Category Archives: Christian Living

Carols Series: Fall on Your Knees Outline

Worship the King

Matthew 2:1-12 English Standard Version (ESV)

2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

O Holy Night

O holy night the stars are brightly shining

It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new glorious morn

Fall on your knees

O hear the angels’ voices

O night divine

O night when Christ was born

O night divine o night

O night divine

 

Strong’s Concordance

barak: to kneel, bless

Transliteration: barak

Phonetic Spelling: (baw-rak’)

Definition: to kneel, bless

Showing respect, give something of value to another

 

Psalm 103:1-5 English Standard Version (ESV)

103 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,

3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

Psalm 103:11-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,

so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

13 As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

14 For he knows our frame;

he remembers that we are dust.

 

Psalm 29:2 English Standard Version (ESV)

2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;

worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

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Revelation: Coming Soon Series Outlines

Revelation: Coming Soon Series

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Week 1 – Revelation of Jesus Christ

[Revelation 1]

Revelation – apokalupsis ((p-ok-al’-oop-sis) means “Unveiling,” “Uncovering,” or “Revealing.”

All about revealing the majesty of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is coming soon.

Mentions events that will take place to purify His Church

The focus when reading must be JESUS, not to grasp the end time – remember, yes the end-time battle plan for the Church is revealed, but this is first and foremost the REVELATION OF JESUS

We have hope in Him alone.

Shouldn’t be afraid of Revelation

Love Jesus

Trust Jesus

The words of Revelation are passed along from Father God to Son Jesus Christ to the Angel to John (1:1-2)

Those who read the words of Revelation, listen and obey are BLESSED (1:3)

John has a calling to prophesy about the end times

John sends the letter to seven churches to equip the Church:

Overcome compromise 

Endure persecution

Engage in partnership with Jesus Christ

Partner together with Jesus to govern earth

Revelation 1:5-6 – Love us and made us priests and kings

Loves us (freed us from our sins)

Washes us (cleansing blood of Jesus)

Exalts us (made us a Kingdom of priests for God the Father)

EVERYONE WILL SEE HIM (1:8)

He’s coming on a cloud to earth to be received as King

He will prepare the earth for God to dwell with the people again. 

“Who is to come” (1:8)

Revelation 21:3 – “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” [ESV]

Revelation 1 includes the most descriptions of Jesus 

Son of Man (1:13)

Righteous Prophet

Merciful Priest (1:13)

Sovereign King (1:17)

Faithful Witness (1:5) – speaks truth

Firstborn among the dead (1:5) – 1st resurrected

Ruler of all kings of the earth (1:5) – authority over all

Alpha and Omega – beginning and the end (1:8)

The One Who is, Who Always Was, Who is Still to Come (1:8)

Almighty One (1:8)

The First and the Last (1:17)

The Living One (1:18)

Holder of the keys of death and hades (1:18)

Symbolism in chapter

7 Stars = angels of seven churches

7 Lampstands = seven churches

IT IS A SYMBOL WHEN ITS MEANING IS REVEALED

ONLY TAKE THE WORD AS WHAT IT SAYS. 

IF IT DOESN’T SAY THAT THERE’S A MEANING, TAKE IT LITERAL. 

REMEMBER, WE ARE DIGGING DEEPER TO KNOW HIM MORE!

Philippians 3:8 – What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ

Read Revelation 1:12. What does the title Son of Man mean?

 

Read Revelation 1:12-16. John describes Jesus in this passage. What does John say to describe these parts of Jesus and what does this mean? (How does John describe Jesus & what does it mean to you and your knowledge of Jesus)

Jesus’ eyes

 

 

Jesus’ voice

 

Jesus’ hair

 

Jesus’ garments

 

Jesus’ right hand

 

Jesus’ feet 

 

Jesus’ sword

 

Jesus’ face

 

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Week 2 – The 7 Churches

[Revelation 2-3]

Jesus spoke prophetically to 7 churches, calling them to be overcomers. He identified the issues that will most challenge the end-time church. He gives instructions on how to be prepared for His coming. These letters were written to the churches in John’s generation but we can glean a lot from them individually and as a church.

Each letter provides:

Revelation of Jesus

Affirmation for faithfulness (if faithful)

Correction for compromise (if required)

Promise of reward for overcoming

“The Angel of the Church” is the leader over the church. They guard the message and make sure it is not distorted.

Church in Ephesus [2:1-7] RETURN TO 1ST LOVE

Jesus revealed as the one who walks among the seven lampstands – remember these are the seven churches (2:1)

Affirmed for their diligent work & perseverance in standing for the truth (2:6)

Corrected for lacking love for Jesus & others while ministering – neglected to cultivate their 1st Love (2:4-7)

Overcomer promised fruit from tree of life in the paradise of God (2:7)

Church in Smyrna [2:8-11] – FAITHFULNESS IN SUFFERING

Jesus revealed as First & Last, dead but now alive (2:8)

Affirmed their love & perseverance in persecution (2:9)

No correction

Overcomer promised not to be hurt by the second death (2:11)

Church in Pergamos (Pergamum) [2:12-17] – CHURCH OF COMPROMISE

Jesus revealed as one with sharp two-edged sword (2:12)

Affirmed for faithfulness in not yielding to fear in persecution (2:13)

Corrected their compromise in tolerating immorality & idolatry (2:14)

Overcomer promised to eat hidden manna and receive a white stone (2:17)

Church in Thyatira [2:18-29] – COMMITTED YET TOLERATING IMMORALITY

Jesus revealed as Son of God, eyes like flames of fire, feet like polished bronze (2:18)

Affirmed their love, their faith, their ministry service, their patient endurance (2:19)

Corrected their tolerance of immorality (2:20)

Overcomer promised to have power over the nations and to receive the morning star (2:26, 28) – Jesus is “Morning Star” in Revelation 22:16

Church in Sardis [3:1-6] – REPUTATION WITHOUT SUBSTANCE

Jesus revealed as one who has sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars (3:1)

No Affirmation

Corrected their spiritual passivity – reputation of being alive but actually dead (3:1)

Overcomer promised to receive white garments and to not have name blotted out of the Book of Life and for Jesus to confess name before Father (3:5)

Church in Philadelphia [3:7-13] – FAITHFULNESS WITH ETERNAL REWARDS

Jesus revealed as one who is holy and true, has the key of David, He opens and no one can close—He closes and no one can open (3:7)

Affirmed for their faithfulness to Jesus – obeyed word & didn’t deny (3:8)

No correction

Overcomer promised to be made a pillar in God’s temple, and to have God’s name and Jesus’ new name written on them (3:12)

Church in Laodicea [3:14-22] – SPIRITUAL PRIDE AND LUKEWARMNESS

Jesus revealed as the one who is the Amen – the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation

No affirmation

Corrected for lukewarmness & spiritual pride (3:15-17)

Overcomer promised to sit on His throne with Him (3:21)

1) Read Revelation 2:4-5 What does it mean to abandon your first love? What causes you to abandon your first love for God?

2) Read Revelation 2:9-10 & James 1:12. What is the crown of life? Is it salvation or a reward? How does this encourage us during persecution?

3) Read Revelation 2:14-16. Though Pergamos remained loyal in Satan’s city, the church allows teaching like that of Balaam within its doors. What does this mean? How can this hurt the church?

4) Read Revelation 2:28, Revelation 22:16, and 2 Peter 1:19. What is the morning star we are given? 

5) Read Revelation 3:1-2. Why is there no affirmation for the church of Sardis, and what does this mean?

6) Read Revelation 3:12, 1 Peter 2:5, and Isaiah 22:23. What do these verses say about being pillars in the Temple of God? What does this mean?

7) Read Revelation 3:17-18. What does it mean to buy gold refined by fire from Jesus? Why is this “purchase” important?

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Week 3 – Beauty of God & Exaltation of Jesus

[Revelation 4-5]

Revelation 4 – most detailed description in Scripture of God’s beauty

Revelation 5 – gives insight into God’s plan to exalt Jesus as human King over earth.

God’s vast majestic resources (Revelation 4) are committed to establishing God’s plan for Jesus (Revelation 5).

Revelation 4 – BEAUTY OF GOD

Beauty of God’s PERSON (4:3)

Beauty of God’s PARTNERS (4:4)

24 thrones of 24 elders

Clothed in white, Gold crowns

Lay down their crowns before throne & worship (4:10-11)

Beauty of God’s POWER (4:5a)

Beauty of God’s PRESENCE (4:5b-7)

Revelation 4:8-11 – Government leaders in heaven worship God and declare His transcendent beauty. They glory or boast with delight in God as they honor and thank Him.

There are 14 Hymns in Revelation

4:8; 4:11; 5:9-10; 5:12; 5:13; 7:10; 7:12; 11:17-18; 15:3-4; 16:5-6; 19:1-2; 19:3; 19:5; 19:6-8

Their foundational hymn forever magnifies God’s holiness (4:8)

Holy – Set Apart

God is separated from everything sinful, thus He is pure.

God is separated from everything He created, thus transcendent or infinitely superior to all that exists. God’s holiness points to His transcendent beauty.

Revelation 5 describes the destiny of Jesus on the earth as a Man – fully God, fully Man.

Jesus has fierceness and fearlessness of a Lion (v. 5) and tenderness and humility of a Lamb (v. 6). He will forever be a Jewish man from the Tribe of Judah (v. 5)

Because of His obedience to death, God highly exalted Jesus in heaven and on earth 

Philippians 2:8-10 – And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [NIV]

Daniel prophesied Israel’s Messiah would receive the leadership of the Earth forever (Psalm 2:8, Daniel 7:13-14).

Colossians 1:18 – He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. [NASB]

Scroll is the action plan

Scroll is an Action Plan to judge, cleanse, and prepare the nations for Jesus’ rule over Earth, while bringing the Church to maturity and into unity with redeemed Israel.

Scroll is the Title Deed to the Earth

By taking the scroll, He accepted responsibility to cleanse and rule Earth.

Jesus is the only Man found worthy, deserving, and capable to take scroll from Father.

7 horns = all power; 7 eyes = all wisdom

Because He possesses all power and wisdom, He is qualified to open scroll.

Who is worthy? No one.

John wept bitterly.

He hears – Lion of Tribe of Judah.

He sees – Lamb Slain

Bowls of Incense – prayers of God’s people

Redeemer related to us, willing to do it, able to pay the price.

Jesus alone can open the scroll and read it:

Deserving – Redeemer, Creator, Proven Himself by making choice for Love and Righteousness

Capable – Able to open seals and administrate God’s judgments and rule forever. No one else has wisdom, humility, and power to lead.

Worthy – Worthy of our wholehearted love, our continual praise of His beauty, our confident trust in His leadership, and sacrificial obedience to His will.

Highest government council around throne. (Living angels – angelic, elders – human)

They fell awestruck before the worthy Man and boldly proclaimed their agreement with the Father’s decree to make Jesus supreme leader of whole Earth forever.

Sang new song – prophetic song indicating changing of season in God’s purpose.

Jesus inheritance includes full authority over 7 spheres of life – power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, blessing.

Power – Political

Riches – Financial

Wisdom – Intellectual

Strength – Physical/emotional

Glory – Spiritual

Honor – Relational

Blessing – Social

1) When Jesus finishes the letters to the 7 churches, what is the 1st thing John sees (4:1)?

 

2) As we consider Revelation 4-5, what part of heaven is the focus?

 

3) As we consider Revelation 4-5, what is the main activity occurring in heaven?

 

4) Read Revelation 4:8. What does this hymn state about God?

 

5) Read Revelation 4:11. What does this hymn state about God?

 

6) Read Revelation 5:9-10. What does this hymn state about God?

 

7) Read Revelation 5:7. What does Jesus do here? What does it symbolize? Why is it important?

 

8 Read Revelation 5:4. John weeps bitterly. Did he not know that Jesus was worthy to take the scroll and open it?

 

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Week 4 – Seals of Judgment

[Revelation 6-7]

(Revelation 6 – Chronological)

The Seal of Judgments against the kingdom of darkness

The 7 seals are literal, future, and sequential

1) White Horse (6:1-2) – Antichrist

Makes peace with many nations 

Daniel 9:26-27 – And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.

2) Red Horse (6:3-4) – Bloodshed / world war

3) Black Horse (6:5-6) – Famine / economic crisis

4) Pale Horse (6:7-8) – Death and Hades – Disease / death to ¼ of the world

Hades is prison where unbelievers go before going to the Lake of Fire after Millennium

5) Prayer Movement (6:9-11) – souls of all martyred under the altar

Saints ask God to avenge their blood on those who dwell on the earth

6) Cosmic Disturbances (6:12-17) – earthquake, dark sun, red moon, stars fall, sky rolled up, mountains move

7) NEXT WEEK 

(Revelation 7 – Angelic Explanation)

The 144,000 – Jewish believers

God puts protective seal on His people before He strikes the earth (see Exodus 11:4-12:30)

Vast Crowd Too Great to Count – Gentile believers

John hears 144,000 – sees people from all nations 

Revelation 7:13-14 

Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?

These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.

SOME BELIEVE DURING THE TRIBULATION

Just like Moses participated in prayer regarding God’s judgments on Pharaoh (Exodus 7-12) so the end time church will participate in prayer under Jesus leadership as He releases the great tribulation judgments on the Antichrist (Revelation 6-19).

1) What is accomplished through the Tribulation?

 

2) Read Revelation 6:9-11. 

What is different about the fifth seal compared to the first four seals?

 

Why does it say that they are under the altar?

 

3)  Read Revelation 6:15-17. 

This passage notes that the people hid themselves in caves. They cried out to the mountains asking that they fall on them and hide them from the One who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. Why do the people want to hide? Why do they fear the presence of the Lord?

 

The question is asked – “Who is able to survive?” Or “Who is able to stand?” What is the answer to this question?

 

4) Read Revelation 7:15-17. What are the ten eternal blessings mentioned?

 

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Week 5 – The Trumpet Judgments

[Revelation 8-9]

The 7th Seal includes releasing of the Trumpet Judgments on Antichrist Empire. This is in conjunction with the prayer of all the Saints (8:1-6).

Silence in heaven – ½ hour in anticipation of God’s judgments. (8:1)

Angel will be given heavenly incense to offer with the prayer of the Saints (8:3). This will provide a supernatural strengthening. Like Romans 8:26 notes, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

Trumpet judgments…

Destroy Antichrist’s resources – hinder Antichrist’s empire’s spread of evil and persecution by destroying natural resources

Are supernatural acts of God that warn non-believers of increased judgment by God and rage from Satan. Provides opportunity to be saved.

Encourages the Saints to pray with unity as they see the trumpets unfold.

These trumpets are literal, future, progressive (grow in intensity), and sequential

1) Food Supply (8:7) – 1/3 earth vegetation

2) Food Supply (8:8-9) – 1/3 earth’s seas

3) Water Supply (8:10-11) – 1/3 earth’s fresh water rivers & springs

4) Light / Energy Supply (8:12) – 1/3 of earth darkens

5) Torment (9:1-12) – demonic locusts released to torment for 5 months, people will seek to die (9:6)

6) Death (9:13-21) – 1/3 people on earth killed by demonic horsemen, response to request of people begging to die, this trumpet was commissioned by angel who serves at Golden Altar of Prayer to release 4 angels of death in answer to end-time prayer movement (8:3-5, 9:13)

They still refused to repent & turn to God. (9:20)

They worshipped demons and idols.

4 Demonic Strongholds in Society (9:21)

Murder

Witchcraft / Sorcery

Sexual Immorality

Theft

7) NEXT WEEK

10 Plagues of Egypt (Ex 7-12)

Prophetic types of foreshadowing of end-time plagues of trumpets and bowls of wrath

Remember what the plagues showed Pharaoh

Exodus 14:17-18 – My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops… When My glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see My glory and know that I AM THE LORD!

1) Read Revelation 9:1, 11; Luke 8:31; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6. 

What does it mean in Revelation 9:1 that the fallen star was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit? Who is the fallen star?

 

2) Read Revelation 8:3-5, 9:13-14. 

Where was the angel?

 

What does the angel do at the Altar?

 

What is the result of the angel’s action?

 

3) As we read through Revelation, there are many parallels from Exodus. Consider these first five Trumpet Judgments. How do they parallel to the plagues of Egypt?

 

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Week 6 – Two Witnesses

[Revelation 10-11]

Revelation 10 – God promises to reveal new prophetic understanding (which comes through the 7 Thunders Prophetic Messages and the Two Witnesses)

Revelation 11 – The Two Witnesses will preach with great power and release God’s judgments against the Antichrist during the final 3 ½ years of Tribulation

Revelation 10 – Mighty Angel from heaven

Clothed by a cloud = glory in OT, judgment in NT

Rainbow over angel’s head = faithfulness

Face shown like sun = glory

Feet like pillars of fire = judgment

Revelation 10:2-3 

Small Scroll, Opened – perhaps the scroll Jesus opened

Stood with right foot on sea / left foot on land

Authority, sovereignty – claiming world for Jesus

Gave roar like a lion

Vengeance, lion ready to devour

Revelation 10:4 – Prophetic messengers to carry the 7 Thunders Prophetic Messages.

Thunder warns of impending judgment

Revelation 10:8-11 – Digest Word of God / Declare Word of God

John was commanded to take the open scroll

John requested it and was told to eat it

Bittersweet

Revelation 11:1-2 – Tribulation Temple? – Antichrist will use it. 

“Measure” means to evaluate carefully.

“1260 days” = 3 ½ years timeframe

The Two Witnesses are powerful prophets who will release God’s judgments on the Antichrist (like Moses did on Pharaoh’s empire).

Revelation 11:5-6 – Miraculous Powers of Two Witnesses

Calling fire down – protection

Withhold rain for 3 and ½ years

Turn water into blood

Bring plagues upon the earth

Jerusalem

Holy City – city Lord placed His name & glory (11:1)

Great City – great in importance and prominence in God’s plan (11:8)

Sodom – perversion (11:8)

Egypt – oppression (11:8)

Revelation 11:7-10 – Killed and raised from the dead before all the nations 

Nations will rejoice at their death because they see the Two Witnesses as those who torment them.

After raised from dead, called up to heaven as everyone watched

10th of the city destroyed, 7k people died, remaining people gave glory to God in heaven

Revelation 11:15 – The world has now become the Kingdom of Jesus Christ – Thanksgiving

Some scholars believe this is where Rapture occurs) – see 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

11:17 – God’s power is being proclaimed

11:18 – God’s plan is being accomplished

11:18 – God’s promise is being fulfilled

11:18 – God’s punishment is being declared

1) Read Revelation 10:9-11 and Ezekiel 3:1-3, 14. 

What happened for John & Ezekiel in these passages? 

 

Why is the message described as sweet yet bitter?

 

2) Read Revelation 11:1-2, Matthew 24:15, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, and Revelation 21:22.

What was John measuring?

 

Is this Temple in heaven or on earth?

 

3)  Read Revelation 11:3-6 and Zechariah 4:2-7. The Two Witnesses are known as the two olive trees and the two lampstands. What could this possibly mean?

 

4) Remembering the first three trumpets (Revelation 8:7-11), what is the similarity we see with the power of the Two Witnesses?

 

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Week 7 – War & Victory

[Revelation 12-14]

Revelation 12 – War in heavens between Satan and Michael the archangel

Revelation 13 – War on earth between Antichrist and the saints

Revelation 14 – Jesus intervenes to empower church to victory

Revelation 12 – The Woman and the Dragon

The Woman – Faithful remnant of Israel (v. 6)

The Child – Jesus Christ (v. 5)

The Dragon – Satan (v.9)

WAR BREAKS OUT IN HEAVEN (v. 7-12)

Between Satan and Michael

Dragon (Satan) thrown down the earth (v. 10)

Remember, Satan has access to heaven until this point.

Ephesians 6:12 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

END TIME PERSECUTION OF SATAN AGAINST GOD’S PEOPLE (v. 13-17)

Dragon tossed to earth results in him pursuing the Woman (Israel) even more (v. 13)

Deuteronomy 32:11-12 – Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, the LORD alone guided him, no foreign god was with him.

v. 14 – Israel flees into wilderness to the place where she is nourished and protected from presence of Satan for 3 ½ years.

Revelation 13 – The Beast out of the Sea

1st Beast is the ANTICHRIST (v. 1)

Another Beast is the FALSE PROPHET (v. 11)

Unholy Trinity – Satan, Antichrist, & False Prophet

SATAN WORKS THROUGH ANTICHRIST AND FALSE PROPHET

Satan gives throne to the Antichrist who is a world leader (v. 2)

He has political, military, economic alliance with the ten nations

This gives the Antichrist the largest empire & most powerful army in history

The Antichrist is fully human, but fully demonized. He will claim to be God and will demand the whole earth worship him.

He will have authority but not total domination. Some will resist.

Daniel 12:1 – At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.

False Prophet is leader of future worldwide religious network to worship Antichrist.

1. Demon empowered public speeches will be backed up by miracles that will cause people to be deceived. (v. 12-13)

2. He will establish a worship system related to abomination of desolation. (v. 14-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

3. He will establish a worldwide economic system that forces nations to worship the Antichrist by the mark of the Beast on their hand or forehead to declare loyalty to the Antichrist. If mark is refused, cannot buy or sell. (v. 16-18).

Revelation 14 – Jesus intervenes

Jesus will supernaturally help the Church to come to victory.

1. 144,000 will be a model of victory for others. (v. 1-5)

John saw Jesus standing on Mt. Zion with the singers.

2. Eternal Gospel – 4 Proclamations Spirit will anoint (v. 6-13)

Glory to God (v. 7)

Judgment of the Harlot Babylon (v. 8)

Eternal Judgment (v. 9-11)

Eternal Rewards for faithfulness (v. 13)

3. 2-Fold Harvest – Salvation and Judgment (v. 14-20)

Swing the sickle, for the time of harvest has come; the crop on earth is ripe (v. 15)

1. Souls (v. 14-16)

2. Judgment (v. 17-20)

Grapes loaded into great winepress of God’s wrath (v. 19-20)

All kings on earth gathered in one area. Jesus will kill them in the winepress (Revelation 19:19-21)

Judgment = river of blood runs 180 miles 

Isaiah 63:1-6

1) Read Revelation 12:10-11.

How does this passage describe the devil?

 

How does the devil accuse you?

 

Does God ever accuse you? If so, how do you react?

 

How does this passage say we overcome?

 

2) Read Revelation 13:5-6.

What does it mean to blasphemy against God?

 

How do we blasphemy God?

How should we respond when someone blasphemies God? (Read Mathew 12:22-37 for a hint.)

 

3) Read Revelation 14:1. 

Where is the Lamb standing? Why is this important?

 

What is written on the foreheads of the 144,000? What does this mean?

 

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Week 8 – 7 Bowls of Wrath

[Revelation 15-16]

Revelation 15

7 angels  Last 7 plagues to bring God’s wrath to completion

The End Time believers are victorious over Antichrist and seen standing on sea of glass in heaven, singing about the greatness of the Lord. The Temple opens in heaven and the 7 angels receive 7 bowls.

Singing Song of Moses and Song of the Lamb

Great & marvelous works

Just & true ways

Temple filled with smoke from God’s glory & power. No one could enter Temple until all 7 angels finished pouring the bowls of wrath.

Revelation 16 – 7 Bowls of Wrath

Poured out over a 30-day period as Jesus marches up through Jordan (Edom) to fight the final battle of the Armageddon campaign in Jerusalem and to rescue the unsaved remnant of Israel (Zechariah 12:1-9)

Matthew 24:15-21

Daniel 12:11 – 1,290 days (43 months) – Daniel prophesied that the abomination of desolation would last 1,290 days. The Antichrist activity continues 43 months from beginning of abomination to the time Antichrist killed.

John noted 42 months – 1,260 days. The Antichrist will persecute for 42 months, but will function for 43 months. The last month is a rally time to gather the nations to make war against Jesus. (Revelation 17:14, 19:11,19). Bowls poured out in the 43rd month.

Provision – God will provide supernaturally for Israel 1,260 days.

Prophesy – 2 Witnesses prophesy 1,260 days

Persecution – The Antichrist will persecute saints and oppress Jerusalem 1,260 days.

Sores – painful sores on those who worship the Antichrist (v. 1-2)

Food supply – destroys sea with blood & kills all within (v. 3)

Water supply – poisons earth’s fresh water with blood (v. 4-7)

Torment – sun produces scorching heat (v. 8-9)

Darkness – kingdom of the Antichrist in darkness (v. 10-11)

Euphrates dried up so kings would be gathered by demonic spirits for battle against the Lord (v. 12-16)

Demons will lure nations to gather to fight Jesus (Isaiah 24)

Annihilation – “It is Finished” – thunder, earthquake, hailstones (v. 17-21)

Islands feel (sink in ocean) & mountains fall (v. 20)

100lb hailstones – stoning for idol worship (Deuteronomy 17:2-5, Leviticus 24:16)

After 7 bowls  Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Psalm 24:7-8)

Greater Moses – Releases Judgment on Antichrist

Greater Joshua – Leads liberated ones to the Promised Land

Greater Daniel – Wins back Jerusalem, establishes Throne and Temple

Greater Elijah – Confronts Antichrist, cleanses earth of idolatry

1) Read Exodus 15:1-6 and Revelation 15:3-4. 

What are these songs called?

 

What was the purpose of these songs?

 

2) Read Revelation 15:8. Why did the smoke fill the Temple? Why could no one enter?

 

3) What happens or doesn’t happen in Revelation 16:11? How will this be different one day (see Philippians 2:6-11)?

 

4) Read Revelation 16:17-19. What happens in this passage? Where in the Bible are similarities to these happenings? What does this statement mean?

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Week 9 – Judgment

[Revelation 17-18]

Genesis 11 – Babylon – Tower of Babel. Progression in evil.

Lord scattered language which slowed down the escalation of sin until the end times.

Time before Jesus’ 2nd coming is compared to the days of Noah in Genesis 6 (Evil Continually)

Matthew 24:37 – As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Revelation 17 – Judgment of the Great Prostitute (Harlot) / The Prostitute and Beast

Most symbolic passage in Revelation

Scarlet Beast  Antichrist

Voluntary Harlot Babylon religion will be replaced by a mandatory Antichrist religion. (Revelation 13:4, 15; Revelation 17)

Revelation 17:1, 15 – “Rules over many waters.” The harlot will sit on many nations, or will have authority over the nations by seducing and controlling the world’s most powerful leaders, the kings and the merchants.

Revelation 17:3 – “Sitting on the Scarlet Beast.” The Harlot will sit on or depend on the Antichrist who will carry her or will provide significant resources, validation, and protection for her.

Revelation 17:4 – “Arrayed in purple” – to be arrayed in purple speaks of her royal status or prominence. The Harlot religion will have great prominence and will be embraced by the elite financial leaders of the earth. “Adorned with Gold “– will be the wealthiest religious network in all of history. “Golden Cup” – Harlot will have a golden cup from which she serves the nations. She will provide unprecedented humanitarian service and her service will appear golden- valuable and good. War will disappear. There will be world peace and unity (1 Thessalonians 5:3 When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.).

She will offer a cup full of abomination and filth. Abomination refers to idolatry. Filthiness points to moral perversion / fornication.

Revelation 17:6 – Many saints who resist Harlot will be killed

Revelation 17:10 – They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while.

Revelation 17:16 – They will burn the Harlot at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. 

The Harlot religion is the forerunner to prepare the nations for Antichrist worship.

Revelation 18 – Fall of Babylon

The seduction of Babylon’s evil religion will permeate and infiltrate all structures of society requiring that Babylon be totally destroyed.

Revelation 18:8 – Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

Kings, Merchants, Captains watch her burn from a distance.

The Harlot Babylon system is the context in which the nations will reach fullness in sin 

Daniel 8:23 – “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise.). Then a king – the Antichrist – will appear on the world stage.

The Harlot religion will be hated and destroyed by the jealousy of 10 kings who serve close to the Antichrist 

Daniel 7:7 – After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast–terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

Daniel 7:24 – The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings.

Revelation 18:19 – In a single moment it is all gone.

They will say “Where is another city as great as this?”

Revelation 18:21 – Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a millstone and threw it into the ocean. THE GREAT STONING PUNISHMENT FOR IDOLATRY

1) Read Revelation 17:6-8. What made John stare in complete amazement at the sight of the woman?

 

2) Read Revelation 17:14. This verse discusses those who go to war against the Lamb. 

Who is going with the Lamb (on his side)? 

 

Does this refer to only a select group or the entire group?

 

3) Read 18:21. What does it mean that Babylon will never be found again?

 

4)  Read Revelation 17:6 and Revelation 18:24. Why does this last verse in Revelation 18 again mention the martyrdom? 

 

5) We read that the kings, the merchants, and the captains all stood at a distance to watch the smoke rising from the burning of the remains of the Great Prostitute. What is so ironic about these people watching judgment poured out upon her?

 

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Week 10 – Jesus Makes All Things New

[Revelation 19-22]

Events in this time are the short period of time called “Day of the Lord.”

