Thursday, September 14, 2017

Joshua 19: Notes on Leadership

Joshua 19
Notes on Leadership

VERSES 49-51
LEADERSHIP - The last appointment by the people was a city given to their leader, Joshua. (v.50) After all the tribes and families were covered, God cared for His leader as well. The leader didn’t go first or take the largest portion. But the leader also wasn’t forgotten or just thrown in with the tribe He originally was a part of. God let Him go last, and cared for Him in a special way because of his service. God won’t forget His leaders and He will reward them appropriately in the end.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Exodus 18: Notes on Attitudes

Exodus 18
Notes on Attitudes

ATTITUDE - 1). Moses had two sons. (v.3,4) The first was named Gershom, symbolizing Moses’ feelings of being a foreigner in Egypt after returning from the desert. The second was named Eliezer, symbolizing that God was his helper. In these names we can see the development of Moses from being dejected and alone to being supported and hopeful in God. God had turned him around. 2). Moses bowed before his father-in-law. (v.7) Moses, the great deliverer of the Hebrew people, God’s vessel in doing amazing miracles, bowed before this man. He knew how to respect his elders, his parents, the authorities God had placed over him. God did great things with Moses because Moses knew how to treat others and stay humble. We must never get so big that we can’t bow before those who deserve it. 3). Jethro gave Moses some solid advice. (v.19-23) He encouraged him to raise up other leaders to lighten the load. But before he suggested the change, he agreed with Moses that he should be the leader and teach people the ways of the Lord. By agreeing with him first, it prepared Moses to better receive the suggested change. If we can find common ground in our disagreements with others, it will always help us resolve the issue in a quicker way. 4). Moses listened to Jethro and did everything he said. (v.24-26) He didn’t allow his previous victories the opportunity to convince him that he didn’t need the help. He was humble enough to accept good criticism and learn from it. We must be able to decipher the opinions given to us by trusted allies, and put them to use in our lives without avoiding them because of wrong attitudes.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Ephesians 4: Notes on Relationships

Ephesians 4
Notes on Relationships

RELATIONSHIPS - 1). God has called us to be humble, gentle, and patient in our relationships with others. (v.2) Relationships can be sticky at times. If we get too personally involved, it can cause us to derail God’s plans our lives. We must learn how to be defenseless and vulnerable, not fighting against others and striving to ‘win’. We shouldn’t get encumbered in our pursuit of God by those who are encumbered in theirs. 2). God wants us to be unified with our brothers and sisters in Christ. (v.3) We should do whatever it takes to be at peace with each other. We have God's Spirit in us and His Spirit will not be at war with itself. 3). We are called to be one body of believers. (v.4) Though we are many people from many different places and backgrounds, we need to stand unified as one just as God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one. 4). God apportioned us grace according to his plans. (v.7) We may not have the same amount of God's grace, but we all have exactly what God knows we need. We don't need to compare our giftings with others; rather, we should try our best at whatever God has given us to do. 5). God made leaders to work together. (v.11-13) Each leader has a different task, but all are important for Christians to grow completely in God. They must each do their part and work together for us to reach maturity. God puts gifts in us to bless others, and He gives others gifts to bless us. We must work together as a team to get closer to God.  6). We are being built up together. (v.12,13) God wants us all to become mature in our faith, and part of the process is growing up with other Christians. The journey is part of our Christian education. 7). We must speak the truth in love. (v.15) This is a great memory verse which reminds us how to treat each other in the body of Christ. We must be honest and confront issues, but do it in a loving way with motives for the best results. The more we let this guide our lives, the more unified we will be as a body of Christ. 8). We are held together, built on Jesus. (v.16) Every supporting ligament keeps the body as one. The leaders mentioned earlier are supporting ligaments, important for keeping unity in Christ. When we all do the work God has called us to, it keeps us together in unity.

