offering to the Lord willingly

Exodus 25


Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.

This reminds me of the way that the Lord still wants His people to offer their things to His work, in the New Testament, as well: willingly.

2 Corinthians 9:7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.


Mark 3 - Key


But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

We should be careful about what we attribute supernatural occurrences to, if we are not sure.


Mark 2 - Key


Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, [Thy] sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

Some people really emphasize miraculous physical healing today. The Lord can do that. However, the miracle that I would like better, and that I think is more important, is Christ's spiritual healing from sin, and His forgiveness.

Which would you rather do, completely eradicate the root cause of a problem, or merely temporarily relieve some of the symptoms?


we will be odedient

Exodus 24


And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.

Saying that you will do something is one thing. How much do we actually follow through with what we commit to the Lord to do?


Matthew 25:14-30 - Key


And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, [there] thou hast [that is] thine.

That servant was wicked and slothful because he was afraid. What might their be in our lives, that we are afraid to risk for the Lord?


Matthew 25:14-30 - Outline

the Lord gave each of us what He knew was right for us
more expected from those who had received more
variation in outcomes from a variation of choices


do not even mention their names

Exodus 23


And in all [things] that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.

There was a law that they were not even supposed to mention the names of idols with their mouths. Considering us, today, how casually might we talk about things like mythologies, demons, and false gods?

Now-a-days, some people have a habit of naming things after idols, and some movies contain characters named after idols. As believers, we should think twice about participating in things like that. We don't need to give those things that much credit.


restitution and reconciliation

Exodus 22


If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man's field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.

This chapter talks much about making restitution. We should seek to be reconciled to people in our situations.

2 Corinthians 5:18
And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;


the new law

Exodus 21


Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

In the Old Testament, the Lord gave good and just laws to Israel. But, now, I am glad that He has given a new law us believers.

Hebrews 7:18
For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

Instead of being motivated by fear of punishment, we can receive transformed hearts, so that we want to do what is right, because we love Christ.

Hebrews 7:19
For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope [did]; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

It is not that the law was somehow bad, or that it was, in any way, the cause of sin in the first place--but, the law, in itself, could never fully resolve the root of the problem. Now, with the ability to have the desires of our hearts converted to Christ, we do not even need the law to restrain us, because we already naturally adhere to a higher standard.

Galatians 5:13
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.


God has come to prove you

Exodus 20


And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

We should not fear to draw near to the Lord and talk with Him. Instead, "the fear of the Lord" should keep us from sinning.

In other words, we should fear to sin; we should not fear to repent.


1 Corinthians 14 - Key


Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual [gifts], seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

First of all, it could have been good that they were zealous of spiritual things, but it seems like they were zealous of the wrong spiritual things... or they were zealous in the wrong way. Are we even zealous of spiritual gifts, at all, today?

We should zealously desire to exercise our love for the Lord's people, to serve and edify the Church with the opportunities and abilities that Christ gives us by His Spirit.


But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

I'll put aside some time on Saturday afternoons to be prepared to share edifying messages with the Lord's people.


Matthew 25:1-13 - Key


Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Pseudoscience, biased news, conspiracy theories, and overemphasis on entertainment, are just a few symptoms of how our society is becoming increasingly unaware of reality. The Lord has blessed us with incredible luxury, and there's nothing wrong with that, but we need to make sure we don't get distracted from faithfully serving Him.


Proverbs 20:13
Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, [and] thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

I'll get up on time in the morning.


obey My voice indeed

Exodus 19


Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine:

The Lord wants the same thing for us today, that He wanted for Israel then, and that they ultimately failed to do, under the law. He said, ...if ye will obey my voice indeed...

Hebrews 12:25
See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more [shall not] we [escape], if we turn away from him that [speaketh] from heaven...


Moses listened to his father-in-law

Exodus 18


Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:

Moses still listened to his father-in-law Jethro, even though Jethro was the priest of Midian (v1). We should still listen to and honor our parents and other older people, even if they don't seem to know the Lord like we do. Sometimes they can still give advice that is honoring to the Lord.


little is much with the Lord

Exodus 17


And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

There are some little things that we do every day, that could seem insignificant. In the same way, it could have seemed insignificant, whether or not Moses help up his hands.

However, we should still do, even those little things, the best way that we can, with all of our strength, for the Lord. When we do, then the Lord can reward our faith in Him, with surprising great rewards.


1 Kings 5 - Key


And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.

Solomon desired to oversee the construction of the physical building of the temple, for the glory of the name of the Lord. In the same way, we should commit the work that we do, to the Lord, for His glory.

Psalm 37:5
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass.


1 Kings 4 - Key


Judah and Israel [were] many, as the sand which [is] by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry.

The prosperity at the time of Solomon also reminds me of this verse:

Proverbs 10:22
The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

These verses can help us realize how abundantly the Lord will bless us, if we simply follow Him. That makes me, immediately, want to be more prayerful and more faithful to Him.


1 Corinthians 14 - Outline

the gifts of tongues and prophesy contrasted by pros and cons
prophesying in order, not in confusion
let women ask their husbands at home
do everything decently and in order


manna to test them

Exodus 16


And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?

The Lord told His people to not save leftover manna, but they saved leftover manna anyway. He told them not to go out to gather manna on the Sabbath day, but they went out anyway.

How many things like this in our lives, has the Lord told us, yet we still don't get it? How many times do we have to see that the Lord really was right after all, before we learn to just trust and obey Him?


who is like God?

Exodus 15


Who [is] like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who [is] like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful [in] praises, doing wonders?

I think that this one small verse is a great way to praise God.


Fear ye not, stand still

Exodus 14


And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

Like with the Egyptians, the Lord can completely deal with our spiritual enemies, and deliver us from our problems. Praise the Lord


1 Kings 3 - Key


And Solomon awoke; and, behold, [it was] a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.

After the Lord appeared to him, Solomon came and sacrificed again. In the same way, when we have prayed for a situation, let's remember to come back and thank the Lord, afterward.


1 Kings 2 - Key


I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man;

Here's just a simple encouragement, to remind us to show strength and maturity, in the ways that we already know we should.


1 Corinthians 13 - Key


And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

I love to understand mysteries and have all kinds of knowledge, but there's a certain right time and way for those things. Those things can be good gifts, but they are only a means to an end. Charity itself, is the ultimate objective of everything.


I've often been distracted by reveling in intriguing knowledge, while neglecting what I am really supposed to be doing at the time. Next time I come up with ingenious ideas while I should really be working on something else, I'll just make a note and save those ideas for when it is time for them.


