7.07.2024

Courage




LESSON NOTES from Sunday's Adult Christian Education Class taught by Matt Sallee.

Joshua 1:9 says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

In the Adult Class, Matt Sallee asked, "Is this command for us today?"
He then shared three other verses:  Isaiah 41:10, 2 Corinthians 1:20, and Romans 8:32.
Joshua 1:9 is for us today because of who God is and what He does. God is with his people wherever they go, and He gave us the one greatest thing we need: JESUS and so much more.

There are four commands in Joshua 1:9
  • Be strong (Ephesians 6:10-18, Philippians 4:13, 2 Corinthians 13:4-6)
  • Be courageous - Here are some Biblical examples of courage - Stephen (Acts 7), the church (Acts 8), Paul (Acts 17), Esther (Esther 5:7), wives, husbands, and children (Ephesians 5, 6), Joshua and Caleb (Number 13, 14)
  • Do not be afraid
  • Do not be dismayed
Remember the LORD is with you (Zephaniah 3:17, Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5)

What can give the Christian strength and courage and not to be afraid or dismayed?
  • A love for God - Luke 10:27: "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself."
  •  Repentance of sin - Proverbs 28:13: "He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Do we mourn for our sins?"
  • Genuine Humility Psalm 51:17: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart - these, O God, You will not despise.
  • Devotion to God's Glory - 1 Corinthians 10:28: "Therefore, whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the Glory of God."
  • Continual prayer - Philippians 4:6: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God."
  • Selfless love - 1 John 2:9: "He who says he is in the light and hates his brother, is in darkness until now."
  • Hunger for God's Word - 1 Peter 2:1-3 "laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of God's Word, that you may grow thereby if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious."
  •  Proclaim, Defend the Gospel - Jude 3 "…I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." and Ephesians 5:11 - "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."
The bottom line is that the church is courageous because of who God is and what He has done.

7.02.2024

Patience

The upcoming lesson, July 7, is COURAGE.




Lesson Notes:

Here is a dictionary definition of patience.

patience (with somebody / something) 1. the ability to stay calm and accept a delay or something annoying without complaining 2. the ability to spend a lot of time doing something difficult that needs a lot of attention and effort

However, as we continue our Marks of a Christian study, we seek more than a dictionary definition.  We want a Biblical definition.

As Drew Ford reminded us in class this morning, "Patience is an attribute of God and is intended to characterize each Christian – it is described as a quality, fruit of the Spirit, attribute of love and a virtue.'

We began by looking at the works of the flesh that show the opposite of patience—jealousy, outbursts of anger, and dissension.  Each of these and others shows an unwillingness to wait for the Lord's timing.  

Here is a list of Bible verses with a short explanation of what they say about patience:

  • Romans 2:4 – God is the patient one – taking abuse from us with the hope of our repentance
  • Romans 9:22 – God is the patient one – again taking abuse from us – vessels of wrath prepared for destruction
  • 2nd Corinthians 6:6 – Paul describes ministry difficulties
  • Ephesians 4:2 – We are called to walk worthy of the calling – including fruit of the Spirit behaviors
  • Colossians 1:11 – We are called to walk worthy of the Lord – including the fruit of the Spirit
  • Colossians 3:12 – We are called to walk worthy of the Lord – as God's chosen ones – command – PUT ON – Spirit behaviors/fruits
  • 1st Timothy 1:16 – Jesus patient with Paul (worst of sinners)
  • 2nd Timothy 3:10 –Paul'ss example of Christ – teaching & conduct
  • 2nd Timothy 4:2 –Paul'ss charge to Timothy – Produce Godly behaviors and traits
  • 1st Peter 3:20 –God's patience in the Days of Noah
  • 2nd Peter 3:9 – The Lord is patient with desire for all to repent
  • 2nd Peter 3:15 – The Lord is patient – desiring our salvation

Growing in patience takes time, requires difficult situations, and oftentimes includes challenging people.

Growth in patience doesn't have shortcuts.  It is not produced by us but by the Holy Spirit.  Because of this, it depends on God, which means it must include prayer.


6.26.2024

Peace


Lesson notes

An abbreviated set of Richard Van Vels notes from Sunday.

Many things can cause worry and a lack of peace in your life.  Here are some Richard Van Vels shared from his life. 

  • When Star Wars comes out with another garbage TV show/movie
  • When my Amazon delivery isn't on time
  • When my kids act out in public
  • When the news comes on, and I see a report of death and destruction
  • When I hear of the deaths of those close to me
  • When I see my fellow believers wrestling with deep heart struggles (e.g., Resurgence of a hidden sin, am I saved, where is God?  Does God love me?  Does God see me?
  • When I get into conflict
  • When I think about where I will pastor, Lord willing, in the future
  • When I see the direction of our nation and how that will affect my children
  • When I consider whether my kids will grow up to know the Lord.
  • When I have to carry the person who carried me as a child because she was too weak to walk.
Caring for a loved or lost one is not against this fruit of the Spirit.
The burden of caring for another is a way that we can reflect the living God who created us.
But when this becomes an inordinate desire and consumes or tears apart, then there is danger.  

What brings peace?  How can one grow in peace?

  • Growing in knowing who God is
  • Growing in an understanding of where God is
  • Growing in understanding what God's desire is for me
  • Knowing who your enemies are.

