Tuesday, July 4, 2017

John 4:1-26 and 39-42

John 4:1-26 and 39-42
I Love the pictures the bible gives us. Pictures of Jesus and pictures of God’s people wrestling with how to live out their faith in the real world. Regular people just like us. The story of the woman at the well is one of those kind of stories.
Sometimes stories become so familiar that I think I know them and because of what I think I know, sometimes I miss details. 
God orchestrates ordinary circumstances to accomplish extraordinary things.
In this scripture there is a little passage, kind of a side note that caught my attention. Jesus HAD to go through Samaria. Some translations say Jesus needed to go. Jews at that time had as little to do with Samaritans as possible. They would take the long way around to avoid going through Samaria. So that makes me wonder…why did Jesus, a Jew, HAVE to go through Samaria?  So, if we walk this out –  Jesus did His Father’s will. So if Jesus had to go through Samaria, then logically, it was His Father’s will that He go that way. If he had not obeyed His Father’s will, He would not have met the Samaritan woman. (sometimes when we listen to the prodding of the Holy Spirit we may go through unfamiliar and even uncomfortable territory.
If you have an encounter with Jesus, you might do something out of the ordinary (like leaving your water jug behind)
So here we are. Jesus, wholly divine and fully human is sitting at this well, tired and hot. A woman shows up at the well to get water. She must not have been rich or she might have had servants to fetch water for her.  But Jesus listens to her. He SEES her, right to the heart of her life. Maybe his words caused her to see herself through His eyes, and made her realize how badly she needed grace. I’m not sure what His words meant to the woman but we know from the text, they were personal and He revealed Himself to her as the messiah! The words must have had a profound effect on her because she was so excited that she went off and left her water jar. In the desert. Left. it. THAT is what an encounter with Jesus can do to you. I imagine if I went to Walmart for milk and was gone several hours and came back empty handed, Dale and I would be having a conversation. Now notice what happened. She went back and told the others that this man told her everything she had ever done and they BEGAN to believe. Something about what she said or maybe just how she was, made them want to meet him.
Sharing our faith doesn’t convert anyone. We just have to point them to Jesus. Jesus does the heavy lifting. It is their own encounter with the Christ that changes them.
Whatever effect Jesus had on this woman, something about her caused the people she spoke to, to have a desire to meet this Jesus for themselves and once they met Him, they wanted to hang out with him and because of their time with Jesus, Christianity spread throughout that part of the world. Pretty extraordinary!
So what are we to do with this? How does this story speak to each of us? For me, it reminds me we are all walking through a desert. It can be beautiful but also it’s dry and dusty and just harsh sometimes. On Sunday morning we come here – to our well where we can rest and be refreshed. 
We are tired and thirsty. Maybe we have spent the week wrestling with our faith, trying to work out how to live as one of God’s kids. Maybe we have had one of those weeks where we resembled the Samaritan. We have worshipped on a different mountain and hung out at different wells, and our own beliefs have gotten muddied. Maybe it was wonderful and we just need to say our thanks and praise the one who sustains us. Whatever the week was like, we are here now with with our empty cups held out.  We need an encounter with Jesus. We need that thirst to be quenched. We need to be filled with living water. 
But just showing up at the well isn’t enough. Like the woman at the well, we have to seek Jesus for Him to reveal Himself to us and ASK Him for that water. If we walk into the sanctuary with our empty cup held out, asking Jesus to fill it, to fill US with living water then it isn’t going to matter who is behind the pulpit. It isn’t going to matter that our favorite hymn wasn’t sung. It may not even matter what team’s playing or where we are eating after church because we will have in some way met Jesus and we will be changed. And maybe, just maybe, if we are paying attention, there will be someone we encounter in the next week that needs to meet this Jesus and we will have a conversation, or perform a kindness, or just seem different and it will point them in a new path in the desert, not just to fill a pew at our church, though that would be wonderful; but because every single person needs to know that they are not alone in the desert, needs their own encounter with the risen Christ, and needs to know that at the end of that long walk through the desert, Jesus is waiting for them.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bible Prophecy Notes

Matthew 24:42

watch therefore for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. Be ready

we do not want to be ignorant concerning prophecy. Paul says don't be ignorant of four things:
God's working in Israel, satan's devices , 1 cor 12 spiritual gifts, 1 thess prophecy
those are the top things that church is ignorant of
don't be an ignoramus 101
Revelation wed nigh - connecting on Sunday morning to biblical prophecy
God is setting the stage for the final play, the final 7 years, tribulation,

