Thursday, October 29, 2015

Matthew 9: Notes on Family

Matthew 9: Notes on Family

FAMILY – 1). Jesus went to His own town (Capernaum). (v.1) In the midst of busyness and ministry, it always feels good to go home. Jesus didn’t neglect His roots, He made sure to visit there from time to time. We can't neglect our families. Unfortunately, there are many leaders who serve all kinds of people but avoid their own families and closest loved ones. Let that not be the case with us. 2). Jesus cured the man and sent him home. (v.6) The first place that Jesus wanted him to go to was back to his family and his home. Previously, he had been a burden, but now, he will be a blessing. Jesus didn’t just touch this man’s life, but the lives of his family as well.  3). Jesus went home, after being sent away by the people of the Gadarenes at the end of the previous chapter. (v.1) When we are rejected by everyone else, we should be able to find acceptance at home. Let our homes be places of sanctuary from the evils of this world.

VERSES 18-26
FAMILY – 1). The ruler asked Jesus to bring his dead daughter back to life. (v.18) He had quickly dropped everything, humbled himself, and knelt at Jesus’ feet, not on his own behalf but for the sake of his beloved daughter. We should always be willing to put everything aside in sacrifice for the benefit of our loved ones. 2). Jesus called the sick woman, daughter. (v.22) This was a term of significant affection; he loved this mysterious lady like a father would love a daughter. He was on his way to heal a man’s daughter, but in the process He healed one of His own daughters. We don’t know if this lady had a tough family life, or if she didn’t have a loving father, but surely this statement meant as much to her as the miraculous physical healing. Jesus won’t just touch our bodies, He’ll touch our souls as well.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Exodus 8: Notes on Attitude

Exodus 8
Notes on Attitude

ATTITUDE - 1). Pharaoh cracked. (v.8) He told Moses and Aaron that if they would pray to God to take away the frogs, he would allow them to go and offer sacrifices in the wilderness. He had never come to that point before, but after the infestation of frogs in every area of his life, he couldn’t take it anymore. When his personal comfort was challenged, he decided to give in. He even asked that Moses would pray to have the frogs taken away first from himself first, and then from his people. He didn’t want to suffer or sacrifice to stay true to his beliefs. 2). Moses asked Pharaoh when he wanted him to pray for God to take away the frogs, and Pharaoh chose tomorrow. (v.10) He didn’t choose today, or ‘right now’, he chose to wait one more day, one more night with the wretched frogs. His pride and arrogance revealed that he didn’t want to be too desperate for salvation. He should have immediately asked for help, but he chose to wait and suffer more. When we need a Savior, we need it now, right now, and shouldn’t wait one minute for help. 3). Once the frogs were dead, Pharaoh went back on his word and wouldn’t let the Israelites go. (v.15) He quickly decided not to give in, foolishly trusting in his own pride to keep him safe. Obviously, he should have realized that God was too powerful for Him, but He didn’t want to lose his superiority over his people and the Israelites so he lied according to his selfish ways. We must remember what God has freed us from or we risk falling back into the same deceptions.

VERSES 16-19
ATTITUDE - The magicians told Pharaoh that this was the finger of God, yet he wouldn’t listen. (v.19) They realized that God was more powerful than they were and tried to convince Pharaoh of the same. These magicians knew all along that they were only faking the miracles that God was doing in reality. Once they couldn’t duplicate it anymore, they gave in. When we can’t control or understand something, it helps bring us to a place of realizing our dependence on God. But Pharaoh wouldn’t budge. His pride and arrogance, especially after just lying after the frogs, kept him from giving in even when the situation in Egypt grew worse.

VERSES 20-32
ATTITUDE - 1). Pharaoh tried to bargain with Moses and Aaron. (v.25) He suggested that they offer the sacrifices, but do it in Egypt rather than going into the wilderness. He wanted to give in, but do it on his own terms. He tried to compromise rather than doing exactly as God had asked him to do. There are times in our lives when God might ask us to do something, and we try to do it half-heartedly because completing it in its’ entirety is umcomfortable to us on some level. We cannot compromise with God. 2). Pharaoh asked Moses to pray for him directly. (v.28) He said the Israelites could go, just not very far, if he would pray for Pharaoh personally. He was in great discomfort, and rather than thinking of his people, he thought only of himself. His selfishness, born out of pride and arrogance, controlled his life. We must be careful not to be selfish, for if we do we risk ruining our lives. 3). Moses gave Pharaoh a second chance. (v.29) Though Pharaoh had lied the last time Moses prayed to relieve them of a plague, Moses unselfishly prayed for him again. What a contrast to Pharaoh’s attitude, in which he can only think of himself. Judge for ourselves which is better, deception and pride, or confidence and hope in obedience to God.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

2 Timothy 1: Notes on Sin

2 Timothy 1
Notes on Sin

VERSES 15-18
SIN - Paul called out Phygelus and Hermogenes for abandoning him in Asia. (v.15) This may seem mean spirited but he was informing them so they weren’t mishandled as well. If we don’t confront people’s sin when it affects our relationships we are essentially endorsing their behavior. Had Paul not corrected them, it would be unfaithful on his part, just as they were unfaithful to him. When we mistreat our fellow believers, it grieves God and pollutes our lives.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

2 Samuel 8: Notes on Worship/Passion

2 Samuel 8
Notes on Worship/Passion

WORSHIP - 1). David had the Moabites lay down on the ground, and 65% of them were killed. (v.2) The other 35% remained alive, to pay tribute to Israel. Moab ‘tithed’ 35% to Israel. God asks us for 10% of our money in tithes, but we do more to worship him as we choose. Maybe 35% would be a good figure for some to aspire to. 2). When David received spoils of war, he dedicated them to the Lord. (v.11,12) He knew that God empowered him to be victorious, so he thanked God with the praise. When we receive accolades and gifts from others because of our ministry, we need to give God the praise and the credit as well.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

1 Timothy 2: Notes on God's Plan

1 Timothy 2
Notes on God's Plan

GOD’S PLAN - 1). Paul urged Timothy to pray for everyone, and especially for his leaders. (v.1,2) The first request he had was for prayer. Everything should always start with prayer. When we put prayer first in our lives we will see God do amazing things as part of His master plan. 2). God is pleased when our lives are holy. (v.3) A quiet and peaceful life of godliness and holiness brings much joy to our God. When we pray constantly, our lives will reflect God more. He loves when He looks at us and sees us acting like Him, imitating Him, following Him. 3). God wants all men to be saved. (v.4) He wants everyone to know the truth and to be set free. No one is beyond His reach or outside of His plan. We are all His creation and He desires everyone to be with Him in eternity. 4). The story of Jesus is a testimony given in its’ proper time. (v.6) God has a time that is perfect for all things, even sharing His story with others. We should seek to be obedient in all things, which also means that we do things in the proper time as well as the proper way. Before rushing off to do what is right, we need to check and make sure that it is the right time as well. 5). Paul desired men from everywhere to lift up hands together in prayer. (v.8) It didn’t matter where they were from or what people they belonged to. He desired everyone to participate, just like God. If we are to follow after God’s heart, we will open the gospel to everyone and never exclude anyone from God’s free gift.

GOD’S PLAN - Eve committed the first sin and God gave her mercy through childbirth. (v.15) God had a plan of redemption. This is also highly symbolic of Jesus coming to earth in the form of a child, to live a life for the redemption of man. Even in the beginning, we see that God had mercy and had a plan for grace.