Thursday, March 31, 2016

2 Timothy 3: Notes on God's Plan

2 Timothy 3
Notes on God's Plan

GOD’S PLAN - 1). We are warned that it will be terrible times in the last days. (v.1) Paul lists a long inventory of sins that will run rampant in men during the end times. Essentially, sin will begin to take over and God will count down the moments until he comes back to change everything. In that time, our pressure won’t come from the persecution outside as much as the persecution inside brought on by numerous temptations to sin and fail. 2). The Scriptures teach us about salvation through Jesus. (v.15) This is the Gospel and we must apply it to our lives and then broadcast it to the world. The Bible is a precious gift to us in our age, one that we may take for granted at times considering its perilous journey. We must care for the Scriptures greatly, for they contain the secrets of life. 3). All Scripture is God-Breathed. (v.16,17) A valuable memory verse that teaches us to go to the Scriptures to hear what God is saying and let it change our lives. The Bible prepares us to do God’s work in this world. It is our number one resource for truth and direction. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

2 Samuel 12 - Notes on God's Character

2 Samuel 12
Notes on God's Character

GOD’S CHARACTER - 1). God loved David enough to do incredible things for Him. (v.8) He made Him successful in almost every way, and then He said that if it wasn’t enough, He would have even done more. God is willing to go to great lengths for us because He loves us so much. We never need to doubt the depth of God’s love. He doesn’t need to do anything more than He already has to love us completely. 2). God punished David for his sin of killing Uriah and taking Bathsheba to be his wife. (v.10) He proclaimed that the sword would never leave his house. His years would continue in bloodshed and tragedy because of how he inflicted those on a family in his care. Because he took the sword up against someone else, God took the sword up against him. God is a God of justice and will repay us fairly, according to our deeds. 3). God is not a God of secrets. (v.12) He would punish David publicly, though David tried to do his dirty deeds without the notice of anyone. God doesn’t enjoy when we try to keep secrets from Him, because they almost always are bad and hurtful. The more secrets we keep in our lives, the less we become like God. 4). God promised David that his son would die, and immediately upon Nathans exit from the palace, the child became sick. God was quick to accomplish His purposes and exact His punishment upon the house of David. Surely, God wanted to get this over with and move on as well, and He kept His word to David. God is a God of His word, good or bad, He will see it through. 5). God loved Solomon and ordered Nathan to give him a new name. (v.25) This was the first baby born to David and Bathsheba after the illegitimate child. God could have allowed them to never have another child again. He could have turned away from this child in disgust. Instead, he embraced, gave it the name Jedidiah (meaning loved by the Lord) and planned to exalt it to the position of King. God is love, and everything He does will always result in love.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

1 Timothy 6: Notes on Leadership

1 Timothy 6
Notes on Leadership

LEADERSHIP - We should honor our leaders with full respect, as if we were honoring God Himself. (v.1) Whatever position we find ourselves in, we must live in a way that always honors and respects our leaders. If we want to be good leaders, we must learn what it truly means to follow others and do it well. The best leaders are those who were also the best servants.

LEADERSHIP - 1). Paul gave Timothy a list of things to teach and insist upon. (v.2) Some were specific aspects of instruction and others were things to command them to do. As leaders, there will be times when we lead our people in the way to go, and then other times when we teach them to make their own decisions. Proper leaders develop people who know how to lead themselves. 2). In this passage, Paul deals with the big three temptations of leaders. (v.3-10) He mentions prideful deceptions, useless controversies, and financial gain. As leaders we must strive to protect ourselves in these important yet sensitive areas.

