Archive for the ‘Chapter 01’ Category

Proverbs 1 10-1-19

October 1, 2019

Coasting-we don’t get that luxury. If we are not moving forward spiritually, then we are drifting backward.

(20) Out in the open wisdom [continually] calls aloud, she raises her voice [continually] in the public square; (21) on top of the [city] wall she [continually] cries out, at the city gate she [continually] makes her speech:

The Spirit is continuously speaking to us. He doesn’t wait for us to talk to Him; He is constantly speaking to us words of wisdom and insight. He is making Himself known to us through His creation and through His Spirit. Take a look:

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.

 16 The Spirit himself testifies [bears witness] with our spirit that we are God’s children.

17 The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Note: This verse is OT and speaks of a time to come. That time came with Jesus Christ who joined us to Israel by destroying the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, between Israel and Gentiles (Eph. 3:11-22). We claim this verse because we are now part of Israel!

God is Ever-Present (Omnipresent). He always works in the NOW. He is calling to us even now! Let’s not take a break from listening for and hearing (heeding) His Spirit. Instead, let’s “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called“Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13

One more thing: Even though I am encouraging you to talk to God and read His Word, don’t let me talk you into anything. You do it because He has called you and you are answering His Spirit. Do it because you want to. If we can be talked into something, then we can be talked out of it. Head knowledge is not enough; we need to experience God on a personal basis with our hearts. Jesus needs to LIVE in our hearts!

What happens to a young person when he goes to a state college? He is hit from all sides with Evolution and Atheism. He will conclude one of two things.

  1. If he has a solid faith that is based upon a personal relationship with Jesus, he will survive spiritually.
  2. If he has a solid faith PLUS good grounding in the Word of God and the truth of Genesis 1-11 (plus the rest of the Bible), he will find like-minded believers and actually prosper.
  3. If he has only a head knowledge of salvation, if the Spirit doesn’t reside in his heart and does not bear witness that he is a child of God, then he will be converted to atheism and recant his salvation and belief in the Bible and God.

We need more than just a “the Bible tells me so” faith. We need:

  1. Relationship- A genuine relationship with God through Jesus Christ via His Holy Spirit;
  2. Foundation- Proper grounding in the truths of the Bible based upon archeology, history, astronomy, biology, physiology, sociology, and science in general.

RELATIONSHIP + FOUNDATION = SOLID FAITH

NOW we understand why we have Sunday School and Life 101. NOW we know why we are to read God’s Word everyday and follow His leading. As we go, people will ask us the reason for our faith. We are NOW able and ready to tell them. Peter said it best:

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed [convicted by the Spirit] of their slander.

Abba, I ask that You drive deep in our hearts a love for Your Word. Give us a thirst for knowledge that validates and verifies the truth of its history and its message. May we take seriously the upbringing of our young people so that they are prepared to meet the enemy head-on. In fact, I pray that for ALL our people! Give us courage; give us strength; give us faith, O LORD! Amen.

 

Proverbs 1 9-1-19

September 1, 2019

Many Christians forget that they have Christ in them. They receive Christ–and then forget that they received Christ!

(20) Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; (21) on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech:

God speaks to all people through the wonderful complexity and beauty of our world. With each new invention, we find ways to discover the marvelous works of our Creator.

The heaven declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (2) Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. Psalm 19:1-2

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

Today in Sunday’s Cool (Sunday School), we are looking at the Monarch butterfly. It comes up from its home in Mexico and migrates north into America for four generations, each butterfly living 2-4 weeks. In the fifth generation, its life is extended to nine months and it flies back to its home in Mexico. Why? Because God programmed it that way! There is no explanation by (D)Evolution for this behavior.

The Fool- a person who knows what is right, but chooses wrong instead.

Right now, I’ll bet you’re thinking that I’m talking about evolutionists–and you’re right, to a certain extent. But, I am also talking about Christians who ignore the Holy Spirit inside of them.

Answer this question: Do you try to please God by what you do?

Paul asked the question in this way: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Galatians 3:2

We are ALREADY pleasing to God through Jesus Christ. Our faith in Him put us in right standing with the Father (John 14:21, 23). What we do each day we do according to what we believe about that relationship.

  1. Is it just unto salvation? Are we on our own after we are saved?
  2. Is it up to us to generate the power to overcome sin?
  3. What happens when we fail?

Salvation means “Christ in us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).” He lives in our hearts and lives through the Holy Spirit. We are permanently linked to Him. We just need to believe that He cares for us and wants to help us through this life. Let’s answer those questions:

  1. Our salvation is pervasive. It spans our entire being. He wants ALL of us–all the time! He wants constant communication with us. He wants to fellowship with us all the time!
  2. Our spiritual power comes from our relationship with Christ and our knowledge and understanding of what sin does to us: It destroys us. That in itself circumvents a lot of sin. Those sins that continue to plague us are the ones that drive us to the cross. His forgiveness is complete and ongoing. The very struggle is evidence of our new nature in Christ. WE WILL HAVE VICTORY EVENTUALLY. We must believe this.
  3. My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. (2) He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:1-2. He who knows the past, present and future has already dealt with our sin. Regardless of what we do, we are positionally right with God. Now, relationally, we can turn away from Him in unbelief (believing that something else is more important than Christ, more fun than being with Christ, or more powerful than Christ), in which case, we lose all the benefits of being with Christ: His love, joy, peace, and the other fruit of the Spirit, as well as our influence and testimony. Yet, throughout our rebellion, Jesus is still pleased to call us His own, because He knows that eventually we will get it.

Abba, I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ that they will become aware of Your presence in their lives, that they would believe that You have their best interests at heart, and that their best choice is to trust You with their lives. May they learn to turn to You for Your opinion on everything, believing that You really do have all the answers. May today be a starting point for them as they follow You. Me, too, Lord! Amen.