Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bible Study #722

The goal of Bible Study is not just learning, but living If you are saved, you will have a desire to be holy, a hunger for the Word, the inner witness of the Spirit, and a desire to share Jesus. These are the birthmarks of the believer. #722 7 Apr 15 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Matt 5:3 Grateful for . . . . THE WORD OF GOD ! (\0/) (\0/) (\0/) (\0/) (\0/) (\0/) Greetings! The sermon on the mount introduces a series of 5 important discourses recorded in Matthew: 1. the Sermon on the Mount (chaps. 5-7) 2. the commissioning of the apostles (chap. 10) 3. the parables about the kingdom (chap. 13) 4. a discourse about the childlikeness of the believer (chap. 18) 5. and the discourse on His second coming (chaps. 24, 25) Each discourse ends with a variation of this phrase: “when Jesus had finished these words”. That becomes a motif signaling a new narrative portion. Some have seen a parallel between these 5 sections and the 5 books of Moses in the OT. Blessed. . The word literally means "happy, fortunate, blissful." Here it speaks of more than a surface emotion. Jesus was describing the divinely-bestowed well-being that belongs only to the faithful. The Beatitudes demonstrate that the way to heavenly blessedness is antithetical to the worldly path normally followed in pursuit of happiness. The worldly idea is that happiness is found in riches, merriment, abundance, leisure, and such things. The real truth is the very opposite. The Beatitudes give Jesus' description of the character of true faith. Poor in spirit . . The opposite of self-sufficiency. This speaks of the deep humility of recognizing one's utter spiritual bankruptcy apart from God. It describes those who are acutely conscious of their own lostness and hopelessness apart from divine grace (9:12; Lk 18:13). Theirs is the kingdom of heaven. . Notice that the truth of salvation by grace is clearly presupposed in this opening verse of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus was teaching that the kingdom is a gracious gift to those who sense their own poverty of spirit. May God bless you this week! ♥ Memory verse for this week: 2 Thess 3:5 This week's Trivia's: [answer's below . . ] 1. Fill in the following blank: "The harvest truly is plenteous but the laborers are ___" 2. How many times was Paul shipwrecked -- 1, 3, 5, or 10? * * * * * * * * * There are no natural laws. They are God's laws: nature obeys them * * * * * * * * * BIBLE MEDITATION: “How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:14 DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: The Lord Jesus lived an amazing life. Do you realize that Jesus never corrected, withdrew, or amended any statement He ever made? I wish I could say that! Jesus Christ never apologized for anything He ever did or said. He never sought advice from anyone, nor ever needed to ask for forgiveness. Jesus Christ doesn't have any strong points. For Him to have strong points, He would have to have weak points. Robert Clark has rightly given this assessment of the character of Jesus: “There was meekness without weakness, tenderness without feebleness, firmness without coarseness, love without sentimentality, holiness without sanctimoniousness, lowliness without lowness, truth without error, enthusiasm without fanaticism, passion without prejudice, heavenly mindedness without forgetfulness, carefreeness without carelessness, service without servility, self exaltation without egotism, judgment without harshness, seriousness without somberness, mercy without softness.” ACTION POINT: What a person was the Lord Jesus Christ! Today, embrace the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior with this renewed sense of Who He was—His matchless character. This is the One Who laid down His life for you. from the Ministries of Love Worth Finding . . . by Adrian Rogers * * * * * * * * * To believe in heaven is not to run away from life; it is to run toward it! * * * * * * * * * We have begun another journey and will learn from the book "Hard To Believe" written by John MacArthur. In his book John helps us to understand the high cost and infinite value of following Jesus. GBY . . . . . . . . . . HARD TO BELIEVE . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 10 . . TRAITORS TO THE FAITH . . The gospel is hard to believe and requires denial of oneself. Yet the rewards of believing and making that sacrifice are beyond measure. Yes, the gate is narrow, and the truth is hard. But the tradeoff is eternal life with God in heaven! Why should we have to soft-pedal a message that’s so incredibly wonderful? Why would anybody stonewall information, however distasteful or inconvenient it is on the surface that will send him to heaven forever? And why, once he heard and apparently believed the gospel, would he ever turn away from it? Not long ago, a friend of mine shared the heartbreaking story of a son who grew up in a church, hearing of the Word of God, who nevertheless