Live as ‘Family of God’

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 1 Timothy 3

 

OBSERVATION

  1. 1 Timothy 3:14-15 ~ Although I hope I can come to you soon, I am writing these things to you now. Then, even if I am delayed, you will know how to live in the family of God. That family is the church of the living God, the support and foundation of the truth.

APPLICATION

  1. Several things I noticed in this chapter, and particularly in these two verses:
    1. God, through Paul shows us how to live as ‘family of God’. Our job descriptions are uniquely designed by God! He knew that we would struggle in our efforts to live for Him so He gave us clear instruction on what to do and how to act. I do the same for my daughter, and so has God done it for us. We have the rule book, His book of instruction!
    2. I am seeking counsel on one matter that I recognized in this chapter for which I cannot reason why, or find the Biblical explanation. I noticed where the Overseer/Elder; Deacon and Women are specifically addressed, but I don’t see where those men who are not Elders or Deacons are addressed. Just an interesting point that I noticed!
    3. The family of God IS the church of the living God! No surprise here, but just an interesting reminder! The rest of verse 15 goes on to say that this ‘family of God’ is the support and foundation of the truth. This is awesome, as this indicated to me that we have a huge responsibility to the world, in that they should look to the family of God for an example of ‘truth’. Wow, will we guide the world aright, or is the world in trouble because we allow them to see a ‘family of God’ torn apart by mistrust, arguing, hatred, lying, gossip, hypocrisy, revenge or any other combination of characteristics of which God has shown us is wrong? In other words, are we missing the boat in showing them Christ in us? I think we are.

PRAYER

  1. Lord You have given us life itself, and more importantly, new life in Christ, so that we might share Your love with a lost and dying world that is longing to see You in and through the ‘family of God’. Shame on me, and on those of us that fail in our commitment to You. Please forgive me and begin a new work in me. Please help me to stay on track with the assignment You have given to me as a child in Your ‘family of God’. You have given me the instructions, and You have blessed me with life itself so that I have all I need to carry out Your instructions. Please give me boldness, wisdom and strength to represent You well, so that others may truly see Christ, and not a poor, distorted or hypocritical view of You. I want them to see You so clearly that they would surrender their life over to You and become a part of Your family also. Please tender and humble our hearts so that we may truly be the ‘Family of God’ that You meant for us to be.

A lesson on Faith!

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 2 Chronicles 20; 1 Timothy 3

 

OBSERVATION

  1. 2 Chronicles 20:18-19 ~ Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with very loud voice.
  2. 2 Chronicles 20:22 ~ As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.

APPLICATION

  1. In the verses leading up to this we see where Jahaziel had share with the king and his people a word that he had received from the Lord about His help in the battle the next day. This word was received with such faith that an awesome worship time began. This touched my heart, because there are so many times that we will wait until after the victory (the proof) before we praise the Lord. In recognition of God’s promise, King Jehoshaphat and his people had a praise service. Oh that I may have that kind of faith! Oh that my church may have that kind of faith!
  2. In verse 22, I am totally overwhelmed by God and His power. I am also overwhelmed in seeing how important it is to God that we recognize His presence, His power and His promises. As these men were preparing to go to war against a very large, mighty army, they had every reason to be nervous and weak in the knees. Instead they were so confident in what God had promised them that they broke into singing praises to God as they left for the battleground. This was the trigger for God to begin His work in having the large opposing army self-destuct. God has placed us on this earth in His image and for His glory. When He sees us recognize Him and honor Him and His Word, He is pleased. We know from past experiences that God will do what He says, now all we need is the faith to act on what He says in confidence and giving Him praise every step of the way. He will do His part, may we always do our part!

