Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Heavenly Father, Loving God, inspire within our hearts a Love for people. May we humbly serve others by bringing them to the One, Jesus, who has the power to comfort and the power to save. We thank You for Jesus who can more than satisfy the spiritual hunger of all humanity. Let us draw near to You through Him and in Him, for He is our All-in-All. Father forgive us of all our sins. This we ask and pray in the blessed name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
JACOB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/29/2012
CONFRONTING THE PROBLEM OF SIN, Lesson 65d
v. 8-12 A MAN WHO CONFESSED HIS SIN
The next brother in line that day was Judah. If I had been him, I would have been shaking in my sandals. Those other brothers had been evil, but Judah was worse than them all. Consider the sins of Judah’s life.
Gen. 37:26 – Judah is the one who talked his brothers out of killing Joseph and into selling him as a slave instead.
Gen. 37:31-35 – Judah was part of the lie that broke Jacob’s heart. They told him Joseph was dead and Jacob entered and extended time of mourning.
Gen. 38:1 – When Judah sought a wife, he married an unbeliever.
Gen. 38:7-10 – He raised two sons, Er and Onan, who were so evil that God killed them both.
Gen. 38:12-16 – Judah was a man controlled by fleshly lusts. His wife died and he sought female companionship in the bed of a woman he thought was a harlot.
Gen. 38:12-23 – Judah was guilty of committing incest with his daughter-in-law. She tricked him, but he was still responsible for his actions.
Gen. 38:24-30 – Judah was judgmental. Tamar, his daughter-in-law became pregnant through their incestuous relationship and Judah ordered her to be burned for her infidelity. As it turned out, she exposed him as the hypocrite he was. Their relationship produced twin boys, one of whom would become a distant ancestor of the Lord Jesus, (Matt. 1:3).
Judah is standing there hearing everything his father has said to the first three brothers and I can imagine him waiting for the hammer to fall. But, when Jacob speaks to Judah, there is not one word of judgment. There is no mention of his sins. There is no word about his failures and his mistakes. There are only blessings, hope, and promises. Look at the great things Jacob promises Judah.
He will be the object of praise among his brethren. In fact, Judah would lead the nation of Israel as they marched through the wilderness, (Num. 10:14).
He will be a conqueror. He will be strong and courageous like a mighty lion. Judah eventually became the largest of all the tribes, (Num, 1:27; 26:22).
Kings will come from his family. David and Solomon will descend from Judah.
Shiloh, or the Messiah, the greatest King of them all would one day come from Judah’s lineage. His name would be Jesus and He would be called the “Lion of the tribe of Judah”, (Rev. 5:5).
Judah would be so prosperous that he would tie his donkeys to the grape vines and allow them to eat grapes instead of grass, because he would have so much to spare, (v. 11).
He would be healthy and his people would prosper in the kingdom, (v. 12).
The blessings and prosperity of Judah would boggle the mind!
Why this seeming disparity? Why is Judah blessed after all the evil Judah did? The answer is right there in (verse 11). We are told that “he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes”. This is a reference to what Judah did in (Gen. 44:18-34) when he stood before Jacob and confessed everything. He brought his sins out in confession, and they are not mentioned against him again! That is forgiveness!
That is how it works for us! What we bring out at the mercy seat is forgiven and will never be brought up again, whither here or at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
The truth is, we all fail and we all fail regularly. We all come short of the glory of God in thought, word and deed. We all come shot in both sins of omission and sins of commission.
The only way we can be restored to a place of fellowship with the Lord is for us to be honest about our sins. There is forgiveness for everyone who will repent and forsake his sins, (1 John 1:9)! Thank God for such a kind, loving, forgiving Savior!
Conc: We all deal with the sin problem, don’t we? The question is: How do we deal with it?
Do we try to hide our sins away?
Do we just do as we please with no thought for God’s will or for the effect our sins will have on others?
Or, do we handle them God’s way?
If the Lord has touched your heart about this matter of sin, come get before Him today and do what you need to do. There will either be confession, or there will be chastisement. There will either be separation and holiness now or there will be a high price to pay in the future. The choice is yours!
TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“I Need Thee Every Hour” By Annie S. Hawks (1872)
I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.
I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh.
I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.
I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.
I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
Oh, make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.
SHARE TODAY’S LESSON WITH A FRIEND!
Monday, May 28, 2012
You are our God, Father; the God that takes cares of us in everyway. Help us Father to develop a taste for the task You have sent us to do, just like You did with Jesus. Enable us to have a taste for serving in ministries, helping others in need, developing the skills You hae given us, and doing what is good and right.
Remind us of the love and the gift of eternal life that is ours in Jesus. Increase our borders of faith and spirituality. Engraft Your Word upon our hearts and minds, Forgive us when we fall short of the task. This we ask and pray in Jesus' name. Amen!
Monday, May 28, 2012
JACOB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 5/28/2012
CONFRONTING THE PROBLEM OF SIN, Lesson 65c
v. 5-7 MEN CONTROLLED BY THEIR SIN
Next Jacob turns his attention to Simeon and Levi. He accuses them of being filled with cruelty and violence. He says they act impulsively and recklessly and cause great damage in so doing. These men operated in “anger” and in “self-will”. They did as they pleased, without regard for the consequences they would face. Unlike Reuben, they never tried to hide their sins. They did what they did out in the open and everyone knew about it.
