Notes from my Bible Study for January 21, 2010

Passages Read: Psalm 20, Genesis 20, 1 Chronicles 23‐24, Luke 12:49‐13:9

Psalm 20 – 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God

One of the first retreats that I ever went on as a youth pastor was a national youth conference in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The man who had been hired to lead worship for the week was a quirky guy who loved to turn obscure Bible verses into songs. He then added his own sound effects and noises to the music he created.

Psalm 20:7 was one of the verses that he turned into song. And you know what? I’ll never forget the song. I can’t tell you how many hundreds of times the words to Psalm 20:7 have been replayed in my mind because of quirky dude’s music. And, the words have been such a comfort.

I need to trust in God to provide for my needs. So, do you. The Lord is the source of every blessing in our life. When we are blessed, praise the Lord. When we go through trials, turn to the Lord. He is the ultimate source of strength.

Genesis 20 – Abraham sure was a slow learner. Once again he calls Sarah his sister, leading another king to take her into his household as a wife. God again intervenes and saves both Sarah’s dignity and preserves his vow with Abraham. I get mad at Abraham when I read this passage, and I get reminded of how easy it is for any of us to stumble, if we are trusting in ourselves instead of God.

1 Chronicles 23-24 – It’s interesting to see the detail that David went into to assure that his son, Solomon, would start strong as king. David was a man of preparation. The inclusion of so many names brings credibility to the history of these chapters.

Luke 12:49-13:9 – There have been many books published about the hard sayings of Jesus. These are sayings that are tough for us to swallow. We love to hear about the compassion and grace of Christ, but few of us get as excited about the wrath of God.

Jesus speaks hard truth in Luke 12:49-13:9. He talks about the fact that if we do not repent and turn to Him, we will face eternal punnisment. There are consequences to sin, and Jesus has no problem letting His hearers be aware of the fact they need a Savior.

How do these passages make you feel as you read them? Do they broaden your understanding of the historical Jesus?

Notes from my Bible Study for January 20, 2010

Passages Read: Psalm 19, Genesis 19, 1 Chronicles 21:18‐22:19, Luke 12:13‐48

Psalm 19 – 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

When I was a new youth pastor, serving a church outside of Washington D.C., I had the privilege of meeting a man named Cooper. Cooper had been a pastor for a number of years, and was now working in corporate America. On occasion, Cooper would preach a message at our church. I loved when this man spoke. He had a tender heart for God and a real passion for the Word.

One of the things I’ll never forget about Cooper was the way that he prayed before each message. He always ended his prayer with David’s words from Psalm 19:14: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Would that we would all pray such things before we spoke! It might just change the way that God worked through us.

Genesis 19 – Sodom and Gomorrah . . . have there ever been such wicked cities. There are several things that struck me as I read this chapter:

* Angels visited earth with such regularity in the book of Genesis. It’s so fascinating to see how Lot responded to his visitors.
* The men of Sodom were so vile.
* Lot wasn’t a very good father.
* Lot’s daughters must have despised their father for what he said to the men of Sodom.
* God deals with sin in His time. If the sinner hasn’t repented, the end result is God’s justice; and God hates sin.
* Lot’s relationship with his sons-in-law was such that they couldn’t distinguish when he was telling the truth from telling a joke.
* Lot made an awful decision when he chose to dwell in the land of Sodom.
* Why did Lot’s wife look back?
* Lot went from a city to a cave, and from pride to fear.
* It was so important for a family’s name to be carried on from generation to generation.
* The Moabites were descendants of Lot. Ruth was a Moabite woman. She would trace her line back to Lot. No wonder the Jewish people despised the Moabites. This would have been considered a vile thing to God’s people.

1 Chronicles 21:18‐22:19 – What a fascinating piece of Scripture. A few thoughts.

I love David’s words in verse 24, “No, but I will buy them for full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” David wanted God to give extravagantly to God.

I never put it together that the site of the temple was the site of the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

I love how even though David could not build the temple, he prepared the way for the temple. He provided Solomon with such a wonderful start to build the temple.

David, nearing the end of his life, has restored his relationship with the Lord.

Luke 12:13‐48 – I love the way that Jesus taught. There was such power in His words. He minces no words when it comes to anxiety. Christ knew what things cause human beings anxiety. We worry about our lives – what we will eat, what we will wear, how much money we will make. Christ told us not to spend our days worrying about these things.

Then, he adds in verse 34 that where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also. I don’t know about you, but too often my treasure has been . . . well, treasure. I want more stuff. I want more money. I want more vacations. I want more, more, more. And, God wants me to want more of Him. My treasure needs to be God, not the thigns of this world. How are you doing on that area? How can we help each other truly treasure the Lord?

The teaching on anxiety is bookended by the parable of the rich fool and the Christ’s teaching on being ready for Christ’s second coming. I don’t think this is a mistake. Christ was a masterful teacher.