PRAYER

  1. Father I believe, please help my unbelief. Please help me to have the kind of faith demonstrated in this story today. When I receive a word from You, help me to act on it as a done deal and not force myself into waiting to see the finished product. If You said, then I must believe it to the extent that I am willing to act on it! I need that kind of faith that only You can bless me with. Thank You Jesus!
  2. Lord Jesus I come to You this morning acknowledging that I am one that have always needed to see the results first. I realize that this is evidence of little faith in You and Your ability to honor Your Word. Please help me to be firm in my faith and always willing to believe what You say. There is no one like You, and while I may need to have an earthly friend prove themselves, I should always know that if You said it I can confidently believe it, trust it, and begin praising You for it, because it is like a done deal! Thank You for watching over me and taking care of me like this. You are truly awesome, and I love You Lord.

Whom Then Shall I Fear?

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 2 Kings 7; 2 Chronicles 20

 

OBSERVATION

  1. 2 Kings 7:18-20 ~ Earlier, when the king was at Elisha’s house, Elisha had told him that flour or barley would sell for almost nothing. But the officer refused to believe that even the LORD could do that. So Elisha warned him that he would see it happen, but would not eat any of the food. And that’s exactly what happened–the officer was trampled to death.
  2. 2 Chronicles 20:13-15 ~ While every man, woman, and child of Judah was standing there at the temple, the LORD’s Spirit suddenly spoke to Jahaziel, a Levite from the Asaph clan. Then Jahaziel said: Your Majesty and everyone from Judah and Jerusalem, the LORD says that you don’t need to be afraid or let this powerful army discourage you. God will fight on your side!

APPLICATION

  1. There is a verse that this story has reminded me of, Hebrews 10:31~ It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, for this is what happened to the king’s guard. Elisha was truly a man of God and just as he told the king’s guard after he doubted that even God could provide the amount of grain that Elisha spoke of, so it happened. These verses speak to me in telling me that it is crucial that I listen to, obey and believe God’s Word, without doubt and fear, for my God is no different today than He was in the days of Elisha. God can still move mountains, so I mustn’t doubt that He could also attend to the problems and challenges that I feel are so insurmountable today. God is still on the throne and He will remember His own, His promise is true, He will not forget me, God is still on the throne. What great promises are hidden in the words of this little chorus.
  2. I believe that God had two things to show me in these verses:
    1. Jehoshaphat prayed for help from God while this huge army was approaching to attack, yet God chose to speak to Jahaziel. I can only take my concerns to Jesus, but I have no right telling Him how or when to respond. For some reason He chose to answer through Jahaziel. Did He answer Jehoshaphat’s prayer? Yes He did, but in His time and to whom He wanted to speak.
    2. As I take my burdens before Jesus, I can rest assured that God will be on my side, so I needn’t be afraid or disheartened, for with God on my side whom then shall I fear? Absolutely no one or no circumstance!

PRAYER

  1. Thank You Father for being so attentive to me and my needs. Thank You for bringing these promises to mind today as this brings me strength to go on, knowing that the King of all Kings, my Savior and my Lord is in charge and will take care of all my needs today. I am reminded more and more everyday that I can do very little without You holding my hand. May You be that Guide, Deliverer, Strength and loving Savior that I need today. May I find comfort in knowing that the work that seem so backed up on my plate at work, will become lighter in my mind knowing that You are there to guide me and help me through it all in a very timely manner.
  2. Father You are truly awesome and I am so thankful that I know You and follow You each and every day. Thank You for these encouraging words this morning and the awesome reminder that with You on my side, I needn’t worry about a thing! Please help me to be the servant that You can use to be Your example in my family, in my church and in my realm of influence. I thank You Lord for accepting me as Your son. Please guide me each day into being the representative that You can be proud of, and used to glorify You and reach the lost.

They that Wait Upon The Lord

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 2 Kings 6

 

OBSERVATION

  1. 2 Kings 6:15-18 ~ When Elisha’s servant got up the next morning, he saw that Syrian troops had the town surrounded. “Sir, what are we going to do?” he asked. “Don’t be afraid,” Elisha answered. “There are more troops on our side than on theirs.” Then he prayed, “LORD, please help him to see.” And the LORD let the servant see that the hill was covered with fiery horses and flaming chariots all around Elisha. As the Syrian army came closer, Elisha prayed, “LORD, make those soldiers blind!” And the LORD blinded them with a bright light.

