Thursday, January 28, 2016

Exodus 11 - Notes on Leadership

Exodus 11
Notes on Leadership

LEADERSHIP - 1). Pharaoh’s officials and highest leaders admired Moses. (v.3) Some of this may be because they knew him as a child. But we can also assume it is because of his great leadership during the difficult time of the plagues. They had never seen anyone stand up to Pharaoh in such a strong way. By simply doing what God asked, Moses won the favor of his enemies. If we will obey God will all of our hearts, He will open doors for us and bring favor upon us that we couldn’t have done on our own. 2). Moses declared that Pharaoh’s leaders would bow down to him and beg him to leave with the Hebrews. (v.8) Moses knew that they were leaning toward allowing Him to take he Hebrews and leave. He made this statement with passion and anger. He didn’t want their children to die, and it may have brought up memories of his own difficult childhood in similar circumstances. As leaders, we always carry our experiences and emotions with us in our job to lead. We can let these feelings impact our decisions, but not dictate our choices.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ephesians 2: Notes on Attitude

Ephesians 2
Notes on Attitude

ATTITUDE - 1). God is rich in mercy. (v.4) He was gracious enough to give us life when we were dead because of our sins. When we are rich in mercy, we can bless others with more than just money or material things. We should strive to be people like Jesus, full of grace and mercy. 2). We are saved by God's gift of grace. (v.8,9) We can't boast in ourselves, we can only boast in God. Sin is seeded in prideful ignorance. Our salvation is because of our dependence upon God for everything. God is responsible for who we are today and we should live humble lives in light of this truth.

VERSES 11-22
ATTITUDE - 1). The Gentiles were labeled 'uncircumcised'. (v.11) The Jewish people used this as a slur on those outside the faith. It would be as if we referred to non Christians as pagans today. They looked down on the Gentiles and made fun of them. It seems that in the world today we will always be an 'un..' to someone. We shouldn't judge others and be negative to them based on our assumptions of them. 2). The Jews referred to themselves as the 'circumcised'. (v.11) They were priding themselves on a ritual that was performed by man. A circumcised person is declaring that they belong to God. The Jewish people were missing the reason behind the ritual, and taking pride in themselves because of it. Rather than pointing to God, they let it point to themselves. Our rituals for God should bring Him glory. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

2 Timothy 2: Notes on Relationships

2 Timothy 2
Notes on Relationships

RELATIONSHIPS - 1). Paul encouraged Timothy to join him in suffering as a good soldier of Christ. (v.3) This is a great memory verse. It helps us remember that we serve our leader Jesus as soldiers in His army. We also are a team working together; when one suffers, we all suffer together and when one celebrates, we all rejoice together. No one needs to stand alone but we can always stand together. 2). Paul endured hardships for the sake of the church. (v.10) He called the church the elect, and recognized them as his focus and motivation for finding strength in trying circumstances. He was ready to suffer on their behalf. If we will make it as God’s servants in difficult times, we must not only love God but love the people for whom we are working so hard.

VERSES 14-26
RELATIONSHIPS - 1). Paul wanted the church to stop quarreling over words. (v.14) He saw no value in it and watched it destroy relationships. He told Timothy to warn against it. We must be careful to have healthy dialogue over teachings and instruction. When it moves to quarrels, where one member is actively opposing another on a personal level, we must stop it and find peace. It’s a tactic of the enemy to take our healthy discussion and make them lethal. 2). Paul mentioned two men that were teaching false things. (v.17) This was a warning to the people to stay away from them. It’s tempting to withhold the names in a communication like this to stay at peace with everyone, but we need to keep the health of the body above our priorities for the individual. We can’t be afraid to call out those who threaten to hurt the body as a whole, after we address them personally with no change. 3). We need to pursue righteousness with other believers to overcome sinful temptations and mature as believers. (v.22) When we are at peace with our fellow Christians, it gives a pure heart from which to seek righteousness. We will be more successful in finding these things when we seek them together, encouraging each other as we go. Accountability is not just about refraining from temptations, but also pursuing righteousness and a pure heart. 4). We need to stay away from foolish arguments. (v.23) They don’t produce anything good, just quarreling and fights. We are pulled into them because of our pride and wanting to prove that we are right, but that shouldn’t matter when we are united with our Christian family. We all win when we all stand together. It’s better to be polite than to be right. 5). There is always hope when we others that oppose us. (v.25) Paul told Timothy to approach them gently, hoping to restore them to relationship with God and the church. Sometimes it feels that only a miracle will bring restoration, which is a good thing we serve a God of miracles. We never lose hope in our lives.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2 Samuel 10: Notes on Sin

2 Samuel 10
Notes on Sin

SIN - 1). The Ammonites had become a stench in David’s nostrils. (v.6) They quickly hired many soldiers from outside their country to fight the great warrior David, and risk lives on their behalf. They were afraid and gathered more people to fight their battles for them. They should have welcomed David’s messengers and allied themselves with him. Instead they embarrassed them and tried to cover up their sin by surrounding themselves with more people, all the things money could buy. We can’t hide our sin with lots of friends or money. We must come clean and let God discipline us His way. 2). When the Arameans saw that they had been defeated, they regrouped to fight again. (v.15,16) They gathered more troops, reorganized their strategy, and found a new location from which to fight. They didn’t just give up after one battle. Most of the time when we fight the enemy in our lives, we will have to keep fighting, because they will keep coming back for more. Fighting against sin will be a constant battle until God destroys the devil in the end.