Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sunday Night Preview

Sunday Night Preview

Genesis 18:16-19:29

"Saints Shouldn't Stay Situated 'Side Stubborn Sin Seekers"

H2O on the Lake has been rescheduled for sometime this come on to the Buffalo!


Are You Prepared to Study God's Word???

We will start our walk through 2 Corinthians next Wednesday, May 31. Are You Ready?

To help you prepare for Wednesday night Bible study, each week I will post a daily reading schedule of upcoming passages from 2 Corinthians. The first and last day of the reading schedule will have the same passage...because that's the one we'll be studying that Wednesday!

The last day of the reading schedule will also have some basic questions to answer to get you to start thinking about the point of the passage.

Use it as your daily Quiet Time or just add this on to what you're already doing (it won't take very long to read the 10-15 verses each day!)

I didn't even add readings for the weekend, to make it easier on you!!! (see, I do think about you!)

So, here's your prepared to study God's Word on Wednesday nights and God will honor your effort by making our study of 2 Corinthians more meaningful for YOU!

Walking Through 2 Corinthians-Reading Schedule

Thursday, May 25-Read 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

Friday, May 26-Read 2 Corinthians 1:12-22

Monday, May 29-Read 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11

Tuesday, May 30-Read 2 Corinthians 2:12-17

Wednesday, May 31-Read 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 and answer the following questions:

1. Who made Paul an Apostle?
2. What 2 characteristics of God are given in verse 3?
3. When does God comfort us? Why?
4. In what situations, according to verse 4, will we be able to comfort other people?
5. According to verse 9, what is another reason for conflict or trials?
6. What role does the Body of Christ play in dealing with each others sufferings, conflicts, and trials?
7. Where is YOUR hope?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The O.T. Part IV-Thanks God...I'll Take it From Here

Sunday Night Bible Study Recap
Genesis 16:1-16; 21:8-21

How patient are you? How long will you to wait to receive something promised to you? A day? A week? A Year?

What about 10 years? What about 24 Years?

At what point do you decide to take matters into your own hands and "make things happen" because someone else is being too slow?

As we look at the continuing saga of Abram and Sarai and God's promise to them of decendents that will number millions upon millions upon millions, this idea of waiting for the Lord's timing and the Lord's plan comes to the forefront.

Here are 6 Quick Lessons that we can learn from this story and Apply to our Everyday Lives.

1. It never pays to blame God for your life circumstances.
Sarai starts this passage by saying that God has "prevented her from having children" and, despite his promises, decides to take matters into her own hands to "help" God fulfill his promise to Abram.

2. Trusting your understanding instead of God's understanding leads to trouble.
Most of us have heard Proverbs 3:5: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." Sarai trusted her own understanding in this situation. She knew she was old. She knew she had no children. She knew what God had promised Abram, and it made NO SENSE to her how she could or would be a part of that plan. She did all she knew to do...give Abram permission to marry another woman, a woman who was their property anyway, and seek an heir through her. While having multiple wives may have been common in that culture, I still do not believe that it was God's best for Abram and Sarai. This impatience and trust of her own understanding led to dire consequences that we are still facing today.

3. God wants us to submit to the authority placed over us whether we like them or not.
Hagar gets pregnant and Sarai gets ticked...go figure. Sarai tells Abram that God will judge, and then takes matters into her own hands again, kicking Hagar out. in Genesis 16:9 we see God instructing Hagar to return to Sarai and submit to her...WHAT!!! Sarai had just beaten her and Hagar had run. But this is who Hagar was to serve under during this time of her life.

God may have placed you somewhere in your life right now where you really don't like those in authority over you, be they parents, teachers, pastors, bosses, or whoever, but, given that they are in positions of authority, God expects us to submit to and respect them.

4. Nothing is Impossible with God.
God still promises that Abram will have a descendent from Sarai...and now he's getting into his 90's!!!

5. Be Patient...God Keeps His Promises.
When Abram was 99 God fulfills what He promised them...Isaac. This is 24 years after the initial promise of a great nation! That's a long time, but God had his reasons...we may never know the exact reasons for God's timing, but trust me, you haven't thought of any scenario that will surprise God and make Him say, "why didn't I think of that...your way is much better than mine."

So, be patient and trust God!

6. Don't allow Struggles to Blind you to help that is Right in Front of You.
After Hagar and Ishmael are kicked out the last time (Genesis 21:14-21) Hagar gives up and considers her and her son dead. God comes to her, keeps her promise to her (despite knowing the descendents of Ishmael would war with the whole world, even to today as the Muslims) and shows her a well of water in the desert...right there! So often we are blinded to the help that God is trying to provide for us because we are wallowing in self-pity and sorrow as we wade through struggles which, honestly, probably aren't that bad compared to the struggles others face around the world.

God is a compassionate God, ready to help if you will just turn to Him.

He especially is ready to help you out of your sin, and provided a way through Jesus Christ...he is your help! Don't put on blinders and run after the "help" of this world. That path will lead only to hell. Take off the blinders, take God's path and run to Jesus and eternal healing!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Queston of the Week 5/15-5/21

What are your top priorities?

