Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gideon - Session 2

I am a little late in posting my Session 2 summary...these are mostly just tidbits from the video session that I took down... 
  • We are all dealing with our own "Midianites." 
  • An interesting fact is that the Midianites tie their lineage to Abraham...for many, the last place we would expect trouble from is family..
  • Judges 6 is very specific about when the Midianites came, during the harvest...just when the Israelites were recovering from and getting their heads above water (sound familiar?)
  • We meet Gideon, commissioned by God to be a deliverer, in a weak and timid state.  He was in a winepress threshing his wheat...not out in the open...in hopes of being unnoticed/
  • When we meet Gideon, he does not appear courageous at all.  He is from the least family, from the least tribe...yet, this man who is "least" receives a visit from an Angel of God.
    • Gideon's weakened state, his present crisis, was not enough to place him out of the reach of God
    • "You cannot outrun the hounds of Heaven"
    • God will meet you where you are
  • Winepress-used for making...WINE...was damp, not conducive to threshing wheat, yet Gideon did it anyway.
  • Gideon was strategically placed in the right place for God by his circumstances...where his heart was broken by his circumstances
    • your circumstances place you exactly where you need to be
  • "Scripture sets upon our hearts until God allows our heart to break and the Scripture falls into it"
  • Everything in your life is either
    • God caused, or
    • God allowed
  • The Angel of the Lord was present before Gideon noticed him...how many times do we fail to notice the presence of the Lord?
  • Gideon was faithfully doing his task even though it was inconvenient...he chose to stay consistent, faithful
    • Are you doing the mundane faithfully?  Are you faithful even when it is hard?
    • Be faithful in the small things and God will entrust you with bigger things
    • Whatever your "winepress" is, it is not wasted on God
  • The Angel of the Lord refers to Gideon (who is hiding in the winepress) as a valiant warrior.  God saw Gideon's possibility not his current behavior.
  • Always look outward and upward...not inward
  • The Angel came
    • It is possible to be in the presence of the Lord and not know it (omnipresence)
  • The Angel appeared
    • Gideon's spiritual eyes were opened (manifest presence)
  • The Lord looked at him
    • His eyes on you

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gideon - Week 1 Recap (discussion of the daily study)

Wow, the statement that there is no such thing as coincidence, only divine intervention is a truth that I am fully realizing in this season of life.  Various experiences, including this Bible study, are truly showing me…nix that a better statement is they are opening my heart to refinement.   David and I are participating in a marriage class at church, the information coming from it combined with the kids’ take-home sheets, Bro. Luke’s sermons and this Bible study are all working together in perfect accord…feeding my mind and heart in a way that was much needed. 
I encourage you to become involved in a group Bible study if you have the opportunity.  Personal study is wonderful, but the insight gained when fellowshipping with others who truly know the Word is also wonderful to be a part of!
Take-aways from the Week 1 Recap:
  • We too often make decisions based on our limited supplies instead of God’s boundless resources.
  • We need to truly believe in the omnipotence of God, live out our belief acting in faith that He will provide.
  • We need to quit allowing satan to use our “iron chariots” to prevent us from living out God’s will for our lives (we were designed to be His witness –in our homes, in our communities, in our nations, in this world).  Iron chariots can be anything…in my opinion many “iron chariots” have a common connector – insecurity.
  • Partial obedience is ALWAYS a temptation.  We should be vigilant in making sure we do not confuse our mindset with God’s mindset.  God is COMPLETELY loving and COMPLETELY faithful.  
  • In our world, just as in Gideon’s day, people are doing what is right in their own eyes.  As Christians, our truth is God’s truth.  Jesus tells us He is the way, the truth and the life.  We need to be purposeful in reading and memorizing God’s Word, we need to arm ourselves with it daily and arm our children with it.  Each day is a spiritual battle and God’s word is sharper than a two edged sword.   We need to be able to say God’s Word says, not “I think you shouldn’t or should…” 
  • Sin is sin.  Believing in Jesus and truly surrendering your heart, dying to self daily, doesn’t make an easy road, it doesn’t make the perfect life…it does mean that you should turn from sin and exercise true repentance…seek forgiveness
  • We need to set aside time to truly learn God’s Word, not take it out of context or pick and choose which verses we want to apply to a situation.
  • Christians are to be set apart, not of this world.  Yet, are we?  Do others know us by the love we show, the type of love we show?  Scripture tells us to do everything without complaining (BIG OUCH for me…really working on this.  I love Nancy Leigh DeMoss and one of her broadcasts had a statement out dwelling on the positive.  This doesn’t mean we are na├»ve, that we ignore the things that are wrong or that we turn a blind eye to sin.  But, do we fuel gossip and ill will with our actions and conversations?  Or do we squelch it?  Do we try to find the positive in the situation and then do what we can to change the negative?  I am so thankful for Rhonda Senn Peters and her friendship and example.  She truly embodies this characteristic. 
  • Are we forming covenant relationships?  Are we investing in our church family?  Do we work to unite the church body (not just our home church)?  Voddie Baucham made a comment “Brothers should be able to disagree with one another and still be brothers” in discussing a matter on his blog.  How true is this statement and perhaps I am over simplifying in the following but it is my opinion…our methodology across various denominations may be different, but our truth as Christians is one and the same – Jesus Christ.  John 14:6 -Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”
With Gideon, and throughout the Bible, God chose the flawed…not randomly, not on accident, He  INTENTIONALLY sought the flawed individual.  And through these flawed individuals, and us if we let him, they lived out (WE CAN LIVE OUT) 2 Corinthians 12:9 –
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Gideon - Intro

