I'm going to start posting different bible study lessons from time to time. This is from last week. Obviously, it's heavily abridged, but I figure most people prefer that anyways. ;-)


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears,
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years,
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
-William Ernest Henley, 1849-1908

Titus 3:1-8

1Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
3At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

-Consider the first worldview (Invictus). What kind of person do you think he is? Would you want to be like him in some ways? Do you tend to be like him in some ways?

-Consider the second worldview (Titus). What does this person look like? Why would the Scriptures say they’re profitable for everyone? Why do we tend not to be like this, even though God tells us to?

-When you compare the two, recognize that the key issue is that of control. Who is in control of your life? Are you like the first, in control no matter what, certain of yourself despite opposition, living with grim determination? Or are you like the second, depending on God’s love and grace, obeying him and the authorities, living with hope? The first has the person in control of their own life, the second gives control to God. Which will you do?

-Finally, consider this. Paul, Martin Luther, Jonothan Edwards, and Billy Graham all seek to have the second kind of worldview. Meanwhile, the poem Invictus was issued as the official last words of Timothy McVeigh: the Oklahoma City bomber. When God tells us what kind of worldview we ought to have… he has his reasons.