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Bible Study Notes 2/6/2024

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., 6 Feb. Lesson 9, Part 1

 

Max Lucado, God Never Gives Up On You © 2024

Quiet Time: Max Lucado, God Never Gives Up, Pages 103-112


Lifting The “Hold” Off Your Past – There  are time we could unknowingly give up on ourselves. We can actually do this by “holding on to our past mistakes and sins. When we do this, we deprive ourselves of an opportunity to witness the continuing work of God’s grace in our lives. Sometimes, we hold on to past hurts, to the degree that we are not aware of how much we’re actually harming ourselves. Then there are times we may feel so guilty about some misdeed, or ill-spoken words we’ve shared, that we become trapped in the guilt of the offence.  None of us is unique in this experience, for the Scriptures are filled with unfavorable incidents, which occurred in the lives of many persons whom God used to do extraordinary things. We are no less perfect than they were. The amazing grace, provided through God’s presence in their lives, caused them to “lift the hold” or the repression, they had on the guilt associated with their past sins. At some point, the faithful people of the Bible sought forgiveness and restoration through the Lord, and the put their past sins behind them. The Apostle Paul’s great confession to the Christians in Phillipi about releasing his past, is well read, and should be reviewed often. In addition to freeing his ego from excess pride about his accomplishments, Paul candidly admitted he had to “forget his past sins, and forge ahead toward God’s greater purpose. (Read, Philippians 3:13-14, NLT). What a heavy burden was lifted when Paul charted this new course in his life!   When a person’s past or present has a hold on them, they will forfeit an opportunity to experience the fulness of God’s purpose. Jesus warned the man who said he wanted to become a disciple - but wanted to first attend to other personal priorities – that he could not go forward, constantly being held back. (Read, Luke 9:62, NLT). The language of the text suggests, the man’s priorities constrained him from doing anything else. There also is the need to “release” past hurts; however much of a burden they may be. We see this illustrated in the reconciliation between Esau and Jacob. Although Esau had held on to deep resentment and anger of his younger brother, Jacob, for twenty years – when the brothers were face-to-face, it was Esau who offered unconditional reconciliation toward Jacob. (Read, Genesis 33:1a:3-4, NLT). In his book, God Never Gives Up On You,” Max Lucado looked at the tears of reconciliation of Essau and Jacob and said, “They wept for relief. They wept with forgiveness. They wept with the possibility of a new start, a fresh beginning…” Both Esau and Jacob had to take off layers of personal sin: resentment; shame; anger; and deceit. Early Christians were warned to “strip off any and every sin.” (Read, Hebrews 12:1b-2a, NLT). When we release our guilt and sins, God forgives us always. (Ps. 103:2-4;9-12, NLT).


Key Idea:

What We Believe!

  1. “God’s grace never quits.” – Max Lucado


Key Verses:

Philippians 3:13-14, NLT

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus is calling us.”


Luke 9:62, NLT

“But Jesus said to him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”


Genesis 33:1a;3-4, NLT

“Then Jacob looked up and saw his brother Esau coming with his 400 men… Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, be bowed to the ground seven times before him. Then Essau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they both wept.”


Hebrews 12:1b-2a, NLT

“…Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. . .”


Psalm 103:2-4; 9-12, NLT

“Let all that I am praise the Lord. May I never forget the good things He does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies…he will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him, is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”

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