Saturday, February 22, 2014

Philippians Ch.1-Lesson 1 and 2

Wonderful church sign in Mt. Holly. “I have found Mr. Right and He is Jesus.”
A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You won’t go anywhere until you change it!

Have you ever been lost? Well those that know me can tell you that is my modus operandi (MO.) Family and friends ask constantly if I have a GPS. Not to worry I can get equally lost with a GPS, just ask Glenda. Wednesday on my twice weekly trip to Denver, Hwy. 273 just beyond Mt. Holly was blocked because of a big wreck. The direction from the officer was; “Turn here and take a right at the stop sign” What he failed to mention was there were three more choices to make out in an area I had never driven.  Yes, I have a maps app on my phone; I pulled over and located where I needed to be and where I actually was. I find a 2” screen inadequate to be much help. Not the right the time to learn how to use the app. Needless to say I got lost and found myself in Alexis. A good-humored fellow sent me back down the road to the stop sign and gave me directions to Old Plank Rd. Another turn and I was in familiar territory.

Since I frequently take the scenic route whenever I leave my home county, my attitude is adventurous. To my delight I found the East Lincoln Race Track, Gold Hills Missionary Baptist Church and the Bat Cave, an indoor training facility for baseball and softball. Laughter and Joy can change a disaster into an adventure.
As a youngster in church we learned how to prioritize our lives to have JOY.
Jesus is first
Others second
Yourself last
Let me give you an example. You are running into the grocery store for one or two things on the way to meet friends for dinner. You are waiting at the “10 items or less” register and the person in front of you mistakenly chose the wrong line because her buggy is overflowing.  Do you let that steal your joy?
It is Thursday afternoon, ready for the final print of my teaching and PowerPoint notes and the printer is out of ink, or it has a paper jam or the wifi network goes out. Do I still possess joy? Those are little petty instances in our lives, can steal our joy. Now who do we know who loves to steal the joy of God’s children? The Bible says Satan is a thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy. Whenever I take my eyes off Jesus and allow circumstances to determine my feelings, I can lose my joy. Be Joyful!
James 1:2-3 Consider it pure JOY, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Letter to the Philippians is short book, 4 chapters, but every chapter contains wonderful  lessons, notable verses we could spend weeks studying. This letter from Paul is instructional for a joyful life amid the trials and circumstances of our life. Paul founded the church of Philippi on his second missionary journey eleven years before this letter was written about 62 AD. It was written with Timothy’s help from house arrest in Rome.

The letter start out, Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:
2      Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I chose this outline from Warren Weirbe’s commentary entitled Be Joyful
·        Fellowship of the gospel 1:1-11
·        Furthering of the gospel 1:12-26
·        Faith of the Gospel 1:27-30
Fellowship -means to have in common. The Greek word for fellowship is Kiononia.
Phonetic Spelling: (koy-nohn-ee'-ah) Definition:  (a) contributory help, participation, (b) sharing in, communion, (c) spiritual fellowship, a fellowship in the spirit.
3      I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
4      always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,
5      because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

Paul tells the Philippians they were on his mind (remembrance), v.7 they were in his heart, they were in his prayers. Perhaps the most wonderful thing you can do for a person is include them in your prayers.
 The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16
Can you feel when someone is praying for you?
Be Joyful! Share your joy with others!
6-And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Do you believe that? That is my hope- that God’s not finished with me yet
C. H. Spurgeon (England's well-known preacher of the nineteenth century)
“Where is there an instance of God’s beginning any work and leaving it incomplete? Show me for once a world abandoned and thrown aside half formed; show me a universe cast off from the Great Potter’s wheel, with the design in outline, the clay half hardened, and the form unshapely from incompleteness.”
Verses 9-11 provide us with a Grocery List for the Christian Life
9And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,
10    so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
11    filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

That is my prayer for each of us as Christian women, as students of the Bible, to love the LORD and His Word and grow in wisdom and knowledge to maintain a personal relationship with Him. That is why we must strive for excellence in CBS, to be the best servants of Christ that we can.

Paul uses 16 references to mind, think, and remember.  Being Single-Minded is our goal on this earth. When we take every thought captive and we can be joyful in all circumstances. Guard your mind from negative thoughts that will steal your joy.
11 May you always be doing those good, kind things that show you are a child of God, for this will bring much praise and glory to the Lord. TLB
Furthering of the gospel 1:12-26
v.12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,
During this time Paul wrote Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. His time was not wasted during the Roman imprisonment. God never wastes our time, though we may waste it by not sensing God’s purpose for our lives at the moment.
How can Paul further the gospel being in prison?  Verse thirteen tells about the Imperial guards. Paul was chained to a guard at all times; if they changes guards every six hours that meant he was in the company of at the very least 4 guards a day. What did these guards observe during this time? Paul praying for the various people, writing letters to the churches, being visited by seekers interested his ideas.
Another contact would the officials of the Roman courts. When he was brought up on charges, the officials would probably have to study his letters to others and the gospel message that he preached. Can you think of a greater city of influence than Rome?
Also seeing the faith of Paul will imprisoned others became more bold about speaking the Good News in their everyday conversations. They saw that Paul was joyful in the midst of such a trial. God had cared for Paul in his circumstances and God could still use Paul even when he was imprisoned.
v. 15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.
Rivalry was not his concern. “Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.”
How are you advancing the gospel? Is there a special interest or area of ministry that you are passionate about? God calls each of us to a purpose for His kingdom. Are you answering the call when Jesus places someone or something on your heart?
 Everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose. MSG
A familiar phrase from Paul:21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Paul had no fear of death, to him it meant departing this world and entering another. Departure  is a military term for “take your tent down and move on.”
In his letters to the Corinthians, Paul describes our bodies as tents, temporary homes.

