Thursday, December 17, 2015

1 Timothy 4: Notes on Worship and Passion

1 Timothy 4
Notes on Worship and Passion

VERSES 1-16
WORSHIP - 1). Paul starts off this chapter declaring something that the Spirit clearly said. (v.1) From other parts of Paul’s letters, we can assume that Paul knew the Spirit was saying this because it had been uttered in a prophetic way in one of his service gatherings with other believers. Paul wanted to know God’s plans and he listened to the Spirit to perceive them. We need to be in the practice of doing the same. 2). God created many things for us to enjoy with thanksgiving. (v.3) Marriage and certain foods were mentioned in this verse, but all of creation is God’s gift to us. When we enjoy what He has made for us, we bring Him glory. When we turn that enjoyment into praise and thank Him, it brings Him even more joy. We should enjoy all that God has for us, and then enjoy worshipping Him for it as well. 3). Timothy received his gift of leadership through a prophetic utterance as the elders were praying for him and laying their hands on him to anoint him. (v.14) In a worship setting, God completely changed Timothy’s life and called him into the ministry. Worship moments are powerful times where we strive to connect with God, and we can more easily feel Him connecting with us. In those moments, we should listen and let God do what He wants with us. God may do things that will become mighty moments in our lives and with others.
PASSION - 1). Timothy was instructed to train himself to be Godly. (v.7) This is also a good memory verse. We must be our own leader and train ourselves. We can’t alway rely on others to show us the way, we must get to a place where we can learn to motivate ourselves to find the way. Leaders are people under authority, but they put themselves in a place to be a good follower by challenging themselves to great things and distant goals. Physical training isn’t as much for attractive bodies, but rather, for discipline in earthly matters, which can relate to our spiritual lives as well. 2). We labor and strive to help others know that Jesus is their Savior. (v.10) That is our job, just as it was Paul’s and his followers. When it comes to looking for a job description, we don’t have to look any further than this. If we help all the people in our lives look to Jesus as their Savior, we have done our job indeed. Everything in our lives should always point in His direction, bringing attention to His saving power. 3). Timothy was instructed to watch his life and doctrine closely, persevering in them. (v.16) It wasn’t going to be easy and he needed to have a fighting attitude to get through the tough times. He needed to inspect his life constantly, to insure that he was walking in God’s will. We must take everyday, and maybe several times throughout the day, to insure that we are walking in God’s will and maintain that fighting spirit for holiness and truth.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

1 Thessalonians 4: Notes on God's Plan

1 Thessalonians 4
Notes on God's Character

VERSES 1-12
GOD’S PLAN - 1). Paul instructed them to continue obeying his instructions for living more and more. (v.1) God will give us the orders we need to enjoy life according to His Plans. And when we receive those orders, we need to obey them until He changes them, which may never happen. If we don’t receive a new word from God, keep following the last command with excellence forever. 2). Paul gave instructions as God gave him to give. (v.2) The leadership lessons he delivered were straight from God. He didn’t encourage anything outside of what God wanted done. 3). God wants us to be holy. (v.3) Paul told the Thessalonians that God wanted them to sanctified. We can be made clean and pure by the power of Jesus’ work in our lives. And our efforts and pursuits from this point forward can be inspired and empowered by the direction of God. We should strive to be holy because that is God’s desire for our lives. 4). Paul encouraged them to live quiet lives. (v.11) He instructed them to mind their own business and work hard with their hands. There isn’t anything wrong with ambition, as long as it is according to God’s Plans. Our greatest desires in life should revolve around Him. The more we surround ourselves with things of this world, the easier it is to be distracted away from our main purpose of following God.

VERSES 13-18
GOD’S PLAN - 1). We don’t grieve over death like the rest of the world. (v.13) In this matter, and many others, Christians should be profoundly different from those around us. When we act different and do things in unusual ways, the world will take notice and recognize the power of Christ to change a life. 2). We believe that Jesus died and rose again. (v.14) This not only helps us formalize our theology on life after death for the believer, but also for all matters of faith in our lives. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate foundation for the believer. We can stand on this truth and let it empower us as we serve God in this dark world. 3). Paul instructed according to God’s Word. (v.15) As he is giving them God’s plans concerning life after death, he directs them back tot he Word. All instruction in life needs to find its’ roots in the Word of God. 4). Not only will we all be resurrected like Christ, but those who are living on the earth during His Second Coming will be caught up in the air like Jesus did in His ascension. (v.17) After the dead have already been raised to life, we’ll be raised to the heavens to meet them, and then meet Jesus as well. God will make us fly for Him.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

1 Samuel 9: Notes on God's Character

1 Samuel 9
Notes on God's Character

VERSES 1-27
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). Samuel was coming to meet Saul at the entrance to the city. (v.14) Saul had no idea that God was looking for him. As we pursue God, it's important for us to remember that He is also pursuing us, and He is probably closer than we think. Saul was looking for the donkeys; God was looking for His King. 2). God told Samuel that Saul was coming. (v.15,16) He prepared Samuel for the task that he was going to do. When God gives us something to do, He makes us adequate for the ministry. He is as much God in the presentation as He is in the preparation as well. 3). Samuel gave Saul an incredible conversation. (v.19,20) He told him that he had plans to meet with him, the donkeys were found, and God had a great plan for his life. Saul must have been dumbfounded. At any time God can say and do things to us that will amaze us in every way.