November 15 & 22, 2009 Doubt Is A Weapon Of satan

Doubt is a Weapon of satan

 

Doubt is a problem.  It means you are uncertain in your mind about the question or issue you see or hear – like buying a television or car, saying ‘I do’ in affirmation of your marriage vows before God and the assembled witnesses, and praying the promised Spiritual solution to your practical ailment or need.  Remember the example of the Apostle Peter walking on water (Matthew 14.28-30).

 

Pretend that you are one of Jesus’ disciples at the time of His resurrection.

  • Read the contexts in Mark 16.9-14.
  • You hear Mary Magdalene but do not believe her (verse 11). 
  • Why?
  • ou hear the two disciples from Emmaus (Luke 24.13-35) but do not believe them either (verse 13).  Why?

  • What has conditioned you to reject their accounts of an event that Jesus, Himself, had discussed in your hearing? 
  • (Mark 8.31,               Mark 9.30-31            Mark 10.32-34)
  • What does it take to convince you? 
  • Consider how Abraham’s words to Lazarus in Luke 16.31 apply to you.
  • Bottom line: Isaiah 7.9b and James 1.6-8. 
  • Is that how you want to be known to Jesus?
  • In Mark 16.14, what did Jesus rebuke in the lives of the eleven apostles (and other assembled disciples)? 
  • How is this rebuke like that of His rebuke of the Pharisees in John 14.11 and John 15.24?
  • Is your mind made up, too?
  • Why was believing in Jesus’ resurrection important for you, first disciples?
  • How does Mark 16.15 answer this question?  W
  • hat is this ‘gospel’ that you are to preach to the world? Answer the question from
  • John 3.16, Acts 13.30-34 (Jonah, Acts17.30-31),
  • 1 Corinthians 1.18-25 and Hebrews 2.14-15. 
  • Jesus’ resurrection is a certainty!
  • You cannot convince anyone of something you do not believe yourself. The impact of doubt is seen in the Apostle Paul’s great prayer that ends with Ephesians 3.20-21. 
  • What governs/limits ‘exceedingly abundantly’?
  • See Romans 1.16-17,   Ephesians 4.13,    Philippians 2.9-11
  • Is Jesus the ‘power of God’ to you? 
  • Is He the ‘wisdom of God’ to you, (1Corinthians 1.24) disciple?
  • Is He the ‘wisdom of God’ to you?
  • On what else are you depending?
  • Why are Jesus’ instructions in Mark 16.17-18 dependent upon His resurrection? 
  • Consider Jesus role in Mark 16.20. 
  • Also, consider the Apostle Paul’s commentary in
  • 1 Corinthians 15.16-19.
  • So, what responsibility does the ‘living’ Jesus have in your work of verses 17-18?  Remember ‘power’ and ‘wisdom’ from above.  See Acts 3.1-16 & Acts 4.10-12.
  • How does ‘attested’ in Acts 2.22 and Acts 10.38 help you to understand this? 
  • Notice who was attested in Acts 5.12-16 & Acts 8.5-8   
  •   Acts 9.32-35, 40-42; Acts 14.3, 8-10;   Acts 15.12 
  •  Acts 16.18;   Acts 11.19-21, 25-26. 
  • These attested people were called ‘Christians’.
  • What does this title mean?
  • Why was it given?
  • How do Jesus’ instructions in Mark 16.15 and 17-18 remind you of His beginning instructions to the apostles in Matthew 10.7-8?
  • Do you see now the responsibility Jesus gave you in
  • John 17.18? 
  • He IS always with you and never leaves you, to teach and demonstrate the Good News of salvation through His name! 
  • Consider Paul’s affirmation of this in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5.
  • How is this seen in James 5.14-16?
  • How I important will miracles be to the advancement of ‘Christianity’, disciple?
  • Who is doing the miracles?
  • What is your role?
  • Thus, is Jesus resurrection important?
  • So, why didn’t you believe Mary Magdalene and the two from Emmaus, and how can you come to believe?
  • What ‘hardens’ your heart?  Mark 16.14
  • Why didn’t Peter continue walking on the water to Jesus?  (Matthew 14.28-31) 
  • What was the source of his doubt? 
  • How can you overcome this? 
  • Consider 2 Timothy 1.6-7   Psalm 27.1-3  Isaiah 35.3-6, Romans 8.15        Psalm 112.7-8    Hebrews 13.5-6,
  • Psalm 144.1-2  Psalm 18.31-34,  1 Samuel 17.45-47, and
  • Ephesians 6.10-18.
  • Although you are a disciple of Jesus, could He have identified you in John 5.44? 
  • Do you remember His early caution (Matthew 10.32-33)? 
  • Consider the benefits in Matthew 19.29.
  • Did you, like other Jews, expect Messiah to be a military conqueror?  
  • How did Jesus’ rebuke of Pharisees in Matthew 15.3 challenge your traditions? 
  • What perceptions did you change? 
  • Consider Paul’s admonition in Colossians 2.8-10. 
  • Jesus’ analogy in Matthew 13.24-30 reveals the source and the end.
  • Jesus instructed you to ‘guard your heart’ (Proverbs 4.23) when He said Matthew 12.34-35. 
  • So, how did you spend your time away from Jesus? 
  • Moses’ idea in Deuteronomy 6.6-9 is a good one.
  • How did Jesus’ Parable of the Sower explain the hardness of your heart?  See Matthew 13.19-23.
  • How, then, disciple of Jesus, will you
  • Keep Jesus alive in your heart, and
  • Use His name in situations He directs through His Holy Spirit, and
  • Remain untainted by the world and
  • Free from satan’s doubt?

