Welcome back to Week Five of our summer Bible study online. Can you believe how much we have learned in five weeks? This week was especially personal to me as God showed me so many areas that I needed to construct and reconstruct in my life. We learned how to build relationships that we have always wanted to have with others. Let me share a story with you.
The community where I live has one main road that goes in and out of the community. It has been this way for years. Well recently it was decided to widen the road, to make it two lanes in each directions with turn only lanes to help the traffic flow better. This is what we all wanted. We have complained at borough meetings about the terrible traffic. So they finally listened, we are getting more lanes. But, we never considered that in order to do this there would be a sacrifice on our part, the traffic would be a little worse. In order to get the road of our dreams, construction needed to be done. Beams and other equipment needed to be placed along the side of the road, new electricity poles had to be placed. Seems as though we would sit in traffic for double the time as before. I must admit, I do not like to sit in traffic. So you can imagine, in my haste, I was so annoyed by the traffic and the construction. I wanted it all done in the evening when no one needed to get to work, or run errands. One day, I was talking to my husband, or should I say complaining, and he said to me, “They do have to build a new road, and maybe that would not be the best time for them to work.”
This reminded me so much of our lesson on The Power of Construction. We learned how we must lay tracks to build up those relationships that were damaged, new, or even ones that we already have but just needed some adjusting. As I was frustrated with the construction needed to build the perfect road in my community, I realized that to build those perfect or great relationships in my life, I needed to lay some of those tracks in my relationships. Ouch. I really needed to work on doing a better job of encouraging others. I realized it really isn’t that difficult to tell someone “good job” or “you did a wonderful job in the choir today.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” and Hebrews 3:13 says, “ But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” So I, we are called to encourage each other and build each other up every second, every minute, every hour. Eye opening.
God really speaks to me during these lessons each week, does He do the same to you? It’s like they are tailored made for me. I am so grateful to God for ministering to me each week thru this study.
This wee, we learned that it is necessary for us to construct these areas of our relationships so that they are meaningful according to God’s will. By doing this we can help others grow, and flourish. We can speak life, we can show commitment to others, we can give feedback that corrects with love, we can speak at the right time, and we can forgive, how about that!
The most important of all this week was my realizing that in order to build these tracks in our relationships, we must rely on the Holy Spirit guiding us in our conversations and how we interact with others. There are so many opportunities that come up where we can see only conflict and hurt, but if we dare to allow the Holy Spirit to use us to see opportunities to show love, what better, sweeter and more loving relationships we will have! Isn’t that worth the trouble of construction?
YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Join a small group for study and fellowship.
- Study and memorize our Breath Freshener for this week: Ephesians 4:29
- Give God praise during your devotion time for your growth during this study
- Read Week 6 in your workbook
- Register for Believing God Beth Moore Study (starts August 10) or
- Register for the Holy Spirit Unleashed Kay Arthur Inductive Study (starts August 10)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK: (You can answer in your small group or post a comment here on the website if you do not have a Facebook account)
- Share an example of a time when you received positive encouragement from another person that helped you thru a difficult situation or brightened your day. (page 130)
- Mary Kassian describes two common behaviors of the “Hiding Hound” fighting behavior as the silent treatment and walking out.How do these two behaviors create more conflict in the situation for you and for your relationship with the other person? (page 132)
- Think about the types of unfaithful speech you participate in: (Do you spread gossip, slander others, or do you listen to others slander and spread gossip?)Why is unfaithful speech so offensive to the Lord? How can we turn this into “faithful speech” (reliable, loving, committed)?
- Colossians 3:12-14 says: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”How will you keep yourself clothed properly with the eight items listed in the scripture above? How does this cultivate positive relationships?
I am posting this activity for you to do during the week on your own time:
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Think of one or two people you would like to encourage periodically. Choose one person to encourage weekly or even daily over the next few months. Write in your journal how this relationship improved as a result of your encouragement and how both of you were blessed.