Welcome to Starting Point! We are so glad you are joining us for this exciting study of our faith.
Whether you have been a dedicated Christian your whole life or are new to the faith, there will be something meaningful for you to discover through this journey.
In order for everyone to feel comfortable and confident on the journey, we are going to begin with some basics. For those of you looking for something more advanced, don't worry, we will be moving toward those things quickly. If this feels too basic, just scan it and move on to the next session. We just want to make sure everyone starts on the same page.
With that said, take a moment to watch this 60 second video on the basics of reading the bible:
Now that you are familiar navigating the pages of scripture, watch this video introduction to scripture as a whole. Disclaimer: A crabby complaining husband is just as hard to live with! (How's that for a teaser?)
As the above video illustrates, the Bible is intriguing to read on many levels. Moreover, all of us have something to learn from scripture (even the most seasoned person of faith). Unfortunately, many people think they know more about the Bible than they actually know. This can lead to our creating a faith in our own image rather than in the image of God.
So, we all need to read the Bible! The good news is that the Good News is not as difficult to read as many might expect.
Andy Stanley, the creator of the Starting Point study, has some great things to say about this topic, including some advice on how to start reading the Bible.
Okay, let's read a couple of Bible passages.
- The first one is about scripture itself.
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
- The second passage is a teaching from Jesus that many people find comforting and challenging at the same time.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?
And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry, saying, "What will we eat?' or "What will we drink?' or "What will we wear?' For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:25-34
Okay, so that's enough to serve as our starting point for scripture!
If you missed the first sermon in this series, we encourage you to either watch it by clicking here.
1. When you think about reading the Bible, do you find yourself feeling more inspired, overwhelmed, or just plain bored? (It's really okay if you choose the last one. We promise you are not alone.)
2. What is something you like about the Bible? What is something you don't like about the Bible?
3. If you had one hope for yourself when it comes to reading the Bible, what would it be? What is one specific step you can take today to begin achieving that hope?
4. What do you think about the scripture passage above from Matthew? Do you find it more comforting or challenging? Is it realistic to live that way? Is there an area of your life where you need to worry less and trust God more? Perhaps the answer to that last question may be at the heart of your prayers today.
If you have a thought to share or question to ask, feel free to post a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!