APPLICATION

  1. Sometimes we feel easily overwhelmed and easily defeated, and we are quick to cry out, “oh, poor me”. But as I am reminded from this passage this morning, I serve the King of all kings, the creator of this universe, the God that healed the blind, the lame, the sick and yes, the one who brought the dead back to life again. With God on my side, why should I doubt when the odds seem to be against me? Why don’t I put my faith where my mouth is? God was attentive to the needs of Elisha during a time that the odds were very much against Elisha, yet when asked, God provided the means for encouragement to Elisha’s men when they could saw a host of fiery horses and flaming chariots all around, plus God also provided a bright light to blind the soldiers that came in to capture Elisha. Another verse comes to mind, Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

PRAYER

  1. “Oh ye of little faith” comes to mind when I think about how limiting my faith is at times, dear Lord. As You have reminded me in these verses this morning, may I always be reminded that I serve an awesome God who loves me so much that You will do for me as You did for Elisha, and as You did for those in many New Testament stories of healing and protection. I can really use Your help today in several areas of life in which I feel limited on my own. Please give me strength to overcome these self-limiting weaknesses so that I may instead be victorious and feel relieved that You are truly in control. Instead of worry, help me to spend those energies on praising You and lifting up the name of Your Son that You sacrificed for all. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with so much to be done, please help me to feel victorious through the unlimited power and might of the almighty God that I serve. I have whispered three main concerns to You this morning Father, and I will go on in faith believing that You are now in control of all three situations and that I needn’t worry about these anymore. Thank You Jesus for being my provider! “I love You Lord, and I lift my voice, to worship You, Oh my soul, rejoice!….”

You are still God!

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 2 Kings 1; 2 Kings 2; 2 Kings 3; Psalm 82; 1 Timothy 1

 

OBSERVATION

  1. 2 Kings 1:16 ~ When Elijah arrived, he told Ahaziah, “The LORD wants to know why you sent messengers to Ekron to ask Baalzebub about your injury. Don’t you believe there’s a God in Israel? Ahaziah, because you did that, the LORD says you will die.”
  2. 1 Timothy 1:5 ~ You must teach people to have genuine love, as well as a good conscience and true faith.
  3. 1 Timothy 1:12-14 ~ I thank Christ Jesus our Lord. He has given me the strength for my work because he knew that he could trust me. I used to say terrible and insulting things about him, and I was cruel. But he had mercy on me because I didn’t know what I was doing, and I had not yet put my faith in him. Christ Jesus our Lord was very kind to me. He has greatly blessed my life with faith and love just like his own.

APPLICATION

  1. I find it interesting in our world today that folk will leave their homes and travel hundreds of miles in order to be prayed over by a TV Evangelist. The same God that this evangelist is praying to is the same God that we can pray to not matter where we are, and we have the same access to God as any other human being. I know that desperate people will do desperate things, and I know that in this particular verse God was upset because Ahaziah sent men to Ekron to have a worldly god, Baalzebub, to pray for him, instead of calling the elders of the church together to pray to the one Holy God, but I just felt like God is also saying that we should take our burdens, concerns, illness, etc. to God where we are at, and stop putting so much faith in people of this world that claim to have some special power to heal. Only God can heal, and we are His children who have a direct line of communication to Him through His Son, Jesus.
  2. This verse, with instructions given to Timothy by Paul, sounds like it would make an excellent church mission statement. Teach people to have genuine love for Christ and others; Ensure that our conscience is so attuned to the mind of Christ that we will treat all people as a genuine child of the King, and a desire and striving for true faith so that we may go confidently before a living, loving and holy God with all things, having the faith/confidence to know that all things are possible with God. As fellow Christians, we need a church body with that kind of faith/confidence. As a lost world, folk will watch us and come to a church where they feel like Christians believe, live and practice true faith in the Christ that we worship and pray to, otherwise all we offer them is ‘lip service’.
  3. Like Paul, I thank God daily that He trusts me and has given me strength and fortitude to do my work for the kingdom and for His glory. There is so much more to be done and so many people that need to know the Savior of this world. May God find dedicated and willing servants to spread the word and exemplify Him in our daily lives.

