Thursday, March 30, 2017

1 Timothy 3: Notes on Attitudes

1 Timothy 3
Notes on Attitudes

ATTITUDE - 1). A leader must be temperate and self-controlled. (v.2) Leaders don’t fly into fits of rage or arrive at unrestrained moments when they ‘lose it’. They know how to keep their heads in tough situations. This is what makes someone a leader when everyone else is falling apart. A leader must have self control over their emotions, and have the wisdom to express them properly and at the right time. 2). Leaders must exert a gentle countenance and resist violent reactions. (v.3) This can be difficult when a leader is dealing with disappointments and stress on many levels. A leader should be someone that is approachable and not intimidating to people. We can be gentle not just in our actions and words, but also in our plans, our messages, our lifestyles, etc. Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit and a sign of a life surrendered to God. It is possible to be a gentle person and still have an incredible passion for God. 3). Leaders shouldn’t be recent converts because they may be tempted to become conceited. (v.6) As new Christians, they may think their rise in leadership was something they did on their own, apart from God’s power and grace. They haven’t had the time in a relationship with God to learn how important it is to depend upon Him in all matters. Whenever we assume the praise for something, we move ourselves into a position of falling because of conceit and pride. The longer a person is a Christian, the more dependent on God they should become. 4). A deacon must be sincere. (v.8) This is important because many people can see right through a leaders true motives. Leaders must truly care about what they do and truly love following after God. If a leader isn’t sincere, people won’t want to follow them and they won’t last long as a leader. 5). A good leader can be full of confidence. (v.13) When they have served well, it will give them a great standing in God’s eyes so they can be assured that they are right with Him. Our service can impact our position with God. Being confident in our position with God isn’t being too prideful, as being confident in our well earned position would be.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

1 Thessalonians 3: Notes on Relationships

1 Thessalonians 3
Notes on Relationships

RELATIONSHIPS - 1). Timothy came to strengthen and encourage them in their faith. (v.2) He was a guest with a purpose. In the church today, we have guests that come to do the same thing for us. They are fellow believers sent with a mission, and we are their mission. We should receive them well and listen to what they have to say, because they are God’s gift to us. 2). Paul checked up on them to make sure they hadn’t fallen away. (v.5) He cared so much for them that after he left he had to check in again. It wasn’t just a good moment for him; he wanted the memories o change their lives forever. If we want our moments to be more than memories and be life changing, then we must check in from time to time and keep stroking the flames of desire for God. We must followup with those that make commitments to Christ. The best way to overcome persecution is followup through relationship.

RELATIONSHIPS - 1). The Thessalonians had pleasant memories of Paul and his traveling group. (v.6) Timothy reported this back to them and it gave them great joy. We should always work among others in such a way that it will be a good experience and one they will look back on with delight. We don’t want to inspire nightmares, but we want to inspire dreams in the future. 2). Paul had them look to the future. (v.13) He wanted them to look ahead. The best good bye’s don’t just look back, they also look forward. Memories are good as long as we don’t dwell there too long. Looking back can help us focus more on where we are going, but we can’t allow it to pull us back to where we used to be. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

1 Samuel 17: Notes on Family

1 Samuel 17
Notes on Family

VERSES 1- 58
FAMILY - 1). Jesse had eight sons (v.12-14). He was older and cherished his boys. The three oldest boys were in the war, but the other five were still close to Jesse at home. David was also busy, but he went back and forth from Saul's palace to his father's house. As an older man, Jesse spent time with his sons and enjoyed being with them. As family members get older, we don't abandon them, but rather, embrace them all the more. 2). David had 4 other brothers who are never named. (v.12,13) They aren't mentioned when David was anointed, and they didn't join the older brothers in war. They stayed with their dad. Sometimes, the greatest thing we can do, the greatest thing God calls us to, is serve our families, and that should be enough. 3). Jesse sent David to his older sons at war. (v.17-19) Even though they were far away, Jesse didn't forget about them. He sent gifts to them, and to their commander, whom he trusted with their lives. Though distance can separate us, we need to stay close to our families and love those who love them. 4). David told King Saul that he was Jesse's son. (v.58) What a moment for their family, now friends with the King. Jesse sent his son to help his brothers, yet he came back a hero. David said his fathers name in the presence of the King, and knew that he had changed their lives forever.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

1 Kings 17: Notes on Sin

1 Kings 17
Notes on Sin

SIN - Some time later, the son became ill. (v.17) Even though this tremendous miracle kept occurring day after day after day, the son became ill. We still live in a world with sin and sickness, and sometimes it will affect us as well. Just because we are Christians, that doesn’t mean we won’t suffer anymore.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

1 John 2: Notes on Worship and Passion for God

1 John 2
Notes on Worship and Passion for God

WORSHIP - When we live for God, we can start to learn more about God by even observing the change in our own lives. (v.8) We become a reflection of the truth of God when His light shines through us. We are not the power of God, but we carry it as vessels of His Glory. Often the truth we learn is taught to us, but then caught by us when we begin to see its fruit in our lives.

VERSES 12-14
WORSHIP - 1). This small passage appears to be a poem or a song. (v.12-14) It looks like John got creative and included this lyric with his letter. He was known as the disciple that Jesus loved, so it shouldn’t surprise us that he included a bit of a worship with his message. When we love Jesus, truly love Him, it will pour out of us in worship in all that we do. 2). When the Word of God lives in us it makes us strong. (v.14) John called out the young men as strong because of the Word of God inside of them. We should dive into the Word daily to give us strength, not only for the day ahead but for every moment in our lives.
PASSION - 1). Our fathers should know who God is from the beginning. (v.13) They have more life experience and know who God was before we were born. Fathers, in this sense, refers to the elders overseeing the church. Those that have gone on before have the wisdom of experience with God from the beginning. That wisdom, which has guided them through the years, should guide the rest of us through them as well. 2). John wrote to young men because they had overcome the evil one. (v.13) The idea here is that he is speaking to those young in life and in the faith. They are positioned to battle for God and defeat the enemy, taking risks for the Kingdom. They can go to the front lines of the battle and should do so to experience the adventure that they desire because of their God-given dreams. 3). Again, John compliments the passion of the young men. (v.14) He calls them strong, full of the Word of God, and overcomers. We shouldn’t look down on young Christians, they are a great source of passion and evangelism in the church today.

VERSES 15-17
PASSION - Our love should be for God and not for things in this world. (v.15) The true battle in all of our lives is the tug between God and the world. We live in the world and are constantly surrounded by people who are consumed by it. But God is the author of all creation and to know Him we have to go a little deeper. But if we must express passion for anything, we must make sure it is centered in God and nothing else.

VERSES 18-27
PASSION - We are tasked with ensuring that the truth’s we heard in the beginning remain in us until the end. (v.24) We must hold onto it, rehearse it often, and make efforts to live according to it everyday. God planned for our faith to be eternal, so while we live in this temporary world, we must hold onto it as an anchor for our soul.

VERSES 28-29
PASSION - 1). We are encouraged by John to continue in God. (v.28) We wouldn’t be encouraged this way if it wasn’t possible for us not to continue. We can decide while on this earth how we choose to live. If we’ve made the commitment to Christ, we must stay true to it and follow through at all times. We don’t want to risk the possibility of falling away from the faith. 2). When we do what is right it shows that we are walking on God’s paths. (v.29) All righteousness comes from God. No one can be truly righteous without Him.