New Christian Study
By Walter D. Huyck Jr., D.Min.
Spiritual Growth Essentials
Before You Begin This Study
Pray for God to bless your study
time and fellowship today.
Quote the memory verse to your
Talk about the Devotions,
Spiritual Insights, and Prayers you read this last week and what you gleaned
from these devotions.
Discuss any question that you
might have as a result of your daily Bible Reading.
Discuss your Sermon Notes.
This Weeks Memory Verse
119:11 Thy word have I hid in
mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
A Spiritual Growth Essential - The Bible
Of all the books
that have ever been written the Bible continues to be the all time best seller.
Almost every household in America has a Bible in it somewhere. Most homes have
more than one copy. Yet, I wonder if it is truly the most read book in America?
For in many homes the Bible has found its place of prominence on a book shelf or
end table and its binding is seldom broken, for it may not ever be opened or
born-again Christian needs to understand the importance of the Bible for their
Spiritual Growth. Consider the following verse again:
Peter 2.2 - As newborn babes, desire the sincere _________ of the word, that ye
may __________ thereby:
It is important
to note that the Bible is referred to as milk. How important is milk in
the first days of a babies life. It is very important. The truth is that a baby
deprived of milk is a baby deprived of all of the nutrition that it can accept.
A baby cannot be given meat or vegetables because its digestive system would not
be able to handle that type of nutrition right away. It must receive milk or the
baby will starve and die.
The same is true
for every Christian. The Bible is the foundation for every form of spiritual
growth, without it there can be no sustaining growth at all. The Bible is the
starting point and cannot be replaced by any substitute. Yet, it is the Bible
that many Christians seem to have the most trouble applying themselves to. The
truth is that it is not easy to sit down and spend time reading the Bible
everyday, but we must.
This is where
commitment comes in. If we will commit ourselves to read at least one chapter of
the Bible a day, then it will soon become a habit or discipline. I have
found that it is easiest to set aside a certain time each day and to commit
myself to that time no matter where I am. The early morning works best for me. I
simply get up a few minutes earlier than I normally would, and spend that time
in the Bible. As a matter of fact, I made a commitment to read through the Bible
every year, and since I have been a Christian I have kept my commitment each
year, with the exception of one.
Some of you may be thinking that to read through
the Bible one time in your lifetime will probably be enough. I have found that
every year there have been fresh and new insights that have nurtured my
spiritual growth and helped me to be a better servant for my Savior. The Bible
is truly a living book and it continues to provide nourishing growth for as long
as we apply ourselves to its pages. You will never outgrow your need for its
influence in your life.
Do you recognize your need for the nourishment
that can only be found in the Bible? _______________
Write a brief personal commitment to spend
time in God's word every day.
A Spiritual Growth Essential - Prayer
Mention the word
prayer and instantly ones mind thinks of some lofty language that only the pious
and well-trained can hope to speak. Actually, the word prayer or to pray in the
Bible simply means to communicate with or talk to. There is no mystical language
that can make one acceptable to God. One just simply has to talk to God as one
of his children, and He will hear.
Prayer is another
essential element in Christian growth. The Bible says:
Luke 11.9 -
And I say unto you, _____________, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall
find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
This is pretty
simple. You had to speak to God and ask Him to save you in order to receive the
New-Birth. Likewise, after your adoption into God's family you must continue to
ask God for the various helps and aids you desire. "Ask, and it shall be
given . . ." So, just what are we supposed to ask for?
Philippians 4.6-7 Be careful for
____________; but in _________________ by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the _______________
of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus.
There is nothing
that is beyond our God's ability or resources and there is nothing that is below
His willingness to transcend. God says to "be careful for nothing," but
ask. Whatever it may be, God is just waiting for your personal call. And trust
me there is nothing that will take God by surprise, He already knows the
circumstances and the answer surrounding your prayer.
Now, some would
ask, "If God already knows my need, has the resources, and is willing to
help, then why do I even have to ask?"
