Aspects Resource Book Help 

Activity Sheets 


Bible Study 1 'The Power of God's Word'


Bible Study 2 'Obedience and Faith'


Bible Study 3 'He is the Potter, we are the clay'

Activity Sheets

Activity Sheet 10
The dove can be enlarged for a prayer to be written on it.
A larger dove can be downloaded
here.
 

Activity Sheet 12
Additional information on the answers:Boy reading activity book
1 Is a picture of the robes of a ‘King’.

4 Is a sum composed by a ‘teacher’.

5 Is God’s bow being hung up and His arrows no longer used, as He promised never to flood the earth totally again (Genesis 9:8-15)

10 Is the lamb seen as Christ offering Himself for us at Easter.

16 Is a shield, as God likens Himself to a ‘high tower’ which does the same job as a shield – to protect (see Psalm 61:3)

19 Is a picture of a key.  In the answer list, this has been matched with a ‘dove’, apologies this was a proof reading mistake, this should have been matched with the door.  However, you could challenge more able teenagers by asking how a dove could be matched with a key. This answer could be that  a ‘key’ is likened to a ‘dove’, in that peace or the Holy Spirit, both of which are represented by doves, are the means by which we unlock the riches of Christ.  It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us and unlocks the secret of the Kingdom for us.  It is living at peace with others that can unlock a dispute that has divided people.  It is being a ‘peacemaker’ that unlocks the key to living in harmony with one another.

 

Bible Study Helps

 Bible Study 1  ‘The Power of God’s Word’

 The historical setting of this passage is the exile of the Jews in Babylon.  The time for the fulfilment of the prophesy given by Isaiah concerning their deliverance, had almost come.  King Cyrus of Persia was chosen by God to bring about the release of the captives.  This foreshadows the coming of Christ to deliver His people from their sins.
Isaiah 55:6-13, is God’s comforting word to His people, to reassure them that if they will seek and trust Him, then He will bring to pass those things He has promised.

  1. The urgency here spoken of is to ‘seek and call’ upon the Lord whilst he is listening and ready to act (Psalm 32:6, Hebrews 3:12-19).  There may come a time after which He no longer responds. So it was with the children of Israel, when they were given their chance to take the land of Canaan shortly after the Exodus.  They stood at the borders of the land and said it was too difficult.  They lost their chance and God condemned that generation to wandering around the desert for 40 years (Numbers 13 and 14).

  2. God promises to have compassion on those who turn to Him, and to forgive them completely if they are truly repentant.  The Hebrew word for ‘compassion’, also translated as ‘mercy’ or ‘pity’, means more than just to ‘forgive’.  It comes from a root word meaning ‘to fondle’.  This speaks of God waiting to pour out His love on us, just as a parent will cuddle a child and show their love for them,  when the child acknowledges that they have done wrong. (see Strong's ref. below)

  3. Verse 7 speaks of people acknowledging that God knows better than they do.  To ‘repent’ means to turn from our own ways of thinking and trust that God’s thoughts and dealings with us are sometimes beyond our comprehension.  It is this trusting our lives to Him, even if what happens seems contrary to what we think God should have done in a particular situation, that constitutes ‘faith’.

  4. If we ‘do what is right in our own eyes’, but we know it is not God’s way of doing things, then chances are ‘our ways’ will backfire eventually.  The ‘heart is deceitful above all things’ (Jeremiah 17:9), and trusting our own judgements, without reference to God, can be disastrous as we do not see the whole picture.  However, God has given us common sense, and often we are called to use it!

  5. It would be good here to talk from personal experiences.

  6. God’s ways are higher than our ways:

  • He sees the consequences of our actions because He knows what is going to happen in the future.

  • He is free from sin, therefore His thinking is righteous.

  • He knows how human beings work as He created them, therefore He knows how we should act to produce the best results (e.g. the Ten Commandments tell us how to live together in harmony – if we do not lie or murder or steal etc then life together in a community works well)

  • He loves us and wants the very best for us.  It is rather like a child who thinks their parents are unfair because they will not give the child everything they want, because the parents do know better!

  • We are basically selfish, and it hard even for the holiest believer to always put self to death.  Therefore our thinking is all too often dominated by a ‘what about me’ mentality.  Whereas God’s thinking is more, ‘what about My children?, what is best for them?’…..hence John 3:16.

  1. Rain provides the water plants need in order to grow and produce fruit. So also when we ask in prayer according to God’s word, He can act because we ask righteously in accordance with His will (James 4:3). His word accomplishes that which it sets out to do and will be fulfilled upon this earth.

  2. If we do not ask according to His will, He will not give us as what we ask of Him as it may be dangerous for us (even though we cannot see it).  If we ask and we have unconfessed sin in our lives or we know full well we are not doing what God requires of us in any other aspect of our life, then this is another reason why He may not answer.  Or we may have to wait; God’s silence when we pray does not always mean ‘no’, but often just means the time is not yet right.

