Thursday, August 28, 2014

2 Samuel 2: Notes on Leadership

2 Samuel 2
Notes on Leadership

LEADERSHIP - David sent word to the men of Jabesh Gilead. (v.5-7) He thanked them for rescuing Saul’s body and giving Saul a proper burial. He promised to be kind to them as Saul had been, and asked for their support of him as the new King of Judah. He respected what was important to them, and then asked them to be faithful to him. He wanted to earn their loyalty as a leader. 

LEADERSHIP - 1). Ish-bosheth and David were both kings in Israel at the same time. (v.10,11) They were trying to rule in spite of each other. Whenever we have two leaders on the same level who aren’t working together, division and war will be imminent. 2). Abner and Joab allowed their young men to fight each other for entertainment. (v.14,15) They would kill each other for sport, to see who was tougher and stronger. These generals should have protected the lives of their valiant men from such frivolous violence. Their pride got the best of them and their lust for blood was too much to contain. Leaders need to learn to put the needs of their men over their own. 3). Joab blew the trumpet and the men came to a halt. (v.28) He stopped the pursuit of battle. Abner encouraged him to stop and Joab obliged. The men wouldn’t stop pursuing until Joab blew the trumpet and sounded the alarm. Leaders must be aware of the time to start and the time to stop, because the people will follow their lead.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

1 Timothy 1: Notes on Attitude

1 Timothy 1
Notes on Attitude

ATTITUDE - 1). Paul stated boldly who he was. (v.1) He knew what God had made him to be. He was an apostle by the command of God, through Jesus. This gave him the authority to minister to Timothy and instruct him as an undershepherd of God’s people. Paul stood on the authority that God had given him. It was who he was. We need to be who God made us to be, unashamedly. 2). Paul shows us certain qualities that exemplify love in our lives. (v.5) First is a pure heart, the absense of sin and evil. Second is a good conscience, being confident in who we are and what we do. Finally, we have a sincere faith, no hidden motives or alternate purposes. Without all three, something is wrong. All three will be apparent when true love is in play. 3). These false teachers had hidden motives. (v.6,7) They wanted to be leaders, but they didn’t have their theology right. They wandered from the truth because of a prideful desire to be a leader, partnered with the selfish desire to avoid the hard work involved. These are two bad attitudes often found in bad leaders; we must be careful to avoid them at all costs.

VERSES 12-20
ATTITUDE - 1). Paul never forgot who he used to be. (v.13) He reminded Timothy that he used to be a sinful man. He blasphemed God, offending the Almighty. He persecuted Christians, offending God even further. All this because he was a violent man, completely contrary to God; he was a true enemy of the faith. And yet, God still gave him a chance. Paul was humble because he knew the great mercy of God in his life. In pride, we do it; in humility, God does it through us. 2). Paul admitted to being the worst sinner. (v.15,16) He wasn’t trying to pridefully exalt himself in an argument of who was the most evil. He was helping Timothy understand that God can save anyone. Paul knew he who was, and he knew that God still chose to use him in powerful ways. Paul was setting himself up as an example of how God makes no exceptions when choosing who to reach. Paul doesn’t think low of himself; he sees himself as a redeemed sinner because of God’s grace. We have nothing to be proud of in ourselves; only in God can we do anything right. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

1 Samuel 1: Notes on Family

1 Samuel 1
Notes on Family

FAMILY - 1). Elkanah is recognized as an Ephraim coming from a long line of Ephraimites. (v.1) We can see who the fathers were and where this man came from. A family gives us our heritage. When someone sees us, they see all of the fathers who made us and poured into us. One of the greatest investments we can make is to invest in our kids. They will leave a legacy in our name. 2). When Elkanah sacrificed, he gave portions of the meat to his family. (v.4) He shared what God had given him to take care of his family. God provided him with everything he needed through his sacrifice. When we give to God, He gives back to us enough for our entire family. 3). Elkanah tried to comfort Hannah in her distress. (v.8) He put the focus on himself, asking if she didn't care more for him than if she had many sons. We shouldn't pit ourselves against other members of our families. We love each person in our family the same, with all our heart.

VERSES 21-28
FAMILY - 1). Hannah didn't travel with Elkanah for the annual sacrifice. (v.22) She stayed home with her baby. There are times when we must take care of our family before we go to church and do other things. God, then family, then community. 2). Hannah didn’t release Samuel until he was properly weaned. (v.22) There is a time for being dependent on your parent or leader, and there is a time for stepping out under God's protection. We don’t let our children go, we give them over to God. 3). Hannah took her son to the Lord while he was still very young. (v.24) She didn't wait until he was older. She brought him to the church at a young, pliable age. We should bring our children to God while they are still young, so they can grow up knowing the Lord all of their lives. 4). Hannah gave Samuel to God for his entire life. (v.28) As a young boy, she directed his steps in the direction of God. As parents, we must lead our children to Jesus. We must prepare for their future by showing them the way to God.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Matthew 1: Notes on Relationship

Matthew 1
Notes on Relationships

VERSES 18-25
RELATIONSHIPS – 1). Joseph wanted to do the right thing. (v.19) He wasn’t entirely sure that it was a miracle, but he still loved her enough to spare her the shame of ridicule. He wanted to divorce her quietly. Obviously, the state of being pledged to be married was already a form of commitment and relationship beyond that of being engaged in today’s world. Joseph didn’t want to hurt her, even though he was somewhat hurt by her in what had happened. In our relationships, when others hurt us, we should not respond back with hurt, but aspire to do the right thing ourselves. 2). Joseph and Mary went about it God’s way and took their time. (v.24,25) Learn from their example. Don’t rush into marriages, but take your time to be certain.