 

November 1, 2009 Opportunists

Opportunist

 

Are you an opportunist – one who is available to the Holy Spirit to share what He knows (John 14.26) with other people in whatever context you may find yourself?  Jesus was, and our Head (Ephesians 1.22) expects us to be also.  So, we should study how He was an Opportunist as an example of what we should expect.  This is what we do in the following lesson from John 4.3-42.

 

Opportunist on the move

John 4.3-4 tell us of that Jesus was traveling from Judea, the southern region of Israel, to Galilee, the northern region, and chose to go through the middle region, Samaria.  I believe the Holy Spirit led Him to go this way because of an important task that He had in mind – saving many people from satan’s darkness and bring them into the light of God’s kingdom (Acts 26.16-18).

Understand that this was not a preferred route because of animosity with the Jews, who considered the Samaritans non-Jewish because of their lineage.  In 721 BC, the Jews residing in Samaria were wholly relocated to other occupied countries of the Assyrian kingdom and foreigners had been resettled in Samaria (2 Kings 17).  A Jewish priest was sent to teach these pagans to worship the ‘local’ God, which they came do with greater legalism than the Jews, for the Samaritans built a competing temple on Mt. Gerizim and accepted only Moses’ five books (the Pentateuch), not the prophetic and other writings held sacred by the Jews.  Thus, the Jews had no dealings with Samaritans (verses 9 & 27).

He stopped to rest in Sychar (verse 5), because this was the Holy Spirit’s intended destination (Romans 8.14).  (Sychar most likely was Shechem, where Jacob lived when he came back from serving Laban for marriage to his daughters Leah and Rachel; verse 12).

Have you ever made an unusual stop along, perhaps, a usual route?  Did you recognize that the Holy Spirit was leading you?

 

Opportunist led to a person

John 4.6 tells us that it was the sixth hour, either noon in Jewish time or six in the evening in Roman time.

I believe it was noon because a woman, whose reputation was not stellar (verses 16-18), had come to the community well to draw water for her family.  In the usual cool of the mornings and evenings, she would have been confronted by and shunned by the other women of the town and kept from their daughters.

Has your attention ever been drawn to a particular, maybe unknown, person?  Was the Holy Spirit directing your attention?

 

Opportunist used the object of her attention

‘Give Me a drink’ (verse 6) opened the conversation easily enough.  It fit the context.  It could lead to the deeper subject of life with the Holy Spirit (John 4.14). 

Having engaged the conversation (verse 15), Jesus asks about the issue that separates her from God and from her neighbors: ‘call your husband’ (verse 16).  How did He know her background (verses 17-18)?  The Holy Spirit told Him.  Remember Jesus’ teaching about this in Matthew 10.19-20.  Has He ever told you something about someone that you did not know?  How did you use this information?

satan tried to use Jesus’ revelation about her history with men to cause a fight with Jesus, verse 20.  But, how did Jesus overcome satan’s ploy?  Read verses 21-24.

Having gotten more of her attention, Jesus identifies Himself as the Messiah for whom she was looking (verses 25-26).

 

Opportunist creates another

John 4.28-30 tells us that she was convinced enough to invite the men of Sychar to come to the well to meet Jesus.

Verse 39 implies the degree of her conviction and the impact upon the men.

After two days with Jesus (verse 40), ‘many more believed because of His own word’ to them (verse 41).  They were convinced that Jesus was ‘indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world’ (verse 42).

How do you think Matthew 10.7-8 was involved in convincing them?

 

How can you follow Jesus’ example as an Opportunist?