29 January

Top 5 Studies for Lent

While Christmas gets a lot of attention–and rightfully so!-Easter is the most important date on the church calendar and annual celebration in our lives. Whether you and your group observe Lent or are wanting to dive into the life and work of Jesus leading into Easter, here are the top 5 studies from trusted teachers for Easter.

1. 40 Days through the Bible– Lysa TerKeurst & Joel Muddamalle

40 Days Through the Bible Study Guide: The Answers to You Deepest Longings

We know the Bible is a big book and can oftentimes feel overwhelming. Lysa and Proverbs 31 team have created an eight-week study that will help you understand the story of the Bible, from start to finish, along with its amazing promises.

In 40 Days Through the Bible: The Answers to Your Deepest Longings, you will:

  • Take a journey through the storyline of the Bible in 40 days so you can see major themes, how they are all connected and what that means for us as we read the Bible today.
  • Discover the eight major things humanity longs for and how Jesus fulfills all of them for us.
  • Stop the endless cycle of seeking and searching for satisfaction and find the answers to your deepest longings.

Here’s a taste of what 40 Days through the Bible is all about:

For more on 40 Days Through the Bible by Lysa TerKeurst, click here

2. Signs & Secrets of the Messiah: A Fresh Look at the Miracles of Jesus in the Gospel of John – Rabbi Jason Sobel

Signs and Secrets of the Messiah video Bible study

Does God still do miracles? It’s a question many ask when they read about the wonders God does in the Bible. In Signs and Secrets of the Messiah, Rabbi Jason Sobel seeks to answer this question by drawing on Jesus’ miracles in the Gospel of John, biblical culture, and ancient texts. He reveals how Jesus takes the ordinary and turns it into something extraordinary (He turned water into wine), gives new life (He healed the man at the Pool of Bethesda), and blesses you so you can bless others (He multiplied the loaves and fish). God still does the miraculous . . . if we only open our eyes to see it.

Watch the promo from Rabbi Jason:

For more on Signs & Secrets of the Messiah by Rabbi Jason Sobel, click here

3. Savior (Jesus Bible Study Series): The Story of God’s Rescue Plan – Passion Publishing

Savior Bible Study Guide

In  the  six  lessons  of  Savior,  you  will  explore  how  Jesus—being  fully  human  but  also  fully divine—was  able  to  offer himself as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. You will learn about Jesus’ mission for humanity, the kingdom of God he ushered in, and how he made a way for all who believe in him to be saved.  Savior will help you see that even though God may feel distant at times, he is always working for your good and his glory. God has always been faithful to his people—and he always will be.

Watch the promo for the Jesus Bible Study Series:

For more on Savior and the Jesus Bible Study Series, click here

4. Why Easter Matters – Andy Stanley

Why Easter Matters

Have you ever been at odds with God? Have you resisted, defied, or tried to bargain your way out of what you thought God wanted? You aren’t alone. Scripture documents similar stories.

In this Easter Study, Andy Stanley looks at some of the people whose lives intersected with Jesus in the weeks leading to his crucifixion. Each of them had an agenda that put them at odds with God and Jesus. As you’ll see, there’s a little bit of them in all of us.

Watch the first session from Why Easter Matters:

For more on Why Easter Matters from Andy Stanley, click here

5. The Case for Easter: Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus – Lee Strobel

The Case for Easter Bible Study Guide: Investigating the Evidence for the Resurrection

In this four-week Easter study, Lee investigates the story surrounding the resurrection of Jesus—and how we can know that it is true.

In each session, you’ll explore:

  • How to understand the differences between the Gospel accounts.
  • How to use historical and medical evidence to build a strong case for Jesus’ resurrection.
  • Why the Gospel writers are credible when they make this claim.
  • Who witnessed Jesus alive after the crucifixion and how it’s clear that the early church carried on this teaching.

The Case for Easter invites you and your group to examine the evidence for yourselves and point you to the conclusion that Jesus was the Son of God who conquered the grave.

