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Bible Study Notes 1/18/22

Word Alive!

© 2022

Winter Series

Finding God’s Purpose Forward!

Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton

Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor Tuesday, 18 January 2022, Lesson 2, Chapter 1

Dr. David Jeremiah, Forward: Discovering God’s Presence and Purpose For Tomorrow

Birthing A Dream – The idea of a dream that is presented in the scriptures is not a fantasy; nor a wishful thought. A dream often is the prelude to a great plan or purpose God has for us. Joseph’s dreams spoke of his ultimate rise to power and acceptance. However, the sharing of his dreams did not endear Joseph to his brothers (cf. Genesis 37:5-8, NLT). Despite Joseph’s mistreatment by his brothers, God fulfilled the dream and moved him forward in life (cf. Genesis 41:41-43, NLT). There were other times in the scriptures, when a dream brought “warning or consternation.” This often happened when disobedience and sinful behavior had been ignored. In relation to discerning God’s purpose and plan for us, the dream becomes a goal or prelude to better things. The Hebrew word, cha’lom (walk-ome), often is used to describe the positive value of a dream. A similar rendering is the word cha’lam (kha-lam), which means “to bind firmly.” It describes the person who dreams, as being in “good favor” with God. A dream, in the sense of Joseph’s life, meant God had a definite purpose for his life going forward. In his devotional book, Forward, Dr. Jeremiah advises, that we can’t possibly know God’s plans for us without first engaging in meaningful and sustained prayer. He says to move forward with fresh energy, “Begins when you start to sense God’s desires and dreams for you, which are birthed in prayer.” Our personal prayers before God should be transparent. God seeks to hear us, as we share with Him our honest and deepest longings. David’s prayer begins expressing some gloom and dismay with where he was; uncertain about life ahead (cf. Psalm 55:1-2, NLT). During the course of David’s prayer, he received assurance of God’s presence, and became certain of the way forward (cf. Psalm 55:22, NLT). We know from the Hebrew language of the Old Testament that when God gives, or endorses, our future we will come to understand His purpose for us. David learned this on many occasions. We are encouraged to seek God for discernment in what is best (cf. Psalm 37:4, NIV). God directs and brings our lives into completion. The Hebrew preposition sun (soon) expressed in David’s admonition to seek God, means to “[have] completeness;” to “bring together;” or, have “union” with God. Our plan, goals, and purpose in going forward must be aligned with God. Our dreams/purpose must become one with God!

Birthing A Dream, 2 – Our inability to discern the dream and desires God seeks to give us, often is because we have too many conflicting thoughts and allegiances. Dr. Jeremiah says we must first remove the dependencies in our lives that obstruct our ability to understand God’s purpose. He says, “As those dreams evolve in your heart, you [must] declutter your routine so you can live with sharper focus and deeper faith.” We’re reminded of the measures undertaken when Paul and other passengers were facing shipwreck, while in a storm as they headed to Rome for trial (cf. Acts 27:18-19, NLT). Similarly, in life’s crashing waves, we must learn to “declutter.” The way forward means, we must be willing to remove what distractions we can from around us. The young business man desired “eternal life,” or so he said. He wanted a new way forward, by which he could become a morally perfect person. Jesus listened to him intently, and told him the “best way forward” was to divest himself of his wealth and help the poor. Jesus promised him, the best quality of life in the kingdom; but that was too high a price for the young man to pay (cf. Matthew 19:21-22, NLT). Life as the man perceived it in the future (and present) was tethered to his material possessions. He could not imagine a life without all he had attained. When we seek God’s wisdom in discerning His will for us, we must be willing to “imagine” a life of even greater value than what we have presently. Jesus promises us more in this life; and, eternal life We must be willing to make sacrifices to receive the best he has for us. (cf. Matthew 19:29, NLT). The forward nature of our faith always stresses the continuance of God’s blessings. The great promise God gave the prophet Isaiah for His people was echoed by the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Corinth (cf. I Corinthians 2:9, NLT). Dr. Jeremiah comments, we must hold to the truths the scriptures provide, and apply them to our life situations. He says, “You latch on to the truth of God – [for] He has a unique road map for you and He has wonderfully fashioned you for the route He’s chosen.” Many people miss the path God has set before them, because they are slack in giving adequate attention to the principles found in the scriptures. We can’t possibly understand God’s purpose for us, unless we listen to His voice in the scriptures. The Berean Christians took the scriptures seriously, and the dual-growth they experienced was evident (cf. Acts 17:11-12, NLT). An acceptance of God’s Word led to personal and exponential growth!

________________________________KEY IDEA________________________________

What We Believe!

We begin understanding God’s purpose through prayer.

1. God’s Word provides a specific path to discover life’s purpose.

2. We must be willing to “declutter” the excess in our lives.

_____________________________KEY VERSES_______________________________

Genesis 37:5-8, NLT

“One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it they hated him more than ever.“Listen to this dream,” he said. “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly, my bundles stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine. His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you?Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.”

Genesis 41:41-43, NLT

“Pharaoh said to Joseph,“I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.”Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph's finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck. Then he had Joseph ride in the chariot reserved for his second-command. And wherever Joseph went, the command was shouted,“Kneel down.” So Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of all Egypt.”

Psalm 55:1-2, NLT

“Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.”

Psalm 55:22, NLT

“Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

Psalm 37:4, NIV“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Acts 27:18-19, NLT

“The next day, as gale-force winds continued to batter the ship, the crew began throwing the cargo over-board. The following day they even took some of the ship's gear and threw it overboard.”

Mathew 19:21-22, NLT

“Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor,and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.” But when the young man heard this he went away sad, for he had many possessions.”

Matthew 19:29, NLT

“And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.”

I Corinthians 2:9, NLT

“This is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Acts 17:11-12, NLT

“And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul's message. They searched the scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.”

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