PRAYER

  1. I know that this seems a bit controversial today, but I thank You Father for reminding me that while I might ask others to pray with me over a special need in my life, You are truly the source of all power, and that I have direct access to that power through the blood of Jesus. Please help me to always look to You for all my needs, knowing that You will meet my needs and bring about healing in Your time.
  2. When I refer to ‘the church’, I am a part of that, so Lord I pray this morning that:
    1. I may be so in tuned with You and have such a relationship with You, and
    2. I will be so filled with genuine love and always have a good conscience about the things of Christ and the needs of others, and
    3. My faith in You will always be so strong, that I may come confidently before Your throne, and
    4. I can exhibit these characteristics so boldly that teaching these to others will be easily accepted.

Please help me to follow these commands that You have shown me this morning in this verse, each and every day of my life.

  1. Thank You Jesus for using even me to participate in Your work here on earth. I pray that I will always seek Your presence and direction to make me worthy of the call on my life. May You be honored from my humble efforts that seem so little compared to the great work and sacrifice that You exampled for me. I love You Lord and place myself at your disposal for Your kingdom’s sake.

Trust God in the BIG things too

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 2 Chronicles 16

 

OBSERVATION

  1. 2 Chronicles 16:9 ~ The LORD is constantly watching everyone, and he gives strength to those who faithfully obey him….

APPLICATION

  1. Hanani the prophet went to King Asa and challenged him on the decision he made to seek the help of another king, instead of depending on the power of the Almighty as he had done in the past, to overcome Israel’s King Baasha. I believe that we are a lot like this today, in that we will try everything that we know to do, before we will totally surrender the situation over to God. Hanani told King Asa that the consequence for his actions would be that his kingdom would never be at peace again, and I can see how this could easily be applied to our lives today. In other words, if we trust in anything other than God, our lives will be in a totally un-peaceful state, miserable and without hope. Of course, the opposite of this is that we place our trust wholeheartedly in the Almighty God, the creator of the universe, including each one of us, the one who loves us so much that He sacrificed the life of His only son for our benefit. He is anxious to be our loving Savior, not a puppet that we only call on when we think He can handle the situation, but our constant Friend, Guide, Protector, Master, Savior and Lord. That’s my King!

PRAYER

  1. Father, this has served to remind me that just as I trust You to be Lord over the small things in my life, I can totally trust you with those problems that seem overwhelming to me. After all, You made this whole universe and the complexities of this human body, I should always be confident in knowing that You can mend any anomalies with either of them. So I believe that this all boils down to my faith in You, and I want to ask today that in spite of my earthly deficiencies, that I always have the faith to trust You, the One that created me and all things around me that I might become concerned about. As creator of all things, You also have the power to mend all things. Please remind me of this when I am weak in my faith and just can’t see how my sister will overcome cancer, or my brother will find a job, or my church will find a pastor who will guide us into a once again thriving church on fire for You.

Oh, That They May See Jesus!

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 2 Chronicles 15

 

OBSERVATION

  1. 2 Chronicles 15:9 ~ …. Many of these people were now loyal to Asa, because they had seen that the LORD was with him.
  2. 2 Chronicles 15:17 ~ As long as Asa lived, he was faithful to the LORD, even though he did not….

