Word Alive! Bible Study ©2024
Winter Series: God Never Gives Up On You!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tues., 23 Jan. Lesson 8, Part 1
Max Lucado, God Never Gives Up On You © 2024
Quiet Time: Max Lucado, God Never Gives Up, Pages 89-101
Facing Self & Finding God – One of the most challenging persons an individual may have to face in life is one’s self. Although this may be uncomfortable for many; it is a period of self-examination that places us more in line with God’s great purpose for our lives. Often for some in the Scripture narratives, coming to terms with self was a foreboding experience. However, the results brought healing, maturity, and a benefit to each person’s part in God’s plan. Isaiah comes to mind easily. He was a member of a prominent priestly family, who served God and the people through the ministrations of their priestly work. On a day Isaiah would never forget, he traveled to the temple, but it was no ordinary visit. Upon seeing the angelic hosts orbiting around the throne of God, and beholding His glory of God, Isaiah turned inward. Coming face-to-face with himself, Isaiah confessed verbally, “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips. And my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” (See, Isaiah 6:5, NIV). That honest confession brought healing from God. as the angels, at the direction of God purged the lips of Isaiah, bringing forgiveness and renewal to him. When God made the plea for a servant to prophesy the Word, Isaiah eagerly accepted the call to prophetic ministry. He said, “Here am I, send me!” (See, Isaiah 6:8. NIV). The Scripture help us understand that human failure is a part of the human condition. We note Isaiah said he was sinful, but he,” lived among sinful people.” In becoming our best selves, as God would have us to; each of us must come face-to-face with our shortcomings; confess and be changed. Jesus said our best-self begins with the qualities and condition of our heart (Read, Luke 6:43-45, NLT). There is a casual relationship between our thoughts and our actions; a link between what we possess in us, and our behavioral responses to others. The Scripture stresses the need to have a healthy character; one that is not given to disingenuous behavior. The wisdom writings in the Old Testament stresses the need to avoid a begrudging or insincere spirit. Such a spirit does not develop healthy relationships. (Read, Proverbs 23:6-8, NIV). In ancient times the failure to share a hospitable spirit was both an insult, and it was sinful (See Hebrews 13:1-2, NLT). There are few persons who had to come face-to-face with their past wrongs, as did Jacob. His episodes of deceit are clearly documented. However, when God told Jacob to leave his father-in-law, Laban’s homestead to return home to Canaan, some 900 miles away; he finally was alone. It was in an obscure place where Jacob realized he was undeserving of God’s grace. This was a confession, that likely changed his thinking. (Read, Genesis 32:9-13a, NLT; Gen 32:13b, NLT).
What We Believe!
“God’s grace never quits.” – Max Lucado
Luke 6:43-45, NLT
“A good tree can’t produce bad fruit and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”
Proverbs 23:6-8, NIV
“Do not eat the food of a begrudging host, do not crave his delicacies; for he is the kind of person who is always thinking about the costs. “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. You will vomit up the little you have eaten and will have wasted your compliments.”
Genesis 32:9-13a, NIV
“Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac – O Lord, you told me, ‘Return to your own land, and to your relatives.’ And you promised me, ‘I will treat you kindly.’ I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps! O Lord, please rescue me from the hand of my brother Esau. I am afraid he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children. But you promised me, ‘I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore – too many to count.’ Jacob stayed where he was for the night…”
Genesis 32:13b, NLT
“He selected…gifts from his possession, to present to… Esau.”