1 Corinthians 13 - Outline

charity is greater than the greatest tongues, prophesy, knowledge, and even faith
characteristics of charity
charity outlasts other things like prophesies, tongues, and knowledge
charity is even greater than faith and hope


Matthew 25:1-13 - Outline

the difference between the wise and the foolish: the wise prepared in advance, but the foolish did not
the similarities between the wise and the foolish: they all slept at a certain time, they all arose at a certain time
each person is responsible for his own manner of life
the particular hour of the day that Christ returns, there will be the end of some great opportunity


a difference between men and beasts

Exodus 13


And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.

I think it was interesting that when the Lord taught Israel about sacrificing the firstborn, He put a clear distinction between the animals and the people. The firstborn animals were supposed to be sacrificed to the Lord, but all of the firstborn children were supposed to be redeemed (to have a price paid so that they could be free). I think that this distinction between humans and animals indicates the sanctity of human life.


1 Kings 1 - Key


And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die.

Adonijah had certainly offended before, but now he was put on notice. If we sin, we need to repent; and, after we have sinned before, we really should change and show ourselves to be worthy people from now on.


2 Samuel 24 - Key


And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy [it] of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

We shouldn't just serve the Lord when it is easy and "costs us nothing." We should be willing to sacrifice things to the Lord that cost us something.

For example, we should change our behavior when we know the Lord wants us to, even if it is hard.


do you really believe that the Lord will answer?

Exodus 12


And thus shall ye eat it; [with] your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it [is] the LORD'S passover.

When we pray to the Lord for something, how much do we actually expect Him to answer? If the Lord suddenly answered all of our prayers in an instant, would we be ready?

Sometimes the answer to our prayers, and our deliverance from the Lord, seems like it is far off and won't happen any time soon. Instead of thinking that, we should behave today, like we really expect the Lord to answer our prayers at any moment.

Wouldn't it be a shame, if we were supposedly believing the Lord with such strong faith for something all this time . . . but, then, when the Lord did come through with it, we were caught off guard, and weren't ready? If we're praying to the Lord and believing Him for a great deliverance in our lives, then let's get ready.


Matthew 24:32-51 - Key


Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

If we are going to be faithful and wise servants of the Lord, then we need to be faithful to bless His people with the good things that they need, when it is the right time.


As I just graduated from college, I'll take a look at my schedule and calibrate the activities in my life toward serving the Lord like this verse.


stubborn people won't listen

Exodus 11


And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.

Pharaoh still had a hard heart ( Exodus 11:10 ), despite seeing Moses' anger ( Exodus 11:8 ), and would not hearken. In order to avoid being stubborn like Pharaoh, let's make sure work on listening humbly to other people and to the Lord.


knowest thou not yet...?

Exodus 10


And Pharaoh's servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?

If you are seeking the Lord about what to do in some area of your life, but you can't seem to find the answer, here is some advice: what we really need to do first, is to do what we already know the Lord wants us to do.

There are probably some things that the Lord has already clearly and repeatedly let us know that he wants us to do (such as sins which easily beset us, that He wants us to completely put away). We should consider the things that are obvious, about which the Lord has spoken to us repeatedly, about which fellow-believers have counseled us, and maybe about which we have even been plagued, in some sense, in our lives.

Let's focus primarily on what we already clearly and surely know that the Lord wants us to do, and make sure that we do that.


putting up with plagues

Exodus 9


And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses.

How many plagues do we put up with in our lives, like Pharaoh did? Maybe we tolerate some tribulations, simply because we refuse to let go of some sinful things. Let's make sure to let go of the sins, about which, the Lord keeps letting us know.


2 Samuel 23 - Key


The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men [must be] just, ruling in the fear of God.

As we want to be an influence for righteousness in the lives of other people, we must make sure that we are conducting ourselves in the right way.


2 Samuel 22 - Key


The LORD liveth; and blessed [be] my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.

I am very thankful for who the Lord is, everything He has done for us and given to us, and how He has delivered us from spiritual enemies, by His salvation.


1 Corinthians 12 - Key


But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

We are supposed to earnestly covet he best gifts. They are gifts that we receive, but that does not mean that we should not work at them.


2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Preaching and teaching are gifts, but this verse also talks about the need for studying and being a workman.

...Rightly dividing the word... makes me think of writing outlines. I'll keep working on writing outlines, in my pursuit of teaching.

Other references:
  • Haggai 1:8
  • 2 Timothy 1:6
  • 2 Timothy 4:5


Matthew 24:15-31 - Key


For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

There are already many deceitful people and things in the world today, which would turn us away from Christ. Even those of us who are already Christ's chosen people need to make sure to not get deceived.


The way to keep from being deceived away from Christ, is to be full of His Holy Spirit, to give us clear discernment whether we should believe and follow certain things or not. A way to be full of His Holy Spirit, is to memorize His Word and keep it in mind. I'll keep working on memorizing the Bible every day.

John 14:26
But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.


1 Corinthians 12 - Outline

unlike the world's system that we came out from, in Christ we all have the same one Spirit, one Lord, and one God
different profitable gifts by which the Spirit is manifested in different people
we are still important parts of the body of Christ, even if we don't have the same gifts as other people
we should honor and care about each person, even if they don't have the same gifts that we do
some gifts are better than others


two ways the Lord pursues us

Exodus 8


But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

How stubborn we would be, to keep going the wrong way--when the Lord reaches out to us so much like He did for Pharaoh. The Lord keeps working in our lives in two different ways, both punishing us when we sin, and rewarding us when we do what's right and seek Him.

If you are one of His people, He has done everything that you need in order to do what is right...you just need to make the right choice.

Psalm 23:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.


Pharaoh's heart was hardened

Exodus 7


And Pharaoh turned and went into his house, neither did he set his heart to this also.

We shouldn't "harden our hearts," stubbornly refusing to believe in and listen to the Lord, despite all the great things He does. We should take warning from the example of Pharaoh.


2 Samuel 19 - Key


Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, [and be buried] by the grave of my father and of my mother. But behold thy servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king; and do to him what shall seem good unto thee.

What Barzillai did for Chimham, is what Christ did for us. We often consider how Christ suffered and died on the cross in our place, as a sacrifice, to take the judgment of our sin on Himself and save us from Hell. But, how often do we consider how Christ also made this other kind kind of substitution?

Barzillai, like Christ, was the one whose righteousness had earned the reward of passing over the Jordan River with King David, living in pleasure at Jerusalem, tasting the king's good food and drink, hearing the voice of singing men and women (2 Samuel 19:35). Is that not like the kingdom of God and heaven? Yet Barzillai was willing to die with his own people and send a substitute in his place, to enjoy the full reward of his righteousness instead. In the same way, Christ's righteousness is worthy of the reward, yet Christ intercedes with the Father for us, so that we can enjoy the place of His reward even though we ourselves have not earned that place.


2 Samuel 18 - Key


And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!

