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Study Guide #6:   A Man and His Priorities in Life


This study is available as a printable .pdf - click here

 

Warning: The Truths You Discover from the Bible Will Do You NO GOOD!

That’s right!  As you read God’s Word, you will learn God’s truth.  But the truths that God will reveal to you will be totally worthless IF they are not immediately put into practice.

A Word of WarningRemember, we are to build our lives upon a solid foundation.  Jesus said the wise man is the one who not only listens to God’s Word, but also does what it says.  Living a godly life – being a godly man in every aspect of who we are and what we do – is realized only when we do the truth.

QUESTION: Read 2 Timothy 2:15.  What does it mean to “correctly handle the word of truth?

 

QUESTION: Why should I correctly handle God's Word?

 

QUESTION: How do I know if I’m correctly handling Scripture?

 

Bible study is very important to our purity and godliness. But understand that 2 Timothy 2:15 isn't just a command to study the Bible. Being an approved workman involves so much more. The word "study" in this verse actually means, "be diligent, make every effort, exert yourself, give your best in accomplishing a task."

We are to make every effort, giving of our best toward the goal of presenting ourselves before God as approved workmen. I know I can't speak for you, but for me - I want to be able to stand before the judgement seat of Christ and hear Him say, "Well done my good and faithful servant! You not only read My Word, but you have correctly handled it and faithfully taught it."

Sitting in church on Sunday and hearing the message is great, but it shouldn't be sufficient for you. Opening your devotional booklet and reading the three or four verses that come with the commentary should leave you hungry for more, not sitting there content that you "did your duty" and read God's Word. If that's all we do with God's Truth, we will indeed be workman who are ashamed.

The message on Sunday and the devotionals during the week should be a springboard into a deeper study of God's Word. I'll be the first to admit that Bible study can be hard work. But I'll also be the first to declare that it is also very rewarding. You must make the time to dig. Digging isn't easy.

QUESTION: When you hear Scripture being read in the Sunday sermon, or you open your Bible to the verses associated with the devotional for that day, what do you typically do with what God reveals to you (note: not what should you be doing, but what are you doing with it)?

 

QUESTION: When we merely listen to the Word of God, we are taking note of what God is saying and yet coming to wrong conclusions.  We are being deceived.  Why is this so?

 

QUESTION: Read James 1:22-23.  James uses the words “do” and “doer.”  They carry the idea that you are putting in the required effort to apply God’s truth to your life.   What is required “do” God’s Word?

 

QUESTION: Why is it so difficult to do/apply God's Word to our life?

 

QUESTION: When you look at your reflectin in a mirror and see your hair all messed up, what do you do? 

 

QUESTION: Why do we tend to not do the same thing when we look into the mirror of God’s Word and see an issue in our life?

 

QUESTION: Think about this:  When God reveals an area of your life that needs addressing and you choose not to attend to it immediately, that area will get worse.  What area(s) in your life does God want you to address that you’ve been putting off (be painfully honest here)?

 

QUESTION: Look at your answer above.  If you have honestly written some things down, why have you been avoiding dealing with them?

 

QUESTION: What are you going to do about it? (“deal with it” is not an acceptable answer: give specific steps, along with when you plan on implementing them?

 

Ask someone you respect and trust to hold you accountable to this.

The trouble lies not in the identification of the problem, but in the execution of the solution.  Think about it this way, if you saw a big zit glowing at the end of your nose, it’s probably safe to say that you would immediately deal with it.  It wouldn’t even cross your mind to walk away until it was addressed.

Yet, when reading the mirror of God’s Word and he reveals a blemish in our life, we tend to walk away without dealing with it right then and there.  We convince ourselves that we will take care of it momentarily.  In James 1:24 we see that when that happens, we tend to “immediately forget what we look like.”

QUESTION: Why is a cursory (or quick) glance at Scripture not sufficient for helping us live a godly life?     

 

QUESTION: Why, then, do we settle?

 

QUESTION: Read James 1:25.  Not only must we “look intently” into the Word of God (search the Scriptures), we must also “continue” in it (live it out in our daily lives).  What does it mean to “Live Out” Scripture?

 

QUESTION: How do you plan to “live out” what God reveals to you?

 

Ask someone you respect and trust to hold you accountable to this.

Read Matthew 6:33.  

