Sunday, November 29, 2009

Precious in God's Sight

Monday, November 30, 2009: 2 Peter 1:1
Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ
Why is the true Christian faith so precious? Our faith is precious because it is similar (like) and it depends, NOT on our good works, (righteousness) but the righteousness of God.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009: 1 Peter 1:6–7
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ
Why is the testing of our faith important? The genuineness of our faith only emerges through trials.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009: 2 Peter 1:4
by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Is there any use of God’s promises, great and precious though they are? Any promise that remains unaccepted is still only a promise.

Thursday, December 3, 2009: 1 Peter 1:18–19
knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
Don’t your donations of silver and gold help redeem you from the Pawn Shop of sin? Only the precious blood of Christ can redeem you. Nothing else can.

Friday, December 4, 2009: 1 Peter 3:3–4
Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
What is valuable in God’s sight in a woman? The incorruptible beauty of a quiet spirit is precious!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving & Worship

Monday, November 23, 2009: Hebrews 13:10, 15

We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

What is the only sacrifice we can now make? Through our High Priest, Jesus Christ, we offer the words of our prayers as a sacrifice, praising God for His grace to us.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009: Matthew 15:7–9

Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,

And honor Me with their lips,

But their heart is far from Me.

And in vain they worship Me,

Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

What must worship include? Worship, as set apart from thanksgiving, is from the heart, a response to God’s salvation apart from the law (or the sub-laws made by man) in a group setting.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009: John 4:23–24

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

What is true worship, as expressed by Jesus Christ? Individuals expressing themselves as led by their spirit and their true feelings of thanksgiving for Christ’s sacrifice.

Thursday, November 26, 2009: Colossians 4:2

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving

What is the vehicle of thanksgiving to God? Prayer offered with thanks for recognized favors of God.

Friday, November 27, 2009: Philippians 4:6–7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Can we give thanks for a prayer request before it is answered? Yes, because God always gives an answer, be it yes, no or wait.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Righteous and Justified

Monday, November 16, 2009: Matthew 13:49–50
So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
Why is separation between the wicked ones and the just ones needed? They are so similar that mankind cannot separate the two: only angels can.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009: Matthew 25:46
And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
What does everlasting or eternal mean? Exactly what it says.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009: Mark 2:17
When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Is anyone righteous? No, only self-righteous: these think they are not sinners.

Thursday, November 19, 2009: Romans 5:7–9
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
How do sinners become righteous? Only the blood of the Lamb of God wipes sin away.

Friday, November 20, 2009: Romans 3:21–24
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
Can a sinner ever have the righteousness of God? Yes, and that freely in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

City of God

Monday, November 9, 2009: Genesis 11:4

And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

Background: This is about the people who tried to build the Tower of Babel after the flood.

What were they trying to do? The people wanted to reach God in their own power.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: Hebrews 11:9–10

By faith he (Abraham) dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

What did Abraham do? Abraham left his city, (Ur) lands and family and went where the Lord told him to go.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: Hebrews 13:14

For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.

What would we do if we were nomads? We would travel light.

Thursday, November 12, 2009: Revelation 21:1–2

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

What is the plan of God? God is building a city that will descend to the new earth, not rise like Babel’s Tower.

Friday, November 13, 2009: Revelation 21:27

But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Who will inhabit the city? Only believers, purchased by the blood of the Lamb, will enter in.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Kingdom of Heaven

Monday, November 2, 2009: Matthew 25:14
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.
Who does this parable refer to? This parable speaks about the Lord Himself who would ascend into heaven and entrust believers with the gospel.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009: Matthew 25:19
After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
As the end of the same parable, what does this verse speak about? This verse speaks about the return of Jesus Christ for believers, His servants, to settle accounts.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009: Matthew 9:15
And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
Background: John the Baptist’s disciples wanted to know why the disciples of Jesus Christ did not fast.
What did the answer that Christ gave tell us today? The Church, as the Bride of Christ, awaits His return and is not in the state of joy that will exist when the Bridegroom returns.

Thursday, November 5, 2009: Matthew 9:16
No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse.
Background: this parable immediately follows the previous verse.
What does this parable mean? This parable refers to the change coming when the Bridegroom is removed from the earth: a big change was coming and Christ informed His disciples about it in this way. There would be a tearing away, patched up with the same faith that would keep the disciples going after the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord. He would then go away in the Ascension.

Friday, November 6, 2009: Matthew 9:17
Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
This parable is a continuation from the previous verse. Christ is still telling His disciples that a big change is coming. He will not be with them. They will do the work without Him. They will make new disciples with the wine of the gospel.