Thursday, March 15, 2018

1 Corinthians 1: Notes on God's Character

1 Corinthians 1
Notes on God's Character

GOD’S CHARACTER - 1). They were enriched by God in every way. (v.5) Just being around God and in His presence enriches our lives and makes us better. He is so good that His presence makes others good as well. The closer we get to God, the more like Him we will be. 2). God has given us what we need to make it to the end. (v.8) He is faithful to us and will not leave us until it’s completed. We can take hope that He is always with us and helping us along the way. 3). God is faithful. (v.9) He will help us along the way and never betray or abandon us. We can count on Him. There are not many constant things in this life, but God is one of them. He will always be there and He will always be the same.

VERSES 18-31
GOD’S CHARACTER - 1). Only God can help people understand His message. (v.24) God speaks to people and shows them the mystery of His truth. Some Jews stumbled over the cross, but many recognized it as the true power of God. Some Greeks stumbled over the foolishness of the cross, but many saw God’s wisdom at work. God called to them and gave them the discernment to understand. We must pray that God will continue to call to unbelievers in this world and help them understand as well. 2). God loves the underdogs. (v.27,28) He chose the lowly things of this world to be His messengers, His leaders. When others see failures, God sees champions. We shouldn’t be quick to overestimate people in progress, because those are the kinds of people attracted to God in His plans.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Matthew 20: Notes on Leadership

Matthew 20
Notes on Leadership

LEADERSHIP – The landowner went out early in the morning to hire men. (v.1) He had much work that needed to be finished, so he got an early start in finding people to help. He didn’t wait until later on, but quickly went about his business. God wants us to be people with a strong work ethic, not afraid to start early and finish late.

VERSES 17-19
LEADERSHIP – Jesus warned His disciples about what was going to happen. (v.17) He didn’t let them walk blindly into Jerusalem unaware. He gave them direction, a sign for them to follow. Good leaders prepare their people for what might lie ahead.

VERSES 29-34
LEADERSHIP – When Jesus left Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. (v.29) He was an effective leader, because large amounts of people went with Him wherever He went, just to see what He would do and hear what He would say. Leaders are people with followers in tow.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Joshua 20: Notes on Attitudes

Joshua 20
Notes on Attitudes

ATTITUDE - If the avenger came for revenge, they weren't allowed in the city to do damage. (v.5) Though they were wronged, they wouldn’t be allowed to do more wrong to others. When we are offended, it’s tempting to keep the offense going and project it onto others, but we must guard against allowing the offense to continue through our actions. Wrongs must be stopped by us.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Exodus 20: Notes on Family

Exodus 20
Notes on Family

FAMILY - 1). God will punish or reward families through the generations based on their level of worshipping Him. (v.5,6) God enjoys our worship and He wants it to last forever. When we worship Him, He will bless our families and teach our children to worship and so on. When we worship idols, He will punish our families so that generations will learn to stay away from wicked ways. God made the family and He created the nature that a parent has with their child. Our lives will flow into the inheritance we leave for our children and grandchildren. When we worship God, we are being a blessing to our family as well. If we are living under the curse of an idolatrous forefather, we must choose to worship God and start a new legacy for our families. 2). The Sabbath is a day of rest for us and for our entire family. (v.10) It’s important for brothers and sisters, as well as fathers and mothers to watch out for each other. We must make sure that we do our best to honor God and obey His commands. Families are the best source of accountability that God gave us in this world. 3). We should honor our parents. (v.12) If we honor them, we will have a long life in the plans that God has for us. This is because God awards those who respect Him and His authority. If He placed us in families, when we honor them we honor Him. Parents are supposed to guide children in the right ways to live. It’s no surprise that this command is immediately after the order to keep the Sabbath because the children may have a hard time resting on the seventh day. We show God we trust Him by honoring the parents He’s given us. By obeying our parents, we are better prepared to obey God.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Ephesians 1: Notes on Relationships

Ephesians 1
Notes on Relationships

RELATIONSHIPS - Paul brings an essence of unity to the beginning of this letter to the Ephesians. (v.1,2) He mentioned Jesus and God as inseparable; He mentioned saints and faithfulness, which are needed together; He mentioned grace and peace, which complement each other. An underlying theme of this book will be ‘unity’ which is found in these first introductory verses.