There are 6 significant usages of the word Peace throughout Scripture:

  1. A national state of tranquility  (Lack of War)
  2. Peace Between individuals (harmony)
  3. Security, Safety, Prosperity, felicity  (Prosperity is a sign of peace)
  4. Of the Messiah's Peace  (The way that leads to eternal peace, that is, salvation)
  5. Of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatever sort that is.
  6. The blessed state of devout and upright men/women after death.

Philippians 4:4 - 9 is filled with peace.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

This passage reminds me of the following.

  • Joy is in the Lord: vs. 4
  • Let your gentle Spirit be known to all people: vs. 5
  • The Lord is NEAR(vs 5) 
  • we don't need to be anxious vs. 6
  • But!... Let your request be known to Go.  (He already knows, but he wants you to ask!)
  • Prayer is humbly approaching the throne of mercy.
  • In prayer, Plead because God wants to hear what you have to say, and this heartfelt pleading shows what we believe about God. 
  • We pray, with thanksgiving, because of who God is and His secure promises.

Do you know who your enemy/enemies is/are?

Is your enemy God?

If you are saved, N   He is not your enemy.  God is perfectly just and can be trusted.

If you are saved, your enemies are the world, the flesh, and the Devil, and they will not fight fair.

The Devil, your enemy, is a prowling lion.

The world will turn against you.  Read through the Bible.  You will see that nations will fight against one another.

Your flesh fights against you.

Who is Go ?  Who am    Philippians 4:9 states He is the God of Peace (vs. 9).

Where is Go   Philippians 4:4 states His is nea   He goes with his childre   He sees all.

What is God's desire for me?  

God desires to see His children transformed into the image of His Son, bear fruit, and flourish.

Who is your enemy?  

The world, the flesh, and the Devil are against you.


6.19.2024

Joy


The 3rd Week of the Mark of Christian Study is focused on JOY, one of the fruit of the Spirit.

There is a difference between eternal, biblical opponent and temporary, circumstantial joy.

Eternal, Biblical Joy is not temporary.  Fruit of the Spirit Joy is forever.

Eternal, Biblical Joy is not dependent on other people.  It depends on God's goodness.

Eternal, Biblical Joy is not earned.  It depends on God, not us.

Eternal, Biblical Joy comes from the Holy Spirit, who never changes and never leaves us unattended.

The Lord provides us with strength amid crisis through joy.

Difficulties between believers can be overcome because of the joy given by the Spirit.

Other benefits of Eternal, Biblical Joy include the following:

  • verification of belief
  • spiritual unity
  • growing relationships
  • encouragement for our godly leaders

Remember, 
God gives us joy in His presence
God's precepts provide joy to our hearts.
God is our strength, our shield, and our hearts' trust.

Our church motto: Joyfully Pursuing the Living God.

6.13.2024

Love



"Devotion to God finds its outward expression in loving one another."  (The Fruitful Life, p. 47)  Another way to state this is our devotion to God, the creator, shows itself in how we love people, who are created in God's image.

This past Sunday, Mike Guest taught on...



In the study notes for Galatians 5:22, 23, the MacArthur study Bible states, “One of the several Greek words for love, AGAPE, is the love of choice, referring not to an emotional affection, physical attraction, or a familial bond, but to the respect, devotion, and affection that leads to willing, self-sacrificial service.”

Each week during this summer study, we want to ask some questions to get us thinking about the mark for that week.  

Here are some LOVE-related questions.

  • How does the world you live in today define and use the word LOVE?
  • How does the Bible, God's Word, define and use the word LOVE?
  • What are ways you have seen love exhibited in a wrong way?
  • What are ways you have seen love exhibited in the right way?
  • In what ways could you improve how you show love to others?
  • In what ways could our church improve in how we show love to others?
John 3:16, a verse many people know, is often used to show how great God's love is for us.
First John 3:16 is a great verse that shows God's love and our response to that love.
"By this we know love, that he laid his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers." (emphasis mine)

Jesus showed us what love is.
Because of this, we ought to do something.

This kind of love, spiritual love, comes from God.  We are able to love HIM and OTHERS because He first loved us.  This love comes from a heart that has been changed by God, the Holy Spirit.

First Corinthians 13:4-7, tells us what love is.
Here is that list along with a brief explanation of each attribute.

PATIENT - VERY slow to anger. Long tempered.
KIND - Gives benefit to others. Grace-filled.
NOT JEALOUS - Not after “showy gifts”. All one body.
NOT BOASTUL - “Wind Bag” Elevates others over self.
NOT ARROGANT - “Puff like a bellows”. Listens vs. talking.
NOT RUDE - Not Immoral. Yields personal rights.
NOT SEEKING ITS OWN - Others first. Self-lessness.
NOT PROVOKED - Controls sudden outbursts.
NOT TAKING INTO ACCOUNT WRONGS - Holds no record of wrongs.
NOT REJOICING IN SIN - Takes no pleasure in the sin of others.
REJOICES IN TRUTH - Love is honest and hates lies.
BEARS ALL THINGS - Covers and protects.
BELIEVES ALL THINGS - Optimistic, looking for the good.
HOPES ALL THINGS - Never gives up. Grace again.
ENDURES ALL THINGS - Will not quit. Can’t be killed.


Jesus' prayer in John 17 is filled with love language for God and his disciples.

20 “I am not asking on behalf of these alone, but also for those who believe in Me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

22 The glory which You have given Me I also have given to them, so that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and You loved them, just as You loved Me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

25 “Righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

 

Some Additional Resources:


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