Study Introduction

How open are you to the words of Jesus? Many of us are so hardened that His words bounce off, for others the past, present and future make our minds unable to process His thoughts. Today we examine the pliability of our minds.

When the religious authorities fail in their attempt to trip up Jesus with the Scriptures they descend to character assassination. They come dangerously close to eternal separation from God. How can that happen?

When it comes to living life which rules you, law or love? Jesus brought this into sharp focus when it came to healing on the Sabbath and it brings us to confront just who is actually Lord of our lives.

In Mark 2 we meet two outcasts: a paralyzed man and Levi. Each had a decision to make that mirrors decisions that we as humans must make as well with the presence of Jesus.

Every super hero has a secret strength and a hidden vulnerability. Jesus, the only real superhero, has a strength to help guide Him in every situation and a vulnerability that each of us should possess.

Wanting to do something and actually being able to do it are two entirely different things. Jesus may have been introduced as the ultimate action hero but without action it\'s just a good sound bite. In this study the hero demonstrates His authority and ability to do anything.

In a world held captive by an evil enemy, Jesus Christ comes rushing in like a super hero to do battle with evil and rescue us from the tyrant of sin. In this introduction to the gospel of Mark we learn who is behind the stories and some amazing things about its author.

The contrast between the old nature and the new couldn\'t be more stark as we finish up our study in Paul\'s letter to the Galatians. The question we all have to face is: where is our treasure, in this legalistic age, or in God\'s kingdom?

There are two seemingly automatic reactions to seeing sin in the life of someone else. One is to avoid them. The other is to judge. In Galatians 6 we begin to see a third alternative. It\'s harder, but much more loving and effective.

What is God like? Is your opinion of God based on an aloof, disconnected, or angry vengeful powerful being who is stern and judgmental? What would He be like if you ran into Him on the street? It might surprise you, but God is a lot like Galatians5:22-26.

The human mind is self-rationalizing and self-deceptive. Without a guide, we have no idea what is right and good. God\'s Word offers that guide but it\'s more than just reading a guidebook and determining to do better. We need to come to grips with the brokenness in us and God\'s offer of healing on a very deep level.

Being human we are born with certain default settings that drive us to think in certain ways. When we become a Christian a war starts between a new nature seeking to establish a beachhead and take over and the old regime that wants to stay in control.

More times than we would probably like to admit, we slip into legalism. It can happen when God takes too long to answer a prayer, or answers in a way we don\'t expect. We take over the reigns, and it\'s a mistake!

Are you happy with the family you grew up with? Chances are you aren\'t and that even now your vision of family is tainted. But what if you could have the perfect family and perfect relationships? Believe it or not, it is possible, with a family you have been invited to join.

If we\'re not supposed to follow the law to please God, then what is its purpose? Do we ignore it altogether? Paul wants the Galatians to understand the two main purposes of the law.

What do you rely on for how you behave? That might seem like a simple question but who and what influences you can mean the difference between relying on your own abilities or falling on the grace of Jesus. The answer is simple: die!

Without attention and energy, we humans will default back to our flesh pleasing ways even after coming to Jesus. That\'s where the lie of legalism is so pervasive. Paul begins his battle against legalism by contrasting human achievement with grace.

Too often as Christians we take short cuts to maturity. In reality the only way to become complete is to let the Lord take \r\nyou through difficulty and make you seem to \"fail.\" In the process He builds life and a character in you that will lead you into His kingdom.

Many times we as Christians live our lives in the dark. We think we are reasonably good people trying our best. But our past, our associations, the flesh, and the culture around us, conspire to blind us to many things that are not like the Lord going on in our lives. Paul wants the Corinthians to wake up, not so he can punish but so that he can spur them on to real growth - with their eyes wide open.

This question haunts many of us, especially as Christians. We think that things should go well if we are blessed of the Lord. When bad things happen, even seemingly disconnected things like losing a job or getting into an accident, we wonder why? Paul wondered this too, but provides a wonderful answer that will change your outlook on life.