the seventh commandment

This coming Sunday morning, May 1, most of our English-speaking adult Bible classes (9:00 a.m.) at MoSt Church will study Rock Solid Commitment, a study of the seventh of the Ten Commandments (“you shall not commit adultery”; Exodus 20:14; Deut. 5:18). Utilize the following questions to help you prepare for your part in class this Sunday.

1. What’s the biggest lie that Satan tries to sell people today about marriage? About sex? About fidelity?

2. What is a Biblical definition of adultery? Is adultery always spoken as being sexual in nature?

3. What does adultery have in common with the previous six of the Ten Commandments?

4. How is it that adultery and deceit naturally accompany each other?

5. Why do you think the OT prophets used adultery as a metaphor for idolatry? How are the two alike?

6. This commandment, “you shall not commit adultery,” is a clear call for us to never ignore, exploit, manipulate, or use people. Someone has said, “Disposable sex makes for disposable people.” How does it feel to be used and then discarded, to be treated with unfaithfulness?

7. What do you suppose are some of the drivers behind adultery?

8. How has adultery affected your family? Friends of yours? Our church family?

9. Why do we automatically think “it would never happen to me” when it comes to adultery?

10. Sexual adultery is rarely the first reason a relationship goes south, but it is often “the last straw.” What do you sense are some of the biggest and most common pressures placed on marriages today?

11. What are some situations you face that are potentially dangerous to your marriage?

12. If you were to give advice to a couple about to get married, what advice would you give them as to how to help make their marriage “adultery-proof?” What practical steps do you take to avoid compromising your integrity and purity yourself?

13. How can you best help a struggling friend who has an unfaithful mate? How can you help a friend who is being unfaithful?

23 ways to retool your devotional reading

 

Have you ever had any of the following happen to you?

  • You just read a whole page of Scripture and then it dawned on you that you didn’t get one blessed thing out of it.
  • You’ve hit a “tough text” in your devotional reading and you can’t seem to get any traction to either get through it or around it.
  • The passage you’re reading is so familiar to you that you can’t see anything new in it. At best, you’re unimpressed; at worst, you’re actually bored.

What can you do? This: dig down into your Bible reading toolbox and put a new tool to the task. And to help you with that, here are twenty-three of the tools in my toolbox that you’re welcome to use, too. The links are to recent devotionals I’ve penned that were crafted with these same tools. They get the job done!

1. Ask yourself, “Has this passage inspired a song I know?”
your love, o Lord – Psalm 36:5-9 and our refuge & strength – Psalm 46:1-7

2. Notice the flow of thought in the passage and meditate on the movement.
consider – Isaiah 53:6-11

3. Back off and get the text’s “big picture” and then recast the story in a modern way.
not too good to be true – Isaiah 55:1-9

4. “Sense” the text and ask yourself, “What is the dominant sense in this passage and what does it communicate?”
hear this – Matthew 3:1-6

5. Straight up challenge the common understanding of the passage.
invitation – Matthew 5:3-12

6. Ask yourself, “What is it in this Scripture that I don’t want to hear?”
fail – Matthew 26:47-56

7. Pay close attention to what is conspicuously absent from a text.
the sound of silence – Matthew 26:57-68

8. Ponder over how personalities highlighted in a passage might engage things you experience today.
I beg to differ – Matthew 26:69-75

9. Reflect on how God brings good out of evil in the account.
doubt as reason to believe – Matthew 28:1-10,16-20

10. Record the personal questions that come to your mind as you read the passage.
five questions to ask yourself – Mark 9:33-37

11. Focus on the feelings that color the text and identify with those feelings.
cry – Mark 15:33-39

12. Ask yourself, “Does this Scripture automatically bring to my mind other Scripture?”
on his cross in the wilderness – Luke 23:32-43

13. Be especially sensitive to sharp contrasts you see between characters in a text.
Judas & Mary – John 12:1-8

14. Concentrate on what strikes you about a Scripture. – C4 – John 14:1-6

15. Try to recall any tangible depictions of the text, depictions that can help you visualize what’s happening.
picture Bible commentary – John 20:11-18

16. Here’s a 3-in-1 tool: (a) label the passage’s parts, (b) research key words and/or concepts in a passage, and (c) recall expressions of such concepts in cinema.
what it means to be adopted – Romans 8:12-17

19. Count a passage’s parts and note any patterns you discern.
the perfect word for us to hear – Romans 8:31-39

20. Ask yourself this question: “On what thought does this text hinge?”
you have refreshed others – Philemon 1-7

21. Discern how the text’s author is being transparent, laying their heart on the line.
like sending my own heart – Philemon 8-22

22. Zero in on the note on which the Scripture ends.
grace be with your spirit – Philemon 23-25

23. Never leave a Scripture without allowing it to move you to pray and allowing it to shape your prayers (e.g. – the way every preceding devotional concluded with prayer).