Watch this clip from The Case for Easter:

For more on The Case for Easter by Lee Strobel, click here

22 January

3 Elements to Spiritual Growth

In John 17, Jesus prays to God the Father as he is facing crucifixion. And what is he thinking and praying about? His church. You and me, us. His prayer is that we would all be one in community—just as he is one with the Father.

It’s not just that we grow through relationships to God. But we grow in relationships with one another, and that’s part of God’s plan A, that we would become this body. Jesus wants that to happen for you. We want that to happen for you. We want you to become the kind of community that lives in the oneness, that experiences Jesus together as a community. And then, out of the overflow of that, you touch lives around you.

And if you could get a vision for your small group, not just being another add-on activity or something that churches do and you want to be in a small group, but that is actually a place where God’s plan for you to grow, for your relationships to be healed, for you to learn all about Him, for you to learn about each other, for you to develop your gifts and your talents– if you could see it the way the New Testament talks about it, you could get a whole new vision, and your small group could have something that you never would have imagined.

If you could see it the way the New Testament talks about it, you could get a whole new vision, and your small group could have something that you never would have imagined.

Because it’s really all about spiritual growth, whether it’s a Bible study, a parenting group, a men’s or women’s group, whatever. It’s really all about spiritual growth—the relationship both vertical and horizontal.

There are the three big elements, and you’re going to find them in your group. First off, it’s God’s grace, and it comes, through our own experience, through people. But grace is the fact that God is for you. He’s on your side, and it comes in so many different ways. And it’s unconditional.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people’s lives literally changed because their small group was the first place that they ever experienced anybody really being for them. You know, they come from backgrounds or families where everything was against them—abuse or criticism or whatever it was—and that small group was the place where they met God’s grace for the first time.

The second element is truth, and truth in all its various forms. Truth is reality. It’s what is, and it can come through whatever material you’re studying in your group and that sort of thing, but also, it comes from each other.

So, people pick up a Bible, and that’s important have Bible study as a group and to maybe engage with scriptures. It’s our ultimate source of truth, but people don’t often see that they can speak the truth to and about each other.

We’ve seen so many small groups happen where someone was able to say to somebody else, I see something in you—a strength or whatever. And people never even knew they had these things before they told the truth.

And another part of the truth is, when we come together a small group and we’re looking at the truth, as David refers to, as from the innermost being—when we’re opening up our hearts, our souls, and our lives, and we’re really allowing the truth of who we are to be out there, then God can begin to work in it, because what’s in the darkness is coming to the light.

The final element is time. This is going to take time. There is a process, and nobody grows spiritually like in a microwave. Because part of it is getting to know each other a little better and creating that environment where grace and truth can work.

Grace. Truth. Time. These are three elements for spiritual growth.

John Video Bible Study

A great Bible study to consider for your group, whether it is a new group or a more established one, is 40 Days through the Book: John by the pastor of Southeast Christian Church, Kyle Idleman.

In this six-session video Bible study, Idleman reveals that John didn’t write his Gospel just to tell us about a profound teacher or a powerful miracle worker. Rather, his purpose was to tell us about the very Son of God who came to this earth so that we “may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). John challenges us to trust in Christ—and to demonstrate our faith in him through the way we live and love others.

Learn more about 40 Days through the Book: John here.

Spiritual Growth Bible Studies
15 January

Top 5 Studies for Christian Unity

Jesus loves his diverse and beautiful family. We are all adopted children. Grace is the pathway into God’s family. Because God is drawing in people from every tribe, background, and walk of life, his family will always be as diverse as the human race. Because Jesus is Lord and the Holy Spirit transforms hearts, God’s family can be united and love one another in the midst of our many differences. When this happens, God delights and the world looks on in wonder.

Here are the Top 5 studies from trusted teachers on promoting unity in your church community.