VERSES 11-21
LEADERSHIP - 1). Paul lists the things that Timothy should be striving for in his life. (v.11) He lists righteousness and godliness (right relationship with God), faith and love (right relationship with believers) and endurance and gentleness (right relationship with non-believers). In all situations, wherever we are, we should always be striving to live excellent lives for God. When making decisions, we must make sure that the decision matches up with the standard of excellence in our lives. 2). God is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. (v.15) No matter what leadership position we achieve on this earth, we will always be subject to God above. He is the leader over all, the leader of leaders, the one in charge. We can’t go higher up the organizational chart than Him. 3). Paul instructed Timothy to command people about certain things. (v.17,18) Command is a strong word, but Paul intended for Timothy to be a strong leader. It could be that Timothy needed a stronger action word to help him be stronger himself. Sometimes, they way we interact with our leaders is as much for their benefit as it is for all those they lead as well. Strong leaders should develop strong leaders. 4). Paul told Timothy to guard what had been entrusted to his care. (v.20) This is a summary of some of the things that Paul had been teaching in this book. Ultimately, Timothy is an ‘undershepherd’, in the service of our King. As leaders, all that we oversee belongs to God and we are taking care of His business. In all that we do, we must remember to be good stewards, be obedient, and give our absolute best. 5). Paul’s final charge was to turn away from godless chatter, as some leaders had neglected to do. (v.20,21) Timothy needed to focus as much on the tasks he would do as the tasks that he should abstain from. Not only would controversial talk steal his time, it would also hurt his ministry. We must allow the Lord to lead us in all areas of activity; whether we should be involved or stay away.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

1 Thessalonians 5: Notes on Attitudes

1 Thessalonians 5
Notes on Attitude

ATTITUDE - People will naturally try to live in a state of peace and safety. (v.3) There is no peace and safety that will last apart from God. If people really desire to be safe, they must abandon all human efforts and depend upon God, following His plan. It’s an ironic truth; to be safe we must be defenseless before God.

VERSES 12-28
ATTITUDE - 1). Paul asked them to honor those that work hard among them. (v.12) He was referring specifically to their leaders, but this applies for all areas of work to us as well. A good work ethic shouldn’t go unnoticed in the church, but should be the norm for all servants that volunteer to lead in different departments. When visitors approach, hard work should be the norm of what they see in us. 2). Paul told them to warn those who were idle and disruptive among them. (v.14) When people are idle, they are lazy and not contributing to the work of God in the church. This will most often lead to disruption in the church, with others pointing fingers at them and asking why they don’t participate, and with them developing critical consumer outlooks. Laziness is an attitude that results in sin and division in the church. 3). Paul admonished them to be patient with everyone. (v.14) This isn’t an easy thing to do, especially with those who bother us and don’t concern themselves with being patient with us. We must learn to slow down, trust God, look at things from His perspective, and welcome the opportunities that come our way. Patience is another sign that we are trying to live right for God. 4). We must test prophecies to see if they are true or evil. (20-22) This follows the warning not to quench the Spirit. Our caution to make sure we are right with God isn’t opposed to the Spirit, but rather in line with His desire. By taking the extra time to make sure it is right, we please the Holy Spirit and glorify God. We must remember that patience, not spontaneity, is a fruit of the Spirit.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

1 Samuel 11: Notes on Relationships

1 Samuel 11
Notes on Relationships

RELATIONSHIPS - 1). When the people of Gibeah heard about the tragedy, they cried in anguish. (v.4,5) Saul saw their distress and responded. The people were saddened, but only Saul was moved to do something about it. Sympathy isn't enough - we've got to be willing to step in and help our friends when they're in need. 2). They gave the men  of Jabesh Gilead great news. (v.9) By the next day, they would be rescued. The people of Israel would come to help them as soon as possible. When friends are in need, it is right for us to do all we can to help them in a timely manner. In another portion of Scripture, we are encouraged not to let the sun go down on our anger; we also shouldn't let it go down without helping our friends in need first. 3). Saul separated his men into 3 divisions, with which he attacked the Ammonites at night. (v.11) His 3 divisons destroyed the Ammonites and every man ran off by himself. The group with strong unity destroyed the group with no unity. When we stand united, we will overcome the enemy.