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Bible Study Notes 4/16/2024

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., 2 & 16 April, Lesson 13, Parts 1 & 2

 

Max Lucado, God Never Gives Up On You © 2024

Quiet Time: Max Lucado, God Never Gives (Reflection)


Conclusion – This study has helped us search the Scripture to understand the spiritual reality of the ever-present God. The God of the scriptures has divine attribute, which reveal His personal nature. God is not far removed from our daily lives; for the Lord participates with us in life’s arduous journey. While God is a Spirit, the scriptures often use human terminology to refer to God’s presence and concern for us. He “hears;” “sees;” “knows;” and “understands’ our needs and desires. God loves us unconditionally – “does not give up on us,” absolutely. While God told Noah that he “regretted He had ever created humans;” the human family was shown mercy, through the saving of Noah; his family; and animals, who were spared from the flood for repopulation through subsequent off-spring. Renewal and replenishing of the ecology, water-ways, and the environment – was God’s refusal not to give up on humankind and His creation. We can experience this throughout our human condition, throughout Biblical history, and in our personal journeys. In perhaps the first instance of God not giving up on the human family, is when we read of the primal break in the covenant relationship with God. Our human parents, Adam and Eve, became estranged from God because of the guilt they carried in disobeying God’s command not to tamper with fruit from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. While their fellowship with God was broken, and their relationship was seared; we still observe God seeking to find them as they hid themselves. While God did not approve of their transgression, and there were consequences for their sin; the animal cloth God gave them was a sign of mercy, that would lead to reestablishing fellowship with Him (Read, Genesis 2:8-11; 20;23-24, NLT). The banishment of Adam and Eve from the garden, was a further sign of God’s grace, which barred them from an environment that had become harmful to their spiritual life and well-being. God said, “What if they reach out and take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it. Then they will live forever.” (See, Genesis 3:22b, NLT). Realizing how vulnerable and weak, humans had become; God knew if they violated His command again, they would be consigned to a sinful mortal life, forever. We see these instances of God’ redeeming love and abounding grace as the human family develops, and civilization are formed. God restored His relationship and fellowship with the human family, after the great flood in Noah’s time. In the covenant God made with Noah, He vowed to never destroy the earth through such a deluge. The perpetual appearance of the rainbow, became a sign of God’s forgiveness and grace. (Read, Genesis 9:12-15, NLT). “Not giving up on us,” is never to be understood as tolerance for sin. The persistent and perpetual love of God for us, speaks more to the divine nature of God for His creation. It is God’s redeeming love, that finds us! (Read, Psalm 34:17-19, NLT).


Conclusion, Part 2 – Our God can be counted on to be with us, even in moments we’re unaware of His presence. What we perceive as the absence of God, is our failure to simply trust Him in remaining with us in all situations. This lack of trust, although not always persistent, is common to our human nature. It is important that we all work harder to cultivate our spiritual selves, as we continue along life’s journey. The Apostle Paul is very transparent when he discusses a tug-of-war between our human side and spiritual side. He admits that we wrestle with these two natures in us. However, he says confidently, “Thank God, the answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (See, Romans 6:21-25a, NLT). What Paul is referring to is our daily acknowledgement of Christ living in us; and our willingness to be led and guided by His teachings. The persistent presence of Christ in us, cancels sin and temptation. Those moments we wonder whether God is still with us, has much to do with our fellowship with Christ. The closer we are to the Savior, the more we will be assured of God’s presence. God does not give up on us. We make the mistake of giving up on God. Often, we can turn to Job to review his struggle with what he thought at times was an “absent God.”  The friends who visited Job in the worst season of his life, did little to encourage him. They blamed Job for his tragedy and predicament. Job in turn, wondered loudly whether God had forgotten him; or, if the Lord was limited in some areas of coming to his relief. It is the voice of God confronting Job, that pushed him closer to understanding God’s sovereignty (Read, Job 38:2-11, NIV). Did Job really have a defense for his concerns? Job, also, attempted to compete with God. Surely his sad and foreboding state of loss; incurable illness; and sudden poverty, could not have eluded a just God. So Job questioned the divine character of God, and wondered aloud why He didn’t show up, when needed. God responded by chastising Job. He informed Job that He had indeed “heard” his complaints, and was aware of his needs. Job could not possibly have known what God’s ultimate plan was. (Read, Job 40:1-5, NIV). Any of us, like Job, could unwittingly attempt to correct God. However, when we’re confronted by the Almighty. It can bring us to the place of humility where we will concede to God’s word on our behalf. The persistent God we serve, is compassionate enough to hear our concerns; however, disjointed. It is this realization that Job arrived at, and helped him understand God had not abandoned him. (Read, Job 42:1-6, NIV). God hears us when we least expect Him to understand our needs. We need to pray daily for closer fellowship with God; who also can be heard even in “silence,” The Psalmist instructs us: “Be still, and know that I am God.”  (See, Psalm 46:10, NIV). Amid the rumblings and chaos of this world, we must be “still” enough to hear God, and realize that He never gives up on us. The turbulent season of the psalmist, is testimony to the fact that even at the point of a near-death experience, God could be found. The psalmist had all but given up. but he came to realize God protected him, even when he failed to perceive his presence. (Read, Psalm 116:1-6a, NLT). The Apostle Paul says, that despite the many challenges and troubles life brings, “We are more than conqueror through Christ who loves us.” (Romans 8:37, NIV). Grace does not cease!


Key Idea:

What We Believe!

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


Key Verses:

Genesis 3:8-11; 20;23-24, NLT

“When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So, they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I was afraid because I was naked.” “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked.  “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to?” “…The man-Adam – named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live. And the Lord God made clothing from animal skin for Adam and his wife… So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden and sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And He placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”


Genesis 9:12-15, NLT

“Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is a sign of the covenant with you and with all the earth. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life.”


Psalm 34:17-19, NLT

“The Lord hears His people when they call to Him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the broken hearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.”


Job 38:2-11, NIV

“Who is this that curses my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?  Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone – while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it, and set its doors and has in place, when I said, “This far you may come and no farther; here is where our proud waves halt?’ 


Job 40:1-5, NIV

“The Lord said to Job: “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? Let him who accuses God answer Him!”  Then Job answered the Lord: “I am unworthy – how can I reply to you?  I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer -twice but I will say no more.”


Job 42:1-6, NIV

“Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, “Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?”  Surely I spoke things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. “You said, “Listen now, and I will speak: I will question you, and you shall answer me.” My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”  


Psalm 116:1-6a, NLT

“I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my cries for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath. Death wrapped its rope around me; the terror of the grave overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Please, Lord, save me!” How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours. The Lord protect those of child-like faith..”

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