1. Ephesians: Life in God’s Diverse Family– Derwin Gray

Ephesians Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: Life in God’s Diverse Family

Ephesus was comprised of people who came from different backgrounds—racially, economically, and politically. So it’s little wonder the believers in that city were finding it difficult come together as one, put aside their differences, and get along in God’s new family. In other words, the church in Ephesus was having the same problems we face today. 

In this study, bestselling author and pastor Derwin Gray guides you through this letter to the Ephesians, revealing what Paul’s words meant to his original readers and how they apply to you today. You will be encouraged to learn both the content and the context of the letter and then apply the message to your daily life. 

Join Derwin on a journey through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians that will encourage you to live in the grace and mercy of God to show the world what life with God looks like. 

Watch a clip from the first session:

For more on Ephesians by Derwin Gray, click here

2. Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better – Brant Hansen

Unoffendable Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better

It’s a provocative idea: We are not entitled to get offended or stay angry at other people. The idea of our own “righteous anger” is a myth. Instead, the Bible calls every follower of Christ to do something radical and countercultural: Let go of our anger and forgive.

As it turns out, giving up our right to be offended is one of the most freeing, healthy, relaxing, refreshing, stress-relieving, and encouraging things we can do. It allows us to recognize that people are broken and stop being scandalized by their actions. It enables us to accept people and stop judging them. It creates a way for us to not just love others but to actually like them.

In this six-session Bible study, based on the bestselling book of the same name, Brant Hansen shares practical ways to live life with less stress and more care by becoming unoffendable. In his highly entertaining style, he seeks to lift the religious burdens from our backs and allow us to experience the joy of gratitude every day of our lives—flourishing the way God intended.

Watch the promo for Unoffendable:

For more on Unoffendable by Brant Hansen, click here

3. Share the Dream: Shining a Light in a Divided World through Six Principles of Martin Luther King Jr. – Daniels and Broussard

Share the Dream Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: Shining a Light in a Divided World through Six Principles of Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. King and the men and women around him were able to change history through the power of a dream that was not rooted in mere human principles. That dream was rooted in the love of God for all his children made in his image.

Share the Dream™ is a six-session video Bible study (streaming code included) based on the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Each session revolves around one of the biblical principles that shaped Dr. King’s life and motivated him to speak on behalf of African Americans in the Civil Rights Movement.

Watch the promo for Share the Dream:

For more on Share the Dream by Matt Daniels and Chris Broussard, click here

4. Colossians: One Jesus. One People – Jay Y. Kim

Colossians Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: One Jesus, One People

How can we unify instead of be more polarized? In the book of Colossians, Paul implores us to have the peace of Christ reign in our hearts.

In this video Bible study, author and pastor Jay Y. Kim will guide you through this letter to the Colossians, revealing what Paul’s words meant to his original readers and how they apply to you today. You will be encouraged to learn both the content and the context of the letter and then apply the message to your daily life.

Join Jay on a journey through Paul’s letter to the Colossians to explore the claim that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life—and that Christian living revolves around Jesus.

Watch a clip from the study:

For more on Colossians by Jay Y. Kim, click here

5. God and Race: A Guide for Moving Beyond Black Fists & White Knuckles – John Siebeling & Wayne Francis

God and Race Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: A Guide for Moving Beyond Black Fists and White Knuckles

God’s plan for the church is a body that represents “every nation, tribe, people and language” (Revelation 7:9). Sadly, this is not how the church looks today. Odds are that if you walk into a church, you will find a group of people who look like they belong to the same tribe and nation.

What’s more, believers often feel the words God and race don’t go together. We would rather talk about anything else other than race. But unless we start to have these open-handed conversations, we will never move beyond the “black fists” and “white knuckles” that leave so many of our churches divided today.

In this Bible study, John Siebeling and Wayne Francis provide a non-threatening means for pastors, church leaders, and churchgoers to start to dialogue about this important issue. God and Race probes the meaning of racial reconciliation and reveals how the church can be a positive and effective leader to move us forward, beyond hate and injustice, to equality and love.

Watch the study promo:

For more on God and Race by John Siebeling & Wayne Francis, click here

Spiritual Growth Bible Studies