Sunday, August 14, 2016

Asking the right questions.

In studying the Bible we sometimes have the tendency to focus solely on individual verses.
We need to keep in mind that we should also be alert to the bigger picture of a book of the Bible and the whole Bible itself.
Understanding the bigger picture helps us to understand the individual verse(s) better.
Similarly, understanding individual verses better helps us to understand the bigger picture more clearly. Books on interpreting the Bible call this idea the "hermeneutical circle."

In looking at the following verses, what can questions can we ask and meditate on with the individual verse(s) and big picture in mind?

2 Peter 3:18 (ESV)
18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
       To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

What does spiritual growth look like? 
                Growing in God's grace in how we react to the world around us.
                Growing in knowledge of God's Word.
                Growing in a desire to please (glorify) God

How does this verse relate to the overall theme of Peter's 2nd letter?
Overall  3:1 to stir up a sincere mind
                1:10 make diligent your call
                1:15  make every effort
                3:14  make every effort
Do what we can do to grow in our relationship with the Lord defined by God's Word.
How does 2 Peter fit within the NT and OT?

What questions could you ask concerning the following verse?

1 Timothy 4:7-8 (ESV)
7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths.
  Rather train yourself for godliness;
8        for while bodily training is of some value,
          godliness is of value in every way,
          as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

>>What are my hindrances in training to be godly?

(think about who, what, when, where, how, why questions)

“A Portrait of Integrity” : Job

“A Portrait of Integrity”
Job 1:1, 9-12,18, 20-22
Aug 7th 2016

Live with Integrity regardless of what we don’t see and what we do see....

I. God honors those who consistently fear Him and turn from evil. (1-5)

1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. 
 Verse 2 There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. 
3 He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. 
4 His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 
5 And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” 
Thus Job did continually. 

II.  What we don’t see -- 
A.    The Spiritual Realm (6-8)
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 
7 The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 
8 And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 

The Bible describes some of the work of the evil one...
Revelation 12:10 (ESV)
10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 

II.  What we don’t see -- 
B. The dialogue before the Lord God — Satan Attacks Job’s character (9-11)
9 Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 
10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 
11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 

II.  What we don’t see -- 
C.  The Lord gave permission to Satan’s influence (12)
12 And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. 

The Bible describes how God has put a hedge around us.
1 John 4:4 (ESV)
4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 

The Lord gives us a promise
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. 
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability,
 but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 

There are limits to what the Lord will allow each of us to go through.

III. What we do see:
A. The Loss of his family and possessions.  (13-19)
13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 
14 and there came a messenger to Job and said,
 “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 
15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 
16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, [clap two]
“The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”  
17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said,
“The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”  
18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said,  
“Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 
19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 


III. What we do see:
B. The response of faith: Good Theology which leads to proper perspective & worship (20-22)

20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 
21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I 
return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” 
22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. 

He didn’t pretend like it didn’t happen. He went into mourning.
But because of his God- Perspective. He worshiped God.
Everything we have, we will eventually loose. Except our relationship with God.
If we live long enough, we will outlive our loved ones.
We will all eventually loose our health - we are all dying.
We will loose all of our finances - either before we die or after.

Character and integrity means more when you willing to pay a price to keep it.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Thoughts on behavior and feelings

Sometimes we get focused on solely on behavior.
On one hand, that is understandable because behavior is observable and measurable.
On the other hand, the motivation and feelings behind the behavior are vital but difficult to quantify and make tangible.
In one sense feelings are not right or wrong, they just exist. Our behavior is what counts.
But you can't separate them in living your life.  You can't feel without it affecting your behavior and what you do will affect your feelings.
In one sense commitment to a relationship is vital for its success.

In another sense, for a relationship to work the commitment must be mutual.