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?

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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: 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: 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 Jeremiah

Introduction: The Books of Lamentations and Jeremiah were both written by the prophet Jeremiah. He is known as the “weeping prophet.”  Jeremiah 9:1

The author:  The Holy Spirit.  Every prophecy of Jeremiah was from a broken heart to God’s people;                     the Tribe of Judah.

  1. Jeremiah was born into a priestly family: 1:1
  2. He was called before he was born, to be a prophet: 1:5-6
  3. For over 40 years, he was ridiculed, rejected, hated, beaten and plotted against, by the people,                     noblemen and kings.
  4. One king did seek his advice – but was not able to put it to use.
  5. Mostly, his preaching and warnings were rejected by the majority who branded Jeremiah,                                       as a “meddler” and as a “traitor.”

Central Theme of this Book: “I will punish” and “I will restore”

The most famous chapters in this Book are 18 and 19. They record Jeremiah’s visit to the home of the Potter.

Chapter 18 – Jeremiah watches the potter mold the clay

Chapter 19 – he takes the finished vessel and breaks it in the Valley of Hinnom.

In viewing these chapters, we not only see a picture of Judah, but also of ourselves and of our relationship to God.

I. The Potter: 18:1-4

  1. God wanted to control Israel for her own good
  2. Israel was at the mercy of blind fate: ONLY if she made that choice
  3. Reference: Romans 8:28
  4. The potter has a plan for his clay
  5. Notice: the clay BELONGS to the potter
  6. He sees the finished product in his mind – BEFORE he begins and completes it
  7. In the same fashion, God, the Divine Potter directs our lives
  8. He uses circumstances: crises – disasters – parents – teachers – etc. to shape us
  9. It takes time to make a special product and God is never in a hurry

II. The Clay: 18:4-6

  1. In this text: the clay represented Judah
  2. The Biblical application is to each and every one of  our lives
  3. Clay is of little value unless it is molded by the hands of a skilled potter
  4. the same is true of a human life
  5. our lives are of little value unless molded by the hands of the Divine Potter
  6. clay has to be clean and tempered in order to be usable by the potter
  7. we must be tempered by trials – struggles – and the experiences of life                                                                        so that we will yield to the hand of the Potter

III. The Potter’s Wheel: 18:3

  1. God wanted Judah to know some important things
  2. The potter spins the wheel at his own speed and is complete control
  3. God was in control of the circumstances etc. for the tribe of Judah
  4. In the same way – God has a timetable for our lives
  5. God is in control of our lives

IV. The Vessel: 18:4-6

  1. Marred: 18:4
  2. “Corrupt” “spoiled” “wasted”
  3. Jeremiah 18:6: Romans 9:20-23
  4. The vessel made over 18:4
  5. It did not stand in the working; it got out of shape; or some gravel or small stone                                                       having been incorporated with the mass of clay, made a breach in that part where it                                             was found, so that the potter was obliged to knead up the clay afresh, place it on the                                       wheel, and form it anew; and then it was such a vessel as seemed good to the potter to                                    make it.
  6. When we let things into our lives and don’t get rid of them: God may have to                                                     “start over” in working on us
  7. God wants to make us into something special – He wants to mold us into His image:Romans 8:29

 



Old Testament Survey Isaiah

Introduction: In the Old Testament, we can group the Books into approximately three different categories. Genesis through Esther is history; Job through Song of Solomon is poetry; while Isaiah through Malachi is prophecy.

We are now at the Old Testament writings by the prophets. There are 17 in number and generally divided into 5 Major Prophets and 12 Minor Prophets. They are not called “major” or “minor” prophets because some are more important than others. They are referred to such because of the amount of material in each Book. The Books of poetry were written during the golden age of Israel; the Books of prophecy were written during days of apostasy in Israel.

Definition of a prophet: derived from a verb signifying “to bubble forth” like a fountain; hence the word means one who announces or pours forth the declarations of God. A spokesman; speaker. They were authoritative and influential men of God. They were direct spokesmen of God; they received their messages directly from God and preached them to the people. Therefore, “prophet” means: one who speaks for another. When put in proper context, we will know if that spokesman is speaking for God or for some man or some other deity; Numbers 12:6-8 Deuteronomy 13:1-5 – II Peter 1:21.

Matthew 11:13 – Luke 16:16: Prophets …. until John. “Until” is a conjunction, preposition and adverb of continuance, until (of time and place): (un-)til(-l), (hither-, un-, up) to. The prophets lasted until the time of John the Baptist. “The law and the prophets were in force until John: from that time the Gospel takes place; and humble upright men receive it with inexpressible earnestness,” John Wesley.

