Thursday, May 26, 2016

1 Samuel 13,14: Notes on Worship and Passion for God

1 Samuel 13 & 14
Notes on Worship and Passion for God

PASSION - The men of Israel hid in caves and quaked with fear. (v.6,7) When we face a great enemy, God is looking for warriors that will be brave and stand their ground. We never have to quake with fear with God on our side.

WORSHIP - Jonathan would let God show them what to do by the reaction of the Philistines. (v.8-10) Rather than sneaking up on them he revealed their presence, looking to their response as the sign. We should always seek to know God's will and look to Him to give us signs of His desire for our lives.
PASSION - Jonathan wanted to pick a fight. (v.6) He had faith that God would save them. He trusted in God enough to go on the offensive for His glory. Our faith in God should be great enough to tackle the obstacles that stand in our way.

VERSES 15-23
PASSION - The people who were hiding in caves came out to fight because they knew they were winning. (v.22) They no longer cowered in fear, but rose up in courage. We must always stand in courage because God is victorious and will give us the victory in the end.

VERSES 24-48
PASSION - No one in the regular army would eat the honey because they feared their King. (v.26) Though it was oozing out of a tree in the woods, the men resisted. What a faithful group of men to their king! We must learn how to resist the many temptations the devil throws at us in the same way.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

1 Kings 13: Notes on God's Plan

1 Kings 3
Notes on God's Plan

GOD’S PLAN – 1). God sees the big picture. (v.1-3) Not only did He see the idolatry going on in Northern Israel and Judah, He also saw what would be taking place in the future. God always sees everything, and has a plan. 2). The prophet made a prediction concerning Josiah. (v.2) He was a future king of Israel who would tear down the altars and destroy the unholy priesthood. This came true many years later and is recorded later in this same book. God carried out His promise exactly as He said He would. 3). We must watch what we are pointing at, what we are directing. (v.4,5) God could stop us right in the middle of our actions. He let Jeroboam point toward the prophet, so He could strike His hand, humble him, and show those watching who was really in control. We can point directions all we want, but it is God who commands things into action. 4). God told the man of God to refuse an invite to visit the King and to return a different route than he came. (v.8-10) God knew the trouble he was sending his prophet into, so he told him the way to escape without harm. He went before him and protected him. When we follow God’s plan, He will see us through to the end and provide for all that we need. 5). God spoke to the prophet from Israel as they were eating. (v.20) It’s interesting that he was still at a place in his life where he could hear God’s voice, despite his sinful character. God never takes the call on our lives away. It will follow us as long as we are on this earth. Once we die, then the chance to live for God is over. We can’t outrun the call of God on our lives; it’s like our shadow. 6). This is a tough portion of Scripture. (v.21,22) This prophet of Judah was completely obeying God, than he was lied to and is now being punished for believing that lie. Did he have a chance to know the truth? The personal word of God to us should hold more weight than the word we receive from everyone else. We don’t know if they are speaking the truth or not, but we cannot deny the inner voice of the Holy Spirit when He speaks to us. This prophet was at a place where he knew the voice of the Lord well, evidenced in how he obeyed God and had just given the major word to Jeroboam. Yet, he questioned that original command from God to listen to this ‘word of the Lord’ through a third party. When possible, always get the personal word from the Lord, and let that guide you more than the word from others. 7). God sent a lion to kill the prophet of Judah. (v.24) He was punished for disobeying the Lord. The king of Israel had tried to kill him but God wouldn’t allow it. Our lives our in God’s Hands and only He can decide whether we continue to live for Him, or if it’s time to take us home.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

1 John 3: Notes on God's Character

1 John 3
Notes on God's Character

GOD’S CHARACTER - God loves us dearly, to call us His children. (v.1) He created us, and then gave us free will so we could choose to love Him. And in spite of our many mistakes and failures, He still loves us enough to send His true Son into the world to die on our behalf. We are His children and we are dearly loved.

VERSES 11-24
GOD’S CHARACTER - God isn’t changed by our turbulent moments in life. (v.20) Even if our own hearts condemn us, it doesn’t mean that God will. God will stay true to us even when we’ve given up on ourselves. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

1 Corinthians 13: Notes on Leadership

1 Corinthians 13
Notes on Leadership 

LEADERSHIP - 1). Paul first spoke to speakers that could speak in the tongues of men and angels. (v.1) They could speak to men inspirationally because they spoke an elegant Godly dialect. These are great communicators, like renowned evangelists. But even they, with so much talent and ability, need to be compelled by love or their work will be in vain. Without love, their tremendous speeches will only be an annoying noise with no purpose. 2). Love lasts forever but prophecies, tongues, and knowledge will fade away. (v.8) The gifts of the Spirit are wonderful and necessary in our world today, but not necessarily part of God’s plan for eternity in heaven. The fruit of the Spirit, on the other hand, seem to last forever with love leading the way. Far better for us to be strong in the fruit of the Spirit, another visible evidence that we have the Holy Spirit in our lives, rather than just function in the gifts on our own. 3). We must put childish ways behind us. (v.11) Children are supposed to be act that way, but not adults. As leaders, as mature believers, we’ve got to put childish ways behind us and press on to be more mature in Christ. As it refers to love, we must move to a place where we don’t just strive to be shown love by others, but do things to show love to others without an expectation of the same in return. We must be an example of this to our people and help them learn how to do it as well. 4). We should want people to know us for our love more than anything else. (v13) Not for being a great teacher, a dynamic leader, or a champion visionary. We should work so that they will remember us as someone that loved others like Jesus did, with a strong, pure love.