Bible Study Notes 8/25/20

Word Alive! © 2020 Summer Series We Can Get Through This! Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor Tuesday, 25 Aug., 2020

Max Lucado, “You’ll Get Through This,” Lesson 9, (Chapter 8)

Devotional Time: “You’ll Get Through This,” (pp. 77-87)

Word Alive! © 2020 Summer Series We Can Get Through This! Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor Tuesday, 25 Aug., 2020


“Listen to me, you who have

understanding. Everyone

knows that God doesn’t sin!

Job 34:10;12, NLT

The Almighty can do no

wrong! Truly, God will do no

wrong. The Almighty will not

twist justice.”

James 1:17, NLT

“Whatever is good and perfect

comes down to us from God

our Father, who created all

the lights in the heavens. He

never changes or casts a

shifting shadow.”

Romans 8:28, NLT

“And we know that God causes

everything to work together

for the good of those who

love God and are called

according to His purpose for

them.”

Psalm 100:5, NLT

“For the Lord is good. His

unfailing love continues

forever, and His faithful-

ness continues to each

generation.”

Ezekiel 20:26, NLT

“I let them pollute themselves

with the very gifts I had given

them, and I allowed them to

give their firstborn children

as offerings to their gods so

that I might devastate them

and remind them that I alone

am God.”

Seeing The Good In God – There isn’t any question asked as often as, “If God is good, why do good people suffer?” For many millennia this question has plagued the human spirit. In ancient times, calamities and tragedies were said to be the result of some transgression by the person whom they afflicted. This is certainly the assumption with the story of Job in the Old Testament. Job’s friends, opined that his suffering was the cause of his sins. However, after listening to Job’s three friends, a young man, Elihu, defended the “good” character of God (cf. Job 34:10; 12, NLT). Neither Job nor God was the source of his suffering. Job’s suffering, as difficult as it was, became an experience of “testing,” that ultimately brought him healing and restitution. Like Job and Joseph, God “permits” us to encounter some trials, only to take us to a better place. The fact that God “allows” us to experience trials, in no way compromises the good in His character (cf. James 1:17, NLT). In the study devotional, You’ll Get Through This, author Max Lucado says, “God never creates or parlays evil.” He says further, “God at times permits tragedies. He permits the ground to grow dry and stalks to grow bare…But He does not allow Satan to triumph.” When we look at the idea of a “good God”, or “the good” in our lives, we must use the Biblical standard. Trying to find the good in the midst of life’s crises is not always easy. But God will use our experiences to create results, which are beneficial to us; and, which pleases Him (cf. Romans 8:28, NLT). The Greek word agathos, used in this translation, means “something beneficial,” or “

