FAITH – HOPE – FORGIVENESS by Growing Older


The Kind Of People God Is Looking For
April 22, 2018, 11:22 pm
Filed under: Bible, Blessings, Blogroll, Christian, Christianity, Church, faith, Family, God, Jesus

Acts 27: Example, Apostle Paul

I. They Think Prayerfully
A. Vs 9: sailing was dangerous
1. Vs 10: much damage & hurt ahead – lives at steak
2. Vs 14: tempestuous wind = hurricane like conditions
3. Vs 18: tossed with a tempest
B. Paul saw the storm coming
C. A storm doesn’t last forever
1. Life has its storms; they can get us doubting; afraid;
and sometimes wondering “where is God?”
2. I believe Paul went into this storm prayerfully.
That’s the way we, too, should approach life’s storms .
Whether a storm of bad weather or a storm / a crisis in our
lives
D. Notice vs 11: the centurion would not believe the man of God
Paul
1. Sometimes, in haste, people disregard the council of God’s
man
2. They go around and tell their problems to many folks and
then settle on the advice from someone who has told them
what they wanted to hear.
II. They Have A Childlike Faith
A. Vs 21- 25 (read)
B. Mark 10:14 – this is a simple faith that does not doubt.
1. Faith to believe what the Bible says
2. Faith to act upon what the Bible says
3. Whether it is faith to be saved or faith to live our daily lives
for Him
III. They Have Optimism Based On The Word Of God
A. Yes, there is a hell; but, yes, there is also salvation to take us
to heaven
B. There is a negative and a positive
C. Vs 22: (be of good cheer)
1. In the midst of life’s storms, you can have that same little
childlike faith to believe in the Word of God.
2. You can be of good cheer because of no loss: vs 22
a. Here, no loss of life: we can thank God for His hand of
protection on our lives
b. Also, no loss of eternal life.
God saves and He keeps us saved
D. They have mastered their own lives: Proverbs 16:32
(he that ruleth his spirit)
1. Life is a give and take relationship; things don’t always go
your way
2. They take life’s storms (problems) as they arise; they don’t
fall apart during the storm
3. Be realistic about the future: no pie in the sky stuff
4. Paul had a grip on himself and he had self-respect.

Conclusion: The way to keep your head in a crises is to be close to the Bible; close to God. Faith in God and in His Word. Don’t follow after every newfangled thing that comes along in the world of religion. Be saved and know it for sure. Stick to the basics of God’s Word and have that childlike faith – it will get you through life a lot better.

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Old Testament Survey: The Book of Malachi

The Book Of Malachi 

Intro: This is the last call of the Old Testament before the voice of prophecy dies into a silence of 400 years.  The last spokesman utters his soul and retires behind the mystery curtains of the past.

The meaning and the message: This Book is an appeal – powerful and passionate … pleading for God’s people to repent of sin and turn to God … chapter 1:1-2 – vs 6-11

The key thought of Malachi: Malachi 2:17

I. An appeal in viewing their present sin: chap. 1-2

   A.  God speaks; the priests are appealed to: 1:6 – 2:9

         1. 1:8: they offered what they didn’t want, to the Lord

         2. 1:14: what they offered to the Lord was corrupt

   B. Malachi speaks (message from the Lord) 2:10-17

        1. They wearied the Lord: 2:17

        2. They said the evil was good: 2:17

II. An appeal in viewing the Coming Day: chap. 3-4

     A. God will judge the guilty on that Day    

          1. God will send His messenger to prepare the way – 3:1

          2. John the Baptist was that messenger

          3. The Day of His coming:- 3:2

          4. This is the 1st coming of Christ

          5. The religious leaders and people had sank to a new low of formalism and being

              nonchalant about the things of God; they  were living in hypocrisy.

          6. God will judge: 3:4-5

          7. God changes not; He is always the same: 3:6

          8.  Tithing is taught: 3:8-11. Note: vs 11: I Corinthians 16:1-2

     B. God will bless the Godly in that Day

          1. Vs 14: the ungodly find it vain to serve God

          2. Vs 16-17:  the Godly belong to God

          3. God will send Elijah: 4:5

          4. The appeal: 4:4-6

Malachi ends the Old Testament with a final promise of the coming of Christ; then we  have

400 years of silence.

