A Bible study generally lasts 30-45 minutes. (This is the timeline I have used when teaching middle & high school students; adult studies can go longer.)
Bible studies should utilize stories (personal, if possible), background information, and Bible verses.
Student & Family Bible Studies
What’s here for you and your students?
During the last eight years of my ministry (before I retired), all of my Bible studies were in a PowerPoint format. As the Bible studies grew and changed, they became a weekly worship experience for my students.
In my book, Adventures in Youth Ministry, I devout the first three chapters to helping the leader get the Bible stories across using stories, and how to integrate them into a worship experience.
These bible studies were very interactive, with bible verses read aloud, music videos, discussion, a communal prayer time, a benediction, (Holy Communion was included every six weeks). I am including many of the prayers, benedictions, and calls to worship in these Bible studies.
The Bible study on this page, as well as the ones on my archive page, can easily be led by a parent as a Family Bible study.
Student/Family Bible Study
“Neither man nor woman can live by bread alone, or can they?”
Luke 10:38-42; Matthew 4:1-4; Deuteronomy 8:3
Open your Bible study time with prayer
(Have a couple of students read the two Bible verses below aloud, with everyone following along in their Bibles.)
Matthew 4:1-4, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
Deuteronomy 8:3, “And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
In the first reading that was just read, we find Jesus in the desert, shortly after being baptized by John the Baptist. Now, Jesus is in prayer and fasting mode, for forty days and nights. Jesus is tired, He’s weak, and the devil attacks. The devil said, Hey Jesus, if you’re really the Son of God, then make these rocks sitting on the ground into loaves of bread. But Jesus doesn’t take the bait; he looks Satan right in the eye and says, “Hey Beelzebub, you need to read your Bible. It says right there in Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man doesn’t live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Neither Moses, who spoke the words in Deuteronomy, or Jesus in the Matthew passage, says we don’t need bread (food). They both said we need more than bread (food); we need to listen to, learn, and hang on to every word that comes from God.
How many times have you sat in church on Sunday morning with your stomach grumbling, wishing the service was almost over so you could go to breakfast?
What’s more important to you? Breakfast, or paying attention during church to God’s word?
So, food is essential. We need it to keep our bodies functioning correctly. But, God’s word is even more critical because it’s there; we find salvation, redemption, sacrifice, hope, and love.
Let’s move on to the next passage.
Let’s join Jesus at the home of Martha and Mary, as we read Luke 10:38-42
“As Jesus and the disciples continued their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Five verses, about two sisters and Jesus.
Read the first two sentences again. “As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.”
What did we learn about Martha and Mary from those two sentences you just read?
Immediately we get the impression that both sisters loved the Lord. One was welcoming to Jesus and His followers, and the other sat at Christ’s feet as He preached.
Both Martha and Mary had distinctive spiritual gifts.
Martha’s gift was hospitality. She welcomed thirteen men into her home to rest and cook dinner for them. Hospitality is a very precious gift, as you share and serve others.
Mary, on the other hand, was a learner, or disciple. She chose to sit at the feet of Jesus and breathe in every word He had to say. She wanted to learn more from and about this man who claimed to be the Son of God.
Do you feel that one of these Spiritual gifts is more important than the other?
On the surface, they both have some great qualities. That is until Martha got mad. Mary probably usually helped Martha with the house cleaning and cooking. But today, she chose to sit before Jesus and absorb every word He had to say, not just pick up a phrase or comment here and there as she was preparing the meal with her sister.
So, what happens next? Why?
Martha goes to Jesus, possibly even interrupts Him. She complains that her sister isn’t helping her prepare dinner and that He should tell her to get in the kitchen and help.
I’m reasonably sure, Jesus surprised Martha with His answer. She was expecting Jesus to side with her, and for Him to tell Mary to help her sister. Instead, this happened;
“But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
What, in our readings so far, does this answer Jesus gave to Martha remind you of?
When I read these words, it brings me back to the two passages we read earlier, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Martha was so busy with preparations, serving her neighbor, that she lost sight of what Mary knew to be true. Listening to God’s word is far more critical than the preparations that Martha was making.
When the two gifts that the sisters have are put side by side, Mary’s choice bypasses Martha’s preparations.
Who are you more like, Martha or Mary? (Hold that answer for now.)
Do you share any of their personality traits? Anger, detail-oriented, hospitable, complainer, comfortable before the Lord, and hanging on every word that comes from His mouth (The Bible)?
We all need to eat to keep our bodies healthy. We also need to work. We all need time with friends and family. But most of all, we need time to totally immerse ourselves in God’s Word. We need uninterrupted time to sit and the feet of God for prayer, studying His word, conversation, and adoration.
Do you have time carved out each day for prayers and devotions?
(Have students or family members answer)
What would you have to shift around in your life to make this a priority?
Let’s look at the idea of bread in a different way;
Bread could be everything from eating to work to fun. It’s everything the world has to offer. But this “bread” doesn’t last forever, nor does it satisfy us for a long time.
Instead, we need to feed off the “Bread of Life.” God’s word, Christ’s redemptive act on the cross, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction.
What’s kind of bread (No fair if you say, Wonder, Italian, White Mountain, etc. 😊) is or should be more important to you?
The “bread” that the world offers or “The Bread of Life,” we receive from Jesus?