Israel back in the land since 1948
cup of trembling to whole world
Russia and Iran allies ez 38
middle east aliogned with treaties
rome reemrging
satelite tv

1st act of that play - rapture of the church
this is our last week to look at the rapture
happens before the tribulation - the only prophecy that will affect us as Christians if you are a pre-tribulationist
we will be in heaven

what is the rapture - time when God comes for his church - dead in Christ resurrected then 1 cor 15:31 - we'll be changed - new body

1 thess 4:17 physically happen - we will be caught up harpaze rapturo caught up

not a new thing - rapture is how God gets alive people to heaven
Enoch, Elijah, Paul 2 Cor 12, Jesus Matthew 28 rose from the grave and then caught up

rapture first time God does group travel

when will it be - don't know the day or the hour
before the tribulation

why pretrib - bible say we will be comforted, promises in the bible - escape the trib, because of the order of the book of revelation, chap 4 and 5 church is in heaven, chapter 6 begins the great tribulation. Phraseology changes - church not mentioned, 2 purposes for trib - pour out God's wrath on Christ rejecting world, work with nation of Israel, because of pictures and types in the bible seem to point to pre-trib (Lot, Noah, Enoch = taken before the flood began) no one knows the hour or day. If it isn't pre-trib you know the day because you just count), only the pretrib
allows for pre-emmenence. We are not commanded to look for qa temple or seal judgements - we are commanded to look for Jesus Christ. Only pre trib makes that intellectually possible.
next week bema seat judgement
understand why pretrib view is important - life changing

4 reasons it will impact your life

1. priorities change - if servant had known master was coming soon it would have changed his priorities for living for the kingdom. Hebrews let us consider one another exhorting one another as you see the day approaching. the way you spend your resources - how using for the kingdom, talents and time, tithing, serving

2. People - how I treat them - the evil servant begins to beat servants - treat them harshly
illustration - he talked about a visiting family - the kid spit at him in childrens ministry - he didn't discipline because it wasn't his kid. Other people are God's kids. He does the discipline and judging - we are not to usurp that. Because He loves them and died for them - our job is to love them. That's a tough concept until we look at it through the filter of Jesus coming back soon

3. Purity - verse 28 if evil service says master is delaying, he beats his servants and eats and drinks with the drunkards. brutality and immorality. How would you live different if you thought Jesus was coming back today? 1st John chapter 3 - beloved now that we are children of God..everyone who has this hope in him, purifies himself

4. Personality - 1 thess 5:8 but let us who are of the day be sober...therefore comfort and edify each other. Soloman write Ecclesiastes without a hope and a heart for heaven. People leave, die, economies crash, be desperate depressed unless we hold on to the truth. Paul even says without that hope life can be miserable.
illustration - running on a treadmill - start good, get tired and sore and think you can't do it, near the end you feel better because you are almost done.
Trials easier to bear if you know it is almost over. I can run again today because this afternoon I might see my king. If you don't it will have an adverse effect. The master will come when he is not looking for him or aware and he will come and cut him in two and give his portion to the hippocrites. Miss out on the blessings of a life lived for Jesus Christ. Paul, Peter, Spurgeon, Moody all believed it.

What if we are wrong about being in the last times. We have still lived a life pure, with right priorities, being effective. We still have those blessings.

this is the last generation - for me
we will all see out king in the next hundred years. so this is each of us last generation.

in union grove Wisconsin home for kids with downs syndrome and share the gospel with them
windows are dirty because you can walk through the corridor on any given day and see these kids with hands and faces pressed against the windows watching to see if Jesus is coming to take them home and make them whole. When is the last time you looked in the sky and thought is today the day?