This reminds me of Christ, how He was willing to die for us even when we had made ourselves His enemies. Praise the Lord for His great love.


1 Corinthians 11b - Key


For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

Do we rely on other people to make us do what's right? We, ourselves, need to make sure that we do what's right.


Matthew 24 - Key


And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Already a few people come every know and then, and claim to be Christ, and deceive people that way. Before the end of the world, many false Christs will come and deceive many people. Today, all kinds of things can arise in our lives and deceive us to sin.


I'll keep memorizing the Bible so that I can have God's Word in mind to help keep myself from getting deceived.


1 Corinthians 12 - Outline

the same Spirit of God gives different gifts to different people
examples of abilities that the Spirit of the Lord gives
the unity of the body of Christ
each person in the body is necessary
everybody does not do the same thing
something even greater to come


Matthew 24 - Outline

Jesus corrected their focus by revealing the future
don't be deceived during the beginning of sorrows
the falling away, and the gospel preached to the whole world before the end comes
the greatest tribulation there will ever be
the Son of man coming, and the gathering of the chosen
when we see the signs, we can know that it will happen soon
the day that the Lord comes, will happen unexpectedly and take people by surprise
when He comes, will He find you being a faithful servant?


now shalt thou see what I will do

Exodus 6


And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.

The Lord had spoken to them with all these great promises, and told them amazing things that He would do in the future, but they didn't listen. What kind of things might the Lord tell you? Oh, how much we should listen.


2 Samuel 17 - Key

the better-sounding counsel

Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that [is] by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person.

Hushai deceived Absalom into taking this worse advice about pursuing David. In our situations, it might sound really good and convincing that we should be so thorough and merciless, but sometimes the best course of action is just one that would be enough to get the job done.


2 Samuel 16 - Key


And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?

When other people accost and jeer at us, we should forgive them. We should be easygoing and not feel like we have to get angry and take revenge.


1 Corinthians 11 - Key


And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

Sometimes it's hard to give serious consideration to why we do the things that we all the time. When we often do the same thing, the same way, then there's the temptation to merely go through the motions of doing it without stopping to think about what it really means. If we do that with the Lord's remembrance, just eating it like food because we're hungry, then we are participating in the Lord's remembrance unworthily.


When I participate in the remembrance time, I'll make sure to stop and think about what it is that I'm doing.


Matthew 23 - Key


Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

We may be involved with doing good work, counseling other people about righteousness. Also, we need to make sure that we aren't being hypocrites. We should remember to be working faithfully on what we know is the right thing to do.


Sometimes my tasks seem boring, and I'm not quite sure which thing would be the best to do first, and it seems like it would probably be OK to wait around for just "a little time." When I'm feeling lazy about doing things, I'll remind myself about how important it is to do the thing that I'm supposed to do then, and I'll "make myself do it."


1 Corinthians 11 - Outline

Paul is a trustworthy example
Biblical headship
differences in between men and women, in covering their heads
men and women have different roles, but are equally valuable
differences between men and women, in hair length
the eating and drinking are not the point of the Lord's supper
it is for remembrance
the Lord has judgment for believers, if we don't examine ourselves


Matthew 23 - Outline

do what they say, but not what they do
be humble, not called by flattering titles
hypocrisy excusing oaths
it's what's on the inside that counts
one generation guilty of killing all the righteous
the Lord is willing to deliver us, if we are willing to accept Him


when things seem desperate

Exodus 5


And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou [so] evil entreated this people? why [is] it [that] thou hast sent me?

For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.

When sometimes things may seem really bad and desperate like this, who knows what awesome and great thing the Lord might be orchestrating behind the scenes and have in the works. We should just have more patience and faith, despite our situation, and keep faithfully following the Lord with all of our might.


2 Samuel 15 - Key


But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; [as] I [have been] thy father's servant hitherto, so [will] I now also [be] thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.

David had simply and sincerely prayed for the Lord to ...turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. (2 Samuel 15:31b), but he did not use prayer as a substitute for action. When somebody came to him after he prayed, where he worshiped, he seemed to take that as possibly a part of the Lord's answer. In the same way, we shouldn't use prayer as a substitute for pursuing the Lord's purposes in our lives. We should pray, but we should also use the the situations that the Lord provides for us, as resources to pursue what we believe He wants us to do.


2 Samuel 14 - Key


And the king said, [Is not] the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, [As] thy soul liveth, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from ought that my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid:

The Lord is able to give us discernment about situations, such as when people approach us with ulterior motives. We should listen to the Lord when we make decisions, and look to Him for discernment.


1 Corinthians 10 - Key


Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Israel had many of the same standings that we do, but many of them still fell. We shouldn't brag about having baptism or communion, and assume that we will be secure from sin just because we have those things. Israel went through things that were really the same thing, but when they sinned, they still fell.


I'll work all the harder on the areas that I know I do have weaknesses in, to make sure that I don't fall into the trap of thinking that everything is fine and ignoring my real problems.


Matthew 22:23-46 - Key


And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any [man] from that day forth ask him any more [questions].

The Lord is able to give us an answer that can put others to silence.


When we go into the situation of a difficult conversation, we shouldn't rehearse what to say, beforehand. We should just pray, and then confidently trust the Lord to give us just what we need to say, just when we need to say it.


1 Corinthians 10 - Outline

Israel had many of the same standings that we do, and many of them fell
the things that happened to Israel were for an example and warning to us, to not do the same things
God will always make us a way of escape
we can't serve God and idols at the same time
we should do everything not for ourselves, but for others and for the Lord


Matthew 22:23-46 - Outline

the Sadducees' ignorant error, about the Bible and the power of God
Jesus' astonishing doctrine, about the resurrection
the two "new" commandments of love
an answer from God, to end all questions


I am not eloquent

Exodus 4


Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

If we're afraid we won't be able to speak well, we shouldn't let that stop us from going out and preaching the gospel to people, and encouraging them to grow in Jesus. We should trust the Lord to be with us and enable us, just at the right time, to speak the way that He wants us to.


2 Samuel 13 - Key


But Amnon had a friend, whose name [was] Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab [was] a very subtil man.

We should be careful who our friends are.


2 Samuel 12 - Key


Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed [himself], and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.

When a bad situation is over, we should get back up and go on. Even if we've done really bad things before, and if really bad things have happened to us and to others around us, there is a time to let it go. Once we have done everything that we can do about it, and it is over, we should forget about it and go back to worshiping the Lord and serving Him..

Proverbs 24:16
For a just [man] falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.


1 Corinthians 9 - Key


But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Paul was a good example, in that he avoided being a hypocrite. While Paul was helping instruct others in the right way to go, he was making it an even higher priority to maintain self-control in his own life.


