Notes from my Bible Study for February 1, 2010

Today’s Reading: Psalm 31, Genesis 28:10‐22, 2 Chronicles 5, Luke 22:1‐46

Psalm 31 – 14 But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” 15 My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!

How much do you really trust God? For David, his trust extended to his very life. His times, according to verse 15 were in the Lord’s hands. His desire was to be rescued from his enemies, but nevertheless, he would trust in God.

I was talking with one of my children the other day about persecution of Christians in China. He said that he would like to visit China some day. But, he didn’t want to go until it was “legal” to be a Christian.

We talked together about what it is like to be a persecuted believer in Jesus Christ. Did you know that when the church has been persecuted it actually grows. Persecution leads to a deeper faith. It’s almost always been that way.

One of the men who has influenced my life the most is Josef Tson. He was a Romanian pastor who led the largest Protestant church in all of Europe. He pastored for large number of years under extreme persecution. His life, like David’s was in God’s hands. He lived his life with the assurance that God was in control. Despite the persecution that Josef and his family endured, God blessed them and the church he pastored.

Do you trust God? Do you believe that your life is in His hands? If so, live for Him, no matter the cost! Persecution may come. In fact, if you are a follower of Jesus persecution is guaranteed to come. God will use that persecution for His glory and your maturity.

Genesis 28:10-22 – It’s interesting to me that even though God made a covenant with his Grandfather, Abraham, and reaffirmed that covenant to his father, Isaac; Jacob has trouble placing his faith in God.

It’s easy for people to assume that faith will pass down from one generation to the next. It doesn’t just happen. The Holy Spirit was pursuing Jacob. Jacob makes a deal with God, regarding faith in this passage. God will come through, but it isn’t because of Jacob’s deal, it is because of God’s sovereign will.

2 Chronicles 5 – I got chills tonight as I read the account of the completion of the temple, and the first worship service held in the new temple.

I remember when I was growing up. I attended Fox Valley Bible Church in St. Charles, Illinois. Our church was growing rapidly, and the church needed to move to a new location. Property was purchased and a larger church was built. Moving into the new church was a special Sunday. There was such an excitement about moving into the house of God that the people had so faithfully built. But, it was nothing like the experience that Solomon and the people of Israel had.

The glory of God actually descended upon this building. God’s glory dwelt in Solomon’s temple. What an awesome thought. The priests could not even stay in the temple because of the glory of God.

I also got shivers thinking about the fact that we still often times sing the words of the very first worship song sung in the temple.

“For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

Luke 22:1-46 – Alone and betrayed are two words that come to mind when I read this passage. Jesus was never truly alone that night, because He had perfect union and communion with the Father and Holy Spirit, but he was abandoned by those He loved. As I read this passage I’m struck by the intensity of the attack that Jesus went through on the night He was betrayed.

1) He battled Satan in the flesh, who had entered into the body of Judas Iscariot.

2) He dealt with bickering disciples, arguing over, of all things, who was the greatest.

3) He dealt with the physical and emotional trauma of preparing to go to the cross as he sweat drops of blood.

4) He dealt with the foreknowledge that His disciples would each take turns betraying Him, disowning Him, and abandoning Him.

5) He dealt with disciples who would rather sleep than pray with Him.

Our God went through so much that we might be redeemed!