List your top 5 priorities from #5 to #1. You can include whatever you want, but here are some examples:

School, hanging w/ friends, work, money, church, studying the Bible, having free time, skiing, making smily faces on my desk with buggers, family, working on my car, girlfriend/boyfriend, firguring out how to commit the perfect crime, stalking my favorite celebrity, ministry, changing light bulbs, looking in the mirror, thinking about myself, ignoring whatever Ryan has to say about practically applying the Word of God to my life, trying what Ryan has to say about practically applying the Word of God to my life, band, hobbies, paintball, spying on the next door neighbor, trying to get away with anything and everything, eating, sports,

I think you get the idea!

Learning the Word

Well, this is the last week of 2 Corinthians 4 and I hope you have all learned at least part of it.

Here is the next passage we will be working on together. It is a lot shorter and should be a lot easier. I expect everyone to at least make an attempt at can teach you a lot!!!

James 1:19-27

Good Luck...Remember, be DOERS of the Word and not just HEARERS so that you don't think more highly of yourself than you should!

H2O For Hire!

Momentum Conference is Just over a month away...

MFuge is just under 2 Months away...

And money will be due VERY SOON! (June 1 for Momentum & July 1 for MFuge!)

Need help paying for these trips?

Talk to Ryan and he'll send you to work.

The O.T. Part III-Drawing Your Family Galaxy

Sunday Night Bible Study Recap
Genesis 12:1-8; 15:1-6

Have you ever thought about your family tree? How far does it go back? How big does it get? how long do you think your branch will go on for?

Now, just think...if your great great great great grandparents had never had children...

We'd miss YOU!

The beginning of Abram's story is an incredible look at the beginning of a semingly impossible family tree. Read the story again and look at how grand the plan is that God has for this man and his descendents.

Here is an old man, with no children, and God is promising him descendents to outnumber the stars in the sky...that's quite a few...million...

And what did it take for all of this to happen? Faith!

There are some great lessons from the beginning of this story. Let's look at 6 quick applications to our everyday life:

1. God's mission for your life will probably take you out of your comfort zone.
Abram was asked to leave his family, his homeland, and the life he knew and set out on a journey when he did not know where it would lead. Do you know where your journey is headed...if not, trust God like Abram did. God knows where he's taking you!

2. God blesses us so that we can bless others.
God encouraged Abram to take God's blessings and bless others with them. This is the call on our lives to. Be open-handed with what you are given, always willing to pass it on to someone else. If you live with a closed hand around God's blessing, others will not receive what he wants them to have from you, and your hands will be too full to receive any more!

3. There is not retirement from Kingdom work.
Abram was an old man, 75, when he set out on this journey. You are neve to old, or young, to do sucessful work for the Kingdom of God.

4. The Middle East has always been the center of world history.

5. Calling on the Lord's name is essential for life direction. (Don't forget to thank Him after he's answered your prayers!)

6. God's promises are big promises...especially His promise of salvation!
Have you trusted Him with your life? Do you trust Him with all the little things? Do you think he can take care of You? Only He is able to do above and beyond what we ask or imagine...TRUST HIM WTIH YOUR LIFE TODAY!

The O.T. Part II

Sunday Night Bible Study Recap
Genesis 11:1-9

Wat hebt u gezegd?

Think about the story of the Tower of this basically how you remember it?

"All the people of the world spoke one language. They wanted to be gods, so they got together and decided to build a tower all the way up to heaven. God didn't like what they were doing, so he got mad, came down, destoryed the tower, changed their languages so they couldn't understand each other, and scattered them all over the earth."

Typically what we remember from this story is God getting mad at people and punishing them because they were trying to be like him.

I want to quickly look at another perspective of God's actions in this story, but first, actually pick up your bible, read the story in Genesis 11:1-9 again, and see if there are any misconceptions in the way the story is typically told?

Find any yet?

Does it say that the tower was destroyed?

Does it even represent God as being angry?

Think about what the people were doing here. They were trusting themselves to set up there own god in power over them.

(In case you were wondering, they were probably not really trying to build a tower all the way up to can't do that. You just can't! Historians argue that they were building a Ziggaraut in which the top floor was the throne room for the deity, sometimes the actual human ruler, and the throne room was called "the heavens". The point here is that the people were getting in deep in their sin.)

Now, God sees them getting deeper and deeper in their sin and what does he do? He has compassion on them...


He confuses their languages out of mercy and compassion.


Sure, He was probably a little miffed too, but look at what he says in verse 6:
"Nothing will be impossible for them."

In other words they'll be able to do whatever evil they put their minds to.

When God confused their languages, he stopped their current evil behavior in its tracks. There was no real way for them to continue. He dealt a blow to the work of the devil right there, and saved the people from making even more dreadful mistakes in the near future.

Think about your life. What is the purpose of discipline?

To keep you from doing wrong again! This isn't an act out of anger, but one out of compassion.

God wants us to honor him, and he teaches us what that means through the discipline he brings into our lives. The sooner you learn the lesson, the less drastic the discipline will have to be.

Here are 5 applications the account of the Tower of Babel has to our everyday lives:

1. Different languages around the world are eveidence of the existence of God and the truth of the Bible.

2. We often live our lives for the wrong make much of ourselves.

3. Sin is rooted in the desire to make much of ourselves.

4. God's love for us is shown by his discipline-he wants us to make much of Him!

5. God is being compassionate through discipline because it will keep us from more sin and then more punishment.