Grace comes through faith...

Romans 1:5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.

Romans 5:2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

Faith comes from belief, belief is formed in our thinking--our decisions about truth, and our actions stem from those beliefs. We first choose or become convinced what to believe and that belief will affect our choices for our outward activity.

If we believe God's love will improve us through and through than we will be more likely to increase in it. If we do not understand it or think it to be unattractive than we will not seek it. Therefore, the first priority is to increase our understanding about God's love in order to make an informed choice about the matter. The only way to increase our understanding about God's love is to put it into practice and see what happens. And while putting it into practice it helps to understand reasoning against putting it into practice because such reasoning is based on deception. What damage could possibly occur in love? Fear, insecurities, anger, and shame may surface while seeking to experience love with other people. Such inward negativity affects all of us at different levels. The severity can be modified in time and effort through proper channels and perseverance with Godly principles.

Submit to God, obey God, and be changed by God.

Learn about the learning process

Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

God gave us brains. Let's see how they work and use them to serve God better.

Review passive vs. active learning

Training 1: Constructionism, Schema, disequilibrium, assimilation, and accommodation

Hand out references of biblical scripture on mind, thought, think, remind, etc.

See  – Biblical Mindfulness/Education & Thinking

Read the description of constructionism. Engage for questions and a description from the group what it means in their words.

Examples of Schema development:

Things: A child sees a dog for the first time, but does not know it’s a dog, in fact, has no idea what it is, but is told, “dog.” After a number of repetitions the child says dog and receives all kinds of positive reinforcement because that encourages attention and learning. So now the child will say dog to anything which has similar features to the dog. Then the child comes upon a cat and says dog. The child is told no when the child was expecting an applause. The child wanted to assimilate this new creature into the ‘dog’ schema, but this idea was not accepted by others. Now the child is in disequilibrium and needs to figure out how to get this right. The child has no idea how to make it right. The child needs some coaching and an introduction to new information. “Cat.” After a few repetitions the child says, “cat,” gets a feel good response and learns to differentiate between cat and dog. The child has created a new schema for ‘cat.’

Another scenario could appear. The child may believe that the coach/parent is wrong through a lack of trust for whatever reason. The child may continue to say “dog” while the parent says “cat.” The child may believe so strongly and become unwilling to accept the new information without some explanation, to be convinced. The parent/coach/teacher may need to provide some evidence holding up pictures and pointing out the differences.

Schemas can be open for change or closed: Formed & fixed, formed but flexible, unformed & uninterested, unformed & interested with each one also having a variance within it.

Christianity: A new Christian comes to church for the first time. Most likely there is some schema already created with some vague sense of Christianity. (People are exposed to Christianity through friends, music, movies, and various other forms of media. People generally are quick to judge and categorize.) So this new Christian attends a church and begins to develop new information assimilating and accommodating as they see fit: Bible, worship, prayer, tithing, message, community, refreshments, parking, and the people; friendly, honest, sincere, rude, selfish, dishonest, or uncaring. The person might be assessing whether to come back or not. They will leave with some new accommodation to their belief about the church since it was their first experience. There are literally a million varieties which can occur, but the point is to understand the process of how schemas get developed.

Development of Godly character:

  1. Person goes to church each Sunday, tithes, sings, and prays. This person believes God is good and therefore tries to be a good person in the most general sense.
  2. Person does the same as number one above and participates in book studies and groups which talk about growing in Godly character. Each group tends to be a bit different offering some different view of what it is like to act more in line with the bible. A lot of learning occurs with little to no change in behavior.
  3. Person applies new actions; helping the poor, service at the church, and seeking to stop certain sinful activities. This person has changes a lot of outward actions, but minimal change with inward beliefs.
  4. Person looks inward at their beliefs around biblically descriptive qualities of God; love, compassion, truth, mercy, forgiveness, patience, peace, and generosity. This person seeks to understand the experiences and feelings of each of these character traits while evaluating the effects from participating in them, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and socially. This person truly seeks to align their beliefs more with God through meditation, reflection, study, and conversation.

If you are person four or would like to be, begin reading, follow the instructions, and ask questions regularly.

Schema development with Inward Authority.

  1. Godly Character remains fixed. It does not change from book to book like book studies using different terms and descriptions. The only variance will be limited to the translations of the bible. This message will be repeated leading toward mastery in understanding.
  2. Personal experience with participation in such character will provide new understanding and insight while altering schemas around life, self, and others. We continue to look at scripture to help us construct our beliefs more and more in alignment with it. We share together through conversation how our participation in application of biblical teachings affects us and others around us. This will unify us together spiritually with like minds, goals, and experiences while at the same time respecting our unique differences of interpretations due to our uniquely formed schemas/upbringing.
  3. Specific biblical passages have been selected to focus intentionally upon development of understanding/schemas regarding the greatest commandment, because it’s the greatest. Our different insights studying together this scripture using different translations will build each other up learning from other’s experiences.
    • ​​​In order to master anything with understanding it will be required for an intentional focus of repetition, reflection, and accommodation of new understanding.
    • For memory to reach long term each person needs to practice correctly many times and over an expanded amount of time. For more on memory visit info online, for example;
  4. Making better teachers. When such mastery can be obtained within us about God’s character; what it feels like, looks like, and acts like it empowers us with a stronger message of faith, hope, and inspiration. Just being in the presence of others who have developed understanding and character traits of God can bring hope, direction, encouragement, and guidance.
  5. Making better Churches. It only makes sense that a church with more people mastering character traits of God will have a greater sense of inspiration, hope, faith, and direction for others. But this will depend upon of course how one measures the effectiveness of a church. Some measure church success by the number of people in it, others by the activities or missionaries it has, and still others by the fun and entertainment. measures success by the attitude and character of those within the group and how well that character matches aligns with God as described in the bible. It's not about being perfect, it's about obeying the instruction of effort, diligence, perseverance, and endurance. We are called to act on what has been written.