Monday, June 16, 2014

Children of the Day-Session 1

The time had come...week one of our Bible Study!

We had 16 attendees and 3 women who couldn't be there on the first week, but paid and are going to be joining us on our journey. We began by studying Session 1, the introduction of Children of the Day. A little recap of the day is as follows:

There was a little gift waiting at each table-setting for the attendees: a mug (because our little summer session is called Mugs and Muffins), our workbook, a journal, and a pen.

As we perused our books, we ate muffins and got to know the women around us. We were so grateful to be a multigenerational conglomerate of women, coming together for the cause of Jesus. 

Afterward, we had a teaching time from Session 1 of our Children of the Day study.

Group members--if you need "answers" for the fill-in-the-blanks, click here
If you need to watch the session, click here

Note: the remainder of this post is lengthy and is mainly a compilation of my teaching notes from Children of the Day Session 1.

The Scripture tells us that we are Children of Light and Children of the Day. It feels, in America today, that we are in such dark times…and many of us may feel like we are in a dark season; but, we are told to be Children of the DAY!

As we begin our study, we start our study with only four words!
 …Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy!

Here’s the thing. These are not just words. They are words from, to, and about people! The letter is coming from these three people. What I want you to notice is that there are three different people mentioned as authoring this letter, obviously inspired by God. Think about ink: You’ve got Timothy who is orange, Silus who is green, and then you’ve got Paul as dark navy blue. (It takes on the flavor of what? The darkest color) Oftentimes, we see the “I” used…and that is it taking on the flavor of Paul!

Acts 15 takes us through the back story of these three meeting.
- Paul and Barnabus joined by Judas and Silas (Silas = Silvanus)
            -Paul and Barnabus remained
-when they decided to go on the next trip, Barnabus wanted to bring his cousin John Mark, who had strayed from the word
            -Paul disagreed and because of that, Barnabus and John Mark left
            -and Paul took with him who??? Silas!
It is interesting to note that Paul and Silas’ friendship began on the heels of a major wounding by Barnabus to Paul. It could have been very awkward; it could have been very difficult.

Let’s look at your first blank, but first let’s briefly look at Paul and Barnabus’ history in Acts 9:26-28
1.      Silas (Silvanus) entered a gap ripped open by a severed relationship.
It was awkward! There was a huge “break up” and Paul was feeling like he didn’t really want to get close again! Have you ever been so burned that you just really didn’t ever want to enter a close relationship again?!  The type of disagreement that existed here was PAROXUSMOS (in your book).
-in this word, we see the “Oxu” like in oxygen. It’s something sharp that causes an outburst (think of popping a balloon); seriously awkward!
-while constantly serving in peace would be nice, it’s not real life! And Silas comes in right on the heels of this drastic explosion of friendships.
-This word is used in one other place—Hebrews 10:24 (And let us consider how to stir up one another in good works…all the more encouraging one another). If you did Hebrews with us last semester, you’ll note that that word “Stir Up” is a sharp stirring causing a positive outburst. But, Paul had the stirred up that made him mad!

This brings us to number 2:
2.      The same edge that can sharpen can also slice.
(Prov. 27:17—iron sharpens iron)
-sometimes Iron can sharpen, but sometimes Iron can really wound and hurt your feelings!

OK—so we’ve got Paul…and we’ve got Silas…and now we need to add who? Timothy

Acts 15 and 16 continue the story.
Tentatively, Paul allows Timothy into his fold. He later says in Phil 2:20-22 that “There is no one like him in my life...He has served with me as a son” This relationship becomes crucial to Paul.

Our Third point tells us…
3.      The next person we meet could become one of the dearest people in our lives.
-Who is someone dear to you in the faith? Do you remember meeting them? Did you ever know? Paul never knew! But, Timothy became “his person”

Sometimes we are so unhappy after our stirring up that we cannot move into a new season or relationship! God ordained that this gaping hole left open by a yucky break up between Paul and Barnabus would be filled by two-Silas and Timothy!

It was like a friendship remix! Sometimes we get so cliqued up and cling to that that nothing can make us break apart until God FORCES a remix! If we are never open to a remix, we can miss the ministry that God may have for us in the future. Is it possible that God had been telling Paul and Barnabus to divide and conquer, and they were not really wanting to un-clique?! So, then God had to drop a stirring up… Because, maybe the renewal you’re looking for (like Paul) is actually in the remix, not the redo.

Does anyone have a cool remix story?
Are we gonna let him remix so we can move forward, or are we getting bored? We get so mad because we want everything to stay the same…but things aren’t going to stay the same! It may be that we are clinging to so much sameness that we can’t even get to what God has for us.

The story continues in Acts 17.

The map in the back of our Children of the Day book outlines the journey Paul and Silas take throughout the writing of Thessalonians.

            At the very top is the Black Sea; see the grey line? That is the Via Ignacia, which is the Roman SuperHighway. See where they go from Philippai, Amphipolis, and Thessalonica? This is where we are. They are clearly headed to Thessalonica on purpose to share the gospel because it is a huge city.  Just for fun, many commentaries share that Paul and Silas took this SuperHigway on horseback the whole way! Also, that city still exists as Thessalonicy.

As Paul and Silas reason with the Thessalonians, they cause an uproar in the city. They are sought after and eventually given refuge by Jason. This is how it all began. They have to leave the city and Jason is left to deal with all of the crazy uproar. They were only in Thessalonica for a few weeks before this crazy uproar.

If you happen to be in a mess, you are in the right place.

4.      A journey gone awry could lead to the exact frame of mind God is looking to use.
We spend a lot of time griping about our messes and about the people in our life who haven’t quite stirred us up positively; but, do we look for God’s Via Ignacia? He has a path and He is ready to go! Are you??

As we finish this lesson, we are going to pull out a chunk of this first letter. It says As we dedicate ourselves to the task ahead, we’re going to reach ahead long enough to snatch a phrase out of 1 Thes 4:9, “For you yourselves have been taught by God.” This English phrase is drawn from one rare compound word in Greek: theodidaktoi.   

This Greek word has actually never been recorded in history before Scripture or in history. So, inspired by God, Paul coined this term. Our prayer for this study is that theodidaktoi will occur (thea-dee-dack-toy) with each and every one of us; I have been taught by God! Our prayer for this study is that we will truly be TAUGHT BY GOD!

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