Live stream from Calvary Chapel Paris

Just click on the title and you can watch a live stream of the Sunday morning 9:45 am and 11:00 am worship services and the Wednesday night lessons @ Calvary Chapel Paris. Today's lesson on end times prophecy was outstanding and really got me to thinking that maybe I need to transform myself and begin living my life as if Jesus were coming back today!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Revelation Intro

Revelation Introduction notes
Wednesday night July 8 2009

Worship led by Jimmy Robeson - talented young man, awesome worship
There is a youtube video of him here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m6oALYERjA

Service is now live on the internet http://www.calvarychapelnewlife.com

Other videos of past studies will be posted there eventually

Apocalypse from the Greek apokalupsis which means "laid bare" "revealed"

Revelation not a hard book to understand - consider the title - revelation means disclosure

Chapter 1 divides into three parts Opening, Occasion, Outline
"the answers are truly in the back of the book"

1-8 Opening of the letter
9-18 Occasion of the letter
19-20 Outline of the letter

Opening 1-8
Purpose - reveal
1. more of Jesus Christ
2. the things that must shortly take place

Person - written by John
John wrote several books. One that you might believe. The next that you would know you have eternal life, and the last so that you would be ready

history - Caesar nero began the persecution of the Christians then Emperor Domecian who continues and intensified the persecution, blaming everything including natural disasters on the Christians. Had John brought to Rome, beaten, poisoned, boiled in oil and stil John survived. Banished him to Patmos where he in the spirit on the Lords Day (worship was the first day of the week after the Shabbot or Sabbath - gathered together for worship). God chose John because John bore witness to the Word of God, that is, he didn't keep it to himself - he shared it. It was "signified" or coded with symbols from the Old Testament to protect it from people who didn't know the bible - not to make it difficult to understand, but to protect it.

Promise - 1:3 says you will be blessed in the the reading of it.
1. read - out loud
2. hear - corporately
3. keep the words of the prophecy - or heed

People - written to the seven churches of Asia Minor (what is modern day Turkey)
except for Ephesus they were small churches

Proper Source - NOT the National Enquirer
God the Father
Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2)
God the Son

Occasion 1:9-18
John is God's own messenger but humbly addresses the church as "your brother"
occasion was the Lord's Day (day of worship) Acts 20:7

Also see Romans 14:5 for dissention on what day should be worship - main point being, what day is not as important as worshipping period. "Should be a seven day a week relationship"

The letters reveal a piece of Jesus to each church so the only way to have the whole picture is when they get together - a word for dissention among churches today. God is big enough to allow for many ways to approach Him

Outline of the Letter 1:19-20 "Divine Outline" John Coursin
1. Things you have seen
2. Things that are (the church age)
Things that will take place after (the church)

layers of application:
letter to the literal church (individual churches at that time)
all churches - message to the "Church" the body
all believers - prophetic look at church history

Chapter 4 and 5 - the church in heaven (7 year wedding feast)
Chaper6-19 hell on earth 7 year tribulation
ending with the battle of Armegeddon when the armies of the earth come against Christ in the valley of Megiddo
Chapter 20 Millenium
100 year reign of Jesus on earth
satan released one more time to lead one last rebellion
New Heaven, New Earth

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Beauty From Ashes

For the band and in memory of Charles Bush

Please keep all our kids in your prayers. They are all so busy, doing so much and we easily forget how things can turn so quickly. I posted this on my Thought Have Wings after their UIL competition. They go to compete at Area in Longview today.

Eye make-up washed off by tears - $10.00

Lotion for hands sore from clapping - $ 3.99

Cough drop for throat raspy from yelling - $1.98

Heart full of pride - PRICELESS!

I’m scribbling this in the car on the way home from the UIL band competition. We made it in time to see the Paris Blue Blazes Band take the field and their show was just beautiful and graceful. We stayed til after the North Lamar Panther Band finished playing and until we knew both bands had made ones!

I yelled and clapped for both bands and it made me incredibly proud that I work with these wonderful creatures who overcome so much everyday. Band teaches a sense of community, responsibility, accountability, and that practice really DOES make perfect.

Today, it taught them that beauty can come from ashes, that you can move and work through grief, and you can create meaning from senseless loss.

They proved to themselves that you can step up and do what needs to be done even when it is painful, and that the beat is still in your heart and head even when the drummer stops playing. I am humbled.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What We As The Church Are To Be Doing

What We As The Church Are To Be Doing
Even 100 years out the church was flawed
A good model for us is the early church in acts
Peter preached and 3000 souls were added to them
The priorities for the New Testament church are
1. Number i priority is to study the Word
2. Fellowship - basic to the early church Koinonia
Connection - we are connected through many different things
We divide over even more - we divide over what church - the question should be are you going to church - we divide over baptism - are you sprinkled or immersed - the question should be are you walking in the spirit?
We major in the minors - does Jesus ever look down and think "how Sad"?
God doesn't see denominational lines
Inward things are more important than outward differences
Sharing - kinship - share with one another
all had everything in common was how sharing worked itself out in this particular early church - this was not universal or forever
Is god calling us to sell everything - communism? No - scripture is usually one of two types - prescriptive - something we should follow, or descriptive - something God is reporting.
Prescriptive - prayer, communion, baptism
There were some problems, Paul was taking up offerings for them - they were in trouble partly because of persecution and partly because they had sold everything.

