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Bible Study Notes 2/8/22

Word Alive!

©2022 Winter Series

Finding God’s Purpose Forward!

Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton

Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor Tuesday, 8 February 2022, Lesson 5, Part 1

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

Purpose For Tomorrow

Devotional Time: Chapter 3 (pp. 41-59)

The Right Choices - We live in an age where we have many options, which are accessible to us. Digital technology has made some choices people make easier; however, the issue is not whether we have more options than previous generations, but whether we are prone to make “the right choices.” The scriptures offer insights into the lives of God’s people and many others, whose choices determined the direction of their lives. We may feel that at times we’re not gaining any significant ground in our journey. It is in such moments, that we can turn to God’s word for clarification and refreshing. In his helpful book, Forward, author and pastor David Jeremiah says: “Maybe you’ve felt like you were at the end of your rope, stretched to the breaking point, or stuck in a situation you couldn’t escape…Feeling powerless to change anything is real, and it can keep you frozen in place.” Along with the “frozen feeling,” is the failure to make the right decision. In the scriptures, people were never given an opportunity to make a decision without being informed about the consequences of their options. This is evident throughout the scriptures, and a clear instance of this can be seen when Joshua gives the people the option of choosing their devotion to Yahweh (God), or to give their allegiance to the gods who were worshipped by the neighboring tribes (cf. Joshua 24:14-15, NLT). After considering the mighty acts of God on their behalf, the people made the “right decision.” Making the best possible (right) decision and choices in life involves taking time to do some soul searching. Do I believe God’s intent for me is best? Am I willing to trust God with every detail of my life? Is there anyone who could do better for me than God? The prophet Isaiah urged the people and leaders of Israel to stop waivering in their devotion to God (cf. I Kings 18:21, NLT). Indecisiveness is always a detriment to God’s people. Also, the “babbling” referred to in the scriptures, meant “endless conversation, which had no meaning.” The work of God can be stymied when we talk more than we take decisive action. In making the “right” decision, and choosing what is best, we must be transparent and honest about our needs. Inheriting the throne of Israel, and succeeding his father, David, who had united a fractured nation, Solomon realized he needed leadership qualities more than anything else. God gave Solomon those qualities and much more because he made the right choice!

Right Choices – God will often grant us the choices we petition, and our ability to retain the blessings of what God gives us is predicated on our continuing devotion and obedience to Him. Solomon’s wisdom became legendary for his time, as God had promised. But Solomon’s right decision did not preclude him from moral responsibility (cf. I Kings 3:11-14, NLT). While what we choose in life may be approved by God, we are never exempt from behavior that is inconsistent with God’s will. In considering our choices, we should always look to God. In considering his life, David noted that wherever he found himself, God was present. God provided David with boundaries, when he made egregious mistakes. It was God who led David to a better place after his trials (cf. Psalm 16:5-6, NIV). When we remain within the will of God, our missteps can be used by God as a source of correction, to direct us back on the right path. This is provided we confess our wrongs, and repent. Also, making the right choice can extricate us from our comfort zone. Although making a bold decision to do something different, may seem foreboding, our actions may be the catalyst we need to move forward in life. The story of the four lepers during the days of the prophet Elijah is such an instance of breaking free of being kept down. Despite their own death sentence of starvation and neglect, the lepers chose to go to the enemy’s camp in search of food and survival (cf. 2 Kings 7;3-7, NIV). God sent a great commotion among the enemy, causing them to flee the camp. The lepers had full access to food, drink, and the riches the enemy abandoned. The lepers, despite odds, chose to live and not die! No choice is easy, but if it is right there are always benefits! Dr. Jeremiah reminds us that our lives mirror the faithful we read about in the scriptures. He says, “God has a design for every situation and every person. By God’s grace, each of these people managed to get themselves unstuck and they went forward, on to the greatest days of usefulness for the Lord. You were created for an ever-fruitful, flourishing, thriving life.” In trusting Jesus, we are promised “life as fulfilling as possible (cf. John 10:10).” God has created us with the ability to think, reason, believe, and to decide. Our decisions will mark certain places in our journey. In ancient times, stones were placed as both markers and sacred symbols to remind future generations of the sovereignty of God in bringing ancestors to a place of right decisions!

________________________________KEY IDEA________________________________

What We Believe!

The choices we make will also determine our way forward.

1. Choices must involve discernment from God.

2. The right choices will place us where God wants us to be!

______________________________KEY VERSES______________________________

Joshua 24:14-15; 24 NLT

“So fear the Lord and serve Him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. But if you refuse to serve the Lord,then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will you serve the god of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”The people said to Joshua,“We will serve the Lord.”

I Kings 18:21, NLT

“Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waiver babbling between two opinions. If the Lord is God, follow Him. But if Baal is God, then follow him. But the people were completely silent.”

I Kings 3:5, 9; NLT

“That night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you.”“Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself can govern this great people of God?”.“

I Kings 3:11-14, NLT

“So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked fora long life or wealth or the death of your enemies – I will give you what you asked for. I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else had or even will have! And I will give you what you did not ask for – riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life!And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”

Psalm 16:5-6, NIV

“Lord you alone are my portion and my cup, you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.”

2 Kings 7:3-7, NIV“Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die. If we go into the city - the famine is there. And if we stay here we will die. So let us go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us we live; if they kill us, then we die. At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents, and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.”

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