something well.” God remains on the side of what is ultimately good! The psalmist defines the character of God, as good. The Hebrew word used here is towb (tobe), which means “the best.” Emanating from this, is God’s unfailing love and faithfulness to us perpetually (cf. Psalm 100:5, NLT). The idea of a God who is involved in human affairs to bring about “good,” is often misunderstood when God “permits” certain evil behavior to transpire. However, God never endorses, nor plans, evil acts. This is both the sovereign and permissive will of God, for the “benefit” of bringing people to understand and acknowledge His power and authority alone (cf. Ezekiel 20:26, NLT). Circumstances Change But God Does Not - The scriptures are quite clear that God is “good’ and that tragedies and crises cannot change that essential fact. Who God is, cannot be changed! Jeremiah was living through a critical period in the life of Israel. Although God “permitted” the city to be invaded and decimated by the Babylonians, Jeremiah did not abandon his hope in God (cf. Lamentations 3:19-23, NLT). Our understanding of a God who is good, must not be limited by our disappointments or human expectations. God is not mortal as we are, so we can’t expect God to be contoured to our images of Him (cf. Numbers 23:19, NLT). Max Lucado offers this: “When cancer is in remission, we say, “God is good.” When the pay raise comes, we announce, “God is good.” Would we and do we say the same under different circumstances? In the cemetery…in the unemployment line...in the grocery line? In days of recession [pandemic] as much as in days of provision? Is God always good?” The scriptures provide the language and understanding of God’s goodness in a manner that’s often different from ours. Lucado says, “We must let God define good. Our definitions include health, comfort and recognition.” He says further the goodness of God was defined in the life of Jesus Christ who was victorious through “struggles, storms, and death.” We see Job in his unimaginable suffering, never abandoning the good he sees in God, despite everything seemingly working against him (cf. Job 2:6-10, NLT). A critical illness almost brought death to one of the Apostle Paul’s most needed assistants (Epaphroditus). The experience, however, brought to bear the mercy and healing presence of God (cf. Philippians 2:25a; 27, NLT). Joseph told Pharaoh that the nature of the king’s dreams was attributed to God’s sovereignty, and that the Lord had decreed both prosperous days, and seasons of famine (cf. Genesis 41:32, NLT). This profound lesson to Pharaoh came from a man who, for 13 years, had been held in Egypt with the status of a slave. Nothing that happened to Joseph during that period could cause him to question the absolute goodness and sovereignty of his God! _________________KEY IDEA __________________________ What We Believe Life is not always good, but the divine character of God is eternally sovereign and good. 1. God will permit us to encounter crises, to display His good! 2. God cannot do wrong, no does He cause evil ! ______________ KEY IDEA __________________________ I believe a person comes into a right relationship with God by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ There are three important aspects to the meaning of salvation in the scriptures: 1. The Problem: We Are Not Born (though human conception) Into a Relationship with God (cf. John 1:12-13, NIV)). 2. The Solution: There Is Only One Solution and our God Provided It (cf. Isaiah 53:5-6; John 3:15; Ephesians 2:8-9, all NIV. 3. The Outcome: A Lasting Relationship With Our Loving God. God Defends His Divine Authority – Although God is all powerful, He has zealous regard for His divine authority. God’s care is for His people, and scriptures describe Him as relentless in defending his Divine authority. God is loving, but intolerant with idolatry and apostasy. faith in the invitation, teachings, and completed atoning work of Jesus, that brings us into relationship with Him. The Apostle Paul passionately defended the importance of faith and grace as the means by which we come into the knowledge of, and receive, salvation. Our good deeds do not bring salvation; however, the result of salvation in our lives, will cause us to do good deeds (cp. Ephesians 2:8-9; Mark 10:19-23, NIV). Jesus is described as “doing good,” in terms of helping and healing people, because this was inherent in His character (cf. Acts 10:38, NIV). When we “Think, Act and Believe Like Jesus,” our lives will reflect His divine character. We will have a healing influence among others, and the love of Christ will cause us to be helpful and charitable toward each other (cf. I Peter 4:10, NIV). Randy Frazee says, “Our good works express that we…are in Christ…” , and not become anxious over material things (cf. Hebrews 13:5, NIV). God is involved in every aspect of our lives, and as such is a “personal God.” The deities that are mentioned in the scriptures were neither sovereign nor personal. The God of Scripture interacts with His children. He moves among us (cf. Genesis 3:8-9, NIV); speaks to us (Exodus 3:4, NIV); and, intervenes to correct us (cf. Genesis 11:7, NIV). God is “ever-present,” and is infinitely familiar with every detail of our being (cf. Psalm 139: 13, NIV). In his insightful book, Think, Act, Believe Like Jesus, author Randy Frazee suggest that there are two things that God “is not.” He says, “God is not uninvolved with creation without a plan.” Frazee says to the contrary, God is involved, and He does have a plan. Because bad things happen, it does not mean that God is completely absent from these encounters. Frazee’s second point is that God doesn’t create things, and then become uninvolved with what He creates. The scriptures provide us with evidence of God’s presence and involvement in the affairs of all of His creation. In Psalm 8, David pondered and celebrated the personal nature of God. Although David had an intimate relationship with God, he wondered how could a God as great as He, be so personally involved in the intricate details of creation and life. God is both majestic and personal! gladly wore the term and were willing to endure suffering for the cause of Christ (cf. Acts The Dangers of gods who Induce or Exploit Success – The inducement to succeed in life completely on one’s own terms is a sign of being lured by the gods who prey on human success. When God spoke to Moses and repeated His commands to Joshua, He was instructing m how to have “good success.” The success of God’s people is in relation to their reverence and respect for His instructions. Inherent in God’s instruction is the unassailable fact that we need Him at all times! I Kings 16:29-33, NIV). The appearance of the gods in the temple and shrines, affected a person’s behavior. When Ahab succeeded his father Omri as the new king of Israel, he could have brought reform to the nation by both ignoring and destroying the gods, Baal and Asherah. To the contrary and sadly, Ahab reinstated the old, unreliable false gods! This obsession with idolatry destroyed Ahab (I Kings 21:17-27, NIV). he character and special powers of a specific deity (god). People worshiped these representations (images) of specific gods whom they thought would bring about good results; such as