As a parent I
have the tendency to watch over and help my children. One day, when one of my
children was very young, he decided to start a major construction project with a
small pile of scrape wood. He worked to set the blocks of wood up, find a nail,
grab a hammer, and went to work trying to drive that nail through the wood. He
smacked that nail time and time again, but he was just to small to drive the
nail through the wood. After watching him struggle to get the nail started I
went over with my hammer in hand to give the nail a good smack. I knew
that if I got the nail started he could drive it through the board. When I got
close enough for him to realize what I was going to do he shouted, "Nooooo!!"
and covered up the board with his body. You see he wanted to do it by
My son did not
have the skill or strength to do what needed to be done. He also
missunderstood what I was trying to do when I came to help him. This is
how we often respond to our Heavenly-Father.
The truth is God will not force himself upon us.
If we want to do things for ourselves, then God will sit back and allow us as
much time as we want. While He already knows the answer to every puzzle in life,
and has the ability to overcome every obstacle, He will not interfere until He
Now some of you
are thinking, "Ok, I can accept that, but what about that time I did ask and it
seemed like God never answered?" The truth is that God, just like many parents,
will decide at times that it is better for us to work through a problem for
ourselves, than to just solve it for us. Remember that we're talking about
spiritual growth here. If our Heavenly-Father just solves every problem for us,
and never allows us to face the challenge for ourselves, then we would never
While I cannot
say that every trial or tribulation is an object lesson. The Bible assures us
that God is our Heavenly-Father and will treat us like His children. He wants us
to mature and whatever the case He will teach each individual in keeping with
His divine love and will. Never the less, we should be a praying people.
We need to learn
to pray and ask our Heavenly-Father for His help and direction in our daily
lives. We need to be a praying people.
What have you
failed to talk to God about, won't you pray about it right now.
What can other
Christians help you pray about this week?
A Spiritual Growth Essential -
meditation to a Christian and many will instantly think of a pagan sitting on
the floor with his legs crossed humming to himself. As we consider meditation, I
am not talking about some ritualistic practice whereby one tries to find inner
peace or tries to conjure up some deeper feeling or being. Christian meditation
is meant to counter the tendency for Christians to spend a few moments reading
the Bible, a few moments in prayer, and then off they go into the business of
the day without allowing the Spirit of God to permeate their being.
Consider what King David wrote:
Psalm 19.14 -
Let the words of my mouth, and the ___________________ of my heart, be
acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
In the Hebrew
text the word meditation is the word higgayown (Hb) meaning meditation,
resounding music, musing. Many mature Christians would refer to this as their
quite time. For me this is a few moments that I set aside after I have read my
daily Scriptures and prayed, where I just quietly allow God to deal with my mind
I believe that if
one were to ask an experienced, mature Christian to describe their daily
devotional time that almost all would include some time in the Bible and some
time in prayer. However, it is my heartfelt conviction that many Christians stop
there and don't truly allow God to speak to their hearts. Yet if we diligently
consider the lives of those who have truly been used of God we will almost
always see a time of quiet meditation added to their daily discipline. Why?
While we may talk
to God through our prayers, and be guided in life through God's Word, it is the
Holy Spirit of God that will bring life and light from the Word and our prayers
in a very personal way. Remember that the Holy Spirit was given to "teach you
all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, . . ." (John 14.26).
We are also told that the "deep things" of God are only revealed to us by
His Spirit (1 Cor 2.10). Therefore, I suggest to you that it is important for
you to give the Holy Spirit time to move in and through your life.
So how does this meditation thing actually work.
It's quite simple. Start by allowing a few minutes after you have prayed and
read the Bible to allow God to lead your heart; ten minutes will be a good
starting point. Just sit back and relax, and think for a few moments about the
passage you have just read from the Bible. Then quietly say to your Heavenly
Father, "Lord, I want you to personalize your message for me today, whether it
is from the passage I just read, or concerns something else that is important
for me to consider. What do you want me to know?" Then wait upon God's answer.
My experience has
been that sometimes God will provide some deeper truth about the devotional
passage that I had not considered before. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit will guide
my mind to another passage of scripture that I will look up and read.
Often these passages will have an important impact on the upcoming day. There
have been times where no passage seems to come to mind, and no deeper meaning in
a devotional is found, but where God has just given me a more intimate sense of
His presence. Then there have been those moments where the Holy Spirit has
grabbed me and shook me awake to the fact that my heart had started to wander.
I think the most
important aspect of meditation is that an individual allow God to have His way,
and to reveal Himself personally. In this sense one must be open to increasing
or decreasing this mediation time in respect to the action of the Holy Spirit
Take a few
moments right now and allow God to teach you something about meditation.
