Wills Valley Community Church
Changed Lives, Changing Lives
Good things for those who seek the Lord!
December 03, 2017 09:18 AM PSTcd17.12.03 ><> SCRIPTURE READING “(1) I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. (2) My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear it and be glad. (3) Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. (4) I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. (5) They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. (6) This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. (7) The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. (8) Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (9) Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. (10) The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing. (11) Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. (12) Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? (13) Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. (14) Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (15) The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. (16) The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. (17) The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. (18) The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. (19) Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. (20) He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken. (21) Evil shall slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous shall be condemned. (22) The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.” Ps.34:1-22 (NKJV) <>< “The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.” Ps.34:10 IMPORTANT OBSERVATIONS FROM DAVID’S TRIAL: 1. David, the future king of Israel, was facing a GREAT TRIAL! “(10) Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. (11) And the servants of Achish said to him, `Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying: `Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands’? (12) Now David took these words to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath.” 1Sam.21:10-12 2. David did what every true follower of God does in times of trial, he SOUGHT THE LORD! “(4) I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. (5) They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. (6) This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. (7) The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. (8) Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (9) Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. (10) The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.” Ps.34:4-10 3. David sought the Lord because GOD HAD MADE A PROMISE! “..But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.” Ps.34:10b • Spiritual good things • Temporal good things <><><> “Whatever you desire, there is the promise, only go and plead it at the throne, and God will fulfill it. We have no right to look for the fulfillment of the promises unless we put the Promiser in mind of them, although truly, at times, He exceeds our desires or wishes. He gives these promises as His notes of hand, His bills of exchange, and if we do not take our notes to get them cashed at the throne it is our fault, for the promise is just as good.” Charles Spurgeon <><><> 4. David reflected on a VIVID CONTRAST! “The young lions lack and suffer hunger…..” Ps.34:10a 5. David had experienced the SURETY OF THE PROMISE’S FULFILLMENT! “The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.” Ps.34:10 SO WHAT? 1. Am I seeking the Lord? “(10) As it is written: `There is none righteous, no, not one; (11) there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.” Rom.3:10-11 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jn.6:44 “(11) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (12) Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. (13) And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jer.29:11-13 2. The fulfillment of this promise is for true disciples! “The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.” Ps.34:10 • (Lk.14:25-35) A disciple puts Christ before everything! • (Lk.9:23-25) A disciple is willing to deny himself, take up his cross and follow Christ daily! • (Jn.8:31) A disciple abides in and is committed to Christ’s teachings! • (Jn.14:21) A disciple demonstrates his love for Christ by obedience and Christ will manifest to him! • (Jn.13:34-35) A disciple loves other disciples! 3. Have I tried and proven the surety of this promise lately? “The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” (Ps.34:10 4. What do I need from the Lord today? “…by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2Pet.1:4 SPIRITUAL GOOD THINGS! 1. (Rom.10:13) salvation for those who call on His name! 2. (Jer.31:34) cleansed from the memory of sin! 3. (Jer.32:40) I will make it! 4. (Rom.6:14) No sin will continue to control me! 5. (Gal.5:16) I can conquer the flesh! TEMPORAL GOOD THINGS! 1. (Phil.4:19) All my needs will be met! 2. (Matt.6:28-30) He will clothe me! 3. (Matt.6:31-32) He will provide my food and drink! 4. (Phil.4:13) I can do all things through Christ! 5. (Ps.50:15) God will deliver me in the day of trouble! SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: • The theme of this message is the good things God promises to those who seek Him. 1. Read (Ps.34:10). An old saint wrote in her Bible “TP” by each promise she had “tried and proven.” Have I ever tried and proven this great promise of God to those who seek Him? Share how God answered my prayer! 2. Read (Rom.3:9-18). Why do people not seek the Lord? What does God have to do (see.Jn.6:43-45)? Have I ever thanked God the Father for drawing me to Jesus Christ? 3. David was facing big trouble (1Sam.20:10-15) and God delivered him, which obviously inspired this Psalm, particularly (v.10). How would I describe those who “seek the Lord”? How does David describe them in (vs.1-9)? 4. Those who “seek the Lord” in the Old Testament are described as “disciples of Christ” in the New Testament. Look up these verses on discipleship: • (Jn.8:31) A disciple…….? • (Jn.13:34-35) A disciple….? • (Jn.14:21) A disciple….? • (Lk.14:25-35) A disciple….? • (Lk.9:23-25) A disciple…..? 5. What do I need for God to do in my life right now? Am I seeking the Lord? Is it a good thing? I will know it is a good thing if God has promised to give it to me if I seek Him! • Spiritual good things (1Cor.1:30) • Temporal good things (Matt.6:25-34) • All the good things I need (Phil.4:19) DAILY BIBLE READING Mon (1Sam.20:10-15) David’s dilemma Tue (Ps.34) David’s victory through God Wed (1Cor.1:30) God’s gracious promises in Christ (our greatest treasures) Thu (2Pet.1:4) I become a partaker of God’s nature (and blessings) through His promises Fri (Jer.29:11-13) A great promise to seekers Sat (Jn.6:44) The only reason I seek God is because He seeks me first A question about gratitude!
