, good, and sovereign.  But equally important are questions about man.

As you prepare for tomorrow’s Bible Study, please consider the following questions:

  • What does God expect of a person?
  • What kind of relationship does God desire with a human, and how can it be achieved?
  • What does God think of you?  What does He want your relationship with Him to be like?  How will this affect your priorities this week?

As it has been stated over the past few weeks, we are examining Job in large chunks of scripture.  So please feel free to read ahead and review chapters 3:1 – 37:24

Bible Study Scriptures for this week:  Job 4:17-21; 7:17-18; 14:15; 15:14-16; 25:1-6; 10:8-12; Genesis 1:26-31; Genesis 6:5-6; Genesis 8:21; Psalm 8:3-8; Luke 12:6-7,24-28; John 3:16

Bible Study Question of the week:

What does your knowledge of Scripture lead you to think an ideal relationship with God should be like?  (If you do not know, research this in the New Testament).  How can this be obtained?  If possible please use scripture to support your answer:)

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Discussion, Christian Worship.


If You Could Meet God Face-To-Face today, What Would You Say?

To download the Bible Study Preparation Materials for December 15, 2010, please click here.

This week  we will study how Job demands a trial with God as the judge.  We will seek to find an application to our lives as we examine our service/ministry for God.  As you study the passages for this lesson, be prayerful and ask God to reveal the meaning of His Holy Word to you.

As it has been stated over the past few weeks, we are examining Job in large chunks of scripture.  So please feel free to read ahead and review chapters 3:1 – 37:24

Bible Study Scripture:  Job 27:11-23; 29:12-17; 31:4-40; 19:25-27; James 1:5-8

Lesson Outline:

  1. Opening Prayer
  2. Read Job 27:11-23; 29:12-17; 31:4-40; 19:25-27 and review/discuss
  3. Discuss question of the week
  4. Read James 1:5-8 and review/discuss
  5. Summary
  6. Closing Prayer

Bible Study Question of the week:

If you could meet God face-to-face today and tell Him exactly what you think of the way He is running the universe and your life, what would you say?  If possible please use scripture to support your answer:)

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Discussion, Christian Worship.