Revelation 19

Gives more detail about beauty of Jesus as Bridegroom, King, and Judge.

Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem is as King 

Destroying of the armies of the Antichrist. 

Jesus will sit on an earthly throne as King over all kings. He will cast the Antichrist and False Prophet into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20). 

Eyes of fire – Zealous love and perfect knowledge 

Many crowns – Past and future victories

Name no one knows/understood

Revelation 19:14 – Jesus will desire partnership with His people even as He takes over nations.

Revelation 20

Jesus will cast Satan into prison (Revelation 20:1-3) and establish the Millennium 

Millennium – 1,000-year period in which Jesus will rule the whole world from Jerusalem in righteousness and peace. Millennium is from Latin “mille” which means a thousand.

1,000 year period of unprecedented blessing for the whole earth as Jesus establishes righteousness and prosperity. He restores agriculture, atmosphere, and animal life as originally intended in the Garden.

Revelation 20:5 – The First Resurrection – Believers 

We won’t be judged at Great White Throne – we stand before Judgment Seat of Christ. 

2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Revelation 20:11-15 – Great White Throne Judgment – after millennium, all non-believers will be judged.

The earth will be cleansed by fire (2 Peter 3:10-13) but will continue forever. Psalm 37:29 – The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.

Jesus will use the keys of the Kingdom to cast Satan into prison and call forth New Jerusalem to descend to the earth (Revelation 21:2, 10). Satan’s agenda is to stay out of prison.

Gog & Magog – Prophetic titles like Pharaoh and Caesar 

Satan must be released at end of Millennium to show the depth of human sin and Satan’s being incurably evil – not rehabilitated or changed. Conclusion: men love sin.

Revelation 21 – NEW HEAVEN & NEW EARTH

Jesus will establish throne in Jerusalem, give thrones to the saints, and drive Satan’s throne off the earth (Revelation 20:3). This will prepare the nations for the Father’s throne to come to earth (Revelation 21:3).

Revelation 21:10 – The New Jerusalem descends during the millennium revealing heaven coming down to earth. New Jerusalem is where saints will live. New Jerusalem will descend with Father’s throne (Revelation 21:1-8).

Revelation 22

Leaves healing of nations (22:2)

No curse (22:3)

Saints will be administering His government with authority (22: 3,5)

Isaiah 62 – Isaiah 66 (recommended reading)

1) Read Revelation 19:10. 

Why do you think John attempted to worship the angel?

 

How does the angel respond?

 

What does this phrase mean: “For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus”?

2) Read Revelation 19:9, 17; and Luke 14:16-24.

What is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb? 

 

What is the Great Supper of God? 

 

Who is invited to these meals?

 

3) Read Revelation 19:19-21. 

What happens to the Beast and the False Prophet? 

 

Who did God originally prepare this place for? (See Matthew 25:41)

 

4) Read Revelation 20:5-6. There are two resurrections. What are the differences between the first and second resurrections? (See John 5:28-29)

 

5) Read Revelation 1:3, 22:7. How is the beginning and ending of Revelation similar? What is the motivation and warning of these passages?

Not So Minor Prophets Series Outlines

Not So Minor Prophets Series

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Week 1 – Mercy

[Jonah]

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To SEEK JUSTICE and to LOVE MERCY and to WALK HUMBLY with your God.” – Micah 6:8 

Mercy – “che·sed” – Lovingkindness, goodness, unchanging love, kindness, devotion

Jonah (yo-naw’) means “dove” or “pigeon” – “messenger”

Message to Nineveh: Judgment against Nineveh because of the wickedness of the people (1:2), “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed” (3:4).

Jonah runs from God (1)

Jonah went in wrong direction (1:3)

God mercifully arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah (1:17)

Jonah prays (2)

He notes that “those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies” (v. 8)

BUT, Jonah will praise God and fulfill his vows because God alone saves (v. 9)

Jonah delivers God’s message (3)

The people repent

God shows mercy

Jonah is angry at the LORD’s mercy (4)

Jonah says, “I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love” (v. 2).

Jonah begs for death if Nineveh doesn’t face judgment and waits to see what will happen (v. 3-5)

Plant shades Jonah but worm destroys it (v. 6-7)

Is it right for you to be angry?

You feel sorry about the plant… Nineveh had more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness… SHOULDN’T YOU FEEL SORRY? (v. 9-11)

1) Read Jonah 1:9-16. 

When Jonah admits that the storm is his fault for running from the LORD, and he requests that the sailors toss him into the sea, what is their initial response? 

 

In verse 14, the sailors cry out to the LORD, pleading for His mercy. What pops out to you in this verse?

 

When the storm stops at once, how do the sailors react? Have you seen this before?

 

2) Read Jonah 2:8-9.

What does Jonah believe about those who worship false gods?

 

What does this belief of Jonah do to God’s mercy?

 

3) Read Jonah 3:9-11. How does anger relate to mercy? How can we be a people who “feel sorry” (have empathy) for people, so that we show compassion and mercy?

 

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Week 2 – Brother’s Keeper

[Obadiah]

Obadiah means “servant of Yahweh” or “worshipper of Yahweh”

Jewish Tradition (Talmud) say the time period is before the exile, but some say after exile.

There’s more than one Obadiah in the Bible. We aren’t sure which one is this Obadiah.

Obadiah is the shortest book of the OT; Obadiah is not quoted in NT.

Jeremiah 49:7-22 similarities

Jacob and Esau:

Judah – descended from Jacob

Edom – descended from Esau

The Edomites wouldn’t let the Israelites pass through their land when they came out of Egypt (Numbers 20)

The Edomites joined with the Moabites and Ammonites to attack Judah (2 Chronicles 20)

When Israel is in urgent need and the enemy is at the gates of Jerusalem, the Edomites help THE ENEMY (v. 11, 14). God sends Obadiah to predict the extinction of the Edomites (v. 18) because they are not willing to serve as their Brother’s Keeper. God promises His people that He will destroy their enemies and they will live in peace (v. 19-21).

Obadiah preceded Joel and influence seen:

v. 10 = Joel 3:19

v. 11 = Joel 3:3

v. 15 = Joel 1:15; 2:1; 3:4, 7, 14

v. 18 = Joel 3:8

The troubles between Jacob and Esau continued in the New Testament. Edom was forced to leave their mountain territory. When they moved, they became known as Idumeans. Herod the Great, who was an Idumean, was the king who attempted to murder Jesus (from the line of Judah) by ordering all babies under age 2 to be killed.

1) Read Genesis 27:39-40. Isaac spoke this to Esau. How do we see this develop in the life of Edom from reading Obadiah?

 

2) Read Obadiah 10-14. What are some of the things that Edom did that was not certainly not being a “Brother’s Keeper”? How are we supposed to “keep” our brothers? *

V. 11 –   

V. 12 –   

V. 13 –  

V. 14 – 

3) Read Obadiah 15-17, 20-21. These passages reference the Day of the Lord. Look closely at both Edom and Israel in these passages. 

What does the Day of the Lord encompass for Edom? 

 

What does the Day of the Lord encompass for Israel?

 

4) Read Numbers 20:14-21 & Luke 6:28-32. This is when Edom refuses to let Israel pass. What is Israel asking Edom to do? What would Edom lose if they obliged and allowed Israel to pass through their land? How does Edom’s actions go against what Jesus teaches?

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Week 3 – Repent & Receive

[Joel]

Joel means “Yahweh is God.”

Message delivered to Judah about impending judgment – the Day of the LORD, a call to repentance, and the final restoration of God’s people.

JUDGMENT & MOURNING

Joel 1:15 – “The day of the LORD is near, the day when destruction comes from the Almighty. How terrible that day will be.”

REPENT

Joel 2:12 – “Turn to Me now, while there is time. Give Me your hearts. Come fasting, weeping, and mourning.”

Joel 2:13 – “Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead. Return to the LORD your God, for He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”

RECEIVE

Joel 2:28-32 – “I will pour out My Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out My Spirit even on servants – men and women alike. And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on earth… everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

JUDGMENT & BLESSING

Joel 3:13 – “Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread the grapes, for the winepress is full.” (Revelation 14:15-20)

Joel 3:21 – “I will pardon My people’s crimes… and I, the LORD, will make My home in Jerusalem with My people.” (Revelation 21:3)

1) Read Joel 1:4. What is the difference between the various types of locusts mentioned? What does this mean?

2) Read Joel 1:5-13. What types of people are listed? What is the response from each people group?

3) Read Joel 2:12-13. What does the LORD request? What does this mean?

4) Read Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:16-21, and Galatians 3:13-14. 

What are the similarities and/or differences between these two passages? 

Why do you think Peter quoted this passage?

Did the events in the book of Acts fulfill the prophecy of Joel completely or partially?

5) Read Joel 3:12-13 and Revelation 14:14-20. What are the similarities? What can you glean from the judgment of God?

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Week 4 – Idolatry

[Hosea]

Hosea means “salvation.” The message was for the Israelites.

Hosea 1-3: Marriage to Gomer

Hosea 1:2 – Go and marry a woman of promiscuity

Gomer’s children:

Jezreel – God scatters (1:4)

Lo-ruhamah – No compassion (1:6)

Lo-ammi – You are not My people (1:9)

Hosea 4-11 – Warnings of Judgment 

There is no knowledge of God 

Don’t know-know God (4:1-11)

Idolatry of Baal (4:12-19)

Hosea 6:6 – “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” [ESV]

They trust in alliances with other nations

Hosea 11 – Love of God for Israel 

God is loving Father, Israel is rebellious son

Hosea 11:8 – How can I give you up? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.

Hosea 12-13 – Review of history of the Israelites

Jacob and the Israelites

Choosing King Saul

Hosea 14 – Hope for the Future

God’s Promise – Hosea 14:4 – “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.” [NIV]

Hosea 14:9 – “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.” [NASB]

1) How does Hosea remind us of God? How does Hosea’s relationship with Gomer remind us of God’s relationship with His people (including us)?

 

2) Read Hosea 3:1-5. 

How did God tell Hosea to love his wife? 

 

Describe this love. What kind of love is this?

 

3) Read Hosea 6:1-2. 

When does Hosea believe God will heal and restore Israel? 

 

Does this remind you of something?

 

In these verses, what is the only necessary thing for us to do? Is this easy or difficult?

 

4) How does the story of Hosea and his promiscuous wife affect the way you view God, and the sacrificial price Jesus paid to purchase your redemption? (self-reflection)

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Week 5 – Complacency

[Amos]

Times are good in Israel – prosperity, peace, strength, security

Amos brings plumb line to measure Israel against God’s perfect standard… The result… complacency!

Judgment on Israel because of Complacency – Amos 2:6-16

Self-satisfaction

Unawareness of deficiencies

Immorality

Injustice – oppression of the poor

Stagnant religion – No action religion

Religion without Repentance – 4:6-13

Religion without Reformation (no change) – 5:11-12

Stench and Noise of Complacency – Amos 5:21-23

I hate, I despise, your feasts!

I can’t stand the stench of your solemn assemblies

Take away from Me the noise of your songs!

I will not listen to the music of your harps.

How to Respond Complacency

Amos 6:1 – Woe to those who are at ease… those who feel secure

Get out the PLUMB LINE in your own life – Amos 7:7-9

Live intentional, take off your blinders & actively choose love

Amos 5:15 – Hate evil, love good

Amos 5:24 – Let justice flow

1) Read Amos 5:6-15. 

How does this passage describe the godly way of living?

 

How does this passage describe how the Israelites were living? 

 

2) Read Amos 8:11-12. 

What kind of famine is referenced in this passage?

 

What do you think this means?

 

The LORD desires for us to know Him, to know His commands, to read His Word, to live as He designed. Why then would He allow a famine of the hearing of His words through the prophets?

 

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Week 6 – Justice

[Micah]

Micah is a writing prophet, name means “Who is Like Yahweh”

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To SEEK JUSTICE and to LOVE MERCY and to WALK HUMBLY with your God.” – Micah 6:8 

What is Justice?

Just behavior or treatment, fairness

We typically think of justice as “bring to justice” – a person receives punishment for one’s misdeeds. 

What about doing justice? To act or treat fairly? Justice is not simply about punishment being handed out. Justice is also about fairness in our treatment of ALL people.

Oppressors, Unjust Leaders, & False Prophets Judged

Plotting evil (2:1)

Fraud, coveting, violence (2:2)

Stealing, dishonesty (2:8)

Driving widows from homes (2:9)

Hating good, loving evil (3:1-2)

Despising justice, distorting what is right (3:9)

Murder and corruption (3:10)

Taking bribes (3:11)

1) Many people during this time were enjoying great prosperity. With great prosperity also came an increase in social injustice and moral decay. 

Is there a relationship with prosperity and injustice? If yes, why? 

 

Is there a relationship with prosperity and moral decay? If yes, why?

 

2) Read Micah 2:6-11. The people reject Micah’s message. What do the people want to hear?

 

3) Read Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:5-6, Luke 2:4-7, Micah 7:18-20. What does it say about God that He would give such a message of promise to people who were so unjust with others?

 

4) Read Micah 6:8. How is justice, mercy, and humility linked together?

 

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Week 7 – The Goodness of God

[Nahum]

Sequel to Jonah – Message to Ninevites & Judah. Nahum is a book of judgment of the Assyrians, a message of comfort to Judah. Nahum means “comfort.”

The Assyrian army is at height of its power, seeking new territory. They were guilty of attacking Israel. God had used them to punish Israel; however, God would punish them for disobedience and their hatred for the people of God. Prophesy fulfilled when God allowed the Assyrians to be conquered by Babylonians in 612 B.C.

Nahum 1:2-3

The Lord is jealous (1 Peter 2:9 – You are precious to Him, His special possession)

The Lord is slow to anger

The Lord is great in power

Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good,

“Towb” – pleasant, agreeable, good, beautiful

A Stronghold in a day of distress;

“Mauz” – a place or means of safety, protection

He cares for those who take refuge in Him. (He knows those who trust Him)

“Yada” – He knows

“Chasah” – To seek refuge

Circumstances may say otherwise, but THE LORD IS GOOD!

“God is eternally & unchangeably good. He cannot be better; He cannot be worse – He is absolutely perfect. There can be no improvement, & there can be no depreciation in Him.”   

– Spurgeon

ONLY GOD is Good

Matthew 19:17 – There is only One who is good

God is good to EVERYONE

Psalm 145:9 – The Lord is good to everyone, His compassion rests on all He has made

God’s plan is ALWAYS GOOD

Genesis 50:20 – God planned it for good (Joseph to his brothers)

You have the choice to experience the goodness!

Psalm 34:8 – Taste and see the Lord is good

1) How does God’s righteous anger differ from our sinful anger?

 

2) Read Nahum 1:3-6. 

How is God described in verses 1 & 2?

 

How do these three items relate?

 

What is the response to the LORD in this passage? What does this mean to you?

 

3) Read Nahum 1:7. God knows those who trust in Him. What does that mean to you?

 

4) Read Nahum 2:13 & Romans 8:31. In Romans 8:31, we read, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Does this then mean that if God is against them, who could be for them?

5) Read Nahum 3:7. This verse asks who will mourn for Nineveh when it is devastated. Who do you think will mourn for Nineveh?

 

6) Read Nahum 3:19. How is the message of Nahum different from the message of Jonah? 

 

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Week 8 – Our God Sings

[Zephaniah 3:17]

Jerusalem will be told… this is the future of God’s people…

Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you.

Happy to have you back, He’ll calm you with His love and delight you with His songs. [MSG]

For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. [NLT]

The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. [NASB]

THE LORD – the One and only God

YOUR GOD – He’s personal. He’s your God

GOD IS PRESENT – He is alive and active.

GOD SAVES – He is mighty to save, He alone can save [HEBREWS 7:25]

GOD REJOICES – He rejoices over you with gladness, happy to have you back [LUKE 15:10]

GOD RENEWS – In His love, He makes no mention of past sin [PSALM 103:12]

GOD DELIGHTS – He delights in you with singing, He delights in you and who He made you to be in Christ Jesus.

1) Read these passages and paraphrase:

Zephaniah 3:17

Psalm 147:11

1 Peter 1:6-7

Romans 2:29

1 Corinthians 4:5

2) Looking at the passages above, we can see each one references God’s delight in His people.  In these passages, what is connected to His delight?

 

3) We have just discussed that God’s delight in His people is connected to our delight in Him.

Why should we be glad if He delights in us?

 

Why is it dangerous for us to be so focused in His delight in us?

 

4) How can we continually delight in the Lord?

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Week 9 – Discerning God’s Will

[Habakkuk]

Habakkuk’s First Prayer (1:1-4)

Habakkuk complains of injustice in Judah (v. 2-3)

God’s First Answer (1:5-11)

God responds that he was sending Babylonians to punish Judah (v. 6)

Habakkuk’s Second Prayer (1:12-17)

Habakkuk complained about God’s answer (v. 13)

Unfair to use wicked Babylonians to punish less wicked Judeans

Habakkuk Waits for God’s Response (2:1)

God’s Second Answer (2:2-5)

God will do as He determined.

The Five Woe Oracles (2:6-20)

Habakkuk’s Third Prayer (3:1-15) (2, 13)

Habakkuk’s Confidence in God Expressed (3:16-19) (17-19)

Discerning God’s Will (Habakkuk 2:1)

Saved – 1 Timothy 2:3-4, 2 Peter 3:9

Spirit-filled – Ephesians 5:17-18

Sanctified – 1 Thessalonians 4:3

Submissive – 1 Peter 2:13-15

Suffering –1 Peter 4:19, Philippians 1:29

Do whatever you want – Psalm 37:4

1) Read Habakkuk 1:2-3. What are the two questions Habakkuk asked?

 

2) Read Habakkuk 1:5. What are the actions you read in this verse that God commanded Habakkuk to take? What does this say to you?

 

3) Read Habakkuk 1:12-13. How is the second prayer different from the first prayer?

4) Read Habakkuk 2:1. How would you translate this (write the verse in your own words)?

5) Habakkuk said he would stand at his guard post or on the watchtower. This watchtower was positioned above ground level. Why do you think Habakkuk positioned himself there?

 

6).  In Habakkuk 2:1, it is revealed what message was expected to be received from God. What was Habakkuk expecting? How was he prepared to respond to the message?

 

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Week 10 – Honoring God

[Haggai]

Darius took control & approved rebuilding of the Temple

God directed Haggai to encourage leaders in Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple

Haggai told people to get priorities in order and place God first

Matthew 6:33 – But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. [NASB]

Glorify God (1:1-15)

“Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the LORD. (1:8 NASB)

Stay Committed to God’s Plans (2:1-9)

Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD. Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts (v. 4b ESV)

Please God by Living Holy Lives (2:10-19)

THINK CAREFULLY (v. 15, 18a, 18b)

Serve God Faithfully (2:20-23)

Zerubbabel promised to be made like God’s signet ring, because God chose Him.

1. Haggai encourages the leaders to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Today, we know that this temple is not the same. Read 1 Corinthians 3:16, Ephesians 2:21, 1 Peter 2:5.

Where is the temple today?

 

How do we ensure today’s temple is a priority?

 

2. One common phrase in Haggai is “think carefully” or “consider.” 

What should we be thinking about carefully?

 

Why should we be thinking about these things carefully?

 

3. If we are aiming to honor God, is it still okay for us to enjoy nice things in life? If so, when is it not okay?

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Week 11 – Praying the Promises of God

[Zechariah 10]

Zechariah means “The Lord Remembers.” Like Isaiah, this book is filled with a lot of prophesy pointing to Jesus. Zechariah is before the 400 years of silence (intertestamental period). Zechariah speaks of the Messiah, the end-time events.

Zechariah contains eight visions (chapters 1-6). God gave Zechariah the visions, Zechariah describes each one and an angel is asked what is meant by the vision. These visions include: the vision of the horses, the vision of the four horns and four craftsmen, the vision of the measuring line, the vision of the high priest, the vision of the lampstand and olive trees, vision of the flying scroll, vision of the woman in a basket, and the vision of the four chariots.

The Crown and the Branch [Zechariah 6:11-15]

The Coming King [Zechariah 9:9-10]

The Promised One [Zechariah 10:4]

Christ is the CORNERSTONE of His people – see Isaiah 28:16

Christ is the TENT PEG of His people – The tent peg was where valuables were hung, everything of value that we have is in Christ.

Christ is the BATTLE BOW – Victory is His and through Him – see Revelation 19:11-16

Christ is the RULER of His people

He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19), He is faithful (Hebrews 10:23), He is able (Romans 4:21)

Praying the Promises of God

We obey God’s command when we pray – we are supposed to seek Him in pray

 Zechariah 10:1 Ask for rain at time of Spring Rain

We acknowledge our dependence on God when we pray

We need Him – we can’t do anything on our own 

We acknowledge God is in control when we pray

We is in control of all things, He is in, through, and above all things

We actively participate in the process when we pray

Read Scripture and Paraphrase:

John 8:32, 36

Romans 6:22

Consider the chain link as the chain that once held you down. 

How do you live out this promise from God in your life?

ACTION: Write on the Art Piece – “I am free.”

Read Scripture and Paraphrase:

1 John 1:9

Isaiah 43:25

How do you live out this promise from God in your life?

ACTION: Write a past or current sin in the sand. Wipe it away. Remember, you are forgiven in Christ Jesus.

Take time to thank God for His forgiveness. Pray that you can extend grace to yourself and move forward from this past sin. Ask that the Lord strengthen you to fight temptation and stand firm in your faith.

Read Scripture and Paraphrase:

James 4:8

Matthew 28:20

John 14:26

John 16:7

Consider the last time you felt alone. Why did you feel alone? 

How do you live out this promise from God in your life?

Fire represents God often in the Bible. Fire gives us a beautiful image of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. God’s presence is seen as fire in the Bible (ex: Burning Bush). The Holy Spirit is God’s presence within us. God’s purifying work in our lives is also seen as a fire in the Bible, and the Spirit of God works to purify, to sanctify us in His Truth through the Word and the Spirit.  

ACTION: Light a tea-light candle to remind yourself of God’s presence in your life, and to declare that you will try to be more aware of His presence. 

Read Scripture and Paraphrase:

John 3:16

1 Peter 1:3-5

1 John 5:11-13

Revelation 21:2-3

Consider these great promises of Eternal Life and a New Heaven and New Earth. Thank God!

List 3 reasons why this promise is amazing?

Who are you excited to see again soon?

How do you live out this promise from God in your life?

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Week 12 – Revival

[Malachi]

Malachi means “My Messenger.”

In Need of Reviving Relationship with God

Defiled/Defective Animal Sacrifices (1:6:14)

“I wish one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would no longer kindle a useless fire on my altar” (v. 10).

Corrupt Priests (2:1-9)

“You… have turned from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction” (v. 8)

“I will spread animal waste over your faces” (v. 3).

Mixed Marriages (2:10-12)

“Acted treacherously”… “A detestable act”… “married the daughter of a foreign god”

Divorces (2:13-16)

Lack of Tithe (3:8-10)

Robbing God (v. 8-9)

Bring the FULL TENTH to the storehouse (v. 10) – TEST ME!

Psalm 85:6 – Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? [ESV]

2 Chronicles 7:14 – If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. [ESV]

REVIVAL BEGINS WITH PRAYER

PRAY FOR CHANGE

CHANGE STARTS WITH YOU!

Romans 12:1-2 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. [NIV]

Revive means making alive, keeping alive, and giving more life. 

1) Read Psalm 119:25. 

What does it mean to revive “according to Your Word”?

How can we live this out?

2) Read Psalm 119:37.

What does it mean to revive “in Your ways”?

How can we live this out?

3) Read Psalm 119:40. 

What does it mean to revive “through Your righteousness”?

How can we live this out?

4) Read Psalm 119:88.

What does it mean to revive “with Your faithful love”?

How can we live this out?

People of God Series Outlines

People of God: Week 1 – Moses

[Exodus 1-4]

Exodus 1 – The Plan of the New King

The Israelites are still in Egypt

Joseph & all his brothers died (1:6)

The Israelites multiplied – powerful & filled the land (1:7)

New king in power – he did not know anything about Joseph (1:8)

New king decides planned to keep Israelites from growing even stronger (1:9-22)

Make Israelites their slaves & overwork them

When Israelite women give birth, kill the boys 

Exodus 2 – The Plan of Moses’ Parents

Levite woman became pregnant (2:1)

She gave birth to a baby boy & hid him 3 months (2:2)

Sent him sailing in basket on Nile River (2:3)

Adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter (2:10)

Exodus 3 & 4 – The Plan of God

1 – Attention toward God to hear

Moses sees a burning bush not consumed (3:3)

God will get our attention in any way He desires

2 – Responding to God (“I’m listening” or “I’m your humble servant”)

Moses says, “Here I am” (3:4)

3 – Recognition and reverence of the Lord’s presence and His plan

Remove your sandals (3:5)

I am God (3:6)

4 – Accept His glorious plan

God told Moses “You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” (3:10)

EXCUSES GET IN THE WAY OF FULLY EMBRACING THE PLAN

Who am I? (3:11) 

Doesn’t matter. I’m with you. I qualify you.

Who are You? (3:13) – what if the people ask for your name?

I AM WHO I AM (3:14)

What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? (4:1)

Perform these signs

Hand of a leper (4:6-7)

Nile River turned to blood (4:8-9)

But I’m not good with words (4:10)

Who makes the mouth? (4:11)

Lord, please! Send anyone else (4:13)

What about your brother Aaron? He will be your mouthpiece (4:14-16)

OBSTACLES BEFORE EVEN STEPPING FORWARD

God tells Moses Pharaoh’s heart will be hardened and he will refuse to listen. 

What is the difference between a calling and being called by God? Are we all called by God?

 

How can we better fix our attention toward God to hear?

 

 What is involved when responding to God? How should we respond?

 

PERSONAL REFLECTION: 

What is keeping you from His glorious plan? 

What excuses are you giving?

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People of God: Week 2 – Pharaoh

[Exodus 5-15]

Stepping Up and Standing Firm for God

Exodus 5 – Moses goes to Pharaoh – “Let my people go”

Who is the Lord? (v. 2)

Why should I listen to Him? (v. 2)

Why are you distracting people from tasks? (v. 4)

God’s work is NOT a distraction, but the world sees it otherwise.

They are just lazy (v. 8)

Load them down with more work – That will teach them to listen to lies (v. 9)

Moses returns to the LORD and protests:

Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people? (v. 22)

Why did you send me? (v. 23)

You have done nothing. (v. 23)

Exodus 6 – I heard the groans THEREFORE

I will free you

I will rescue you

I will redeem you

I will claim you

More excuses – Exodus 6:12, 30 – “my own people won’t listen to me anymore,” “I’m such a clumsy speaker”

Serpent (Staff) – Aaron’s staff swallowed up the staffs of Egyptian magicians

Plagues

Blood – magicians could do it too / Pharaoh refused to listen

Frogs – magicians could do it too / Pharaoh begs for the frogs to be removed. He will bet people go so they can offer sacrifices

Gnats  – magicians fail & say “this is the finger of God” / Pharaoh refused to listen

Flies – Pharaoh says go and offer sacrifices “HERE IN THIS LAND” / Moses says they must take 3-day trip / Pharaoh says okay but “don’t go too far away”

Livestock – Pharaoh refused to listen

Boils – Even the magicians were unable to stand before Moses / Pharaoh refused to listen

Hail – Some of Pharaoh’s officials were afraid / Never in all history of Egypt had there been storm like that / Pharaoh says, “This time I have sinned. The LORD is the righteous one, and my people and I are wrong. Please beg the LORD to end this … We’ve had enough. I will let you go”

Locust – Pharaoh says, “Go and worship the LORD… but who exactly will be going with you.” / Moses says, “We will ALL go… we MUST all join together in celebrating a festival to the LORD.” / Pharaoh threw them out.

Darkness – People could not see each other so no one moved / Pharaoh says, “Go and worship… but leave your flocks & herds here. You may even take your little ones with you.” / Moses says, “No, you must provide us with animals for sacrifices & burnt offerings.” / Pharaoh says, “Get out of here. I’m warning you. Never come back to see me again! The day you see my face, you will die.” / Moses response: “Very well. I will never see your face again.” – PHARAOH SHUT THE DOOR

 Firstborn – Loud wail for Egyptians, “so peaceful” for Israelites -1st Passover 

Mark of blood – protection from death

All plagues to this point are not sufficient to free God’s people until death of firstborn sons. All sacrificial systems Israel instituted are not sufficient, until the death of God’s only Son.

Exodus 12:35-36 – Egyptians gave Israelites things just as God said

Red Sea (Exodus 14:13):

Don’t be afraid

Stand still

Watch

“They were filled with awe before Him. They put their faith in the LORD and in His servant Moses” (Exodus 14:31)

Read Exodus 5:1-5. Pharaoh asks questions everyone asks at times (usually before knowing Jesus). 

What are the three questions? Answer the three questions.