Next, the New Testament opens in the fulfillment of the prophecy with the first coming of Christ, with John the Baptist paving the way.



Old Testament Survey: Book of Haggai

The Book Of Haggai

Introduction: Haggai was relatively unknown but he voiced God’s message to the leaders of the Jews who had returned after 70 years of captivity.  

 Haggai writes to:

1. Rebuke and to instruct the remnant of the Jews: they were divided.

2. To admonish and to encourage the builders of God’s House.

The man and the Book: Haggai was born in Babylon and he returned to the Land. This was done due to the decree of Cyrus under Zerubbabel.

This Book covers a period of about 4 months, in the year of 520 B.C.  It takes place 16 years after the return of the first group who came back to the Land.

Haggai writes regarding their problem: 14 years of inactivity. The Temple should have been rebuilt but the people didn’t build it.

The people were in apathy and that is why they basically sat there doing nothing in the Lord’s work for those 14 years.

Central message: Chapter 1:7-8 

Haggai’s Four Fold Message

 I.   The Appeal To Rebuild The Temple: Chap. 1

      A. Build The House

           1. Vs 2:  “the  people say”

           2. Vs 3-4: God’s Word says …..

                a. God’s Word came to Haggai, God’s man

                b. God was leading Haggai to rebuke and to encourage – His House needed to be built

      B. Vs 5 – “…Consider your ways:” their thinking; attitudes; direction; needed to change

           1.  Vs 6: God was not blessing them in any labor of their hands, unless they rebuild His

                Temple and restore His worship

                a. God will not bless our labors when we fail to follow His Word.

                b. They thought they could escape poverty by keeping their money and not give it to

                    God’s House; there was not enough to rebuild God’s House because of that

                    Proverbs 13:7 and 11:24

                    Instead of cheating God; they cheated themselves

                c. Sown: but crop failures … bring in little = not enough food to eat

                d. Not filled with drink: nothing satisfied them

                e. Because of crop failures, there was not enough money to buy clothing

                f. Their wages went into a bag full of holes: figurative. No matter how much they

                    made … there was never enough to go around.

           2. Vs 7: Consider your ways. Is it right to build a nice house and neglect God’s house

                consider whether  your lack is due to God’s punishment due to your lack of giving

                God what is really His

 II. A Message Of Support: Chap 2

     A. Vs 4: “… I am  with you …”  – Hebrews 13:5

     B. “Be strong …”  don’t let this discourage you       

     C. Vs 6-7: God is in control

          1. Vs 6: God will shake the heavens etc.

          2. Vs 7: God will shake all nations

          3. Vs 8: poverty should not hinder them …. all things come from God. Depend on Him for

              their financial needs

 III. A Message To Confirm: Chap. 2

      A. Vs 19: “from this day will I bless you.”

      B. The seed has been planted 

           1. Harvest is months away

           2. Harvest of the fruit trees is also a while off

           3. In the past, they have had crop failures

           4. God’s Word says: trust in the Lord and not in nature

           5. Their obedience will bring the blessing of God

IV.  A Message To Assure: Chap. 2

       A. Vs 23: “I will take thee”  “I will make thee  as”  “ I have chosen thee”

            1. I will take thee: God’s leading and protection

            2. I will make thee as a signet:  a  signature ring used as a seal. God will make them

                very precious. He will exalt Zerubbabel to high dignity and power. He shall be

                precious

            3. I have chosen thee: “chosen” here, means appointed. God had a work for him to do.

                God had a plan for Zerubbabel and He has a plan for you.

       B. God’s Word gives assurance

            1. Acts 17:31

            2. Colossians 2:2

Conclusion: Matthew 6:33 is a great rule in God’s Word to follow. When we “consider our ways” and turn back to God, obey His Word in ALL things … He will bless.



