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No matter how many times Jacob said he was the servant to Esau, it wouldn't change God's plan. Jacob was positioned to receive the blessing. Not Esau. No matter how many times you try to deny or thwart or stall God's plan, His plan stands. Embrace His plan. #Genesis32 #Jacob #Esau #Bible #BibleStudy
In Genesis 32, we read about Jacob preparing to meet Esau. If you remember, the last time these two brothers were together, Jacob had taken Esau’s blessing through deception. Esau was furious and vowed to get revenge. Jacob fled to safety. In this chapter, Jacob wrestles with God and is renamed Israel. After all of this, he continues to call himself a servant to Esau.
Esau was the firstborn, and rightfully was to have the firstborn rights. We read about Jacob taking Esau’s birthright over some stew. We later read that Jacob dresses as Esau to take the blessing as well. God foreknew this all. Remember, Genesis 25:23 tells us that the birth order will be switched – the older will serve the younger—so this shouldn’t be a surprise.
As you look through Genesis 32 and 33, note all of the times Jacob says he is the servant to Esau. As many times as he states it, it never changes what God has ordained long ago. The line of blessing was Jacob’s line. This great line would become a great nation. It is through the line of Jacob that we find Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Today, consider who God says you are and what God has shown you for your life. This is precious. This is to be embraced. No matter how many times you try to reach for something else, deny something, change the order or design, God’s plan stands.
“But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.” – Psalm 33:11 [NIV]
It is one thing to talk the talk. It is another thing to walk the walk. In 1 John 2, we read that the one who says that he abides in Jesus should walk the same way that Jesus walked. This means that if a person claims to remain in Jesus, to be doing life with Jesus, that person would walk in the same manner as Jesus. In doing so, the person would appear to mirror Jesus. One would look at the person and see Jesus.
Walking like Jesus requires us to be in the Word daily so we can glean from the Word how He walked. He spent time in the Word. It was written on His heart. Is it written on yours? Walking like Jesus means we are continually in prayer – that we continually are aware of the presence of God. Remember how Jesus left the group to pray? Do you take time to pray? Walking like Jesus means we love like He loves, forgive as He forgave, serve as He served.
Today, consider your steps. Are you walking like Jesus? Are you a person of compassion? Do you love with all you have? Do you have the heart of a servant? You can talk the talk, but a true disciple walks the walk.
“Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” – 1 John 2:6 [ESV]
[The Loaned Money: Matthew 25:14-30]
- Also known as the Parable of the Talents
- A talent is a monetary unit worth about 20 years’ worth of wages.
- Talent is useless if it is not used.
- No one is without talent.
- Talents given according to ability – 5, 2, 1
Responsibility – Faithful over little, set you over much – Action is required
Time – Talent – Treasure
- We are to be RESPONSIBLE and CREATIVE
- We are all different but His expectations are always appropriate.
- Talents (Resources from God) + Action for God + Time (Gift from God)
= Profit for Kingdom
The third servant – the evil, lazy servant…
- Hid the talent because he was concerned with safety more than service
- To avoid not doing anything wrong, he ended up not doing anything right.
To be faithful, one must be:
- Focused on Jesus – All about Jesus, growing His Kingdom (Colossians 3:17)
- Founded in Jesus – Abide in Him (John 15)
- Fearless for Jesus – Hope in Jesus = Boldness/Courage (2 Corinthians 3:12)
Bible Study Questions:
1) What was the Master’s commendations for the two successful servants?
2) What did the Master do for the successful servants?
3) The unfaithful servant was described as three words. How was he described?
4) What happened to the unfaithful servant when the Master returned?
5) How do we bury the talents God has given us?
6) How can we discover our talents? How can we use them for God’s glory?
7) How can we encourage others with their talents?
More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.
I remember the school days when it was time to line up and select teams for various sports. There were some sports that I was selected as one of the first picks and others when I was standing on the line awaiting the selection till the very end. As children we chose our friends and we chose those we thought would help us to win. That was how it went. I don’t think this ever ends because as adults in the workforce, we chose people who will help us succeed and sometimes we pick our friends.
With God, we are chosen simply because He created us and He loves us. Today’s verse states “For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.” To God, it doesn’t matter if you aren’t the “best player” for the team. He is not necessarily looking for the person who can recite the most Scripture or the one who has the least blemishes on his record. It is He alone who qualifies us for the team. He also doesn’t have favorites. Each of us is His favorite. He loves each of us like an only child.
The bottom line is He chose you and He’s not going to toss you away. Like Abraham, He calls you “friend.” When you believe in Christ, you are called a “child of God.” Child. Friend. Chosen. Loved. It always felt good to be picked for the team, whether it was for recess or gym class or even today in the workforce. How great is it to be chosen for God’s team? How great it is to be called a child of God? To be called friend?
“I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.” – Isaiah 41:9 [NLT]
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant can teach us all a great lesson about forgiveness. This lesson is geared toward elementary school children. The goal is to teach the children more about the topics of mercy and forgiveness and to encourage children to forgive and show mercy to others. The front page of this lesson provides a definition of mercy, a key verse, and breaks down God’s forgiveness. The second page is a fill-in sheet to be used with a discussion after reading Matthew 18:21-35 with the group. The activity/craft period of this lesson will be used to brainstorm how we can be better at forgiving. We will then make an art project or card for someone who we want to bless, someone who we may need to forgive for something or someone who we have forgiven in the past.
Please feel free to download and/or print the lesson and the accompanying resource(s) and use for ministry purposes. If you have any comments or questions, do not hesitate to contact. Not for resale.
