Sunday, July 26, 2009

Solomon and Wisdom: Part 1

This is part of a message given by George Varghese on 7/26/09 in the evening.

Monday, July 27, 2009: James 1:5–6
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
Is there a precondition to God’s gift of wisdom? Yes, there is. The precondition is faith in God. If we ask in faith, we have God’s word that we will receive wisdom.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009: 1 Kings 3:5, 9
At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”
Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
Did Solomon ask God for wisdom? Yes, he did. But, to be specific, he asked God to grant him an understanding heart so that he would discern between good and evil in the people before him for judgment, and mete out justice to them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009: 1 Kings 3:11–12
Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.
How pleasing was this answer to God? The answer so pleased God, that He gave Solomon more wisdom to judge correctly than any before or after him. He made him the wisest judge of human nature, ever.

Thursday, July 30, 2009: 1 Kings 3:13–14
And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
What more did God lavish on Solomon? God gave Solomon riches and honor unconditionally. He also promised him longer life under the condition of obedience.

Friday, July 31, 2009: 1 Kings 4:29–30
And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt.
How great was God’s gift to Solomon? Others could not even begin to estimate the depth of his wisdom, the height of his understanding and the width of all he knew.

Next week: What was Solomon’s downfall?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Walk the Walk of Faith.

Monday, July 20, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 4:3–6
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.
Background: sanctification is a word misunderstood as sainthood. Faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ makes us holy and without sin in God’s sight. Believers are already saints, set apart for doing God’s will.
Why does Paul warn the sin-free believers against fornication and adultery within the church? We are not sinless, just forgiven by God and sin-free. Committing such sin takes advantage and defrauds another believer. It is also a lack of control over self. (possess your vessel) It brings God’s vengeance on us in this life, even though eternally safe.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 4:9–12
But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
How can you show brotherly love by minding your own business? The rationale is working, not to get rich, but to provide for yourself and walk properly in the sight of non-believers.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
How can we feel joy and thank God when things go wrong or bad? An important part of our life as believers is recognizing that God brings trials in our life for our good. Thanking God for the trial we face not only is putting our faith in God for deliverance in circumstances beyond our control.

Thursday, July 23, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 5:19–22
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
What does quench imply? It’s like putting out a fire by pouring water on it. A believer can put self in the driver’s seat instead of allowing God’s Holy Spirit to take control.

Friday, July 24, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
What is the end result of sanctification? Resurrection, which preserves out body soul and spirit at the (second) coming of the Lord.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Spread the Word.

Monday, July 13, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 1:8
For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.
Background: Paul, Timothy and Sylvanus are under persecution for preaching their faith in the city of Corinth and are concerned about the Assembly (Church) planted in Thessalonica.
Is Paul joyful because of the Thessalonians’ faith in the word of the Lord? Paul’s joy is that the word of God has been transmitted (sounded forth) and their faith has not been kept to themselves but has gone out.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 2:13–14
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans
What was the similarity between the Judeans (Jews) and the Macedonians (Thessalonians)? Those who did not believe the good news actively persecuted the believers in both places.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 3:12
And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you
Why differentiate between ‘one another’ and ‘all’? The former group is the Assembly (the Church, which really means people who are called out of the world) while the latter is the people of their world.

Thursday, July 16, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 4:1
Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God
What does Paul urge the Thessalonians to do? Paul exhorts them to walk to please God in more aspects of life.

Friday, July 17, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 5:15
See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
What are we to do? We do not take revenge. We pursue good deeds (instead of a pursuit of pleasure) towards self and others, even enemies!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Rapture & the Second Coming of Christ

Monday, July 6, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 1:9–10
For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
Background: Paul remembers how he transmitted the Gospel to the Thessalonians. Their faith and relaying the Gospel to others mirrors the former.
Whom do we wait on and wait for? We now wait on (serve) the living God (not idols) and wait for His Son who is coming from heaven to deliver us from the wrath of God.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 2:19–20
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.
Background: The conditional, ‘or’ is not employed as a choice. It is a progression from the future (hope) to the present (joy) to the past goal (crown).
What does Paul exult in? Paul’s glory is the presence of the Thessalonian believers at Christ’s Second Coming.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 3:12–13
And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
Background: Paul invokes God’s providence to increase our love towards believer and unbeliever alike.
What is the result of God’s increasing our love? He launches our holy, unimpeachable (blameless) hearts at the Second Coming of Christ with us, His saints.

Thursday, July 9, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Background: The Lord will descend from heaven; we will meet Him in clouds.
Is this the Second Coming of Christ? No, this is the Rapture, when believers will suddenly vanish from earth.

Friday, July 10, 2009: 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What is the only difference in the two phrases of this invocation? It is the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.