With All Your Heart Discovery Guide: 6 Faith Lessons


This six-session small group Bible study, With All Your Heart, by noted teacher and historian, Ray Vander Laan, is volume ten of the 12-part Faith Lessons series.

Do you remember where your blessing comes from? In Exodus, God warned Israel to remember him when they left the dry desert and reached the fertile fields of the Promised Land. But in this tenth volume of Faith Lessons, you’ll discover how quickly they forgot God and began to rely on themselves. Find out what it means ...

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This six-session small group Bible study, With All Your Heart, by noted teacher and historian, Ray Vander Laan, is volume ten of the 12-part Faith Lessons series.

Do you remember where your blessing comes from? In Exodus, God warned Israel to remember him when they left the dry desert and reached the fertile fields of the Promised Land. But in this tenth volume of Faith Lessons, you’ll discover how quickly they forgot God and began to rely on themselves. Find out what it means to remember the Lord in your own life on this one-of-a-kind spiritual pilgrimage.

Filmed on location in Israel, Faith Lessons is a unique video series that brings God's Word to life with astounding relevance. By weaving together the Bible's fascinating historical, cultural, religious, and geographical contexts, teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan reveals unique insights into the Scriptures' significance for modern believers.

The With All Your Heart Discovery Guide (300 pages) includes six sessions. Each lesson…

- Focuses on passages of Scripture explored in the DVD
- Includes sidebars, maps, photos and other study tools
- Features questions that facilitate discussion and inspire personal reflection
- Includes 30 personal Bible studies to help you deepen your learning experience between sessions, and turn lessons from the past into applications that impact how you live out your faith today.

The companion DVD for With All Your Heart was filmed on location in Timnah, Negev, and Jerusalem.

These illuminating "faith lessons" afford a new understanding of the Bible that will ground your convictions and transform your life. The Faith Lessons video series is ideal for use in small groups, personal and family Bible studies, and adult Sunday school. Individual believers and families will gain vital insights from long-ago times and cultures through this innovative approach to Bible study.

This Discovery Guide is designed for use with the With All Your Heart DVD (sold separately).

Lessons include:
1. Build Me a Sanctuary – Filmed in Timnah
2. Making Space for God – Filmed in Timnah
3. He Led Them Like a Shepherd – Filmed in Negev
4. By Every Word – Striking the Rock – Filmed in Negev
5. With All Your Might: The Final Test – Filmed in Jerusalem
6. A Well-Watered Garden – Filmed in Jerusalem

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310291176
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 4/19/2010
  • Series: Faith LessonsSeries Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ray Vander Laan is the founder of That the World May Know Ministries and creator of the Faith Lessons video series with Focus on the Family. An ordained minister, he holds the chair of biblical cultural studies as a religion instructor at Holland Christian Schools in Holland, Michigan. He and his wife, Esther, have four children and fifteen grandchildren.

Stephen and Amanda Sorenson are founders of Sorenson Communications and have co-written many small group curriculum guidebooks, including the entire Faith Lessons series.

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Read an Excerpt

With All Your Heart Discovery Guide

6 Faith Lessons
By Ray Vander Laan Stephen Sorenson Amanda Sorenson


Copyright © 2010 Ray Vander Laan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-29117-6

Chapter One



God's story in the Bible is framed by his desire to live with his beloved people. The story begins in a garden paradise where God walked with his people. It ends in a garden where God's people will live with him forever.

Between these scenes is human history-a story of sin, death, and the resulting broken relationship between God and his created people. But intertwined in human history is the story of God's love and his tireless work to restore that broken relationship. The enslavement of the Hebrews in Egypt, their miraculous deliverance, and their exodus to the Promised Land play a pivotal role in the ongoing restoration of God's relationship with his people.

When the Hebrews walked into the desert of Sinai after crossing the Red Sea, they were at last free from enslavement in Egypt. They were not, however, free from bondage to the beliefs and ways of life they had learned in Egypt. That, in fact, was why God led them into the desert: to test them in order to know what was in their hearts and to teach them to obey his every word (Deuteronomy 8:2-3).

In the unknown chaos of the desert they faced hardship and uncertainty. As they walked the difficult path set out before them, they grumbled and at times even questioned God's presence with them. But when they arrived at Mount Sinai, God revealed himself to his people in a new way. In a cloud of glory, darkness, thunder, fire, and lightning, he descended onto the mountain and spoke. He expressed his unending love for them. He promised that if they would live by his every word he would live among them as their loving husband.

Imagine the joy the Israelites felt as they experienced the intimacy of God's presence with them and grew in their relationship with him. Imagine their amazement when God said that he would continue to accompany them on their journey to the Promised Land. No longer would God appear occasionally to a few individuals like the patriarchs and Moses; he would live among them!

To help the Israelites understand the depth of his commitment to live with them and to help them remember that he was present among them, God instructed them to build the tabernacle, a sanctuary for him. The tabernacle was a portable tent shrine that the Israelites would have recognized from the use of such shrines in Egyptian culture. As a familiar cultural form, the tabernacle conveyed a meaningful message that they understood immediately. It was a visual, physical reminder that the sovereign Lord of the universe was with them.

Through the design, construction, and function of the tabernacle, God revealed himself to be unlike any gods his people had known. This study will focus on the purpose, awe, and comfort that the tabernacle-as a symbol of God's constant presence-provided for the Israelites. And it will help those of us who follow Jesus today to better comprehend what it means for us to be the place where God's presence resides.

Opening Thoughts (3 minutes)

The Very Words of God

Have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Exodus 25:8

Think About It

All of us experience pivotal moments in life when we see as we have never seen before. These moments have the potential to change our lives-what we do, how we see the world, even who we are.

