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How Max Lucado’s John 3:16 The Numbers of Hope Bible study challenged my faith
Max Lucado’s John 3:16 The Numbers of Hope Bible study has been a wonderful blessing. I have done many studies and read many books written by Max Lucado and so far I have not completed one I did not enjoy and was not challenged by. He has a graceful and humble approach while not neglecting to teach about important topics and issues with blunt, unfiltered truth. The Numbers of Hope Bible study, an updated version of the original published in 2007, is by far one of the best I have done altogether, let alone from Max Lucado.
When considering any Bible study there are important factors we all must evaluate. We need to ensure we are learning from godly teachers and examples who are rightly dividing the Word of Truth, and that the way they teach is founded on scripture and in the correct context. We all have a responsibility to filter what we learn directly through the Word of God and not ever just take someone’s word for it, and that is exactly how I approached this study and therefore the filter I have used for this review.
I received complimentary access to the John: 3:16 The Numbers of Hope Bible study by Max Lucado as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid in exchange for an honest review of the study. You can find even more information about this Bible study here. #BibleGatewayPartner
Is the 3:16 Numbers of Hope Bible study Biblically accurate?
The very first question we should always ask about any Bible study or Bible teacher is whether a Bible study is being taught in a biblically accurate manner and whether a Bible teacher is teaching biblically accurate lessons. We are instructed to filter all things through the Word of God and to rightly handle the Word of God.
Throughout Max Lucado’s John 3:16 The Numbers of Hope Bible study, Max does a great job explaining passages in context. He defines many of the words and phrases within the passages using the original languages in the applicable context, sometimes explaining how the same word is used in other passages of scripture as well to help us understand the meaning throughout scripture. He also provides relevant examples from his life, other people’s testimonies, and the testimonies and experiences found in the Bible. He identifies and explains connections between passages, as well as New and Old testament connections to help us understand what we are reading and studying in context and in-depth.
Max Lucado primarily uses the NIV translation throughout this study. I encourage every individual to research the different Bible translations in order to understand the background, sources, purpose, and other key information about each translation they use. It is important to understand how each translation should be used and know how it came about. NIV is a translation I highly recommend using as a companion to other more literal translations. With that being said, the use of NIV should not deter anyone from this study.
Max does exactly what I would do myself, as well as what I encourage others to do – research the original language and use other translations as well to dive into the original context and meaning of the passages being studied. Over-reliance on any one translation, especially without looking back at the original language in the correct context, can easily cause us to miss key information and lack the full understanding God wants to reveal to us.
- To explore the original languages on your own, check out Blue Letter Bible! It is a great free online resource. (Sidenote, I am not affiliated – I just love it!)
I am confident that Max Lucado’s John 3:16 The Numbers of Hope Bible study has been well researched and is being taught in a biblically accurate manner, in the correct context, and does well to help participants understand complex lessons from scripture. He uses scripture as the foundation and source, and uses examples from scripture and his own and other’s lives to help explain.
How did the Numbers of Hope Bible study challenge me?
If a Bible study does not challenge you, it cannot change you. The point and goal of any Bible study should be to challenge the participant and lead them to grow in their faith as well as their knowledge, understanding, and relationship with God. Sometimes a study will reaffirm what you already know, believe, and understand. Sometimes it will provide a fresh perspective, or teach you something totally new. This Bible study by Max Lucado is no exception. Wherever you are on your journey, the Numbers of Hope Bible study will challenge you if you approach the study ready and willing to grow.
Through Max Lucado’s John 3:16 The Numbers of Hope Bible study, I have personally been challenged in several ways. Max covers so many vital topics in this 5-week study series that encourage participants to check the conditions of our own hearts, identify sin in our lives, handle idols we have placed over God, and learn the importance of being saved and born again in Christ.
There are so many truths throughout this study that God knew I needed to be reminded of. There are also many truths I needed God to help me understand on a deeper level. The Numbers of Hope Bible study progresses each week to help us understand step by step, word by word, deeper and deeper about what salvation really means and is, where it actually comes from, why we need it, and what we should do in response to it. I absolutely love and appreciate the powerful ways Max explained being saved, being born again, having a hard heart, and the two eternal outcomes for believers and unbelievers.
Max Lucado does not shy away from the topic of sin, repentance, or Hell, but gracefully and lovingly encourages all of us to truly evaluate the reason for our faith and the condition of our relationship with Christ. He challenged me to think seriously about what I know and believe about Jesus, God, salvation, faith, and eternity. He also challenged the way I see myself as a child of God.
One of the main lessons he hits over and over is that Christ is the one with the authority over all of His creation. While I often want to do things my way, His way is always best but my way will lead me away from Him, His promises, blessings, and the hope I have in Him when I am not aligned with Him and His desires.
Max plants seeds all over this study that can leave us thinking about our own ways, hobbies, choices, and condition and whether or not they align with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not only does this study convict, but it provides and explains the reason for hope, and that is Christ and Christ alone. For anyone with questions, doubts, concerns, worries, or uncertainties this study helps combat them all strictly on the firm foundation of scripture and the hope we have in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
For anyone who does have confidence in Christ, this study identifies so much that we often take for granted and need reminders and encouragement about. No matter if you are a believer, unbeliever, new Christian, life-long Christian, or anywhere in-between this study will leave you with much to consider, pray about, and evaluate in your own life and condition.
How does the Numbers of Hope Bible study apply to my life?
Throughout The Numbers of Hope Bible study, he asks a variety of questions that left me thinking about my own life, faith, and condition. There are many ways this study definitely applied to my own life and that will surely apply to yours as well. Some of the questions I gained or was reminded to ask and pray over are:
- What is the true reason for my faith and hope in Jesus?
- What am I really doing with my faith?
- How do I honestly feel about admitting my own sin and guilt?
- How can I share my faith with others more often?
- Am I really looking to Jesus as the guide and authority over my life?
- What do I really believe about the crucifixion of Jesus and its relevance to me personally?
- What do I honestly believe about eternity?
- How can I help others know and believe the truth about eternity?
- Am I producing good fruits because of my faith?
- Do I look at and see other people the way God does?
There are many more ways this John 3:16 Bible study challenged me to apply what I learned to my own life, and countless ways I am sure it will do the same for you. This study will leave you checking your own heart condition, your life, your faith, and your relationship to and with the Lord.
Where to find Max Lucado’s John 3:16 The Numbers of Hope Bible study
Max Lucado’s John 3:16 The Numbers of Hope Bible study is being sponsored by KLOVE Radio, as well as through Bible Gateway, Faith Gateway, and Study Gateway. You can also find both Max Lucado’s Bible Study as well as the companion book at the following retailers, and more: