Thursday, October 30, 2014

2 Timothy 3: Notes on God's Plan

2 Timothy 3
Notes on God's Plan

GOD’S PLAN - 1). We are warned that it will be terrible times in the last days. (v.1) Paul lists a long inventory of sins that will run rampant in men during the end times. Essentially, sin will begin to take over and God will count down the moments until He comes back to change everything. In that time, our enemy won’t be the persecution outside as much as the persecution inside brought on by numerous temptations to sin and fail. 2). The Scriptures teach us about salvation through Jesus. (v.15) This is the Gospel and we must apply it to our lives and then broadcast it to the world. The Bible is a precious gift to us in our age, one that is easy to take for granted at times considering its perilous journey. We must care for the Scriptures greatly, for in them are contained the secrets of life. 3). All Scripture is God-Breathed. (v.16,17) A valuable memory verse that teaches us to go to the Scriptures to hear what God is saying and let it change our lives. The Bible prepares us to do God’s work in this world. It is our number one resource for truth and direction. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

2 Samuel 3: Notes on God's Character

2 Samuel 3
Notes on God's Character

VERSES 22-39
GOD’S CHARACTER - God punished Joab for the murder of Abner. (v.29) Through David, God condemned Joab and his family to a life of sickness and struggles. We don’t see that God punished Abner in the same way for killing Joab’s brother, yet he punished Joab for the same crime. Why does God punish sometimes and other times, allows things to go without consequence? He is God and He knows what He is doing - we must trust that He is in control and will work things out for the best. This is all the more reason to fear God and be careful how we live at all times.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

1 Timothy 3: Notes on Leadership

1 Timothy 3
Notes on Leadership

LEADERSHIP - 1). Once again, Paul starts off this passage with the thought that what he will write is a trustworthy saying. (v.1) He wanted Timothy to know that he could trust him in all matters, big and small. As leaders it is good to continuously help our followers build trust in us and reassure them throughout our journey together. 2). A leaders task is noble and hard work. (v.1) The role of a leader is a position of honor and people will respect it when it is done right. It is also a task that involves hard work. The reason it is a noble job of honor is because we are going to earn it with our efforts. 3). An overseer must be someone that is able to teach. (v.2) They must be able to help others become what they have learned to be. We aren’t leaders just to accomplish tasks, but to carry on God’s mission by investing in others. If we don’t raise up others under us to take our place, all of our efforts could be lost in the next generation. 4). The leader must manage his family well. (v.4) A leader is a manager; management is part of what being a leader is all about. As leaders, God entrusts us with plans and details in life that affect others around us. We must plan and prepare with the best management skills we can learn and obtain. Managing properly is one way in which a leader worships God. 5). Paul moves the focus to dealing with deacons. (v.8) Deacons are also leaders, under the main leader for the group at large. They are assigned certain responsibilities and they also have a certain level of authority in making their own decisions. But they always answer to the main leader above them. Being a leader can occur on many levels; it’s always important to remember our job and remember to be the best we can be, whether we’re on the support staff or the one in charge. 6). Leaders must first be tested. (v.10) They must have some sort of an inspection process before they have the intense pressure and expectations. Then we can know if they are truly capable of directing our paths. This passage shows us what leaders might struggle with by showing us what we need to excel at. According to this passage, leaders may struggle with moral failures, anger, selfishness, irresponsibility, and outside rumors and divisions. It’s a high honor to be a leader, and if anyone doesn’t subject themselves to a testing process, they aren’t worthy of leading others. Leaders will live lives that are always ready for inspection. 7). Paul planned ahead in case he was delayed. (v.15) He wanted Ephesus to have proper procedures for behavior in God’s house, and he didn’t want his potential absence and travel difficulties to stand in the way. By communicating through this letter, Paul was already beginning that process. Good communication goes a long way toward helping our team work together in God’s direction for our lives.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

1 Samuel 2: Notes on Attitude

1 Samuel 2
Notes on Attitude

ATTITUDE - God should never be opposed by anyone. (v.10) There are those who will rise up against Him in foolish pride. He will shatter them with thunder from heaven. We must remember how small we are, and how big God truly is.

VERSES 12-26
ATTITUDE - Eli blessed Hannah and Elkhanah. (v.20) He never forgot Hannah's prayer, and he was grateful for the gift of Samuel, who was probably becoming like a son to him. We need to remember the great moments in our lives, and be grateful for all that God does to bless us.

VERSES 27-36 
ATTITUDE - God reminded Eli of his heritage. (v.27,28) He mentioned his father, chosen by God to be priest, and honored by God with special duties. Eli had apparently forgotten about God's hand on his life, and had taken it for granted. We must never get to a place where we look upon the Lord's grace with disdain.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

1 Corinthians 2: Notes on Relationships

1 Corinthians 2
Notes on Relationships

RELATIONSHIPS - The Holy Spirit can help us in our relationships with others. (v.14-16)  As followers of Christ, we are allowed to judge all things but still not subject to man's judgements. We talk to God and he talks to us about things. We don't judge with others or simply by appearances; we go to God. He comes to us to punish, correct, and encourage. Sometimes the reason people gossip or get hurt by what others say is because they aren't in proper communication with God. God's words should completely outweigh the words from all others in our lives.