November 26, 2017 09:19 AM PST
cd.17.11.26 November 26, 2017 Message by Denny Mashburn
“….Tell Me, therefore, which one of them will love him more?” Lk.7:42b
IMPORTANT OBSERVATIONS IN THIS STORY OF GRATITUDE:
1. A most likely HOSTILE DINNER INVITATION!
“Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat.” Lk.7:36
“In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, `Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.’”
2. An UNUSUAL ATTENDEE crashes the party!
“(37) And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, (38) and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.”
3. A RELIGIOUS LEADER in need of evangelism!
“Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, `This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
“(31) Jesus answered and said to them, `those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick, (32) I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Lk.5:31-32
4. Jesus reads a hypocrite’s mail with a PARABLE!
“(40) And Jesus answered and said to him, `Simon, I have something to say to you.’ So he said, `Teacher, say it.’ (41) There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. (42) And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both….” Lk.7:40-42a
• The Prophet reads Simon’s mind!
5. A question about LOVING GRATITUDE!
“(42b)….Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more? (43) Simon answered and said, `I suppose the one whom he forgave more.’ And He said to him, `You have rightly judged.” Lk.7:42b-43
• A simple theme: great love is the byproduct of great forgiveness, so whoever is forgiven the most will gratefully love the most!
6. A telling CONTRAST!
“(44) Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, `Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. (45) You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. (46) You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. (47) Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Lk.7:44-47
7. Faith, ITS OBJECT, its transforming power!
“(48) Then He said to her, `Your sins are forgiven.’ (49) And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, `Who is this who even forgives sins?’ (50) Then He said to the woman, `Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.’” Lk.7:48-50
• Only God can forgive sins!
1. Have I heard and responded to the call?
“(28) Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (30) For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matt.11:28-30
<>“Gratitude is the memory of the heart. Where there is no memory of the heart, there is an absence of grateful feelings. Thankfulness is the expression of a grateful feeling, while gratitude is the feeling itself. There can be no thankfulness where there is no gratitude…A man that is ungrateful sums up all the evil that a man can be guilty of.”
“..because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Rom.1:21
2. There are degrees in love, so what degree is mine, a little or a lot?
“(42) And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more? (43) Simon answered and said, `I suppose the one whom he forgave more.’”
3. I can grow in my love for the Lord!
<>“The thing that awakens the deepest well of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven sin…When once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vice, constrained by the love of God.”
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
• The theme of this message is gratitude, its importance, its source, and how to grow in it!
1. During this Thanksgiving holiday, what am I most thankful for? Why?
• Jn.13:35; 14:15,21
5. Read (Rev.2:1-5). Can a Christian leave their first love? How can they get it back? What does remember, repent and do the first works have in common with this forgiven woman in the story of Lk.7:36-50?
DAILY BIBLE READING
Mon (Lk.7:36-50) A grateful, transformed sinner
November 19, 2017 09:15 AM PST
cd.17.11.19 November 19, 2017 Message by Denny Mashburn
THE CHALK MARKS OF CHRISTIANITY ARE:
1. THE GLORY OF GOD ALONE!
“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” Rom.11:36
A. He initiated everything:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen.1:1
“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”
B. He keeps everything going:
“(16) For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (17) And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” Col.1:16-17
C. He is the ultimate purpose of everything:
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1Cor.10:31
2. SCRIPTURE ALONE!
“(15) ..and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2Tim.3:15-17
• Scripture contains the wisdom needed to be saved!
3. GRACE ALONE!
“(4) But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loves us, (5) even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (6) and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (7) that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Eph.2:4-7
4. FAITH ALONE!
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Heb.11:6
5. CHRIST ALONE!
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2Cor.5:21
• Christ my sin bearer!
1. What is my purpose in life?
“Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Rom.1:21
<>“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us…The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they have not yet come to the end of themselves. We are still trying to give orders and interfering with God’s work within us!”
2. What is my ultimate source of authority?
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth!” Jn.17:17
• It must not be tradition (church, parents, etc.)!
