Commands of Christ:
Source: Bible study group at a church I attend.
Book Description from Publisher's Website:
The Commands of Christ series is a set of seven study books focusing on 49 general commands that Jesus gave.
The books may be used in a group setting or as a personal study. Each lesson includes an in-depth commentary, study questions, a character quality and songs that amplify the command, questions and commitments for personal application, and a journal page for recording your own insights and progress as you incorporate Christ’s commands into your life.
I was involved in a small group Bible study which used this book. We had a lot of good, in-depth discussions based on the study's commentary and in coming up with specific examples of how one could put these commands of Christ into real life practice. I'd highly recommend this study to other small groups. You can also do it as a personal study.
I felt this study did a good job in exploring what the whole Bible (both Old and New Testaments) had to say on the subject. For example, in the first lesson on "Keeping Your Word," they start with the question "Why did God deliver Abraham and Sarah in spite of the lie that they told Pharaoh and Abimelech and yet destroy Ananias and Sapphira for the lie that they told Peter?" Then the study went on to explore the similarities and differences in the situations and answer why.
The verses under discussion and related verses were fully quoted in the book so you don't have to look anything up. The commentary included relevant cultural background information and short word studies to further clarify our understanding of the verses. At the end of each study, there was a page of personal application questions and another page with suggested take-away resolutions and a place for personal notes.
The seven commands covered in the seven lessons of this book were Keep Your Word (Matthew 5:33-37); Go the Second Mile (Matthew 5:38-42); Love Your Enemies (Matthew 5:43-45); Be Perfect (Matthew 5:46-48); Give, Pray, Fast Secretly (Matthew 6:1-18); Lay Up Treasures (Matthew 6:19-21); and Seek God's Kingdom (Matthew 6:24-33).
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Keep Your Word
let your yes be yes, and your no be no
"Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."
Study Question: Why did God deliver Abraham and Sarah in spite of the lie that they told Pharaoh and Abimelech and yet destroy Ananias and Sapphira for the lie that they told Peter?
Why is keeping your word so important?
Most people do not begin to comprehend the power or the consequences of simple little words. Scripture states that "death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21).
Because words are so important, God makes every person accountable for every word. "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by they words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matthew 12:36-37).
The command of Jesus to reject any hint of lying or deception is vital for every disciple, because the very nature of God is truth, and those who represent Him must live and speak truth. "Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight" (Proverbs 12:22).
In Scripture, two accounts of lying reveal important insights into the nature and consequences of not being completely truthful.