FAITH – HOPE – FORGIVENESS by Growing Older


What is a Godly life, and how is it achieved
April 22, 2018, 11:35 pm
Filed under: Blogroll, Christian, Christianity, Church, faith, Family, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life, Prayer, Trials, Uncategorized

Titus 2:12
INTRO: These are important questions because as believers, we are called to live sanctified lives that are fully surrendered to Christ.
We know it’s God’s will for us to live Godly & He’s working in our lives to help us to live Godly. But, we also have a responsibility in this. What we habitually do has tremendous influence on whether we will have a Godly life.
There are seven habits that will help us in our pursuit of Godly living. A habit is a recurring pattern of behavior; it comes through frequent repetition & it’s often subconscious.
A Godly life is one that’s no longer seeking satisfaction through a sinful lifestyle but it’s now surrendered to God and His will.
The Six Habits of a Godly Life
1. A Life of Prayer. We learn this example from Jesus.
The disciples and the crowds did not understand why Jesus withdrew when there was so much good He could do. Jesus knew that prayer was an important priority of His life:
Mark 1:35
Prayer that promotes godliness is not merely occasional prayers offered in times of trouble or need; they are a daily conversation with the Father that comes from our love for Him and gratitude for who He is and what He does. It’s not a duty but a delightful time.
Jesus’ disciples saw that His prayers were very different from the ritualistic prayers that were so common in that day.
They saw & heard how He spoke so personally with His heavenly Father. This prompted them to ask Him to teach them how to pray: Luke 11:1.
Because we live in a world filled with temptations, trials, heartaches, burdens, and sin: an intimate prayer life should be a priority because it keeps us connected to almighty God and makes us sensitive to His will.
Whatever we do will be accomplished on our knees as we submit to the Lord, give Him our time, and listen for His instruction.
2. Faith. Psalm 103:19: God controls everything, not only what happens but why and how it happens as well. His sovereignty is our firm foundation for believing and trusting Him.
Proverbs 3:5-6
The only other option to faith is worry. A Godly life is one that steps beyond worry and into trust. Each time a situation causes us to fret, we should stop and remember who’s in charge. If God’s sovereignty rules over all, we have no reason to worry. The evidence of our faith is the absence of worry.
Trust in the Lord also builds a closeness with Him. As we talk and listen to God and respond in obedience, He guides us, and we develop closeness with Him both in our heart and in our thinking.
3. Obedience. Moses told the nation of Israel: Deut. 28:1.
In a similar way, we walk on a higher level than the world when we live in obedience to God. It’s not a matter of looking down on others but choosing to live by God’s standards rather than following the world’s lifestyle.
4. Dependence upon the Holy Spirit. Every believer in Jesus is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but the apostle Paul also tells us to “be filled with the Spirit” Eph. 5:18. The Greek verb signifies that this is a continuous action of filling. It means to live in obedience to Him, relying on Him to equip, empower, strengthen, teach, and guide us each day.
Only as we depend on the Spirit will we be and do what God desires.
5. Giving to God and others. We have a promise in Luke 6:38:
We can never out give God. But by not giving, we are claiming that we really don’t need Him & we can manage on our own.
Only God can predict and provide for our future needs.

6. Forgiving other people. Forgiveness may not be easy, but it’s what the Lord commands (Eph. 4:32).
Even if someone betrays us, we must forgive and trust God to take care of the situation.
What changes would you have to make to cultivate these six Godly habits?
Which areas are the most challenging for you?
What obstacles will you need to overcome?

Advertisements


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.



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 Habakkuk

The Book Of Habakkuk

The Human Writer: Habakkuk prophesied during the later years of King Josiah. He also lived during the time of Jeremiah. The name Habakkuk means: “embracing.”

Habakkuk speaks to God concerning Habakkuk’s concerns about God’s working among the nations. Habakkuk 1:4; 1:13 = why do the wicked prosper?

 The Central Message of the book: Chapter 2:4b “… but the just shall live by his faith.”

 Background: The Assyrian Empire had fallen as Nahum had prophesied: Egypt and Babylon were trying to dominate the world. The Babylonians and Chaldeans were united together under King Nebuchadnezzar and would conquer Judah.

Habakkuk could not understand why a nation like Babylon, with all its wickedness, could conquer a nation like Judah. After all, Judah’s sins were not as bad as Babylon’s sins.

This seemed like evil was wining out over good. So, God shows Habakkuk His plan.

Brief outline of this Book

I.   The Burden – Chap. 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The apparent triumph of s

II.   The Vision – Chap. 2

                             Coming punishment of the Chaldeans

                                                                                 III.   The Prayer – Chap. 3

                                                                                          Confidence that God is coming

I.    The Burden

      A. Chap. 1:1: he saw

           1. Vs 2: he cried

           2. Vs 2: he did not believe that God heard his cry of prayer

           3. Vs 2: why does not God save?

      B. He wonders why the wicked prosper?

          1. The Chaldeans are bitter and nasty: Vs 6 – 7

          2. Vs 9: they come for violence.

 II.   The Vision

      A. Chap. 2:4: “… the just shall live by his faith.”

           This verse is quoted 3 X’s in the New Testament

      B. Chap. 2:14: The earth filled with God’s glory

      C. Chap. 2:20: The Lord … in His Holy Temple: Psalm 11:4

 III. The Prayer

      A. Chap. 3:2: Revive Thy work

      B. We find Habakkuk praising God, who will always work things out for His glory and

           honor. Our part, take time to talk to Him in prayer; study His Word; wait patiently for

           Him.