Read Exodus 14:13. Moses tells the people three things.

What are the three things? How can we do these three things?

PERSONAL REFLECTION: 

Are you stepping up?

Are you standing firm?

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People of God: Week 3 – Complaints

[Exodus 15-17]

We all face things that can make us BITTER or BETTER.

Look for the treasure in every trial. WE ARE BLESSED!

[Philippians 2:14-15] “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” 

Marah (15)

Left Red Sea – desert of Shur – found no water for 3 days – when found water, it was bitter

v. 24 “Then the people COMPLAINED and turned against Moses. ‘What are we going to drink?’ they demanded.” 

Manna & Quail (16)

Went to wilderness of Sin – a month after Egypt departure

v. 2 “The whole community of Israel COMPLAINED about Moses and Aaron.” Actual COMPLAINTS against God, not Moses and Aaron (see v. 7)

v. 3 “IF ONLY the LORD had killed us back in Egypt.”

TESTED – whether or not follow God’s instructions 

GOT TO SEE GOD’S GLORY (see v. 10-11)

Evening – meat / Morning – bread {Ate manna for 40 years}

“IT’S THE FOOD THE LORD HAS GIVEN YOU TO EAT.” (v. 15)

Everyone had JUST ENOUGH (v. 18)

Don’t keep leftovers – TRUST

SABBATH – God’s gift to you (v. 29) – told to rest, went out anyway 

Massah & Meribah (17)

Left wilderness of Sin – camped at Rephidim

No water to drink.

v. 2 “So once more the people complained against Moses.”

Moses said: “Quiet! Why are you COMPLAINING against me? And why are you testing the LORD?”

Tormented by thirst, they continued to argue with Moses – “why did you bring us out of Egypt?” (v. 3)

Strike the rock. Water will gush out. People will drink. 

Massah “test” – people tested the Lord / Meribah “arguing” – Israel argued with Moses

Complaining and Lamenting are different. 

Crying out to God (Lament) – Psalm 142:1-2 – looks to hope in God

He wants us to pour out what is on our heart.

Complaining has no hope.

COMPLAINTS DECLARE THAT GOD IS NOT good, faithful, loving, wise, or powerful.

Complaints ignore God’s potential – focused on negative

Gossip, slander, false witness, jump to wrong conclusion

Every time you feel like complaining—thank God instead

[Colossians 4:2] Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Read Exodus 16:1-3. 

The whole community of Israel complained. What was the “if only”?

 

What are we doing when we have our own “if only” moments?

 

How can we keep ourselves from having “if only” moments?

 

Read Exodus 16:4-5. God says He will test to people and see if they follow instructions. Why was the test necessary?

 

Read Exodus 16:17-18. How much did they have?

 

Read Exodus 16:26-30. 

What did they find on the 7th day? Why?

 

What does it mean that the Sabbath is the Lord’s gift?

 

PERSONAL REFLECTION:

Have you been lamenting or complaining?

How can you live with an attitude of gratitude?

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People fo God: Week 4 – Jethro

[Exodus 18]

[Psalm 90:12] “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” [NIV]

v. 13 – Moses sat before the people and heard disputes from MORNING TILL EVENING – ALL DAY!!!

v. 14 – Jethro asks – WHAT ARE YOU REALLY ACCOMPLISHING HERE?

WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO DO ALL THIS ALONE?

V. 15-16 – Moses responds – Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God

I am the one who settles the cases

I inform the people of God’s decrees & give His instructions

v. 17 – Jethro says – THIS IS NOT GOOD

You’re going to wear yourself out

You’re going to wear the people out

The job is too heavy a burden

Continue to be the people’s representative before God

Teach them God’s decrees

Give them instructions

Show them how to conduct their lives

DELEGATION

Select from all the people others to assist

Capable, honest, fear God, hate bribes

Appoint them as leaders of groups: 1000, 100, 50, 10

Only bring major issues to you

They will help carry the load, making it easier for you

All the people will go home in peace

Read Exodus 18:14. 

What are the two main questions Jethro asked Moses? 

Try to answer these two questions from your own personal experience.

What is the danger of doing this?

When Jethro told Moses how to delegate, he gave a description of the people to be chosen. What qualities were mentioned? Why are these qualities so important?

  

PERSONAL REFLECTION: Where do you need to delegate more? What do you need to let go? How can you equip & empower others?

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People of God: Week 5 – Sinai

[Exodus 19-40]

Faithful obedience for harmony & order

Ten Commandments – God’s absolutes for how to live

[Ecclesiastes 12:13] Fear God (because He is greater), Keep commands  Whole duty of man

Exodus 19:1-8 {Lord reveals Himself at Sinai}

Exodus 20 / Exodus 34 {10 Commandments}

First 4 – Teach how to LOVE GOD, Last 6 – Teach how to LOVE OTHERS

No Other God v. 3 [Romans 1:25]

No Idols v. 4-5

No Name in Vain v. 7 (“God bless you” or “Praise the Lord” but don’t mean it) [Luke 6:46] “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?

Observe Sabbath v. 8

Honor Parents v. 12

No Murder v. 13

No Adultery v. 14

No Stealing v. 15

No Lying v. 16 (Lying – Slander & Gossip, Flattery, Exaggeration, Silence)

No Coveting v. 17

Ten Commandments catch everyone in sin  Only hope of salvation is JESUS

[Romans 5:20-22] God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

[Romans 3:19] Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.

[Galatians 3:24] Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith.

Jesus quotes Exodus 20:12-17

Matthew 5:27 (Sermon of Mount) – Adultery “just looking”

Mark 7:10 – Honor your parents

Luke 18:20 (Rich Man) – Adultery, Murder, Steal, Lying, Parents

[Matthew 5:17-18] Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.

[Mark 12:30-31] Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these

Exodus 32-33 {Gold Calf}

[Hebrews 9:22] In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.

Exodus 33:16 Your presence among us

Exodus 33:18 Show me your glory

Exodus 34:6-7 God of compassion and mercy, slow to anger, filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin

Augustine said, “Love God and do as you please”

Read Exodus 20:1-17. Read Mark 12:30-31.

The first four commandments teach us how to love God. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Explain how each of these four commandments teach us how to love God

How can we live this out? (How can we be intentional about following commands?)

The last six commandments teach us how to love others. Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Explain how each of these six commandments teach us how to love others.

 

How can we live this out? (How can we be intentional about following commands?)

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People of God: Week 6 – Scouts

[Numbers 13-14]

The LORD commands that one leader from each Israelite tribe explore the land of Canaan (13:1-2) … THE LAND I AM GIVING TO THE ISRAELITES

Moses gives instructions for intel mission (13:18) 

See what the land is like—good or bad, walled or unprotected, soil quality, trees, crop samples

Find out if the people there are strong or week, few or many

Explored the land for 40 days (number of testing)

Single cluster of grapes so large it took two people to carry (13:23)

Land flowing with milk & honey (13:27)

BUT… (13:28)

People living there are powerful… even giants there 

Towns are large & fortified

Courageous Caleb – tries to quiet the people (13:30)

Let’s go at once to take the land

We can certainly conquer it

The People Rebel

If only we had died in Egypt… If only we had died in the Wilderness (14:2)

Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt (14:3)

The Faithful Few: Joshua & Caleb

Tore their clothing (14:6)

Wonderful land (14:7)

Lord will bring us safely into the land & give it to us (14:8)

Do not rebel & don’t be afraid of the people (14:9)

The LORD is with us!

People wanted to stone them 

Glory of LORD appeared to the Israelites

How long will these people treat me with contempt? 

Will they never believe me, even after the miraculous signs?

God wants to disown & destroy them – Moses intercedes for the people

God punishes everyone but the faithful few – “a different attitude” (14:24)

40 days = 40 years (14:34)

Ten Fearful struck dead (14:37)

More Rebellion

People wanted to go anyway – “we are ready now” (14:40)

It’s too late – they go anyway & are chased back (14:41-45)

What were the reasons given by the fearful scouts? 

What was their focus?

What was the faith over fear response given by the faithful few (Caleb & Joshua)?

What was their focus?

Read Numbers 14:24. What is this “different attitude” all about?

Read Psalm 34:4. What does it mean to be freed from all your fears?

Personal Reflection: What are your biggest fears? Are these fears keeping you from walking in faith? Pray that the Spirit will reassure you of His promises and strengthen you in your walk.

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People of God: {ASH WEDNESDAY 2017}

Stand in Awe

Let the whole world fear the LORD, and let everyone stand in awe of Him. [Psalm 33:8]

Lent is a season of fasting and renewal. When you fast (stop doing something), but you also replace it with something else—something beneficial to your relationship with Jesus. 

For this Lenten season, let us stand in awe and worship our God. We were made to worship God, to glorify God. But as we go through our days, we often add other things to the mix.

[LEVITICUS 10]

Unauthorized fire – Hebrew word “zara” means strange, from outside

[Leviticus 10:3]

“’Among those who approach me I will be proved holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.”  Aaron remained silent. [NIV]

“I must be treated as holy”

Holy is used more often as a prefix to God’s name more than any other attribute in Scripture.

Holy – “Set Apart” – [Exodus 3:14] I AM WHO I AM

[Revelation 22:13] He is the Alpha. The Omega. The First. The Last. The Beginning. The End.

[Revelation 1:8] He was and is and is to come.

[1 Samuel 2:2] Hannah says – “There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you.”

As we see in this story in Leviticus, the closer you are to God – the more careful you need to be about His holiness so not to dishonor God.

The sad thing is not only do some people treat the things of God with contempt, but they also can cause others to follow suit, as possible with this instance with the strange fire.

During this Lenten season, let us ask…

What are you adding to your offering to God that isn’t meant to be there?

What is getting in the way of you fully offering yourself to Him? Fully worshiping Him as He deserves?

[Exodus 33:20] We read about Moses asking to see God’s glory….  God’s holiness is so blindingly radiant we cannot see it and live. Moses had to be hidden behind a rock for the glory of God to pass by.

It was this Holy Ground that required man to remove the unclean shoes and hide his face.

[Isaiah 6:1-4]

Only when we encounter God in His holiness is it possible for us to see our own self – “I am a sinful man”

This is something we must all come to recognize. I AM A SINNER!

Today, we don’t tread on the same Holy Ground as Moses. We don’t have the same need for a veil to shield us from the glory. Instead, we have the glory of God within us because of Christ. 

[2 Corinthians 4:3-7] If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.  You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

Our foreheads are marked tonight by ashes as we are reminded that we are but dust, that we are like fragile clay jars containing the great treasure from God Himself. We are reminded that without Jesus, we are nothing. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Our lives are marked WITH AND FOR CHRIST.

This should lead us to Awe * Worship * Adoration

[Isaiah 40:12-31] God has no equal

God….

Loves perfectly

Speaks perfectly

Creates perfectly

Acts perfectly

Chooses perfectly

Teaches perfectly

Disciplines perfectly

[Exodus 15:11] 

Who is like YOU – 

glorious in holiness, 

awesome in splendor, 

performing great wonders

What is keeping you from falling at his feet? 

In Revelation 1:17, John sees Jesus and he immediately falls at His feet. 

What’s keeping you from this? 

What’s keeping you from the AWE?

A – Always thankful [1 Thessalonians 5:18] CONTINUALLY THANKFUL

W – Worship everywhere – IN ALL THAT YOU DO AND SAY [Colossians 3:17] – this isn’t just singing (everything you do should point to Him)

You should continually be aware of His presence everywhere.

E – Eyes on Him – Eyes on Jesus [Hebrews 12:2] Perfecter of Faith

Consider the ashes on your forehead this evening… here’s a picture of what is coming…

[Revelation 22:3-5] No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and His servants will worship him. And they will see His face, and His name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there–no need for lamps or sun–for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” [Revelation 4]

——————————————

People of God: Week 8 – Rebellion

[Numbers 16-17]

Respecting authority… Respecting God’s plan… Honor Who He has chosen…

Korah’s Rebellion [16]

Korah – Levite (descendent of one of Levi’s three sons Kohath)

Dathan

Abiram

On – Reubenite

Whole community set apart [v. 3]

What right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the Lord’s people?

Tomorrow God will show us who belongs to Him and who is holy

The Lord will allow only those whom He selects to enter His own presence

To the Levites, says – Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near Him, so you can serve the Lord & minister to the people. [v. 9]

Korah has already been given this special ministry. Are you demanding priesthood? [v. 10]

The Rebellion

Dathan & Abiram refused to come [v. 12-14] – no respect for authority

Korah stirred up the ENTIRE COMMUNITY [v. 19]

Took something that could have been addressed in a peaceful way and handled it by attempting to overpower – how can you overpower God Almighty? 

Getting a group of people emotionally charged against God does nothing to help his cause. 

Why did Korah take this disagreement and allow it to be a stumbling block for so many? 

Is it not worse to lead others to hell with you? Misery loves company.

Glory of the Lord appeared

Told Moses & Aaron to move

Moses interceded on behalf of the people

Get away from the wicked

Swallowed up [v. 28-35]

Aaron stands between them [v. 41-50]

Aaron’s Bud [17:1-10]

12 wooden staffs to represent each tribe 

Buds will sprout on staff of the man I choose.

Read Numbers 16:3. The question is what right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the Lord’s people.  How does God display who belongs to Him today?

 

Verse 5 says that God will allow only those whom He selects to enter His own presence. James tells us that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (see James 4:8). Would that then mean if we draw near to Him, He brings His presence to us? What is involved in this?

 

A question is posed to the Levites. The question was does it seem insignificant to you that God chose you from among Israel to serve the Lord and minister to the people. What is this questions getting at? Have you ever felt that the work you were doing for the Lord was insignificant?

In verse 19, we read that Korah got the entire community stirred up. What is the danger in doing this? What could he have done?

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People of God: Week 9 – Balaam

[Numbers 22-24]

Blessing God’s People

[Numbers 22:1-3] Balak, king of Moab, saw everything the Israelites did to the Amorites. He saw how many Israelites there were and was terrified. 

Balak, king of Moab, believed that Israel was threatening him (v.5) so he sent a message to Balaam

“In the morning I will tell you whatever the LORD directs me to say” (v.8)

God asks him, “Who are these men visiting you?” (v. 9) … “Don’t go with them. You are not to curse these people. They have been blessed.” (v. 12)

[Numbers 22:18] But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the LORD my God.

God gives permission  Since they came for you, get up and go with them but do only what I tell you to do (v. 20)

GOD WAS ANGRY (v. 22)

Some say the anger was because he didn’t wait for them to take him and leave. He started the action. Others believe though God allows us to do something, it doesn’t mean He wants us doing it. God would never want someone to curse who He blessed – nor does anyone have the ability to do so. God’s Word stands.

[2 Peter 2:15] They have wandered off the right road and followed the footsteps of Balaam son of Beor, who loved to earn money by doing wrong.

The Donkey

Angel – standing in the road to block him

Donkey asks, “What have I done to you that deserves your beating three times?”

“You made me look like a fool…. If I had my sword, I would kill you.”

Donkey says “I’m the same donkey you’ve ridden all your life.”

Lord opens Balaam’s eyes and he falls to the ground (v. 31)

[Numbers 22:32] “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the LORD demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me.

I HAVE SINNED (v. 34)

Only can say what God has put in my mouth (v. 38)

[Numbers 23:8] How can I curse whom God has not cursed?

[Numbers 23:20] God blessed them  I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot change it. 

Read Genesis 12:1-3, Genesis 18:18-19, Numbers 22:12, and Numbers 23:19. Summarize these passages and what King Balak was not grasping about God and blessing.

 

God has made man in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). We may be faulty image-bearers but we are made in His image. Throughout His Word, God speaks of the many blessings we receive as children of God, including eternal life and being co-heirs with Christ. As believers, we are called His prized possession. How do we curse both non-believers and believers in our daily lives when we are called to be a blessing? 

 

Read Isaiah 52:7. This verse speaks of beautiful feet that bring good news. This speaks about proclaiming peace, brining good tidings, proclaiming salvation. How does our actions of cursing keep us from being one with beautiful feet?

 

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and Hebrews 10:24. As the body of Christ, we are called to encourage one another, to build each other up, and to motivate each other to acts of love and good works. Cursing others is opposite these commands. What can we do to aim to be a blessing and not a curse to the body of Christ?

Read Matthew 5:16. When we are living a life that curses others, what does this verse say we are doing or not doing?

 

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People of God: Week 10 – Joshua

[Numbers 20, Deuteronomy 32-34, Joshua 1]

Being Courageous for God

Moses Strikes the Rock [Numbers 20]

Death of Miriam

No water – people rebelled against Moses & Aaron

God commands – speak to rock & it will pour out water

Moses acts – strikes the rock twice with the staff

“You will not lead them into the land I am giving them” (v. 14)

Death of Moses [Deuteronomy 32-34]

Death Foretold [32]

Moses blesses the people [33]

Death [34]

Buried by the Lord (v. 6)

Joshua son of Nun

The Lord’s Charge to Joshua [Joshua 1]

The time has come (v. 1)

No one will be able to stand against you – I am with you (v. 5)

Be strong & courageous (v. 6-7, 9)

Study & obey the Word (v. 8)

Joshua begins his “great work” (v. 10)

Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the Wilderness. It was nearly time for the Israelites to enter the Promised Land; however, they would not be led by Moses due to his disobedience. Read Deuteronomy 31:1-8 and Joshua 1:1-5.

Before Moses died, he publicly recognized the transfer of power to Joshua. What did he do?

 

After the death of Moses, the Lord speaks to Joshua. What does God tell Joshua?

   

How would you feel being placed into the position of Joshua?

 

God often tells us that the time has come for us to do something. What are some of the promises that He has given us, that He gave to Moses and Joshua?

 

Read Joshua 1:8. What does this verse tell us? What can we do to live this out? Why is this important?

 

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People of God: Week 11 – Jericho

[Joshua 6]

Moving in Rhythm with God

Gates of Jericho tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites (v. 1).

God promises to give Jericho (v. 2).

Instructions:

#1 – to march around the city once a day for six days straight – God, the divine King marking the city as His own. THIS IS MINE.

#2 – seven priest to bear seven trumpets before the ark (this signaled start of a holy war because the ark is God’s throne). THIS IS GOD’S BATTLE.

#3 – seven priests to march seven times on the seventh day (repeated 3 times – signifies perfection). PERFECTION / COMPLETION

#4 – People were to give shout when they heard last blast of horns (giving voice to their faith). VERBALIZING FAITH “I BELIEVE.”

#5 – Each warrior attack the city – GOD HAS PROVIDED VICTORY

God is giving Israel the land but they much make it theirs through faithful obedience.

“It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.” – Hebrews 11:30 [NLT]

Rescue of Rahab

“It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.” – Hebrews 11:31 [NLT]

Rahab and her family were outside the camp (ceremonially unclean) – living with pagans

Rahab now lives with the Israelites (v. 26).

Rahab marries Salmon and gives birth to Boaz (Matthew 1:5)

Boaz marries Ruth  Obed

Obed  Jesse  David  Solomon….. 

Joseph marries Mary  JESUS

Scarlet rope tied to wooden frame symbolizes God’s salvation. 

Jesus wore a scarlet robe while He was mocked and beaten, leading to His death on the cross, for God’s salvation to be offered to all who believe in Him.

God gave the Israelites Jericho. They simply had to show up and move in rhythm with God. 

Move when He says, “Move.” 

Be still when He says, “Be still.” 

Read Joshua 6:2. The verse says, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand.” God is talking to Joshua, telling him to see. Part of moving in rhythm with God involves seeing. What does it mean to see?

 

Why is it so important for us to “see” if we are to move in rhythm with God?

 

A big part of the marching around the walls of Jericho involved silence. We are not told the reason the people had to be quiet. Read Exodus 14:14 and Psalm 46:10-11. Why is silence important to moving in rhythm with God?

 

Notice that God gave Joshua the instructions for all seven days, but Joshua did not do the same thing. He only was giving the instructions as they went along (see v. 10). The people that were marching quietly each day did not know when this would end. They continued to march onward, following the command to march silent. What can we glean from this process?

 

Seeking God Series Outlines

Seeking God Series – Week 1 – Water Baptism

[Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-23, John 1:29-33]

What is Water Baptism?

Water Baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and it is your public declaration that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. 

Baptize – “baptízō” – “immerse, sink, drown, go under.”

NOT GOING TO GET INTO DISCUSSION OF WHAT IS RIGHT OR WRONG WITH METHOD – SOME DUNK, SOME POUR OR SPRINKLE, SOME GO BACKWARDS, SOME GO FORWARDS, ETC.

Ancient Christian art – go into water waist deep & pour water on head.

Philip & Eunuch (Acts 8:38-39) – doesn’t say immersed. Said they went down into the water, Philip baptized him, and he came out of the water. “baptízō” – submerge, immerse (dip under) 

Same words used in Luke 11:38

“His host was amazed to see that he sat down to eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony required by Jewish custom.”

In Luke, the “baptízō” meant handwashing 

Baptism does not save you, but shows the world that you have already been saved. 

Water Baptism is a sign of Spirit Baptism

Acts 2:38-39 – Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call. 

Acts 10:44-48 – While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

Water Baptism is NOT required for salvation, but it is a biblical command and demonstrates your love and obedience to Christ.

Water Baptism doesn’t make you a member of God’s family, only faith in Christ does that. Water Baptism shows you are part of God’s family.

Christ commanded Water Baptism 

Matthew 28:19-20 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus never commanded Water Baptism until here – because He finished His work – this is a new sign of the new covenant

Water Baptism is necessary for obedience

Why is Water Baptism important?

Water Baptism declares your faith, shares Christ’s burial and Resurrection, symbolizes your death to your old life, and announces your new life in Christ. It’s also a celebration of your inclusion in God’s family, God’s eternal family!

It is a physical picture of a spiritual truth and represents what happened the moment God brought you into His family.

Being included in God’s family is the highest honor, the greatest privilege you and I will ever receive. Nothing else comes close.

Read Acts 8:29-38. What are the events that happen from the time of their first meeting until the baptism?

 

Read Acts 8:12-18. 

Why didn’t they receive the Holy Spirit before Peter and John arrived?

 

Was it possible that Peter and John needed to witness what God was doing with the Gentiles, how they too could receive the Holy Spirit?

 

Read Acts 19:1-10.

Why did the Ephesus dozen (the 12 men) not receive the Holy Spirit when they believed?

 

What was different between the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus?

 

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Seeking God Series – Week 2 – Baptism of the Holy Spirit

[Luke 3:21-22, John 1:32-34]

The focus on Jesus’ encounter with John at the Jordan River is on the anointing with the Spirit rather than the act of Water Baptism.

Luke 3:21-22 – When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

John 1:32-34 – Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on Him. And I myself did not know Him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Colossians 2:9-15 – For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self-ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Every believer has the power & anointing of the Holy Spirit. 

The gift of the Holy Spirit seals the believer. God gives His Spirit only to those who are His.

Joel 2:28-29 – And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

John 7:38-39 – Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Why is it important?

If you don’t have it… you have not believed in Jesus.

MUST BE BORN AGAIN

John 3:5-8 – Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

BEING MADE NEW – FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Galatians 3:27 – And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.

CHILD OF GOD

2 Corinthians 1:22 – and He has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything He has promised us.

Galatians 4:6-7 – Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.

UNITED AS ONE BODY

1 Corinthians 12:13 – For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body–whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Ephesians 4:4-6 – There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

How do you live Spirit-filled?

If you believe – already filled with the Spirit. However, you might now be allowing Him to move freely. “Less of me, more of You.” Allow His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control guide & direct your steps. Live by His power!

Read John 3:3-8. What does this mean?

 

Read John 7:38-39. What does this mean?

 

Read Ephesians 4:4-6. Breakdown all of the “ones” listed and what each of them mean.

One ______________

One ______________

One ______________

 

One ______________

 

One ______________

One ______________

One _____________

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Seeking God Series – Week 3 – Anxiety

Matthew 6:25-34 – If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Luke 12:4-7 – I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Philippians 4:6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

John 16:33 – I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Read Luke 12:25. This verse speaks of adding a single moment to your life. If the answer is no, worrying cannot add a single hour to your life—then what does worrying do?

 

Read Psalm 127:2. What does this verse tell us?

  

Read Philippians 4:6-7. This verse speaks about praying with thanksgiving. How does this help us to combat our anxieties and worries?

 

Read Matthew 8:23-27. In this passage, the disciples are anxious during a storm and Jesus is sleeping. How does Jesus reply? How is worry, anxiousness, and fear related to faith?

 

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Seeking God Series – Week 4 – Suffering

[Job]

TEST ONE

Job 1:6-12 – God leads Job into a season of testing, just like Jesus was also led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (see Matthew 4:1-11).

Testing/Trials are considered positive. They are to help prove someone to be who God created them to be in life. They stretch and grow us.

Temptations are considered negative. God tests us; He allows trials. GOD DOES NOT TEMPT! The devil tempts us to try and cause us to fail. 

God says, “All right, you may test him. Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but DON’T HARM HIM physically.” (1:12).

Satan had to get permission. Job was not out of the protective hand of the Father.

Lost his animals, his shepherds, his farmhands, his servants.

Lost his 7 sons and 3 daughters.

Job stood up, tore his robe in grief, shaved head, and FELL TO THE GROUND TO WORSHIP. (1:20)

“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!” (1:21)

JOB DID NOT SIN BY BLAMING GOD.

TEST TWO

Job 2:3-6 – God again allows Satan to test Job. 

“Do with him as you please BUT SPARE HIS LIFE” (2:6)

Terrible boils from head to foot

Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” (2:8-9)

“Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” (2:10)

JOB SAID NOTHING WRONG.

“FRIENDS” GATHER

Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar – barely recognized him, wailed loudly, tore robes, threw dust into air over their heads, sat on ground with him for seven days in silence. THEY SAW HIS SUFFERING WAS TOO GREAT FOR WORDS.

THE LORD CHALLENGES JOB

Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. (38:2-3)

God exposes Job’s ignorance of who God really is by describing Himself in Job 38-40.

Job replies, “I am nothing – how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.” (40:4-5)

JOB’S FINAL RESPONSE 

“I know that you can do anything and no one can stop you… I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.” (42:2-3)

“I HAD ONLY HEARD ABOUT YOU before, but NOW I HAVE SEEN YOU WITH MY OWN EYES. I take back everything I said and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” (42:5-6)

CONCLUSION

Job prays for friends

The Lord restored Job’s fortunes, giving him twice as much as before.

Read Job 7:17 and Psalm 8:4-6. Consider what Job is saying here… what he recognizes, and how it relates to what the Psalmist notes.

 

Read Job 12:10. What does this verse declare? Why do we constantly need to remind ourselves of this truth?

 

Read Job 19:25-27. This passage declares that Job knows His Redeemer lives and he is overwhelmed at the thought of seeing Him with his own eyes. 

How has God redeemed us?

 

What is so overwhelming at the thought of seeing God? 

 

Read Job 23:3. Still Job desires God. Through all of the suffering and back and forth with his friends, he wants to converse with God. There are two options we have when suffering – run from God or draw near. How is this desire to meet God satisfied?

 

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Seeking God Series – Week 5 – Guardian Angels

[Psalm 91]

Psalm 91:11-12 – “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”

Daniel 6:22 – “My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” – DANIEL AND LIONS DEN, ANGEL CLOSES MOUTHS OF LIONS

(*) Having angels doesn’t increase safety

Creator of the Universe is your Father (Romans 8:16-17 – The Spirit testifies we are God’s children, heirs of God, co-heirs with Christ)

Lord of the Universe is your Brother (Romans 8:29 – Jesus is firstborn among many brothers & sisters)

Cannot have safer, more exalted position than God

Exodus 23:20 – “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” 

John 16:5-15 – Later the Spirit of Jesus is our companion.

Purpose of angels – to serve and care for God’s people

Hebrews 1:13-14 – “And God never said to any of the angels, ‘Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.’ Therefore, angels are only servants–spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.”

Psalm 34:7 – “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” GUARDS – SURROUNDS & DEFENDS

Angels encamp around the godly, not just one, but MANY to guard the faithful. The care of the entire Church is committed to angels.

2 Kings 6:14-17 – “He sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’ So he answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 

Similar to 2 Kings 2:11 when Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven at the appearance of a chariot of fire and horses of fire.

Matthew 26:53 – “Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly?” – ARREST OF JESUS

Psalm 103:19-22 – “The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.”

 (*) The idea that humans in general have an angel specifically assigned to them as a guardian angel for their lifetime is NOT addressed in the Bible.

Acts 12:15 – “Peter’s angel” comment when Peter rescued by angel from prison and he returns to a house full of people praying for him

“You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”

This doesn’t mean that Peter had a specific angel assigned to him always. He had an angel perform a special assignment to rescue him from jail. Some people did hold a belief that people had their own specific angel at all times. AGAIN, THIS ISN’T IN THE BIBLICAL TEXT.