Galatians 6:1
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Before I go talk to somebody that I have a conflict with, I'll pray, and I'll determine to just listen, peacefully. I'll make sure to be gracious and not respond the wrong way to them (angrily, arguing, etc.), even if they keep responding the wrong way to me.


1 Corinthians 9 - Outline

proof that Paul is an apostle
Paul had the right to stop working and just live off of preaching the gospel, if he chose to
Paul preached the gospel without charge because he chose to
becoming all things to all people, so he could save some of them
avoiding hypocrisy by exercising his own self-control, while preaching to others


Matthew 22:1-22 - Outline

they which were bidden were not worthy
the opportunity for everybody in the world to receive mercy through Jesus Christ
you might be able to fool most of the people most of the time, but you're not going to sneak past Jesus
the Pharisees asked Jesus a loaded question about paying taxes
Jesus answered in a way that revealed their hypocrisy, by mentioning our higher obligation to give our entire selves to God


down to deliver them

Exodus 3


And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which [are] in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

This is such a great and amazing promise: When we have trouble and sorrow, and when we pray and cry to the Lord about it, then He does see, hear, and know. The Lord has heard the prayer of His people. And, (Praise the Lord!), as Christ suffered on the cross, He knows our sorrows. Here is good news, that He will deliver us, and that He will deliver us with a great deliverance.


2 Samuel 11 - Key


And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? [as] thou livest, and [as] thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.

We shouldn't indulge ourselves, while fellow-believers suffer, and we can do something about it.

1 Corinthians 12:26
And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.


2 Samuel 10 - Key


Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.

When facing many great difficulties, as servants of Christ, we should be mighty and courageous. We steadfastly persevere in the face of adversity, for the sake of the Lord, His people, and the things He leads us to work on in our lives. Then, we should quietly rest, in our hearts, with peace, trusting the outcome to Christ. Knowing that He loves us and that His plan will be the best, we can have confidence to accept whatever is His will.


1 Corinthians 8 - Key

"Infirmities of the Week"

But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

If we really think that we have reached a superior level of knowledge and righteousness about a certain subject, then we shouldn't use that to attempt to exert our superiority over people who are still struggling with that subject. Thay are also Christ's beloved children, our brethren, and parts of the same body.

And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

If we are truly stronger in some area, then we should use that superior strength (or knowledge) to help others with the struggles that they still have. If we can be confident in truly knowing better, then we can rest peacefully in that for ourselves, without feeling the need to prove that we are better than other people. We shouldn't lower ourselves back down to their level by arguing about which one of us knows better.

Romans 15:1

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Next time I'm tempted to get into an argument with somebody about something, I'll remember that having charity is more important than having knowledge.


1 Corinthians 8 - Outline

which is better, to know things, or to be known to God?
so-called "lords" and "gods" are nothing; there is only one God of all
being considerate of the weak


their cry came up unto God

Exodus 2


And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.

When we have a hard time and pray about it, our cry does come up to God and he hears us and cares about it. When we are burdened by trouble, let's be praying to God about it.


2 Samuel 10 - Key


Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.

Instead of giving up because failure seems inevitable, or becoming passive and taking victory for granted, we should strive courageously for the Lord.


taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens

Exodus 1


But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.

Sometimes we are troubled with difficult burdens and rigorous labor. We should take those opportunities to learn and become stronger. For example, I should take advantage of having a packed schedule to learn to overcome my problem with perfectionism.


comfort them and speak kindly to them

Genesis 50


Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

Joseph showed amazing mercy and forgiveness to his brothers, even though they had treated him so badly. That is what Christ has done for us believers, and that is how we must treat others as well.


Matthew 21:1-22 - Outline

the Lord has need of them
who is this?
cleaning out the house
out of the mouth of babes
whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer


enduring a hard time

Genesis 49


But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty [God] of Jacob; (from thence [is] the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)

Joseph had a very hard time in his life, but the Lord gave him strength and great blessings. This verse is an encouraging promise, answering my prayers: sometimes it seems like we have many overwhelming burdens in our lives; but, as we trust in Him, and follow in righteousness, receiving the strength that He gives, the Lord will abundantly bless us with all of the strength that we need, and with every good gift.


2 Samuel 9 - Key


And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.

David was like Christ, who showed great mercy on us, even though we made ourselves His enemies by being sinful, in the past. As David was kind to Mephibosheth for Jonathan's sake (despite Saul's sin), God was merciful to us for Jesus' sake.

Like David's example, we should be merciful like Christ; we should use the good gifts that the Lord gives us to bless other people. Also like David, we (especially those of us who are men), should be doing good hard work to make sure that we have plenty of blessings to share with others.


2 Samuel 8 - Key


Which also king David did dedicate unto the LORD, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all nations which he subdued;

Whenever the Lord blesses us with some great gift (a house, a car, stock in the stock market, etc.), we should recognize it as being from Him, and we should dedicate it to Him. First of all, we should prayerful consider before Him, whether He really wants us to get and keep all of the things that we have, or not. For the things that God does want us to keep, we should make sure we always and only use them in ways that would please Him.


1 Corinthians 7 - Key


But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:

Single people should take advantage of their singleness to wholeheartedly care for the things of the Lord and for pleasing Him.


1 Corinthians 7 - Outline

marriage as an alternative to immorality
the Lord's command against divorce and remarriage
maintaining peace with an unsaved spouse
stay as free to serve the Lord as you can; but, if you already made an inescapable, lifelong commitment, then serve the Lord in the calling that you have
undistracted attention to things of the Lord
widows are free to remarry


Matthew 20:17-34 - Outline

Jesus foretold the gospel to His 12 disciples
closeness to Christ requires willingness to suffer with Him
the reversed road to greatness through serving
know your need and persistently cry out to Jesus for mercy


His ways are higher than our ways

Genesis 48


And his father refused, and said, I know [it], my son, I know [it]: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

Sometimes the Lord works things out for us, so that what we thought was not as good, ends up being better than what we thought was better.

Isaiah 55:9
For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.


2 Samuel 7 - Key


Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who [am] I, O Lord GOD? and what [is] my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?

When we seek the Lord and He answers us, we shouldn't take that for granted. Instead of just seeking the Lord long and hard for what we want, we should return and praise and thank Him for His response.

Interesting Note: I may be wrong, but this is the only place in the Bible where I noticed that it talks about somebody praying to the Lord, sitting down.


2 Samuel 6 - Key


And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?

We should have a correct understanding of the fear of the Lord: We should fear the Lord in such a way that we respect Him and take Him very seriously, and that we go away from sinning. However, we should not be afraid of the Lord in such a way that we don't receive Him and His ways into our lives. Otherwise, we will miss out on His blessings, like David did for a while here.


1 Corinthians 6 - Key


And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

We should remember that we have been forgiven of so much unrighteousness, and we should be thankful for it.