  3. Verses 6-7 are particularly reassuring to those who need forgiveness.  Verses 8-9 are comforting to those who do not understand what God is doing in their lives.  Verses 10-11 produce faith and reassurance that God will act according to His word, in His own time.  And verses 12-13, tell us that God longs to bless, we are encouraged to believe that God is indeed good.

James Strong    “The New Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible”  Nelson 1982  see number 7355 in the Hebrew Section at the back.

 

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Bible Study Helps

Bible Study 2  'Obedience and Faith'

The book of Hebrews was written to a church that was under much persecution.  The writer of Hebrews wrote the epistle to encourage the readers to stand firm in the faith they had been taught.  Chapter 4 is a warning to those who would give up because of unbelief.  Those who give up are likened to the children of Israel refusing to take the land of Canaan because they did not believe God was greater than the giants that stood in their way.  Their disobedience led to them being excluded from the land God wanted to give them.

  1. The Israelites looked at the situation through their own eyes and with their own understanding.  They saw giants and fierce warriors.  They did not believe that God would be ‘big’ enough to defeat these enemies. God promised they could take the land through His mighty power, they did not believe Him and hence He could not use them for His purposes.

  2. Faith is required to follow God into unknown territory as we are effectively handing over the control of our lives to Him.  This means we must trust what Scripture says about Him, and that he will fulfil His promises made.  It is not easy to place our lives in God’s hands.  It is easier to live by sight so that we are in control.

  3. It would be good here to talk from personal experiences.

  4. It might be helpful here to discuss the sort of obedience the group thinks God requires.

  5. It would be good here to talk from personal experiences.

  6. God’s word can be used as a weapon both against fear, the devil and sin.  For example, when the devil tries to condemn us, and as far as we know, we are not in sin, we can quote Romans 8:1 out loud:  ‘There is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus’.  This is a case of where the truth of God’s word defeats the lies of Satan.  See Matthew 4: 1-11

  7. The word of God is likened to a sword:  it penetrates very deep into our being (joints and marrow) and is used by the Holy Spirit to show us our innermost faults and fears.  It separates out the things of the flesh (soul) and the things of God (spirit) so that we know exactly what we should be doing and not doing.  It is the standard of behaviour which God uses to judge our motives and reactions.  It is living and active in so far as when we use it correctly, it produces results.

  8. James 1:22-25 tells us that freedom comes from looking at ourselves in the light of God’s standards laid down in Scripture.  It is doing His word, not just hearing it that counts.  This makes us safe from both condemnation and error, plus it ensures that what we do is righteous and therefore God approves of our actions and will guide us step by step.

  9. Before we can do what God requires of us, we have to know His will for us. If we go to Him in prayer, to ask for guidance and strength, then Hebrews 4:16 says that we will be given what we need.  Sometimes this means seeking and persevering, but God promises that if we ‘ask we shall receive, and if we seek, we shall find.’ (Matthew 7:7-11)

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Bible Study Helps

Bible Study 3   ‘He is the Potter, we are the Clay’

This passage in Isaiah continues the theme of how God will make things right again for Israel through King Cyrus of Persia.  However, the people of Israel must co-operate with God, and not question what He is doing.  He is willing to reassure them, but they must have faith in Him. 

  1. If God had done the introductory activity, there would have been a perfect match between what He envisioned in his mind and what he actually made.

  2. This pot would have been flawless, perfectly proportioned, the most useful shape, exquisite to look at and the best use made of materials given. (plus more the group can think of).

  3. God is presented as the absolute King and Lord of the universe.  He is the Creator and Sustainer, and will not compromise His position as it is already perfect. His ways are the very best. And He is willing to help His children to understand what he is doing. 

  4. Abraham argued with God in order to save Lot’s life (Genesis 18:17-33), but he did so with the utmost awe and respect.  Moses argued with God in order to save the people of Israel from God’s wrath after they had sinned (Deuteronomy 9:25-29).  Both argued in line with what they knew to be God’s will (to save).  We may argue our case with God, but only if we are speaking in line with His will.  It must be done with great awe and respect.  Sometimes however, we do argue with God, especially when things go apparently wrong.  Job did this a few times, trying to understand why he was suffering, but God seemed to know Job did so out of hurt, and he was never reprimanded for his outbursts.  It is better, I believe, to argue with God - talking through the issues in our lives with Him, in order to understand, than to get angry with Him and try and sort things out ourselves.

  5. It would be good here to talk from personal experiences.

  6. If God is the Potter and we are the clay, then it is better to follow the paths God has chosen for us.

  7. We often put God ‘in a box’, we make Him too small.  He is Creator, and when we really think about that, the immenseness of God starts to sink in.  He is far, far greater than ever we imagine.  By considering His creation, we can see how good, perfect and beautiful He is.  One real look at the petal of a multi-coloured pansy can tell us that God has a beautiful mind, and wants to give us good things, that are not only useful, but full of beauty also.

  8. Maybe our mindset could be summed up in the words, ‘let go – let God’ mould and shape us.  It is not fighting against what God wants to do in and through us, but submission to His will that brings great peace.  It is also accepting that God actually knows what He is doing, and it will be good and right.

  9. It would be good here to talk from personal experiences.

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