(*) Angels have special privileged access to the Father

Matthew 18:10 – “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

v. 6 – “Little ones” – true believers in Jesus with a childlike trust in God

This concept of “their angels” could refer to a specific angel assigned to each disciple, or could just be appointed for a specific time. 

NOTE: v. 11 is missing from many Bibles

“And the Son of Man came to save those who are lost.”

Revelation 5:11-12 – “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’ Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’ The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.”

Read Psalm 91:11 and Matthew 4:11. What do these verses say about angels?

 

Read Colossians 2:18. The church in Colossae had some false teachers sharing about the worship of angels. Paul addresses the behavior. What is wrong with worshipping angels? What position should they have in our lives?

 

Hebrews 1 discusses angels at length. Read Hebrews 1:5-14. What can you glean from this passage?

 

Read Ephesians 2:4-6, 1 Corinthians 6:3, and 2 Timothy 2:12. How are we positioned in comparison to angels, and will that change?

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Seeking God Series – Week 6 – Forgiveness

[Hebrews 10:1-18, Psalm 19]

Some believe the number 6 symbolizes imperfection

Sin is sin – don’t get caught in trying to rate sins. 

Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. (1 John 3:4)

Everyone sins (Romans 3:23)

Wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23)

Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2)

The Purpose of the Law:

Temporary guardian until Christ came

The law identifies sin and reveals spiritually bankruptcy and need for Jesus (Romans 7:7 – law reveals sin)

Relationship with God and one another

Separation from the nations – set apart (Deuteronomy 7:6-11)

True worship – the law is holy, provides standard of righteousness (Romans 7:12)

Old Testament Sacrifices

The law is weak because it depended upon man’s ability to follow 

For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, (Romans 8:3)

Blood sacrifice gave visual display of the harsh reality of sin. There is a price to pay. Sin results in death. 

In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.  (Hebrews 9:22)

For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. (Leviticus 17:11)

Ultimate Forgiveness (Once for All)

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. (1 Peter 3:18)

The Sacrifice of Jesus – Hebrews 10:1-18 [MSG]

The old plan was only a hint of the good things in the new plan. Since that old “law plan” wasn’t complete in itself, it couldn’t complete those who followed it. No matter how many sacrifices were offered year after year, they never added up to a complete solution. If they had, the worshipers would have gone merrily on their way, no longer dragged down by their sins. But instead of removing awareness of sin, when those animal sacrifices were repeated over and over they actually heightened awareness and guilt. The plain fact is that bull and goat blood can’t get rid of sin. That is what is meant by this prophecy, put in the mouth of Christ:

You don’t want sacrifices and offerings year after year;

    you’ve prepared a body for me for a sacrifice.

It’s not fragrance and smoke from the altar

    that whet your appetite.

So I said, “I’m here to do it your way, O God,

    the way it’s described in your Book.”

When he said, “You don’t want sacrifices and offerings,” he was referring to practices according to the old plan. When he added, “I’m here to do it your way,” he set aside the first in order to enact the new plan—God’s way—by which we are made fit for God by the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus.

Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process. The Holy Spirit confirms this:

This new plan I’m making with Israel

    isn’t going to be written on paper,

    isn’t going to be chiseled in stone;

This time “I’m writing out the plan in them,

    carving it on the lining of their hearts.”

He concludes,

I’ll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins.

Once sins are taken care of for good, there’s no longer any need to offer sacrifices for them.

Not Under the Law

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. [Romans 6:14]

Not burdened with the Law

Not a way to earn salvation

The Law Today

The Law is fulfilled when we love our neighbor (Romans 13:8, Galatians 5:14) – LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS

Love is the outworking of authentic saving faith

The Law was all about obedience which flows from faith

God’s commands in OT & NT lead to full and lasting joy.

We should delight in God’s Law.

[Psalm 19]

Read 1 John 1:9. This verse notes that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us of our sins and cleanse us. Take some time to pray and search your heart. Write your sin in the sand and cover it up, symbolizing how the blood of Christ covers all sin.

Is there anything that God wants you to stop? 

Is there something that is keeping you from His best? 

Are you actively engaged in a sin that separates you from Him? 

Are you holding on to a past sin you have already sought repentance for previously? The devil often will remind us of our past. Remember, you have been forgiven the moment you asked for forgiveness. Take some time to pray and declare these scripture verses.

Read Acts 3:19.

I have repented. I have turned to God. My sins are wiped out. I welcome the refreshing that comes from the Lord. Continue to refresh me Lord!

Read 2 Corinthians 5:17

I am in Christ. I am a new creation. The old has gone. The new is here!

Read Hebrews 10:17 & Psalm 103:12.

God does not remember my sins. I am forgiven completely. As far as the east is from the west, He has removed my sin.

Read Colossians 1:13-14

He has rescued me from darkness. He has brought me into the kingdom of His son. I have redemption and forgiveness in Him.

Read Romans 6:14.

Sin is not my master. I am under grace.

Read John 8:36.

Jesus has set me free. I am free.

Read Psalm 51. This psalm was written by David. The prophet Nathan approached David following his act of adultery with Bathsheba. Take some time to participate in the handwashing station as a reminder that your sins have been blotted out by the Lamb, and you are considered whiter than snow.

Write your own personal Psalm 51.

Read Psalm 32. Praise the Lord for the righteousness you have in Christ. You are righteous (right with God) through faith in Jesus Christ. Add your “marks” to the reflective art piece as a reminder of the righteous robe that you now adorn because of His great love.

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Seeking God Series – Week 7 – Redemption

[Ruth]

Redemption – deliverance from captivity by means of ransom price

“Ruth” means “friendship.”

Time Period: During the Time of Judges 

Everyone did whatever was right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25).

Famine in Bethlehem in Judah. As a result, Elimelek and Naomi, and their sons Mahlon and Kilion travel to Moab. (v. 1)

Moab was one of the nations that oppressed Israel (see Judges 3 – when the King of Moab Eglon was killed by left-handed Ehud).

While in Moab, Mahlon married Ruth; Kilion married Orpah. Elimelek and his sons died, leaving Naomi, Ruth and Orpah as widows. Widows typically were taken advantage of or ignored. (v. 3-5)

Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem and instructs her daughter-in-laws to return to their families because she had no other sons to redeem them. Both objected at first, but then Orpah agrees to return to her people. Ruth opted to return with Naomi to Bethlehem, accepting Naomi’s people and God for her own. (“Return” same verb as “Repent”). (v. 6-16)

With joining Naomi, Ruth gave up the possible opportunity she had to have security and children with her own people. When Naomi and Ruth returned, the people celebrated; however, Naomi asked to be called “Mara,” meaning bitter, because of her situation. Some believe this type of situation could be attributed to divine displeasure due to living for ten years in Moab, away from God’s people. (v. 20-22)

Ruth set out to glean in the fields. Gleaning is picking up the leftovers. The Law said that landowners must leave the corners of their land for the poor, and anything that fell to the ground was also available. The field Ruth went to was owned by Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s family. As a relative, Boaz was one of the possible family redeemers. The Law stated that a widow could be married by her husband’s brothers or family members, and this person would be the family redeemer, who would keep the inheritance alive.

Ruth had a great reputation among the people because of her sacrifice and care for Naomi (see 2:11, 3:11). Boaz instructed his workers to allow extra barley to fall down in Ruth’s path so she had more.

Naomi instructed Ruth to visit Boaz at the threshing floor during the evening because she wanted to find Ruth a home and provider. The threshing floor was where the grain was separated and most of the threshing was done at night because the harvesting happened during the daytime. Boaz would have been sleeping there awaiting his turn and preventing any theft. 

Ruth followed the instructions of Naomi and laid down at Boaz’s feet. When he awoke, Boaz agreed to redeem Ruth if the first in line refused to accept the position. In the morning, Boaz was a man of his word. The man first in line as family redeemer could not accept the cost so Boaz did.

The willingness of Boaz to undertake the costly duty of being the family redeemer foreshadows the greater cost that our Redeemer would make for each of us. Jesus descends from this very sacrifice.

Ruth + Boaz = Obed = Jesse = David  Jesus

The book of Ruth begins with death but ends with HOPE!

The family abandoned Bethlehem during the family; later Naomi returned with Ruth by her side. It was where Redemption was born!

What is the meaning of Bethlehem?

 

How does Bethlehem relate to Christ and redemption?

 

Read Ruth 2:8-9, 14-16. Boaz was treating Ruth with incredible kindness, doing more than required.  What did he do? How does this remind us of Jesus?

 

Read Leviticus 25:25-28, 47-55. These passages reference the kinsman redeemer position that is referenced in the book of Ruth, the position that Boaz accepts. How is Boaz similar to Christ as a kinsman redeemer?

 

Is the marriage of Boaz and Ruth breaking God’s law since Boaz is Israelite and Ruth is a Moabite? Read Deuteronomy 7:1-4, Deuteronomy 23:3, and Judges 21:25.

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Seeking God Series – Week 8 – Spiritual Warfare

John 17:11, 15 – Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are… I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.

The Devil is the ruler of this world (John 1:31)

The Devil prowls like a roaring lion seeking to devour (1 Peter 5:8)

Satan lies – He is the Father of Lies (John 8:44)

Satan blinds the minds of the unbeliever (2 Corinthians 4:4)

Satan masquerades in costumes of light (2 Corinthians 11-13:15)

Satan tempts people to sin, leading thoughts astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3)

Satan plucks the Word of God out of hearts [seed on the path] & chokes faith (Matthew 13:19)

Satan can cause sickness and disease (Luke 13:16 – 18 yrs hemorrhage) 

Satan is a murderer (John 8:44)

Satan fights against the plans of missionaries (1 Thessalonians 2:17-18)

Satan accuses Christians before God (Revelation 12:10)

Don’t give opportunity to the Devil (Ephesians 4:27) – re: anger & sin

Resist (1 Peter 5:9, James 4:7) – Resist the Devil, standing firm in the faith… your brothers and sisters are also undergoing the same kind of struggles… when you resist, He flees!

Take up your Sword of the Spirit (Word of God), praying at all times (Ephesians 6:17-18)

Read 1 Chronicles 21:1-4. In this passage, the Bible says that Satan instigated David to take a census. The man after God’s own heart sinned greatly and God was very displeased. Repentance and punishment followed. What was Satan’s involvement? What is Satan’s objective?

 

Read Matthew 16:22-23, Luke 22:31-34, and Matthew 26:74. As we look at Peter under the magnifying glass, we see how Jesus calls him Satan at one point. Jesus notes that Satan wants to sift Peter and the other disciples, and later we read of the denial of Jesus by Peter (who previously denied the denial). Peter was certainly under attack in an attempt to try to keep him from being used by God as a vessel to help build the Early Church.

Before the denial, Jesus tells Peter about Satan’s desire to sift. What did Jesus say He had done in response to Satan’s request?

 

The passage in Luke says, “So when you have repented and turned to Me again.” Jesus notes Peter would deny Him. He would repent. He would turn back to Jesus. What does Jesus tell Peter to do when he turns back? Why is this important?

 

Read Daniel 10:2-3, 7-13. Daniel was mourning, fasting, and praying for three weeks. What does this passage say happened? What does this mean for us?

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Seeking God Series – Week 9 – Love

[John 13, 1 Corinthians 13, Philippians 2:1-11]

Ephesians 5:2 – And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. [ESV]

Types of love (“The Four Loves” by C.S. Lewis)

AFFECTION – Storge – liking someone through fondness of familiarity, family members, people who can relate in familiar ways (share interests with), parent/child love, empathy bond, FAMILY LOVE 

FRIENDSHIP – Philia – love between friends as close as siblings, friend bond, BROTHERLY LOVE / FRIEND LOVE 

EROS – Eros – “being in love,” erotic bond, SEXUAL LOVE 

CHARITY – Agape – UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

How God loves us

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 8:38-39 – And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Corinthians 13

Without love = Nothing

Love will last FOREVER

1 Corinthians 14:1 – Let love be your HIGHEST GOAL

John 13

Honor Everyone – Honor means “bestow value upon.”

1 Peter 2:17 – Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Romans 12:10 – Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Jesus loved His disciples during His ministry on earth

Jesus loved His disciples to the very end

Jesus knew that the Father gave Him authority over everything

SO He got up from the table

He gave an example to follow. LOVE IN ACTION. Love isn’t just words.

What is in the heart, comes out in words and deeds!

Love each other as I have loved you.

Love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.

Philippians 2 – Have the attitude of Christ

We MUST be a church that loves one another.

WE CAN’T TAKE OUTSIDE WHAT’S NOT INSIDE

Read 1 Kings 3:16-28. In this story, Solomon judges wisely. Two women claim the same baby.

What does the real mother do?

 

What kind of love is this?

 

How can you love people like this?

 

Read 1 Samuel 18:1-5, 19:1-7, 20:1-17, 20:35-42; 2 Samuel 1:26, 2 Samuel 9:1-12. 

How does the Bible say Jonathan loved David?

 

Jonathan’s love for David is a sacrificial one. How?

 

David considered Jonathan a brother. What did David do to honor his dear friend after Jonathan’s death?

 

How can you love people like this?

 

Acts : Church on the Move Outlines

To the Ends of the Earth

 Acts 1:8

Before they moved, they waited [Acts 1:4, Acts 2:1]

For the church to move, the church must be on God’s time – don’t RUSH!

United in Prayer [Acts 1:12-14]

Praying – prayer must be a way of life

United – remember, one purpose of glorifying God

Directed by God [Acts 1:15-26]

Desiring of God’s Word / Understanding the importance of Scripture Fulfilled

Choosing of Matthias to Replace Judas

Repentance First [Acts 2:37-41]

Repentance is necessary for growth — this is SALVATION!

Growth Second [Acts 2:42-47]

Devoted themselves to: 

Teaching

Fellowship

Breaking of Bread

Prayer

Praising God

    — this is NEW LIFE!

Breakout Session Questions

  1. Read Acts 1:8. Who should bear witness to Jesus? Why?

 

  1. Read Acts 1:16-20. This passage discusses the apostles using good discernment to choose a replacement for Judas. 
      1. Why was the replacement necessary? 
      1. What is the difference between God’s revealed will and God’s concealed will? 

C.   How can we understand and obey both?

  1. Read Acts 2:42-45. This passage talks about the behaviors prevalent in the early church. Fellowship is so important to the body of Christ. How does fellowship with Christ and fellowship with believers relate? What does this mean for us?

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ACTS 4 Being Bold

  • Peter and John faced leadership (same people that wanted Jesus dead)

• By what power or what name have you done this?

– They had just proclaimed the healing in Jesus name

-These leaders already knew – this was why they were seized!

  • Peter was filled by the Holy Spirit

• Filled by the Holy Spirit is different from the first “filling” or “baptized by the Holy

Spirit” / Pentecost / First-believed moment when the Holy Spirit is first received.

– Ephesians 5:18 – “Don’t be drunk with wine… Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.” [NLT]

– Allowing God to move through you and have His way

• Galatians 5:25 – “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” [ESV]

– No one is filled with the Holy Spirit in this way all the time.

  • Peter and John could not stop speaking about what they have seen and heard (v.20)

• They had to tell people about Jesus and salvation

• They prayed that they be about to speak God’s Word with BOLDNESS

– They did not pray for help to remove the threats

– They did not pray for protection from the threats

– They prayed to continue to share what was on their hearts to share – JESUS!

• God answered their prayers

– The ground was shaking

– The people were all filled with the Holy Spirit

– The people began to speak the Word of God boldly

– There’s an army rising up – To break every chain… (Jesus Culture)

Breakout Session Questions

  1. Read Acts 4:13.
      1. How does the verse describe the men?

B. What does the verse tell us about the importance of spending time with

Jesus?

2. Describe a moment when you kept quiet about your faith? Why do you think

you did this?

3. How is the power of the Holy Spirit related to being bold in sharing your faith?

Why is it so important for us to pray for boldness?

4. What does this boldness look like at DRCC?

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Acts 5:17-42 Obey God’s Plan

  • WE MUST OBEY GOD RATHER THAN PEOPLE (5:29)
        • When human command contradicts God’s truth, defiance is permitted
  • Gamaliel’s advice (5:38-39)
    • Gamaliel was Pharisee (part of Sanhedrin – leadership council in Israel), led by the High Priest, he was leading rabbi who was Paul’s mentor
    • If this plan or work is of human origin, it will fail
    • If this plan is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them
      • You may even be found fighting against God!
  1. God’s way is above ours (Isaiah 55:8)
  1. God’s plan prevails (Psalm 33:11, Proverbs 19:21, Isaiah 46:9-10)
  1. Our plan should be God’s plan (Proverbs 16:9)

Scripture test

Much Prayer

Wise Counsel

Breakout Session Questions

1. Read Romans 13:1-7. 1 Peter 2:13-17. What does this passage say about obeying authorities? How should we live according to these passages?

2. When is it okay to disobey the authorities?

3. What does the phrase “fighting against God” mean to you?

4. How could you possibly be found “fighting against God?” (give examples) How could DRCC possibly be found “fighting against God”? (give examples)

5. What can we do individually and as a church to ensure that we are in partnership with God?

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Know Your Role

Acts 6:1-7

  • Hellenistic Jews (Greek Jews) had complaint against Hebraic Jews (Hebrew / Native Jews)
    • Greek Jews are overlooked in daily distribution
      • This is an issue that needs resolved
      • Orphans & widows needed care (James 1:27)
    • This failure is not necessarily due to sin, but due to human limitations
        • Everyone has a role — a part in the body of Christ
        • People are uniquely designed for a specific role
        • Every role is important
  • “It would NOT be right” (6:2)
    • The Twelve were devoted to preaching the Word of God (6:2)
    • The Twelve were devoted to prayer (6:4)
  • Seven chosen to address daily distribution
    • Good reputation
    • Full of the Spirit
    • Full of wisdom
    • The names are all Greek— putting Greek Jews in charge of managing the distribution more fairly – example of HUMILITY & UNITY!
    • 5 never mentioned again, Stephen – eloquent speaker of Jesus Christ, Phillip – one of the church’s first evangelists!
  • The Word of God spread, the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly in number (6:7)

 Breakout Session Questions

  1. How did this complaint between the Greek Jews and Hebrew / Native Jews threaten the unity of the Church? How did the Apostles protect the unity of the Church?

2. What were the Apostles devoted to? Why was this so important to the growth of the Church?

3. How are the Spirit and wisdom related? Read 1 Corinthians 12:8.

  1. How did the Seven assist the Apostles?  Read 1 Timothy 3:8-13. How does this passage, along with today’s reading in Acts describe the type of people to select as leaders (deacons)? Why are these qualities so important?

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Chosen

You Will Be My Witnesses Acts 9:1-25 Sunday, June 17, 2018

Chosen

– Here I Am (v. 10)

• Told WHERE to go — street called Straight, house of Judas

• Told WHO to go to — Saul, man from Tarsus

• Told WHEN to go — at once

• Told WHY he must go – since he is praying there, needs to place hands on him and pray

so his sight can be restored

– BUT this man… (v. 13-14)

• Very evil, Power to harm

– He is my CHOSEN INSTRUMENT (vessel of election) (v. 15)

• He will carry my name before the Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel

• He is chosen to suffer for Jesus Christ

– We are to WITNESS to GOD’s CHOSEN ONES

• They are chosen ones because they will accept Jesus (PREDESTINATION)

– Ephesians 1:4-5 — even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that

we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to

himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.

• God wants to freely pour out His grace & mercy on His chosen ones

– 2 Peter 3:9 — The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is

patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach

repentance.

• God has a plan for His chosen ones

– Romans 8:28-30 — And we know that for those who love God all things work together

for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he

foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he

might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also

called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also

glorified.

• You are called to say “Here I Am” to God’s leading you to share Jesus so that His

message of hope and salvation can reach the chosen ones

– 2 Timothy 1:9 — who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our

works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus

before the ages began

– Ephesians 1:11-12 — In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined

according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his

will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

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Ready to Explain

Acts 8:26-40

  • Philip directed to go to the desert road (8:26)
    • Despite having successful ministry in Samaria (8:5-6)
    • Philip’s obedience resulted in the Good News in Ethiopia
    • Philip is the only one designated as Evangelist in Bible (Acts 21:8)
  • Ethiopian Eunuch traveling in chariot on way home (8:27-28)
    • Went to Jerusalem to worship
      • A eunuch was someone who was castrated for service
      • Deuteronomy 23:1 — Eunuch not permitted to enter assembly of the Lord
      • Ethiopian Eunuch was high official in charge of the treasury
    • Reading from the book of Isaiah
    • He didn’t understand what he was reading – how can I understand unless someone guides me?
  • Philip the Evangelist
    • He followed the Holy Spirit’s leading
    • He was available & prepared to share the Good News (8:26-27)
    • He began to share with Eunuch from where he was at (in book of Isaiah)
    • He explained how Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of Isaiah — all about Jesus
  • The Eunuch believed and was baptized
    • What would keep me from being baptized? (8:37)
    • Philip carried away by Spirit of the Lord 
      • Confirmation that he is God’s representative, more work to be done for Gentiles to be brought to Jesus Christ
    • Eunuch went away praising God

Breakout Session Questions

  1. What are some things that you can do to evangelize like Philip?

 

  1. What does today’s passage teach us about being led by the Spirit?

 

  1. What does today’s passage teach us about being ready to share the Good News?

 

  1. How does Philip’s faithful obedience play an important role in the movement of the early church?

 

  1. Why is baptism important?

 

Acts 8:26-40

  • Philip the Evangelist
    • He followed the Holy Spirit’s leading (8:29-30)
    • He was available & prepared to share the Good News (8:26-27)
    • He began to share with Eunuch from where he was at (8:35)
    • He explained how Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of Isaiah — all about Jesus (8:35)

Romans 10:14-17

Breakout Session Questions

  1. What are some things that you can do to evangelize like Philip?
  1. What does today’s passage teach us about being led by the Spirit?
  1. What does today’s passage teach us about being ready to share the Good News?
  1. How does Philip’s faithful obedience play an important role in the movement of the early church?
  1. Why is baptism important?

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Courageously Welcoming

Acts 9:26-31

  • Fear kept them from welcoming Saul
    • They didn’t believe he was a disciple
    • They couldn’t see his heart
    • Responded with rejection
  • Barnabas took a chance – stood up for Saul by bringing him to the disciples
    • Trusted God is in control
    • Saw Saul with God’s eyes
    • Responded with courage & and a warm welcome

1. See people as God sees people

John 3:16 — God SO LOVED people

Genesis 1:27— God created people in His image

2. Respond with love and honor

Romans 12:9-10Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Genuine Love — Real, without hidden agenda, not put on

Love like you are loved – John 15:12 — This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Show Honor — (Tee-may’) – a price, value, properly perceive value

Honor by giving of your time & attention

Honor by treating people like they matter — because they do!

Honor by helping people to see their identity in Christ

Honor by encouraging people to aim for greater things

Breakout Session Questions

  1. What is the first thing you typically notice about a person? (Share examples)

 

  1. Has your first impression of a person ever been wrong? (Share examples)
  1. Is there something that hinders you from being a welcoming person?

 

  1. Read Romans 12:9-10. This passage discusses a love that is genuine — a love /devotion for one another with brotherly affection. How would you describe this love? How can we show this love with those at DRCC and beyond the DRCC walls?

 

  1. This passage from Romans also discusses how we should outdo one another in showing honor. How can we do that? What does this do to welcome someone?

 

Acts 9:26-31

  1. See people as God sees people

John 3:16

Genesis 1:27 

2. Respond with love and honor

Romans 12:9-10 

Genuine Love 

  John 15:12 

Show Honor 

Breakout Sessions

  1. What is the first thing you typically notice about a person? (Share examples)
  1. Has your first impression of a person ever been wrong? (Share examples)
  1. Is there something that hinders you from being a welcoming person?

 

  1. Read Romans 12:9-10. This passage discusses a love that is genuine — a love /devotion for one another with brotherly affection. How would you describe this love? How can we show this love with those at DRCC and beyond the DRCC walls?

 

  1. This passage from Romans also discusses how we should outdo one another in showing honor. How can we do that? What does this do to welcome someone?

 

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Grace Disputed

Church on the Move

Acts 15

Always must pay attention when the Gospel is being disputed

  • Issue – some believed unless circumcised, cannot be saved (Jews thought Gentiles should become Jews to become Christians)
  • Response – GRACE!!!
  • GO TO THE PERSON YOU HAVE COMPLAINT AGAINST (v. 2)
  • LISTEN FIRST
    • The people were silent & listened, the people had much debate (v.  7,12)
      • James 1:19 – Quick to listen, Slow to speak, Slow to become angry
    • After hearing, the people responded (v. 13)
  • DISCUSSION WAS GOD-CENTERED
    • v. 19 says we should not cause difficulties among those turning to God
  • DECISION WAS CLEAR
    • Letter & verbal description – made sure final decision was understood
  • PEOPLE WERE SPIRT-LED & UNITED (v. 27-28)
  • HONORED THEM BEFORE LEAVING (v. 32-34)

End result – stronger unity / relationship

* Verse 34 is MISSING

Leader Guide

1. Why is it so important that we stand up when the Gospel of grace is being disputed?

Because of God’s desire that none should perish, we should do all we can to be sure to stand up for God’s grace and ensure people understand and receive His grace— live a life overflowing with God’s amazing grace!

2. This passage we looked at today was attempting to add something to Jesus, meaning that salvation was Jesus plus something else. 

Is this evident today? (give examples)

A lot of people do this by trying to earn salvation while still claiming Jesus… a big one people are guilty of often is gossiping about fellow brothers and sisters — consider how words against those in Christ basically is saying that the brothers and sisters are not “good enough” in Christ which basically again tries to hold them to works. Some people collect gods to ensure they have plenty to cover them (ex: Hinduism).

What is the danger in this?

If a person does not understand that Jesus alone is the Way, people may not receive the salvation that comes through Him alone. If this is something that is happening between one believer and another, it can cause division in the Body.

3. During James’ response, he used Scripture. Why is Scripture so important when trying to resolve conflict?

The truth of God is the great plumb line for every area of life. We certainly could come up with our own answers; however, the truth of God is just, true, and what will stand. There are no opinions and emotions getting in the way when the results are based on God’s Word. There is no better way to determine God’s will in a matter than to read His Word and pray.

4. When you have a conflict with someone, what is typically the hardest thing for you? What do you need to work on? Pray about this.

Answers will vary: Approaching the person first, keeping emotions out of the equation, focusing on God’s Word for the matter, listening first, taking it personal, not acting with love and grace, praying for the other person…

Church on the Move

Acts 15

Always must pay attention when the Gospel is being disputed

  • GO TO THE PERSON YOU HAVE COMPLAINT AGAINST (v. 2)
  • LISTEN FIRST
      • James 1:19 – Quick to listen, Slow to speak, Slow to become angry
  • DISCUSSION WAS GOD-CENTERED
  • DECISION WAS CLEAR
  • PEOPLE WERE SPIRT-LED & UNITED (v. 27-28)
  • HONORED THEM BEFORE LEAVING (v. 32-34)

* Verse 34 is MISSING

Breakout Session Questions

1. Why is it so important that we stand up when the Gospel of grace is being disputed?

2. This passage we looked at today was attempting to add something to Jesus, meaning that salvation was Jesus plus something else. 

Is this evident today? (give examples)

What is the danger in this?

3. During James’ response, he used Scripture. Why is Scripture so important when trying to resolve conflict?

4. When you have a conflict with someone, what is typically the hardest thing for you? What do you need to work on? Pray about this.

——————————————————————————

Digging Deeper

Acts 17:10-15

The Bereans were openminded by not foolish

    • Received the Word with Eagerness
    • Examined the Scripture Daily
    • Sought the Truth

How do you receive the Word with eagerness?

Come prepared

Bring your Bible

Heart ready to receive

Anticipate hearing from God

How can you better examine the Scripture daily?

Daily Devotional

YouVersion App

Independent Study

Study Bibles (ex: Life Application Bible)

Commentaries

Books (MAKE SURE SCRIPTURE IN THE BOOK)

Listening to the Word

Dwell App

Audio Bible

Sermons / Podcasts

How can you seek the Truth?

Fasten the Belt of Truth on your waist – Ephesians 6:14

Look for yourself – examine text yourself

When Scripture referenced, read for yourself

Don’t let your own Bible studying be your only Bible studying

Don’t let someone else’s Bible teaching be your only Bible teaching

Sometimes we read and hear what we want

Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you as you teachand admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. [Berean Study Bible]

Compare passage with ultimate Bible narrative – does it fit?

God’s Word does not contradict 

God’s Word does not change

Numbers 23:19 

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? [NIV]

What is the passage actually about? 

Read before the passage

Note transitions like “BUT” or “THEREFORE”

See how the Scripture links elsewhere 

Study that Scripture too

Allow yourself to engage deeply with the Word

Proverbs 3:13

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, [NIV]

Always be mindful of resources you use

Is the Bible translation good for me?

Is the resource I’m using a solid resource? – DON’T JUST GOOGLE

Is the speaker/teacher/preacher sharing God’s Word with Scripture references?

