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Bible Study Notes 3/8/22

Word Alive! ©2022 Winter Series Finding God’s Purpose Forward! Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor Tuesday, 8 March 2022, Lesson 7 Dr. David Jeremiah, Forward: Discovering God’s Presence and Purpose For Tomorrow Devotional Time: Chapter 5 (pp. 79-95) Risks and Faith – Faith in God will not always diminish the risk involved in our efforts. However, no risk we encounter will defeat God’s plan. Our faith is the conviction we have in God’s promises; and it is the assurance that God will always help us obtain what we need. In his book, Forward, David Jeremiah says: “Most of us think of risk as a negative situation we should avoid. But risk is part of life, and it’s a big part of faith. Not every risk is worth taking, but if you’re too overwhelmed by fear to correctly assess a situation, you will miss many opportunities for growth, increased strength, deeper faith, and success.” While faith will not always remove the risk, it will strengthen our resolve that God is with us in every situation. Abraham is called the “father of all who believe” in God’s promises. God commissioned Abraham to “leave,” much of what gave him and his wife, Sarah, the comfort and security that sustained them. The scriptures describe Abraham following God’s instructions, although he “would be” told where he was going (cf. Genesis 12:1-4, NLT). We learn that Abraham likely traveled 2,000 miles from Ur, to what is modern day Israel. One source says: “Abraham traveled 700 miles from Ur to present-day Iraq. Another 700 miles from Iraq to the borders of Syria. Then 800 miles to Egypt, through the inland road, then to Israel (ancient Canaan).”The writer of Hebrews is clear that it was Abraham’s “faith” that led him to obey God, and take the risk of “not knowing where he was going (cf. Hebrews 11:8-9a, NLT).” When we put our full trust in God, our faith will always out weigh the risks, which are involved in our assignment. The Apostle Paul saw in the ancestors of faith, God’s design for “creating new things out of nothing (cf. Romans 4:16b-17, NLT).” Faith always assures us that God’s plan is greater than the challenges we face along the journey. Fear can often distract us from God’s plan, because we may feel the risk involved is too great. It is faith in the sovereignty of God, that causes our apprehensions and doubts to diminish. Faith assures us “nothing is too hard for God.” In the wake of doom, God said to Jeremiah, “I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?” (Cf. Jeremiah 32:27, NLT) In our human vulnerability, we often look for the “safe” way to reach our goals. Our greatest safety is in the Lord! Dr. Jeremiah asks: “Have you been plying it safe? Too safe? If forward is the direction you choose, be prepared to take some faith-based risks. Being a follower of Christ in today’s world is not safe. And it isn’t intended to be.” Our faith in God gives us bold and safe assurance! Faith, Greater Than The Risk - Our safety in God is not the result of human perfection or endeavor. Our ability to boldly take on life, is the result of our faith in God, through belief in Jesus Christ. Like Abraham, we are not born righteous, but we become righteous because of our faith (cf. Romans 4:22-25, NLT). To be righteous, is to enter in and maintain a “right relationship” with God. Righteousness is not a mark of human perfection; but it is the assurance of our right relationship with God through faith in his Son. Because of our right relationship with God, our faith will lead us in a direction, where risks will neither diminish nor defeat, God’s promises. The Scripture is replete with examples of God’s people overcoming risks and odds to experience and benefit from the fulfillment of God’s purpose. Moses, was such an example. He is rightly celebrated as a deliverer of his people from slavery in Egypt. It was Moses who led the people of Israel through the wilderness in the forward-journey to the Land of Promise. Moses is described as a “strong leader,” which he was. However, when God gave Moses his instructions to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and to Canaan, the land where God led their ancestors Abraham and Sarah, Moses anticipated many risks. As a result of the risks, Moses protested with five excuses, which he felt disqualified him from taking the assignment. It was after God assured Moses of His presence, and that none of the risks would inhibit him, Moses became settled with his assignment (cf. Exodus 4:18-20, NLT). When our faith confronts risks, we develop the assurance and spiritual vision to see beyond the present moment, to the outcomes God has promised. The writer of Hebrews recalls the extraordinary faith demonstrated by the parents of Moses, Jaco ’bed and Aram, when Moses was a young infant. The king of Egypt signed a royal decree which called for the killing of all first-born Hebrew male infants. The parents of Moses risked their lives, and that of their baby boy, by refusing to have the midwife take the infant’s life during birth. In spite of risks, they believed God had a special purpose for their son’s life. It was this same resolve, some eighty years later, that Moses came to accept when he conceded to God’s assignment (cf. Hebrews 11:23-26, NLT). Whether following the example of Moses or Jesus, Dr. Jeremiah says: “You must do the same. Recognize the risks and properly evaluate the opposition. Then when you have an inkling of God’s will for your life, set your face toward it and go forward.” God promises a great reward for each of us. It’s our faith that will lead us forward in each season! Almost every endeavor involves some risk, but faith sustains us. ________________________________KEY IDEA________________________________ What We Believe! Faith leads us through, and beyond every risk. 1. A risk taken by faith in God, will not defeat us! ______________________________KEY VERSES______________________________ Genesis 12:1-4 NLT “The Lord had said to Abram,“Leave your native country,your relatives and your father's family, and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.” Hebrews 11:8-9a, NLT “It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him,he lived there by faith – for he was like a foreigner living in tents…” Romans 4:16b-17, NLT “For Abraham is the father of all who believe. This is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.” Romans 4:22-25, NLT “And because of Abraham's faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn't just for Abraham’s benefit. Moses said. “I don’t even know that they are still alive.” “Go in peace,” Jethro replied. Before Moses left Midian, the Lord said to him, “Return to Egypt,for all those who wanted to kill you have died.” So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and headed back to the land of Egypt. In his hand he carried the staff of God.” Hebrews 11:23-26, NLT “It was by faith that Moses' parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to dis-obey the king’s command. It was by faith that Moses,when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward.”

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