fertility deities (cf. Genesis 31:19, NIV). The Lord is clear that He does not want people who submit to Him, to acquiesce in the presence of other representations of deities. Any concession to another god was/is considered an act of worship or devotion! The Hebrew term for worship used in much of the Book of Exodus, shachah (saw-khaw), means “to fall down flat,”“to crouch,” or “to surrender.” It’s a word that suggests reflexive (intentional) action. To serve a deity meant sacrificing one’s “heart.” Jesus said the condition of a person’s heart determines one’s character. In Luke 6:45, Jesus said: “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks, NIV.” The heart, which also is translated “mind” in the New Testament, is the battleground for competing influences. Proverbs 4:23 states, “Above all else, guard your heart…it is the wellspring of life.” Finding an “Open System” in Relationships relationbecomes disconnected from other healthy people, rigid, and uncompromising, it becomes a “closed system.” A closed system offers no room for growth. Nothing enters in the relationship that’s helpful. relationships Why Spiritual Values Matter: Their Outcome In our devotional aid, Beyond Boundaries, Chapters 13-17 will help us meditate upon scriptures that encourage the cultivation of three necessary spiritual values and character qualities in our relationships: 1. Growth – Our personal desires and needs should lead to significant spiritual growth. It isn’t because we have needs that we grow; it is because we’ve grown that our needs and desires become evident (cf. Psalm 37:4-6, NIV). 2. Healing – Overcoming anger, resistance, self-absorption, and harmful actions can be healed through releasing these inner weaknesses. We name them and move beyond them (cf. James 5:16, NLT). was also confident with himself, facing opposition; but he firmly defended his prophetic vocation (Amos 7:12-15, NIV). A person will never properly trust others until he or she learns who they are. Defining boundaries help us become less dependent upon protective boundaries. This does not mean that protective boundaries aren’t necessary. The protective mode keeps us from being hurt, and from harming others. Often God gives us wisdom in creating necessary protective boundaries (cf. Acts 14:4-7, NIV). We’re also reminded that while protective boundaries are often necessary, they also can be temporary. As situations change, so could some of our boundaries. In Beyond Boundaries, author, John Townsend states, “The healthier your defining boundaries are, the less you will need protective boundaries.” He states further, “The more clear you are about who you are and what is important to you, the less you will need to be self-protective.” This doesn’t mean we should never protect ourselves; but as Dr. Townsend observes, “You will be more confident in your choices and in your relationships.” Example? After King Saul died, David unrestrictedly assisted Saul’s family (2 Sam. 9:5-7). The Search to Connect the Dots- In developing or reestablishing trust in a relationship we must be honest in pursuing, identifying and addressing the unfavorable patterns in the relationship. Each of us has a “relational pattern.” This pattern of behavior is formed based on past experiences, present engagements, and our future expectations. To help us understand these relational patters of behavior, Dr. Townsend emphasizes the role of fusion and reaction in a relationship. Fusion is when a person takes on the behavior patterns of what was modeled in a family of origin. For example, Isaac modeled some of the behavior patterns of his father, Abraham (Genesis 26:6-7; Cp. 12:10-13, NIV). Reaction or Opposition is when a person’s reacts “against” the patterns of behavior that wounded them. Townsend states, “Sometime we take on the troublesome characteristics we grew up with, and sometimes we Reaching Down to the Family –brings healing that transforms the individual, and restores the family. ly Church leaders declared that the primary or chief purpose of human beings is “to honor or worship God.” In all that we do, we should worship God. The primary Hebrew word that’s rendered for worship is shachah (shaw-khaw), which means to prostate, bow down, fall down, cause to stoop, and to act in reverence. The Greek word used in the New Testament is proskuneo (pros-koo-neh-o), and means also to prostrate, bow, adore, and to petition. In addition to our primary response to God in worship, five other responses are common as a result of our trusting God: 1. Thanksgiving – because we trust God we can be thankful to Him in all situations, whether good or bad. In thanking God we also acknowledge our need for Him. Our dependence is in a God who cares for us and is with us in everything at all times. Our gratitude to God is the result of our trust in Him. Our confidence is is a trustworthy God! for our lives. The scriptures teach us much about the divine nature of God; however, a person’s trust in God is demonstrated through his or her pray life. Even when we’re aware of what the possible consequences of our actions or circumstances are, our trust in God should motivate us to pray (cf. 2 Chronicles 32:16-21). Dire circumstances should enhance our desire to pray! , we are to intercede on behalf of others in our prayers (cf. Ephesians 6:18-20). These principles in prayer can help us better understand and have more confidence in the sovereignty of God. Jesus certainly believed in the sovereign rule of his Heavenly Father; however, our Lord’s trust in the sovereignty of God encouraged him to be persistent in prayer (cf. Mark 1:35). . The writer of Hebrews assumes two important steps a Christian must take. First, it is assumed that a believer has been taught the basic teachings of the faith and its relationship to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. In the early church the writer was addressing, this was the situation. Unfortunately, some churches neglect their responsibility to provide its members with fundamental Christian teachings. Secondly, after a period of basic orientation and learning, the Christian was expected to “show evidence of maturity” by seeking to learn more and to experience a deeper fellowship with Christ and other believers. These successive steps, with God’s help, would definitely lead to maturity. Let’s review the successive steps to Christian maturity found in Hebrew 6:1-3 1. Once a Christian has learned the fundamental teachings of the Faith, he or she must _____________ the elementary teachings. 2. A Christian must then go on to ___________________. 3. With God’s help, a Christian will ___ _____ (mature). 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. ________ 1. Make time for God through daily devotion. (Psalm 1) 2. Ask God to direct you into the knowledge of His will. (James 1:4-5) 3. Trust in the promises of God for your life. (Proverbs 3:5-6) 4. Use the wisdom God gives, to navigate circumstances. (Pr. 4:5-6) 5. Resist any toxic thoughts or habits that harm you. (James 1:21) 6. Expect God to meet you at the point of your needs. (I John 3:21-22) Each day we must _____________ seek to __________ to the _________ of God, and to _________ ourselves to His _______ in us, so that our ______________ can mature in Christ. Lamentations 3:19-23, NLT