Seek God First in Every Aspect of Your LifeThink for a moment about what Jesus is saying here. First and foremost, your highest priority in life should be seeking after God's kingdom and righteousness in your life. The problem is that in our self-centeredness, you and I are trying to build our own little kingdoms. The result is that seeking a different "king" to reign in our lives is low on our priority list (or not even on our radar at all).

We tend to put self on the throne daily. We try to manufacture events and control circumstances in such a way that we are able to experience constant happiness and satisfaction. As we do this, we become a slave to self - all of our thoughts and energies (our priorities in life) are directed toward fulfilling the will of "King Me."

Yet God says the way to true contentment, peace, victory over porn and lust and masturbation, in fact - the key to true godliness is by dethroning "King Me" and seeking HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness for our lives. His rule, His authority must be our highest priority.

The verb “seek” carries the idea of craving something so much that you focus all of your thoughts and attentions on finding it.  It's like a heat-seeking missile that, when fired, has a singular target or goal and won't stop until it reaches it. Nothing can deter it from its purpose. Just like that missile, you and I are to seek after God's kingdom and righteousness to reign in our life.

Take a long, hard, serious look at your life.  On what do you typically focus the majority of your thoughts and attentions each day? Guys, I submit that we must intentionally and intently seek after God's kingdom and righteousness at any cost. We must forcibly bend our entire will toward the singular goal of getting it.

QUESTION: Name some specific ways in which you put self on the throne.

 

QUESTION: Why do we put self first? 

 

QUESTION: What’s wrong with that answer?

 

QUESTION: What needs to change in your life so that you are truly seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness?

 

QUESTION: Consider this:  Before being prosperous or successful in any other endeavor, we should desire, more than anything, to be prosperous and successful as a Christian.  Why?

 

QUESTION: According to Joshua 1:8, what is the 3-part key to prosperity and success?

 

QUESTION: Read Jeremiah 15:16.  What does it mean to devour Scripture, and how does one do it?

 

QUESTION: After you devour God’s Word, you are to meditate upon it.  What does it mean to “meditate” on God’s Word?

 

QUESTION: What is your plan for meditating on God’s Word (be specific)?

 

Ask someone you respect and trust to hold you accountable to this.

Read Psalm 1:2, 112:1 and 119:35, 47, 92, 97.  Do you delight in God’s Word?  Do you find great pleasure in it to the point that you are longing for it constantly?  Does it come into your mind throughout the day?  Do you find yourself longing for a time each day when you can sit down with your Bible and listen to your Father speak to you?

QUESTION: Describe what your daily devotional time is like

  • When do you have devotions (be specific)?

     

  • Why do you have devotions (be specific)?

     

  • How much time do you invest each day (be specific)?

     

  • What does devotions usually look like (what exactly do you do)?

     

  • Why (be specific)?

     

Read Psalm 1:2 again.  The word “meditate” here is written in the imperfect tense.  This means that the action is not yet completed.  It is something that must be repeated again and again and again.  When you delight in the Word of God you just can’t ever get enough of it.  Listening to it just isn’t adequate.  Reading it doesn’t suffice.  Meditate on God's Word - victory over porn addiction, lust and masturbation is possible!You find yourself thinking about it throughout the day, praying about it, speaking it, longing to understand it so you can apply it to your life.

QUESTION: Our minds can tend to wander, which is typically when we get into trouble.  What are you going to do to ensure your mind doesn’t wander where it shouldn’t (develop a specific plan and write it below) and then ask someone you respect and trust to hold you accountable to this.

 

 

Are you considering God’s Word during the day?  When you encounter an unplanned-for situation, what are your first thoughts?  When a boss is demanding or a client is frustrating you; when the children aren’t obeying or the car breaks down in the middle of rush hour, what goes racing through your mind?

When you’re home all alone, what do you allow yourself to think about (be honest and be specific)?  When you can’t sleep at night, what rolls around in your mind?

When we delight in God’s Word, the truths of Scripture fill our mind and direct our thoughts.  When we delight in God’s Word, we are always seeking first His kingdom and righteousness (Matt. 6:33).

Read Proverbs 4:23.

In Bible times, the fountains and wells were watched over with extra special care.  That water source was their lifeline.  If something got into the well to taint the water, it could have significant impact on their lives.  As a result, nothing was allowed to enter that well if it had even the slightest potential to be harmful.

Your mind plays a very important role in being a godly man.  To allow even a hint of sinful thinking is to pollute your entire life.

