A series of Bible study guides following the format and content of the NIV Application Commentaries Series. Each study looks at the original meaning, bridging contexts, and contemporary significance of the text, and offers small group participants a better understanding and relevant application of the biblical material to their daily lives.
“There’s a certain ‘genre’ in children’s songs which involves remembering a long string of events that all build on one another somewhat unpredictably — ‘The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,’ ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas,’ ‘The Bump on the Log in the Hole on the Bottom of the Sea,’ ‘The Hole in the Bucket,’ ‘The Austrian Who Went Yodeling’ — you could probably add your own favorites. The challenge, of course, is to remember everything in order as the story builds. Did you ever consider the fact that the style of such far-out stories is actually anchored in biblical tradition? Truth is stranger than fiction, and the way God strings together characters and details in his own story (and ours) is an amazing testimony of his sovereignty and grace. Joseph’s story is certainly an example of that.” (source)
“Many psalms are laments, crying out to God when things are tough. They can serve as a template for how to express your frustrations and longings, such as Sarah must have felt over her many long years of infertility. Most (but not all) laments end by turning to God and realizing his faithfulness. Begin with Psalm 13. Think about Sarah’s situation as well as any difficulties of your own. Skim through other psalms during the week and take note of laments that can help you cry out to God when you need to.” (source)
“How well do you know your family tree? Besides other legacies that may have been passed on, can you trace back the attitude of faith that other generations in your family had? If you can, interview an older person in your family to learn more and write it down to pass on to others.” (source)