Thursday, February 26, 2015

1 Timothy 4 - Notes on Attitude

1 Timothy 4
Notes on Attitude

ATTITUDE - 1). The false teachers consciences were seared as with a hot iron. (v.2) The is an image of being completely deformed and ruined. They played with fire and found themselves burned. They didn’t even realize that they were wrong because they had allowed themselves to stray so far from the truth. We must be careful to stay clear of sin because the longer we play with it, the worse our conscience becomes in helping us abstain from wrong choices. Many people in sin don’t even realize the dangerous place they are in. 2). Timothy wasn’t supposed to be discouraged because others might look down on him for being young. (v.12) As a young leader, he might have been intimidated by others who thought he was too young to lead. Paul dismissed that quickly and said that Timothy could be a great leader by setting a good example. Rather than be afraid because of their judgements, he should've risen up and lived as the Godly leader he was called to be. We can’t allow people’s expectations for us determine our behavior. 3). Paul told Timothy not to neglect his gift. (v.14) We can assume that his gift was leading through teaching and preaching, which was mentioned in the verse immediately before that statement. Though a wonderful gift, very needed in the church then and today, Paul was certain to remind him not to neglect it. Sometimes when we are gifted, we may feel like we don’t have to work much to improve. But our attitude should be to constantly get better at the gift in our lives and grow in it until the day we see Christ in the end. Timothy shouldn’t have neglected his gift, and neither should we. 4). Paul told Timothy to be diligent in becoming a strong leader. (v.15) He knew that Timothy would be respected as a leader, even a young one, if he showed that he was serious about his role and was constantly improving and becoming better. Regardless of where we are at in the leadership abilities in our lives, we can always be strong leaders if we are diligent about becoming better. What are we doing to become better leaders today? 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

1 Thessalonians 4: Notes on Relationships

1 Thessalonians 4
Notes on Relationships

RELATIONSHIPS - 1). Sexual sin causes pain for ourselves and those we engage in it with. (v.5,6) It’s taking advantage of others for our own selfish desires. We should do all we can to honor them and put their needs above our own. At its’ core, sexual sin is a selfish act and we must learn to die to our own pride and live the way God wants us to. Unity avoids sexual immorality which hurts members of our spiritual family. Church divisions and arguments can often be traced back to sexual immorality on some level. 2). We should always strive to love each other more. (v.10) Though Paul knew they loved all of God’s family in Macedonia, he encouraged them to keep doing it all the more. Things happen in this world and it’s easy for us to be too comfortable and fade from our original commitments. By constantly moving forward and trying a little harder each day we can keep ourselves in good relationship with other Christians around us, despite the occasional setbacks. 3). God wants us to have a level of independence because we are dependent on Him. (v.12) The Bible is clear that we live in community, but that is always after we are settled totally in Him. Even if all else fails in this world and we are all alone, we still have all we need to thrive because we have Him. We shouldn’t try to abstain from Christian interaction, but if it’s not available, we should still be able to trust God and move on with life.

VERSES 13-18 
RELATIONSHIPS - 1). Paul refers to we who are still alive until the coming of the Lord. (v.15) He is referring to us, even if he didn’t know it. How amazing for Paul to refer to us and include us with him, with the use of the word ‘we’. Though they lived thousands of years before us and did amazing things that we have read about in the Bible, we are still family, brothers, members of the same team and working together for God. The people from the Bible aren’t just our heroes, they’re also our teammates. 2). We should encourage one another with words reminding others about the coming of our Lord. (v.18) This should come up in our conversations, as a forecast of what is to come. Sometimes, it’s easy to get lost in the confusion of events in this dark world, but the hope of resurrection in Christ is greater still. We must allow it access to all of our relationships and conversations with other Christians.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

1 Samuel 4: Notes on Sin

1 Samuel 4
Notes on Sin

SIN - 1). The Israelites brought the ark of the covenant to their camp. (v.4) Eli's sons accompanied the ark. God had already pronounced punishment on Eli for the sins of his sons. And yet, here they are carrying the ark into the Israelite camp. Eli should have removed them from office, but he didn't. It's easy to see why the Isrealites lost, they had unchecked sin in their leadership. 2). The Israelites were proud, and felt that no one could touch them. (v.5) They got the ark, the priests, and the excitement, and then got the snot beat out of them. 30,000 died, the ark was gone, and the priests got what they deserved. Pride goes before a fall.

VERSES 12-22
SIN - 1). When the city heard the news of Israel's defeat, they lifted up a loud cry. (v.13) Sin destroys lives and always leaves those affected by it crippled and depressed. 2). Eli heard the news of the defeat, and fell out of his chair. (v.18) It hit him hard and he could no longer contain himself. Just news of the defeat defeated Eli. Sin always leave death in it's path. 3). The wife of Phinehas went into labor too early. (v.19,20) Her stress brought on the birth pains before their time. The baby would live, but she would die. Once again, God continued to exact his punishment on the house of Eli for their sins.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

1 Corinthians 4: Notes on Passion and Worship

1 Corinthians 4
Notes on Passion and Worship

PASSION - 1). When God trusts us with responsibility we must strive to be faithful. (v.2) Our actions are important. We are saved through faith, and then we get closer to God through faithfulness in our behavior. The more faithful we are, the more secrets God reveals. This is a great memory verse for us to live by. 2). We are waiting for God. (v.5) Until He returns, we carry on with what God has commanded us to do in His word. We may become weary and tired, tempted to question God’s plan. But we must continue to wait and trust Him. Patience is one of the important traits that we must continue to develop in our relationship with God. 3). Paul was so dedicated to Christ he appeared foolish. (v.10) Those that didn't know Christ couldn't understand how someone could be so faithful to Him despite severe persecution. Our love for God in the midst of troubles will get people's attention and show them how great God truly is. 4). Paul professed to being beaten for God. (v.11) His ministry made others so uncomfortable that they lashed out at him in violence. He shared in the sufferings of Jesus. We need to be so on fire for God that we would be willing to go through the same thing for Him.

VERSES 14-21
PASSION - The arrogant Corinthians would only behave well if they felt Paul was nearby. (v.18) Their behavior grew worse the longer Paul stayed away. We shouldn’t behave appropriately only when we think that someone is watching. We should be on fire for God when surrounded by the crowds and when all by ourselves. True passion for Jesus is constant; it doesn’t change based on the environment.