Prescriptive - they saw their stuff was not their own but tools to use for the kingdom 1 Timothy 4:32
no one in their midst had any need - as they saw the need they filled it
our stuff is to be used to honor God in any way He wants.
God becomes for us the living God because that is sharing
Partnership - We are not made to survive alone - parts of the body cannot survive alone. The body can survive but there will be limitations
If you leave the body - it wil survive but there will be limitations because God has a roll for everyone to play.
Hebrews - stir one another up
Protection against an unGodly culture
Early church saw Koinonia as critical

2nd timothy 7 Pictures of Encouragement

Leadership or pastoral epistles (letters)
1 Timothy was more a nuts and blots how it is all to run kind of letter
2 Timothy more personal - Paul pours out his heart to his son in faith and protege

May have been Paul's last letter
Paul is in prison again. The first time he was in prison in Rome it was house arrest - people could pretty much come and go as thye pleased. He makes his appeal and probably preached the gospel to caesar nero. Some scholars think that Nero's insanity could be attributed to him rejecting the gospel. Paul was released and went to Spain to preach and Nero got crazy and starting burning the place down. Paul was arrested again and this time he was in a dungeon awaiting execution. As he writes this letter to Timothy it is probably getting close to the end for him. We need to be aware of his situation and perspective as we read the 7 examples he gives Timothy who from past reading seems to be sickly, afraid, and a bit of a cry baby
1. HImself - how he trusts God though trials
For I know who I have believed and and persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed until that day 2 Timothy 1:12
Even in his situation he tells Timothy he is not ashamed - thanks God for Christ who abolished death

This is the heart of the apostle even though he is getting close to death
He prayed - he saw his prison as an opportunity to pray and be used in a different way

2. A teacher - be strong in the grace that is Jesus Christ - to be strong or good at your relationship with the Lord, This matters for eternity.
The word BE in be strong is passive - it doesn't come from you.
doesn't mean work harder (do more Jesus push-ups?)
Be in Jesus - depend on His strength, abide in Him, yield to Him
Peter says to cast your cares on Jesus - you push them up to him and just like anything you push uphill, gravity brings it back down. You keep pushing it up to Jesus and you develop muscles (or a habit) of pushing things up to Jesus - you get strong from being found more and more in the Lord.

Then - give it away - pour into others.

The teacher is a link in the living chain that stretches all the way back to Jesus Christ.

We pour into others what God has entrusted to us.
"Milk many cows, make your own butter"

3. Soldier - a good soldier on active service - ready to serve at a moments notice. Don't entangle ourselves in the things of this life. This doesn't mean it is wrong to have things - it is wrong for our things to have us.

We are in a battle - the enemy is trying to take us and our kids out.

if we have hang-ups, secret sins we don't want to let go of.
Be ready to please the one who has enlisted you - The Lord is who we are to live for.

4. Athlete - compete according to the rules. from athleo - struggle/contend
this is a marathon - a life time commitment to the Lord
We need to be willing to put out a little spiritual sweat for the Lord
Eternity is at stake - what God wants to do through us matters - according to the rules
Breaking the rules can negate 2 Timothy 2:11-13
11 This is a faithful saying:

For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
12 If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
13 If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.

If you don't want to love Him or have Him rule over you He won't - He won;t push Himself on you, but even when we are faithless, He is faithful.

Blessings continually flow from the Lord when you show up - you draw near to Him and He will draw near to you

5. Farmer - gets up early, stays late. Doesn't wait for it to be convenient. The farmer is also patient to wait for God to do the work. He plants and cares for the crops but waits for God to cause them to grow. Be obedient but then wait for the Lord to work

Farmer is the first to partake - be the first to do the spiritual things - don't just exhort others - do it yourself - lead by doing

6. Workman - rightly dividing the Word of truth - not the body of Christ
a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17Their teaching will spread like gangrene

Don't waste time arguing about things that have no eternal value

The answer is always in the Word - the answer is always the Word

story about 2 young men. One wants the other to smoke pot with him and says hey, it was made by the Lord - how can it be bad?
possible answer: All things were good before sin came into the world
What day is the sabbath? Romans 14:5-6
5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it.