QUESTION: According to Proverbs 4:23, what is to be your highest priority? 

 

QUESTION: Why?

 

QUESTION: What is the purpose of a guard? 

 

QUESTION: What are the qualities of an effective guard?

 

QUESTION: Understanding that your mind is the priceless treasure you need to protect: In what specific ways will you apply the qualities of a guard you just listed?

 

QUESTION: David asked God to “turn my eyes away from worthless things” (Psa.119:37), and we are commanded to “set before [our] eyes no vile thing” (Psa.101:3).  Let’s consider the “worthless things” and “vile things” we need to turn our eyes away from.  Getting down to the nitty-gritty, answer the following questions honestly:

What TV shows and movies do you watch (make a specific list)?
TV Show/Movie Purpose in Watching Time Spent

 

 

   

 

QUESTION: Look carefully at that list, and circle the ones that help you grow in your walk with God.Be careful what you allow your eyes to see!

 

QUESTION: In what way(s) is each show helping you learn to glorify God?

 

QUESTION: What is your primary purpose in watching each show (whom is your focus on)?

 

QUESTION: How much time each day do you spend watching TV (including ball games)/ movies?

 

QUESTION: How do you respond when a TV show or movie uses foul language?      Why?

 

QUESTION: How do you respond when an activity that is inappropriate takes place?     Why?

 

What websites do you frequent (again, be specific)?
Website Purpose in visiting/viewing Time Spent

 

 

   

 

QUESTION: Look carefully at that list, and circle the ones that help you grow in your walk with God.

 

QUESTION: In what way(s) is each website helping you learn to glorify God?

 

QUESTION: What is your primary purpose in visiting each website?

 

QUESTION: How much time each day do you spend visiting each website?       Why?

 

QUESTION: How do you respond when an inappropriate image or content appears?      Why?

 

What books or magazines do you read (be specific)?
Book/Magazine/Periodical Purpose in reading Time Spent

 

 

   

 

QUESTION: Look carefully at that list, and circle the ones that help you grow in your walk with God.

 

QUESTION: In what way(s) is each book/magazine helping you learn to glorify God?

 

QUESTION: What is your primary purpose in reading each book/magazine?

 

QUESTION: How much time each day do you spend reading each book/magazine?       Why?

 

QUESTION: How do you respond when an inappropriate image or content appears?      Why?

 

What video game(s) do you play (be specific)?
Game Purpose in playing Time Spent

 

 

   

 

QUESTION: Look carefully at that list, and circle the ones that help you in your walk with God.

 

QUESTION: In what way(s) is each game helping you grow in your walk with God?

 

QUESTION: What is your primary purpose in reading each book/magazine?

 

QUESTION: How much time each day do you spend in a day playing each game?      Why?

 

QUESTION: How much time to you invest each day reading & studying the Bible?

 

QUESTION: Look carefully at your answers to the questions above.  What steps are you going to take right now to set up that guard of protection over your mind?

 

Ask someone you respect and trust to hold you accountable to this.

Now let me quickly address an argument that you may be wanting to give here. No, I am not saying that watching TV or surfing the Internet or reading a book or even playing a video game is sin and that you shouldn't be doing those things. The purpose of this exercise is to get you to stop long enough to really think about what you are filling your mind with, and what the potential dangers may be.

Guys, we must be always seeking first God's kingdom and righteousness in our lives. This includes the frivolous, non-essential, recreational things that we look at and listen to. Above all else, we must always guard our mind (Proverbs 4:23). We must evaluate and re-examine everything we see and hear to make sure it does not deter us from our number one priority in life - glorifying God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Challenge:  for 2 weeks (14 days), keep a journal of everything you watch, read, or listen to.  Write down what you watched, read or listened to, when it occurred, where you were, how much time you spent, and what the content was.  Then, sometime in week 3, sit down with a godly brother in Christ and ask him to review that list with you.  Talk honestly about it.  Determine what needs to change, why, and how you’re going to do it.

QUESTION: From this study and these questions, what primary truth stood out to you?

 

QUESTION: What are you going to do in response to that truth (“I am going to ________”)? 

 

Ask someone you respect and trust to hold you accountable to this.

This Study is Available in .pdf Form to be Printed - click here

 

This study is taken from Steve's book “Extreme Mind Makeover: How to Transform Your Sinful Habits into God-Pleasing Patterns of Life.”

Click Here To order your copy of "Extreme Mind Makeover"