Life Is Like a Race - a Bible Discussion Guide
A Bible Discussion Guide to help you make it to the Finish Line a winner
Life can be difficult, but in the midst of all the tough times, I've discovered the secret is to run the race like a winner! Although Christianity doesn't make life perfect, when we truly commit ourselves to the truth that's in the Bible and make Christ our personal friend, we find that the imperfect is bearable and life with Christ is worth it!
As you begin to look at these lessons, you'll notice the last question in each study refers to those who can help you make it across the finish line. The true winners never race alone. They have trainers, friends, family, fans, people who cheer them on, encouraging them so they won't easily give up. Even if you do this study as an individual, make sure you have some friends (even on Facebook or Twitter) who will be there for you to help you meet the goals you set for yourself. My hope is that this study will help you find the peace and winning spirit that is available.
Lesson 1 - Training for the Race
OPEN: What is the most strenuous or challenging physical event you've done? What did you learn about yourself from the experience?
Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-26
- Paul compares the Christian life to a footrace. How many similarities can you name?
- What are some differences between this kind of race and your life as a follower of Christ?
- Paul says that athletes go into strict training. What kinds of things are characteristic of an athlete in training? (what do they give up, take on, do differently while they are in training)
- What is the "strict training" believers enter into?
- What's the difference between an athlete that puts their whole being into training and one who trains when convenient?
- What benefit does training with someone else provide for an athlete?
- For a Christian?
- What kind of training do you do to keep yourself connected to God and how much of you do you put into it?
- What new discipline (or kind of strict training) would you like to try to get closer to Christ?
- How can the group (or what group of friends can) help you accomplish your goal?
Lesson 2 - It's an Endurance Race
OPEN: What shortcuts have you tried to take in life?
Read 2 Timothy 2:3-6
- Paul talks about three different kinds of occupations. How does being a soldier compare with being a Christian?
- Do you feel like you are:- In basic training- Hiding in the ranks- Up for a promotion- In charge of a platoonExplain . . .
- What "civilian affairs" distract you from running your race for Christ?
- What kinds of rules does an athlete have to follow?
- What happens if the racer takes a short cut?
- What kinds of "rules" does the Christian have to follow?
- What happens when we try to take a shortcut in our Christian Race?
- What kinds of hardships do each of these three occupations face?
- How do these compare to hardships we face?
- How can we use these examples to endure hardship?
Look at James 1:2-4
- Have you ever considered it pure joy when you face hardships and trials?
- What does James say is the point of our trials & hardships?
- Describe a time when you witnessed the "James 1 Principle" at work?
- Close by reading James 1:12 - How can this verse give you hope as you persevere through hardship?
Lesson 3 - Don't Let Someone Cut in On You
OPEN: What seems to keep you from running the race the way that you want to?
Read Galatians 5:1-8
- Get a mental picture of a yoke (a two hole heavy piece of wood used to hold two oxen together when they are being driven). What kinds of heavy burdens have been like yokes when you've been trying to run the race?
- How did circumcision keep the Galatians from running the race effectively?
- What rules or rituals does Christianity sometimes have today that, like circumcision, distract us from running the race?
- How would you answer Paul in verse 7 if he'd written you this letter?
Read Galatians 5:13-18
- What do these verses do to folks who say, "I don't have any rules. I'm free to do what ever I want because I'm in Christ."?
More Bible Studies
- 40 Days in the Wilderness Bible Study
Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days. The Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years. We find ourselves in the wilderness often. This Bible Study will help us find life in the wilderness.
- Step Out On Faith - Bible Study
A Five week Bible study based on Peter's short water walk and the faith he used to make the journey.
Lesson 4 - Keep Your Eye on the Prize
OPEN: If you were in some sort of competition, who is the one person you'd want to be there to cheer you on (dead or alive) and what would be the best prize you could win.
Read Hebrews 12:1-3
- These verses follow the "Faith Hall of Fame" (Chapter 11) Paul reminds the Hebrews of the faith of those who went before them. If you had someone of great faith in your life as you grew up (or still have someone like that), share how that person inspired (inspires) you to be all you can be for Christ?
- What kinds of things hinder you in your faith and/or what kind of sin entangles you?
- How can you "throw off" those things? Read Matthew 14:22-33
- What happened to Peter? He seemed to have such great faith but he started to drown anyway?
- What kinds of things cause you to take your eyes off of Jesus?
- Why does Paul tell us to keep our eyes "fixed on Jesus"?
- How might your race be different if you were constantly focused on Jesus?
- What one thing will you do over the next month to be more focused on Christ so you can win the race?
- Close by reading 2 Timothy 4:7. When you finish your race will this be what you'll say? Will you one day be part of "the great cloud of witnesses" for the generations to come?
Lesson 5 - Carrying the Final Baton
OPEN: What age would you say would qualify you to be able to say, "I lived to a ripe old age?"
Read Acts 20:19-24
- How many people do you know that you could read verse 20-21 to and be truthful?
- If you, like Paul, knew that prison and hardship lay ahead, how easy would it be for you to run the last leg of the race?
- What was Paul's goal in the race?
- What is the one thing you want to do, the one task you want to complete as you finish the race?
- What will you do to accomplish your goal before you cross the finish line?
How Often do YOU Study the Bible and who do you study with?
© 2009 Lynne Modranski