VERSES 17-32
RELATIONSHIPS - 1). We must be honest with each other. (v.25) Immediately after showing us how to be holy, Paul deals with these issues in our relationships with others. The enemy will try to make us divided in sin, to tear us apart more easily. We must be truthful with each other at all times, so as not to give the enemy any room to work in our lives. This is not only in how we speak, but also expressed in our actions and personality as well. 2). When we speak, it should build others up. (v.29) There is no room in the life of a believer for talk which tears others down. People should want to listen to what we have to say. Don't speak unless it's something worth saying and listening to. Think of others when we speak; more people are listening than we may realize. 3). We shouldn't fight against others. (v.31) When we fight against people, it's because we've held onto anger too long. It grieves God when we act in that way. We must empty our lives of the weapons people use to hurt others, and let God be our defense. 4). The better way is forgiveness. (v.32) In the body of Christ, we will make mistakes with each other. We need to learn to quickly forgive, just as Jesus forgives us, and we will probably need to be forgiven by others as well in the same manner.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

2 Timothy 4: Notes on Sin

2 Timothy 4
Notes on Sin

SIN - Paul declared that people would turn away from the truth to follow after myths and lies. (v.4) What a tragedy! People will have the truth in their grasp, but turn away to follow after things that will destroy their lives. We must do all we can to hold onto truth, because the enemy will do all he can to lead us away from it, which is the first step in a fall.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

2 Samuel 18: Notes on Worship and Passion for God

2 Samuel 18
Notes on Worship and Passion for God

WORSHIP - Joab blew a trumpet as a signal for the troops to end the fight. (v.16) How excited they must have been to hear that sound? They could stop risking their lives and go back to a place of safety and calm. Joab used a tool of worship in war. Worship is a form of warfare and can bring energy and hope to weary hearts.

VERSES 19-33
PASSION - The watchman went up the roof to watch for news while David rested in between the inner and outer gates. (v.24-26) He saw two messengers coming at different times, and reported it to David. He was faithful to do his job the best he could. He didn’t hold the news close and wait for a good time to deliver it to David, he did immediately, having to go back and forth twice with two different messengers. We should give our best to God throughout all of our lives. We deliver the messages, we don’t have to figure them out because we are the messengers.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

1 Timothy 4: Notes on God's Plan

1 Timothy 4
Notes on God's Plan

GOD’S PLAN - 1). Paul refers to situations in later times. (v.1) People will abandon their faith and follow false paths in those days. The fact that we are referring to later times assumes that there is a timeline with a beginning and end, and early times and later times. God is bringing all things to an end, the finish He’s prepared. It’s been almost 2,000 years since Paul wrote these words so we very well could be in the later times and close to seeing God finish His plans for this world. He has a plan for us as well and we want to strive to be in the middle of that plan. 2). We have put our hope in the Living God. (v.10) Paul is referring to Jesus’ resurrection; though He died, now He still lives. We don’t serve a God that is dead and gone, we serve a God that is alive and active in our world today. He saves us because He is here and He cares. We can take delight in knowing that God is among us, saving us still. When we believe upon Him, it will take our lives to new levels of salvation and holiness. 3). God’s plan is salvation. (v.16) When we watch how we live and lead others closely, it will save us all. God’s ultimate desire is our salvation, and He is leading us to that eternal reward everday through the encounters and circumstances in our lives. Remember that our goal is salvation, in all that we say and do.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

1 Thessalonians 4: Notes on God's Character

1 Thessalonians 4
Notes on God's Character

GOD’S CHARACTER - 1). God will punish all those who take advantage of their fellow Christians and wrong them. (v.6) He wants us to treat others fairly, just as He would. He will defend those who are mistreated. We don’t need to defend ourselves because God is our defense. 2). Paul didn’t need to teach them about loving each other because they had already learned that from God. (v.9) God had taught them this lesson on their own, and this is what he desires for all of us. Leaders and preachers are important in our lives, but we must move to a place of hearing from God on our own and responding. 

VERSES 13-18
GOD’S CHARACTER - 1). We believe that God will bring Jesus’ followers to heaven with him, even after they’ve died. (v.14) Jesus wouldn’t just leave us to fend for ourselves on our own as He enjoys eternal life. He came to be with us and to keep us close forever. He came to earth so we could get to heaven in eternity and be with Him. 2). Those who have already died will precede those of us who are still alive when God calls us to heaven at the second coming. (v.15-17) They have waited for him so much longer than the rest of us, and many of them lived through periods that were darker, without as much hope as we have today. God won’t forget them or let them wallow in death any longer than he has too. We will all meet together and go to be with God for all of eternity, and the dead in Christ will rise first, after which we’ll meet them in the air. 3). Jesus, Himself, will come down from heaven for us at His Second Coming. (v.16) He could easily send an angel or thousands of angels to do His work for Him, but He wants to come personally because He cares for us so deeply. He’s not afraid to do the job Himself and He wants us to know that it is He who is saving us. God can take care of His own business.