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Bible Study Notes 4/26/22

Word Alive!

©2022 Winter Series

Finding God’s Purpose Forward!

Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton

Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor

Tuesday, 26 April 2022, Lesson 12, Part 1

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

Purpose For Tomorrow

Devotional Time: Chapter 10 (pp. 169-187)

Ending To Restart – We should avoid the temptation of thinking when we’ve reached the end of an assignment or a season, God no longer has use for us. When we’re in the will of God, there is always something we can do that will bring fulfillment to us, and glorify God. God created us as mortals, but not as disposable objects. As life continues through the seasons, we should look with anticipation to new experiences God will give us. When Jesus began the great prayer to the heavenly Father before His death, our Lord acknowledged He had “completed” his earthly assignment; but He looked “forward” to the work ahead in His High Priestly role with the heavenly Father (cf. John 17:4-5, NLT). In his book, Forward, Dr. David Jeremiah noted that, “Jesus did not finish all the work there was to do. He finished all the work that “He was given to do.” Jeremiah says further, “…Our prayer should be: “Lord, help me to finish the work You have given me to do.” If you do that you’ll have a full exciting life.” The specific assignments Jesus gave the disciples as “learners” ended when Jesus left; however, we witness their joy as they left for Jerusalem to await their new assignment (cf. Luke 24:50-53, NLT). As Christians we should be keenly aware that the scriptures teach us that when one phase of our spiritual tasks ends, a new phase begins. The ministry of Jesus continued after His ascension to heaven. He now unites with us on earth through His intercessory ministry as High Priest. The spirit of Christ lives in us; while Christ himself is ministering with the heavenly Father in heaven on our behalf (cf. Hebrews 4:14-16, NLT). Christ’s example lets us know that when one assignment is completed, a new assignment will be entrusted to us. We must be confident in knowing that age is not always an impediment to fulfilling our continuing purpose. With every season of life, we must learn to adapt to the challenges that come with our “new assignment.” Dr. Jeremiah mentioned a friend who was still engaged in work well in his nineties. He asked the friend if he was considering retirement. The friend responded, “Yes, I retire every night to go to bed so that I can get up the next morning to find out what God has for me to do.” Waking up each morning, the man prays, “God, here’s another day. I’m glad I’m still here. You must have something for me to do. What I want to do is magnify Your name. I want to please you in all that I do.” To “complete” what God has for each of us to do presently, we must be willing to endure. It is through endurance and patience, that we prepare ourselves for what God has next (cf. Hebrews 10:35-36, NLT).

Your New Start – While God’s purpose for us fundamentally remains the same, what we do forward will be consistent with the changes God will entrust to us. While some people have become acclimated to “influencers,” who offer immediate ideas and solutions, the scriptures emphasize the need for advisors and mentors. Jesus is ever calling for “disciples,” persons who are willing to learn and live by the principles He teaches. We recall Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Cf. Matthew 11:29, NLT). It is never too late to move in a new direction, provided we’re willing to learn and accept God’s new assignment. David’s younger soldiers came to his rescue; saving him from immediate danger, and helping him acknowledge the need to assume a new strategic role away from the battle field (cf. 2 Samuel 21:15-17, NLT). David was more valuable as a general at his age, than as a soldier on the field of combat. David was grateful for both the skills and perceptiveness of his younger comrades. We can all help each other, in the fulfillment of God’s purpose as we journey forward in life! While we can attain new gifts, there are specific gifts God gives us that remain constant. The scriptures emphasize “those” gifts, as well as God’s purpose for us, cannot be altered or changed. The Apostle Paul said, “For God’s gifts and His call can never be withdrawn (cf. Romans 11:29, NLT).” Joshua was advanced in years, but God’s intent for him to inhabit the Promised Land did not change (cf. Joshua 13:1, NLT). Joshua went from being an assistant to Moses in the wilderness, to leader of Israel; guiding them into Canaan, commanded the Israelite soldiers; and supervising the allotment of land in the new territory. Joshua’s gifts did not change; they adapted to the new challenges. Conversely, Josiah became a child-king at the age of eight. He was instrumental in restoring the religious and moral state of the nation. After ruling Israel for thirty-one years, Josiah had fulfilled his purpose as king, at the age of thirty-nine (cf. 2 Chronicles 34:1-2, NLT). It is our willingness to serve God, that allows us to fulfill our purpose, and complete our tasks. Like the disciples, we often feel completing our assigned task is too difficult. As Jesus said to the disciples, He says to us: “Humanely speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible (cf. Matthew 19:26, NLT).” In his book, Forward, David Jeremiah quotes Os Guinness as saying: “…We can retire from our jobs, but we can never retire from our calling [purpose]. Calling gives us our sense of task or responsibility.” A greater purpose awaits us when we willingly follow God’s plan. Trust God for your new start (cf. Colossians 3:1, NLT)!

________________________________KEY IDEA________________________________

What We Believe!

A new purpose, will end some things, and begin new things!

1. Never give up on God’s ability, to direct our purpose forward!

______________________________KEY VERSES______________________________

John 17:4-5, NLT

“I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now,Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.”

Luke 24:50-53, NLT

“Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting His hands to heaven, He blessed them. While He was blessing them,He left them and was taken up to heaven. So they worshiped Him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And they spent all of their time in the Temple,praising God.”

Hebrews 4:14-16, NLT

“So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses,for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

Hebrews 10:35-36, NLT

“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you. Patient endurance is what you need now,so that you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.”

2 Samuel 21:15-17, NLT

“Once again the Philistines were at war with Israel. And when David and his men were in the thick of battle,David became weak and exhausted. Ishbibenob was a descendant of the giants; his bronze spear-head weighed more than seven pounds, and he was armed with a new sword. He had cornered David and was about to kill him. But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David's rescue and killed the Philistine. Then David's men declared, “You are not going out to battle with us again. Why risk snuffing out the light of Israel?”

Joshua 13:1, NLT

“When Joshua was an old man, the Lord said to him,“You are growing old, and much land remains to be conquered.”

2 Chronicles 34:1-3, NLT

“Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right. During the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young,Josiah began to seek the God of his ancestor David. Then in the twelfth year he began to purify Judah and Jerusalem,destroying all the pagan shrines, the Asherah poles,and the carved idols and cast images.”

Colossians 3:1, NLT“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.”

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