Out of Context – T3 Bible Study October/November 2017

Out of Context – T3 Bible Study October/November 2017

Third Thursday Theology – October/November 2017 Bible Study

We thought it might be interesting to look at some bible passages that are sometimes taken out of context and discuss them as a group. I hope we can dive deeper into the bible and really think about how those passages can speak into our lives.

Powerpoint with notes from discussion: out of context

If you have questions or comments about the group or the presentation please feel free to contact us through this page or the groups Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/t3study/




Let’s go around the room and introduce ourselves.

What is something you noticed about most people’s introduction?

(You are introduced to a new individual. How do you describe yourself? Do you talk about your job and what you do? Do you talk about your family and helping others? Do you talk about your Faith? … Our jobs are a big part of our lives, but is it the most important thing?)

  • For both men and women, their “work” or the “job they do” constitutes a large part of their awake hours and can be an important part of who they are. Many times work may define how a person sees themselves, including how they value themselves and their life.  A job or career can become too large a factor in how someone “defines themselves”, including how they assess their value as a person. By itself a job is not bad or negative. In fact, a “job” is mentioned by Jesus in the Bible as something normal for people to do. A job only becomes a negative when we equate it too much power. Our jobs can cause us to lose track of “why we are on the earth” and discovering God’s true purpose for us.

Prayer Focus: Lord, my prayer is that you will enlighten us regarding our tendency to identify much of our self-worth with our jobs. Help us to re-prioritize our lives and follow your teachings on this topic for Christian men and women.

  • Genesis 3:17-19: To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food
    until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

God “knows about people”, the good and bad part of our “natural nature”. He knows if our priorities aren’t “God centered”, we will wander without discovering our true purpose. It is clear God did not intend for “our jobs” to define us as Christians. He has a much greater and grand purpose for us. When we keep God first in our heart, our true purpose will reveal itself.

  • Exodus 36:2 says “Moses called Bezalel, Oholiab, and all the other skilled men to whom the Lord had given ability and who were willing to help, and Moses told them to start working”
    • What does this tell you about using your God given abilities and skills?
    • What do you believe are your God given abilities and how can you best apply them at work, with your family, and in helping others?
  • Deuteronomy 5:12 (Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy,as the Lord your God has commanded you.)  Leviticus 23:3 (There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of Sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the Lord.)
    • These two Scriptures deal with work and the Sabbath. After reading these two Scriptures do they describe your current lifestyle and how you lead your family?
    • If not, what changes are you going to make in the next few weeks to honor God and lead your family as a Christian?
  • Ephesians 1: 9-12: He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.  In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
    • Think specifically about what the following words in 1:11 mean to you, “All things are done according to God’s plan and decision”.
    • Do you believe this? (You can’t have free will and then complain when you go against God’s plan and it doesn’t work for you)
    • Do you know God’s purpose for you? (You can learn what God wants and do it, or you can do something and learn the hard way what God’s plan was for you)
    • If not, please pray that He will help you discover His purpose for your life.
  • Colossians 1:27: To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
    • What is His glorious secret?
    • How does this secret relate to sharing in the Glory of God?
    • How do you know if you are fulfilling God’s Purpose for you?


  • When someone asks us in the next week what we do, with God’s help we will concentrate on describing ourselves more in terms of our Faith, our spouses, our family & friends, our concern for others and “then” our jobs. We will pray daily for wisdom in discovering our true purpose as men on earth.
  • Assuming you are over-indulged in work and your career. How are you going to change? How will you get your priorities straight beginning with God?

If our faith was our job:

  • Code of conduct: 10 commandments
  • Emails: Prayer
  • Clients: strangers, those in need, etc.

Prayer Point: Lord, please help each of us to reevaluate our lives. Give us the strength and wisdom to re-prioritize our lives by putting you first. When praying we will be open to hearing your soft words of wisdom to discover our true purpose on earth.

Additional Resource:

Being an Ananias (Scottie Pippen) in a Paul (Michael Jordan) World!

Being an Ananias (Scottie Pippen) in a Paul (Michael Jordan) World!

Scottie Pippen was an amazing basketball player, but just happened to be playing at the same time as Michael Jordan. He may not have had as many commercials as Jordan, but he was part of the same team and so had just as many championship wins as him. He was still great in his own right and on his own path!

Most of us want to be the one to do something great for God. We look up to great men like Billy Graham and wish we could lead millions of people to salvation. We aspire to be like Mother Teresa and have people praise us for our compassion. We see the Newsboys band and wish we could usher the masses into worship. But sometimes we don’t get to be “The Guy” … sometimes we have to be content to be the assist man! I have heard a million sermons and studies about Paul, but the last one I heard opened my eyes to someone I hadn’t thought much about: Ananias!

Ananias was on the path to be “The Guy”. He was a known servant of the Lord, willing to do what the Lord commanded, and apparently had enough faith to heal Paul. But setting up Ananias to be the leader of a nation wasn’t in God’s plan. The bible talks about Ananias being scared of Paul, but it doesn’t allude to another feeling he must have felt: jealousy. Akin to the way the older brother in the prodigal son felt, Ananias may have been a little upset that a new-comer – an ANTI-Christian of all people – was coming in on the last play to throw the winning shot! Ananias went from being the game winner to being the assist man real quick … but the difference about Ananias is that he did so with grace and love for his new team leader. What if Ananias had gotten an attitude and told God to take a hike? The greatest evangelist of all time could have still been sitting in that back room – blind and unproductive. Ananias had to swallow his pride and teach Paul what he needed to know to transform the world. Maybe our role isn’t to be the front man, but to be the teacher.

