Thursday, April 28, 2016

Matthew 12: Notes on Attitude

Matthew 12
Notes on Relationships

VERSES 12-31
ATTITUDE - 1). Sometimes, parts of our Church Body wish they were something else. (v.15,16) In Paul’s example, the foot wishes it were a hand, or the ear wishes it were an eye. By being jealous over the other part’s purpose, they lost the importance of their own. It’s natural for us to become used to our situations from time to time, and the grass does seem greener on the other side of the fence. But if we would change, we would lose what God called us to do and hurt the body. The best thing to do is admire their purpose, keep hold of our own, and do our best for the overall health of our church. 2). Paul encouraged them  to desire the greater gifts. (v.31) Earlier in the chapter, Paul made a point to help others realize that there are no insignificant jobs in the church. In using the term ‘greater gifts’ it may seem like he is contradicting himself. But human nature easily helps us desire some over others, making them seem greater because of perks, attention, etc. Some roles definitely have more influence and opportunity than others as well. But ultimately, by referring to some as ‘greater’, it garners an attitude in the church where people are always wanting to improve, grow, and become better for God. 'Greater gifts' is really just another expression of a greater you and I.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Matthew 12: Notes on Relationships

Matthew 12
Notes on Relationships

VERSES 22-37
RELATIONSHIPS – 1). Jesus declared that every divided kingdom will fall. (v.25) Unity is our key to victory. If our team is fighting against ourselves, we help our enemy win. If we stand together, we stay stronger, and will move toward victory. Unity with our Christian brothers and sisters is a powerful weapon in our spiritual warfare.  2). We can recognize others by their fruit. (v.35) Good people will produce good things for God, but bad people will produce rotten things for themselves and for the enemy. We know a tree by its fruit. 

VERSES 46-50
RELATIONSHIPS – Jesus said that anyone who does the will of God is part of the family of God. (v.50) Jesus wasn’t trying to say He didn’t love his earthly family. He was trying to use them as an illustration to explain the family of God. We should all work together as if we were brothers and sisters, connected our entire lives on this earth.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Exodus 12: Notes on Sin

Exodus 12
Notes on Sin

SIN - 1). God told them to eat bread without yeast for seven days when they celebrated the Passover. (v.15) On the first day, they were to remove every ounce of yeast from their homes, to protect their family from breaking the rules. One important aspect in refraining from sin is to remove the objects of sin from your possession. It’s easier to fall into sin when the yeast is in the cupboard. 2). If anyone ate anything with yeast during that time, they would be cut off from Israel. (v.15) Just as the yeast was removed on the first day of the week, the person full of yeast would be removed as well. Another important part of abstaining from sin is to remove the people who tempt us in those sinful areas. Sometimes, the greatest downfall of our lives is brought about by the people we trust and associate with. 3). Once again God reiterates the importance of staying away from yeast, when mentioning the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (v.18-20) All yeast was to be removed from their possession, even if it was within the people they associated with. Yeast was symbolic of sin. They were to be so serious about being holy as to remove sin from their lives almost at all cost. We need to remember that God is a God of holiness and no sin is welcome in His presence, and shouldn’t be welcome in our lives either. They’re pursuit of unleavened bread would keep them from being enslaved again. 4). It didn’t matter where they lived, they still needed to always eat only unleavened bread. (v.20) Sometimes, we think that we can be more lenient with certain standards depending on the culture we live in. But God was clear with the Hebrews; everyone should obey His law regardless of where they lived and worked. God is everywhere, and His law should be obeyed everywhere as well. 5). God did just as He said. (v.29,30) He set about going house to house and taking every firstborn of the Egyptians. He didn’t spare anyone without the blood on their doorposts. He had given them many opportunities to avoid this, but they wouldn’t listen. This punishment is the result of their own stubbornness and unwillingness to change. If we refuse to change according to God’s will, we will suffer epic tragedy as well.

VERSES 43-51
SIN - The Passover meal was to be eaten inside the house. (v.46) They couldn’t go outside during the meal at all. This was symbolic of how the Hebrews weren’t supposed to set foot outside their house or the Angel of Death may visit them as well. It was a protection from the evil things of the world. A reminder that we should be careful not to even foot in the areas of life that can bring us down and destroy us.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Ephesians 3: Notes on Worship and Passion for God

Ephesians 3
Notes on Worship and Passion for God

WORSHIP - We always have access to God. (v.12) Because of our faith in Him, we can be confident when we come to Him in prayer and in worship. No matter where we go, God will always be only a prayer away. This is a great memory verse that helps us approach God with boldness because of the work Jesus did on our behalf.
PASSION - 1). Paul was a prisoner for the Lord for the sake of the Gentiles. (v.1) He gladly served Jesus in an unpopular role of reaching those who had never been reached before. It is better to be God's servant than to be a leader anywhere else. 2). Paul was willing to suffer for the sake of the Ephesians. (v.13) He loved God and His people so much that he put himself through tough things for their benefit. When we suffer for God, it brings Him glory. When we suffer for others on behalf of God, we resemble Jesus our Lord.

VERSES 14-21
WORSHIP - 1). Paul kneeled before the Father. (v.14) This was a sign of submission to royalty. Paul gladly knelt before the One who had changed his life. We should kneel before God at all times, submitting to His reign and rule in our lives. 2). We should pray that God would give us power to grasp His love. (v.18) His love is 4 dimensional in a 3 dimensional world. It's worthy of our praise, and the more we grasp it, the more we will praise Him because of it. Wherever we go, His love will always be there. 3). God's love is beyond our knowledge. (v.19) We can't possibly explain it fully. But we can know it because of God's help. We should always praise God for the things that are beyond our explanation, things that are bigger than we can imagine. That's the kind of God that we serve. We want to worship a God who is bigger than ourselves. 4). To God be the glory. (v.21) When we do wonders for God because of His power within us, we need to give the glory and praise to Him. The church should praise God at all times and in all generations.
PASSION - 1). God gives us His Spirit in our inner beings. (v.16) He unites with us in the closest possible way. With God's Spirit inside, we can always be driven to do God's will. 2). God dwells in our hearts by faith. (v.17) We can't see Him, but we can feel Him with us. We can know that He is there because we believe it in our hearts. 3). We are rooted and established in love. (v.17) With Christ in our hearts, we will always be full of love. The purpose of our lives is to love and be loved, and Christ meets those needs in every way.