Colossians 2:8

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. [NLT]

——————————————————————

Finish the Race

 

Acts 20:24-30 The Passion Translation (TPT)

24 “But whether I live or die is not important, for I don’t esteem my life as indispensable.[a] It’s more important for me to fulfill my destiny and to finish the ministry my Lord Jesus has assigned to me, which is to faithfully preach the wonderful news of God’s grace. 

25 I’ve been a part of your lives and shared with you many times the message of God’s kingdom realm. But now I leave you, and you will not see my face again. 

26 If any of you should be lost, I will not be blamed, for my conscience is clean, 

27 because I’ve taught you everything I could about God’s eternal plan and I’ve held nothing back. 

28 So guard your hearts. Be true shepherds[b] over all the flock and feed them well. Remember, it was the Holy Spirit who appointed you to guard and oversee[c] the churches that belong to Jesus, the Anointed One,[d] which he purchased and established by his own blood.

29 “I know that after I leave, imposters who have no loyalty to the flock[e] will come among you like savage wolves. 

30 Even some from among your very own ranks will rise up, twisting the truth[f] to seduce people into following them instead of Jesus.

  1. ALERT (v. 31) – be alert!

Acts 20:31 The Passion Translation (TPT)

31 So be alert and discerning. Remember that for three years, night and day, I’ve never stopped warning each of you, pouring out my heart to you with tears.

This “be on guard” means “To be vigilant, “to watch carefully for danger”…

There is danger…

Not everyone wants you to finish the race well

2. MOTIVE (v. 24) – watch for motives!

Acts 20:24 New Living Translation (NLT)

24 But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

Is the motive (reason for doing something) your love for Jesus?

Is the motive (reason for doing something) your faithful obedience to Jesus?

3. FOCUS (v. 25)

What or Who are you preaching? Are you preaching the Kingdom?

Acts 20:25 The Voice (VOICE)

25 I now realize that this is our last good-bye. You have been like family in all my travels to proclaim the kingdom of God, but after today none of you will see my face again.

4. GUARD (v. 28-29)

Acts 20:28-29 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God,[a] which he purchased with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.

This “be on guard” means to give full attention to, to devote yourself to… this means we need to protect ourselves and others – we are all on the same team!

For you and others, truth will be distorted

Even some from your own group will rise up & distort truth to lure people into following them

Breakout Session Questions

1. In reading tonight’s passage, how can you describe Paul’s ministry?

 

2. Read Acts 20:22-24. What can we glean from these verses? How can we be more like this?

3. This passage speaks about being alert, keeping a close watch on our lives and on the lives of the flock. How is this accomplished?

4. Read Acts 20:36-38. What does this passage tell us about seasons and our race? Is this passage encouraging?

——————————————————

A Good Investment

Acts 18:24-28

Apollos – mentored by Priscilla & Aquila

VERSE 25

    • Apollos was instructed in the way of the Lord
    • Fervent in Spirit
    • Spoke/taught accurately
    • BUT, only knew John’s baptism
      • He knew repentance from sin but did not believe in Jesus

Warning… Proverbs 13:20 – Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. [ESV]

A good mentor cares

They took note of Apollos strengths, encouraged his progress

They took Apollos aside privately, provided correction in a loving, kind way 

Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. [ESV]

Mark 12:30-31 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” [NIV]

a good mentor will take time to understand the burdens you have and help you to navigate life

A good mentor is well versed in scripture

Apollos was already “teaching accurately about Jesus,” but Aquila & Priscilla knew enough to help him more. 

Correction should always be performed Scripturally. 

A good mentor invests what he/she has in another

You cannot provide someone something you do not have yourself.

Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. [NLT]

A good mentor sees a greater purpose

Apollos grew from his encounter with the couple

This time with Aquila & Priscilla helped Apollos to be able to explain the way of God more accurately. 

Apollos was a great help, vigorously refused the Jews.

1 Thessalonians 5:11a – Therefore encourage one another and build one another up [ESV]

Hebrews 10:24 – Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. [GNB]

 Breakout Session Questions

For each verse, ask: 

    • What does this share about relationships? 
    • Why is this important? 
    • How can this be accomplished?

Read Proverbs 25:17.

 

Read Romans 12:10. 

 

Read Romans 12:15.

 

Read Ephesians 4:15.

 

Read Hebrews 10:24.

 

—————————————————————

Take Courage

Act 27-28

euthumeó: to be of good cheer

Original Word: εὐθυμέω

Part of Speech: Verb

Transliteration: euthumeó

Phonetic Spelling: (yoo-thoo-meh’-o)

Short Definition: I am cheerful

Definition: I keep up spirit, am cheerful, am of good courage.

“be of good cheer, in good spirits” (high morale)

BE OF GOOD CHEER – GOD IS FAITHFUL

1 Corinthians 1:8-9 Amplified Bible (AMP)

And He will also confirm you to the end [keeping you strong and free of any accusation, so that you will be] blameless and beyond reproach in the day [of the return] of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful [He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promise—He can be depended on], and through Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Acts 27:17-26 English Standard Version (ESV)

17 After hoisting it up, they used supports to undergird the ship. Then, fearing that they would run aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the gear,[a] and thus they were driven along. 18 Since we were violently storm-tossed, they began the next day to jettison the cargo. 19 And on the third day they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.

21 Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. 22 Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 24 and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26 But we must run aground on some island.”

BE OF GOOD CHEER – GOD IS IN CONTROL

Job 12:10 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

10 

Every living creature

    is in the hands of God.

John 10:28 English Standard Version (ESV)

28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

Acts 28:1-6 The Message (MSG)

28 1-2 Once everyone was accounted for and we realized we had all made it, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. The natives went out of their way to be friendly to us. The day was rainy and cold and we were already soaked to the bone, but they built a huge bonfire and gathered us around it.

3-6 Paul pitched in and helped. He had gathered up a bundle of sticks, but when he put it on the fire, a venomous snake, roused from its torpor by the heat, struck his hand and held on. Seeing the snake hanging from Paul’s hand like that, the natives jumped to the conclusion that he was a murderer getting his just deserts. Paul shook the snake off into the fire, none the worse for wear. They kept expecting him to drop dead, but when it was obvious he wasn’t going to, they jumped to the conclusion that he was a god!

BE OF GOOD CHEER – GOD’S PLAN WILL BE FULFILLED

Proverbs 19:21 New Living Translation (NLT)

21 You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.

Proverbs 16:3 New Living Translation (NLT)

3  Commit your actions to the Lord,

    and your plans will succeed.

Acts 28:16 New International Version (NIV)

16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.

Acts 28:25-31 New Living Translation (NLT)

25 And after they had argued back and forth among themselves, they left with this final word from Paul: “The Holy Spirit was right when he said to your ancestors through Isaiah the prophet,

26 

‘Go and say to this people:

When you hear what I say,

you will not understand.

When you see what I do,

you will not comprehend.

27 

For the hearts of these people are hardened,

and their ears cannot hear,

and they have closed their eyes—

so their eyes cannot see,

and their ears cannot hear,

and their hearts cannot understand,

and they cannot turn to me

and let me heal them.’[a]

28 So I want you to know that this salvation from God has also been offered to the Gentiles, and they will accept it.”[b]

30 For the next two years, Paul lived in Rome at his own expense.[c] He welcomed all who visited him, 31 boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one tried to stop him.

Breakout Sessions

1. How does tonight’s passage highlight for us the truth that God keeps His Word?

2. How did Paul witness well during this journey to Rome and while at Rome?

3. Paul made the most of his house arrest in Rome by sharing the Good News, continuing his ministry work. What does his example teach us about making the most of every ministry opportunity the Lord provides?

4. We have just finished reading the Book of Acts. What was your greatest takeaway from this book?

Acts: You Will Be My Witnesses Outlines

YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES

First 8 chapters – time period of 30-33 

Luke quotes OT LXX (Septuagint or “70”), not Hebrew – early Greek translation of OT

Chapters 1-12 – Peter’s Ministry / Chapters 13-28 – Paul’s Ministry

Pentecost is 50 days after Passover (known as Feast of Weeks), Greek word “50th”

Pentecost is one of 3 major feasts (Deuteronomy 16:16) – the Festival of Unleavened Bread [begins day after Passover for a week, in remembrance of the Exodus/no leaven], the Festival of Weeks/Harvest [gratitude of Harvest], and the Festival of Tabernacles/Booths [5 days after Day of Atonement, dwell in tents to remind of time before Canaan] 

Acts 1:4-7 – Promise of Holy Spirit / Acts 1:5 – Wait for the Holy Spirit / Acts 1:9-11 – Ascension

Holy Spirit is the beginning

Only belong to Christ with the Holy Spirit – Romans 8:9

Adopted – Romans 8:14-17

Be Body of Christ with Holy Spirit – 1 Corinthians 12:13

          Tongues of Fire – Speech, communication of Gospel; Fire – God’s purifying presence

Mt. Sinai – Exodus 19:16-18 – fire came down at one place, now every believer

Only baptized by Holy Spirit once – Ephesians 4:4-5

Sins Against the Holy Spirit

Insulting Him – Hebrews 10:29

Lying to Him – Acts 5:3-4

Resisting Him – Acts 7:51

Blaspheming Him – Mark 3:29

Grieving Him – Ephesians 4:30 – Cause Him sorrow/sadness because of indwelling sin

Quenching Him – 1 Thessalonians 5:19 – Allow sin to hinder influence of Holy Spirit, won’t allow His power to yield righteous fruit because of this sin

How YOU will be His witness – John 14-16

Comforts YOU (Acts 9:31) – He is known as the Comforter

Fills YOU with power (Acts 1:8)

Guides YOU to Truth (16:13)

Reminds YOU of Jesus’ Words (14:26)

Gives YOU the words to say (Luke 12:12)

————————————————————————-

You Will Be My Witnesses

What I Have

Acts 3 – Healing of a Lame Man

The Lame Man Settled 

We settle with our circumstances

We accept our pains, our struggles, our situations

What if we thought beyond what was possible in our eyes?

What if we put everything into God’s hands?

Peter & John shared WHAT THEY HAD

What do you have?

Do you get caught in thinking what you have is time, talent, treasure, but forget the most important item you have?

People need the message of eternal life— people need JESUS and the SALVATION He freely gives more than the temporary things of the earth.

This lame man was not given money to get him through the day— He was provided with healing for the temporary but through Christ Jesus he also was offered SALVATION – ETERNAL LIFE

Why would we rather toss some money at someone then give them what is truly needed above all things?  {Road Dogs – not about the hot dogs, about Jesus}

The healing was done IN THE NAME OF JESUS

He gives you authority (power to influence, power to command)

When they say this, it means they are stating that Jesus gave them the power and authority to do this on Jesus behalf. It is all about Jesus. We are the vessels.

Are you using the authority and power you have been given to witness to others? 

In verse 20, it speaks of seasons of refreshing that come from the presence of the Lord. We are all in need of this refreshing.

————————————————————————-

You Will Be My Witnesses

All In

Acts 6:8 – Acts 7:60 – STEPHEN’S WITNESS

Stephen kept his eyes fixed on Jesus

Face of an angel (6:15) 

Moses at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 34:29-35)

Stephen followed the example of Jesus

He did not defend himself though the leaders were noting he was heard speaking blasphemous words (6:11) and presented false witnesses (6:13)

These same charges against Jesus (Matthew 26:59-60)

He spoke the truth despite the consequences, calling the people stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears. He told them they are always resisting the Holy Spirit (6:51). He told them they received the Law but haven’t kept it (6:53).

He trusted God with his spirit (7:59)

Jesus said — “Father, into Your hands I entrust My Spirit” (Luke 23:46)

He asked for forgiveness of those who stoned him (7:60)

Jesus said — “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)

Stephen received a “standing ovation” for his witness (7:55-56)

He saw the glory of God

He saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God

When he spoke this truth, he was saying Jesus was equal to the Father

————————————————————————-

NOT FOR SALE

Acts 8:9-25

Severe persecution broke out again the church in Jerusalem (8:1)

Saul was ravaging the church

People scattered throughout the land of Judea and Samaria

Those who were scattered continued preaching the Word (8:4)

Philip went to Samaria

Samaritans were considered unclean

When the Northern Kingdom of Israel fell to Assyria, the Jews and Gentiles intermingled — resulted in the Samaritans

Samaritans had a their own temple, read a different version of the Pentateuch, and had differing views about the Messiah

Philip’s ministry to the Samaritans was fruitful, only one called Evangelist

Crowds were all paying attention, many were healed

Simon the Magician/Sorcerer

He amazed the people with magic, called “Great Power of God” (not from God)

When Philip evangelized, even Simon declared he believed and was baptized

Simon followed Philip everywhere, watching him perform sings & miracles

Laying Hands = Holy Spirit

The Samaritans believed but did not yet receive the Holy Spirit

Many believe this delay of the Holy Spirit was to confirm unity, the laying of hands was affirmation of the spreading of the Gospel to Samaria

When Simon saw this power, he offered to buy it (like Judas, put monetary value on something spiritual) – heart not right before God (8:20)

Peter rebuked Simon, told him to repent & pray for forgiveness (8:22)

God’s Salvation is Not For Sale

Ephesians 2:8

God’s Spirit is Not For Sale

1 Corinthians 12:7

God’s Blessing is Not For Sale

Psalm 1:1-6

Matthew 6:33

Psalm 67

————————————————————————-

Chosen

Here I Am (v. 10)

Told WHERE to go — street called Straight, house of Judas

Told WHO to go to — Saul, man from Tarsus

Told WHEN to go — at once

Told WHY he must go – since he is praying there, needs to place hands on him and pray so his sight can be restored

BUT this man… (v. 13-14)

Very evil, Power to harm

He is my CHOSEN INSTRUMENT (vessel of election) (v. 15)

He will carry my name before the Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel

He is chosen to suffer for Jesus Christ

We are to WITNESS to GOD’s CHOSEN ONES

They are chosen ones because they will accept Jesus (PREDESTINATION)

Ephesians 1:4-5 — even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.

God wants to freely pour out His grace & mercy on His chosen ones

2 Peter 3:9 — The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

God has a plan for His chosen ones

Romans 8:28-30 — And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

You are called to say “Here I Am” to God’s leading you to share Jesus so that His message of hope and salvation can reach the chosen ones

2 Timothy 1:9 — who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began

Ephesians 1:11-12 — In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

————————————————————————-

FREE AT LAST

Acts 11:1-18

The Truth will set you free (John 8:31-36)

Everyone who believes is set free (Romans 8:1-4)

No Condemnation

Free from the Law of sin & death, Jesus fulfilled the Law

Acts 11:1-18

Approach God with freedom (Ephesians 3:12)

Don’t submit to yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1)

Be slaves of God (Romans 6:22)

Slaves of Righteousness

Charles Spurgeon said as slaves of God, enjoy:

Perfect Freedom

Joyful Existence

Heavenly Prospect

————————————————————————-

Deliverance

Acts 12

King Herod (Agrippa I)

His grandfather was Herod the Great (slaughtered babies after Magi visit – Matt. 1

His uncle was Herod Antipas (murdered John Baptist) – Mark 6

James (brother of John) executed by sword

12:17 is James, Jesus’ half-brother who is leading Jerusalem church

“Wartime Walkie Talkie” – John Piper’s description of prayer

James executed, Peter arrested

Herod attacks by sword, church counters with prayer

Peter was sleeping, not anxious/panicked (confidence in God)

Peter doesn’t escape… he is delivered

Angel had to strike Peter on side too wake him (v. 7)

Chains fell off Peter’s wrist (v. 7)

Gate opened by itself (v. 10)

Peter was too asleep to even know what was happening (v. 9, 11)

Deliverance comes after church praying fervently to God (v. 5, 13)

Prayer is the church’s weapon

They didn’t believe Peter was at the door even though they were praying for him

Perhaps didn’t think he could be rescued, that he was going to end up like James so prayed differently

Perhaps thought he was already dead (mentioned seeing his ghost)

God can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)

1) Made In Faith

“All things are possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!  – Mark 9:23

2) Abide in Him 

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” – John 15:7 [NASB]

3) In Jesus Name

“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” – John 14:13-14 [NLT]

5) For God’s Will

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” – James 4:3 [NIV]

“We are confident that God listens to us if we ask for anything that has his approval. We know that he listens to our requests. So we know that we already have what we ask him for.” – 1 John 5:14-15 [GW]

6) Persistent and Bold 

Ask, Seek, Knock  – Continuous (Not Single Request – Present Tense) – Matthew 7:7-11

————————————————————————-

Walk with Integrity

ACTS 5:1-16

Ananias & Sapphira

Joseph aka Barnabas… sold a field, laid money at apostles’ feet (Acts 4:36-37)

Ananias & Sapphira sold a piece of property too… but lacked integrity… didn’t fear God

Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Galatians 6:7 – Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

Posers / Liars / Deceivers

Pretended to do a righteous act, lied about it

Planned this deception, both were on board

Praise seekers 

They sought recognition for their act of giving

Greedy

The word used in v. 3 means “to keep back” or to “pilfer” (“steal in small amount”) – embezzlement is what we would call it today

The Holy Spirit was grieved by this couple who professed Jesus

Proverbs 10:9 – Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.

The word means “blameless,” “upright,” “innocent.”

To walk with integrity means:

Live the Truth

Stay Humble

Be Generous

————————————————————————-

Not God

Acts 14:8-20

Lystra

Part of Galatia

Temple dedicated to Zeus at the town gates

Pagan people lived there — they had no knowledge of Old Testament so Paul adjusted message to the people so they could understand

He started with the very beginning – God who made the heaven & earth

Legend

Zeus & Hermes came down to Lystra. No one would welcome them except an old couple (Philemon & his wife)

Philemon & his wife. They made a temple, appointed the couple priest & priestess

They sent a flood to destroy the others.

Paul called Hermes (messenger of the gods) because he was speaker of the duo

Keep the focus on God

God is Creator (v. 15)

God is Provider (v. 17)

If you offer someone something other than God, it will fail

How Do You Make Sure You are God-Focused as a Witness:

1. Receive the Gospel daily

Sinner, saved by grace

Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; [NASB]

IF YOU DON’T RECOGNIZE YOUR NEED FOR THE GOSPEL, YOUR PRIDE WILL RISE UP AND TAKE HOLD OF YOUR WITNESSING.

IT WILL THEN BE ALL ABOUT YOU HELPING, YOU SAVING, YOU DOING

2. Thank God daily

Gratitude reminds us of how blessed we are– that our blessings come from God. 

Psalm 50:23

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” [ESV]

Gratitude reminds us that He is our Creator and He is our Provider.

IF YOU DON’T THANK GOD OFTEN FOR THE BLESSINGS, YOU MAY HARBOR A FEELING OF ENTITLEMENT. 

IF YOU DON’T THANK GOD OFTEN FOR THE BLESSINGS, YOU MAY BECOME NEGATIVE…. FOCUSING ON WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE… FOCUSING ON THE BAD THINGS YOU SEE OR THINK YOU SEE.

3. Live in His Truth daily

Be in the Word

Matthew 4:4

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” [NIV]

Walk in Faithful Obedience

James 1:22

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. [ESV]

4. Glorify God always

Acts 12:20-23

But things went from bad to worse for Herod. Now people from Tyre and Sidon put him on the warpath. But they got Blastus, King Herod’s right-hand man, to put in a good word for them and got a delegation together to iron things out. Because they were dependent on Judea for food supplies, they couldn’t afford to let this go on too long. On the day set for their meeting, Herod, robed in pomposity, took his place on the throne and regaled them with a lot of hot air. The people played their part to the hilt and shouted flatteries: “The voice of God! The voice of God!” That was the last straw. God had had enough of Herod’s arrogance and sent an angel to strike him down. Herod had given God no credit for anything. Down he went. Rotten to the core, a maggoty old man if there ever was one, he died.

God is our Creator

We were created to glorify Him… to point to Him!

God is our Provider

We are given all we need by Him… to point to Him!

Let us glorify Him

To Him alone be all honor, glory, and praise… point to Him!

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PRAISE AT ALL TIMES

Acts 16:25-34  

Matthew 26:30

After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. [NASB]

After the Last Supper, sang a hymn and then went to the Mount of Olives. 

Read Acts 16:25-34

Fortune Teller – power from evil spirits/demons – Paul commanded the demon come out in Jesus name. Owners lost money.

Paul and Silas were beaten, flogged, and jailed

Praying and singing hymns (v. 25)

Prisoners were listening – PEOPLE ALWAYS LISTENING

Earthquake – prison doors open/chains off – jailer & household saved!

Acts 16:25-26

Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose. [MSG]

ROBUST – strong, vigorous

Acts 16:25

Paul and Silas, undaunted, prayed in the middle of the night and sang songs of praise to God, while all the other prisoners listened to their worship. [TPT]

UNDAUNTED – not intimidated or discouraged 

Why are we talking about this today?

We were made to glorify God. (Isaiah 43:7)

1 Peter 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials  so that the proven character of your faith —  more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire  —  may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. [CSB] 

How can we be undaunted (not discouraged) & sing robust (strong) praises to the Lord at ALL times so we can point to Jesus Christ (be the “good” witness)?

Be Grateful at ALL times

Always look for God’s grace. Seek it out. 

Read Psalm 118

Be God centered

Don’t look at the situation. Look to God…. To His Truth, His Promises!

Don’t focus on the mess… remember the future ahead!

Rest in your confidence in Him!

Ex: Waiting for your child to finish tying his/her shoes

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments. [NIV]

SALVATION IS FROM GOD — v. 18 is salvation (God alone offers salvation through Christ Jesus)

VICTORY IS FROM GOD — v. 19 is control, victory (God is in control, He provides victory)

Psalm 34:1-3

I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will boast in the LORD; the humble will hear and be glad. Proclaim the LORD’s greatness with me; let us exalt his name together. [CSB]

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Not A Suggestion

You Will Be My Witnesses

It is not a suggestion to repent and turn to God.

God is our Creator and Sustainer.

In Him we live, move, and exist!

We long for Him & through repentance, turning toward God we can do life with Him!

It is not a suggestion to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

People are living life blinded by sin, unable to be in the presence of God, unable to experience life as it is intended.

We have been commanded to share Jesus through the Great Commission — it is not a suggestion! 

Acts 17:22-34 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Paul Speaks to the Leaders of Athens

22 So Paul stood in the middle of the leadership council and said, “Respected leaders of Athens,[a] it is clear to me how extravagant you are in your worship of idols.[b] 

23 For as I walked through your city, I was captivated by the many shrines and objects of your worship. I even found an inscription on one altar that read, ‘To the Unknown God.’[c] I have come to introduce to you this God whom you worship without even knowing anything about him.

24 “The true God is the Creator of all things. He is the owner and Lord of the heavenly realm and the earthly realm, and he doesn’t live in man-made temples. 

25 He supplies life and breath and all things to every living being. He doesn’t lack a thing that we mortals could supply for him, for he has all things and everything he needs. 

26 From one man, Adam, he made every man and woman and every race of humanity, and he spread us over all the earth. He sets the boundaries of people and nations, determining their appointed times in history.

27 He has done this so that every person would long for God, feel their way to him,[e] and find him—for he is the God who is easy to discover![f] 

28 It is through him that we live and function and have our identity; just as your own poets have said,[g] ‘Our lineage comes from him.’[h]

29 “Since our lineage can be traced back to God, how could we even think that the divine image could be compared to something made of gold, silver, or stone, sculpted by man’s artwork and clever imagination?

30 “In the past God tolerated[i] our ignorance of these things, but now the time of deception has passed away.[j] He commands us all to repent and turn to God.[k] 

31 For the appointed day has risen, in which he is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man he has designated. And the proof given to the world that God has chosen this Man is this: he resurrected him from among the dead!”[l]

32 The moment they heard Paul bring up the topic of resurrection, some of them ridiculed him, then got up and left. But others said, “We want to hear you again later about these things.” 

33 So Paul left the meeting. 34 But there were some who believed the message and joined him from that day forward. Among them were Dionysius, a judge on the leadership council,[m] and a woman named Damaris.[n]

Hebrews 10:22 The Passion Translation (TPT)

22 we come closer to God and approach him[a] with an open heart, fully convinced by faith that nothing will keep us at a distance from him. For our hearts have been sprinkled with blood to remove impurity and we have been freed from an accusing conscience and now we are clean, unstained, and presentable to God inside and out![b]

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 The Message (MSG)

7-10 Do you know that all over the provinces of both Macedonia and Achaia believers look up to you? The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore—you’re the message! People come up and tell us how you received us with open arms, how you deserted the dead idols of your old life so you could embrace and serve God, the true God. They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom.

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Judgment

Acts 24:22-27

Felix listened to Paul about Jesus

Felix was originally a slave, freed by Emperor Claudius

Felix became one of the emperor’s infamous favorites

As governor, Felix committed every act of extortion

Felix lured Drusilla away from her husband because he desired her

She was one of the three daughters of Herod Agrippa I

Her father murdered James

Her uncle murdered John the Baptist

Her great grandfather murdered the Hebrew babies

PAUL WAS NOT ASHAMED

Romans 1:16-17 New Living Translation (NLT)

16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile 17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

Felix sent for Paul often (v. 26)

Felix thought Paul would offer a bribe

When asked to share truth about “the faith in Jesus Christ,” Paul did not dampen the message to not offend

PAUL WAS PREPARED

1 Peter 3:14-16 English Standard Version (ESV)14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

FELIX WAS CONVICTED & FEARFUL

Fear stopped Felix from listening fully

He feared judgment which was surely coming

THE TIME WAS NOT CONVENIENT

Felix sent Paul away for a convenient time 

Time is never convenient

Follow the Holy Spirit’s leading

Recognize you may be sent away like Paul

JUDGMENT IS COMING

Hebrews 10:26-31 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Christ or Judgment

26 For if we go on willfully and deliberately sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice [to atone] for our sins [that is, no further offering to anticipate], 27 but a kind of awful and terrifying expectation of [divine] judgment and the fury of a fire and burning wrath which will consume the adversaries [those who put themselves in opposition to God]. 28 Anyone who has ignored and set aside the Law of Moses is put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much greater punishment do you think he will deserve who has rejected and trampled under foot the Son of God, and has considered unclean and common the blood of the covenant that [a]sanctified him, and has insulted the Spirit of grace [who imparts the unmerited favor and blessing of God]? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine [retribution and the deliverance of justice rest with Me], I will repay [the wrongdoer].” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful and terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God [incurring His judgment and wrath].

Revelation 6:16-17 English Standard Version (ESV)

16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

What Jesus Said: Red Letter Series Outlines

What Jesus Said: Red Letter Series

[[Week 1 – Jesus]]

Bear Grylls (British Adventurer) – “And Jesus, the heart of the Christian faith is the wildest, most radical guy you’d ever come across.”

What did Jesus say about His IDENTITY and His MISSION???

Who is Jesus? One Person of the Trinity

What did He call Himself or say about Himself?

Son of God (John 2:14-17) – Clearing of the Temple – “Do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”

Son of Man (John 9:25-38) – Healing Man Blind from Birth – “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “It is He Who is speaking to you.”

Messiah who is called Christ (John 4:7-10, 26) – Woman from Samaria – “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ”) Jesus says, “I Who speak to you am He.”

Messiah, Son of Living God (Matthew 16:13-17) – “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Lord of Sabbath / Greater than the Temple (Matthew 12:6-8)  

All Authority in Heaven and on Earth (Matthew 28:18-20)

Where did He come from and When? 

He is before Abraham (John 8:58) – “Before Abraham was, I am.”

Alpha and Omega, First and Last, Beginning and End (Revelation 22:13)

Where is He now?

Right hand of God (Matthew 26:63-67) – “From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Luke 22:69) – “But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

Why did He come?? To Serve God and Serve Others

The Mission:

Serve and Give Life as Ransom for Many (Matthew 20:25-28) Gives His Life (John 5:21-22)

Lift up Life & Take it up Again (John 10:17-18) – “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again.” (John 3:14-17)

Save Lives (Luke 9:55-56) – “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Save Those Who Believe (John 13:14-17)

 (John 3:14-17)

Provide Life in Abundance (John 10:10-11) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 

Open Eyes to Truth (John 9:39) – “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” – To give sight to those who were spiritually blind. Testify to the Truth (John 18:37) – To Pilate, Jesus says, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth.”

Forgives Sins (Matthew 9:2-5) – Paralyzed Man – “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” This foreshadows the forgiveness of sins we are offered because of Christ Jesus. (Luke 7:48, 1 John 1:9 – “if we confess, He is faithful to forgive,” Ephesians 1:7)

Fulfill Law (Matthew 5:17) – “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 26:47-54) – as Peter is cutting off Malchus ear, “But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled.” (John 18:11) – “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given Me?”

What Others Said about Jesus:

Read John 1:35-43. This passage discusses the call of the disciples of Jesus. In this passage, what does it say about who Jesus is?

What Jesus Said about Jesus:

Read John 6:48-51. 