Old Testament Survey: The Book of Obadiah

Introduction: We have no history regarding Obadiah – not even his father’s name. We find more than a dozen other Obadiah’s in the Bible, but none are identified with this one.  He is a man of obscurity that was used of God to pronounce one thing: God’s judgment on Edom and final restoration of Judah under God’s Kingdom.

The name Obadiah means – Servant of Jehovah.

The Book: It is the shortest writing of the prophets and the smallest Book of the Old Testament. It’s primary concern is with God’s judgment upon Edom for their alliance with Babylon against their own kin: Israel. Then, the plundering and destruction of Jerusalem, by Babylon.

Date: An exact date is not found. We can speculate that it was written around 887 B.C. 

Edom: During Obadiah’s time, the capitol was Petra … the Rock City.

I.   The Day Of The Lord Is Near

      A.  Every eye shall see Him: Rev. 1:7

      B.  He comes as a thief: II Peter 3:10-12

      C.  Paul looked for it: Phil. 3:20

      D.  We are to wait for His coming: I Thess. 1:10

      E.  No man knows when He will return: Matt. 24:36 

II. Rewards When He Returns: Obadiah 1:15

     A. Galatians 6:7: Reap what you sow

     B. Rev. 22:12: He brings rewards

     C. I Cor. 3:14-15: Rewards can also be taken away from us

         1. Build a work for Christ that will last

         2. Our works will be tested by the refiner’s fire: I Peter 1:7

Even though Obadiah looked for the second Coming; Paul looked for it; the early Christians looked for it; you and I should look for the Second Coming. We must remember; God is on HIS time table and not ours.

God, in His wisdom and timing, still has a work to do; a work for you and me to do.

God must be waiting for something, what it is, we don’t know and it is not for us to know or we’d know it.

Genesis 7:4 & 10: for some reason, God gave 7 more days of Grace before He flooded the earth.

Today, He is still a God of Grace. God patiently waits for souls to receive Christ as Saviour.

He patiently waits for Christians to do a work for God, to live for Jesus, to win souls.

But …. He is Coming: Mark 13:32-33

Vs 2-3: God made them small, vs 2, because of their sinful pride: vs 3

Vs 2: they are despised, scorned, contemptible.

Vs 3:   They deceived themselves by their own sinful pride

           They dwelt in the clefts of the rocks … Petra … the capitol city was a Rock City.

           Their houses were mostly cut into the rocks.

Vs 4: Pride MUST be brought down. No matter how high they tried to exalt themselves…

         God WILL bring them down

Vs 5: The enemies of Edom have ravaged them more than thieves and robbers would have

Vs 6: Even the things that they hid in caves etc. were found and ravaged: I Corinthians 4:5

Vs 7: Brought to their border = they were hemmed in, on every side, by their enemies.

          “They that eat thy bread” = they pretended to be their friends but in all reality: they

          joined together to destroy them.

          “laid a wound” = laid a trap or placed a snare.

          “none understanding” = they we so foolish – they could not see their danger

Vs 8: The Edomite’s were remarkable for wisdom, counsel, and prudence.    

          When God purposes to destroy a nation for its sins, He commonly removes from it the

          wise and prudent, and gives it over to weak and foolish counsels:  Jeremiah 49:7.

Vs 9: The wise men will be destroyed by a violent death

NOTE: The problem here – is the sinful pride of Edom. In verses 1-16, we read of the destruction of Edom because of their sin.  Proverbs 6:16-20 – Proverbs 8:13

Arrogancy means “swelling.” Or like “he has the big head.”

 Verses 17-21: We read of the salvation of Israel.

Vs 17: Deliverance: Psalms 2:6

            Holiness = they shall return to God and separate themselves from idols

            The promise of God – in the Palestinian Covenant – to take what God has rightfully given

            to Israel.

Vs 18: Isaiah 10:17: God’s power to consume his enemies properly belongs only to himself.

           As a people and a nation, they shall be destroyed. It does not refer to every individual.

Vs 19 – 21: Obadiah ends his prophecy with a promise of the restoration of Israel and the

            Messianic Kingdom.



