February is Black History Month in the United States, when we focus on the contributions people of African descent have made to this country. You can embark on a personal Bible study for Black History Month, or lead your church or small group to collectively understand the plight of a people made in God’s image, and acknowledge God’s goodness at work in their remarkable achievements. To help guide the conversations of a church group, here are five Bible verses about diversity, justice, and equality that can help frame the discussion, then five Bible studies to help you think more deeply about the important principles Black History Month spotlights.
We won’t often admit this, but we like being angry. We don’t like what caused the anger, to be sure; we just like thinking we’ve “got” something on someone. So-and-so did something wrong, sometimes horribly wrong, and anger offers us a sense of moral superiority.
That’s why we call it “righteous anger,” after all. It’s moral and good, we want to think.
But inconveniently, there’s this proverb that says, “You may believe you are doing right, but the Lord will judge your reasons” (Prov. 16:2 NCV).
Why do so many resolutions fail after the first couple of weeks? Often, it’s because of a lack of planning, accountability, and commitment…and because we’ve left God out of the solution!
What if this year you made a commitment to your goals by engaging in a Bible study that will help you?
Start by downloading our free Bible Study Goals Planner!
The first study in The Jesus Bible Study Series, Beginnings, is designed to usher you through the first act of God’s story, which is revealed most fully in the opening two chapters of the book of Genesis. Later biblical authors also wrote about God’s creation and the purposes behind his work, so we will pull from those portions of Scripture as well as we go along.
Studies show that 1 out of every 4 adults in America will be affected by mental illness at some point in their lifetime.
I decided to dedicate Season Two of our podcast, Study Gateway’s First Listens, to this universal and timely issue of mental health. I have curated a collection of sessions from seven Bible studies that speak to different aspects of mental health.
Right now, we’re in a sort of global denial about the actual cost of these hard years (which are not over). We just want to get past it all, so we’re currently trying to comfort ourselves with some sense of recovery and relief. But folks, we haven’t yet paid the psychological bill for all we’ve been through. We would never tell a survivor of abuse that the trauma must be over now that the abuse has stopped. And yet that mentality is at play in our collective denial of the trauma we’ve been through.
Here are some tools to help:
The Small Group Tool Kit includes two mobile-friendly invitation cards, reflection cards to enhance your small group experience, and a worship song playlist curated by Hosanna Wong that can beplayed during small group meetings or personal Bible study time.
The Church Tool Kit includes a downloadable poster, bulletininsert, invitation card, and Power Point slide.
Shawn Johnson, lead pastor of Red Rocks Church, gives a
searingly honest portrait of anxiety and depression and shows readers how to fight back and live free. He also has put together three free tools pastors can use to help their congregation have a productive conversation around mental health, including a discussion guide, sermon notes and key Scripture verses.