I'll praise the Lord daily, as well as weekly, this week.


1 Corinthians 6 - Outline

the need for believers to judge the issues of this life among themselves instead of looking to the world's courts
the things in this list are truly unrighteous, and unrighteousness truly disqualifies us from inheriting God's kingdom
we don't need to be that way any more
flee fornication


Matthew 20:1-16 - Outline

the comparison
the agreement
more workers came later
why stay idle?
expecting what was never promised
God has enough mercy that more for others doesn't mean less for us


men of activity

Genesis 47


The land of Egypt [is] before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest [any] men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.

The Egyptians despised shepherds, but Joseph actually advised his brothers to be open with Pharaoh about who they were, in order to gain an advantage. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I should be pursuing activities of Christ (such as prayer, Bible study, and publishing the good news). Even if people around us generally look down upon people who do such things, some authorities of the world have respect for people who are actively engaged in some kind of organized activity. . .no matter what that activity is. That means that sometimes we can even win support and authority, from worldly authorities, by honestly and openly pursuing activities that are according to what we believe.


2 Samuel 5 - Key


And when David enquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; [but] fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.

Instead of just assuming that we should do the same thing every time, we should continue to inquire of the Lord about what to do. In order to be successful, we may need to alter our plans sometimes.


2 Samuel 4 - Application


When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who [thought] that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:

I'll think before I speak, to avoid telling a joke or saying something that I think I'll get something good out of... when it might actually be wrong to say it, and might end up making people mad.


1 Corinthians 5 - Summary


immorality that unbelievers wouldn't even speak of, was well-known to be going on among believers
adding insult to injury
allowing physical loss for ultimate spiritual well-being
unchecked sin spreads to other people
issues of fellowship
the need for some judgment in the Church

Key v6

Your glorying [is] not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

We should take sin seriously, realizing it's terrifying consequences.


When it is the right time and the right way to do it, I'll be willing to talk to certain other people and ask they how they are doing with their issues.


Matthew 19:16-30 - Outline

merely keeping the commandments was not sufficient
the rich man's lack
people too big and important to fit through the narrow gate
the amazing promise that if we forsake these things to follow Christ, we will receive 100 times as much and more


2 Samuel 1 - Outline

David waited to extract the details
the Amalekite's story
David and his men mourned and wept and fasted
David had one of his men kill the Amalekite for saying he had slain the Lord's anointed
David's lamentation over Saul and Jonathan


1 Corinthians 4 - Key


Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
If somebody questions the authority of the writtings of Paul, in the Bible, here is a verse that begs us to follow him. Paul's writtings in the Bible are Scripture (2 Peter 3:15,16), and Scripture was spoken as the Holy Spirit moved holy men of God (2 Peter 1:20,21).


But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
If a servant of the Lord comes to me with a message from the Lord, instead of trying to judge the messenger before I listen to the message, I'll make sure to judge myself. For the time being, at least, I can leave the judgment of those other perceived problems in the Lord's servant's life, to the Lord.

1 Corinthians 4 - Outline

since Paul is like the Lord's accountant, then he is going to get a greater judgement from the Lord Himself, than any judgment that we might give him
we shouldn't think we're better than other people, because we only have what has been given to us
believers who are complacent in their prosperity, should consider the apostles
the apostles aren't supposed to be like our rock-stars; they're supposed to be like our parents
the apostles have sacrificed all of the good things in their lives, including their reputations, for our benefit; so, instead of arguing about which one of them is cooler, we should actually listen to them
remember Paul's ways in Christ, that he teaches
nobody wants there to be a need for chastisement, so we need to change our emphasis from cool-sounding words, into actions of the true power of holiness


like Joseph forgave his brothers

Genesis 45


Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

Joseph forgave his brothers so thoroughly, that he was more concerned about the harm that may come from them being grieved and angry with themselves! We too, should have great forgiveness for others--especially brothers.


1 Samuel 31 - Key


Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

Saul's ultimate demise was that he gave up. There is this idea that some people seem to have, that God predestined Saul to be doomed to failure no matter what he did... and that, if we are not careful, the same thing could happen to us. But that is not what we see in this chapter; What we do see, is that God kept giving Saul opportunities to be saved, even right up to the end. It was God's mercy that Saul was only injured (though he was seriously injured) and not killed. He still could have repented at that point. The only reason that Saul was doomed and didn't repent, was because he stubbornly kept refusing to repent, all the way to the end.


No matter who around him tried to help him (like David), or refused to cooperate with him harming himself (like his armor bearer), Saul kept following the paths of sin. He fought as hard as he could against the very people who could have saved him. Driven by presumptuous fears, and addicted to self-deception, Saul sinned yet again: Saul, (though it it true that he was injured by enemies), fell ultimately, by none other than his own hand. What you really need to make sure of, is that you don't become your own worst enemy, like Saul did. Don't listen to the lies from the enemy that life is hopeless and that we are doomed. Forget about the paranoia and dread that something terrible is inevitably going to happen to you...that is not from Christ, and it will only be true if you let it become a self-fulfilling prophesy. As long as you still have breath, take every chance that you can, to turn to Christ and repent. Never give up.


1 Samuel 31 - Outline

the Philistines were winning
ultimately, Saul destroyed himself
when Israel saw that Saul and his sons died, they ran away and let the enemy take over
when the enemies saw, they gloated
when the valiant men heard, they honored their king.


1 Corinthians 3 - Key


For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
This last time through, I saw this with a new perspective: that we build others' lives, not just our own. We will suffer loss or be rewarded depending on what we build into the lives of other people.


This makes me want to disciple other people better, feeling an amount of responsibility for the lives of other people that I encourage in Christ.


1 Corinthians 3 - Outline

spiritual immaturity like strife, etc., keeps us from being able to learn greater things
some people start the work, others help it along, but it is God's work
we will suffer loss or receive a reward, depending on what we build into believers' lives
we are the temple of God, so it would be the same as defiling the temple, if we defile ourselves
it is better to be thought a fool by this world, and to have the wisdom of God, than to have the wisdom of this world and be a fool to God
don't be arrogant about mere human people; because, the whole world is ultimately ours, but we belong to Christ


Matthew 18:21-35 - Outline

Peter's question about how many times to forgive
Jesus answered to forgive seventy times seven times
a huge debt that the servant could not pay
the effective method of intreaty for mercy, including worshiping the Lord
the hypocrisy of us withodling forgiveness from others
it will be found out
we should forgive others as God has forgiven us
if we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us either


Judah's good example of intercession to Joseph

Genesis 44


Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.

We should be humble and willing to give and sacrifice of our own comfort and well-being to help and serve others.


