theology

Bible Study and reading

OK, now for my thoughts from our Bible Study that us guys had on the Latah VBA!
Basically, most of the week was spent talking on the Joy of the Lord. It’s an amazing topic! The two
main passage that we used was “James 1:2-13″:

2 ¶ My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
5 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.
6 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.
7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
9 Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation,
10 but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away.
11 For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

So here, James is talking about the Joy of the Lord. We are to be joyful in EVERYTHING, no matter if life
is good, or if life is bad. Specifically, we applied this to work/jobs, mainly of the volunteer or non-paid type.
Many of us go around grumbling that we have to do a certain chore, yet we are told to count EVERYTHING as joy.
But how can we do this? James gives us the answer in verse 5: “Ask of God”. One of the main reasons we
had this topic is because when we do our VBA’s, we have a lot of work projects that we do. We have a day off
(for fun), then a day with work projects, then the next day off, etc. Every other day.
So the conclusion we came to is this: it is an EXCELLENT daily routine, to as SOON as you wake up (before
you even read your Bible), and pray to God that He would FILL you with His joy. Pray that he would
fill you to overflowing, so that there would be no room for any type of sin to enter in. This includes anything,
discontent, strife, grumbling, lust, slander, backbiting, disobedience, bad attitudes, etc. So I have
been praying every morning for the joy of the Lord, and guess what??? IT WORKS! Last year, I didn’t have a very
good attitude about some of our work projects. This year, I was actually HAPPY to do them! The main difference? I prayed that the Lord would give me His joy, and to realize that I was working for Him. The work I was doing was directly benefiting His kingdom, and I was storing up for myself treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.
So obviously I can’t completely replicate the Bible study…it was WAY better than just that, but hopefully I’ve got
you thinking! Hopefully you will try the Lord in this, and find it to be true.

The other thing I wanted to share was from my daily Bible reading. It was in 2 Kings 6 and 7.
I was struck while reading it, on how it applies to modern Christians today. In 2 Kings 6, the Arameans were
coming to attack Israel. Elisha and his servant were inside the city, looking down on the army. The servant
reminds me of modern Christians today…he was afraid, and didn’t trust properly in the Lord.
Verses 15-17:
15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

This is an AMAZING passage. I was deeply encouraged when reading this. To think, God surrounds us with protection on every side, and yet we still doubt His presence and power. We are SURROUNDED by hosts of angels, and God has control over everything.
The other thing I wanted to note, was in chapter 7, of the same book.
Verses 1-2a:
1 ¶ Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the LORD: ‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’”
2 So an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, “Look, if the LORD would open the
floodgates of heaven, could this thing be?”

This also depicts much of the lack of faith that modern day Christians have. They put too little stock in what God can do! They reduce God to someone they flee to in time of DESPERATE need, but only as a soft blanket-type God, that will
comfort them. They do not really believe that they will be helped. What they fail to realize is that God is completely omnipotent, that is, all powerful. This also ties in with “ask and you shall receive”. I don’t take this to mean that if I pray “Oh dear God, please give me a Porsche or a Ferrari” that I will find one sitting at my doorstep the next day, but rather if I make my prayer requests as Jesus would, they will be granted. Wisdom, knowledge, strength, aid. Things like this we never believe God will really give, yet He is willing and ready to help us. The one condition? That we ask in (keyword here) FAITH. This ties back in with James 1:6-7.
6 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.
7 FOR LET NOT THAT MAN SUPPOSE THAT HE WILL RECEIVE ANYTHING FROM THE LORD;

God clearly says that if we do not ask in faith, we WILL NOT receive. This is something I am now encouraged to do.

Questions? Comments? Rebuttals? Rebukes?

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Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 Uncategorized 168 Comments

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