Tonight was the first night of the Gideon Bible study lead by Mrs. Anela Culpepper.  It is going to be an AWESOME study!!  If you are local, it is not too late join us (Monday's, 6:30-8:30 @ the home of Anela and Bart Culpepper)...tonight was just the introduction.  That being said...it was an AMAZING introduction...
I am going to try to summarize my notes from each evening for my records, but maybe anyone reading our little blog will enjoy them, too!  Note, these are my notes, not the info from the workbook although, there is overlap.  They may not make sense on their own...
Gideon, a study of how  God used Gideon's weaknesses to show His strength.  The opening scriptures presented were:

Romans 7:18
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is resent in me, but the doing of the good is not.
Proverbs 28:13
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.
James 4:6
But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

We are not perfect.  We should confess and forsake our transgressions as God favors the humble and gives them grace.  We cannot let our imperfections, whatever they are or think they are, stall us.  This study is our "divine green light" that is our opportunity to move forward.

When studying a passage or person in the Bible, it is important to understand the context in which the verses were written...understand what God is trying to show through the "bigger" picture.  With Gideon, the account begins in Judges chapter 6 with a nation of people who have chosen rebellion, to do evil.  At the end of Judges everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes...sound familiar?  A lot like our society today.  The Judges in the Bible were not judges as in the modern definition.  Judges were individuals, who through God's amazing grace were raised up and empowered to unite the people of God to stand victoriously.  In unity, the body of Christ, the Church, can stand against the enemy of God.  The people in Gideon's day were not unified.  An important note is that they were living in the promised land...one (1) generation removed from Moses (wilderness...a journey that unified).  In the promised land, they became divided, a fractured and oppressed people who could not even live in their own homes.  Judges 2:7-8,10 describes a generation that did not know the Lord or the works of His hands.  In one generation, the "bless-or" was forgotten by those living in the blessing.  Perhaps they were a generation that was not taught...or filled with young people who did not want to listen.  Joshua (23-24) challenged God's people to cling to the Lord, the laws, the Word and to be firm...to not forget who your God is..."as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  Yet, in one generation, there was severe breakdown.  A lesson from history in how we need to be strategic and intentional in teaching our children to love the Lord, to know his Word and live for Him.  We need to be deliberate in cementing theology in our children.  We need to teach our children to be humble; showing them humility through our own actions.  We need to teach them who GOD is.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Titus 2

At any point in time you are the older and the younger.  Invest in others.  Allow others to invest in you.  Pray for a willing spirit and opportunities.  Be willing to listen and learn from others.  Be humble.  Be willing to teach and mindful of the example you are setting.  Put your children in a position to hear God's word, to see God's Word.  Speak God's word to them.  Post God's Word in your home, in their rooms, in their lunchboxes!  Get the seed planted.  Even when you don't think they are hearing God's word, seeds are being planted.  Make sure they know God and pray that they have a passion for God.
Read the Word
Personally see the works of His hands
Allow yourself to be put in situations where God can move; where you can see His hand, His works.  Pray for revival beginning with YOU.  Pray for situations that ignite you and opportunities to inspire and ignite others.  Encourage others.  I couldn't help but think of the song Starts With Me:
What can I do to leave a legacy?
How can I speak with authority
When I can’t see You, I can’t see You
How can I know the dreams You have for me?
How do I believe beyond what I have seen?
When I can’t hear You, I can’t feel You now
No, no, no

You’re my revival song, You start where I belong
On my knees, on my knees
When I am weak You're strong, You meet me here
When I’m on my knees, on my knees
Oh, it starts with me

Why do I try to work outside of You?
Knocking down doors I shouldn't be going through
But I’m so tired, I’m so tired
You take my burdens off of my shoulders
You break the lies that hold me back
I’m not sure enough

You’re my revival song, You start where I belong
On my knees, on my knees
When I am weak You're strong, You meet me here
When I’m on my knees, on my knees
Yeah, it starts with me

I really wanna change the world
I really wanna sing Your song
But I know revival’s got to start with me
I really wanna change the world
I really wanna sing Your song
But I know revival’s got to start with me

You’re my revival song, You start where I belong
On my knees, on my knees
When I am weak You're strong, You meet me here
When I’m on my knees, on my knees

You’re my revival song, You start where I belong
On my knees, on my knees
When I am weak You're strong, You meet me here
When I’m on my knees, on my knees
It starts with me