turned his back on Christ and entered fully into the homosexual community in San Francisco. I know of far too many tragic cases where men have turned their backs on their wives, their families, and their Lord and walked away. These people didn't start out as skeptics outside the church, but as people whom the Word of Christ had nurtured. Yet they ultimately rejected the truth of the gospel. You've probably had a similar experience with someone you know. I've already recounted the stories of three of my closest friends—one in high school, one in college, and one in seminary—who seemed so dedicated to serving the Lord, and yet all of them eventually turned their backs on Him. One became a dope-smoking rock-concert promoter, and another became a Buddhist. These were not casual acquaintances, but friends at a very close level. I was sure they shared my passion for the true gospel as much as they shared my love for sports. These three young men proved to me that you can profess Christ and not know Him. You can think you’re a Christian and later see clearly that you’re not; you can certainly deceive other people. Seeing these seemingly intelligent, dedicated, strong Christians abandon their beliefs forced me to think about who is really a Christian and what being a Christian really means. Their actions portrayed them as fellow soldiers of Christ, but in the end their hearts exposed them as traitors. Spiritual defectors are an integral part of the story of Christianity, both past and present. They’re in your life and mine, just as they were in Jesus’ life. They shouldn't surprise you, defeat you, disappoint you, or cause you to despair. Jesus’ insights on spiritual defector of John 6, and the reaction to His teaching about the issue, give us one of the most compelling and enlightening stories of His ministry. It’s worth considering closely. next week: . . SPIRITUAL DEFECTORS . . * * * * * * * * * Some people can't find Christ for the same reason a thief can't find a policeman * * * * * * * * * THE MUSTARD SEED, PART 1 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches. Matt. 13:31-32 EVEN THOUGH THE LORD JESUS in this parable speaks accurately about the size of the mustard seed and the size and use of its tree-like adult form, His purpose in the illustration is proverbial, not scientific. In context of His teachings about the kingdom of God, the parable's meaning is self-evident-- the kingdom, though now seemingly small and insignificant, will one day grow into a large body of believers. Even with Jesus ministering on earth, God's kingdom was almost imperceptible, both because its citizens were few and it was spiritual (invisible). Elsewhere the Lord explained it well: "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst" (Lk 17:20-21). When Christ ascended to heaven, the kingdom on earth was, figuratively and relatively speaking, very small (cf. Acts 1:15). But the kingdom that began smaller than a mustard seed will grow larger and larger. The Old Testament writers knew that eventually the Lord would "rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth" (Ps. 72:8). They rightly foresaw that all sorts of people, from all stations in life, would honor Messiah, bow down to Him, and serve Him (vv. 9-11). With the apostle, we will one day see the grand culmination: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever" (Rev 11:15). Ask YOURSELF Are you currently involved in something for Christ that seems small in comparison with others' ministries or talent bases? Be sure that your Lord is the master at taking the seemingly insignificant and transforming it for mighty kingdom purposes. * * * * * * * * * If you deny the past, you'll distort the future * * * * * * * * * The Many Names of God: Each of the many names of God describes a different aspect of His many-faceted character. Here is one of the better-known names of God in the Bible: EL ELYON: “Most High" (Deut 26:19) – derived from the Hebrew root for “go up” or “ascend,” so the implication is of that which is the very highest. El Elyon denotes exaltation and speaks of absolute right to lordship. * * * * * * * * * Thanksgiving enjoys the gift. Praise enjoys the Giver * * * * * * * * * Don’t Heap up Empty Phrases in Prayer . . . Mike Fabarez Jesus said that when we pray we should “not heap up empty phrases” (Matt 6:7). Later he lamented a hypocritical form of worship by quoting the indictment that first came through Isaiah: “These people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me” (Isa 29:13; Matt 15:8). We must be so careful when we bow our heads to pray, or lift our voices to sing. God is not impressed when we utter mere words such as “Praise the Lord!” or “Hallelujah!” He is looking for worshipers whose spirits (i.e., minds, hearts, and thoughts) are engaged in expressing the meaning of those words (cf. Jn 4:23). It is easy to melodically recite lyrics of Christian songs, but it takes concentration, sincerity and thoughtfulness to truly worship in song. We should never hide behind fine