3. God does not help those who help themselves!
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: `God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” Jam.4:6
4. If I want to please God and obtain His blessing, I must take Him at His word!
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Heb.11:6
<>“Why is faith so essential? It is because of its receptive power. A purse will not make a man rich, and yet without some place for his money, how could a man acquire wealth? Faith of itself could not contribute a penny to salvation, but it is the purse which holds a precious Christ within itself. It holds all the treasures of divine love.”
5. There is no salvation in any other name!
“(30) But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—(31) that as it is written, `He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.’” 1Cor.1:30-31
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
• The theme of this message is the central truths of Christianity!
1. If someone asked me what the central truths of Christianity are, what would I say?
DAILY BIBLE READING
Mon (Rom.11:36) The glory of God alone!
November 12, 2017 09:11 AM PST
cd.17.11.12 November 12, 2017 Message by Denny Mashburn
<>“Sometimes reality demands your full attention, and will do anything—rip off your roof, toss your car into the air, demolish your neighborhood---to remind you that, when it wants to assert itself, reality can leave you with no escape route at all…That was what reality did to Tuscaloosa on Wednesday afternoon…Reality was saying, `I will not be ignored…”
1. LIFE IS FILLED WITH TRIBULATION, BECAUSE THIS WORLD IS BROKEN!
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jn.16:33
• Creation groans: “(20) For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; (21) because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” Rom.8:20-22
2. I AM NOT GUARANTEED TOMORROW!
“(13) Come now, you who say, `Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. (14) Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”
3. WHEN CHRISTIANS DIE THEY IMMEDIATELY GO TO BE WITH THE LORD!
“(6) So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. (7) For we walk by faith, not by sight. (8) We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2Cor.5:6-8
4. WHEN UNBELIEVERS DIE THEY IMMEDIATELY EXPERIENCE TORMENTS!
“(22) So it was that the beggar (Lazarus) died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. (23) And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus.” (24) Then he cried and said, `Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’(25) But Abraham said, `Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things and like-wise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. (26) And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.” Lk.16:22-26
“(1) But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come, (2) for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, (4) traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”
6. OUR NATION HAS LOST ITS FEAR OF THE LORD!
“(20) And He said, `What comes out of a man that defiles a man. (21) For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, (22) thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, and evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. (23) All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” Mk.7:20-23
“In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.” Pr.16:6
1. I can know right now that I have eternal life!
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” 1Jn.5:13
2. I have an appointment with death, and as a believer God will be glorified in it!
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”
“This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God.” Jn.21:19
3. There is a prayer I need to pray!
“So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
• (Matt.25:14-30) Live to hear “well done”!
4. Wisdom teaches me that when tragedy strikes, I need to remember that Christ came and experienced the worst this life has to offer that I might be forgiven and experience eternal life!
<>“Were a stranger to drop suddenly into this world, I would show him as a specimen of its ills a hospital full of diseases, a prison crowed with malefactors and debtors, a field strewn with carcasses, a fleet floundering in the ocean, a nation languishing under tyranny, famine and pestilence. Honestly, I don’t see how you can possibly square with an ultimate purpose of love.”
“(4)He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. (5)But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” Isa.53:4-5
• The theme of this message is how and what to think biblically when tragedy strikes!
1. A famous atheist (David Hume) once said: “Were a stranger to drop suddenly into this world, I would show him a specimen of its ills, a hospital full of diseases, a prison crowded with malefactors and debtors, a field strewn with carcasses, a fleet floundering in the ocean, a nation languishing under tyranny, famine or pestilence. Honestly, I don’t see how you can possibly square this with an ultimate purpose of love.” Do I agree with him? Why or why not?
2. Read (Jam.4:13-14). Am I guaranteed tomorrow? Does that reality affect the way I live? What happens to Christians the moment they die (see 2Cor.5:6-8)? Is that comforting? What happens to unbelievers the moment they die (see Lk.16:22-26)? Is that sobering?
3. Am I confident that if I died today I have eternal life (see 1Jn.5:13)? Could I tell someone how to have eternal life if they asked me?
4. (Read Matt.5:10-12). How can persecution be a blessing and lead to real happiness? Should I expect persecution in this life as a Christian? What does it look like in daily life?
5. When tragedy strikes, as in the recent events in Texas, where is God (see Isa.53:4-5)?
Daily Bible Reading
Mon (Jn.16:33) Life is filled with tribulation
Wrestling with God!