2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 
Can you be Joyful about that?
The older I get the more I identify with this verse. Our bodies are not made to last forever.  Our bodies are wasting away day by day. Praise God he has a mansion built for us in Heaven. Are you ready tonight to go to your new home? Have you made sure your loved ones are ready? Paul was ready to go or to stay. However the decision was the LORD’s.  Paul was need by the Philippians as they strive in faith 25“for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus,” Be Joyful!

SLIDE 11 Faith of the Gospel 1:27-30

1.     Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel
2.     Whatever happens you stand firm in one Spirit
3.     Strive together as one for the faith of the gospel
The verb conduct Paul relates to our word for politics. As Christian we not citizens of this world, we are just passing through. Philippi was a Roman colony, citizens of Rome, protected by Roman law. WW. “The church of Jesus Christ is a colony of heaven on earth.” Behave like citizens of heaven worthy of the Gospel.
KJV 27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: The old English word for “conversation” means walk not talk. The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins was buried and rose again. (1 Cor. 15:1-8)
Are we walking worthy?  What does the world around us see?
You are writing a gospel,
A chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do
And the words that you say.
Men read what you write,
Whether faithful or true:
Just what is the gospel
According to you?

29            For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,
Godliness brings suffering, expect it! If we understand and expect persecution for our faith, we won't be surprised by it.

James 1:12  Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. NIV

Faith in Christ is the gift of God, so is "the fellowship of his sufferings." It is not a burden, but a privilege:" In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."

10   If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.
11   These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
John 15:10-11

Will you choose to Be Joyful?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Job Lesson 6 -Chapter 40-42

The last time we were together this verse was in our lesson.
 Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
I just briefly mentioned Laminin in my teaching time. Evidently it was discussed in some cores. They ask me to find the information and I posted a link to our blog with the lectures on it. If you are on FB the links are on the Gastonia Women’s Evening group. 
Laminin are major proteins in the basal lamina (one of the layers of the basement membrane), a protein network foundation for most cells and organs. The laminin family of glycoproteins are an integral part of the structural scaffolding in almost every tissue of an organism. Laminin is vital for the maintenance and survival of tissues. You will see the actual slide of the laminin.  The chains of trimeric proteins intersect to form a cross-like structure that can bind to other cell membrane. Only God could create this proteins this lived in each of us.
There is a God; you are not Him
Jokingly I used to divide my adult life by BC before children and AD after divorce. As a single mother of two, struggling with the depression and disgrace of being alone to raise my children, I commiserated with other women in my situation. As I tried to be a Supermom, my friend Marcy shared a truth she had learned and it gave me comfort.  “You can’t fix everything. How absurd to think we can control what others do to you. You are not God!” Did I really think I could mend my life and repair the damage done to my children by myself? No, I needed God.
There is a God; you are not Him. Prayer
Last year I shared the work of an artist James Tissot’s 1836-1902 distinctive style illustrating various moments in the life of Christ. I recently discovered the work of an earlier artist William Blake who a unique technique. As early as 1785 Blake had sketched several ink studies depicting the life of Job. In 1793 Blake made engravings based upon these drawings, this one is God speaking from the whirlwind.
God’s voice alone can intimidate. God has another example of His power for Job. He chooses two masterpieces of creation to prove His omnipotence and sovereignty over nature. God challenges Job to tame or defeat these beasts showing Job the greatness of God “the uncreated Source of all things and answerable to no one.” McIntosh
There is a God; you are not Him.
Lesson 6 Job Learns the Truth about God
I-       Behold  the Behemoth and Leviathan (40:6 – 41:34)
II-    Job  Confession (42:1-6)
III-   Fortunes Restored (42:7-17)
The Amplified Bible and Warren Wiersbe agree that the Behemoth is most likely a hippopotamus and the Leviathan, a crocodile. Our CBS Commentary and many others commentaries that I studied believe the animals described no longer exist today. You can decide.
Behemoth land animal
a.     Largest land animal created
b.     Eats grass like an ox
c.      Strength in his loins, tendons of thighs twisted together like a rope
d.     Power in muscles of his belly- CORE
e.     Bones like tubes of bronze; ribs like iron
f.       Moves his tail like a cedar tree
Hippopotamuses love water, which is why the Greeks named them the "river horse." 
God of creation cares for the Behemoth. Plants on the mountains provide food for the creature. He cools himself by lying in the marsh; lotus trees and willows shade him. The animal is confident in the violent river. No man can snare this beast.
40:11 Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine. There is a God; you are not Him.