Old Testament Survey: The Book Of Amos

Introduction: Amos was a Jew who prophesied in the Northern Kingdom. Amos was not from the school of the prophets – he had no formal training. He was also a herdsman and a farmer. Yet, he had the same Divine Spirit of God upon him that influenced Isaiah and Daniel etc. God uses anybody that makes themselves available to Him. Remember, God gives abilities to us when we yield to Him. God can and wants to use you.

Date: This was written from 787 – 797 B.C.

The Book: Written during the reign of King Uzziah in Israel after Amos had been expelled from the Northern Kingdom for his bold preaching in Bethel.

Amos deals with the Judgments on the cities surrounding Palestine; Judah and Israel; Jehovah God’s dealing with the family of Jacob and the future glory of the Davidic kingdom.

  1. The Message Of The Book: Amos 3:1-3
  2. The context is this: Can you have God’s presence while you walk contrary with Him?
  3. In Amos day, God’s people broke sweet communion and fellowship with God.
  4. God did not break it from them, they broke from God: that’s sad.
  5. How can a child of God have the power of God on him while not fellowshipping with God.
  6. You cannot walk with God if you are not living for God in your daily life.
  7. Can you have God’s presence while you walk so contrary to him?
  8. Hate The Evil And Love The Good: Amos 5:14-15
  9. The choice between evil and good has gone on since Adam and Eve in the Garden in Genesis 3.
  10. Joshua exhorted God’s people to choose between good and evil in Joshua 24:15
  11. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord …..”
  12. To some, they like the evil better than the good; that’s why we have so much hatred in this world.

a So much war

b.So much violence

c.   So much murder

d.So much immorality

e. Abortion/murder of the unborn is into the millions

f. It becomes evil in the sight of people for God’s people to do good

g. Joshua exhorted the Israelites: God’s people, not the heathen, to choose between Gods              and the false gods. The gods that they worshipped before God redeemed them and                                       delivered them. The Israelites had a problem: sin. They couldn’t decide whether to go                                  back and live in sin or to go forward and serve the God that had saved them.

h. Amos 5:15: hate ALL evil among God’s people: I Thessalonians 5:22.

i. Love, commend, encourage, defend the GOOD. Let your heart be towards good things.

Psalms 34:14 and Psalms 34:8

 

Paul refused to eat meat offered to idols: I Cor. 8:1 & 10:13-14

There was nothing wrong with the meat itself: I Cor. 8:4.

Vs 7-10: be careful lest we tempt others to fall into sin and false doctrine

Sometimes, it is not the thing itself that is the sin, but where we are or what we do with it:                      that is the sin.

Be careful where we go, what we say and what we do lest we become a hindrance to

someone and they not be saved.  I Cor. 6:12 and I Cor. 10:23

III. God Always Keeps His Promises Amos 9:13-15

  1. God reminded Israel of what He has in store for them in the future.
  2. God’s Word also reminds us of what He has in store for those who have received Him as            Saviour.
  3. A perfect salvation
  4. Salvation that lasts: He won’t cast us out
  5. Blessings and benefits: here and now
  6. The Comforter – the Holy Spirit to teach, guide and empower us                                                     John 14:6: a home in Heaven.


Old Testament Survey: The Book Of Joel

Introduction: Joel lived during the time of the Prophet Elisha; approximately 800 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Joash was king.

The Name Joel: Means “Jehovah is God.”  He prophesied mostly about Jerusalem and Judah.

Date: Approximately 800 B.C.

  1. The Plague Of Locust: Chap. 1:11-2:11
  2. Chap. 2:1-11 references to revelation 16:14
  3. This refers to Armageddon
  4. Vs 11: references to Revelation 19:11-21
  5. Joel calls for repentance: 2:12-17
  6. Repentance is a turning back to God as well as a turning from our sin.
  7. The sin that keeps us from Gods blessings.
  8. The sin that hinders our sweet fellowship with the Lord.
  9. The sin that hinders our spiritual progress.
  10. Prophecy 2:28

    “Afterward “= in the last days

  1. “Pour out my Spirit”
  2. This prophecy was fulfilled in Acts 2:15 -21
  3. Acts 2:16: “this is that”
  4. “this” = the happenings of Acts 2:1-14.
  5. The Day of Pentecost begins the “Last Days”, according to this fulfilled prophecy.
  6. The local New Testament Church was empowered on the Day of Pentecost
  7. Acts 2:41: 3,000 souls saved – baptized and added to the local church.
  8. That particular local church was the one in Jerusalem in Acts 1:15.

