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Vigilance is the quality of watchfulness. To be vigilant is to be careful about what is happening, to pay attention to possible problems. We need this quality in our daily lives as we walk with the Lord and serve Him as His disciples. If we don't pay close attention, harmful things can creep into our conduct and we can drift away from God without realizing what has happened. The Hebrew writer said, "Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it" (Hb. 2:1). And Paul wrote, "Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor. 10:12).
Not only are there spiritual dangers to watch out for, but there are also improvements in our character that we would do well to make. In our present condition, none of us can say that we are perfect. There are always changes for the better waiting to be made. God gave us His word to guide our daily growth and this growth ought to be the purpose for which we study. Bible study should help us see changes we need to make.
It is interesting to study the Bible, no doubt. It is a fascinating book. However, our interest in what God has revealed ought not to be the mere accumulation of facts and information. Our intent ought to be a higher level of obedience, a better quality of service to the God who gave us the Bible. As we study, we are always looking for "obeyable" information. And ultimately, it is this desire to obey that determines whether or not we recognize the truth when we see it (Jn. 7:17).
We make progress toward heaven when we honestly apply to ourselves what we have learned in our Bible study. When we let the "light" we have learned shine into our heart and illuminate what is really there, we gain insight into how God sees us. With that insight, we can then make changes for the better. This is what "repentance" is all about. It is a matter of seeing, with the help of God's word, things that need to be changed -- and then having the courage to change them. Throughout this week, let's apply our Bible study to the great work of self-examination. Becoming those who think and act like God requires that we be willing to take frequent inventories of ourselves. This week, let's be glad for the daily opportunity God gives us to grow!
Monday: 2 Corinthians 13:5
Key Idea: We should examine our own spiritual condition from time to time.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean to be "in the faith"? Is it possible to think we are in the faith and not really be so? What does Paul mean when he says, "Examine yourselves"? In practical terms, how do we do that?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 29:5.
Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 10:12,13
Key Idea: We should take heed lest we ourselves fall.
Questions for Family Growth: Why is it so dangerous to be overconfident about our spiritual condition? What are some precautions we should take to keep from falling? What does it mean in v.13 that God is "faithful"? Consider Jd. 24,25.
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 29:6.
Wednesday: Psalm 19:7-11
Key Idea: God's word is good because it warns us.
Questions for Family Growth: In v.7, what is meant by the expression "converting the soul" (NKJV)? According to v.10, how valuable is God's word? Why should we be thankful that we are "warned" (v.11) by God's word?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 29:7.
Thursday: 2 Timothy 3:16,17
Key Idea: God's word is useful for reproof and correction.
Questions for Family Growth: What does the word "profitable" mean? For what four things is God's word said to be profitable? What should be our response to the reproof and the correction we receive from the Scriptures?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 29:8.
Friday: Deuteronomy 29:29
Key Idea: God gave His word so that we might obey it.
Questions for Family Growth: Did God reveal to us everything He knows? Why did He reveal the things that He did reveal? Look at Ezra 7:10. What three things did Ezra do with respect to God's word? Should we do those same three things today?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 29:9.