sounding words while our minds wander through a set of thoughts about something else. This is a special challenge when someone else is leading us in prayer during a church service or at a Bible study. Those words coming from the one composing and vocalizing the prayer must be echoed in our own minds and then thoughtfully directed to God from our own hearts. When we are leading in prayer or praying privately, we must be careful to never “heap up empty phrases” which our minds never grasp or our hearts never direct to God. Real prayer and real worship require our minds. Don’t switch them off. Don’t let them wander. God deserves our full attention and desires our attentive communication. Taken from “Empty Phrases ” by Focal Point Ministries * * * * * * * * * The least amount of faith is greater than the greatest amount of difficulty * * * * * * * * * The weirdos in Christendom - Greg Laurie - Pastor Greg Laurie warns of spiritual 'junk food' spread by last-days false teachers I am amazed at some of the crazy things professing Christians will buy into. It seems like every few years a new fad comes along that gets everyone worked up. People get caught up in this nonsense, which is an itch for novelty. And after a while, they will get tired of that and run off to some new thing. It is because they have never learned to love the Scriptures. It is sort of like living on junk food. It is not good for you. You get the rush and the buzz after the Ding Dong, but then you come down. So you have another one. But you are not having a nutritious meal. Maybe these fads will gather crowds for a time and make Christians look like idiots to the rest of the world, because for some unknown reason, people feel compelled to put these things on television. Sometimes I will flip through the channels and see some of these things, and I feel so embarrassed. I ask myself why it is that we have these people representing Christianity. We want to be very careful when it comes to having an appetite for novelty, because the Bible tells us that in the last days, there will be false teachers. There will be a false gospel. There even will be false miracles. We have to wise up to that. That means when there are people waving Bibles and saying God told them this and that and they have a message for us from God, only the discerning believers will know the difference. Only those Christians who are conversant with Scripture and are biblically literate will be able to spot the weirdos, because they are coming-and are indeed with us. I believe that Hosea's cry rings true for many in the church today: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6 NKJV). So many people in the church today are biblically illiterate. They don't have a biblical worldview. I have been in many different churches as a guest speaker, and when I say, "Turn in your Bibles to ...," and no one has a Bible, it is not a good sign. Then, when I will refer to certain biblical passages or stories, I notice that many people will have a blank expression on their faces. In fact, usually within the first four to six minutes of speaking, I can assess a congregation's biblical IQ. As I begin to speak, I notice the way they track, the way they listen, what interests them, and what doesn't interest them. I can see how people will come alive when an illustration is rolled out, but as soon as I go back to the biblical text, they go into a daze, as if to say, "Wake us when the next illustration or joke is coming." This is because they have never learned to love the Bible. They have never developed a hunger for the Bible. That is what I want the people in my congregation to have. I want them to love the Bible. I love worship. I love having various musical artists come in and share their music with us. But I believe the main event is the teaching and the preaching of the Bible. That is what I want people to care for. Unfortunately in the church today, there is a movement afoot in which the basic objective is to get huge crowds into churches. Pastors are spending a lot of money and time learning from the so-called experts who will tell them how to pack their pews. But Jesus didn't say to go into all the world and pack the pews; he said to go into all the world and make disciples. I would rather have fewer people in the pews who have a love for Scripture and an understanding of what discipleship is rather than have pews crowded with people who don't possess these qualities. Making disciples is what we need to think about. Little sermonettes will produce Christianettes. The church is a place where the Bible should be taught and where God's people should know what the Scripture says. It should be a place where we worship, a place where we pray and a place where we use the gifts God has given us. But we are getting away from that. That is why there is so much vulnerability to false teaching today. This was happening in Jude's time, which prompted him to refute false teachers who were professing to be Christians but were rejecting the revealed truth of God. They