November 05, 2017 01:52 PM PSTcd# 17.11.05 “Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.” Gen.32:24 THE SCRIPTURES REVEAL: 1. Jacob faced a GREAT TRIAL! “(22) And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. (23) He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had.” Gen.32:22-23 2. While Jacob was alone, a Man (God) jumps him and initiates a WRESTLING MATCH! “(24) Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. (25) Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. (26) And He said, `Let Me go, for the day breaks.’ But he said, `I will not let You go unless You bless me!’” Gen.32:24-26 3. Jacob was forced to LOOK AT HIMSELF by declaring his name! “(27) So He said to him, `What is your name?’ He said, `Jacob.’(28a) And He said, `Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel…” Gen.32:27-28a 4. Jacob won the match with God and was blessed, because GOD WANTED JACOB TO WIN AND BE BLESSED! “(28b) …for you have struggled with God and men, and have prevailed. (29) Then Jacob asked, saying, `Tell me Your name, I pray.’ And He said, `Why is it that you ask about My name?’ And He blessed him there.” Gen.32:28b-29 “(3) He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and in his strength he struggled with God. (4) Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; He wept, and sought favor from Him…” Hos.12:3-4a 5. Jacob limped away from this encounter WOUNDED, HEALED, BLESSED, AND CHANGED all at the same time! “(30) So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: `For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.’ (31) Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip. (32) Therefore to this day the children of Israel do not eat the muscle that shrank, which is on the hip socket, because He touched the socket of Jacob’s hip in the muscle that shrank.” Gen.32:30-32 SO WHAT? 1. Trials are a normal part of life, so don’t let unfulfilled expectations hinder my relationship with God ! “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jn.16:33 2. God uses trials to initiate wrestling matches with me, and my toughest matches will probably be with God and not the devil! “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Eph.6:12 “Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day.” Gen.32:24 3. God utilizes these matches to wound, heal, and bless all at the same time! “(1) Now Joseph has been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. (2) The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.” Gen.39:1-2 “(25) Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. (26) And He said, `Let me go, for the day breaks.’ But he said, `I will not let You go unless You bless me!’” Gen.32:25-26 ><> “(Jacob’s) discouragement did not shake his faith, nor silence his prayer. It was not in his strength that he wrestled, nor by his own strength that he prevailed, but in and by the strength derived from Heaven. Note: We cannot prevail with God but in His own strength. It is His Spirit that intercedes in us, and helps our infirmities (Rom.8:26).” Matthew Henry <>< 4. Wrestling matches with God are meant to transform me! “(27) So He said to him, `What is your name?’ He said, `Jacob.’ (28) And He said, `Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Gen.32:27-28 5. These wrestling matches are where I experience the power and blessing of God! • (32:9, 11) They incite prayer! • (32:12) They motivate us to seek a warrant! • (32:4-5;17-18) They humble me! • (32:25) God’s power and blessing are reserved for the weak! • (32:26) God’s power and blessing are reserved for those who have a faith that won’t let go! • (32:28) God’s power and blessing are reserved for those willing to surrender and be changed! NOW WHAT? SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: • The theme of this message is how trials are really wrestling matches with God and how God wants to use them to bless and change me! 1. What is the biggest trial I am facing in life right now? Share it if I feel comfortable to do so! 2. Read (Gen.32:22-32). Jacob was about to face his brother Esau, whom he deceived and cheated 20 years ago, and little did he know this trial was about to set up a wrestling match with God! Do trials cause me to wrestle with God? How so? 3. Read (Eph.6:12). Do I wrestle with the devil? Do I find it harder to wrestle with him or with God? Do I remember a time when wrestling with God was difficult? What did I learn from that event? 4. Note (Gen.32:24). Why does God initiate these wrestling matches? Does He intend to bless me (see v.26; Rom.8:28)? Does He intend to change me (see v.27-28)? Where did Jacob get the strength to not let the Angel go? So what? 5. Review #5 under SO WHAT. What does this incident in Jacob’s life teach me about how to experience the power and blessing of God? DAILY BIBLE READING Mon (Gen.32:1-21) Jacob fears meeting his brother Esau Tue (Gen.32:22-32) This trial prepares him to wrestle with God Wed (Hos.12:3-4) God wants me, like Jacob, to wrestle with Him and prevail Thu (Rom.8:29-30) God’s ultimate goal for me is to be changed into the likeness of His son Fri (Gen.39:1-2) God directs trials and blessings at the same time to transform me Sat (Rom.8:28) All things work together for good Spiritual Vision!
