Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ephesians 2: Notes on Relationships

Ephesians 2
Notes on Relationships

RELATIONSHIPS - We all lived among sinners at one time. (v.3) Every Christian has been a full time sinner at some point in their life. We all have that in common, a unity in our experience, that brings us closer together in our pursuit of Jesus. We all know what it feels like, in some way, to be apart from God.

VERSES 11-22
RELATIONSHIPS - 1). Jesus destroyed the division between Jews and Gentiles. (v.14,15) He abolished the law through His death on the cross. God doesn't want His people to be divided. Through Jesus, we can find unity regardless of our differences. 2). We have access to God with our fellow Christians. (v.18) We can come to God on our own as well, but it is special when we come to Him together. We should prioritize times of prayer and worship with other believers. The Spirit of God unites us as one. 3). As Christians, we are growing together. (v.21) God is building us up into a holy temple for His presence. We need to work together to stay holy and pure in this evil world. As a holy church, we will shine brightly for God. We need each other to stay strong.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

2 Timothy 2: Notes on Sin

2 Timothy 2
Notes on Sin

SIN - 1). Soldiers don’t get entangled in civilian affairs. (v.4) Paul intentionally used the world entangled because these interruptions distract us from doing what God has called us to do. We must be careful not to involve ourselves in these issues too much because if we do it will keep us from doing what God wants us to do for Him. Too many ministers may be missing their true purpose because of these entangling distractions in our lives. 2). Athletes only win if they play by the rules. (v.5) If they cheat or disobey the rules, they would be disqualified and removed from the competition. When we sin, it’s as if we are cheating and trying to win in life by going against the rules. God sets the rules and we must disciple ourselves to obey them and honor them in all that we do. 3). God will disown us if we choose to disown Him. (v.12) It’s our choice. Some say that we can’t lose our salvation, but it appears here that this is possible if we choose to give it away. God won’t force us to keep Him in our lives. We must constantly choose Him over all else in our lives to endure and reign one day.

VERSES 14-26
SIN - 1). We should work hard to be unashamed. (v.15) When we give our best to God, there is no shame. When we cut corners, hide secret sins, and avoid hard work it’s shameful. Sometimes we know how we did based on the way we feel when we look back. Even if we don’t feel shame, we should strive hard to be great for God so we don’t invoke shame in His eyes as well. A life without secret sin is a life without regrets and shame. 2). Paul encouraged them to avoid Godless chatter. (v.16) This world is full of talk that is far from God, in media, music, TV, etc. This isn’t discussions that don’t speak specifically of God, because God is still praised when we enjoy the beauty of His creation. It is noise that is contrary to Him and leaves Him out. The more we fill our lives with this type of noise, the farther from God we will become, and instead we’ll become like the chatter in our lives. 3). Bad teaching can spread fast and infect many people. (v.17) Paul compared it to the spread of gangrene, a nasty venereal disease. Teaching can build us or disrupt us from the inside out. It’s important to make sure the teaching we submit ourselves to is right and inspiring, so we stay healthy in God’s Will. 4). Hymenaeus and Philetus had departed from the truth. (v.18) They were teaching that the final resurrection of the Saints had already occurred, which isn’t accurate. Whether this was their honest interpretation or if they were purposely deceiving others didn’t matter; they were teaching a lie and would be held responsible for it. When we believe lies, regardless of our motives, it will always hurt us and destroy the truth in our lives. 5). When we stay away from sin we prove that we belong to God. (v.19) That is a distinguishing feature of a true Christ follower. Sin is rampant in this world and we will stand out greatly when we choose to avoid it. It shows where are true loyalties lie. 6). Paul encouraged them to flee the evil desires of youth. (v.22) This is a great memory verse helping us strive for purity in our lives. There is much temptation in youth, and we must mature to a point of overcoming easy traps. The way to overcome sin is by pursuing the true things of righteousness, filling our time with things that benefit our faith. 7). Sin is nothing more than a trap of the enemy. (v.26) It’s Satan’s attempt to enslave us so that we do what he wants instead of obeying God. When we follow sin, it’s a choice to abandon God and do things our own way, which will lead to destruction.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

2 Samuel 16: Notes on Worship and Passion for God

2 Samuel 16
Notes on Worship and Passion for God

VERSES 15-23
WORSHIP - Hushai said that he would only serve the one in leadership chosen by the Lord. (v.18) He said that honestly, because though he was talking to Absalom he knew that David was still God’s chosen one. Regardless of his circumstances, Hushai would follow after God’s plans, even in times of difficult transition. The circumstances should never dictate our decision to serve God. He deserves our best all the time.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

1 Timothy 2: Notes on God's Plan

1 Timothy 2
Notes on God's Plan

GOD’S PLAN - 1). Paul urged Timothy to pray for everyone, and especially for his leaders. (v.1,2) The first request he had was for prayer. Everything should always start with prayer. When we put prayer first in our lives we will see God do amazing things as part of His master plan. 2). God is pleased when our lives are holy. (v.3) A quiet and peaceful life for of godliness and holiness brings much joy to our God. When we pray constantly, our lives will reflect God more. He loves when He looks at us and sees us acting like Him, imitating Him, following Him. 3). God wants all men to be saved. (v.4) He wants everyone to know the truth and to be set free. No one is beyond His reach or outside of His plan. We are all His creation and He desires everyone to be with Him in eternity. 4). The story of Jesus is a testimony given in its’ proper time. (v.6) God has a time that is perfect for all things, even sharing His story with others. We should seek to be obedient in all things, which also means that we do things in the proper time as well as the proper way. Before rushing off to do what is right, we need to check and make sure that it is the right time as well. 5). Paul desired men from everywhere to lift up hands together in prayer. (v.8) It didn’t matter where they were from or what people they belonged to. He desired everyone to participate, just like God. If we are to follow after God’s heart, we will open the gospel to everyone and never exclude anyone from God’s free gift.

GOD’S PLAN - Eve committed the first sin and God gave her mercy through childbirth. (v.15) God had a plan of redemption. This is also highly symbolic of Jesus coming to earth in the form of a child, to live a life for the redemption of man. Even in the beginning, we see that God had mercy and had a plan for grace.