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Bible Study Notes 3/26/2024

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., 19 & 26 Mar. Lesson 12, Parts 1 & 2

 

Max Lucado, God Never Gives Up On You © 2024

Quiet Time: Max Lucado, God Never Gives Up, Pages 135-144


It’s All About Grace – The divine persistence of God working on our behalf, is nothing less that His grace. God’s grace is an unceasing love He has for all who come into a relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ. Even before Christ came to earth, God’s grace was manifested and operative in the lives of His people. We are loved by God, along with, and in spite of our faults. David said whether in sadness or shame, “He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:3a, NKJV). We could only imagine David thought of the “refreshment” or “renewal” God gave him following the death of an earlier son he fathered with Bathsheba; and, the violent death of his older son, Absalom. In each instance David’s heart was broken. It was God’s redeeming love – His grace – that met David in those desolate places.  Because God never gives up on us, we don’t have to seek His grace. God’s redeeming love will inevitably come to us. David further said, “Surely, your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23:6a, NIV).  The great Hebrew word hesed is used here to mean “abundance of love.” God’s mercy and grace are acts of His abiding presence in our lives, and on our behalf. There is nothing we could ever do to cause God to accept us. Our faith alone (trust) in God, will cause us to experience His gift of love, which is grace. (Read, Ephesians 2:8-10, NIV). No amount of deeds or heavy lifting on our part, will bring salvation. God comes to us through our faith in His blessed Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul’s turning-point in life came when He had inexperience with the risen Christ. Paul was aware that his previous life made him feel far less than the other believers. But the apostle passionately confessed, that it was God’s grace that changed the direction and entire demeanor of His life. Others gave up on Paul, but God did not! (Read, I Corinthians 15:9-11, NIV). We note also that Paul’s zeal and work ethic for Christ was a result of grace. The apostle was not attempting to impress the other apostles and disciples; but to engage assertively for the cause of Christ. Grace will cause us to do what is not expected of us by the estimation of others. The prophet Amos’ response to the High Priest in Jerusalem, was that he was the least person to be called by God as a prophet. Amos made it clear his mission was directed by God, and was not for personal enrichment. God called Amos from a humble background. (Read, Amos 7:12-15, NIV). The wonderful act of grace, is that we are enlisted by God; not for where we have been; but for what He can do through us. The story of Joseph has many episodic turns. However, fundamental to his life-narrative is how God’s grace sustained him through an ordeal, that ultimately placed him in a position of authority over his oppressors. The place to which God commissions us, is where He will inevitably come. (Read, Psalm 105:17, NIV). Joseph told his distraught brothers, “It was to save lives, God sent me [to Egypt] ahead of you.” (Gen. 45:5b, NLT). Grace!


It’s All About Grace, Part 2 – God’s grace can be best defined as His  “never ending love for us.” This love is most apparent when we remain in active fellowship with God. Fellowship with God is made possible only through a relationship with Him. The Scriptures teach us that this relationship only comes through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, who we accept as Lord and Savior of our lives. Concerning receiving Christ in our hearts, John, in his Gospel, says: “He (Jesus) came into the very world He created, but the world didn’t recognize Him. He came to His own people and even they rejected Him.  But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn – not with a physical birth…but a birth that comes from God.” (John 1:10-13, NLT). The Apostle Paul further tells us that we are “saved by grace though faith... and this is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8, NIV). This means that God is ever seeking after the human children of His creation, to brings us back to relationship and fellowship with Him. We are freely given an opportunity, by trusting and believing in Him. We see this ever-present God, seeking to reclaim lost-humankind, when we disobey His plan for us, through sinful and profligate living. We see this in the world in which Noah lived in ancient times. With sin engulfing Noah’s world; God honored the faithful life of Noah, by sparing his family from destruction, to renew His creation and world. Although God would destroy the sin-contaminated world and its inhabitants; Noah found favor [grace] with the Lord (Read, Genesis 6:5-9; 22, NLT). In the worst of times, God never gives up on us. This does not mean, God is tolerant of our sins and transgressions; but a way is found through His grace, to rescue and direct us back into fellowship with Him. To benefit from God’s grace, we must be willing to “obey” God, and to “follow” His plan. We note that Noah obeyed God’s instructions. In addition to obedience, we must be willing to embrace and exercise our faith. The writer of Hebrews speaks of the unrelenting faith of Noah, which kept him in fellowship with God during a turbulent time. (Read, Hebrews 11:7, NLT). It’s also important to note that because God does not give up on us, He also will correct us. There are times, the methods God use to correct us are not as we would have preferred. But as the writer of Hebrews remind us, such correction – although unpleasant - is necessary for our spiritual well-being. The write says, “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening – it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” (Hebrews 12:11, NLT). The discipline God prescribes brings healing and restoration. Noah experienced the restoration that grace brings through God, when his sacrifices were accepted. God gave a perpetual promise to “never” destroy His living creation again (Read, Genesis 8:20-22, NLT). In our day, it is not God who is destroying the earth, we humans are! Grace does not destroy, only sin does. Grace reigns over sin. We should not sin because we may think God’s grace is always available. But it is because of grace in our hearts that we should have no desire to deliberately transgress God’s laws. God’s grace comes only through faith in Christ, (Read, Romans 5:20-21, NLT).


Key Idea:

What We Believe!

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


Key Verses:

Ephesians 2:8-10, NIV

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from ourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”


1 Corinthians 15:9-11, NIV

“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether then, it is I or they, this is what we preach and this is what you believed.”


Amos 7:12-15, NIV

“Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.” Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, “Go prophesy to my people Israel.”


Psalm 105:17, NIV

And He sent a man before them – Joseph, sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with shackles. His neck was put in iron, till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved him true. The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples set him free. He made him master of his household, ruler over all he possessed. To instruct the princes as he pleased and teach his elders wisdom.


Genesis 6:5-9; 22, NLT

“The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and He saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.”  So the Lord was sorry He had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke His heart. And the Lord said, “I will wipe the human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing – all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the air of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” But Noah found favor [grace] with the Lord. This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God…So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.”


Hebrews 11:7, NLT

“It was by faith that Noah built a large boat [an ark] to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.”


Genesis 8:20-22, NLT

“Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice, and said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”  


Romans 5:20-21, NLT

“God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they are. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God…”

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