October 29, 2017 11:46 AM PDTcd17.10.29 “However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven.” Judges 16:22 THE SCRIPTURES TEACH THAT: 1. SAMSON’S STRENGTH CAME FROM HIS RELATIONSHIP TO GOD! “However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven.” Judg.16:22 • Unshaved head: a symbol of consecration to God (Num.6:1-8) • Chosen by God: from the womb for a special purpose “For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.” Jud.13:5 • Man of faith: Member of the Hall of Fame of faith! “(32) And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and of the prophets: (33) who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, (34) quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” Heb.11:32-34 • Man empowered: by God’s Spirit! “And the Spirit of the LORD began to move upon him….” Jud.13:25a 2. THE RAZOR OF LUST TOOK HIS STRENGTH AWAY! “However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven.” Judg.16:22 “Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him.” Judg.16:19 <> “Satan ruins men by rocking them to sleep, flattering them into a good opinion of their own safety, and so bringing them to mind nothing and fear nothing, and then he robs them of their strength and honor and leads them captive at his will…If we sleep in the lap of our lusts, we shall certainly wake in the hands of the Philistines.” Matthew Henry <> 3. THE STRENGTH GOD GIVES, ONCE LOST, CAN BE REGAINED! “However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven.” Jug.16:22 • Sign of prayer: “Then Samson called to the LORD, saying, `O Lord God, remember me, I pray…..! (16:28a) • Sign of repentance: “…remember me….” (16:28a) • Sign of dependence/patience: “…Strengthen me, I pray….” (16:28b) • Sign of vengeance towards sin: “..just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!” (16:28c) • Sign of victory, a costly victory: “…and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he killed in his life.” (16:30c) SO WHAT? 1. My strength comes from my relationship to Jesus Christ! “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” Jn.15:5 2. Sin anesthetizes and blinds and willful, habitual sin always brings temporal consequences which may not be reversed! “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Ecc.8:11 “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Pr.29:1 3. I must guard my locks! “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Pr.4:23 “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Rom.6:14 4. True disciples of Christ cannot remain in sin! “(7) Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous….(9) Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” 1Jn.3:7, 9 5. If I find myself powerless today, go back to the beginning and surrender! “However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaven.” Judg.16:22 “Then Samson called to the LORD, saying, `O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!’” Judg.16:28 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Rom.10:9 (NLT) NOW WHAT? • For the prodigal! • For the backslider! • For the disciple, for the church, marriages, families! SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: • The theme of this message is power with God, its origin, what removes the power, and the hope of getting it back! 1. Has there ever been a time in my spiritual walk when I lost the power of God in my life? Share it. 2. Read (Judg.16:1-31). How did Samson lose the power of God in his life (note v.19). What was God’s will for Samson’s life (see 13:2-7, 12). What was his hair a symbol of? What are some razors of sin that cause Christians to lose power with God? 3. What special purpose has God created me for (see 1Cor.10:31)? What does (Ps.139:16) teach me about His planning and my purpose? 4. Read (Jn.15:5). Where does my strength come from in living the Christian life? What happens if I temporarily stop abiding? Will a true Christian stop abiding permanently (see Matt.24:11-13)? 5. Read (Judg.16:22) again. Is there hope for me if I have lost power with God? How can I get it back? How did Samson get it back (see Judg.16:28)? What insight do (Rom.10:9; Gal.3:2-3) give me in restoring my relationship to God? What is the difference between commitment (something I do) and surrender? Daily Bible Reading Mon (Judg.13) The birth of Samson Tue (Judg.14) Samson’s weakness, God’s purpose Wed (Judg.15) Samson defeats the Philistines Thu (Judg.16) Samson loses his power and regains it Fri (Jn.15:1-5) Without Christ I can do nothing Sat (Rom.15:4) Old Testament gives hope Spiritual Vision!