1 Samuel 30 - Outline

David was greatly distressed, but he encouraged himself in the Lord his God
David inquired at the Lord, and the Lord answered him
only two thirds of David's men were even strong enough to continue, but David continued to pursue
what happens when people neglect somebody who seems unimportant, and what happens when people take good care of somebody who might seem unimportant
the Amalekites got overconfident and were not prepared to deal with the consequences for what they had done
David gave freely because he realized that the Lord had given them what they had (See v23)
it is more blessed to give than to receive


1 Corinthians 2 - Key


For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

When we preach the gospel, we don't have to worry that much about sounding really good and really smart, to the unbelievers who think that they are so smart. All we have to do is stick to the basics, and faithfully declare the same message that we have received and know.


In the classes I'm taking, where there are many complicated philosophical questions, as I formulate my answers, I'll remember to stick to the basics of the gospel.


Matthew 18:1-20 - Key


And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

This passage underscores the importance of treating little children well. That reminds me of a verse earlier in Matthew, about doing things to serve children.

Matthew 10:42

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold [water] only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

I'll take opportunities to serve little children, considering the verses in Matthew 18.


1 Corinthians 2 - Outline

keeping the conversation to the crux of the issue, so that our faith will be fastened on the right thing
the wisdom of God, which we speak, is hidden from the princes of this world
God has prepared things for us that nobody can even dream of... but He has revealed them to us by His Spirit!
although unbelievers may not recognize the wisdom of our message, we have a higher wisdom than the world
we have been cleansed by Christ, so we don't need to feel condemned by the world any more (Romans 8:1)


Matthew 18:1-20 - Outline

the little and humble people on earth are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven
the importance of treating little children right
causing offenses is worse than being maimed
pay attention to not looking down on little children
Christ wants to save each lost little one
the alternative to holding a grudge
what we say on earth, being heard in heaven


agree with thine adversary quickly

Genesis 43


And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,

Joseph's brothers were afraid of what Joseph would do to them because of the money that they had found refunded in their belongings. They thought it would be better to go try to tell the truth and make peace with the delegate, first. This reminds me of this verse in Matthew:

Matthew 5:25
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

We should be willing to humble ourselves to people who seem less important to us, otherwise we could suddenly get in bigger trouble with more important people :)


he besought us and we would not hear

Genesis 42


And they said one to another, We [are] verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.

We need to have some degree of listening to other people, even when they are upset about the situation, and, even if we disagree with them at first.


patience and faith for the Lord's higher plans

1 Samuel 29


So David and his men rose up early to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

David and his men had their plans, and they had set out to do certain things, but they got redirected. Sometimes we get frusterated from our plans in a big way, but the Lord still has His plan. The Lord's plan was even much better, and it was a sure thing that He was going to do.

Evil things were happening, and the Lord was not allowing David to stop those things at the time... but the Lord was even going to use those things for His own good purposes--like, eventually, turning the whole kingdom of Israel to David!


1 Corinthians 1 - Summary

the sufficiency of Christ versus the wisdom of the world


this was written for all of us
the Lord has given us everything we need (like the passage about the landowner who took care of the vineyard)
we need to all speak the same thing
the difference between preaching the gospel and baptizing
the preaching of the cross instead of the disputing of worldly wisdom


But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

I've been seeking the Lord a lot for wisdom and righteousness, but this verse says that Jesus Christ himself is our wisdom and righteousness.


I'll just keep pursuing my relationship with the Lord (in the ways that I already know).


Matthew 17 - Application


And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

If you preach the gospel to people in such a way as you really expect that they will get saved, they are a lot more likely to be saved. When I'm involved with preaching the gospel to somebody, I'll actively pursue their conversion in such a way as I would if I truly expect it to happen.


Matthew 17 - Key


And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

We should live with a daily realization that Jesus is who He is, and that realization should change the way that we live our lives. When we know for a fact that the Lord wants us to do something, then we should have the faith to do it without hesitation, no matter what that means for other things.

When we do what the Lord wants us to do, even when it requires us to rely on the fact of who He is, that is a demonstration faith. Then, those righteous actions of faith in Him, will have all power from Him. And, then nothing will be able to stop what He wants to do through us, or diminish the rewards that He has promised to us.


Matthew 17 - Outline

A select few disciples saw the coming kingdom of the glorified Christ (Matthew 16:28).
They were eyewitnesses of his majesty, and heard the voice of God Himself testifying of, and glorifying, Jesus as His Son (2 Peter 1:16-18).
John the Baptizer had fulfilled the saying that Elijah would come before Christ
with faith, nothing will be impossible
the need for prayer and fasting
Jesus told them the gospel of His coming death and resurrection
Who Jesus is, again: He should have been tax-exempt, because he is the Son of the King


an answer of peace

Genesis 41


And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, [It is] not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.

The situation from Pharaoh's dream could have looked desperate and hopeless, but it did not have to stay that way. Just because something so bad was definitely going to happen, did not mean that there was no hope. The Lord can turn even the worst situations around for the good of His people who, like Joseph, wisely and discretely serve Him. When we have desperate and hopeless-looking situations, we should come to Jesus to receive an answer of peace.


1 Samuel 28 - Key


And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.

I think that Saul would not have needed to be afraid, if he had just faithfully kept seeking the Lord, and not given up. At this point, I think that he still could have repented, and then things would not necessarily have turned out the way they did. He thought that he was doomed, and had no hope, and I think that became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The lesson of Saul is not a lesson of the Lord dooming somebody to fail, no matter what he does. Saul still could have turned back to the Lord, all the way up to the end.


When the work that I have to do seems to hard, and it seems like failure is inevitable, I'll just trust the Lord and keep faithfully serving Him and doing what is right, anyway. How do I know that, if I don't give up, something else isn't going on behind the scenes: like David and his mighty men, in the back with the enemy, ready to ambush and surround them, and deliver me?


think on me

Genesis 40


But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:
It is convicting how the butler could be so thoughtless as to not remember Joseph, even after Joseph specifically asked him to remember him. It makes me think of how we should remember to think about other people and pray for them.

It says, when it shall be well with thee. Particularly, for people who are locked up, and if there are people that you have led to the Lord: even when everything is going well for us, we should remember them.

It says, make mention of me unto Pharaoh. Pharaoh was the ruler, so that reminds me of mentioning people to God. We should remember to mention people to God in prayer.

Romans 1:9
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;


Matthew 16 - Key


But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

We should act out of a motivation of faith in Christ and heavenly rewards, not merely from an expectation for the physical pleasures of this world (Also see v4,8,26). If we seek natural, worldly gratification, then we will be disappointed; but, if we have a heart for Christ, He will never fail us.

2 Timothy 3:4

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

If I am being honest when I say that I just want God's will to be done, then why am I so disappointed and depressed when I miss out on pleasures that I wanted? Have I been serving God with the mindset that He will owe me some kind of prosperous life in the things of this world?

