Thursday, December 18, 2014

2 Samuel 3: Notes in Sin

2 Samuel 3
Notes on Sin

SIN - The war between David and the house of Saul continued for a long time. (v.1) The battle in the previous chapter started the struggle, and it went on to hurt people and keep a nation divided. When we choose to fight against others, it causes pain and disturbs us in a way that will affect us for many days to come.

SIN - Abner promised to leave Ish-Bosheth and the house of Saul to serve David, making him the successor as king. (v.9,10) He even promised it as an oath to God, yet he didn’t promise that he hadn’t slept with the concubine of Saul. He ran away from his sin and his problems, and abandoned his commitment to save his own reputation. When times got too tough, Abner went running. He might have been a great warrior on the battlefield, but he had a habit of retreating in tough times.

VERSES 22-39
SIN - 1). Joab sent for Abner and had him brought back, but he didn’t tell David about it. (v.26) He went to David to talk about Abner, but he didn’t have permission to confront him. He sent for Abner secretly, showing that he was up to no good. If we have to do things in secret, maybe we shouldn’t be doing them at all. We need to keep our leaders informed on all of the important movements we are making. 2). Joab pulled Abner aside to talk, but then killed him. (v.27) Abner must have thought he was going to have a private discussion, but Abner was fooled. Joab killed him to avenge his brothers. Joab acted without his leader's permission and in a secret, deceptive way; a way that wasn’t even acceptable for a warrior. Joab never said anything to David about avenging his brothers death, only about the concern that Abner would trick them. Joab was harboring a secret vendetta of vengeance to extract bitterness on Abner by murdering him. When we don’t forgive others, the bitterness will eat us alive until we tragicallysin ourselves. 3). Joab and his family suffered because of Joab’s act of vengeance. (v.29) When he killed Abner, he incurred God’s wrath on his entire family. They will now constantly struggle with problems and sickness as God’s punishment for his murderous act. When we sin, we will be punished, and it will affect those closest to us as well.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

1 Timothy 3: Notes on Worship and Passion for God

1 Timothy 3
Notes on Worship and Passion for God

WORSHIP - Paul ends the passage with a verse of worship. (v.15) It’s a form of poetry that clearly describes the life of Jesus in this world. After such a great discussion on how we should live as leaders, he puts the attention back on God, the motive for changing our behavior. We should always look to let worship lead the way, starting and finishing any task we hope to accomplish. Worship helps us remember why we do what we do.
PASSION - 1). Paul directed his comments to those who desired to be overseers. (v.1) He said that it was good for people to desire such a task, because it was a noble calling. It’s good to desire positions of influence so we can do great things for God. Though tough work, we should want to progress in our positions as an act of faithfulness unto Him. 2). A leader should not be a lover of money. (v.3) It’s not that they can’t have any money, but they need to be weary of the love of money which is an evil attribute. Money is important to function in today’s cultural economy. But we can’t let it control who we are. Whenever we get to a place of love with the things of this world, it can pull our love and passion away from God our Father, so we must approach our desire for money with moderation. 3). Deacons must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith. (v.9) By keeping hold of it, they are keeping it as a priority in their lives and close to their hearts. There will be times when they won’t feel like reading the Word, but they do it anyway, because they know how important it is. We must have a strong commitment to God’s Word if we desire to be a leader and make a difference in our world.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

1 Thessalonians 3: Notes on Leadership

1 Thessalonians 3
Notes on Leadership

LEADERSHIP - 1). Paul sent Timothy to the Thessalonians in his place. (v.2) He was a fellow co-worker in his mission to evangelize the world. Paul knew that the task was too big for just one or two people, so he recruited others to join him on his team. We should always be recruiting others to be a part of our ministry team to expand our influence and impact for Christ. They should be teammates that reflect our values and standards as well. 2). Paul told them that they would be persecuted and it happened just as he said it would. (v.4) He reminded them that he had instructed them the right way. When we teach people truths, we must go back to those truths in the moment and help them remember that what we spoke was right. It helps them apply truth in their lives and keeps them looking to us for more instruction and direction from God.

LEADERSHIP - 1). Paul had a genuine desire to help people. (v.10) Paul knew his role to supply people with what they were lacking in their relationship with God. As leaders, we must recognize people’s spiritual malnutrition; we are trained to do so. We are spiritual fitness trainers. 2). Paul’s foundation for ministry to the Thessalonians was a strong love for them. (v.12) This was his basis for the hard work he did. He loved them, and he knew how to make someone a loving person. We need to love them first, and then teach them how to love others. When they see how we love them, it will be their first lesson.