 Five Woe’s In The Book Of Habakkuk

 1. A Woe against aggression: 2:5-8.

    This speaks of the doom, some think, of Nebuchadnezzar, who was principally active in the

     destruction of Jerusalem

 2. A Woe against covetousness 2:8-11

3. A Woe against violence: 2:12-14. Vs 14 is from Isaiah 11:9.

    Vs 13, all the Babylonian cities will be burnt down: Jeremiah 51:58.

    God defeats the enemy and in vs 14, the Word of God is spread.

4. A Woe against drinking and inhumanity: 2:15-17.

    A 2 fold teaching here:

    1. The king of Babylon was drunken with covetousness and cruelty. He provoked others to

        do the same, and inflamed them by his madness, and so in the end brought them to shame.

    2. Drinking alcohol can produce drunkenness.

        Drunkenness produces stupid actions: Proverbs 23:29-33.

        Vs 30: “mixed wine” = mixing wine with other ingredients to make it stronger.

        It usually takes 3-7 days to ferment

        Vs 31: “red’ = fermented.

5. A Woe against idolatry: 2:18-20

Basic lesson from this Book: We can rejoice and we should rejoice in spite of our unpleasant circumstances. Give your burdens to the Lord and wait on Him for a solution to your problems.

Realize, what we consider as our “problems” are really an opportunity for God to show His power in our lives.

It would be good for you to read Chapter 4 of the book of Philippians as a help to this.

God can take what we consider “problems” and use it for His honor, glory and His good.

I Peter 5:7: “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.”

 



Old Testament Survey Book of Nahum

The Book Of Nahum 

Human Writer: Nahum – his name means – “Consolation” or “Comfort.”

He lived during the times of Zephaniah, Habakkuk and Jeremiah. Nahum prophesied during the  time  when Hezekiah was king.

Message or theme: The destruction of the City of Nineveh. The Book of Nahum was written about 150 years after the great revival in Nineveh.

Nineveh was destroyed about 100 years later – just as predicted by the Prophet Nahum.

The City: Probably not the largest city during the time of Nahum..  The people had repented under the preaching of Jonah – But …. they went back into their old sins.

That is why God sent Nahum to preach to them final judgment.

The Assyrians were a worldly and sensual people as well as arrogant. Their empire was built by use of violence and brutality. Note: Nahum 3:1-3

Basic Lesson For Us: God is very well aware of the oppression that Christians suffer and He will repay the wicked for oppression of His people.  Romans 12:19-21

 Outline Of This Book

I. The Doom Of Nineveh – chap. 1

II. Siege And Fall Of Nineveh – chap 2

III. The Cause Of Nineveh’s Ruin – Sin – chap. 3

 I.   The Doom Described

     A. Chapter 1:2-3: The whirlwind and the storm

     B. Chapter 1:6-8: Fire – rocks – overrunning flood – darkness

 II.  The  Siege And Fall Of The City

      A. Vs 2: The emptiers, brought them from their land into captivity

      B. Vs 2: Marred their vine branches: destroyed all the fruit of their land

      C. Vs 3-4: A fierce battle will rage

           1. Made  red: the ancients dyed their bull’s-hide shields red, partly to strike terror into

               the enemy, chiefly lest the blood from wounds which they might receive should be

               perceived and give confidence to the foe

           2. Vs 4: chariots … with flaming torches; that is, the chariots shall be like flaming

                torches,  their wheels in lightning-like rapidity of rotation flashing light and striking

                sparks from the stones over which they pass  (pt 1 & 2  quote from Jamieson – Fausset

                Brown)

 III. The Cause Of Nineveh’s  Ruin  

      A. The sins of that great city are

            1. Murder  3:1

            2. Whoredom and witchcraft: 3:4

            3. Wickedness: 3:19

       B. God’s judgment: Vs 5

           1. He will expose their sin

           2. It was an ancient custom to strip prostitutes naked, or throw their clothes over their

               heads and expose them to public view

           3. Nineveh will be stripped of her glory and defenses: the things that the city had pride in

      C. Nineveh’s future: 3:19

          1. No healing of thy bruise = the city will never be rebuilt

          2. Shall clap the hands = rejoice in your down fall

          3. bruit of thee = the report of what’s happened to Nineveh 

For  hundreds of years, most scholars thought that the City of  Nineveh was a myth. In 1845, the ruins of Nineveh were      found. The mounds across from the Tigris river from Mosul was confirmed to be the ruins of Nineveh.

This Book also teaches that: Even though the ungodly will prosper for a time – God’s judgment will come and God will deliver His people.



Old testament Survey: Book of Micah

Introduction: Micah lived during the time of Isaiah, the prophet.

His name means: “Who is like Jehovah.”