I'll check my intentions about how I live, even in my service to the Lord; I'll make sure that I'm setting my heart on the rewards of heaven, not on the things in the earth.


"but the LORD was with Joseph"


The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing [that was] under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and [that] which he did, the LORD made [it] to prosper.
I especially noticed the last part of this verse, that says, ...[that] which he did, the LORD made [it] to prosper. Joseph faithfully refused to do a wicked thing, even when he was greatly pressured to do it. We should refuse the evil, like Joseph did; and we should trust the Lord to give us the strength to do great things, even when it might seem too hard.

Matthew 16 - Outline

A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign;
beware of the Pharisees' and Sadducees' teachings, which are like leaven
who Jesus Christ is
which things do you savor?
self-denial is worthwhile for following Jesus
the kingdom of the glorified Christ is coming


don't do what you tell others not to

Genesis 38


And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she [is] with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.

Judah was such a hypocrite: he accused Tamar of being immoral when it and other sins were actually his own doing.

And Judah acknowledged [them], and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son...

This is just like what I said yesterday. When we can see that something is a bad and wrong thing to do, sometimes it is good to tell other people that it is sin and that they shouldn't do it; but then, we need to make sure to stand firmly against participating in that same thing ourselves, so that we don't become hypocrites, telling other people not to do a certain thing but doing the same thing ourselves.

Romans 2:1
Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.


1 Samuel 27 - Key


And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee?

David and his people needed their own city so that they could be independent, and free to do what they thought they should, without having to worry too much about Achish and what he would think. As the Lord's people, the Lord wants us to have some manner of separation from some other people and things in the world.

2 Corinthians 6:17

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you...

Under the new testament, we are not necessarily supposed to be physically separate from other nations, or from unbelievers, but we are supposed to be separate from sin.

2 Corinthians 6:14

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

When I tell other people that they shouldn't do certain things, because they are wrong, then I need to make sure that I do not end up doing the same things (or I would be a hypocrite!) I will stand firm to not participate in things that I know, and tell others, are wrong--even if there is a strong influence to do so.


1 Samuel 27 - Outline

David ran away to the enemy, so Saul stopped trying to hunt him down
Achish the Philistine gave David his own city of Ziklag
while living among the Philistines, David going to war against the other enemies of Israel
David tricked Achish into believing he had been going to war against Israel and their friends, instead


don't refuse to be comforted

Genesis 37


And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

It really struck me this morning that he refused to be comforted. I thought of how we can get depressed about our situations sometimes, and refuse to be comforted like that. The deceiver tries to convince us that our situations are completely miserable and hopeless.

And he knew it, and said, [It is] my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.

Since all indicators pointed to the worst case scenario, Jacob presumed that it was without doubt. Even when everything seems to be hopeless, who knows what kind of great miracles the Lord is performing behind the scenes, and what kind of great blessings He has for His people in the future? If we don't see situations with our own eyes, and know for a fact what is the case, then we shouldn't be the slightest bit presumptuous even if all indicators strongly point to one conclusion.

And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.

We shouldn't wallow in self-pity forever, when something bad happens to us. v35 said that And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him... We should accept the means of comfort that the Lord provides for us, and not buy the enemy's lie that there is no hope.

Philippians 3:13b,14

...forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.


Matthew 15:21-39 - Key


And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake [them], and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
We should be willing to give up what we have for the Lord and for other people. Even if you think it looks insufficient to you, God can bless it and make something much greater out of it than you think.


Sometimes it seems like the amount of time that I have is too little to get anything of value done. Then I might be tempted to just waste the little bit of time that I have because I feel like it couldn't get anything done in that amount of time anyway.

When that happens, I'll give the little bit of time that I have to the Lord, and do what I should with it. Then we'll see what the Lord can do with that.


Matthew 15:21-39 - Outline

...him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37b)
Jesus healed crowds of people from all kinds of physical disabilities
Jesus fed more than 4,000 people with seven loaves of bread and a few small fishes
Jesus went on to the next place


the land could not bear them

Genesis 36


For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle.
The Lord had kept his promise to bless Abraham's descendants, as Jacob and Esau were so rich that they couldn't dwell in the same geographical area because the ground there was not enough to sustain all of their livestock. This is just an encouraging reminder that the Lord keeps His promises to abundantly bless His people.


be clean

Genesis 35


Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that [were] with him, Put away the strange gods that [are] among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
This is just a little reminder for right now, that this would be a good day and time to consider, once again, our conscience before the Lord. Maybe there are some possessions or activities that the Lord would want us to change, for His glory (and, for our own good also, by His grace). In light of the bad things that we already know that the Lord has been convicting us of, let's just throw them away and do what is right, today.


1 Samuel 26 - Key


And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.
As we forgive others and are merciful to them, the Lord will forgive us and show himself to be merciful to us.


If I get into arguments with other people and they are speaking to me a bad way, I'll show forgiveness to them and make sure that I speak to them the right way, anyway.


1 Samuel 26 - Outline

the Ziphites tried to betray David to Saul
Saul thought he was hunting down David, but David actually snuck up on him
David had another chance to take revenge by killing Saul, and again he left it to the Lord
David blamed Abner for letting him sneak up on Saul
Saul recognized David's voice
David humbly appealed to Saul
Saul knew the drill, so he promised to go straight, again
to merciful people, God will show Himself to be merciful
Saul blessed David again


Esther 10 - Key


And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?
The Bible references several "lost books," like book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia, and the book of Jasher. It says that all the emperor's acts were written. This makes me think of how the Lord knows everything about all of us, and everything we do, and has recorded it, as if in books:
Daniel 7:10
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
Revelation 20:12
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
This makes me even more thankful that we can come to Him and receive forgiveness for our sins.

Malachi 3:16

Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard [it], and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
Psalm 56:8
Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: [are they] not in thy book?
I'll conduct myself with the realization that the Lord can observe and record everything, the good and the bad.


Matthew 15:1-20 - Key


But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
The things that we say show what our heart is full of. So, if we have a problem saying evil things, that indicates that we have deeper problems that we need to repent from.


For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Even if I don't have a problem with physically doing these activities, I'll also work on not thinking and speaking according to them.