October 22, 2017 10:02 AM PDTcd#17.10.22 “And Elisha prayed, and said, `LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw…” 2Kgs.6:17 SPIRITUAL VISION: 1. IS THE REMEDY FOR THE DISTURBED IN HEART! “And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, `Alas, my master! What shall we do?’” 2Kgs.6:15 • The natural man only sees the physical: “(14) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (15) But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.” 1Cor.2:14-15 • His sight is darkened: “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Rom.1:21 • Satan has blinded him: “(3) But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, (4) whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” 2Cor.4:3-4 2. SEES THE INVISIBLE! “So he answered, `Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ 2Kgs.6:16 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Heb.11:1 ><> “Vision is looking at life through the lens of God’s eye.” Chuck Swindoll <>< 3. CAN ONLY BE GIVEN BY THE ONE TRUE GOD! “And Elisha prayed, and said, `LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see…….’ 2Kgs.6:17a ><> “While the preacher imagines that he can do something, he will do nothing. While teachers or parents entertain the belief that there is some innate power in themselves with which they can do God’s work, they are off the right track, for God will not work through those who believe in their own self-sufficiency. But when you say, `I can no more save a soul than I can open the eyes of a man born blind, I am utterly helpless in this matter,’ then it is that you begin to pray; and beginning to pray, you are taught how to act, and God uses you as his instrument, and eyes are opened, opened by you, instrumentally, and God gets all the glory.” Charles Spurgeon <>< 4. IS THE WILL OF GOD, AND HE WILL ANSWER THIS PRAYER! “(17b) …Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (18) So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, `Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.’ And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.” 2Kgs.6:17b-18 “O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come.” Ps.65:2 SO WHAT? 1. WE ALL LACK SPIRITUAL VISION UNTIL WE ARE BORN FROM ABOVE! “Jesus answered and said to him, `Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” Jn.3:3 2. I KNOW I AM BORN AGAIN, BUT I AM FACING A DESPERATE SITUATION! “(16) Then she went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot; for she said to herself, `Let me not see the death of the boy.’ So she sat opposite him, and lifted her voice and wept. (17) And God heard the voice of the lad. Then the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, `What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. (18) Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.’ (19) Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink.” Gen.21:16-19 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.” Ps.34:17 3. I CAN GROW IN SPIRITUAL VISION! “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Heb.11:1 • Sin hinders growth in vision (Mt.5:8) • Blind spots (planks in the eye) hinder growth in vision (Mt.7:5) • Afflictions prepare us for growth in vision (Jb.42:5) • God answers the prayer for growth in vision (Ps.119:18) • When Christ opens my eyes to a proper understanding of scripture, my heart will be set ablaze with joy, hope, testimony and a desire to minister (Lk.24:31-32) 4. WHO AM I AN ELISHA FOR? “And Elisha prayed, and said, `LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw…” 2Kgs.6:17 “(14) Now this is the confidence that we have in Him that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (15) And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1Jn.5:14-15 “Do you not say, `There are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! Jn.4:35 WHAT IS MY NEXT STEP? SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS • The theme of this message is spiritual vision, its importance, and how it is obtained and grown in! 1. What do you do when you are facing a distressing situation? How do you respond? 2. (Read 2Kgs.6:8-18). How did the young servant of the prophet Elisha respond? What did he see? What did Elisha see? What was the difference? What did Elisha pray for? 3. What is spiritual vision (see Jn.3:3)? It is God’s gift to be able to see what (see Heb.11:1)? What does it mean to be born again? How does God give someone eternal life? Look up these verses: • (Jn.3:16) One is born again when he puts his faith in Christ! • (Jn.1:12-13) He receives Christ by the will of God! • (2Cor.5:17) He then becomes in Christ! • (Tit.3:5) He is regenerated and washed by the Spirit! • (1Jn.2:29;3:9; 4:7; 5:1,4, 18) He practices righteousness not sin, he loves, overcomes the world, and he can’t be harmed by Satan! • HAVE YOU BEEN BORN AGAIN? 4. Review #3 of the sermon outline under SO WHAT! What has hindered spiritual vision in my life the most? Has someone ever pointed out a blind spot in my life? How did I respond? What has sparked the greatest growth in my spiritual vison? Share an example! 5. Who am I being an Elisha for? What am I praying for? Is it God’s will for me to pray for spiritual vision for others? Let’s pray right now! DAILY BIBLE READING Mon (2Kgs.6:8-23) Praying for spiritual vision from God Tue (Jn.3:1-3) Spiritual vision and how one receives it Wed (Heb.11:1) Spiritual vision enables one to see the unseen Thu (1Cor.2:14-16) The natural man does not have spiritual vision Fri (Mt.5:8) Sin hinders growth in spiritual vision Sat (Lk.24:31-32) Spiritual vision is imparted when Christ open my understanding of Scripture Security in an insecure world, Pt.2!
October 15, 2017 09:37 AM PDT
cd.17.10.15 October 15,2017 Message by Denny Mashburn
(29) For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
AS A CHRISTIAN, MY SECURITY IS:
1. GUARANTEED BY GOD’S PROMISE!
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Rom.8:28
<>“To the sinner, all things work together for evil. Is he prosperous? He is as the beast that is fattened for the slaughter. Is he healthy? He is as the blooming flower that is ripening for the mower’s scythe. Does he suffer? His sufferings are the first drops of the eternal hailstorm of divine vengeance. Everything to the sinner, if he could but open his eye, has a black aspect….(to the Christian) Did you ever hear of a man who got his health by being sick? That is a Christian. He gets rich by his losses, he rises by his falls, he goes on by being pushed back, he lives by dying, he grows by being diminished, and becomes full by being emptied. Well, if the bad things work him so much good, what must his best things do? If he can sing in a dungeon, how sweetly will he sing in heaven!”