What does Jesus call Himself?

Where does Jesus say He came from?

What does this passage talk about doing? What are the results of this action?

 Read John 10:25-30. The Jewish people were questioning Jesus and this is His response. What does Jesus say about Himself in this passage?

Read John 18:1-9. This is the account of the arrest of Jesus. The Roman soldiers were looking for Jesus of Nazareth. 

How many times did Jesus ask who they were looking for? What was His response?

Why do you think that everyone fell over the first time Jesus said “I am He”?

Verse 9 speaks of why this all happened. What was the reason? (See John 17:12)

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What Jesus Said: Red Letter Series

[[Week 2 – Devil]]

Jesse Ventura (wrestler, politician) “In wrestling, my mustache made me look more like a villain. A good mustache can give you the look of the devil.”

What did Jesus say about Satan and Demons?

Who is Satan? 

Father of Lies, a Liar (John 8:44)

Murderer from the beginning (John 8:44) 

Prince of the world (John 14:30)

Prince of the demons (Mark 3:22)

Where did Satan come from? 

“And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’” (Luke 10:18)

Where is Satan now? 

Satan is roaming the world. He is the Prince/Ruler of the World (John 14:30). 

“The eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). 

Tossed into the lake of fire in Revelation 20:10.

Where is Satan going? 

Satan is going to be cast out. (John 12:31-32)

As Christ goes to the Cross, it seems as if the prince of the world is victorious, but it is actually the same time as he is cast out of the earth as he had been already cast out of heaven. This is a gradual thing, but one that has already been achieved and will surely come.

Satan has already been judged and stands condemned (John 16:11)

The Power of Satan

Satan can take away the word as soon as heard, if we’re not receptive / don’t believe (Mark 4:15)

Satan can tempt – Satan even tempted Jesus (Luke 4:1-13)

Satan can keep someone bound – bound woman 18 years that Jesus healed on Sabbath (Luke 13:16)

Satan can disgrace/distress us if he cannot destroy us – he desired to sift Peter as wheat (Luke 22:31-32)

True Power found in Jesus

Pray for deliverance from evil one – Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:13)

Remember there is power in the name of Jesus 

The disciples drove out demons in His name (Matthew 10:8, Luke 10:17-20)

Jesus rebuked demons (Matthew 17:14-20)

Jesus delivered demon-possessed daughter from a distance (Matthew 15:22-28)

The demon possessed man who lived in tombs fell on his knees before Jesus (Mark 5:1-19)

Remember, Jesus is victorious!

What Others Said:

Read 2 Peter 2:4. This passage speaks of angels that sinned, hell, and judgment.

Who were the angels that sinned and who were they “working for”/serving?

 

What does this passage say happened to them and where are they now?

 

What Jesus Said:

Read Matthew 12:43-45. This passage speaks about evil spirits that comes out of a person. 

What do the spirit do? 

 

This passage is challenging. We can see that the man who once had one evil spirit, now has a total of eight. What can you glean from this passage?

 

Read Mark 5:1-20 (also see Matthew 8:28-34 and Luke 8:26-39).

This passage is one that shows us a lot about demons, though Jesus says very little if you look at the Synoptic passages. What can you glean about demons from these readings?

 

In question 2, we read about a person who went from one evil spirit to having eight more. When looking at Mark and Luke, what do we learn about this demon-possession?

 

Food for thought: Why did the demons ask to go into the pigs? Why did Jesus agree?

 

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What Jesus Said: Red Letter Series

[[Week 3 – Heaven]]

Jimi Hendrix (guitarist, singer-songwriter) “You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.”

What did Jesus say about heaven?

Jesus DOES NOT talk much about what heaven will be like. 

Jesus talks mostly about HOW YOU GET INTO HEAVEN, and that the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN HAS BEGUN NOW and we are to live in light of that truth.

Heaven is a place

It is a place where God is & His presence is made known (Matthew 6:9, John 14:23-31).

 It is NOT bodiless beings floating around through clouds.

Heaven is a place only Jesus has been 

Only He has gone to heaven (John 3:13)

Only He came from heaven – called the Bread from Heaven (John 6:35-51)

Heaven is a place prepared for us 

It is a place that was prepared since the creation of the world (Matthew 25:34)

It is a place of treasures and joy and reward (Matthew 6:20)

Heaven is a place with enough room (John 14:2)

Even though there is a lot of room, not everyone will enter.

Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will enter (Matthew 7:21)

Must be born again (John 3:3), Hear & believe – cross over from death to life (John 5:24) 

Heaven is a place of fellowship  

In fellowship with one another and with God (Matthew 26:29) 

God of the living (Matthew 22:32, Luke 20:38)

Jesus communion with us in heaven

Heaven is a place of justice (Luke 16 – The Rich Man & Lazarus)

Separation between heaven (good place) & hell (bad place)

Jesus lets us know that it is not easy to get in heaven. Read Matthew 18:2-4 and Matthew 19:14. What do these verses say about how to get into heaven? What does this mean?

 

The world has a system that rates who is better by comparing possessions, accomplishments, beauty, and talent. Read Matthew 5:17-20. How are things different in heaven?

 

Jesus is very clear – preparation for heaven is important. Read Matthew 25:1-13. What does this parable teach us?

Jesus often spoke in parables. If you read Matthew 13, you will note numerous parables that speak about the kingdom of heaven.  Read Matthew 13:31-52. 

We read the kingdom of heaven compared to numerous items. What do each of these   comparisons mean?

Mustard seed (v. 31)/Yeast (v. 33) –  

Hidden treasure (v. 44)/Pearl (v. 45) –  

Net (v. 50) –  

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What Jesus Said: Red Letter Series

[[Week 4 – Hell]]

Arthur Rimbaud (French poet) – “I believe that I am in hell, therefore I am there.” 

George Herbert (Welsh poet, Anglican priest) – “Hell is full of good meanings and wishings.”

The OT word for hell is “Sheol” and it was used to describe the world of the dead. In the NT, a few words are used. “Hades” (place for departed spirits), “Tartarus” (place where fallen angels stay until final judgment – 2 Peter 2:4 – this word is only used in this verse as “Tartarus” is Greek mythology word used to describe the place where enemies of gods are sent), and “Gehenna” (place for lost / condemned).

 “Gehenna” (“Gêhinnōm”) – the place used as a trash dump because of the valley of sons of Hinnom where children were sacrificed by fire. Referred to as “lake of fire” in Revelation (20:11-15). Gehenna is the place of post-resurrection torment where the unredeemed people experience everlasting judgment.

What did Jesus say about hell?

Hell is a choice 

God is righteous. God is just. He demands eternal punishment for those who sin. The Bible says “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Even so, anyone can avoid this punishment. 

C.S. Lewis wrote in The Problem of Pain that “the doors of hell are locked on the inside.”

Believe in Jesus – saved from condemnation

Don’t believe in Jesus – stand condemned

Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. – John 3:18 

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. – Mark 16:16

Hell is a place of divine judgment 

For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. – John 5:21-23

The one who rejects Me and does not receive My words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. – John 12:48 

Hell is a place of darkness

While the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. – Matthew 8:12

Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ – Matthew 22:13

And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. – Matthew 25:30

Hell is a place of separation

Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.  – Matthew 13:30

Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. – Matthew 25:32

Hell is eternal torment 

He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. – Matthew 24:51

Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. – Matthew 25:41

And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.   – Matthew 25:46

If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. – Mark 9:43

Hell is a fiery furnace

But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. – Matthew 5:22

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. – Matthew 7:19

They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. – Matthew 13:42

So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. – Matthew 13:49-50

And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. – Matthew 18:9

So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ – Luke 16:24

Hell is a place of destruction and death

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. – Matthew 7:13

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. – Matthew 10:28

Read Luke 16:19-31 – The Rich Man and Lazarus. Understand that this parable’s message is about money/stewardship. Nonetheless, the parable gives us some information about hell that was commonly known among the Jewish listeners as taught from the Old Testament that we can use to glean more understanding.

This parable speaks mostly about two main people. Who are these people? How are they both described?

 

Both Lazarus and the Rich Man die. Where do they go right after they die? What was different between the wording of what happened & what does this mean? (v. 22)

 

In Verse 24, the Rich Man asks for comfort from Lazarus but is quickly denied this request. Read v. 25-26. What does this tell us about hell?

 

In Verse 27, the Rich Man asks if Lazarus could visit his family to warn them of the torment. Abraham’s response tells us what?

 

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What Jesus Said: Red Letter Series

[[Week 5 – Believe]]

FEAR / ANXIETY / WORRY / FAITH / BELIEVE

Franklin D. Roosevelt (President) – “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Anxious about life

Fear storms

Worry about tomorrow

We laugh at God (Mark 5:40 – the Healing of Jairus Daughter)

We limit God (Matthew 14:17 – the Feeding of Five Thousand)

We doubt God (Matthew 8:25-26, Luke 8:24-25 – Jesus Calms the Storm)

What Jesus Said…

Don’t be anxious (Matthew 6:25-34, Luke 12:22-34)

You are valuable

God knows your needs

Tomorrow has its own trouble 

Have no fear (Matthew 10:26-33, Mark 5:36)

Do not let your heart be troubled (John 14:1)

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

Now what?

Do you want to get well? (John 5:5-14 – Healing at the Pool for a 38 year invalid)

Lord, if you are willing? (Matthew 8:2-4 – Healing of Leper)

Believe

Go, it will be as you believe (Matthew 8:5-13 – Centurion’s faith)

See glory of God – God is glorified (John 11:40 – Raising of Lazarus)

Read Matthew 17:14-21

Why did Jesus say they couldn’t cast out demons?

 

Not all Bible translations have Matthew 17:21. Read the verse. The disciples were said to have little faith. What was neglected in their faith walk that is mentioned here as requirements to cast out these particular demons?

 

Read Mathew 21:18-22 and Mark 11:20-25. The fig tree was cursed by Jesus because it gave a false appearance of bearing fruit, as a fig has fruit before the leaves. When Jesus curses the fig tree, He demonstrates His power. 

What does Jesus say we can do if we speak without doubting in our hearts?

 

How does Jesus describe prayer in these passages?

 

Read Luke 5:5. This verse is part of the passage that discusses the calling of the disciples of Jesus. We read that James, John, and Peter fished all night and received no return on their labor. Jesus shows up and they pull the boat away from shore. Jesus teaches and then He tells the fishermen to cast their nets. 

What gets in the way of us letting down our nets in life?

 

Personal reflection: In this passage, we read that the men already spent all night fishing, but then they respond to Jesus, “But at Your word,” and they obey. How can we be people that say, “At Your Word” in obedience to our Lord?

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What Jesus Said: Red Letter Series

[[Week 6 – Obey]]

Katherine Hepburn (Actress) – “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”

Obedience is to be Continual

John 5:8 – “Jesus said to him, ‘Get up, take up your bed, and walk.’”

Get Up

Pick up your mat

Walk

John 5:14 – “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.’”

Stop Sinning

Obedience is Sacrificial

Matthew 8:18-22, Luke 14:25-33, John 6:60-65

Luke 9:62 – “Yet another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’”

Obedience confirms Relationship

Sheep Listen – John 10:27 – “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

Abide in Word – Disciple – John 8:31 – “You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings.”

Obedience = Friend of Jesus – John 15:14 – “You are My friends if you do what I command you.”

Obedience = Brother, sister, mother – Matthew 12:50, Mark 3:35, Luke 8:21

Obedience is all about Love

Love = Obedience – John 14:23-26 – yes, it’s hard but we have the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, to teach all things, remind of everything

Obedience = Remain in Love – John 15:10 – “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” 

Love me – Obey teaching –Not all who obey enter Kingdom – Matthew 7:21-27, Luke 6:46-49

Obedience comes with Rewards

Obedience / Keep Word = Never see death – John 8:51 – “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”

Blessed are those who hear word & obey – Luke 11:28 – “But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’”

What Others Said:

Read 1 Samuel 15:20-22. 

What does this verse tell us about obedience?

 

What is the difference between obeying God’s Word and providing God an offering / sacrifice?

 

What Jesus Said:

Read Matthew 7:21. In this verse, Jesus makes it clear that those who say, “Lord, Lord” may not necessarily enter heaven. What does this say to us?

 

Read Acts 9:1-9. We read about what Saul (Paul) was doing to persecute the early Christians. Jesus meets him on Damascus Road and asks why Saul is persecuting Him. What is Jesus command to Saul in Acts 9:6?

 

The conversion of Saul to Paul is found in Acts 9, 22, and 26. Read Acts 22:8-10. 

What questions does Saul (Paul) ask Jesus?

 

After Jesus revealed to Saul (Paul) Who He is, he immediately wanted to obey Jesus—he asked Him what he was to do. What does this tell you about obedience?

 

This passage mentions first knowing Jesus and then obeying Him. It is also true that as you continue to walk in obedience, you know Jesus deeper. Why is this true?

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What Jesus Said: Red Letter Series

[[Week 7 – Serve]]

Love / Compassion / Serving God & Others / Care

Annie Lennox (singer songwriter) – “Humankind seems to have an enormous capacity for savagery, for brutality, for lack of empathy, for lack of compassion.” 

Common statement “Jesus had compassion” (Matthew 15:32, Matthew 20:34, Mark 8:2)

Luke 7:12-15 – As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

YOU WILL BE BLESSED – Matthew 5:7Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

JESUS SET THE EXAMPLE – John 13:12-17

IT IS A COMMAND 

Mark 12:30-31 – And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

John 13:34-35 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another

WHAT YOU DO FOR OTHERS, YOU DO FOR JESUS – Matthew 25:34-40 – Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Matthew 5:38-48, Luke 6:27-36

Matthew 5:41 – And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

Read Luke 10:25-37 – The Parable of the Good Samaritan

The man who was heading down from Jerusalem to Jericho was attacked by robbers and left for dead. Why would the priest and Levite pass him by?

 

The priest and Levite passed this man who was left for dead. How does this relate to us being the passerby’s? What causes us to pass by those in need? What keeps us from showing compassion?

 

The person who assisted the man in need was known as what type of person? Why was this type of person one who stood out?

 

What did the Samaritan do for this man in need? How would you describe his actions?

 

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What Jesus Said: Red Letter Series

[[Week 8 – Give]]

Treasure / Greed / Money / Stewardship / Generosity

Al Pacino (actor) – “Money makes your life easier. If you’re lucky to have it, you’re lucky.”

The Treasure Isn’t Ours (Luke 12:13-21)

The Rich Fool did not recognize where the abundance came. He took it all for himself. He stored up treasures but was not rich toward God, the One Who blessed him, Who entrusted him to manage the treasures.

The Responsibility Is Ours (Mark 12:17)

And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him. – Mark 12:17 [NASB]

Accountability is Promised (Luke 19:11-27 The Parable of the Ten Minas)

“His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’ (v. 22-23)

Reward is Promised (Matthew 25:14-30 – The Parable of the Bags of Gold)

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (v. 23)

The Treasure Isn’t Here (Matthew 6:19-21)

Read Luke 16:1-14 (The Parable of the Shrewd Manager or Parable of the Unjust Steward)

Who is hearing Jesus speak this parable? Who is mentioned in this parable?

 

What can you tell about the Shrewd / Dishonest Manager?

 

We read in verse 8 that the master commended the dishonest manager. Many incorrectly take this to mean that Jesus commends the shrewd manager’s poor behavior that got him into this mess. Jesus is not commending the dishonesty. Consider how each of us are managers of what God has given us.  Read Luke 16:8 again. 

Who is Jesus drawing a contrast between?

 

Read verse 9 again. Unrighteous wealth means worldly wealth. This isn’t saying we are to acquire wealth in a dishonest way. It is making a statement regarding the way money can corrupt people to act unrighteous. What is Jesus encouraging us to do in this passage?

 

Read verses 10-13 again. 

Finish this statement: Those who can be trusted / faithful with little…

 

What are the “true riches” (v. 11)?

 

Verse 13 says we cannot serve two masters. How is money to fit into our life?

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What Jesus Said: Red Letter Series

[[Week 9 – Forgive]]

Anger / Judgment / Forgiveness

Sophia Petrillo to Dorothy Zbornak on “The Golden Girls” – “Anger is a lot like a piece of shredded wheat caught under your dentures. If you leave it there, you get a blister and you gotta eat Jell-O all week. If you get rid of it, the sore heals and you feel better.”

YOU ALWAYS LOSE WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR TEMPER

Anger / Judgment / Unforgiveness – all get in the way of our relationship with Jesus

Unable to focus on Jesus

Unable to worship completely – something is in the way

Offensive to God

Detrimental to our relationships

Anger is ok, don’t sin (Ephesians 4:26), One given to anger sins (Proverbs 29:22) 

One slow to anger has great understanding (Proverbs 14:29) 

Quick tempered act foolishly (Proverbs 14:17)

Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS – Jesus said they shall be called SONS OF GOD (Matthew 5:9)

Forgiveness is a sign of our spiritual birth (Matthew 6:14) – you forgive and you will be forgiven 

OWN UP – even when you don’t feel like you did something wrong – JESUS DID!!

1 Corinthians 13:5 – Love is NOT rude, does NOT insist on own way, NOT resentful/irritable – Why do we have to always be right? Why are we bitter?

What does Jesus say?

RECONCILE FIRST

“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too”Mark 11:25 [NLT]

“Leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”Matthew 5:24 [ESV]

NO RETALIATION

Matthew 5:38-48 – turn cheek, go two miles, PRAY

TRUTH ABOUT JUDGMENT

Non-believers

Cannot judge outside the church. God will judge. We are to share truth and grace (Jesus Christ)

Believers

John 7:24 – Don’t judge by appearance. Use right judgment. Our judgment is usually heavily biased. We magnify the mistakes of others and minimize our own.

Luke 17:3-4 – if brother sins, rebuke, if repent forgive – even 7 times

Matthew 18:15-35 – if brother sins: approach alone, approach with a few, approach church

Life with Jesus is…

Life changing

Hurt, anger, bitterness, resentment – exchanged for – peace, joy, love, contentment

Life giving

Forgiveness equals deeper understanding of God’s love and mercy. This helps us to develop a grateful spirit that leads to more intimate fellowship with Jesus.

Read the Woman Caught in Adultery (John 8:1-11).

What was Jesus doing before the woman was brought before Him? Who was present?

 

The passage says that the Law of Moses commands that an adulterous woman be stoned. Read Deuteronomy 22:22. Is this true? 

 

Jesus did not condemn the woman as the people desired. Instead He was writing on the ground. He said the one without sin should cast the first stone. The people deserted. In what manner? Consider why you think this happened.

 

Read the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:21-35).

Verse 24 and verse 28 speak about the amounts owed. What are the differences? What does this say to us?

 

In verse 32, we read about mercy shown. What is mercy? How did the servant receive mercy from the king?

 

The final verse of this passage speaks about what is expected of each of us. What is expected? What is the only way this can happen?

 

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What Jesus Said: Red Letter Series

[[Week 10 – Follow]]

Discipleship / Spiritual Maturity / Spiritual Priorities

THE COST OF BEING A DISCIPLE – LUKE 14:25-35

Love God more than anyone else (Matthew 10:37)

Anyone who loves family more than Me is not worth (v. 38-39)

Disciples have partnership with Jesus – John 15:1-21 – Abide in Me & I in you 

Forsake all that you have (Luke 14:33) 

Don’t cling to anything but God

Disciples will follow Jesus everywhere – John 12:26 

Count the cost (Luke 14:28) 

Understand the cost of following Jesus

Sacrifice

Deny yourself & take up the cross (Luke 9:23-26)

Disciples remain faithful to My teaching – John 8:31-32

Live every word from the mouth of God – Matthew 4:4

Take up cross DAILY – Luke 9:23

Benefits of Discipleship

 – for those who desire to know and obey God

 – relationship with God of the Universe!

– Blessed are those who hunger & thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied

 – able to live life as God intended, for the reason you were created.

– with a hundred times more houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, property (Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29-30)

A disciple is one who worships. Read John 4:23-24.

What does this verse say?

How can you live this out?

A disciple is a servant. Read John 13:1-17.

What is a servant?

How can you live this out?

A disciple is a witness. Read Matthew 28:18-20.

What is the Great Commission?

How can you live this out?

What does it mean:

To live for yourself or to deny yourself?

To ignore the cross or to take it up?

To seek to save your life (and lose it) or to lose it (and actually find it)?

To gain the world or forsake the world?

To lose your soul or keep it?

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What Jesus Said: Red Letter Series

[[Week 11 – Honor]]

Glory / Honor / Pride / Humility

John 13:12-17 – When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

OUR LIGHT SHINES FOR GOD’S GLORY

Matthew 5:14-16 – You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

HE ALONE GETS THE GLORY

Luke 17:7-10 – “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”

John 3:30 – He must increase, but I must decrease.

Revelation 5:12 – saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” 

Revelation 1:6 – and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 

CHILD-LIKE HUMILITY IS GREATEST

Matthew 18:2-4 – And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 20:25-28 – But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

THE HUMBLE ARE EXALTED

Luke 14:8-11 – “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14 – To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE HEART

Matthew 15:8-9 – This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

Luke 16:15 – And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. 

REJOICE THAT YOUR NAME IS IN HEAVEN

Luke 10:17-20 – The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

John 12:26 – If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. 

Read Luke 17:7-10. This passage discusses a master and a servant. The question proposed is “does he (the master) thank the servant because he did what he was commanded?” 

Why is this question so important? What does it mean?

The passage later speaks of “unworthy servants.” Why are the servants unworthy? How does this relate to us?

 

Read Luke 20:46-47. This passage talks about the scribes who lived life for all to see. 

What does this passage say they did? 

 

What will happen to these people? Why do you think this will happen?

 

Read John 7:17-19. In this passage, Jesus speaks about whether the teaching is from God or His own authority. 

What does the passage say about a person who speaks on his own authority?

 

How does this relate to our own lives?

 

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What Jesus Said: Red Letter Series

[[Week 12 – Pray]]

In Jesus Name

“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” – John 14:13-14

Abide in Him

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. – John 15:7

God loves when you tell God Who He is to you.

Individual Prayer

Matthew 26:36 – Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 

If Jesus needed a place to go alone to pray, don’t you think you do?

Matthew 6:6 – But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

God does not value corporate prayer above personal prayer (ex: handmade cards from kids are the ones you save).

Persistent and Bold 

Ask, Seek, Knock – Continuous (Not Single Request – Present Tense)

Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?” – Matthew 7:7-11

Made in Faith

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” – Mark 11:24-25 

Without Ceasing

Pray without ceasing – be aware He is with you all day long – Luke 18:1-8

Prayers for You

Jesus prays for all believers – John 17:20-26

Greater Things

John 14:12-14 Greater things – ask/done

Read Matthew 6:9. This passage begins the Lord’s Prayer. We read, “Our Father.” What does that mean to you? Is He your father? Do you feel like you are a child of God?

The verse continues, “Hallowed be Your name.” This basically says, “Holy be Your name.” This is a form of reverence. The word reverence means “deep respect.” Do you have deep respect for God? Do you approach Him with respect?

Read Matthew 6:10. This passage speaks about loyalty to God and His kingdom. We claim this when we say, “Your kingdom come.” It means we seek His Kingdom. This is a Kingdom that offers deliverance. This is a Kingdom of a Sovereign Savior. Are you seeking His Kingdom? Do you want His Kingdom?

The passage continues with “Your will be done.” This is a submission to God’s will. This is proclaiming the desire for God’s will to be done in your life and in the entire world. This is also a recognition that you are the servant and He is the Master. Do you pray for God’s will? Do you seek His will for your life?

Read Matthew 6:12, 14-15. This passage asks for forgiveness as we also have forgiven. This means we have ALREADY forgiven those in our lives that need forgiveness. This means that when we approach God, we need to have a cleared plate. We should not be harboring any unforgiveness. Is there anyone you haven’t forgiven yet? Is there something that you are allowing to get in between you and God? Remember God has forgiven us of much more than we are ever asked to forgive of others.

Read Matthew 6:11. This verse recognizes the provision of God. We often take for grant the provisions of God. This verse helps us to remember that He alone is our provider. Not only should we approach God with reverence, but we should approach God with humility. Do you acknowledge your dependence on God? Do you come before Him with gratitude that He continues to provide? Do you ask for His continued provision, recognizing all you have comes from Him?

Read Matthew 6:13. This verse again speaks of humility. We humbly ask God to help us—to “lead us not into temptation.” The verse continues to ask for deliverances from “the evil one.” With saying this, we understand that we are weak and that there are temptations. We understand that we need God’s help to stand up to these temptations, to not succumb to the temptations. This recognizes that the devil is prowling around trying to steal, kill, and destroy.  Do you ever ask God to help you fight temptation? Do you have something tempting you right now, and you need His help to stand firm? Do you realize that the devil will not stop until he can do everything in his power to steal, kill, and destroy? Ask Him to strengthen your step. Ask Him to deliver you.

Genesis Series Outlines – Back to the Beginning

Genesis 1-2 CREATION

Genesis 1 does NOT specify the age of the cosmos – It is NOT written to address evolution or geologic age – it is a story about WHO GOD IS. 

It is not literal – exactly/exact

It is not figurative – figure of speech, metaphor (something is something else)

It is analogical – analogies compare things so you can see relationship

REGARDLESS OF THEORIES, THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PREXISTENCE OF GOD IS CENTRAL

View 1 – God created everything and then models the earth

View 2 – Gap Theory – between 1:1 & 1:2 is the fall of Satan

View 3 – Genesis 1:3 starts the story, 1:1 is summary title and 1:2 is the condition at the beginning (something is WRONG – chaos)

Some Other Views:

Dualism – God and everything else existed side by side – two opposite powers in the universe

Pantheism – God is in everything and everyone (ex: a tree is God, a rock is God, the sun is God, you are God)

Panentheism – Everything is a part of God, God is finite and changing, everything including the universe is contained within God

Materialism – Material physical world is all there is

What is a Scientist doing??? Thinking God’s thoughts after Him and discovering the laws that God built into His world at creation. 

Recurring formula

Introduction – and God said

Command – let there be

Report – and it was so

Evaluation – it was good

Time Sequence – there was evening / morning

Before Genesis:

Redemption is planned

God existed (Psalm 90:2)

The Trinity is in loving communion.

After Genesis: 

Redemption is accomplished

Formed Fullness

Light 4. Luminaries

Sea & Expanse 5. Birds/Fish

Earth & Vegetation 6. Land Animals & Humans

Understanding the Role of Humankind

Be fruitful & multiply – humans continue the creative activity of God (1:28)

Humanity was to have dominion over all creation as a result of bearing God’s image (1;26)

Being created as divine image-bearers also implies that humans were created specifically for relationship with God

Genesis 1:26-27 – we were created to be like God which is why Jesus told us we would do things He did and even greater (John 14:12)

Genesis 2:15 – describes the “rule” of the first Adam, later Jesus Who would come later to “rule” our hearts (Romans 5:12-19)

Understanding the place of Woman

Woman was not made out of the head – rule upon

Woman was not made out of the feet – trample upon

Woman was made out of the side – equal with

Woman was made under the arm – protected

Woman was made from near the heart – beloved

Understanding the place of Rest

Sabbath – Shabbat – related to the word for “7” which is the number of completion – it means to cease working, to rest.

God didn’t need to rest. God rested because salvation was complete. He made order out of the chaos. The earth that was “formless and empty” was now formed and full.

By leaving us this example of rest, God shows us the rhythm and balances in the world. We, too, can live with the rhythm and balances God has placed in the world, and find that rest is a great gift of God.

READ PSALM 104

People have different ideas about what Genesis 1 tells us about Creation. Over the years, discussions and arguments have continued. When you read Genesis 1:1-2, we can clearly note some things. Read the verses again. What can you glean?

 

Read Genesis 2:15. What is the man placed in the garden to do?

In Genesis 1:28, we read that God blessed humans and then said, “Be fruitful and multiply.” What does this mean for us? How can we live this out?

Read Genesis 2:16-17, 25. God tells Adam what he can and cannot do in verses 16-17. In verse 25, we read that Adam and Eve were naked. Many scholars believe “naked,” means “naïve.” Why would Adam and Eve be naïve? Are we as naïve or more so?

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Genesis 3: The Fall

Situation

Naked & Crafty – both word roots are related (ARAM)

Naked – Arom (aw-rome’) – naked – in original sense

Crafty – Arum (aw-room’)- crafty, shrewd, sensible – passive participle

Adam & Eve

2:25 – both naked and felt no shame

Vulnerable & don’t know it

Serpent

Shrewdness – can be a good thing

God made serpent crafty, man must learn wisdom. Serpent placed there to help.

