BSF Genesis: Week 20, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

11.
25:23, Two nations are in your womb,    and two peoples from within you will be separated;one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

12
a.
He sought to give his blessing over to Isaac in secret

b.
He sought to place the blessing onto his favored son, not the one God chose.  In Chapter 28 he again blesses Isaac, without any deceit involved and sends him to get a wife from a tribe of believers.

13.
a.
Obedient, but had same ditches to trip in as did his father.  He is noted as praying, meditating and trusting in God.  He loved one son over another.  He was blessed by God.

b.
Time with God, trusting and obeying Him leads to blessings to bring honor to God

c.
Know our inherited weaknesses and don’t trip

My Daily Journal:

I was struck by the way the joy of the Lord overflows into answering our prayers and questions.  Rebekah asked, what is going on in my womb.  God could have answered, you are having twins.  But, He didn’t stop there.  He doesn’t talk just about what is going on right now, but tells her about the future and His plans as well.

That abundant answer to simple questions is evident throughout the bible.  God’s answer to prayer over and over again is “I am executing the plan to bring my Son to save you.”  We pray and focus on today’s challenges.  God answers those, but also the bigger picture.

Illustration:  you are ship wrecked in the middle of the ocean, adrift on debris and you have a hangnail.  You pray to God about your hangnail.  He answers and helps comfort you, but also reminds you that He is sending the boat to rescue you from the sea. (Disclaimer: I am not trying to equate the pain of carrying twins with a hangnail… Just an illustration of the temporal versus the eternal).

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BSF Acts: Week 20, Day 5: 2 Corinthians 6–7

Summary:

Throughout the letter Paul has come along side this church of growing believers.  Here he gives them more of a nudge than just counsel, to live singularly focused lives devoted to God.

In that same light, he expresses the joy that he feels in and through them and Titus.  Paul has sacrificed his own joy and cravings and seeks furtherment of God’s kingdom.  He gathers so much joy from the growth of others that anything for himself pails in comparison.

Questions:

13. a. 1.in great endurance; 2. in troubles, 3. hardships and 4. distresses; 5. in beatings, 6. imprisonments and 7. riots; in 8. hard work, 9. sleepless nights and 10. hunger;

b. 1. in purity, 2. understanding, 3. patience and 4. kindness; 5. in the Holy Spirit and 6. in sincere love; 7. in truthful speech and 8. in the power of God; 9. with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;

c. 1. through glory and dishonor, 2. bad report and good report; 3. genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 4.  known, yet regarded as unknown; 5. dying, and yet we live on; 6.beaten, and yet not killed; 7. sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; 8. poor, yet making many rich; 9. having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

d. Yes, but: I am not living a life “out there” as Paul did… little hardship, distress, no beatings, but developing in the spiritual characteristics and teaching others – Be more BOLD!  But also follow God’s call for my life.

14. It is living a life subservient to the gospel and the growth of others.  Joy is not found in self, well-being, etc., but in the growth and development of others

Summary:

What a great nudge/warning to the church.  One we should strongly heed today.  They faced the dilemma that many Christians struggle with today, compartmentalization.  There was their God life and their business life.  On the church side, they met, grew, communed, worshiped, etc.  This was a community of like minded, although socially/economically disperse people.  On the other hand was their business.  They were in trade unions with non-believers.  They ate with them, worked with them and were a part of this community. Paul isn’t telling them to sell all and become beggars, but he is saying (again) that your actions should tell you are being transformed.  If you can’t tell who the chistians are, then maybe they just aren’t reflecting that much of God’s life (ouch!)

Joy.  Paul has reached the point where his true passion is the growth of others, even to the detriment and destruction of his own body, rights and freedoms.  But what an amazing joy it is.

BSF Acts: Week 20, Day 4: 2 Corinthians 5

Summary:

Using a tent analogy, Paul longs for his heavenly home.  He also discusses the fully transformational state of salvation.

Questions

11. a. We groan in longing for transformation, spiritual and physical, to live forever in the presence of God

b. Most of the time – Yes

12. a. to restore, harmony, to make congruous, to account for

b. allowed us to be born again, not of Adam, but of Christ, a new creation

c. Yep

Conclusion:

Once you’ve tasted the “good stuff” you long for it.  We will sometimes purchase milk from a local dairy.  This is amazing milk, rich, high in fat content, chocolate flavored so it tastes just like melted ice-cream or root beer flavored to taste just like a float.  After it, drinking normal skim milk is so pail in comparison (pail… a little dairy cow humor, there) that it just causes you to yearn for the good stuff.  The revelation of our heavenly bodies in an eternal home in the presence of God should cause us to moan in comparison with every breath we take in this body.

Paul points out that we are not just hosed down and cleaned up.  We are reborn – a new creation.  Born into Christ not Adam.

BSF Acts: Week 20, Day 3: 2 Corinthians 3–4

Summary:

Paul begins with identifying how the Corinthian church represents him – they are his resume, his “letter of commendation”.  Changed lives speak higher than scholarly works or degrees.  He then provides a contrast between the old and new covenants, the one focused on death and paying the price of sin and the new where that sin has been paid and death defeated and we are transformed into God’s likeness anew.

With this he points out how amazing God is.  This gift is not limited to kings, to vessels of hardened steel or jewel encrusted containers.  But God flows out freely into jars of clay: every day vessels: everyone.

Questions:

7.  a. Rom 7:6 Delivered from the law, died to what we held, to serve in the newness of the spirit

b. John 6:63, It is the spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words are spirit and are life

c. Ex 34:29 Moses veiled his face to shield Isrealites from God’s glory

d. John 1: 14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory

e. Matt 13:43 – Righteous will shine line the sun… He who has ears, let him hear

f. Holy Spirit 1 Peter 1:2 The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit

8. The only way to see the whole truth of the scripture is to see Christ – without it we are veiled and unchanged.

9. a. blinded the minds of unbelievers

b. the gospel is veiled to them

c. Jesus through the Holy Spirit

d. Treasure in jars of clay – power is from God

e. Carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body

f. We who are alive are give over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body

g. Believe and speak – renewal of the heart

10. We carry the death (payment of sin) so that we can tell others of the resurrection (rise to glory): unseen is eternal

Conclusions:

4 key points to focus on.

1. “I’m not competent/confident/comfortable talking with others about Christ.”  Have you ever heard someone say that?  Have you ever said it yourself?  I sure didn’t expect Paul to be saying it, too.  But there it is: vs. 5 and 6.  I’m not competent.  It is only through Christ.  Period.

2. We often think of Christianity in binary terms.  Saved or not.  In or out.  But Paul talks in vs 17-18 about the transforming effects of the Holy Spirit.  He talks of it as a continuing path, much like the growth in faith many of us experience, where we continue in glory to better reflect the glory of God in us.

3. vs 10+ talk about the privilege and duty to always remember.  We have been invited into this family at great cost.  And while we are to grow and love and live and enjoy the great feast and huge benefits of being brothers and sons, it is only through remembering the price that was paid (i.e., we did not earn or deserve it) that we have the ability to offer the gift to others.  To get in and grow you must first have the price of admission paid (death), then you can be transformed (spirit).

4. Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.  Paul does such an amazing job of never looking down into the pit.  Regardless of how deep a pit he is pulled into, his eyes remain sky-bound, focused on the eternal.