Thursday, December 22, 2016

1 Thessalonians 2: Notes on Leadership

1 Thessalonians 2
Notes on Leadership

LEADERSHIP - 1). Paul mentioned that there were no bad motives in their request. (v.3) These are three wrong ways to do ministry. Some do it out of error by preaching the wrong things. Some have impure motives like pride or selfishness from arrogance in their hearts. And others try to trick people be manipulating them to accomplish their own self-serving desires. The only real way to minister is completely surrendered to God so He can be in control of the process and the results. 2). God approves His leaders. (v.4) He inspects their hearts because he entrusts them with His Gospel. If we will serve Him, He will know us through and through as well. The best leaders are those who’s lives are true in every sense of the word. God’s inspection precedes God’s anointing. 3). God’s leaders have authority. (v.6) God doesn’t want us to around abusing that power, but there are specific times when we must exert that authority with those that we lead. We must wait on God and follow His lead in those moments, otherwise we lose the power that we claim. 4). There is a sensitive, compassionate side to ministry leadership. (v.7,8) Paul said they cared for the Thessalonians like a mother would nurse her child. The parenting role of a pastor cannot be overlooked here. If we are too strong in our leadership, we will become a burden to others until we find a compassionate sensitive approach as well. 5). Ministers should be people that are generous and share all they have. (v.8) Paul gave his life away to others when he ministered and so should we. Nothing that we have is really our own, it’s only what God has given to us. We should be generous in giving with all that we have to love those around us, with our money and our time. Paul loved people, lived with people, let people see who he really was. He didn’t value his privacy, but we inspected by God and let himself be examined by people around him. 6). God may call us to minister ‘for free’. (v.9) Paul worked very hard so that he wouldn’t burden them with his needs while he was with them. We shouldn’t be afraid to do God’s Work even when we have to work extra hard because they can’t pay us enough. If God calls us to do it, that should be pay enough indeed. It may even mean more to us personally because it cost us more as well. 7). Paul speaks of his ministry in a ‘fathering’ light. (v.11) It shows the balance of his ministry, that he could claim both a sensitive motherly role and a disciplining fatherly role with his followers. Discipleship is spiritually parenting young Christians in the faith.

VERSES 17-20
LEADERSHIP - A leaders award is a full disciple of Christ. (v.19,20) Paul’s hope, joy, and crown was the mature Thessalonian church. He reveled in their spiritual maturity and their friendship with him. As leaders, we may achieve great possessions of status on this earth, but our greatest honor should be the legacy we leave with the people we led. The programs we lead don’t matter as much as the people within them.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

1 Samuel 16: Notes on Attitude

1 Samuel 16
Notes on Attitudes

ATTITUDE - Jesse told Samuel that his youngest was out tending sheep. (v.11) Jesse let this son be far away when the great prophet came to visit. He is assigned the lowly job of tending sheep. Even his own father couldn't believe that David was good enough to be a king.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

1 Kings 15: Notes on Family

1 Kings 15
Notes on Family

FAMILY – Abijah followed in his father's footsteps. (v.3) He did evil and fought with Jeroboam, just like his dad. This shows the immense influence a father has on his son, an underlying theme to the books of Kings. 

FAMILY - 1). Asa did right before God, just like his father David. (v.11) Obviously, David wasn’t his biological father; we know that he was a distant grandfather. But he is called David’s father here because Asa resembled him more than he resembled his own dad. We become a son to those that we emulate and aspire to be like, we father those that we teach to live as we have. 2). Maakah was Asa’s grandmother. (v.10,13) She had also been mentioned as Asa’s father’s mother earlier in the chapter. She must have been a leader of great influence having been mentioned twice in the annals of the kings. We also know that she led the people in idolatry, and in order for Asa to do right before God he had to oppose her. Our families are gifts from God, so when they begin to oppose Him we must deny them for His sake. God first, and then our families, not the other way around. 3). King Asa asked for a treaty with Ben-Hadad, as his father had developed earlier in history. (v.19) He followed his father’s lead to continue to strategically develop this important relationship. His dad wasn’t a Godly Father, but he still made some good business decisions that helped Asa in his reign. Even in situations where our families aren’t Christians, we can still learn from them important lessons for life that don’t contradict God and His plans for us.

VERSES 25-34
FAMILY – 1). Nadab was evil, just like his father. (v.26) This is a theme we see throughout the book; whether good or bad, the father’s passed on their ways to their sons. The significant instances are those in which the kings broke the process. Nadab wasn’t one of them, and his reign was short, only 2 years. 2). Baasha not only killed Nadab, but the entire family line of Jeroboam as well. (v.29) God had predicted this would occur and Baasha carried it out. Jeroboam’s sins came back on his family and it destroyed them all. When we sin, we hurt ourselves and the ones we love the most. Sin not only destroys individuals, but families as well.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

1 John 1: Notes on Relationships

1 John 1
Notes on Relationships

RELATIONSHIPS - John and the fellow disciples wanted others to join their team. (v.3) They proclaimed their message to others not just for their sake to receive eternal life, but also so they could add friends and brothers and sisters to the family of God. We should always reach out to others for their sake and for ours. 

RELATIONSHIPS - We have fellowship with one another when we are cleansed from our sin by the blood of Jesus. (v.7) The thing that unifies us is that we were spared by Jesus. We’ve tasted of His grace and mercy. We don’t hold things against each other and think of ourselves as better than someone else because all of us needed His blood just like everyone else. The forgiveness of our sins should help us stay unified as the Body of Christ.