Thursday, May 28, 2015

Matthew 6: Notes on Passion

Matthew 6
Notes on Passion

PASSION – 1). God desires that we try to please Him more than we try to please man. (v.1) God doesn’t want us to do things for attention to build our own reputation and pride. Acts of righteousness are not truly such when done under these circumstances. Rather, we should do our deeds for God, looking to the rewards that only He can give. 2). Giving unto the needy is our duty. (v.3) The Jews called the offerings box the ‘box of righteousness’. As a follower of Christ, this is one of our normal duties.

PASSION – 1). Once again, we should pray to talk with God and not in such a way to be noticed by other men for attention. (v.5) We should be ourselves when in prayer, and be real, not trying to be fake and act like someone else. God wants authentic relationship with us, and prayer is one of the greatest ways to achieve it. There is an intimate relationship blossoming when God spends private time together with us. 2). The Lord’s Prayer is a prayer that shows our need for God. (v.9-13) We ask for His will, forgiveness, providence, protection. We need God in every area of our lives. This prayer reveals our entire dependence on God. 3). Jesus prayed that God would help Him in His battle with Satan. (v.13) We need to pray to God everyday for strength to say no to sinful temptations, and resist the attacks of the devil upon us. Only God can deliver us from his wicked schemes. 

VERSES 16-18
PASSION – Jesus expected his followers to fast. (v.16) He said ‘when' you fast, not ‘if’ you fast. We should plan times of fasting, where we separate from the world to get more uninterrupted quality time with our God.

VERSES 19-24
PASSION – Your eye is the lamp. (v.22) What you see will affect your witness for God, your light that is to shine for Him. If it is darkness that you take in, it will snuff our your light. Protect your witness to the world by only taking in good things with your eyes. A holy man will have a strong witness.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Exodus 6 - Notes on Leadership

Exodus 6
Notes on Leadership

LEADERSHIP - 1). God told Moses that He also appeared to his forefathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) but that they didn’t know him as Moses did. (v.2,3) Moses knew God as Lord, a privilege that those before him didn’t have. They were advancing along God’s plan towards His promise, and God was showing Moses their progress. It was also encouraging to him, because Moses knew how great these men were, and yet He was even farther along in God’s plan than they were. Great leaders help those following them see their progress and give them hope for the future, building off of the great achievements of the past. 2). God would give the Israelites their own land. (v.7,8) They would become His possession, but in the process, He would give them their own land to possess. Good leaders relinquish aspects of leadership to those under them, giving them the ability to grow as leaders and develop their own areas of authority.

VERSES 13-27
LEADERSHIP - 1). Levi lived to be 137 years old. (v.16) That is a very long life indeed! Levi bore the line of people that would serve as God’s priests, those closest to God on this earth. God blessed him with that heritage because He was close to Him, and it showed in a wonderful long life. Those that follow after God’s plans can trust Him to give them the best life they could ever imagine. 2). Moses was from the line of Levi. (v.20) Levi was Moses’ great grandfather. He had a direct line with those chosen to be God’s leaders and priests. His heritage was great, setting him up to be a great leader for the nation. 3). God chose Moses and Aaron, both Levites, to bring the people out of Egypt. (v.26,27) They were brothers, a team, and from God’s holy line among his people. God chose them specifically to do His purposes; He made them for that reason.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ephesians 1: Notes on God's Plan

Ephesians 1
Notes on God's Plan

GOD'S PLAN - Paul was sent by God. (v.1) He was called an apostle because He followed Jesus according to God's will. He mentioned both Jesus and God, so they understood on what authority He was communicating with them. The two Deity's work interchangeably; we can’t have one without the other. What a great example of unity for us to learn from. Nothing will happen in the believer's life apart from the will of God.

GOD'S PLAN - 1). His blessings are of the heavenly realm and that means that they are eternal. (v.3) They’ll last forever, which gives them a higher value. We should seek after these heavenly blessings which are ours through Jesus. 2). He chose us. (v.4,5,11) He started the process before we were even born. These verses are good memory verses to remind us that the first thought of anything between us came from Him at the beginning of time. This is His doing. That's how much He loves us. God wants us so much more than we could ever want Him. 3). God adopted us as His sons and daughters because it was His will. (v.5) He doesn't want us to be alone, but He wants to lead and guide as along the way. He doesn't look on us as servants, He looks on us as His offspring. 4). God's blessings and grace are given to us freely. (v.6) We don't have to try and earn it, and then somehow be responsible for the change in our lives. It was a completely free gift from God so that we can look to Him to sustain us at all times. 5). We have forgiveness through Christ. (v.7) This is a great memory verse declaring that God's grace has afforded us the chance for redemption because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. He died so that we could be forgiven and redeemed. 6). Jesus came at the perfect time. (v.10) He was destined to bring peace to mankind and God sent Him at just the right moment to make that happen. We have to trust God that He will do things in our lives with perfect timing according to His plan. 7). God chose us just like he chose the heroes of the Bible. (v.11,12) They were the first fruits of Jesus’ work building a church, and we are a result of their efforts. Together we are all part of God’s plan to redeem creation and save humanity. 8). God marks us with the seal of His Holy Spirit. (v.13,14) Jesus leaves His mark on us. And all people will recognize us because of the mark of the Holy Spirit on our lives. The Holy Spirit will amplify our witness in this world, and signify our association to Jesus. We are people of the Spirit.

VERSES 15-23
GOD'S PLAN - 1). God has called us to a great hope. (v.18) We have hope for eternal life with Him in heaven. The riches Paul speaks of are the inheritance for us in God's Kingdom. It is glorious, just as God is glorious. 2). God has given us the same power that Jesus had when He rose from the dead. (v.19,20) We have the power to rise above every evil, dark thing in this world. We have the power to do things that have never been done before. We have the power of miracles, wonders and dreams. We have the power of God on our side, and nothing can compare with that. 3). Jesus has the greatest power now and in the age to come. (v.21) Even though He has risen from the dead, and He lived on this earth many years ago, He is still in control. His power is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That means we can have faith in Him to be the same for us that He was for His followers in the Gospels. 4). Jesus heads up the church, which is His body. (v.23) We are the body of Christ, and He will fill us up with all that we need. In the same way that we feed our bodies to keep us strong, Jesus will feed His church to keep us strong and vibrant in this world for His glory. The church is the greatest tool in Jesus’ inventory, the greatest weapon to defeat the enemy, and the greatest asset in His Kingdom. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

2 Timothy 1: Notes on God's Character

2 Timothy 1
Notes on God's Character

GOD’S CHARACTER - 1). God is eternal. (v.9) His grace, which saved us, has been alive in His heart from the beginning of time. We have always been a part of God’s Master plan for this earth, and His grace wasn’t just a whim that He came up with when the world was hurting. He is a gracious, caring God and He has plans for us that we haven’t seen or comprehended yet. Not only is God eternal, but His grace for us is eternal as well. 2). We need to rely on the help of the Holy Spirit to guard our salvation. (v.14) God loves to help us and be active in our lives. He left His Spirit with us to assist us in all matters of life. We need to call upon the Holy Spirit daily to stay close to God and aligned with His plans.