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
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