maintained a veneer, a masquerade of Christianity, to cover up what they really were. They were people who were filled with greed for money, sensual pleasure and a desire to satisfy their inner pride. Jude warned, "But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, 'In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires' " (Jude 1:17-18 NIV). These false teachers had infiltrated the ranks of the church. The worst thing imaginable is to spread wickedness under the veneer of true faith. And tragically, this does happen in the church today. I wish we could spot them more easily. But in his epistle, Jude points out that these people come in unnoticed (see Jude 1:4). And that is the whole idea. They grow in numbers by pulling unsuspecting Christians out of churches and filling their heads with false teaching. Finally, when people are dependent on them for the so-called "truth" that cannot be discovered on their own, these false teachers essentially immobilize them. I have seen this happen so many times. So beware of that sort of thing. Be careful of anyone who comes along and says they have a message, a "hidden truth" that you won't hear anywhere else. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth . . . Rom 1:16 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Answers to this week's Trivia's: 1. Fill in the following blank: "The harvest truly is plenteous but the laborers are ___" A. Few Matt 9:37 2. How many times was Paul shipwrecked -- 1, 3, 5, or 10? A. 3 2 Cor 11:15 * * * * * * * * * Answers to Questions about Heaven . . . David Jeremiah Will there be seas in the new heaven and new earth? Currently three-fourths of the earth is covered in salt water; but the apostle John tells us that in the new earth, there will be"no more sea" (Rev 21:1) The ecology of the new heaven and earth will be entirely different than that of the earth we live on today. And there will be no need of salt water, because salt is a preservative, and there will be no decay. But there will be fresh water in the new heaven--the river of life, flowing from the throne of God in the New Jerusalem, which will rest upon the ground during the eternal state (Rev 22:1-2). These waters will be more beautiful than any landscape we can fathom in this life. * * * * * * * * * Always pray to have eyes that see the best in people, a heart that forgives the worst, a mind that forgets the bad, and a soul that never loses faith in God. Until next time remember, "Keep looking up!" God loves you and yours, He really does! Nancy <\\\>< Remember: A man may go to heaven….. Without health, without wealth; Without fame, without a great name; Without learning, without earnings; Without culture, without beauty; Without friends and without ten thousand other things---- But he can NEVER go to Heaven without Christ. ~ This is a FREE e-mailing ~ This Bible Study is sent to subscribers only according to our strict NO SP*M policy. If you appreciate the information contained in this letter, please forward it to your friends. If you have acquired this letter from a friend and want to subscribe: Send an e-mail with Subscribe on the subject line to: If you do not want to receive these Bible Studies, please send an email with 'unsubscribe' on the subject line to No hard feelings This week's Quiz: Biblical Miracles Our God is a God of awesome might and power. Throughout the Bible He shows Himself as compassionate as well as powerful. God used miracles to help as well as awe His people. What do you know about these miracles? 2 Ki 13:21 1. What prophet’s bones revived a dead man? a. Elijah c. Isaiah b. Elisha d. Jeremiah 2. Which of the following miracles was performed by both Elijah and Elisha? 2 Ki 2:8, 14 a. making an ax head float b. making bitter water drinkable c. parting the waters of the Jordan River d. calling fire down from heaven 3. How many times did Naaman have to dip himself in the Jordan River to get his leprosy cured? 2 Ki 5:14 a. 1 c. 7 b. 3 d. 10 4. What prophet told a king there would be no rain until the prophet said so? 1 Ki 17:1 a. Jeremiah c. Nathan b. Daniel d. Elijah 5. Who was Joshua fighting against when God made the sun stand still? Josh 10:12-13 a. the Moabites c. the Edomites b. the Amorites d. the Philistines 6. What king of Judah saw a sundial go back ten degrees as a sign from God? Isa 38:4-8 a. Solomon c. Hezekiah b. Joash d. Jehoshaphat 7. What was Moses doing when he saw the burning bush? Exo 3:1-2 a. drawing water from a well c. tending sheep b. digging a well d. nothing 8. When Dorcas, who did many good works, died, which apostle raised her from the dead? Acts 9:39-40 a. Paul c. James b. Peter d. John 9. What miracle was performed by both Paul and Peter? Acts 3:4-8; 14:8-10 a. making someone go blind c. curing a lame man b. casting out demons d. both b and c 10. What did God tell Moses to stretch out over the sea so that the waters would part? Exo 14:16 a. his hand c. the ark of the covenant b. his rod d. both a and b

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