VFC Bible Study worksheet 05-Jul-2015



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Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – July 5, 2015
Theme: Responses to the Word

Topic: Consider What You Hear!

Main Text: Mark 4:1-29

Key Verse: Mark 4:24 – “Consider carefully what you hear … With the measure you use, it will be measured to you–and even more.” (NIV)

We often claim we are blessed by sermons, ministrations, or Bible studies. But we are only blessed to the extent that the things we learn influence our thoughts, conversations, conduct, opinions and disposition.  So, in the coming weeks, we will be looking at various Bible characters – especially New Testament characters – who heard the Word and responded one way or the other. As we do this, each of us should seek to place ourselves against the characters, in a very personal way; don’t focus on other people, focus on yourself. The first study in this series which we will cover this Sunday is titled Consider What You Hear! and offers an introduction to the theme.

Introduction

What we usually title The Parable of the Sower could also be titled The Parable of the Seeds – and we prefer this title for the purpose of this study because we are focusing on the Word – the seed. It  is implicit in the parable that there was no difference in the quality of seeds that fell into different places. The only difference was in the reception of the seeds – what happened to what was heard.

Our response to what we hear makes the difference between salvation and damnation. If you came to know Christ through a message preached to a gathering of people, it is most probable that there were people in the same gathering who needed to be saved but who did not respond to the Gospel the way you did. Why did you respond and they did not? Read Hebrews 4:2 and Ephesians 2:8-9.

Our key verse warns us to carefully consider what we hear. We often quote this verse in the context of heeding the Gospel and coming to know Christ. But in fact, Jesus said those words to His disciples and not to the crowd (see v10). What did Jesus mean by the (NIV) statement “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you – and even more”? Many translations render this statement to mean that the measure you serve other people is the measure you will receive. While that may be true, the original rendition of this verse means something different. The statement, in the literal translation, reads: “… In what measure ye measure, it shall be measured to you; and to you who hear it shall be added.” Note the words “to you who hear it shall be added”. There is something about using what we hear that brings even more understanding of God’s Word. The more we use what we hear, the more we hear from Him.

Does this tell us something about situations when we wish God would speak to us about something and He seems silent?Without doubt, one of the struggles Christians face today is the fact that much of what is heard and taught from the pulpits and various fellowships are not experienced by individuals, or even by the churches. We often say it is because we don’t pray enough. We can ask the rhetorical question: “How much praying is enough?” But God constantly asks us what we are doing about what we hear. When was the last time you deliberately acted on something you learnt from the Bible (either
from a preaching, teaching, or personal study) in such a way that it made you take a definite action, or brought about a definite change in you, your circumstance, or your relationships?

Further Discussion:

1. “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.” (Matthew 13:15 NIV). Describe what Jesus meant by a “calloused” heart.

2. Is it possible for a Christian’s heart to be calloused? Give examples of indications of a calloused heart.

Prayer:

Father, open my heart to see how the things you reveal by your Spirit apply to me. Make me uneasy until I act on truths you reveal to me. In Jesus’ name, Amen