RELATIONSHIPS - 1). God’s desire is always about bringing unity. (v.10) He sent Jesus to bring the earth into unity with heaven, to bring us into unity with Him, and to teach us how to be unified with each other. We shouldn't support divisions and arguments, but always strive for unity just like God would want. 2). Regardless of when we were saved, we are included in Christ. (v.13) We all have a place in the family of God. The circumstances of our salvation do not keep us apart from our brothers and sisters in Christ. When someone accepts Christ as their Savior, they also accept all Christians in the world as their family as well.

VERSES 15-23
RELATIONSHIPS - 1). Paul thanked God for the Ephesians. (v.15) He hadn't personally met them  yet, but he still thanked God for them based on the testimonies he'd received. We are connected to all Christians across the world, and we need to thank God for them and remember them in our prayers. One of the greatest ways to express gratitude is to lift people up to God in prayer. 2). Paul also prayed that they would know the riches of the inheritance we have with God’s people. (v.18) This was right after praying that we’d remember our hope in heaven. One of the things that helps us wait for heaven is living with others headed that way. One of God’s greatest gifts to us on this earth is the fellowship of the church. 3). Jesus is the Head of our church. (v.22,23) We look to Him for our leadership. He is what unites us together in purpose and direction. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

2 Timothy 1: Notes on Sin

2 Timothy 1
Notes on Sin

VERSES 15-18
SIN - Paul called out Phygelus and Hermogenes for abandoning him in Asia. (v.15) This may seem mean spirited but he was informing them so they could correct their ways. If we don’t confront people’s sin when it affects our relationships we are essentially endorsing their behavior. Had Paul not corrected them, it would be unfaithful on his part, just as they were unfaithful to him. When we mistreat our fellow believers, it grieves God and pollutes our lives.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

2 Samuel 20: Notes on Worship and Passion for God

2 Samuel 20
Notes on Worship and Passion for God

WORSHIP - 1). Sheba played the trumpet before he made his announcement. (v.1) The people were arguing so he blew the trumpet to get their attention. Though used in an inappropiate selfish way, this shows the power of music and worship. It can take a confused crowd and bring them together in unity of thought. Worship is a powerful force that can help us focus. The worship leader has a high calling to keep people’s attention focused on God, and not on him or herself. 2). Joab sounded the trumpet, and all the men went home. (v.22) Once again, the trumpet got their attention and signaled for them to move on in a change of plans. The trumpet started this process, and the trumpet ended it. Worship can help us move from one place to another, start the process, and end it as well. Everything in our lives should be soaked in worship, at the beginning and end, and all in between as well.
PASSION - 1). The men of Judah stayed by their king. (v.2) What a powerful verse. Though trouble mounted on every side and many of their countrymen turned away, they stayed true. Though we face trouble on every side and many of our friends fall away, we need to stay strong as well. 2). A wise woman called to Joab from the top of the city walls, while Joab and his men were trying to batter them down. (v.16) She wanted to dialogue with Joab and find a way for peace. How interesting that it wasn’t a man, and we don’t even know her name. Apparently, she wasn’t the leader of the city, or anyone of stature or consequence. She was a normal lady who stepped up to do something great and save her family and friends. There are times when we must risk our lives, get in the middle of the fight, and try to be the initiator of peace. 3). Joab told the wise woman that the only person they were there for was Sheba. (v.21) They almost had a great battle, destroying a city and all of its people for the sake of one man. Don’t be the one person that causes pain and destruction for an entire city of people.