"Not essential to my salvation"

7. Like a vessel of honor - an instrument for noble purposes in this life.
20In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Cleanse yourself - flee from youthful lusts
Everyone - even old folks struggle with youthful lusts
pursue righteousness
With those who call out, we lock arms, become vessels of honor, prepared for every good work
Know WHOM you believe and trust that WHOM because He went to the cross for you.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesday Night Handout Beatitudes Part 4

Beatitudes Part 4

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Matthew 5:6

I. Introduction
Satan was not satisfied living in God's glory
Isaiah 14:13-14 tells what he wanted, verse 15 – what he got

Nebuchadnezzar lusted for praise just as Lucifer lusted after power
Daniel 4:29-30 What he wanted
Verse 31 – 32 What he got

The rich farmer in the parable Luke 12:16-21

Because they hungered for the wrong things and rejected God's good things, they forfeited both.

The American Declaration of Independence asserts that “Citizens have the right to the pursuit of happiness. Sadly most US citizens like people through history, have chosen to pursue the wrong kind of happiness in ways that provide no kind of happiness.”

II. Necessity For Spiritual Hunger
Hunger and thirst represent physical needs. Food and water are required for physical life and righteousness is required for spiritual life.

A starving person has a single all - consuming passion for food and water.

Those who are without God's righteousness are starved for spiritual life.

We are all created with a heart that has a sense of inner emptiness and need but without God we do not recognize what the need is or what will satisfy it. Like the prodigal son, we will eat pig's food because we have nothing else.

Isaiah 55:2 Jeremiah 2:13

We are warned not to “love the world or the things of the world” 1 John 2:15-17

Those who belong to the King hunger and thirst for the King's righteousness. They desire that sin be replaced with virtue and disobedience with obedience. They are eager to serve the Word and will of God.

The first three beatitudes are essentially negative. Poverty of spirit, turn from self-seeking; Mourning, turn from self-satisfaction; Meekness, turn from self-serving

The fourth beatitude is more positive and is a consequence of the other three.

When we put aside self, sin, and power and turn to the Lord, we are given a great desire for righteousness. We want to obey God while still struggling with flesh.

III. Meaning of Spiritual Hunger

Moses - over and over Moses sought and saw God's glory Exodus 33:11

Burning bush
Miracles and plagues
Parting of the sea
pillar of cloud, pillar of fire
God's Glory over the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle

Because Moses continually longed for God, he found favor.

David - Psalm 63:1
Paul - Philippians 3:9-10
Peter - 2 Peter 3:18

John Darby wrote " To be hungry is not enough, I must be really starving to know what is in God's heart for me. When the prodigal son was hungry, he went to feed on the husks. When he was starving, he turned to the father.

IV. Object of Spiritual Hunger
For the unbeliever - salvation
For the believer - sanctification

Salvation - The Jews' greatest obstacle to receiving the gospel was their self-righteousness, their confidence in their own holiness and purity, which they imagined was created by good works. The Messiah told them however, that the only way to salvation was hunger and thirst for God's righteousness to replace their own self-righteousness, which was really unrighteousness.

Isaiah 51:5
Daniel 12:3

Sanctification - For believers, the object of hunger and thirst is to grow in the righteousness received from trusting in Christ. That growth is sanctification.

Philippians 1:9-10
Matthew 5:48
1 Peter 1:15-16

Jesus speaks of the only true righteousness - that which comes from God - God's own righteousness which He has in Himself

Because it is God's own righteousness, we can't ever have our longing satisfied in this life, so we continually hunger and thirst (more and more) until the day we are clothed in Christs' righteousness.

V. Result of Spiritual Hunger

Being Satisfied chorazo~ was frequently used of the feeding of animals until they wanted nothing more.

Jesus pronouncement is that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be given total satisfaction. Our part is to seek, His is to satisfy.

"Paradox - because though saints continually seek God's righteousness, always wanting more and never getting all, they nevertheless will be satisfied. We may eat steak or our favorite pie until we can eat no more, yet our taste for those things continues and ever increases. It is the very satisfaction that makes us want more.

