July 18, 2009
This week our study was from Jeremiah 33: 1-11, Genesis 12:1-9, Genesis 2: 2-3, John 14: 1-14, Ephesians 6:10-18, Matthew 4: 1-11, and Proverbs 3.
There were several things that the Lord was teaching us this week and as promised here are the highlights. Once again we were in awe how the Holy Spirit organized his word to bring us a message.
We began with Jeremiah 33: 1-11 these scriptures refer to the restoring of God’s people. He wants to restore us, heal us and bless us but he will deal with sin. The verse that came out the most was verse 3 in which God says to his people “…Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
This fit beautifully with the Genesis 12:1-9 in which Abram is called by God to go by faith to a land God will show him. A blessing is also given to Abram and he obeys. Genesis 2:2-3 was about God resting from his creating. If God rested then surely we ought to rest as well. The rest of chapter two is about how God created man and woman…he formed us from the dust! He knows us inside and out.
John 14 pulled things together because here Jesus comforts his disciples telling about where he is going. He even goes so far as to tell them that they know the way to where he is going (vs. 4) and this sparks a question. Good ole Thomas is brave enough to ask in verse 5 which gives Jesus the open door “…I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” is Jesus’ answer. As his disciples call unto Jesus for an answer he reveals to them “great and unsearchable things.”
They are as Abram leaving all they knew following Jesus and he lovingly restores them to life through himself. Beautiful. Here is how the Old Testament promises God made come to life and this continues every day through each one of his people who follow him. Jesus continues to speak the truth to them by revealing to them who he is and who they are and the broad scope of what God will do through them!
1. Call to God and he will tell you things you don’t know; God wants to restore his people.
2. God blesses Abram and calls to him to go by faith to a place God will show him.
3. If God rested we can too. God formed us, he knows us intimately. God is in control.
4. Jesus is the way that we should go! God calls us and then by his sovereign hand leads and restores us but the only way is through Jesus.
5. If we know Jesus then we know the Father and He wants to do great things through those who know and follow him.
Then at this point the conversation seemed to switch gears to temptation and how to handle things that are thrown at us by the Adversary. Ephesians 6: 10-18 clearly shows us that we don’t battle against people so there is no need to take offense against anyone but that our battle is against “…rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (vs. 12)
There is a very real spiritual demention to life. We tend to live on the physical level but most of where the battle of life takes place is on the spiritual level. We talked about the armor that God has given us and how it protects us from the enemy.
It was interesting to us that in Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus was LED into the desert by the Spirit to be tempted. The question arose, “Does the Holy Spirit lead us to a place to be tempted?” Is this why Jesus teaches us to pray not to be led into temptation but to be delivered from evil in Matthew 6:9? Jesus does not resist the temptation on his own but says “It is written,” using the word of God (the sword of the Spirit from Ephesians 6).
If Jesus had to use the armor and weapons of God for spiritual warfare why do we think we can just handle things on our own? No wonder we get beat up and fail when temptation comes our way! Finally, we talked about wisdom, knowledge and understanding and how when we have these three we can easily see the underlying battle and quickly go to the Lord for help.
Proverbs 3 speaks of the value of all three of these qualities and how they help us in our every day battle to live in such a way that brings us life, prosperity and peace. It shows us how much we need God and his ways to make through this perilous journey.
God wants to restore us and bless us but sin has to go and Jesus is the way! Remember that the battle belongs to the Lord and he is always in control. If you find yourself in a place of temptation remember how Jesus responded and swing the sword of the Spirit cutting down to the truth of the matter. The word of God is powerful and it is our defense! Quickly turn to Jesus because he is the way!
July 18, 2009