The Last Days

  1. Afterwards: Joel 2:28 – this is the last days of Acts 2:17
  2. Joel 2:28 was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, therefore, the Last Days began on                             the Day of Pentecost.
  3. This means that we have been living in the Last Days for over 2,000 years
  4. We are living, I believe, in the last part of the Last Days.
  5. We are to LOOK for the return of Jesus Christ.
  6. We are to LIVE for Jesus until His return.

NOTES: Joel 3:14: “Valley of Decision.” The valley in which they are to meet their “determined doom.” The same as “the valley of Jehoshaphat,” that is, “the valley of judgment.”

This is the place where God executes His judgment upon His enemies.

People have decisions to make – to be saved or remain unsaved. Christians also have decisions –

Once we are saved, do I live for the Lord or not. Will I be faithful or remain unfaithful. How long will I serve Him?

Joel tells of the effects of the plagues, past and future. He looks beyond them to plagues of Israel’s enemies to come and calls Israel to repentance. Then, he looks to the end times and God’s triumph over Israel’s final enemies and the promise of God’s blessings upon Israel and the gentile believers.



Old Testament survey: The Book Of Hosea

Introduction: Hosea lived at the same time as Amos; Isaiah & Micah.

The name “Hosea” means deliverance. He was an Israelite native to Israel.

200 years before Hosea’s time, 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel had left and set up the Northern Kingdom. They began the worship of idols and that’s why God sent the prophets, Elijah and Elisha to preach against their sin. God wanted them to repent of their sin and turn back to God.

Date:  785 B.C. or approximately 2,890 years ago

This Book covers a time period of 60 years.

The setting: There was outward prosperity in Israel: the borders had increased; the Temple offerings had increased. Then there was peace because Syria and Moab had been conquered.

Inwardly, there was spiritual decay; immorality abounded. Israel was worshipping false gods

Including offering children as sacrifices. The priests had condoned all of this.

  1. Israel’s Sins: chap 4:1-2
  2. Vs 1: Hear = listen and apply it to yourself – not to other people
  3. Vs 1: God has a controversy with Israel –
  4. Controversy = conflict
  5. No truth; mercy & no knowledge of God.
  6. Truth: John 14:6
  7. None of God’s mercy = no forgiveness of sins. Why?

(1)  They did not know God and therefore did not confess their sins to God.

(2)  Therefore, they could not receive God’s forgiveness – mercy and – pardon.

  1. No knowledge of God = they did not know the Word of God nor the God of the Word
  2. Vs 2: Swearing, lying, killing, stealing & adultery.
  3. Vs 3: Result of their sin
  4. The idolatry of Israel 4:12-19
  5. To some, their idol is money, sports, self, spouse, clothes, cars, recreation, music, children etc.
  6. Anything that you put before God or anything you allow to keep you from serving God
  7. Hosea 13:6: they sad account of Hosea
  8. They forgot God
  9. Vs 7-8 and 9: self-destruction
  10. God’s Pleading: chap. 14
  11. Vs 1: return
  12. Ask forgiveness of sins: vs 2
  13. Asshur = one of the 12 Tribes of Israel: only God can deliver / save.
  14. God’s promise if they would return to Him: vs 4-7
  15. What would be the effect on others if they would return: vs 8

God’s Ways Are Right Ways: Proverbs 16:25 – Psalms 19:8 – Psalms 119:75

Conclusion: God’s instructions are to “return” Why? Because it is “we” who moved away from God. If we “return” 14:4: God promises to “heal” the backsliding; to love us and turn His anger away     from us.