A couple practical examples from my life:

1. Years ago my boss moved into another position and I was doing both jobs while a replacement was found. I applied for the job obviously, but was not granted an interview because I had not finished my degree. Then I had to train my new supervisor. I was a tad upset to say the least, but had to remember that it wasn’t the new girls fault. I couldn’t treat her with disdain because she was on the path she was supposed to be on. If I had gotten that job I would not have had time to be in my Christian band and would not have felt comfortable later to quit my job and go back to school for ministry. God was saving me for my path, but also helping someone else to be on their path as well. When we don’t get what we think is due to us, it can breed resentment and make us stray from the greater job God has in store for us.

2. I am a church kid, and had my own Christian band for over 5 years. I became a youth minister at a church and took my kids to youth retreat. It was the first time I had ever been at camp where I wasn’t one of the youth or part of the band/speakers. Even though I was one of the leaders, I sort of got upset and doubted what I was doing. I began asking God if I had given up my gift of singing and been wrong to stop using what He had given me to serve Him. I had jealousy and an attitude about the band on stage … thinking that that was my rightful place to be. Later that night there was a candle light service and I looked at my youth’s little faces in the soft light and began to cry. God reached into my heart and told me that I had had my time to travel and tell others about Jesus. Now my new mission and my new path was to teach these kids and prepare them so they could have their time to proclaim the name of Jesus. My time in front of the crowd had transitioned for the time being to lead a small band of disciples so they may take the message and spread the gospel. I couldn’t argue seeing that emulating Jesus is the greatest privilege we have. It still stung for a little bit, but the rewards of seeing those kids love the Lord was worth it. I had to step out of the spotlight and bury some of my passion and pride to follow the new path God had laid out for me.

3. My father has always lived a life set apart from most. He has a wonderful character, has never even tasted alcohol, and knew he was different than most of the kids in his small town. He always felt God was preparing him for something great. He has never been a rich man or been in a huge spotlight, but he has touched countless lives with his steadfast passion to try to do what is right no matter what others may think of him. He has been a beloved coach to hundreds of young men and also a bible study leader. He can’t go anywhere without seeing someone he knows, and will friend anyone and put a smile on their face. He told me the other day that even though he doesn’t feel like he has done some great feat for God, maybe what he was supposed to do was raise his kids to go on to do great things. We have each gone on to do some relatively big things in our community and beyond for Christ (in no way meaning to brag) and I believe my father was right in the fact that his legacy remains in the way he taught his children to stand up for what is right and follow what the bible says no matter how we feel. And one day we will bring our children up in the ways of the Lord.  His favorite saying is: “what is right might not be popular, and what is popular is not always right”. He is a great example of perseverance in the midst of struggle. He may not always make the right decision, but he always tries to return to God’s word and live for Him. If that is the only thing anyone remembers about him, I believe it would be enough of a witness to the dedication of faith and a slam dunk for his life. Sometimes we think we are not the leading actor in our own lives, but if we can remain unyielding to the end we may just get that academy award for best supporting actor. There are no small parts … only small actors.

Ananias decided to put aside his pride and do what God asked. He may not have been as popular as Paul, but his name is in the Bible forever and he was a very important assist to countless people (even now) hearing the gospel. No matter how big you think your role is in the furthering of God’s will, if you do what the Lord asks then you have completed a great feat for Him! Sometimes being the assist man is your moment in the spotlight. In all reality – hearing the words “well done My good and faithful servant” when we step into eternity is our three point shot at the buzzard!


Lent – What is it really about?

Lent – What is it really about?

Third Thursday Theology discussed the season of Lent.  Below is an opening video and the powerpoint presentation that facilitated the themes and discussion.

Lent Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAuB-3V46zk

Lent PowerPoint Presentation: Lent Slide Show


Topic Description: A deeper look at Lent
We all come from different denominations/religious backgrounds and whether you participate in Lent or not, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the customs and how they effect spiritual change and growth. I grew up in a Baptist church so my family did not practice Lent, but when I became a Methodist Youth Minister I had to teach on the subject. I was fortunate to have the opportunity and needing to study it to teach gave me a new perspective. If you do not do Lent, come and find out more … and if you do take part in this ritual then please come with a story of how it has impacted your life. I think this will be a great time of sharing, insight, and bonding for our group.

If you have questions or comments about the group or the presentation please feel free to contact us through this page or the groups Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/t3study/

Compassion in the Midst of Addiction

Compassion in the Midst of Addiction

Compassion in the Midst of Addiction: A Doctor’s Journey of Turning Grief Into Education

Third Thursday Theology Bible Study Guest Speaker – January 19, 2017

T3 hosted Dr. Omar Abubaker, D.M.D., Ph.D., (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University) as he told the story about the loss of his son and how he was able to look at addiction with a new perspective through an educational program at VCU.   Below are (1) his PowerPoint presentation, (2) the video of his talk, and (3) a news article that was written about the event.

PowerPoint Presentation: compassion-in-the-midst-of-addiction

Recording of lecture:  https://ess.echo360.vcu.edu:8443/ess/echo/presentation/5c1d6d38-70f0-4b5a-aa37-61226751a378 (The presentation begins at the 4:30 mark).

News Article: http://www.commonwealthtimes.org/2017/01/23/department-head-seeks-educate-professionals-recognizing-treating-addiction/

For more information about how to contact Dr. Abubaker or Melissa Burton to speak on this subject or for more information and resources, please contact Melissa at mhburton@vcu.edu

T3 Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/t3study/

T3 Bible Study – Prayer: Does It Work?

T3 Bible Study – Prayer: Does It Work?

Third Thursday Theology discussed the works of prayer.  Below is the powerpoint presentation that facilitated the discussion (with some ideas from the group as well as ways we can pray for those around us).

Prayer Power Point Presentation: prayer-does-it-work

If you have questions or comments about the group or the presentation please feel free to contact us through this page or the groups Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/t3study/