Notes from my Bible Study for March 1, 2010

Psalm 60, Exodus 4, 2 Chronicles 33, Romans 1:1‐17

Psalm 60 – Psalm 60 is a psalm of instruction. It teaches the Israelite army how they should pray when going into battle. Apparently, this psalm was written at a time when things were not going so well for Israel. David instructs the army to pray to the Lord for their help. To go into battle, relying only upon human strength and ingenuity would only lead to disaster. The people needed God’s wisdom and God’s blessing.

Exodus 4 – Excuses, excuses, excuses! It’s what Moses first offered to God upon God’s calling on Moses’ life. God saw something in Moses that Moses couldn’t see in himself.

Do we offer God excuses when He calls us to certain tasks? God had an answer for everyone of Moses’ excuses, eventually allowing Aaron to be the spokesman for his brother. God equipped Moses for the task ahead of him, and God will do the same thing with you.

2 Chronicles 33 – “Some people gotta learn the hard way,” was the lyrics of a song that I used to listen to all the time. Manasseh is an example of someone who had to learn the hard way. His father had been a righteous king, but Manasseh turned his back upon God. When Manasseh was brought into slavery, he repented from the error of his ways. He became a follower of Jehovah, after having worshipped at the altar of idols. Unfortunately, Manasseh’s son, Amon, followed in Manasseh’s early example. He too worshipped idols, and his reign only lasted two years.

Romans 1:1-17 – I have more commentaries in my office on the book of Romans than any other book of the Bible. I love this book, and am so excited to enter into the study of Romans.

Paul loved the church at Rome. When he wrote the book of Romans, he had not yet visited this group of believers. He had heard all about them though, because their faith was legendary. People around the world talked about the Roman church (vs. 8), perhaps because of the persecution that they endured under.

I love verses 11-12 of Romans 1. In each church I have served, I have used these verses on my first Sunday to convey my excitement about serving in that ministry setting. The words say, “11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen those verses lived out in my life. Mutual encouragement of each other is a quality of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

Paul ends this chapter with these powerful words concerning the Gospel:

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

The Gospel is so powerful. Nothing in the world can transform lives like the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I watched again yesterday in amazement as God led six people into relationship with His Son Jesus Christ, through the simple proclamation of the Gospel. When we proclaim the Gospel, people respond! We need to be obedient to proclaim the Word, and let God do the work of drawing people to Him.

Notes from my Bible Study for February 28, 2010

Psalm 59, Exodus 2:23‐3:22, 2 Chronicles 32, Acts 28:16‐31

Psalm 59 – I’m struck at the persistence with which David’s enemies are painted in this chapter. Again and again the enemies come for David, and again and again David trusts in God’s protection. David addresses God with the pronoun, “my Strength,” in this passage. What a beautiful picture of Who God is!

Exodus 2:23-3:22 – The children of Israel may have felt abandoned by God as they lived as slaves in Egypt, but God had not forgotten them. He was raising up a servant, in the middle of the desert, to go before Pharaoh on behalf of God.

Moses was a fugitive from justice, a man with no confidence in his speaking ability, one who was raised as a Prince in Egypt by a royal family that was not his own, one of the only surviving Hebrew men that was of his age, and one who was not sure about much of anything. He was also someone that God felt that He could use.

The choice of Moses to lead the Children of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt and into the Promised Land was a beautiful one. If God could use Moses to deliver a nation, He can use you to accomplish His purposes too. Let God work through you, and be amazed at what He does.

Moses offered God every excuse in the book as to why he could not be used by God. God had an answer for every one of Moses’ excuses. Has God called you to do something that you have put excuses up for? God loves to take our excuses and turn them upside down. He did it with Moses, and He will do it with you. When God calls you to do something, don’t make excuses, just do it!

2 Chronicles 32 – This is a remarkable chapter. Sennacherib was the king of the Assyrians. The Assyrian army was strong. They had toppled enemy after enemy. When the King of Assyria rose his armies up against King Hezekiah, and the armies of Judah, Sennacherib was cocky and confident. He was convinced that he would leave Judah in ruins. He mocked Jehovah, basically saying that God was no more powerful than the gods made of hands in the other nations that he had triumphed over.

God would not be mocked. Many times, God chooses to let people speak poorly of Him, and still “prosper” on earth. Not so this time! This time God immediately judged Sennacherib and his armies, giving Hezekiah and his armies the victory. God has told us that, “I will not be mocked.” It may not come in this life, but God will get the last laugh on those who mock Him.

Acts 28:16-31 – The book of Acts ends with Paul finally preaching in Rome. He remained in Rome for two years, preaching and teaching the truth of the Gospel. Luke is careful to include that Paul remained in Rome at his own expense. He wanted the people of Rome to know Jesus, and he was willing to underwrite the effort himself, so that the Romans could no God.

To get a sense of how much Paul wanted to preach in Rome, see Romans 1:11, 12, “11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”