For the complete lesson, follow the download links. Please be aware that the items are stored on Drop Box so you will be transferred.
This is a poem that I wrote for a very special person. See you soon.
Mary Got A Promotion
“Love Justice & Seek Mercy
And Walk Humbly with your God”
“Love your Neighbor as yourself
Be Kind and Compassionate”
“Work Hard at Whatever you do
As Working for the Lord”
“Honor your parents
Teach your children”
“Follow My example
Walk in the way of love”
Today is a day of celebration.
Today is a day to rejoice.
God said “Good job My faithful servant”
Mary got a promotion.
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.” – Psalm 116:15 [NIV]
Most people do not associate death and precious in the same sentence. When some people read this verse, they might question how it could be considered precious that “faithful servants” had passed. The word death is something we consider very much in our own lives. One of the biggest fears for people is dying. But perhaps we should focus on the “faithful” in this verse.
The reason the death of the Lord’s servants is “precious” is because these people were “faithful.” They did what was required of them. They lived life with their hearts devoted to the Lord. They were faithful. They answered the call God set before them and they kept their eyes on Him. They had a heart for the Lord. That’s precious.
It is important to continue on the narrow path and keep our eyes on Him. Today look not toward what the world has to offer, but focus your eyes on Him. If you have stumbled or turned off course, ask the Spirit to help you redirect your feet back on the narrow path. Remember God is with us every step of the way—we do not walk alone.
“Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men.” – Colossians 3:23 [HCSB]
As I was doing my grocery shopping, I walked pass a young man stocking shelves. One of his co-workers passed by and asked, “You’re still doing that?” The response of the young man was one I’ve heard time and time again—“I’m here for eight hours either way.”
Yes, he will be there for eight hours. He will get paid the same no matter how much effort he puts forth with stocking the shelves. But this thought that it does not matter—that I do not need put forth a good effort—is something very negative and it greatly impacts our society.
We are told to do everything as if it was for the Lord. Today look at the effort you put forth, the attitude you have at your workplace, in your home, at church, in your relationship with God, etc. Do you give God your best effort or are you going through the motions till the time is up? Does it really matter? How would an onlooker see you stocking shelves—with joy serving the Lord or just passing time?
Some people do not know that I am attending an A.B.H.E. (Association for Biblical Education) approved university, majoring in Christian Ministries. I attended college when I graduated from high school, but life has various journeys; after ten years with a different career focus, I was given a new direction.
When I decided to answer the call and take the path before me, I slowly began telling people that I was returning to school. Most people accepted the news with open arms. Some wanted to know exactly what type of employment could be found with a degree from the university I attend. The university has many majors, all geared toward Christian education, ministry, and counseling. When I let one friend know this information, she gave me an unexpected answer. She said if and when there was a time when I would lead a church, she would attend.
It is certainly a great compliment to have someone say they would love to attend somewhere with your leadership. I was gracious with my response; however, as I pondered over what was said, I was concerned. She was putting her entire walk with God in my hands. She was basically saying she was going to sit outside the door, waiting till I came, and then enter. There are a few issues that trouble me. What if it takes me too long to enter the door? What if something happens prohibiting me from entering? What if I am directed in a different direction? Will she simply sit there, waiting, or will she enter? There is a big difference if we attempt to come to God with open arms, or if we are attached to someone along the way. God wants us all back, but He wants us to walk through the door. I don’t believe it is wrong to initially walk through the door with someone; however, one cannot sit in waiting, believing it is the only way.
I do not believe our God is scary. If people who haven’t read the Old Testament open that section up in their Bibles, they may say He is very scary. I will admit after reading some passages, I got the chills. However, if we read the Bible, truly read the Bible, it is very clear that God loves His children. With the situation with my friend, I do not believe it has anything to do with fearing the Old Testament God. She has experienced the Christian tight belts.
The Christian tight belts are those “Christians” who walk around with this belief of being higher above others. They have everything looking good on the outside. Clothing pressed and a sparkling smile. They are saved and therefore they are better. It’s like at the supermarket in the meat department. There is the 95% lean meat which is proudly displayed on the top shelf, and then there’s the 75% ground beef at the bottom. Everyone wants the lean meat, because they know it’s better, but some cannot afford the cost so it turns them away.
People are turned away by the 95% lean meat. People are also turned away by people who attend church and believe they deserve to earn a gold medal for it. As we all know, when we are saved, we are all on the same area of the plane. There is no first class and coach. No one is better than the next person. We are certainly supposed to shine the light to non-believers, and spread the Message. However, the Gospel is not to go out as a “I’m better than you because I know and have accepted this and you haven’t” type scenario.
Our God is compassionate. Our God sent His only Son to come redeem us from our shortcomings. If we look closely at each of our lives, we can all see the evidence of these fallen moments. Even after we accept Christ, they occur. As children of God, we are all family to the King. We are all precious. Remember, that the King came here to serve. The King gave the ultimate sacrifice. We, too, should serve as our Lord has left us a clear example. When we do that, when we show God’s love to others, the lean meat looks appealing. The lean meat is affordable, and doesn’t look to be too high up on the shelf.
Do not sit outside, waiting for someone to take you in the door. If you go to a church and you do not feel right, there are many more churches around the corner. While selecting a church, remember that Bible reading and prayer are important, and will help in the selection process. If you have accepted Christ, do not believe for a second that you are above those who haven’t yet. They also have the invitation; it’s just taking them longer to R.S.V.P. Instead of pushing them away for putting the invitation to the side, perhaps you can show them God’s invitation by sharing your own journey.
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve; and to give His life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:43b-44 [NIV]