2. ORDAINED BY GOD’S PURPOSE!
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
A. I am foreknown: (proginos’ko- “to know before) it combines the ideas of intimate knowledge and deliberate choice!
• (1Pet.1:20) “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”
B. I am predestined: (proori’zo- to determine beforehand, appoint) it means my eternal destiny is predetermined!
C. My destiny: “to be conformed to the image of His Son.”
• Conformed bodily and spiritually (perfection)
D. To glorify His preeminent Son: “that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
3. ASSURED BY GOD’S GRACIOUS PROCESS!
“Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
A. I am called- (kale’o-call) can be an outward or inward call, here it refers to the inward call of God to those ordained to eternal life: “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”
1. Oh, bless His name, He chose me: “(3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (4) just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”
3. God’s sovereignty gives purpose to my sufferings: “(4) who comforts us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2Cor.1:4
4. God’s sovereignty makes evangelism hopeful: “(14) How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? Rom.10:14
5. God’s sovereignty motivates me to holy living: “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according tour works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” 2Tim.1:9
6. God’s sovereignty humbles human pride: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jn.6:44
7. But is this fair? “(19) You will say to me then, `Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?’ (20) But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, `Why have you made me like this?’ (21) Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?”
8. But what about my loved ones? “So they said, `Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31
9. But what if He hasn’t chosen me? “(16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life…(18) He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Jn.3:16, 18
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
• The theme of this message is security in an insecure world for those who follow Christ!
1. Evangelist Paul Washer said: “I have given God countless reasons not to love me. None of them have been strong enough to change Him!” How do I respond to his testimony? Who should get the glory in my salvation?
Daily Bible Reading
Mon (Rom.8:28-30) I am secure in the purpose of God
October 08, 2017 09:30 AM PDT
cd.17.10.08 October 8, 2017 Message by Denny Mashburn
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,
1. A CERTAINTY!
“And we know…… Rom.8:28
2. IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE!
“…that all things…. Rom.8:28
3. BECAUSE OF DIVINE SYNERGISM!
“…work together for good…. (Rom.8:28)
4. FOR THOSE WHO LOVE GOD!
• Because He loved me first: “We love Him because He first
5. BECAUSE OF THE CALL OF GOD!
“….to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Rom.8:28
“(29) For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the
1. Do I love God? “He who has My commandments and keeps
2. Am I secure today? “And we know…….” Rom.8:28
3. I need to learn to answer the question “why
a. (Gen.37-50) Why did God let Joseph suffer?
• (Gen.37:3) Favored by his father Jacob!
“(19) Joseph said to them, `Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?
b. Questions to ask when I face the “why did God let it
1. Did this event humble me? (Jam.4:6)
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
• The theme of this message is God’s promise of security in every
1. (Read Rom.8:28). Is this the greatest promise in
DAILY BIBLE READING:
Mon (Rom.8:28) My security in every event!
