Here is a Bible Study I wrote for our weekly gathering. We are taking turns sharing what God is showing us in our lives and I was up. I did grab a few props – gotta have an application lesson in Ms. D’s class. That’s how we remember. I went to Hobby Lobby and went to the wood department. I found them, two 8 x 10 wood frames and a box of sharpies. That’s all I needed. More to be revealed… Teaching notes in ( ).
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23;7 NKJV
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.“ – Romans 12:2 NKJV
Think of your home and your pictures. Do you have a wall you keep them on? Or do you put them in scrapbooks? Are they in frames on tables here and there? Are they on your phone? Think of the events and how each one brings to mind a special day. A day to remember. Are they of your friends? Your family? Your children? Your parents?
In each picture you are the same person, right? Only the time and circumstances have changed. Now take a step back, and look at the frame that it is in. Not the actual frame, but the frame of reference it was taken in. Were you younger, older? Who was with you? Why was this day important?
Let’s face it, times change. People change, we change. The frames in our lives change. We see ourselves differently depending on what we are looking at. Think of a old movie, frame by frame. Each frame tells a part of the whole story. Individually it may not look like much, but put them all together and it is a beautiful story.
What happens when we frame our world by our circumstances?
What happens when we frame ourselves by who is with us at the time?
What happens when we frame our worth with what others think?
What happens when we frame ourselves by what we do or don’t do?
We often frame our world with other things:
(Take frame number 1 and write all these words down in black sharpie on the frame itself)
- School – What happens when school is over and all of a sudden you are not the popular kid anymore? Some people get stuck there, forever living in what they call the “glory days”. They close their life off to new opportunities because they are not the popular kid anymore.
- Sports – What happens if you fumble the ball or lose the big game? We can’t all be the sports Heroes our whole lives. Many people just quit. Quit the game and quit trying at life.
- Hobbies – What happens if you never finish that project? Many people get lost in their love of this, that, and the other thing. Living a life doing stuff, not really touching others or opening themselves up to give or receive love. Just lost in hobby land.
- Work/Job/Title– What happens if you get laid off, to the company closes, or the job ends? Many people live their whole life saying I’m an XYZ. They define themselves by what they do for a living or by what Title they have. Jobs and Titles are temporary. Positions come and go.
- Money – What happens if you get wiped out, of have a financial emergency? Even the best money managers run into problems. If your frame your world with money, it will crash. The love of money a root of all kinds of evil.
- Appearance – What happens if you worship your body and your body doesn’t cooperate? Let’s face it, we all age here on planet Earth. Stuff happens. If we frame our world with what we look like, it will be disappointing. Aging is a part of life.
- Relationships – What happens if the relationship/marriage ends? If we frame our world with our relationships it will be a bumpy ride. Relationships change, people change. We change.
- Children – What happens when they grow up and move out? That empty nest syndrome is real. Many parents don’t know what to do with themselves after their kids leave the nest.
- Houses, cars, stuff – What happens when catastrophe comes and you lose it? Are we really defined by what we accumulate? What the world defines as rich in this world is often poverty in the Kingdom of God. Idolatry is the worship of stuff, God doesn’t like that one bit.
- Addiction – What happens if you see yourself as an XYZ forever? Didn’t God promise to deliver us and set us free? It may be hard to see yourself beyond an addiction. It may be difficult to see yourself as free. Renew our minds Lord Jesus.
- Words of others – What happens when you get rejected, betrayed, or hurt? When we let others tell us who we are we give them our power. We let them play God. They are not our God. Just because someone says something doesn’t mean it’s true.
- Sickness – What happens if you frame your world with sickness? When Jesus met the man at the pool He had one question, “Do you want to be well.?” There are people that like the attention that comes with illness. There are some that want a Dr. to tell them about their health and what to do next.
- Past – What happens if you frame your world with your past? Can we ever move on to a new thing and let God move in our lives if we are living in yesterday? Many have become bitter instead of better. They have refused to forgive those who offended them and stay trapped living in the past. The root of bitterness grows and they wither in the Kingdom.
(Stop here, pass the frame around the room. Starting with yourself first, share with the group what you are struggling with. For me it was my past. It’s hard for me to see myself as free and strong instead of a victim.)
What if we took those same pictures, those same circumstances, our same life and framed it with the Word of God?
(Turn frame number 1 over so it is blank again)
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”- Hebrews 11:1-3 NKJV
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” – Colossians 3:1-4 NKJV
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” – Colossians 1:15-20 NKJV
“For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.” – Psalm 103:11-18 NKJV
“For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.” – Psalm 139:13-8 NKJV
Let us frame our world with the Word of God.
(Take the first frame, turn it over. Take the second frame. Let each person pick a colored sharpie. Pass the 2nd frame around the room and ask each person to pick a word from below that will help them overcome issue they are struggling with on the first frame. Ask them to get out their phones or Bibles and share a Bible verse that goes with that word. This is the verse they will hold on to this week)
The Word of God says we are:
- Born again
- Citizen of Heaven
- Royal Priesthood
- Sealed with the Spirit
- Co-heirs with Christ
- Christ’s Ambassadors
- Covered in Grace
- Created for purpose
- A Masterpiece
- Set apart
- More than a Conqueror
Let us renew our minds and live from this place, in Jesus Name!