“The thought of my suffering

and homelessness is bitter

beyond words. I will never

forget this awful time, as I

grieve over my loss. Yet I still

dare to hope when I remember

this: The faithful love of the

Lord never ends! His mercies

never cease. Great is His faith-

fulness; His mercies begin

fresh each morning.”

Numbers 23:19, NLT

“God is not a man, so He does

not lie. He is not human, so He

does not change His mind. Has

He ever spoken and failed to

act? Has He ever promised

and not carried it through?”

Job 2:6-10, NLT

“All right, do with Him as you

please,” the Lord said to Satan.

“But spare his life.” So Satan

left the Lord’s presence and he

struck Job with terrible boils

from head to foot. Job scraped

his skin with a piece of broken

pottery as he sat among the

ashes. His wife said to him,

“Are you still trying to maintain

your integrity? Curse God and

die.” But Job replied, “You talk

like a foolish woman. Should

we accept only good things

from the hand of God and

never anything bad?” So in all

this, Job said nothing wrong.”

Philippians 2:25a; 27, NLT

“Meanwhile, I thought I should

send Epaphroditus back to

you… And he certainly was ill,

in fact, he almost died. But

God had mercy on him – and

also on me, so that I would not

have one sorrow after another.”

Genesis 41:32, NLT

“As for having two similar

dreams, it means that these

events have been decreed by

God, and He will soon make

them happen.”

Circumstances Change But God Does Not - The scriptures are quite clear that God is “good’ and that tragedies and crises cannot change that essential fact. Who God is, cannot be changed! Jeremiah was living through a critical period in the life of Israel. Although God “permitted” the city to be invaded and decimated by the Babylonians, Jeremiah did not abandon his hope in God (cf. Lamentations 3:19-23, NLT). Our understanding of a God who is good, must not be limited by our disappointments or human expectations. God is not mortal as we are, so we can’t expect God to be contoured to our images of Him (cf. Numbers 23:19, NLT). Max Lucado offers this: “When cancer is in remission, we say, “God is good.” When the pay raise comes, we announce, “God is good.” Would we and do we say the same under different circumstances? In the cemetery…in the unemployment line...in the grocery line? In days of recession [pandemic] as much as in days of provision? Is God always good?” The scriptures provide the language and understanding of God’s goodness in a manner that’s often different from ours. Lucado says, “We must let God define good. Our definitions include health, comfort and recognition.” He says further the goodness of God was defined in the life of Jesus Christ who was victorious through “struggles, storms, and death.” We see Job in his unimaginable suffering, never abandoning the good he sees in God, despite everything seemingly working against him (cf. Job 2:6-10, NLT). A critical illness almost brought death to one of the Apostle Paul’s most needed assistants (Epaphroditus). The experience, however, brought to bear the mercy and healing presence of God (cf. Philippians 2:25a; 27, NLT). Joseph told Pharaoh that the nature of the king’s dreams was attributed to God’s sovereignty, and that the Lord had decreed both prosperous days, and seasons of famine (cf. Genesis 41:32, NLT). This profound lesson to Pharaoh came from a man who, for 13 years, had been held in Egypt with the status of a slave. Nothing that happened to Joseph during that period could cause him to question the absolute goodness and sovereignty of his God!

_________________KEY IDEA __________________________

What We Believe

Life is not always good, but the divine character of God is eternally sovereign and good.

1. God will permit us to encounter crises, to display His good!

2. God cannot do wrong, no does He cause evil !

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