Notes from my Bible Study for February 16, 2010

Today’s Reading: Psalm 47, Genesis 42, 2 Chronicles 20, Acts 13‐14

Psalm 47 – One of the first songs that I remember singing as a child came directly from Psalm 47:1. The song went like this:

“Clap you hands, all ye people, shout unto God with a voice of triumph! Clap your hands, all ye people, shout unto God with a voice of praise! Hosanna! Hosanna! Shout unto God with a voice of triumph. Praise Him. Praise Him. Shout unto God with a voice of praise.”

I haven’t sung that song in at least twenty years, but I remembered it immediately upon reading the words of Psalm 47. Why? Because I remember the joy with which rooms full of people sang those words. That’s what I picture happening as the children of Israel sang this psalm. Joy!

When is the last time you sang with a heart full of passion to the Lord? If it’s been awhile, then find some time today to sing to Him. Seriously. Sing. Sing at the top of your lungs. Don’t have a good voice? It’s okay, God doesn’t care. Are you shy? That’s okay, find a place where you can be alone, and belt out that favorite worship song of yours. Let the Lord hear your unbridled praise today.

Genesis 42 – There is a moment of recognition in Genesis 42 that I love. It comes in verses 8-9. “And Joseph recognized his brothers, bu they did not recognize him. And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them.”

When I read those words, and when I think of all that God brought Joseph through, I think that this is the moment where Joseph was finally able to begin to reconcile things in his heart with God’s plans. Sure, God had allowed him a great position in Egypt, but when we are hurt by those who should love us the most (our family), it can be tough to see the goodness of God in our lives. Here, Joseph begins to recognize that the dream he had so long ago was for this time. God had not forgotten. For the first time in years, Joseph had hope. And, hope is such a powerful thing!

2 Chronicles 20 – Jehoshaphat was a good leader. As king over Judah, he stood in stark contrast to the wicked kings who ruled over Israel. One of the markers of good leadership is a recognition of where our power truly lies. Jehoshaphat was not too proud to recognize that his wisdom and the wisdom of his advisers was not enough. He needed God’s wisdom. He led the people of Judah in prayer on so many occasions.

I want to be a leader Jehoshaphat, one who is constantly going to God, the Perfect Servant Leader, for wisdom, direction and strength.

Acts 13-14 – There are many biblical scholars who believe that Simeon who was called Niger, a member at the church of Antioch, is the same Simon of Cyrene who was asked to carry the cross for Jesus. If this is true, how cool that the man became a follower of Jesus, and a leader in the early church!

Paul and Barnabas go off together on a very important mission trip. They would be used by God to start new churches, and make disciples in far off lands.

I’m in the Phoenix airport as I type, preparing for a week of meetings with church planting leaders from across the country. How exciting to be involved in a work much like Barnabas and Saul. It wasn’t until the church had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on Paul and Barnabas that they were sent off. May we take God’s work as serious! The Lord has important work to do all over the world. In the past three weeks, I’ve asked three of my friends to consider becoming church planters. One has said, “No, church planting isn’t for him,” but two are open and will be going through a church planting assessment in a few weeks. It’s been so cool to watch their reactions go from disbelief that God could call them to such an important work, to serious consideration.

Have you ever considered serving God in vocational ministry? What about on a short-term mission trip? What about serving him as a volunteer in a regular ministry? If not, pray about it. You might be surprised at what God does with you.

Notice in Acts 13-14 that it was normal for Paul and Barnabas to face opposition as they served the Lord. Opposition was usually followed by a spiritual breakthrough and discipling new believers. It is so great to see God work in such incredible ways in the lives of people! He can do it through you too! Expect opposition, and then expect results. God is more powerful than our adversary.

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