October 01, 2017 09:37 AM PDTcd17.10.01 ><> SCRIPTURE READING “(1) The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw. (2) O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Even cry out to You, `Violence!’ and You will not save. (3) Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises. (4) Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds. (5) Look among the nations and watch--- be utterly astounded, for I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you. (6) For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a bitter and hasty nation which marches through the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs. (7) They are terrible and dreadful; their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves…(13) You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he? Hab.1:1-7, 13 (NKJV) <>< “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he? Hab.1:13 <><><> “The abundance of evil, and the extent to which so much of it seems apparently gratuitous, compels the thinking person to question the coexistence of a good God with a world of evil. Which of us has not looked at a deformed child, swallowed hard with pity, and pondered the purpose behind it? Which of us has seen a mother who has lost her child and not wondered why? To live is to sooner or later experience or witness pain and suffering. To reason is to inevitably ponder `why?’ I do not know of any question that is asked more nor of any obstacle to belief that is more persistent.” Ravi Zacharias <><><> DOES IT MAKE SENSE: 1. WHEN GOD SEEMS INDIFFERENT TO HEARTFELT PRAYER! “(1) The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw: (2) O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Even cry out to You, `Violence!’ and You will not save. (3) Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises. (4) Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds….(13) You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he? Hab.1:1-4; 1:13 2. WHEN GOD DISCIPLINES HIS PEOPLE WITH STRANGE INSTRUMENTS! “(5) Look among the nations and watch--- be utterly astounded, for I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you. (6) For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a bitter and hasty nation which marches through the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs. (7) They are terrible and dreadful; their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves.” Hab.1:5-7 3. WHEN GOD JUDGES THOSE SAME STRANGE INSTRUMENTS! “(2) Then the Lord answered me and said: `Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. (3) For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry….(6)…woe to him who increases what is not his---how long?...(9) woe to him who covets evil gain for his house…(12) woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, who establishes a city by iniquity!...(15) woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, pressing him to your bottle, even to make him drunk, that you may look on his nakedness!...(19) woe to him who says to wood, awake! to silent stone, `Arise! It shall teach!’ Hab.2;2-3, 6,9,12,15,19 4. THAT SAVING FAITH IS THE ONLY ANSWER WHEN LIFE MAKES NO SENSE! “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” Hab.2:4 SO WHAT? 1. The best of God’s servants have asked why: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of my groaning?” Ps.22:1 2. Saving faith is a faith that carries me through difficult times: “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” Hab.2:4 3. It is a faith that provides for rest in the day of trouble: “When I heard, my body trembled; my lips quivered at the voice; rottenness entered my bones; and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble. When he comes up to the people, He will invade them with his troops. Hab.3:16 4. It is a faith that requires knowledge: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Rom.10:17 <><><> “Our joy is in proportion to our trust. Our trust is in proportion to our knowledge of God!” G. Campbell Morgan <><><> 5. It is a faith that answers the why question by accepting God’s point of view: A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on Shigionoth. (2) O LORD, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy…(16) When I heard, my body trembled; my lips quivered at the voice; rottenness entered my bones; and I trembled in myself that I might rest in the day of trouble. When he comes up to the people, He will invade them with his troops. (17) Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls— (18) Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (19) The Lord God is my strength….” Hab.3:1-2, 16-19 • A humble faith which rejects my illusion of omniscience and responds to God’s word! • A meek faith which surrenders to God’s will! • A comforting faith which expects rest in the midst of trouble! • A rejoicing faith which trusts in God’s character when all else fails! • A wise faith which accepts a change of perspective even though circumstances may not change! <><><> “God doesn’t always change the circumstances, but He can change us to meet the circumstances. That’s what it means to live by faith.” Warren Wiersbe <><><> NOW WHAT? SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: • The theme of this message is what do I do when the pain and suffering of life don’t make sense and cause me to question the purpose and maybe the existence of God. 1. What is the biggest event in your life which motivated you to cry out why to God? How did you deal with it? 2. Read (Hab.1:1-6, 12-13). The best of God’s servants have struggled with the “why” question. Look up these examples in scripture: • (Ps.22:1-2) David cries out to God, why? • (Jer.12:1) Jeremiah cries out to God, why? • (Matt.27:46) Jesus cries out to God, why? 3. (Read. Hab.2:4). What was the key to Habakkuk dealing with his perplexing situation? Is the faith that saves me the same faith that equips me to deal with the mysteries of life? 4. What are the qualities of this faith that give me victory in the midst of mysterious pain, suffering, and when life just doesn’t make sense (see Hab.3:1-2, 16-19)? • A humble faith that rejects the illusion: “I know better than God!” • A meek faith that surrenders to God’s will! • A comforting faith which finds rest in the midst of trouble! • A rejoicing faith which trusts in God’s character! • A wise faith which is willing to see things from God’s point of view! 5. What were my thoughts as I listened to Chad Carroll’s testimony? The two characteristics of faith which carried him through his trial were the character of God and surrender to God’s will. Will these give me rest when I face struggles that make no sense? Do I need to exercise this kind of faith right now about a situation in my life? DAILY BIBLE READING Mon (Hab.1:1-6, 12-13) Why Lord? Tue (Hab.2:4) Answers to why come through faith! Wed (Hab.3:1-2) A faith that is humble in the face of adversity! Thu (Hab.3:1-3) A faith that surrenders to the will of God! Fri (Hab.3:16) A faith that secures rest in the midst of trouble! Sat (Hab.3:17-19) A faith that trusts the character of God!
Wills Valley Community Church is about providing a safe place for anyone who doesn't feel comfortable in a traditional church. It's about having an open door policy to accept everyone-right where they are. It's about not having to look or dress a certain way or have it altogether before we walk through the doors of the church.
You can find us between the Airport & I-59 Exit 222
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