The prophets taught, or continued to instruct.  They were the instructors concerning the Christ who was to come. John the Baptist came and showed that all the predictions of the Messiah, were now about to be fully and finally accomplished; for Christ was now revealed. There was 400 silent years between the closing of the Old Testament Books and the beginnings of the Gospel. John the Baptist is clearly New Testament and NOT an Old Testament prophet. Today, those who call themselves prophets are not “God called” but “self-called.”

Central message of Isaiah: Jehovah is supreme Ruler and the ONLY Saviour.

Author: The Holy Spirit of God  Human writer: The Prophet Isaiah

Chronological Order Of The Prophets: According to Ussher

  1. Prophets Before The Exile
  2. Jonah to Nineveh – 862 B.C.
  3. To the 10 Tribes of Israel
  4. Amos – 787 B.C.
  5. Hosea – 785 – 725 B.C.
  6. Obadiah – 887 B.C.
  7. Joel – 800 B.C.
  8. To Judah
  9. Isaiah – 760 – 698 B.C.
  10. Micah – 750 – 710 B.C.
  11. Nahum – 713 B.C.
  12. Habakkuk 626 B.C.
  13. Zephaniah – 630 B.C.
  14. Jeremiah – 629 – 588 B.C.
  15. Prophets During The Exile
  16. Ezekiel – 595 – 574 B.C.
  17. Daniel – 607 – 534 B.C.

III. Prophets After The Exile

A. Haggai – 520 B.C.

B. Zechariah – 520 – 518 B.C.

C. Malachi – 397 B.C.

IV. The Book Of Isaiah Shows Absolute Proof that Christ Is God

A. Isaiah 19:20; 43:3, 11; 45:15, 21; 49:26, 60:16, 63:8

B. Isaiah 53 is direct and obvious prophecies of Christ

C. There are many New Testament Scriptures that make it obvious that Jesus Christ is the                                                     Saviour; the ONE spoken about by the Prophet Isaiah

1. Luke 1:47; 2:11; John 4:42; Acts 5:31, 13:23; Philippians 3:20; II Timothy 1:10

2. Titus 1:3-4; 2:10-13; 3:4-6; II Peter 1:1,11; 2:20; 3:2,18; I John 4:14

V. The Lowliness Of The Messiah’s Arrival

  1. Isaiah 53:2
  2. He did not come as the Jews expected Him to come
  3. No political deliverance
  4. no great ceremony befitting a King
  5. born to a carpenter’s family
  6. born to a family of Northern Galilee; a place and family from which nothing was expected
  7. a “root out of dry ground” Isaiah 53:2 – Romans 15:12
  8. dry ground – where no one would expect it to grow – before unbelieving Jews
  9. root – Vs 1 – “the arm of the Lord is revealed.                                                                                                                     (1) the same Hebrew for the above is used in Genesis 3:15 – Christ is the seed                                                         (2) roots have no beauty in them                                                                                                                                         (3) the root is that of a decayed tree springing up into a new tree – Isaiah 11:1                                                       “tender plant” – “a suckling” Job 14:7 – a young shoot springing up from old stock
  10. No form or comeliness – beauty
  11. magnificence, ornament or splendor: beauty, excellency, glorious, glory, goodly, honor,                                    majesty.
  12. the beauty of Christ was moral; holiness; love etc.
  13. this is an inward beauty and not outward.

VI. He Suffered For Us

  1. Isaiah 53:4-5 “… He was wounded for our transgressions.” I Peter 2:24
  2. He took in our place; our sufferings, it was God’s will I John 4:10
  3. He was / is guiltless = sinless: Isaiah 53:9; I Peter 2:22; Luke 23:1-22
  4. He made His grave with the wicked – Isaiah 53:9
  5. He was crucified between two thieves – Matthew 27:38
  6. “with the rich …”  Joseph of Arimathea – Matthew 27:57-60 and Nicodemus – John 19:38-42
  7. He was made an offering for sin – Isaiah 53:10
  8. Isaiah 53:12 – He was numbered with the transgressors’ – Matthew 27:38 – two thieves
  9. He bare the sins of many – Isaiah 53:12 – Matt. 26:28 – Hebrews 9:28
  10. He made intercession for the transgressors – Romans 8:34 – Hebrews 7:25                                                              a. He constantly presents the merits of his death as a reason why we should be saved.                                            b. The precise mode, however, in which he makes intercession in heaven for his people is not                                     revealed. The general meaning is, that he undertakes their cause, and assists them in                                               overcoming their foes and in their endeavors to live a holy life. (Barnes)                                                                c. I John 2:1 – an advocate – one who has undertaken, and is fully able, to plead in behalf                                              of  every one who applies for pardon and salvation in his name, depending on his                                                      pleading for them. (Matthew Henry)