Not to eat from tree of knowledge of good & evil is A TEST

Sin

Adam & Eve

Changing word of God

The word “freely” is omitted – Eat or Touch Tree rather than just Eat (2:16, 3:3)

Should touch tree, cultivate it – Never said not to touch

Adam & Eve put a hedge around it

Not good being withheld (v. 22) – know good & EVIL, don’t want to live with evil forever – Not just a restriction, reason for the restriction

Eve said: Tree was beautiful, fruit looked delicious, and she wanted wisdom

Temptation – opportunity to accomplish good thing in a bad way

Serpent

Questioned God’s word (v. 1b)

Serpent calls into question the good intentions of God

Denied God’s word (v. 4)

Substituted his own lie (v. 5)

Partial truth – Adam & Eve did discover good & evil

Serpent told what Eve would gain but never mentioned what would lose.

Lie – contradicts what God said 

If don’t believe the truth, then eventually you believe lies (2 Thessalonians 2:10)

Shame

Adam & Eve

Self-justification, Excuses but no confession 

Not cursed, just punished. 

Adam – pain in ground till 

Eve – pain in birth, desire to control husband

Not comfortable with each other

Not comfortable in God’s presence

Disruption of their God-given roles in the created order.

Serpent

God doesn’t question the serpent – Adam & Eve were above the serpent and they could question.

Serpent & ground are cursed

Obedience brings blessing– Disobedience brings judgment

Salvation

God calling Adam – act of grace, could have spoken judgment & destroyed

Genesis 3:15 – protoevangelium, 1st glimpse of the gospel

God created this world and everything in it. As He created, He said the things were “good.” In a world that was created “good,” why did evil have to be a potential?

 

In verse 6, we read that Eve gave some of the fruit to her husband Adam. So often when involved in sin, we follow “the more, the merrier.” Consider both Adam and Eve. Why were they at fault?

 

Satan has a great method that he uses against us. He boldly and confidently challenges the truthfulness of God’s Word. Read what Jesus says about the devil in John 8:44. 

How did Satan challenge God’s Word in Genesis 3?

 

How should we respond when God’s Word is challenged?

 

Read Proverbs 1:1-7. Adam & Eve were naïve. Solomon wrote about wisdom and instruction. What can you glean from this passage, that relates to Genesis 3?

 

———————————————————

Genesis 4-5 BROTHERS

Genesis shows the importance of commitment to family loyalty – “brother” 9 x’s like we have forgotten from one verse to the next that Cain and Abel are brothers.

Big question: How can there be blessing to the human race if killing each other off?

Cain

Name like Hebrew word “Acquired” because he was the 1st son of Adam & Eve

He had no respect or regard, exceedingly angry, looked sad & depressed

Cain’s name reminds us life comes from God

Abel 

Name means “Breath” – same word Vanity (in Ecclesiastes 38 x’s)

Abel’s name reminds us that life is brief

Situation

Cain gave “some”, Abel gave “the best portions.”

God told Cain in v. 7 “You will be accepted if you do what is right” – this means he didn’t do what was right. All has to do with the HEART.

Eve was talked into her sin; Cain could not be talked out of his sin (even by God Himself)

Cain lied: v. 8, let’s go into the field, lied to self by thinking that he could get away, v. 9 lied to God saying he didn’t know the location of his brother

Consequences

Cain’s sin is carefully premeditated murder of his own brother out of envy and hatred. He did this after being at the altar of God to worship God. It was done in spite of warning and promise. Later, he took it lightly and tried to lie his way out.

Cain is cursed and banished (v. 11), homeless wanderer, v. 14 says removed from presence of God – can’t reside with Holy God when wrapped in sin.

God shows mercy & grace to Cain with the Mark of Cain  

Cain NEVER repents, only feels remorse and regret – he chose to cling to sinful life

Seth – name means “Granted” or “Appointed.” After the sin, the parents were blessed with Seth. He would be taking the place of the FIRSTBORN.

First is not first – Cain/Seth, Ishmael/Isaac, Esau/Jacob, Reuben/Joseph’s sons

4:26 – 1st began to worship the Lord by name (Rev. 4:8b – “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty–the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”)

Chapter 5 – gives us a glimpse of hope

A look at the genealogy and we see again and again… Died, died, died, died…

But there’s HOPE…

Enoch – walked in habitual fellowship with God; 5:24 – God took him home with Him – here is a man who is faithfully walking with the LORD

5:29 – Noah “may he bring us relief” – shall bring relief and comfort from our work and the grievous toil of our hands due to the ground being cursed by the Lord—here’s another man who will faithfully walk with the LORD.

When God gives Cain an opportunity to do what is right, he tells Cain that “sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master” (v. 7).

What does is mean that sin is crouching at the door?

 

How does sin control you?

 

How do you subdue sin?

 

Cain only presents “some of his crops” (v. 3). Cain then lies to get his brother alone (v. 8). Cain kills his brother (v. 8). Cain lies to God about not knowing the location of his brother (v. 9). Each of these items is a sin. This shows how one sin can easily lead to another. What sin do you think is the worst?

———————————————————

Genesis 6-8 FLOOD

Whole world fallen so severely into sin

Even the faithful line of Seth disappeared except one righteous man NOAH.

Flood shows extent God will go to bring about holiness

Proves that He will sacrifice everything else for holiness

Reveals that God is a judge with distinctions

It sets a pattern of provision and warning for recipients of grace

Starts new life of worship into new covenant

Exhibits God’s deadly anger over sin

6:4 – Fallen men view – Sons of God (Seth) & Daughters of men (Cain); godly men took ungodly women

Sethite view – Sons of God (Seth) & fallen children 

Fallen angels view – Fallen angels bread with human woman to produce Nephilim

Fallen angels overtook men – Fallen angels possessed men & caused them to breed w/ women

6:5 – broke His heart

6:8 – Noah found grace / favor

Not because Noah was perfect but because God is gracious. 

God warned Noah; Noah obeyed precisely

6:9 – righteous, blameless, solely devoted to serving and pleasing 

1st time “righteous” used in Bible           

Righteous – Standing by God

Blameless – Standing by man (doesn’t mean sinless)

8:1 – God remembers His own, God remembered Noah

“Remember” – pay attention to fulfill a promise, act on behalf

8:15 – Noah didn’t leave until commanded to do so

Waited for God

About 26 days after all dried up (8:13, 8:16)

Noah was in Ark over a year 

8:20 – God receives worship

8:21 – No more additional curses than one already in place 

God promises to never again destroy the world because of sin 

Instead He sacrifices His son.

The earth was dead and buried because of water but ark rose up (resurrection) – 1 Peter 3:18-22

God renews His world / God rewards faith

Read Genesis 6:2. This verse references the Sons of God and the Daughters of Man. There are many viewpoints regarding these two groups that scholars debate. In this verse, we read what the Sons of God did. 

What did they do? 

 

What can we take from this?

 

Read Genesis 6:5. This verse speaks about the human wickedness on the earth. 

What does this verse say about the people during this time period?

 

How do we differ today? What can we take from this?

 

Read Genesis 6:9 and Genesis 7:1. Noah alone is considered righteous. Noah is considered blameless. Noah is said to walk in close fellowship with God.

What does it mean that Noah is righteous? Blameless?

 

Did Noah sin?

 

———————————————————

Genesis 9-10 COVENANT & NATIONS

Sustaining life (9:1-4)

9:1 – be fruitful / multiply / fill earth – see Genesis 1:28 – omits subdue – fallen men cannot subdue the earth

Protecting life (9:5-6)

Multiplying life (9:7)

Enjoying life (9:8-11)

God Confirms Covenant (9:12-15)

Covenant – giving external form to already existing relationship

Rainbow – sign of covenant, “remember My covenant,”

3 rainbows – Noah, Ezekiel (1:28) glory of the Lord, John (Revelation 4:3) throne

Problems after the flood (9:18-29)

Though sinful people washed away, the potential for sin remained in the heart of Noah and his children (free will).

9:21 – wine mentioned for 1st time

Noah is guilty of Intoxication and Self-exposure but the focus of the story on Ham’s reaction

Ham had clear disrespect for his father – gossiping / publicizing sin

Ham’s fault was breaking the bonds of the family loyalty

9:23 – Shem & Japheth show example of proper reaction

9:26 – don’t expose sin / seek to restore it (Galatians 6:1-2)

9:24-27 – Curse of Ham’s son Canaan, blessing of Japheth & Shem

Canaanites – notorious in OT for illicit sexual practices (Genesis 15:16, Leviticus 18:3)

Canaanites cursed because they will turn hearts of Israelites away from God – Deuteronomy 7

Table of Nations (10:1-32)

Interrelatedness of human family

All members of one human race by virtue of our descent from one family. All imprinted with the imago Dei and share in the dignity of human existence. 

Horizontal Genealogy shows lines of familial relationship and establishes near relatives.

Inverted family tree shows nearest related owe family loyalty to

The Line of Hope – Shem

10:21 – God would bless the world through Shem “Semites” – see Luke 3:35-36

Read Genesis 9:1-11. God confirms His covenant with the people. When you read this passage, what is the takeaway?

 

It’s sad when we read of Noah’s fall in Genesis 9, after he previously walked so faithfully with God. Noah may be guilty of intoxication and self-exposure, but his son Ham also was guilty of sin. Read Galatians 6:1-2. 

What does this verse say we should and shouldn’t do?

 

How might Ham have restored his father?

 

Does this mean that we keep quiet about sin completely?

 

What were the consequences of Ham’s actions?

 

———————————————————

Genesis 11 – THE TOWER

Genesis 6:5 – “The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and He saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.” [NLT]

God’s intervention against human pride and rebellion to scatter people across the earth, disrupting their rebellious unity by making them use different language.

Babel means “gate of God,” “confusion,” and “folly.”

Tradition holds Nimrod (great-grandson to Noah) may have led in building – Nimrod’s name means “we shall rebel”, Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed it.

The sin was not the desire to build a city, but the motivation to build. They wanted to make a themselves a city to reach heaven and make a name for themselves (11:4).

God wants unity & harmony, but united with Him – not apart from Him.

The people were united in rebellion.

The Tower is a monument to salvation by works

Man tries to trespass in God’s realm

Some say the tower was a way to get to heaven without God

The wording may not be talking about heaven as we consider heaven. It means a city with a tower that is very high (see Deuteronomy 1:28 with the same phrasing of walled up to heaven).

The Tower is a monument to human pride

They wanted to display their own glory. They were united for the wrong purpose.

The Tower is a monument to the disobedience of man

Wanted to be one people and were not interested in spreading across the earth 

Genesis 9:1 commands them to replenish the earth

Genesis 11:1-2 – one language, one speech, dwelt in one area

There were already different languages. Genesis 10:4-5 says every one according to its language

Genesis 11:1 says “whole earth,” but this doesn’t mean globally. Verse 2 speaks of people that moved eastward. This isn’t all people on the earth; just a group of people in this Babylon area.

Their refusal of God’s plan for blessing results in disunity of the race

The Tower is a monument to the disbelief of God & His Word

God said He would never flood the world again; some scholars believe the people built the Tower to be above the flood zone

There is hope

In 11:30 we read that Sarah was barren. 

The people wanted to make their name great. God would make Abraham’s name great.

The Tower was seen by some as a monument to salvation by works.

When do you get caught up in this same activity?

How can you better rest in your salvation through grace alone?

The Tower was seen by some as a monument to human pride. Pride is one of the biggest causes of sin. 

What keeps your pride in check?

How can you be more focused on God getting the glory?

The Tower was seen by some as a monument to the disobedience of man. The people did not want to obey God’s command to replenish the earth.

What causes disobedience?

How can we be more obedient to God and His Word?

The Tower was seen by some as a monument to the disbelief of God and His Word. God promised never to flood the earth again.

Why is it hard to trust God and His Word?

How has God been faithful in the past?

How can we remind ourselves of the faithfulness of God?

———————————————————

Genesis 12 – ABRAM

Abram means “EXALTED FATHER.”

Abram was NOT the 1st born – Genesis 11:26 notes Abram, Nahor, and Haran (1st born)

Abram – sojourner, foreigner – settles in land not own – not born in – no family

Joshua 24:2 – when God called Abram & Sarai, they belonged to a family that had worshiped idols.

In Ur of the Chaldees & Haran – people worshiped the moon god.

Genesis 12:1 – “Now the Lord said to Abram”

God initiates – Abram gave up known for the unknown

“I will show you” not “already showed”

Genesis 12:7 – Altar at Moreh

Go away from:

His country/land

His people/clan/family

His father’s household

He took family member (Lot) with him – wasn’t what God directed, but he didn’t take Lot for protection; Abram was protecting Lot so he was trusting God.

Promised:

Land

Descendants/Great Nation

Blessing

12:3 – blessing to others (blessed to be a blessing)

He personally would NOT have all the promises of God

Some of the promises of God would come later

But Abram had better – He had the God of all the promises

It always comes down to RELATIONSHIP – RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

Abram in Egypt – Lying about Sarai 

Meant to deceive

Using ½ truth to conceal the other ½ truth – no less a lie

As her brother, he believes he will be respected and honored

As her husband, he feared he would be killed

Lost faith in God’s protection

Even so, in 12:17, we read that the Lord protects Abram and Sarai. He sent a horrible plague upon Pharaoh

Abram was asked by God to leave the known (his family, land, people) for the unknown. What would be the hardest for you to leave behind?

 

Have you ever left behind everything known to pursue the unknown with God?

Read Genesis 12:2-3. This verse says that all the families on earth will be blessed through Abram. 

What are the 7 blessings mentioned?

Why are all the families on earth blessed through Abram?

 

Abram, who faithfully left all he knew to follow God, was not perfect. While in Egypt, Abram lies about his wife Sarai.

What does this tell you about Abram? 

 

What is God’s response?

 

———————————————————

Genesis 13-14 – ABRAM & LOT

Land Situation

Previously a famine in land;

now land unable to support Abram & Lot

Abram justified in selecting the best land for himself and sending Lot to fend for himself as Abram was the elder. 

Even so, Abram relinquished his hold on material things – trusted God

Lot chose best share of land without regard of his uncle, his choice also put him close to sinful Sodom. Lot was unconcerned with associating with the wrong crowd and eventually this gets him into trouble.

God reassured Abram of His promise

Abram shows us that a life of faith is possible if you keep your eyes on God and His promises no matter how bad the circumstances and situations look

The Rescue of Lot

4 Kings: King of Elam, King of Goyim, King of Shinar, King of Ellasar 

went against 5 Kings: King of Sodom, King of Gomorrah, King of Admah, King of Zeboyim, and King of Bela (Zoar)

4 Kings seized all the goods of Sodom & Gomorrah, captured Lot and his possessions

Abram found out & took 318 trained men to recover his nephew Lot and Lot’s possessions.

Abram was victorious. Afterward, the King of Salem came to meet him.

Melchizedek blesses Abram

Melchizedek was King of Salem & Priest (14:18-19)

He brought bread & wine, blessed Abram

Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything (14:20)

Abram refuses to receive from King of Sodom

King of Sodom told Abram to give the people but keep goods for yourself (14:21)

Abram refused (14:23) – “I will accept nothing belonging to you… so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’”

Although Abram had the right to choose the land he desired, and kick Lot out, he left Lot choose first. 

How does this show Abram’s faith?

 

What happens after Lot makes his choice?

 

Later, Lot gets in trouble. Abram finds out and rushes to the rescue of his nephew. Following the great victory, Melchizedek blessed Abram. 

What does Abram give Melchizedek?

 

Why do you think Abram gave this to Melchizedek?

 

There are some scholars who believe that Melchizedek is a Christophany. A Christophany is the pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. Read Psalm 110, Hebrews 6:20, & Hebrews 7:3. Why would scholars consider this possibility?

 

Abram refuses to take anything from the King of Sodom (see 14:22-24). Why did he refuse?

———————————————————

Genesis 15 – ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

Faith & Covenant

Defining Abraham’s special relationship with God

Justifying Faith (15:6)

Reaffirm promise of descendants & land given in Genesis 12:1-3

[V.2] Abram questions God – seeks further confidence that God will fulfill promise

Trying to better grasp the Word of God to:

understand better 

follow God faithfully

[V.6] “And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith.” [NLT]

1st pt. Abram believed the Lord

2nd pt. God credited him (Abram) as righteous

Righteousness – not absolute standard

It’s a right personal relationship with God who alone is righteous

Process of Covenant

Pre-Ceremony Actions – discussing of terms, conditions, promises of blessing & warning of curses related to agreement (Genesis 12:1-8) Actual covenant ceremony only happened in Genesis 15

Selection of Covenant Representatives and Cutting of Covenant Sacrifice – Lord was smoking fire pot and flaming torch, passed through pieces of covenant sacrifice (Genesis 15:17), Abraham was covenant representative for mankind

Walk unto Death – Basically saying “Do so to me as has been done to this animal if I break this covenant.” The people would walk around the pieces of sacrifice and face each other. God did this with Abraham – “When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.” (Genesis 15:17); Jesus walk from Gethsemane to the Cross.

Seal of the Covenant Mark – special sign/token – circumcision (Genesis 17:10-13)

Exchange of Names (Genesis 17:5, 15) Abram renamed Abraham

Covenant Meal – Abraham & Sarah sharing meal with visitors (Genesis 18:5-10)

Read Genesis 15:2-3. Abram questions God. He was trying to better grasp God’s Word to understand and follow faithfully. 

When is it okay to question the Word of God?

 

When is it not okay to question the Word of God?

 

Read Genesis 15:6. This verse says that Abram believed God, and because he believed God, he was righteous. This means he was in right standing with God. 

Read Genesis 15:8. What is Abram doing?

 

How can someone believe and still question?

 

What can you do when you believe but still question?

 

———————————————————

Genesis 16 – HAGAR & ISHMAEL

 [v. 2] Sarai said that the Lord prevented her from having children. This was said after the promise was made by God – God promised to make Abram a “great nation” in chapter 12, and renewed the promise in chapter 13. In Genesis 15, God promise his heir would be his “very one son.”

[v. 2] Sarai initiates Abram sleeping with the slave Hagar. Abram agrees.

It was acceptable in the culture to give maid when barren to produce children BUT in this case, this was God’s people making other arrangements without God’s direction (as God promised a child). This is Abram & Sarah trying to “help God” along.

God insists the plan involves Sarai (Genesis 17-18)

Not listening to God & waiting on Him results in relationship consequences for the group.

Hagar despises Sarai (v. 5-6)

Abram puts Hagar in Sarai’s hands (v. 6)

Sarai mistreats Hagar (v. 6)

Hagar flees (v. 6)

Angel appears to Hagar with promise of Ishmael (v. 9-12)

Hagar gave the Lord the name “the God who sees” (v. 13)

Hagar gave birth to Ishmael (v. 15)

Sarai came up with the idea for Abram to take Hagar to conceive a child. Abram was quick to act on her request. What does this say about Abram?

 

Taking the maidservant to conceive a child was common. As a slave, Hagar really had no freedom to choose. How do you think Hagar felt?

 

Read Genesis 16:5. What does the verse say about the relationship with Hagar and Sarai? Why do you think Hagar looked at Sarai that way? 

 

The angel of the Lord tells Hagar to submit to Sarai in Genesis 16:9. 

What would this mean for Hagar?

 

What was Hagar promised?

 

Hagar is the first person to give God another name. What did Hagar call God? What does this name mean to you?

 

———————————————————

Genesis 17-18:15 – RENAMED

God reveals Himself

Genesis 15:1 – I AM your shield

Genesis 15:7 – I AM the LORD

Genesis 17:1-2 – I AM God Almighty

17:1 – God’s deepest desire for Abram “serve Me faithfully & live a blameless life.”

God reveals our destiny

God renames Abram & Sarai

Name- Personal Character, Personal Destiny

Name change represents change in Character/Destiny

Abram “Exalted Father” to Abraham “Father of Many”

Destiny to be a Father of Many Nations

Sarai to Sarah – both mean “Princess”

God enters into special covenant relationship with Abraham

Sign of Covenant – circumcision

Covenant meal – three visitors eat with the couple

God promises son –parents laugh (Abraham 17:17, Sarah 18:12)

Rather than rebuke Sarah for unbelief, God gently reminds her that the One Who knew her name and heard her innermost thought is able to bring it to pass.

Genesis 18:14 – Is anything too hard for the Lord?

In Genesis 17:1, God tells Abram what He desires: walk faithfully and be blameless.

How can you walk faithfully / serve faithfully?

How can you be blameless?

Names in the Bible point to personal character and personal destiny. Look at these name changes. Consider the reason for the change (change in character & destiny).

Abram to Abraham (“Exalted Father” to “Father of Many”) – Genesis 17:5

Sarai to Sarah (“Princess”) – Genesis 17:15

Jacob to Israel (“Supplanter” to “Prevails with God”) – Genesis 32:28, Genesis 35:10

Simon to Peter (“Listen” to “Rock”) – John 1:42

Saul to Paul (“Prayed For” to “Humble”) – Acts 9, Acts 13

What does your name mean? (If you don’t know, make a mental note to look it up).

Do you think your name suits you? Do you want to live out your name? 

Do you think you need renamed?

Look at Revelation 2:17. What does this say? What do you think this means?

Read Genesis 17:17 and 18:12. In these verses, God is laughed at in disbelief. 

Why is it hard for Abraham and Sarah to believe?

Why is it hard for YOU to believe?

What happens when Abraham and Sarah laugh?

———————————————————

Genesis 18:16-33 to 20 – SODOM & GOMORRAH

Divine Intentions (Genesis 18:16-19): Reveals plan to teach him how to do what is right

Divine Hesitation (Genesis 18:22): Yahweh remained standing before Abraham

Yahweh waits for Abraham to speak. God patiently, longingly, waiting for his servant to plead.

18:22B – Changed from “The Lord stood before Abraham” to “Abraham stood before the Lord.” It seemed inappropriate that God would wait patiently for His servant. This change is known as a Tikkun Sofrim (Scribal change).

Servant’s Intercession (Genesis 18:23-33): Bases plea on God’s character, persistent in prayer

Abraham shows concern for someone other than himself.

Abraham was bargaining to save people – exploring God’s heart and mind.

Understood God intended to destroy city but not sure about mercy of God. 

Mercy of God shown by rescue of undeserving and reluctant Lot

Anger toward sin shown with destruction of sinful cities.

Genesis 19:19: When told to run – Lot hesitates 

God is so gracious, saved his life, showed kindness BUT…

Compromised righteousness – Lot hasn’t spoken seriously about spiritual things to his family, offers daughters up.

Offering of daughters: Why? 

Hoping fiancé would come to rescue

Homosexual attackers not interested

Lot was influenced by the evil practices around him

In Genesis 18:23-32, Abraham questions if God would not destroy Sodom for 50, 45, 40, 30, 20, or 10 righteous people. As Abraham questions God, it is made clear that if these people existed in Sodom, God would spare the entire city. 

We know that the city of Sodom was destroyed. This means what?

 

Read Genesis 19:29. Why was Lot rescued?

 

Was Lot righteous?

Read 2 Peter 2:6-8. What does this passage say about Lot?

 

How could this be true when he acted the way he did?

 

Lot and his daughters left Sodom, but Sodom did not leave Lot and the girls. 

Read Genesis 19:31. What was everyone else doing? (What was the custom?)

 

Lot’s daughters decided there were two impossible situations in this verse. What were they?

 

How does this sinful action on the part of Lot’s daughters have long lingering consequences? (See Genesis 19:36-38)

 

———————————————————

Genesis 21-24 – ISAAC

Isaac was the only patriarch that was not renamed. 

Abram became Abraham. Jacob became Israel.

Isaac lived to be 180 years old (much older than Abraham and Jacob lived to be).   

Yet less incidents were documented in the Bible about his life.

Genesis 21:2 – Isaac came at just the right time.

Genesis 21:6 – Sarah 1st laughed in unbelief, later laughed in joy

Genesis 21:10 – Expulsion of Hagar & Ishmael – son of bondwoman not inherit with freewoman son

Genesis 21:19 – God provided for them in the wilderness.

Genesis 21:22-34 – Abraham makes agreement with Abimelech 

Genesis 21:22 – “God is obviously with you, helping you in everything you do.”

Genesis 21:30 – Accept the 7 lambs to show agreement that I dug the well

Genesis 12 & Genesis 22 frame around the story

Genesis 12 – call of God forces Abraham to let go of everything familiar / security

Genesis 22 – call of God to sacrifice Isaac is challenge to release the promises of God

Everything Abraham hoped for was focused on Isaac

Genesis 12 – calls Abraham to leave his past.

Genesis 22 – calls Abraham to leave his future.

It’s all about radical abandonment to follow God’s will

Genesis 22 – contains NO promises 

Sacrifice of Isaac: Do you love God or do you love God’s gifts?

Take. Go. Offer a sacrifice.

Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac

Genesis 23 – Sarah dies

Abraham buys a small piece of the Promised Land

Genesis 24 – “God of my master”

Abraham’s faith fueled the servant’s faith. 

Genesis 24:6, 8 – Do not take my son back there.

Genesis 24:15 – Before the servant finished praying – God didn’t even wait, no holding back

Rebekah

Genesis 24:26 – The servant worships

Read Genesis 21:14-20. 

Hagar was sent away with Ishmael. In verse 14, it says that she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba. This is the 2nd time she went away.

What is different about this venture away compared to the time she ran away?

 

What is the same about this venture? How does God fulfill His promise to Hagar?

 

Read Genesis 24:6-8. What is Abraham doing with the servant?

 

Read Genesis 24:12-27. 

What does verse 12 tell you about the servant’s faith?

 

When Rebekah arrives, the response is in abundance of the signs that the servant requested. What did he ask for and what did she provide? What does this mean to you?

 

What do we read that the man does a few times in this chapter that he likely was not apt to do before this venture? (see v. 26, v. 52) What does this mean to you?

 

———————————————————

Genesis 25-26 – ESAU & JACOB

Genesis 25:1 – Abraham marries Keturah

Genesis 25:5 – Abraham gives everything he owned to Isaac

Genesis 25:7 – Abraham dies

Genesis 25:19-26 – Birth of Esau & Jacob

Nearly 12 chapters devoted to Isaac’s sons (much more than Isaac)

Rebekah & Isaac waited 20 years until they had children (v. 20, v. 26)

Only one verse about the barrenness – compared to all Sarah’s verses

Why? That’s not eh focus – focus will be Jacob & his actions

Jacob – “make God protect” sounds like “overtake” or “deceive” or “cheat”

Esau – hairy / Edom – red

Genesis 25:27-34 – Selling of Birthright

Esau (hunter) & Jacob (homebody)

Isaac loves Esau, Rebekah loves Jacob

Parental Favoritism – plague family (see Genesis 37:3 – Jacob loves Joseph the most)

1st born gets double portion of estate (Deuteronomy 21:17)

Rank second in family, second to their father (Genesis 43:33)

Esau had indifference toward family responsibilities & privileges

Esau is manipulated, not cheated 

Only one bowl of stew and he is no longer dying (DRAMA QUEEN)

Faith is living without scheming – Jacob was divinely chosen to receive the birthright & blessing – no need to scheme for it.

Genesis 26:1-11 – Isaac Deceives Abimelech

Genesis 26:2-5, 24 – Covenant repeated

Genesis 26:7 – Isaac lies about wife, just like dad

Genesis 26:12-25 – Water Rights

Genesis 26:26-34 – Covenant

Read Genesis 25:28, Romans 2:11, and James 2:9. 

What does God think about favoritism?

 

Read Genesis 37:3. We have Isaac & Rebekah show favoritism. Later, we read about Jacob showing favoritism.

What happens when there is favoritism?

 

What happened because of favoritism shown by Isaac & Rebekah? What happened because of the favoritism shown by Jacob to Joseph?

 

How can you guard against showing favoritism to others?

 

In Genesis 26, we read that Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived. God promises Isaac that if he lives there, he will be blessed.

Read Genesis 26:12-13. What happens to Isaac?

 

How do the Philistines respond to this blessing?

 

Has anyone ever responded this way when you are blessed? How can you respond?

 

Read Genesis 26:26-28. 

Why does King Abimelech seek out Isaac?

 

How does the king see this? How can people see this in us?

 

———————————————————

Genesis 27-28 – JACOB

Genesis 27

Death Bed Blessing  

Played an important role in determining the destiny of descendants. It was more of a prophesy than a prayer.

Isaac only summons his favorite son. All sons were to be present. (v. 1)

Deception of Rebekah & Jacob

Rebekah refused to wait on God’s timing & trust His promise.

Jacob’s only objection was because of fear of detection – he wasn’t concerned about moral disapproval. (v. 11-12)

Many Lies:

Claimed to be Esau (v. 19)

Claimed to have obeyed his father’s wishes (v. 19)

Called the meat his game (v. 19)

Gave credit to the Lord for finding so quickly (v. 20)

Reassured again that he was Esau when hands were felt (v. 21-24)

Kiss – hypocritical (v. 27)

Rebekah was forced to send her loved Jacob away. She would never see Jacob again. (v. 42-45)

Genesis 28

Sent to Marry

Isaac didn’t arrange Esau’s marriage like Abraham did for Isaac. (v. 1-9)

Jacob was tricked to marry Leah. He would also practice favoritism.