What are your thoughts about meditation.
A Spiritual Growth
Essential - Scripture Memorization
important aspect of spiritual maturity is that of the human heart. Now, I'm not
talking about that muscle that is pumping your blood throughout your body.
Instead, I want you to focus on the center of who you are. We often refer to
this as our heart.
The psalmist wrote,
Thy word have
I ____________ in mine heart, that I _____________ not sin against thee (Ps
this tells me that if God's Word permeates my mind, then I will be well equipped
against sin. It does not mean that I won't ever sin, but I will be better
prepared when the temptation to sin knocks at the door to my life if God's Word
is already there.
In the Old
Testament God commanded the Israelites to hang His commandments on the doorposts
of their houses (Deut 6.9). In so doing they would be reminded of His
commandments every time they left or returned home. Also, any stranger that
might visit them would instantly know whom they yielded themselves to. Likewise,
we need to spiritually hang God's Word on the door posts of our hearts so that
we will constantly be reminded about God's life giving direction.
I always like to
visit a committed Christian's home. Sometimes, they will have something hanging
on their door that witnesses to who they are in their hearts. Often, when I step
inside there will be Christian pictures, and even verses hanging on the walls in
frames. These visible reminders help strengthen them in times of trial and
temptation. That's what we do when we memorize Scripture, we hang God's Word in
the living room of our hearts.
never bother to memorize Scripture. I suppose they feel that they can always
refer to their Bibles when they need to. Don't under estimate your adversary.
Satan and his cohorts know when you're the weakest, and when your defenses are
down. They also know just how to stir things up so that even if the Bible were
near by you would be less likely to reach for it.
Jesus did when He was tempted in the wilderness (Matt 4.1-11). The adversary
came and struck Him right where He was the weakest. But Jesus was ready. He
didn't reach for a Bible or scroll. Instead, the Word of God just simply flowed
from His heart to come to His defense. After the first battle there was another
blistering attack, which was followed by yet another jab by the wicked one, but
Jesus was well prepared. There is nothing like a well prepared defense when one
is in the heat of battle, and friends, don't be mistaken, this is a battle for
your spiritual well being.
Now, it's not so
much that you just memorize Scripture. You must carefully select the Scriptures
that you will hang in the living room of your heart. For most of us, it would be
virtually impossible to memorize the whole Bible. After all only so many verses
will fit on that spiritual wall, right! So, we must carefully select the verses
that we will memorize. Here are some simple questions that will help you to
prepare yourself for the coming attack:
1. What are my spiritual weaknesses?
2. How do I expect to be tempted in the near
3. What verses will help me to stand up
against these temptations?
Some of you may be thinking, "I would love to
memorize Scripture, but I just can't seem to remember the verses I try to
memorize." Well, The truth is, it's not easy. Satan, the flesh, and the world
will all try to keep you from preparing yourself
success. You must know that it takes a lot of resolve and focus to memorize
God's Word. Therefore, I suggest that you take the Scripture you have selected
and write it on the back of a business card. Then stick it in your pocket or
purse. Throughout your day take time to just simply repeat the verse time after
time. If need be, look at the card to remind yourself about the verse.
Eventually, you will be able to commit the verse to memory.
Once you have
memorized the verses you need in coming days you will be ready for the
temptation when it comes. However, don't just stop there, you must continually
commit other verses to memory. For our adversary will keep up his attacks.
Therefore, be sure you are preparing yourself for the battle.
What are some of your spiritual weaknesses?
What verses of Scripture would help you with
Your assignment for the next week:
Read your Bible everyday.
Continue to read where you left off
last week. Read at least one chapter a day, everyday. Read with
purpose, not speed. Note any questions for discussion next week.
Read the Daily Devotion
in the devotion guide that accompanies this study. Now you will need to
write your Spiritual Insights, and Prayer as you did last week. This week
there is the addition of an application box. Here you will need to write
an application that expresses what you will do as a result of the Spiritual
Insight and Prayer you have just written. An application will usually
start with “I will . . .”
Attend Church Sunday and take
Sermon Notes in your Spiritual Journal.
Try to hear and record the preachers major points and thoughts and record what
meaning the sermon may have had for you personally.
Memorize the Memory Verse
- Psalm 119.11 and be prepared to quote it to your Study partner next week.
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