APPLICATION

  1. It is interesting to note that Asa gained the confidence of the people that he served because they saw something ‘real’ in him. I am of the impression that they saw nothing phony about him, but that they saw evidence that God was with him, and that there were things being done that could only be attributable to God’s mighty hand. I believe that today we are so self centered and looking so badly for credit for something that we have done, that God is left out of the picture. In situations like this it is interesting how the people will also recognize that there is nothing Godly about the accomplishment but a personal achievement of the individual. I am a strong proponent of giving God thanks for the little things and the big ones. As I put this into practice more, I trust that others will hear me give God credit so much that they will automatically consider an accomplishment a ‘God thing’ in the future instead of anything that I could ever do. I love a small little sticker that I saw one preacher put on his pulpit, “Oh that they may see Jesus”, and yet another one that read, “Hide me behind the cross today Lord”. After all, “Without Him, I could do nothing”.
  2. If I achieve nothing else in this life, I pray that one thing will rise to the top and be recognized by anyone that knew me, that although I may not have accomplished everything my family, friends or acquaintances may have expected of me, yet is was evident that I was faithful to God in all things. I would never say this personally, not do I like to hear this while I am alive, because I know that it is only through the grace of God that I can do anything extraordinary or in His name, so under no circumstances should I receive credit for anything that I may do. The glory goes to God!

PRAYER

  1. Father, You and You alone I serve. May I hide behind the cross so that others will always see You, and not this humble child that You created. For others can be healed, saved, encouraged, strengthened in their faith and taught to love others, but only through Your grace. Please help me to not be a stumbling block to someone else, but to be a promoter of Jesus Christ in all that I say or do. Use me for Your ultimate glory today!
  2. Lord may I always be so aware of Your love and Your power working in and through me that I will always take a back seat and allow You to receive the praise for anything accomplished. May others be drawn to You as a result of anything of which I am a part.

Nuggets from God’s Word!

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 2 Chronicles 15 

OBSERVATION

  1. 2 Chronicles 15:2 ~ … The LORD will be with you and help you, as long as you obey and worship him. But if you disobey him, he will desert you.
  2. 2 Chronicles 15:7 ~ So you must be brave. Don’t give up! God will honor you for obeying him.

APPLICATION

  1. I believe that God is the same today as He was yesterday, not only for those areas that we truly want to trust Him, but also in areas like this. After all, the Word of God is ordained by Him and placed in the Book so that we may read, believe, follow and practice His commands. Therefore I believe that these Words would have meaning and application for me today. So I believe that God is saying to me that the Lord will be with me and my family and my church and help us, as long as we obey and worship Him. When we fail to do this, His Word says that He will desert us. I believe that the Spirit of God that dwells within Christians, tells us first hand when we sin and when we are not right with God. But most of all we should immediately miss the absence of God when He deserts us.
  2. This is neat! In verse 2 the Word tells us how important it is for us to obey and worship God. In this verse God confirms that He will honor us for obeying Him, so be brave and don’t give up on our efforts to honor and obey Him! This is confirmation to me that my efforts will not go unnoticed, praise be to God!

PRAYER

  1. What a mockery we make of God when we act the way we do sometimes. Father please give me the boldness to humble myself, seek Your face and ask forgiveness of my sin so that You can heal me of my sin and the after effects or scars that it leaves on Your child. Please help me to be totally sold out to You. To be so sensitive to Your direction for my life that I will always seek to serve You and represent You well in all that I do and say. Please help me to not be a stumbling block to any soul that You desire to touch through me, but rather give me the strength, boldness and sensitivity to be moldable and usable by You at all time.
  2. I know how hopeless it sometimes feel, especially when it appears that we are paddling upstream and facing so much worldly opposition. Thank You God for giving me assurance that I need to keep on keeping on and that You will honor me for obeying You. I can gladly sing the chorus of that old hymn:
    There is peace in the midst of my storm-tossed life
    Oh, there’s an anchor, there’s a rock to cast my faith upon
    Jesus rides in my vessel, so I’ll fear no alarm
    He gives me peace in the midst of my storm