Leviathan in sea
g.     Unable to be caught with a fishhook or rope
h.     Cannot be tamed, not a pet
i.        Mighty strength
j.       Tough skin, rows of tight shields on his back, inseparable
k.     Jaw and teeth a terror
l.        Breathing fire and smoke
m.  No weapon can harm him
Ch. 41:33-34 On earth there is not his like, a creature without fear.
    He sees everything that is high; he is king over all the sons of pride."

Does this sound like someone that earlier in the book presented himself in God’s throne room? Like the leviathan, Satan is without peer among the creatures God made. But he is still under God’s control.

God in his Almighty power has created natural wonders in these animals. So strong they make men look weak. These two creatures are fearfully and wonderfully made and their strength is derived from God, possibly extinct. But whatever the animal the lesson is: God was before creation.

“We can become so busy trying to make sense of God’s Word from our limited human perspective that we can become guilty of the same kind of arrogance Job and his friends displayed. We cannot be certain of the identity of behemoth and leviathan, but we can be certain that God created them and that they were mighty creatures. Let’s just trust His Word.”

There is a God; you are not Him.
II Job’s Confession (42:1-6)
Before Job lost all of his children, his wealth and his health, he truly did not understand God’s authority in the universe. Job in his mind had put limitations on God’s power, and somehow thought his own good works influenced God’s treatment of him. It was not Job’s own righteousness, but the divine nature God to love and lavish his children with riches beyond measure.
Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
“Nothing has been restored to Job yet; he was still covered with horrible sores; he was still homeless and devoid of possessions; and he was still childless. But He now knows what is truly important in his life. Nothing else mattered after he met with God.”
See the moon click

3bTherefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
5-6 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;
therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

There is a God; you are not Him. (Thanks Deborah for the use of your photo.)
I must also repent and strangely I find it comforting that I am not in charge of everything. Pride, self-sufficiency, or misguided love causes us to take the burdens of our children or grandchildren upon ourselves. We are, in fact, enabling them do less than their best for God. God has a purpose for each person. If we try to take over and fix all their problems, we are interfering with God’s logical consequences.
Remember busy, busy Martha from Luke 10 And Jesus answered and said unto her, “Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Holman Bible uses “the right choice,”  NIV says “what is better”)
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver tells the story of an overloaded wagon. God ask the pilgrim to carry 3 stones to the top of the hill. Along the way he gathers the burdens of others until his strength was depleted and he was unable to complete his task. As he cried out to the LORD about the impossible chore, God looks at the contents of the wagon.
 “Let others shoulder their own belongings,” God said gently. “I know you were trying to help, but when you are weighted down with all these cares, you cannot do what I have asked of you.” 
The more I admit that God is in Control -- the more I can by Faith accept that God knows what is best for me, for my children, my grandchildren, my family and friends.

There is a God; you are not Him.

III-Fortunes restored (42:7-17)
·     Exonerated before his friends
·     Restored to former position
·     Wealth and family returned
Now God turns his attentions on Job’s three friends. Notice Blake shows God blessing Job while the three “friends” cower from His face.
v.7 The Lord said to Eliphaz  “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.
God commanded them to go before Job and offer 7 bulls and 7 rams as a burnt offering for themselves for their ignorance of the truth. They misjudged their friend and they misinterpreted what was happening to Job.
v.8 And my servant Job shall (I)pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” 
10-And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
11    Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold.

But more important than money was the restoration of his children. Seven in heaven and seven on earth.

15And in all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job's daughters. And their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers.

Three Daughters
: It was usual in the earliest periods to bestow names showing their significant of Job’s restored prosperity. 

·        Jemima—Maurer, "a dove." The Chaldee language adds this remark: "He gave her the name Jemima, because her beauty was like the day."  The name thus conferred would indicate that Job had now emerged from the "night" of affliction, and that returning light shone again on his tabernacle.

·        Kezia— means "cassia," an aromatic herb, a bark resembling cinnamon, or sweet perfume instead of his offensive breath and ulcers. The agreeableness or pleasantness of the perfume was the reason why the name was chosen to be given to a daughter. 
·        Keren-happuch—“because her face was as splendid as the emerald."also the inverted or flowing horn, cornucopia, which signifies an horn or vessel of paint, such as the eastern women used to paint their eyes,  Horn of plenty for his prosperity restored in contrast to his "horn defiled in the dust" (Job 16:15).
The names also imply the beauty of his daughters, mentioned to show that they contributed greatly to the happiness of Job on the return of his prosperity, and were among the chief blessings which gladdened his old age
Psalm 28:4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Job lived an exceptional age 140 years, and lived to see four generations of his sons.

17    And Job died, an old man, and full of days.

John 10:10 Jesus said I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

This quote from Abraham Lincoln seems appropriate.
 A. Lincoln, Proclamation of a day of National Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer, 1863.
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” 

Will you choose to acknowledge: There is a God; you are not Him?