Jacob’s Dream

Genesis 28:10-22 – Time for Jacob to live out his own faith, not just his parent’s faith.

Rebekah and Jacob open a huge can of worms with the lies and deception so that Jacob gets the deathbed blessing. Consider the situation: the request from Isaac, the plan of Rebekah, the actions of Jacob.

What does this say about Isaac?

What does this say about Rebekah?

What does this say about Jacob?

Would Jacob have received the blessing if Rebekah and Jacob did not act?

Jacob had a dream of a stairway to heaven. In the dream, the LORD said, “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac” (v. 13). When he awoke, he said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it” (v. 16). 

The LORD reveals Himself to Jacob as the God of Abraham and Isaac. What does this revelation do for Jacob?

Why would he not be aware of the LORD being in the place?

What does Jacob do when he wakes up the next morning?

———————————————————

Genesis 29-31 – JACOB & LABAN

[Resentment of Laban / Favoritism for Rachel]

No sparkle Leah / beautiful lovely Rachel (29:17)

Genesis 29:18 – Jacob couldn’t pay the bride price as he had nothing

Offered 7 years of work – a very considerable amount of time

Jacob meets his match in Laban – Laban tricked him – Jacob was trapped into marrying Leah

Baby Battle Royal Begins – Leah & her maidservant Zilpah had 8 of the 12 Tribes of Israel

Rachel borrowed mandrakes (fertility drug), but it failed to help her, yet it results in more children for Leah

Genesis 30:1 – Irony of verse, died during birth of 2nd child

Laban tried to limit Jacob’s success but God was blessing Jacob

Jacob stayed 20 years (never saw mom again). Jacob schemed, sneaked, and cheated, yet God counted him as righteous. God calls Jacob back to Canaan, and Jacob schemes his way out of town.

Laban was distracted with sheep shearing (31:19) – busiest time of the year. Later pursued Jacob (31:23). 

Rachel’s theft of idol probably for “good luck” for trip to Canaan

Jacob allowed Laban to search everything (31:32).

Laban proposes covenant peace (31:44)

May be a surprise to Jacob because of how he had left

Jacob has a weak faith, but it’s still faith! He’s even in Hall of Faith!

God is faithful despite Jacob & Laban’s foolishness

Jacob loved Rachel and desired to marry her. Laban first gave Jacob Leah’s hand in marriage in an act of deception.

How do you think Jacob felt?

 

How do you think Leah felt?

 

How do you think Rachel felt?

 

Consider the marriage agreement between Laban and Jacob. How well did Jacob carry out the agreement? How well did Laban fulfill the agreement?

 

Favoritism was a problem with Isaac and Rebekah. This trait continued to be a problem for the Patriarchs. 

How does Jacob’s love for Rachel create a chaotic atmosphere for the sisters and their maids?

 

The relationship of sisters Rachel and Leah was strained due to the marriage arrangements. Read Genesis 30:14-17. How did this love competition impact their actions?

 

We know God does not like favoritism. How does God bless both Leah and Rachel despite the favoritism Jacob has for Rachel?

 

———————————————————

Genesis 32-33 – JACOB & ESAU

[Jacob meets God, Jacob meets Esau]

JACOB PREPARES TO MEET ESAU

Genesis 32:1 – Jacob was met by the “angels of God.” This phrase only appears here and in Genesis 28:12. Jacob saw vision of angels before he left Promised Land and now he encounters angels again as he prepares to return to the Promised Land.

Remember: The last time Jacob saw Esau; he was planning to kill him (27:41)

Jacob could have avoided meeting Esau, but he needed to meet Esau

Anger of Esau was a roadblock to Jacob’s further growth

Spiritually Jacob had to be reconciled with Esau

Jacob is not satisfied with prayer alone (9-12) – Jacob prepares gift for Esau (13-21)

Jacob was trying to assume a lower position with Esau, going against God’s design

JACOB WRESTLES WITH GOD

Wrestles until daybreak (24) – hip out of joint (25) – asks for blessing (26)

Jacob stopped fighting and asks for a blessing.

Blessing this time was rightfully acquired

Israel – change of character “God fights” – You have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed (32:28)

Both a promise and a call for faith

Jacob would have victory & receive the promises because God would fight for him.

Name also would evoke memory of the fight with God and what it meant. He had to be crippled of his own self-sufficiency and dependent on God for his success

Certain ancient religions considered possession of a person’s name power and advantage so the visitor refused.

Peniel “face of God” (32:3)

JACOB MEETS ESAU

Jacob said seeing Esau was like seeing the face of God (33:10)

Jacob worshiped God at Shechem (33:20)

This is where God 1st appeared to Abraham when he entered Canaan

Abraham had built his own altar there (12:6-7)

Just like Abraham, Jacob bought a plot of ground in the land promised (33:19)

Ultimately to belong to his descendants

Read Genesis 25:23. Before the birth of Jacob and Esau, God established who would be the leader of the family. The older son will serve the younger son. In today’s passage, how did Jacob deny what God spoke to Rebekah? What happens when we deny what God has destined?

 

Meeting with Esau was a stressful situation for Jacob, because his brother wanted to kill him the last time they were together. Jacob could have avoided this meeting. Why was this meeting so important for both brothers?

 

When Jacob wrestles with God, his hip is pulled out of socket. Then he says, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (32:26).

God could have easily defeated Jacob. Why does God allow Jacob, and us, to hold onto Him?

 

What will the hip dislocation do for Jacob in the future?

 

Personal Reflection: How long do you need to wrestle with God before you yield every part of yourself to Him? What does He need to dislocate in your life?

———————————————————

Genesis 34-35 – REVENGE FOR DINAH

Jacob bought land in Shechem back in Genesis 33:19. Jacob’s prolonged stay at Shechem, when so close to his destination of Bethel is a problem. Possibly was tempted by the benefits of trade with the Shechemites (34:10). Jacob built altar at Shechem. But he was supposed to be worshiping at Bethel. That is where God wanted him.

In these chapters, we see the remains of some of old Jacob instead of Israel.

[CHAPTER 34]

VIOLATION OF DINAH

Dinah – daughter of Leah (less appreciated portion of Jacob’s family), name means “avenged.”

Dinah’s friends in Canaan got her into trouble (34:1)

RESPONSE TO VIOLATION

Simeon (“obedient” or “listening”) & Levi (“attached” or “pledged”)

No one in the narrative acts nobly. Dinah was naïve and careless. Simeon and Levi lied and acted with ruthless violence. Jacob was passive and only thought of himself.

Jacob responded to the violation with indifference. He didn’t take charge, but allowed Dinah’s brothers to negotiate. When a leader doesn’t care or lead, others will arise and take charge. The results might not be good results.

God’s great sign of covenant with Abraham became a ploy for revenge

Jacob despised Simeon & Levi, not because of their harsh judgment, deception, or abuse of the sacred circumcision, but because of warlike act having possible consequences for him. (34:30 me, me, me, I, my) – at least Simeon & Levi cared for Dinah. 

Simeon & Levi did the right thing the wrong way – it’s okay to seek justice, not vengeance. Vengeance is for the Lord (Romans 12:19)

In Genesis 49:5-7 Israel(Jacob) prophesies about these brothers. Simeon is scattered in the southwest corner of the territory of Judah and all over. Levi has no territory but some assigned cities. Simeon is the weakest of all the tribes at the end of the roaming in the Wilderness (Numbers 26:14). Simeon is omitted from the blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33).

[Chapter 35]

Genesis 35 serves as transition from Patriarchal period to beginning of people of Israel.

“Arise, go up to Bethel” – like the wording of Rebekah to Jacob (27:43) & wording of Isaac to Jacob (28:2)

Purged family of foreign gods, cleansing (35:2-5) 

Anything that hinders our spiritual maturity is useless & needs to be thrown off (Hebrews 12:1)

El Bethel “God of Bethel” – (35:6-8)

God has been walking with him on his journey and all success is from God. (35:3)

God appears again to Jacob (35:9-15)

Theophany reaffirms the name Israel after disaster at Shechem. 

Stairway Promises Restated (28:13-14, 35:11-12)

Birth of Benjamin (35:17-18)

Benjamin – 1st king from the tribe (1 Samuel 9)

Death of Rachel (35:19)

Ephrath “fruitful” – Bethlehem “house of bread”

If not for the birth of Jesus, the town of Bethlehem would have been remembered for death of Rachel.

Reuben’s Incest w/Bilhah (35:22)

Bilhah was a maid to Jacob’s beloved Rachel

Lost the birthright (Genesis 49:3-4)

Death of Isaac (35:29)

Deaths of Isaac & Rachel point backward into patriarchal history, birth of Benjamin points forward to fuller narrative of Israel’s story

12 sons now listed (Tribes Complete) – point to the future of Israel

Jacob showed indifference to the violation of his daughter. As a leader of the family, he did nothing. Because of his inaction, his sons stepped forward to respond. 

What happened because Jacob did not act?

Is there an area in your life where you are indifferent right now? An area of your life you are neglecting because of a lack of concern? Why are you not concerned? Ask the Spirit to revive your interest and enthusiasm. 

Read Romans 12:19. 

How can you live this out? 

What is the hardest part to faithful obedience of this verse? What gets in the way of doing this? 

What can you do to be better positioned to faithfully obey?

Simeon and Levi were guilty of much wrongdoing as they sought vengeance for their sister and their family. They acted with harsh judgment. They deceived the people of Shechem. They also abused the sacred sign of the covenant with Abraham, the circumcision.  Their actions resulted in many consequences, some of which lingered. 

We often look judgingly at the sins of Simeon and Levi; however, we too trample on the sacred today. How do we dishonor what was meant to be sacred?

The consequences lingered on for these brothers. Whether we like to admit it, our sins may have consequences for not only ourselves and our immediate family, but for the generations to come. How have you seen lingering consequences of sin in your family? How can you protect the generations to come?

Jacob stayed longer than he should have stayed in Shechem. This led to trouble. Dinah spent too much time with the nearby people. This led to trouble. The people we surround ourselves with and the places we spend our time have a great impact on our lives. Knowing this, how can we make good choices with who we spend our time and where we spend it? Is it hard for you to walk away from some situations? Is it difficult to set boundaries when someone is pulling you away from God?

———————————————————

Genesis 36-38 – JOSEPH AND JUDAH

[Genesis 36]

Esau’s Descendants 

Leading figures of these chapters are Joseph & Judah: Eventually become leading Tribes of Israel

[Genesis 37]

Joseph’s Dreams

Joseph had 2 dreams in different forms with similar or same interpretation

His dreams bothered his brothers, telling the dreams also bothered them

Joseph is Sold

The tunic/coat set him apart from the others

37:12 – Returned to Shechem to pasture father’s flocks – why so far from home? Why were they there when he had bad rep among citizens there?

Perhaps brothers involved with people in Shechem in a way they didn’t want Jacob to know about

37:32 – The brothers sent Joseph’s robe with messenger instead of confronting father personally 

Sons never had to say a thing – Jacob drew a conclusion from bloody tunic

37:35 – stood by – they stood by their father in his time of grief

Nonetheless, horrible way to treat father – he mourned for 20 years (42:36)

IRONY!!! 2 young goats are used by Jacob to deceive his father, now in 37:31- 1 young goat is used by Jacob’s son to deceive his father Jacob!

[Genesis 38]

Judah and Tamar

The Judah and Tamar story in between the Joseph narrative gives great contrast between Judah & Joseph

The episode of Judah and Tamar provides the reasons for sending Israel to Egypt

Tamar more righteous than Judah 

Judah represents all the brothers becoming like Canaanites

Levirate System – no family line would be extinct – had to raise up descendant for dead brother

The child would not be the biological child legally – child would legally be dead brother’s child

Spilling out of semen – wording means it was a repeated practice, not a once and done thing. Onan had no intention on carrying through, but kept having sex with her. Not willing to do the responsible thing, but okay with satisfying his own desires.

In verse 11, he admits he doesn’t want Shelah to die like the other sons. He had no intention of giving Shelah to Tamar. He knew the nature of his sons, and he feared God would kill yet another son.

Judah was irresponsible and unfaithful to his duty to the family line. Tamar fought for her right with deception, in desperation, with courage. It was within her rights to do, but it was deceptive. Judah was wrong to seek out a prostitute as well.

Read Genesis 37:3-4. The beautiful robe (tunic) that Joseph received from Jacob set him apart from his brothers. God also set Joseph apart. What is the difference between man setting you apart and God setting you apart?

 

Read Genesis 37:8. This verse says that the brothers hated that Joseph had the dreams and that he spoke about them too. It wasn’t simply that he was talking about these dreams, but that he was having these dreams. This gets to the heart of the issue. Joseph was having the dreams. The brothers were not. Joseph was going to be used by God to lead the people through a famine; the brothers were not.

Why is it hard to celebrate what God is doing in another’s life?

 

Do you think that your inability to embrace & support your brothers & sisters through their walk, keeps you from progressing on your own walk?

 

There is great danger in wanting to live the life of another. What is the danger?

 

Consider Joseph and Judah at this part of the biblical narrative. The story of Judah and Tamar is a sharp contrast in comparing the brothers. How would you compare Judah and Joseph at this part of Genesis?

 

The Levirate System was in place to keep the family line from going extinct. If you look back in your own family history, you may see instances of this occurring. What do you think is good about this system? What problem would you have with this system?

———————————————————

Genesis 39-41 – JOSEPH

Joseph’s rise to Potiphar’s house (39:1-6a)

39:2 – Lord was with Joseph so he succeeded in everything he did

39:6 – Complete administrative responsibility

39:9 – No one has more authority that I do

39:6b-20a – Even greater fall

Joseph lost his coat but he kept his character

39:20b-23 – Yet another advancement (PRISON)

v. 21 – The Lord was with Joseph in prison

Sometimes it is not enough to be committed and to desire to do what is right. Sometimes we simply must avoid putting ourselves at risk.

Cup bearer & Chief Baker (40:1-4a)  Interpreting dreams is God’s business

Dreams

Foretell & prepare way for Joseph rise to influence

Means by which earlier dreams fulfilled (Genesis 40-41 interpretation fulfill Genesis 37)

Cup Bearer – dream of restoration

Chief baker – dream of death

7 fat (7 years of prosperity) – 7 skinny (7 years of famine)

Rise over Egypt – Pharaoh’s Dreams (41)

Pharaoh was accepted as divine being who could influence other deities

But God’s plan couldn’t be altered by Pharaoh

Slavery & Prison

Obstacles to the promise

Uncompromising integrity

Read Genesis 39:1-6.

Why was Joseph originally chosen to serve Potiphar?

 

After Joseph was put in charge, what then happened to Potiphar and his household?

 

Describe Joseph. What makes him a great servant of God?

 

Read Genesis 39:21-23. What does this say about God?

 

After the chief cupbearer and chief baker were tossed in prison, they each had a dream. When Joseph approached and they told him their dilemma of no one knowing the meaning of their dreams, what was Joseph’s response.

 

The tribe of Judah is the messianic line. How is Joseph used for a great purpose to help the Israelites, including this important line for the people of God? 

 

———————————————————

Genesis 39-41 – JOSEPH

Joseph’s rise to Potiphar’s house (39:1-6a)

39:2 – Lord was with Joseph so he succeeded in everything he did

39:6 – Complete administrative responsibility

39:9 – No one has more authority that I do

39:6b-20a – Even greater fall

Joseph lost his coat but he kept his character

39:20b-23 – Yet another advancement (PRISON)

v. 21 – The Lord was with Joseph in prison

Sometimes it is not enough to be committed and to desire to do what is right. Sometimes we simply must avoid putting ourselves at risk.

Cup bearer & Chief Baker (40:1-4a)  Interpreting dreams is God’s business

Dreams

Foretell & prepare way for Joseph rise to influence

Means by which earlier dreams fulfilled (Genesis 40-41 interpretation fulfill Genesis 37)

Cup Bearer – dream of restoration

Chief baker – dream of death

7 fat (7 years of prosperity) – 7 skinny (7 years of famine)

Rise over Egypt – Pharaoh’s Dreams (41)

Pharaoh was accepted as divine being who could influence other deities

But God’s plan couldn’t be altered by Pharaoh

Slavery & Prison

Obstacles to the promise

Uncompromising integrity

Read Genesis 39:1-6.

Why was Joseph originally chosen to serve Potiphar?

 

After Joseph was put in charge, what then happened to Potiphar and his household?

 

Describe Joseph. What makes him a great servant of God?

 

Read Genesis 39:21-23. What does this say about God?

 

After the chief cupbearer and chief baker were tossed in prison, they each had a dream. When Joseph approached and they told him their dilemma of no one knowing the meaning of their dreams, what was Joseph’s response.

 

The tribe of Judah is the messianic line. How is Joseph used for a great purpose to help the Israelites, including this important line for the people of God? 

 

———————————————————

Genesis 42-50 JOSEPH & JACOB

Joseph doesn’t stand in line of Messiah yet more material is devoted to him than Isaac & Jacob

Reunited (42-45)

1st Trip to Egypt (42)

2nd Trip to Egypt (43-45)

Genesis 45:5 – You sold me / God sent me

Setting in Goshen (46-47)

3rd & Final Trip to Egypt (46:1-4) – entire Patriarchal family moved there to Goshen

Vision at Beersheba (46:1-4)

In Egypt (46:5-47:12)

Patriarchal Family grew from 12 to 70 (46:26-27) – fulfillment of promise to Abraham

Joseph during famine (47:13-31)

Leave the land of promise in order to enter a land of slavery

Deaths of Jacob & Joseph

Joseph blesses Ephraim & Manasseh (48:1-22)

Of all the Patriarchs, only Jacob got it right when it came to the first born not being first.

Reversal of the 1st born mentioned in Hebrews 11:21, Ephraim over Manasseh

Judah for rule

Joseph for Prosperity

Elevation of Joseph’s sons to full Israelite tribes (Levi did not get land / Joseph out) – 12 land tribes

Jacob blesses his sons (49:1-28): Hebrew Poetry in the Old Testament

Genesis 49:10 – The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor.

Death & burial of Jacob (49:29-50:21)

Buried at cave of Machpelah with Abraham & Sarah, Isaac & Rebekah, Leah (49:29-31)

Death of Joseph (50:22-26)

Read Genesis 42:37 & Genesis 43:3. In these passages, we have two different sons step up and volunteer to take responsibility. What is interesting about the two sons who stepped forward?

 

Read Genesis 44:11-15. Read Genesis 44:30-33. Joseph had the silver cup placed in Benjamin’s sack as a test. 

What was the test?

 

How has Judah changed since the episode with Tamar?

 

Read Genesis 45:4-7. When Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers, he speaks about what God had done—how His plan prevailed. 

Joseph was used to save everyone, including his own family, from famine. Imagine how different things could have been if Joseph would have left his pride and unforgiveness get in the way.

 

Personal Reflection: Is something getting in the way of you being used by God? Is something keeping you from God’s work?

In Jesus the Victory is Won Outlines

Two sermons in this small series….

1 Corinthians 15:57 The Passion Translation (TPT)

57 But we thank God for giving us the victory as conquerors through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One.

Illustration: Dream of personal attack twice – Spiritual Warfare

Everyone one of us faces spiritual attack… there’s an unseen war going on all around us.

The Devil continues to try to steal God’s glory

{{PRAY}}

READ Joshua 6:1-20 [[MARCHING FOR GLORY]]

The walls of Jericho — it was a double ring wall; the outer stone retaining wall was 12-15 feet high. On top of that was a 6 feet thick mud brick wall, 20-26 foot high wall, the inner wall was 12 feet deep mud brick wall that was 46 feet above the ground level. 

Scholars say Jericho was only 9 acres of land… that the distance around the city was less than a mile, which would take less than 15 minutes to walk around.

This was a WORSHIP CEREMONY more than a military advancement

Horns used for war and worship

It’s a Holy War – the war was never you against something… 

  • God staked His claim – Marching around 7 times to lay claim to territory
    • God is victorious
  • On 7th day, went around 7 times — 7 = Completion / Sabbath
    • Only marching to follow commands of God – did not attack
      • This shows it was God’s victory

We march in faithful obedience worshiping Him through any warfare moment.

  • Husband is cheating
  • Wife suffering from an addiction
  • Kid is in trouble at school
  • Best friend diagnosed with cancer
  • Living life…

Inside the walls of Jericho was the Promise of God

We march onward trusting in His promises – He is faithful

Through our continued marching, He is glorified

How can we March for Glory??

  1. Presence of God

They took the Ark of the Covenant to signify God’s presence

  • Ten Commandments
  • Manna
  • Aaron’s rod that budded

We have the Holy Spirit – God in us

God is present with us always

1 Corinthians 3:16 The Passion Translation (TPT)

16 Don’t you realize that together you have become God’s inner sanctuary and that the Spirit of God makes his permanent home in you?

How can you live in the presence of God?

How can you be aware of His presence?

Psalm 139:7-10 The Passion Translation (TPT)

7 Where could I go from your Spirit? Where could I run and hide from your face?

8  If I go up to heaven, you’re there!If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too!

9 If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there! If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting!

10 Wherever I go, your hand will guide me; your strength will empower me.

DO YOU LIVE LIKE HE IS WITH YOU?

  1. Submission to God

They were submissive to God’s directives, which was key to victory

In humble submission, God gets the glory

Proverbs 3:5-6 The Passion Translation (TPT)

5 Trust in the Lord completely,

    and do not rely on your own opinions.

    With all your heart rely on him to guide you,

    and he will lead you in every decision you make.

Become intimate with him in whatever you do,

    and he will lead you wherever you go.

    Don’t think for a moment that you know it all

  1. Worship of God

This certainly wasn’t a battle as much as a worship gathering, declaring the greatness of our God!

Christopher Asmus noted that when someone is worshiping God… “we are not to look to them, but through them, and see a ruling and reigning Christ who sits supreme over the worshiper’s body, life, and world”. 

We worship with all we do and say – it’s not just singing praise songs

When someone looks at your body, life, and world… do they see Christ?

By your words, your actions… do they see Christ?

Is God glorified by your life?

Romans 12:1-2 New International Version (NIV)

A Living Sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

  1. Removal of anything against God

Set Apart – Joshua 6:17 “devoted thing” – belongs to the Lord – “the ban” – total destruction of items won after battle

cherem: cursed

Original Word: חֵ֫רֶם

Part of Speech: Noun Masculine

Transliteration: cherem

Phonetic Spelling: (khay’-rem)

Short Definition: cursed

  • Anything that would lead people astray was destroyed. 
  • They were not taking these spoils so this also meant that the people were depending on God for provision.

Exodus 20:3 New International Version (NIV)

“You shall have no other gods before me.

Leviticus 19:1-2 New International Version (NIV)

19 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.

qadosh: sacred, holy

Original Word: קָדוֹשׁ

Part of Speech: Adjective

Transliteration: qadosh

Phonetic Spelling: (kaw-doshe’)

Short Definition: holy

  1. United in God

Joshua 6:16 – loud shout… UNITY – expressed expectation of God’s action to fulfill His guaranteed promise.

  • They were all on the same page.
  • Jesus wants us all on the same page.
  • Though we are very different, each individuals… we are ONE BODY… and Jesus prayed for our unity. 

Ephesians 4:3 says we should make EVERY EFFORT to to keep the unity

Romans 15:1-6 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Love Is the Key to Unity

15 Now, those who are mature in their faith can easily be recognized, for they don’t live to please themselves but have learned to patiently embrace others in their immaturity. 

Our goal must be to empower others to do what is right and good for them, and to bring them into spiritual maturity. 

For not even the most powerful one of all, the Anointed One, lived to please himself. His life fulfilled the Scripture that says: All the insults of those who insulted you fall upon me.

Whatever was written beforehand is meant to instruct us in how to live. The Scriptures impart to us encouragement and inspiration so that we can live in hope and endure all things.

Now may God, the source of great endurance and comfort, grace you with unity among yourselves, which flows from your relationship with Jesus, the Anointed One. 

Then, with a unanimous rush of passion, you will with one voice glorify God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


1 Corinthians 15:57 The Passion Translation (TPT)

57 But we thank God for giving us the victory as conquerors through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One.

Illustration: Dream of personal attack twice – Spiritual Warfare

It’s important to understand that these personal attacks are often an attack to steal God’s glory. Often the attacks are because we are living for God’s glory & that is displeasing to Satan. There’s a constant battle over you!

Isaiah 43:7 English Standard Version (ESV)

everyone who is called by my name,

    whom I created for my glory,

    whom I formed and made.”

Isaiah 26:8 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Yes, Lord, we wait for you

in the path of your judgments.

Our desire is for your name and renown.

Isaiah 26:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws;

    our heart’s desire is to glorify your name.

2 Kings 19 – HEZEKIAH

Intro to Hezekiah: 

  • He was a good king, ruled Judah
  • He repaired the Temple
  • He destroyed the high places – 2 Kings 18:4
  • He destroyed the bronze serpent Nehushtan (Moses bronze serpent had become an idol they worshiped) –  2 Kings 18:4
  • He celebrated the Passover

Situation at hand:

  • King of Assyria, Sargon II dies 
  • Sargon’s son Sennacherib becomes King of Assyria
    • [Sennacherib’s Prism records some of the history of Sennacherib] 
  • Assyria aimed to attack Jerusalem
  • Hezekiah paid Sennacherib a tribute – 2 Kings 18:14-16
  • Sennacherib still went after Jerusalem
  • Sennacherib attacked Hezekiah’s reforms
  • Sennacherib attacked God – told people they shouldn’t trust God

2 Kings 18:28-36 New Century Version (NCV)

28 Then the commander stood and shouted loudly in the Hebrew language, “Listen to what the great king, the king of Assyria, says! 29 The king says you should not let Hezekiah fool you, because he can’t save you from my power. 30 Don’t let Hezekiah talk you into trusting the Lord by saying, ‘The Lord will surely save us. This city won’t be handed over to the king of Assyria.’

31 “Don’t listen to Hezekiah. The king of Assyria says, ‘Make peace with me, and come out of the city to me. Then everyone will be free to eat the fruit from his own grapevine and fig tree and to drink water from his own well. 32 After that I will come and take you to a land like your own—a land with grain and new wine, bread and vineyards, olives, and honey. Choose to live and not to die!’

“Don’t listen to Hezekiah. He is fooling you when he says, ‘The Lord will save us.’ 33 Has a god of any other nation saved his people from the power of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? They did not save Samaria from my power. 35 Not one of all the gods of these countries has saved his people from me. Neither can the Lord save Jerusalem from my power.”

36 The people were silent. They didn’t answer the commander at all, because King Hezekiah had ordered, “Don’t answer him.”

#1 – SEEK GOD

HE SEEKS THE PROPHET OF THE LORD – ISAIAH 

2 Kings 19:1-7 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah’s Counsel

19 When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the Lord’s temple. He sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, who were wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace, for children have come to the point of birth, but there is no strength to deliver them. Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all the words of the royal spokesman, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke him for the words that the Lord your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.’”

5 So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, 6 who said to them, “Tell your master, ‘The Lord says this: Don’t be afraid because of the words you have heard, with which the king of Assyria’s attendants have blasphemed me. 7 I am about to put a spirit in him, and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, where I will cause him to fall by the sword.’”

Sennacherib attacks further – “Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you.” (2 Kings 19:10)

Hezekiah receives a letter, read it, and took it to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord (2 Kings 19:14)

#2 – SEEK GOD’S WILL… GOD’S GLORY

Hezekiah prays God’s will (2 Kings 19:15-19)

2 Kings 19:15-19 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord:

Lord God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you are God—you alone—of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. 16 Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see. Hear the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. 17 Lord, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but made by human hands—wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 19 Now, Lord our God, please save us from his power so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are God—you alone.

Sennacherib was mocking God

Hezekiah prays – “Save us… so that all the… earth may know that you are God alone.”

2 Kings 19:32-34 Good News Translation (GNT)

32 “And this is what the Lord has said about the Assyrian emperor: ‘He will not enter this city or shoot a single arrow against it. No soldiers with shields will come near the city, and no siege mounds will be built around it. 33 He will go back by the same road he came, without entering this city. I, the Lord, have spoken. 34 I will defend this city and protect it, for the sake of my own honor and because of the promise I made to my servant David.’”

Sennacherib’s army is defeated – God sent angel who struck down 185,000 Assyrians (2 Kings 19:35)

Sennacherib was struck down while worshiping his god Nisroch by his own sons (2 Kings 19:37)

Breakout Sessions

1. The name Hezekiah means “God has strengthened.” Read 2 Chronicles 29:25-31. 

What does this passage tell us about Hezekiah?

In looking at tonight’s study in 2 Kings 19, how was Hezekiah strengthen by God? What gave him strength?

2. Read 2 Kings 19:15-19. 

How does Hezekiah begin his prayer to the Lord? 

Looking at this prayer, how would you describe Hezekiah?

When you read this prayer, what can you glean as Hezekiah’s greatest concern?

3. What is one thing you can do to be more God-gets-the-glory focused?