Isaiah was a learned man and ministered to the upper classes while Micah ministered more to the lower classes from which he came.

The Book: It was written during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

It shows judgment for idolatry. This Book followed the lead of most of the prophets and spoke of the ultimate triumph of God’s grace and the fulfillment of God’s covenant promise to the faithful remnant.

Date: 750 – 710 B.C.

This Book contributed to the revival under King Hezekiah: (Jeremiah 26:18-19).

NOTE: chapter 1:2 “Hear” 3:1 “Hear” – 6:1 “Hear”

                                                                  Brief Outline Of The Book

     I.  Coming  Judgment Declared – chaps 1-3

     II.  Future Blessing Promised – chaps 4-5      

                                                                   III.  Repentance Pleaded – chaps 6-7

Note: Micah Chapter 7; the prophet pleads for repentance: what was their sin?

Micah 7:1-2: “… they lie in wait for blood …” = ambush – they have a plot;

“… they hunt every brother with a net.” = They set a trap for a brother

Micah 7:3: “… he uttereth his mischievous desire …”  The sin of the “tongue” = gossip and sowing discord.

Micah 7:4: “… best … a briar …” = they are useless at best.

Micah 7:5-7: Vs 5; “Trust not in a friend …” = even the most intimate will betray each other, when they can hope to serve themselves by it.

Vs 6: “… a man’s enemies are men of his own house.” = The state of  unnatural lawlessness in all relations of  life is here described which is to characterize the last times, before Messiah comes.

Cross references: Proverbs 10:12 – 13:10 – 15:18 – 16:28 – 22:10 – 28:25-26

Galatians 5:17-20 & 6:7-8 – Philippians 2:1-3 & 14-16

James chapter 3 / Micah 7:3 “uttereth mischievous desire …” = The tongue

Central message of the Book: Present judgment and future blessing

Lesson: The Gentile nations will be blessed also during the last days of the regathering of

Israel; 4:1-2

I.  Man’s peace brings destruction

    A. Micah is speaking here of the future – after the second coming of Christ.

    B. The only real and true peace comes from Jesus Christ: John 16:33

         1. “Ye shall have …” The Greek word “echo”

         2. It will happen over and over and over and over.

         3. That’s what the world’s peace brings to us.

    C. There is PEACE in “knowing that you are saved”  

    D. There is PEACE in knowing that you are in God’s will after you are saved.

II. The Requirements Of God: Micah 6:8

     A. The Bible speaks about duties

          1. The duty of marriage

          2. The duty of everyday living for and serving the Lord

     B. The whole “Duty” of man: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

          1. “whole” = entire – our obligation to God

          2. DUTY is something required = obedience to God in all areas of life

     C. Our duty is summed up in this … Matthew 22:35-40

          1. This means to be willing to give up your life to him, and to devote it all to His service;

              to live for Him

          2. If we love God as we should; we will have no trouble in obeying Him; serving Him

          3. If a Christian’s heart is right with God, you will have no trouble being obedient in ALL

              things

          4. you will quit making excuses for not doing what you should do or why you’re not

              doing it.



Old testament Survey: Book of Jonah

The Name Jonah:  Means Dove

Jonah was from the Northern Kingdom. His hometown was 3 miles from the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem.

The first mention of Jonah: II Kings 14:25

The Book: It shows that the love of God and the redemption of man is not just for the Jew … but for ALL who will repent.

Date: Approximately 862 B.C.

Ninevah: At this time – the capital of the Assyrian Empire  at its height.  Until its fall in 612 B.C.

it was the greatest city of that time.

Within its walls were gardens and groves; vast, lush pastures; splendid temples and palaces.

Its walls were 40-50’ high following 2  miles down the Tigris River; then 8 miles around the inner city = 20 sq. miles.

They had their own water system. The Kings Palace  contained 71 rooms with walls lined with sculptured  slabs.

Chapter 4:11: there were 120,000 infants. The total population is estimated at between 400,000 & 500,000 people.

Jonah 1:2: It was a wicked city.

Jonah 3:3: It was 3 days journey through that great city

Jonah 3:5: The   people repented, so … Why did Jonah run?

 

Brief Outline Of The Book

                                                              I. Fleeing – chap. 1

                                                             II. Praying – chap. 2

                                                            III. Preaching – chap 3

                                                             IV. Learning – chap. 4

Jonah knew of the prophecy regarding the Assyrians. Their capitol; was Nineveh – a rising power during Jonah’s time. One day, they  would destroy Israel, Jonah’s homeland. Jonah  also knew of the savagery of the Assyrians – their brutality, unspeakable torture, and killing of those they conquered.

God tells Jonah to preach to those murderous savages so that they would be saved; knowing that one day …. they would conquer his people.  Jonah was willing to spare his people; give up everything of importance to him and sacrifice his own life, if necessary, for Israel.  He knew that if he preached and they got saved; God would spare Nineveh and Israel’s fate would be sealed.

 Jonah was wrong for putting his people first and obedience to God second. We must obey God, even if  it doesn’t make sense to us …. even if we don’t understand it …. even if we don’t like the outcome of it.