Genesis 34 tells us the story of what Simeon and Levi did. Their sister Dinah was raped by a man named Shechem, (v. 1-2). After the rape, Shechem wanted to marry Dinah, (v. 3-4), so he had his father approach her family to arrange the marriage. Simeon and Levi agree to allow Shechem to marry their sister, if he and all the men in his village agree to be circumcised, (v. 13-23). Shechem and his people agree to the terms and are circumcised, (v. 24). Simeon and Levi waited three days, until the men were at the peak of their soreness, and they attacked the village, killing every man in sight and taking all the livestock for themselves, (v. 25-29). Jacob rebuked his sons when they committed this sin, (v. 30), but they never repented and made it right, (v. 31).
Their sin cost them and their descendants greatly. Consider what happened to their descendants in the kingdom years.
Simeon became the smallest tribe in Israel, (Num 26:14).
When Moses pronounced his blessing on Israel, Simeon was omitted, (Deut. 33:8).
Simeon was forced to share territory with Judah during the kingdom years, (Josh. 19:1-9).
By the times of King Josiah, the tribe of Simeon was numbered with Manasseh, Ephraim and Naphtali, (2 Chron. 34:6). They were indeed scattered throughout the land.
Levi was also scattered, but there was some measure of repentance on their part. At a place called Baal-Peor, Moses faced a rebellion among the people of Israel. When Moses asked, “Who is on the Lord’s side”, (Ex. 32:36), the people of Levi came to his side. As a reward, they were made the priestly tribe, and were the consecrated servants of the Lord.
In the kingdom, Levi had no inheritance in Israel. Instead, they were given forty-eight cities scattered throughout the nation. Six of these cities were called the “Cities of Refuge”, (Josh. 21:1-3).
Simeon and Levi allowed their passions, their lusts, and their fleshly desires to control their lives. As a result, they never achieved all they could have in the kingdom of Israel.
The same is true in the lives of many people around us today. Whether it is the pursuit of the pleasures of sin; unbridled lusts; rampant desires; or simply self-centeredness, there are multitudes that are controlled by their sins. When this is the case, those people are never able to reach their fullest potential in Christ. They are always struggling and never walking close to Him. God cannot use them in that condition. He cannot bless their lives. He cannot work in or through them to accomplish His perfect will.
God’s desire for His people is that we turn away from sin to follow a lifestyle of service and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ, (Matt. 16:24; Rom. 12:1-2). God wants us to separate ourselves from evil and consecrate ourselves to Him alone, (2 Cor. 6:17).
The sins of Simeon and Levi cost them dearly, but they also cost their children. Because of the sins of these men, their families did not receive the inheritance they could have had.
The same is true in our lives. Our sins affect more than just us. Mom and Dad, your children see where God ranks on your list of priorities! They know when other things are more important than Him and His house. They pay attention to those little “slips of the tongue”, when you let a “little” cuss words or a “little white lie” slip out. They see your commitment to Jesus and they will often base their commitment to Him on what they learn from you.
Sin carries a very high price. Often the highest price is paid by the children of the guilty parties! That is the clear, consistent teaching of the Bible, (Ex. 34:7; Num. 14:18; Deut. 5:9). What you see in many families is just the results of sin and the damage it causes. Children act, think, talk and walk like their parents. The fruit does not fall far from the tree.
The best gift we could ever give our families, those who will follow after us and those who live around us is a life controlled by the Spirit of God. When He is in control, We will lead people to Him and not away from Him, when He is in control we will set a standard of godliness in our families that will endure for generations.
One thing that blesses me about these boys is the fact that their place in the family is never questioned. They are the sons of Jacob and all the sin in the world cannot change that truth. They are his sons and they will not be denied.
God’s people can be guilty of some serious sin. We often break the heart of God by the things we do and say. But, nothing can ever undermine our relationship with Him. We will sin, but we will still be sons. He will deal with us through chastisement and even judgment.
TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“ Prepare To Meet Thy God” By J. H. Stanley
Careless soul, why will you linger,
Wand’ring from the fold of God?
Hear you not the invitation?
Oh, prepare to meet thy God.
Careless soul, oh, heed the warning,
For your life will soon be gone;
Oh, how sad to face the judgment,
Unprepared to meet thy God.
Why so thoughtless are you standing,
While the fleeting years go by,
And your life is spent in folly?
Oh, prepare to meet thy God.
Hear you not the earnest pleadings
Of your friends that wish you well?
And perhaps before tomorrow
You’ll be called to meet your God.
If you spurn the invitation
Till the Spirit shall depart,
Then you’ll see your sad condition,
Unprepared to meet thy God.
INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Heavenly Father, Almighty God, Awesome God! We thank You always that You keep all your promises to us. Help us to understand and remember exactly what Your promises are so we can recall them in our mind, keep them in our hearts, an speak them out loud for others to hear. Enable us Father to push all doubt way from us so we can cling to Your Word and Promises. Help us to remember that Jesus and the gift of eternal life in Him is the ultimate proof that You have already kept Your greatest promise to us. Thank You for Your Everlasting covenants between You our God, and every living soul. It is through Jesus we approach your throne of grace and pray, Amen!
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