Esther 10 - Outline

Ahasuerus taxed everybody
a reference to a lost book: meaning that the Lord knows and has records of everything else about Ahasuerus and Mordecai
Mordecai's success: famous and bringing peace and prosperity


Matthew 15:1-20 - Outline

the scribes and Pharisees of Jerusalem were overly concerned about tradition
Jesus pointed out that they cared more about their traditions than about the commandment of God
Jesus told how Isaiah's prophesy about fake righteousness applied to them
getting dirty, Spiritually, works inside out
the blind Pharisees were headed for a fall
beware of evil speech


all their stuff will be ours

Genesis 34


[Shall] not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs [be] ours? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.
Jacob's sons, (Dinah's brothers), Simeon and Levi, had come up with a plot against the people of Shalem, the city of Shechem. Hamor and his son Shechem used greed to lure the people of the city into consenting to Simeon and Levi's plan, because none of them know that it was a plot for their destruction. This is a good lesson to beware of covetousness and the destruction that it lures us into.


take, I pray thee, my blessing

Genesis 33


Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took [it].
Jacob had worked hard for what he had (6 years for the livestock, freezing at night, etc., remember?) And, it seemed like maybe he could get away with keeping all of it, but he insisted on giving a gift to his brother. We should be willing to freely let go of, and generously give up many of the good things we have, for our pursuit of the Lord.

I think that part of what enabled Jacob to do that was his good perspective on his possessions:
And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who [are] those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.
Jacob saw and acknowledged that what he had was just a gracious gift from the Lord. He was very grateful and willing to be content (...because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.)

We should keep this good perspective of gratefulness to the Lord, acknowledging that everything we have is just a gracious gift from Him. Then we should be satisfied, and willing to generously give up many of the good things we have, for pursuing the Lord in our lives.


deliver me, I pray Thee

Genesis 32

When we are afraid and distressed, we should pray to the Lord like Jacob did here. First of all, Jacob was doing what the Lord had said, and he remembered the Lord's promise:
And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
Secondly, Jacob humbly remembered the great things that the Lord had done for him, and mentioned them in praise to the Lord:
I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
Finally, Jacob direct and to the point with asking the Lord for what he wanted, and he was open and honest with the Lord about how he felt.


Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, [and] the mother with the children.
When we are greatly afraid and distressed (v7), this is how we should lay our burdens before the Lord in prayer.


Esther 9 - Key


For Mordecai [was] great in the king's house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.
Thinking of what Mordecai went through, risking death before he got to this point, reminds me of Christ (See Philippians 2:5-11).
Philippians 2:9
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
If we want to be exalted, then we need to be humble like Mordecai and Christ were.


Philippians 2:5
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Like Mordecai, and like Christ, I need to patiently keep doing what is right, even when it is not pleasant. I'll be more diligent with my schoolwork; then the Lord can lift me up the way He wants to, at the right time.


Matthew 14 - Key


But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
This is a great verse, but I do not have much in particular to say about it this time. It was a troubling situation, but the Lord was there.


When we are in trouble, we can find encouragement in our relationship with the Lord. For believers, He has promised to never leave us or forsake us.


Esther 9 - Outline

the Lord turned around the terrible situation from the enemy, into a wonderful victory for His people
the Jews killed Haman's 10 sons and got permission to hang them on the gallows
the Jews had permission for a second day of significant victory over many enemies
the Jews made their victory date into a holiday
Mordecai sent letters to establish the holiday
Esther confirmed the holiday


Matthew 14 - Outline

being bold enough to tell other people that what they are doing is wrong, can lead to very uncomfortable situations for you, but that does not necessarily mean it is the wrong thing for you to do
even after Jesus had just heard some bad news, and went somewhere that he could be alone, when crowds came He still had compassion on them and served them
the situation seemed terrifying, but Jesus was there
Jesus can make people perfectly whole


the Lord will be with us

Genesis 31


And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.
We should be waiting for the Lord's Word to us, and ready to listen and do new things that He shows us. If we are His people, He has promised to never leave us or forsake us; And, if we faithfully serve Him with all our strength in whatever place He has us, He will see and take care of us.


verily there is a reward for the righteous

Genesis 30


But when the cattle were feeble, he put [them] not in: so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's.

Laban tried to take advantage of Jacob and treat him unjustly, but the Lord showed Jacob how to turn the situation around so that he actually ended up getting the better end of the deal. When things seem to go well with the wicked, and, especially, when things seem to go badly for us as we pursue righteousness, we need to have patience and faith in the Lord.

The Lord is real, living, and active, and He has a reason and a plan. In the end of the story, it will become undeniably obvious to everyone that faithfully serving the Lord is well worth it.


seven years seemed like a few days

Genesis 29


And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him [but] a few days, for the love he had to her.
This is interesting because it is backward from the way I usually think about things. If I have to wait a while for something that I really want, then it seems like a lot longer time for me. I wonder why Jacob's love made the time he had to wait seem shorter instead of longer? I think it is because he was serving in love.

When we have to wait for something that we want in our lives, we shouldn't wait in idleness. We should get busy working hard, and pursuing the Lord's will that we do know in our lives: repenting from sin and following Him. If we spend our time sitting idly by, wishing we had something that we love, then it will seem to take forever to get there. But, if we spend our time in love, serving in pursuit of the Lord, that will make the time fly.


that which I have spoken to thee of

Genesis 28


And, behold, I [am] with thee, and will keep thee in all [places] whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done [that] which I have spoken to thee of.

The Lord has given us, His children, a sure promise that He is preparing a place for us in heaven. As we serve Him faithfully today, we can have confidence that it is not in vain. Let's take comfort in the assurance of the Lord's everlasting presence with us, and let's store up durable treasures in heaven as we follow the Lord.


Matthew 13:24-58 - Summary


Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

I have been looking for a car to buy lately, and I think that, in some ways, the things are God can be compared to buying a car. Often, buying a particularly valuable car is worth sacrificing many other things that the buyer could have bought with that money, because having a car can enable the buyer to make even more money then he could without the car.

In the same way, the things of the Lord are so much more valuable than anything else, that it would be worth sacrificing everything else in our lives to invest in the Lord's kingdom. From having Christ, we will also find everything else we need, and more.


afterward, Esau found no place of repentance

Genesis 27


And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, [even] me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
We are tempted to think, that as the computer science pioneer Grace Hopper said, It's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission. The story of Esau clearly demonstrates that is not the case. If we want to be living happy and satisfied lives, then we need to realize that when we are tempted to sin, it will end up being so much easier for us in the long run if we make the right decision in the first place. It would be much more difficult (if not impossible) to try to fix the situation afterward.


the Lord blessed Isaac

Genesis 26


Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.
It is encouraging to me to read how the Lord blessed Isaac in the Bible, and to remember how the Lord has blessed me, myself. Isaac received a hundred times as much from what he planted.

But it says that Isaac sowed in that land. If we want the Lord's blessings, we need to be willing to step out, take risks that may be necessary, and work hard to serve the Lord.


walk by faith, not by sight

Genesis 25


And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red [pottage]; for I [am] faint: therefore was his name called Edom.

We should watch out for the trap of merely going for what looks good to us, and valuing pleasure in the things in this present physical world above the things of God.

Bookmark and Share