God's satisfying those who seek and love Him is a repeated theme in the Psalms.
Psalm 107:9
Psalm 34:10
Psalm 23
Jeremiah 31:14
John 4:14
John 6:35

VI. Test of Spiritual Hunger

There are marks of genuine hunger and thirst for God's righteousness

1. Dissatisfaction with self - Romans 7:24
2. Freedom from dependence on external things for satisfaction. A hungry man cannot be satisfied by an arrangement of flowers or beautiful music. These things are good, but they don't have the ability to satisfy hunger. Neither does anything but God's own righteousness satisfy the person who has spiritual hunger and thirst.
3. Craving for the Word of God, the basic spiritual food He provides for His kids. A hungry man does not have to be begged to eat. Jeremiah 15:16
4. The pleasantness of the things of God Proverbs 27:7 Hebrews 12:6
5. Unconditionality - When spiritual hunger and thirst are genuine we will make no conditions; they will seek and accept God's righteousness in whatever way He chooses to provide it and will obey his commands no matter how demanding they might be. The least of God's righteousness is more valuable than the greatest of anything we posses in ourselves or that the world can offer.

The Rich young ruler wanted only the part of God's kingdom that fit his own plans and desires, and he was therefore unfit for the kingdom. His conditions for God's blessings barred him from them.

The spiritually hungry want only Christ and what God in His wisdom and love sovereignly provides through Christ - whatever that may or may not be.

Psalm 119:20
Isaiah 26:9

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What The church is to Do

What is the Church Series continued

Purpose of the church
1. Body in-reach
2. Believers out-reach
3. Bride up-reach

Head of the church is Christ
three words meaning same position, elder speaks of the man, bishop speaks of the ministry, and pastor speaks of the method
Deacon/deaconess (servant)
Saints (minister to each other)

What are we to be doing as a church Acts 2:40:47

40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

There were 2 to 3,000 people meeting in the newly born church and there are 7 things listed that they were doing and their numbers were added to.

The first thing mentioned was
1. They studied the apostles doctrine.
Getting into the Word was to be the number one priority of a congregation. The contemporary expression of this is bible study - both corporately and privately.

Public - preaching is central Acts 6
3Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

They were not saying that they were too good to serve - they wanted everything taken care of and the Word needed to be their priority. (my question - do we in the traditional churches set ourselves and our pastors up for failure because we expect their priorities to be everything BUT the teaching of the Word?)

Bringing the Word of God to the flock of God is still the greatest need of the church today.

"If the Spirit of God takes a man of God and opens the Word of God, then people will attend.

*If emphasis is not on the Word then there will not be fuel for sustained revival.

Even Charles Spurgeon said that his pulpit was more influential than the King of England.

A Pastor has to have "the burden of the Lord"
Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel
awesome responsibility - taking the very Word of God to the people of God

no light thing - costly thing
integrity and humility to go through the scriptures - all of them
teach the bible simply

Why study privately?
Psalm 119:11
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
When Jesus was tempted in Matthew 4 He answered each time "it is written"

The Word is for protection and
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.
Psalm 23:3 3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
The Word is our guide, not fortune cookie, not Oprah

How to begin? Pick a translation you can read.
It doesn't have to be the King James version. someone once told Jason that the King James Version was good enough for Paul, it was good enough for him???
Buy a notebook and a pen

There are different ways you can read. Cover to cover, section by section - the key is to read it and read it consistently. Like you would exercise. Like you would eat physical food. If we ate physical food the way we eat spiritual food we would be dead. That is why we have spiritual death.

In 2 Kings 3 When Elisha told Jehoshaphat to dig ditches and he obeyed, a great victory was won - because they were faithful to dig ditches. We need to be faithful to dig ditches (do the work - read the Word)

Read expectantly - expect the Lord to speak to you. Not a chore - but a privilege. Does the Lord want to speak to people who don't want to hear?

Read conversationally. Blessed is the man who meditates (speaking to yourself)
1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

Worship is interactive - bible study should be too. Ask the Lord - how does this aply to me? Bible study becomes interactive. Reading about the tabernacle cubits might be boring but it tells you that God is into details - He wants to be involved with every detail of your life.

Read obediently
You say God never speaks to you - was there ever a time when He did? Did you obey?

Hebrews Hebrews 5:12

12In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid

Wednesday, July 30, 2008