Thursday, October 27, 2016

Ephesians 4: Notes on Attitude

Ephesians 4
Notes on Attitudes

ATTITUDE - 1). God wants us to be humble, gentle, and patient. (v.2) That is part of the lifestyle that is worthy of our calling. Just about anyone can get along with someone who has these three qualities. When we have this kind of attitude and personality, we'll be highly effective at reaching people in this world. 2). Jesus descended to earth for us. (v.9,10) He left His throne to help us in our battle against sin. Because of His willingness to come to earth on our behalf, He was elevated to eternal greatness. When we are willing to do things for God that might be conceived as less than important, we make ourselves candidates for the promotion to greatness as well. 3). God has called us to works of service. (v.12) He sends leaders to prepare us to work for Him. We must remember that we are His servants and work diligently for Him. If we want to grow, we need to get to work.

VERSES 17-32
ATTITUDE - 1). We must be made new. (v.23) We can put off the old man and put on the new one, but God must make us new first. We can't do it on our own. God has to change our hearts before we can choose to be holy. We are dependent on Him. 2). Do not stay angry for long. (v.26) It's not wrong to be angry, but it's wrong to stay angry because it will lead us to do vengeful things. When we are angry, we are more susceptible to make mistakes. We shouldn't be angry from one day to another. Put away whatever angered you today, so you can be full of joy tomorrow. 3). We must rid our lives of malicious actions which come from resentment and anger. (v.31) One of the challenges with holding onto anger is all of the attitude and character issues that come with it. We protect our behavior by keeping our attitudes in check and keeping anger at bay.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

2 Timothy 4: Notes on Family

2 Timothy 4
Notes on Family

VERSES 19-22
FAMILY - Paul asked Timothy to give a special greeting to Priscilla and Aquila. (v.19) This was a married couple who had befriended Paul and served alongside him in his mission. Couples are called by God for a common purpose and must pursue His will for them together as a team. When married people work as one they are twice as strong for the Lord and His work.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

2 Samuel 15: Notes on Relationships

2 Samuel 15
Notes on Relationships

RELATIONSHIPS - 1). Absalam sent secret messengers throughout the land, gathering the people to appoint him as King in Hebron. (v.10) He didn’t tell his father about these messengers, but kept it private. Whenever we keep secrets from our family and friends, someone is bound to get hurt. The old saying, ‘secrets don’t make friends’ actually has some truth to it. 2). Absalom had 200 men come with him from Jerusalem to Hebron. (v.11) He invited them as innocent guests, knowing nothing about his desire to be made King. What an akward position he put these men in, men who very well could have been faithful to King David! He should have told them before they came. Communication is the key; we should make sure to properly inform people before they commit to important tasks. And we must be careful what we commit to as well; we might be getting involved in something that isn’t right, and we’ll only find out about it once we are far down the road.

VERSES 13-37
RELATIONSHIPS - 1). A messenger told David that the hearts of the men of Israel were with Absalom. (v.13) David didn’t know what was going on with Absalom and his secret plans, but this messenger faithfully told him the truth. We don’t know who the messenger was, but we know he was a true servant and friend to David, to keep him informed. True friends don’t keep secrets; they tell the truth and protect their friends. 2). David asked God to bestow kindness and faithfulness on Ittai. (v.20) These are traits that Ittai had exhibited toward David and his country. David asked that their good deeds would be given back to them; that God would repay them for the good they had done to him. We need to learn to treat others the way that we would like to be treated ourselves. 3). David passed the Kidron Valley and was headed toward the desert. (v.23) He was headed toward a place with no life, a place where it's hard to survive. When we fight with others, and especially those closest to us, it puts us on a road toward destruction where the only outcome is defeat and death. 4). When David reached the Summit, Hushai was already there, waiting for him. (v.32) He was mourning with David, and ready to help in any way possible. True friends will walk us through our difficult times and be waiting on the road ahead to lend a helping hand. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

1 Timothy 4: Notes on Worship/Passion

1 Timothy 4
Notes on Worship and Passion for God

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 for it, 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 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.