Thursday, March 26, 2015

Matthew 5: Notes on God's Plan

Matthew 5: Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 13-16
GOD’S PLAN - Something to notice about salt and light. (v.13,16) Salt is thrown around and scattered. Light is drawing attention and constantly on display. These are delightful tasks, but they sweeten the world.

VERSES 17-20
GOD’S PLAN – 1). The Law was their dream. (v.17) Jesus had not come to break their dreams for a Savior, but to fulfill them. God doesn’t want to ruin your life; He wants you to achieve what He made you to become. 2). God has a plan and a timeline for the life of creation. (v.18) Jesus spoke of a time when the earth and the heavens will disappear, and we know from the rest of the Bible that this agrees with prophecies to occur during the end times in the book of Revelations. We don’t know when this time will be, but we do know that we should hold onto God’s Words, because they will be the only thing that remains after that day.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Exodus 5: Notes on God's Character

Exodus 5
Notes on God's Character

GOD’S CHARACTER - Moses and Aaron asked Pharaoh again, this time mentioning that if they don’t go God might strike them with plagues and the sword. (v.3) They realized that the Egyptians plight would also be their own, and they didn’t want to suffer God’s punishments. God is powerful, and we shouldn’t test Him because He will punish sin and disobedience. Better to be in God’s graces than in His punishment and wrath.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ephesians 5: Notes on Leadership

Ephesians 5
Notes on Leadership

LEADERSHIP - 1). Paul encouraged them to imitate Jesus. (v.1) Jesus is the ultimate role model. As leaders, we need to imitate Him so when others look to us as mentors they will be imitating Jesus as well. 2). Paul mentioned sins that are sometimes overlooked by believers. (v.4) He started off with condemning 'obvious' sins, but then went to sins that can be forgotten easily. It's important as leaders that we don't just deal with the 'big' sin areas that most people are dealing with, but expose all sins that aren't appropriate for Christians. Many times, the subtle sins are the ones that Christians struggle with the most. 3). Paul encouraged the Ephesians to expose dark deeds. (v.11,14) When we live a life of righteousness for God, we can't help but expose the darkness around us because we will stand out from the crowd. By exposing the truth, we give those in darkness a chance to see the light and be rescued as well. We must enjoy what pleases the Lord, and expose the things that don’t.

VERSES 22-33
LEADERSHIP - Husbands are leaders in their homes and called to give up their lives for their wives and their families. (v.25) They are compared to Jesus, who leads the church yet laid down His life for her. Leadership is sacrifice. Sometimes people get it wrong in this world, thinking leadership is distinction, favor, privilege and status. But Jesus forsook all of those things to sacrifice His life for the good of His people, and husbands must be willing to do the same for their families to be good leaders.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

2 Samuel 5: Notes on Leadership

2 Samuel 5
Notes on Leadership

LEADERSHIP - 1). The people came to David to be King. (v.1) He didn’t have to go to them; he had proven himself through great leadership in their military campaigns. It wasn’t a position he tried to make for himself, but the people promoted him on their own. True leaders will be recognized by their peers and endorsed by the crowds which they lead. 2). David made a compact with the elders to be King. (v.3) When we lead, it is a covenant with God and an agreement with the people. We are not dictators, but partners in pursuing God’s plan for our world. 3). David led Judah alone for seven and a half years, but he also led the entire nation of Israel for thirty-three additional years. (v.5) He had to learn how to bring the tribe of Judah into the whole leadership of Israel as a nation, without favoring them or singling them out above the others. It must have been a difficult thing to do, but apparently he was successful since he stayed King of Israel for a much longer time.

LEADERSHIP - 1). David kept his men focused and they took the city of Jerusalem. (v.7) Though taunted by the Jebusites within, his men didn’t worry at all. They did their job and they were successful. As leaders, we must help our people stay focused when they are being attacked from distractions trying to keep them from succeeding in their tasks. 2). David inspired his men using the taunts of the Jebusites. (v.8) They had to scale the wall to enter the city on water shaft scaling hooks, which is something that a blind or lame man would not be able to do. David led his men to this challenge, and once they succeeded they’d have the confidence to defeat others who weren’t able to do what they had done. Good leaders take challenges and make them opportunities for greatness.

VERSES 17-25
LEADERSHIP - David did exactly as God commanded. (v.25) He was completely obedient to God and saw great victory, driving the enemy to great lengths. David knew how to follow after God, and that is what made him a success. When we completely obey God, we can take heart that we will be a success in the center of His will.