Thursday, July 30, 2015

2 Samuel 7: Notes on God's Character

2 Samuel 7
Notes on God's Character

VERSES 1-17
GOD’S CHARACTER - 1). God gave David permission to pursue a temple. (v.3) Through the prophet Nathan, God told David to do whatever he wanted because God was with Him. We can achieve a place of obedience and submission where God will give us the desires of our hearts, because those desires will be aligned with what God wants for us as well. 2). The word of Lord came to Nathan that evening. (v.4) God spoke to Nathan immediately upon David’s request to build a temple. He was not silent, but he spoke when he wanted something different with the situation. When we are doing all we can to be right with God, He will not purposely let us follow down the wrong path. 3). God reminded Nathan that He has never had a real earthly home. (v.6) From the moment they left Egypt, He had been moving about with a tent as His residence. God knew what it felt like to constantly be moving, to be homeless, to be away from peace and security. He can relate to the homeless and lonely. 4). God planted His people so they wouldn’t have to keep running away from their enemies. (v.10,11) He wanted them to be safe and feel security. No only would He give them a home but also rest. God’s plan is to bring us to our heavenly home where we will have eternal rest with Him. 5). God promised to never take His love away from Solomon as He did for Saul. (v.15,16) This was undoubtedly spoken to help David stay calm about the fate of his son as the future King. He had seen what had happened to Saul and surely didn’t want anything close to the same fate for his son. Hearing that God would personally oversee his discipline, He would want a promise to help Him know God was disciplining Solomon to make him better. God calmed David’s fears with this statement.

VERSES 18-29
GOD’S CHARACTER - 1). God knows everything about us. (v.20) David was starting to realize that God was truly behind everything in his life and always would be. God wants us to speak to Him, but He already knows our thoughts and actions as well. We are never outside of His care. 2). God did these great things for David for the sake of His Word and His Will. (v.21) God’s will is more important than any others. But He also is a ‘man’ of His Word. He will not lie, but will always stay true to His promises. We can count on Him to come through like He said He would.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

1 Timothy 1: Notes on Leadership

1 Timothy 1
Notes on Leadership

VERSES 1-11
LEADERSHIP - 1). Paul refers to Timothy as his true son in the faith. (v.2) They were close because of his leadership and they looked at each other as if they were family. When we pour into others, we will develop a close bond with them and our affection for them will grow. Leadership is a great privilege that can nurture lasting relationships for years to come. 2). Paul immediately reminded Timothy of their last conversation in Macedonia. (v.3) He started off where things left off the last time they met. Rather than moving on to new things, he continued with his process of discipleship. We will have multiple sessions with our followers, and it’s important to work within a process to get where God wants us to go. 3). Paul admonished Timothy to restrain the false prophets because of love. (v.5) Love for them, to correct them and save them from destruction. Love for those that they are leading astray and bringing them back on the right path. Whenever we correct those who are in error, it is and always should be love which is guiding our actions. 4). Paul knew that God had entrusted the care of His gospel to him. (v.11) What a huge responsibility. Paul needed to make sure that this gospel was spread throughout the world in a pure manner. Timothy was helping him accomplish this in Ephesus. He took his job seriously, and so should we. God has entrusted His work to us as well.

VERSES 12-20
LEADERSHIP - 1). The same grace and love that was in Christ Jesus was given to Paul. (v.14) When God gave him an abundant portion of grace, He also equipped him with the same Spirit that dwelt within Jesus Himself. We can be the same quality leader that Jesus was because we are empowered with the same thing He had. Be a leader that represents Jesus well today! 2). Paul gave Timothy a trustworthy saying deserving of full acceptance. (v.15) He passed on a truth that Timothy could use in his own life. Timothy could also preach the same truth to others who were following him. Paul passed on what he knew so Timothy could be a better leader. As leaders, we must pass on the truths we’ve learned so those following us can keep those truths alive for generations to come. We help them apply the principles of the Word of God to their everyday lives. 3). Paul admitted to being the worst sinner. (v.15) When Christ saved sinners, Paul was at the bottom of the list. He knew that he didn’t deserve the position he was in; it was only by the grace of God. He confessed to being a rotten sinner and making mistakes. Paul wasn’t perfect, and he was honest about that with Timothy so he wouldn’t expect too much. Too many times people may think Christian leaders are coming in as ‘holier than thou’. When we come in as the ‘worst of sinners’, they will accept us much more freely. 4). Paul was meant to display God’s unlimited patience and grace. (v.16) He became an example of what God can do with a submitted, obedient life. We are on display for God as well. As leaders, we live an example of what God can do when He is in control. We don’t just speak of the truth, we live it out daily in our lives. Our leadership is meaningless unless God is directing our lives. 5). Paul gave Timothy instructions according to the prophecies uttered over him. (v.18) His details to Timothy were part of a plan. He considered Timothy’s calling, his pedigre. He allowed him to minister in the area that God had chosen for him. Leaders must be careful to direct people to paths that God has ordained for them. 6). Paul names two leaders that he punished. (v.20) They were men that had tried to be passionate for God without faith and a clean conscience. They had blasphemed God and Paul dealt with them accordingly. He handed them over to Satan, or rather, dismissed them from God’s service. Their punishment was to be a leader that couldn’t lead. Though a difficult task, Paul did the right thing and dealt with sin when he confronted it, and he did it because of love. When done in humility it builds up, but if it is done in pride it will tear down.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

1 Thessalonians 1: Notes on Attitude

1 Thessalonians 1
Notes on Attitude

VERSES 1-10
ATTITUDE - 1). Paul encouraged appreciated the way the received the message. (v.6) It’s one thing to welcome the message, it’s quite another to welcome it with joy. It’s a beautiful thing when it’s joyfully welcomed in spite of intense suffering. We shouldn’t just worship when it’s easy. Worship in the midst of the storm brings great joy and honor to our God. Don’t lose heart when facing trials, but fall back on worship. 2). Paul told the Thessalonians that their faith had become famous across the region. (v.8) For all we know, they were unaware of this. They were going about their business with God faithfully, not even knowing what an impact it was making on others. We may never know all the good we’ve done for God until we can see things from His perspective. 3). Receiving God’s message and God’s messenger is the same thing. (v.9) God doesn’t just use them to speak to us through their words but also through their actions. We should respect them by obeying their commands but also be treating them as royalty among us.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

1 Samuel 7 - Notes on Family

1 Samuel 7
Notes on Family

VERSES 1-17
FAMILY - Samuel always returned home to Ramah. (v.17) He didn't forget where he came from. In the midst of ministry, he made sure that his home was a constant destination, and he built an altar there to insure it as well. We must take care of our families, and help them worship just as much as we do for others that we lead, if not more.