Sunday, April 27, 2008

Servants and Slaves

Servants and Slaves

Monday, April 28, 2008: 1 Corinthians 7:21-24

Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.

How did slaves become slaves about 2,000 years ago? A person in debt had two choices: debtor's prison or selling oneself to pay off his debt.

Does slavery still exist? In our natural state, we are slaves of sin. The cost of freedom is not good works, but paying off the debt or ending up in debtor's prison eternally. Christ's death as a perfect human is the only payment possible accepted by God. If you believe in Christ, your debt is paid off!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008: Galatians 4:6-10

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years.

If you have believed in Christ, and are known by God as His children, why would you voluntarily go back into slavery? A lot of people think that doing good makes them fit for heaven. Not true. God doesn't want you to do good - He wants you to follow His will for your life voluntarily! Don't go back into doing what others tell you is the right thing to do: ask God, read the Bible: He will direct you.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008: 2 Timothy 2:24-26

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

Why must God's servants correct gently? Those who oppose are trapped in the Devil's grip. They must realize that Satan has made them his slaves and repent before God. This frees them from doing Satan's will.

Thursday, May 1, 2008:

Romans 14:3-4

Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

(Question is in the passage) If you are a vegetarian, don’t despise the non-vegetarian and vice-versa. Both are God's servants. You either do the will of God or you don't. He will judge.

Friday, May 2, 2008: Philippians 2:5-9

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name.

How does Christ's example carry relevance in my life? God is pleased if my actions follow His will instead of mine. My actions are self-centered and fueled by pride and avarice.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Daniel 6

Daniel 6: Costly choice.
Daniel 6:1-2,5 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; 2And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. 5Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
Monday, April 21, 2008; Background: Daniel was captured and taken prisoner into Babylon from Judah. He is now in his 70’s and under Persian rule of Darius.
Why did the Persian princes scrutinize Daniel’s life? To find scandal, forcing him out of power. They could not, so they decided to attack him through his beliefs.
Does this happen in today’s workplace? Yes.
Daniel 6:7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008: How was the attack carried out? Knowing how Daniel prayed thrice daily to God, they tricked the king into temporally amending their constitution which, once written into law, could not be changed even by the King.
Why did the plan succeed? The King felt elevated to the stature of a god.
Daniel 6:10,16 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008: Did Daniel change his prayer time? No. Knowing full well what the cost would be, he prayed with his window open to Jerusalem. Reluctantly, the King carried out the sentence but encouraged Daniel.
Does this happen in today’s workplace? Yes.
Daniel 6:19-22 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
Thursday, April 24, 2008: What was the result of the sentence? God granted the release when no one else could. Ever wonder what you would do?
2 Chronicles 6:38-39 If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name: Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.
Friday, April 25, 2008: Is Daniel’s prayer time required in 10 commandments or a law or a statute? No. It is found in an obscure part of scripture regarding national forgiveness for the Jew who was captured and repented. This is why Daniel is ‘greatly beloved’ of God. (Dan 10:11)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Psalm 22: King David's Crucifixion Prophesy

(Chapter initiated by Steve James during worship.)

1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

Monday 4/14/08 Background: David is hiding from his enemies and pleads with God in a song, probably from the wilderness in Israel.

Why is this passage considered prophetic if it reflects David's perception?

These words were also those that Jesus Christ uttered on the cross. Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

Tuesday 4/15/08 Was David despised by his people?

Samuel and The Books of Kings and Chronicles record very little of despising of David. The words cast at Jesus Christ as He hung on the cross were clearly such. Matthew 27:39-43 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

Wednesday 4/16/08 Were David's bones out of joint?

No. The form of the words indicate torture of crucifixion developed centuries later by the Roman empire as a warning to criminals and foes.

16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

Thursday 4/17/08 Were hands and feet pierced at David's time?

No. Once again, this brutal method of taking from the tortured the ability to breathe except by the excruciating pain of pushing up on nailed feet and pulling up on nailed arms while they were naked to the gaze of onlookers was only a Roman invention, not recorded in use before or after.

18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Friday 4/18/08 How could you divide garments up and also cast lots which indicates winner-takes-all?

The answer is found in the account of John. John 19:23-24 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Handel with a Twist

Handel With A Twist: Isaiah 40

1Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.

Mon. 4/7/08 Background: Isaiah prophecies about the Messiah four hundred years before the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What is the war against the Jews that is finished?

(The battle against sin. It is forgiven by an act unknown to the Jews and in need of prophetic declaration.)

Who has received double the punishment for sins?

(She refers to one of the Jews: the Lord Jesus himself.)

3The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

Tue. 4/8/08 Who is the voice crying in the wilderness?

(John the Baptist. Refer to Matthew 3:1-3 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.)

5And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Wed. 4/9/08 How was the glory of the Lord revealed?

(God became flesh and dwelt amongst us. Refer to John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, [and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,] full of grace and truth.)

6The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: 7The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. 8The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Thu. 4/10/08 What happens to youth?

(Youth is for a short while only.)

Does anyone last?

(The word of God who was made flesh. This is the twist not sung in Handel's Messiah.)

9O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

Fri. 4/11/08 What is the good news?

(Just look at your God! He is in Jesus Christ the Lord. Look and live: you don't do a thing.)