But what happens when these great moments are a few months or years behind us? What keeps these moments alive in our hearts and minds so they continue to make a difference in our lives?

DVD Notes (21 minutes)

How to keep Sinai alive

The Hathor shrine at Timnah

The message of Abu Simbel

God uses the culture to convey his message

DVD Discussion (7 minutes)

1. What are you beginning to discover about the events at Mount Sinai and their long-term significance in the lives of the Israelites? In God's ongoing plan of redemption? In your life?

2. As you viewed the Egyptian temple at Timnah and the temple and battle scene carving at Abu Simbel, what sense did you gain of the importance of the message these structures conveyed to ancient people? Why do you think God chose these physical images, and do you think they were an effective way to communicate to people in ancient times?

3. Briefly review the Israelites' experience with God at Mount Sinai. Which aspects of that experience are essential to actually living out the kind of relationship with God that he offers?

4. Using the map below, locate the cities along the Nile River from Abu Simbel to Goshen, then locate the Sinai Peninsula, the region of Jebel Musa (the traditional Mount Sinai), and Timnah. How far is it from Abu Simbel to Timnah, and what does this tell you about the influence of Egyptian culture in the world of the Israelites?

In light of the vast expanse of Egyptian influence (and with it the influence of Egyptian gods), what are your thoughts about God's desire to live among his people and the way in which he chose to express his presence with them?

Small Group Bible Discovery and Discussion (22 minutes)

The Tabernacle: A Way to Remember Sinai

The centuries-long experience of God's people in Egypt-first as foreigners, then as slaves-had shaped the Hebrews into a people who still maintained aspects of their own religious culture but in other ways had become thoroughly immersed in the religious culture of Egypt. This is not in any way a statement of blame. After all, for four hundred years the Hebrews had been bombarded by Egypt's story that was played out in the rhythm of daily life along the Nile River and surrounded them in the portrayal of Egypt's deities and Pharaohs carved into the great monuments.

Certainly God would have to act with power and drama to gain the attention of the Hebrews and teach them how to live as his chosen people in the Promised Land. And he did! The plagues, the Passover, the crossing of the sea, miracles of water and manna as the Hebrews traveled toward Mount Sinai-all demonstrated the person and character of their God. And then they camped at Mount Sinai, the capstone experience of God's revelation of himself to them.

What would happen next? How would God's people know and remember him-not just on the journey to the Promised Land but forever? Let's see where the tabernacle fits into the story and consider how it was designed to be a sanctuary for God where his presence would live among his people as an ever-present reminder of his revelation at Mount Sinai.

1. God intended far more for his people than simply ending their suffering at the hands of the Egyptians. What did he say he would do for them, and how did he describe the future relationship he wanted with them? (See Exodus 6:6-8.)

2. During their time of bondage in Egypt, the Hebrew people became discouraged and in some ways lost sight of who their God was (Exodus 6:9). What did they discover about their God through the plagues, the Passover, their departure from Egypt, and their deliverance from Pharaoh's pursuing army at the sea? (See Exodus 14:30-15:18.)

What impact did their newly acquired knowledge of God have on their hearts?

What picture of hope and their future relationship with God do you see starting to form in the minds and hearts of the Hebrews?

3. After about forty days in the desert wilderness, where God had provided for them and protected them, the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai. What was God's message and promise to them when they arrived at the mountain? (See Exodus 19:3-8.)

How did the people respond?

To what extent do you think they understood the kind of relationship God desired to have with them?


The Mining Settlement at Timnah

Located in the Great Rift Valley between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, Timnah is believed to be one of the first major mining areas in the world. The mines there produced copper, which was combined with tin to make bronze, the most valuable metal of the time. Copper production in the area peaked between the 14th and 12th centuries BC, which was roughly the time of the exodus. Copper is still mined in this region.

The Egyptians brought slaves to work the mines and smelting furnaces of Timnah. The workers dug shafts into the ground and then excavated large galleries to mine the copper. Footholds dug into the rock shafts provided access to the galleries-some as deep as thirty meters-that made up one of the most complex tunnel systems of the time. The refined copper was transported to cities along the Nile River.

The temple, or tent shrine, to Hathor at Timnah is evidence of Egyptian influence-where there were Egyptians, there were Egyptian gods. Like other Egyptian temples, the structure has an outer court, inner court, and holy of holies. In the cliff face above the shrine, Pharaoh is depicted bestowing an offering of ma'at (indicating that he had maintained harmony in the universe) to Hathor who was known as the protector of miners. As Egyptian power and influence declined in the region, the shrine became a Midianite tent shrine that was similar in design to the biblical tabernacle.


Excerpted from With All Your Heart Discovery Guide by Ray Vander Laan Stephen Sorenson Amanda Sorenson Copyright © 2010 by Ray Vander Laan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Session 1 Build Me a Sanctuary 15

Session 2 Making Space for God 57

Session 3 He Led Them Like a Shepherd 99

Session 4 By Every Word - Striking the Rock 147

Session 5 With All Your Might: The Final Test 195

Session 6 A Well-Watered Garden 243

Notes 291

Acknowledgments 293

Bibliography 297

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic Guide!

    Ray Vander Laan is a gifted storyteller who stays true to the original intent of the Bible. Use this book as an accompaniment to the DVD of the same title that contains excellent on-site filming. Offers fresh ideas and gives you the opportunity to search the scriptures for even more. We have used several of these studies in our home Bible study group, and everyone of all ages learns so much. Good discussion follows.

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