BSF Genesis: Week 6, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

5.
a.
And then he died, 5:5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31

b.

  • The only way to eternal life is to be born again in the spirit
  • If you do not believe in Jesus, you will “die in your sins”
  • Death has reigned ever since the time of Adam
  • Wages of sin is death

6.
All of mankind is made in Adam’s likeness. Because Adam became imperfect, we are copies of that imperfection. Because Adam sinned, we are all sinners. The likeness of God in every person has been corrupted by original sin

7.
a.
Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. Noah: “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.”

b.
I can do that.  Enoch didn’t have some special power or calling.  He didn’t have some extraordinary gift or blessing.  He walked.  I walk.  He walked with God.  I can do that.

 

My Daily Journal

One thing I love about the people in the bible is how ordinary they are.  They sin.  They make mistakes.  They live and die.  They are like me.  But they also serve as examples for me.  I can do what Enosh did and call on the name of the Lord.  I can do with Enoch did and walk with God every day.  I don’t have to build an ark (jumping ahead), I can just walk.  It doesn’t take a leap of faith to begin, just a single step.

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BSF Genesis: Week 1, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Today’s Questions:

11. The H/S was fully present in the Trinity in creation. Spirit hovered over the waters, H/S was breath of God, sent to create

12.

  • contends with humans, present in and among us
  • dwells in us in our new heart to move us to follow and obey
  • Invisible, like the wind, but you can hear it and see the spirit’s results
  • Spirit is the living waters that flow from within believers
  • To dwell in us required the completion of salvation (Jesus went to send the spirit)
  • Advocate for Christ followers, forever, lives in us and will be in us though world does not see
  • Believers are reborn into the spiritual (no longer flesh). Spirit in me = I belong to Christ
  • Spirit is the ink that the Word of God is written on our hearts
  • Spirit provides our competence in the new covenant, judged to life not death
  • Spirit in us gives us the ability to see God with unveiled eyes and transforms us to His image
  • When believed, marked with a seal, the promised H/S, a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance
  • Believers are washed in merciful rebirth and renewed by H/S, poured out through Christ

13.
That the Holy Spirit lives in me forever and it is only through the spirit in me that the world can see God. God could do direct revelation or visions or dreams to people, but He has given me the gift of manifesting the salvation of others through the revelation of the spirit in me.

14.
a. The mark, the seal. We are saved when we are washed clean of our sins by accepting the gift of the sacrifice as payment of our sins and then and thus indwelled by the spirit. We must be changed, not to earn salvation and eternal life but because we carry the Spirit of God in us now and forever.

My Daily Journal:

What I am struck by this week and particularly today is how the word “in” keeps coming up in the study and my heart.  In the beginning God.  Not at the beginning but that God was fully In the beginning.  God is in all creation.  Also in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God… In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. Believe in Him. The spirit will live in you.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.  And we could go on and on.

The beauty this shows is the depth and closeness that God wants with us specifically.  He doesn’t want to be neighbors.  He doesn’t want to be roommates or even just be by or with us.  God wants to be in us and us in Him, perfectly bonded together, united in glory in the spirit forever.  Christ said it best in His prayer just before he left the last supper to be arrested as recorded in John 17: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one —I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

BSF Genesis: Week 1, Day 3

Today’s Scripture

Questions:

6. I do not believe that a day is necessarily 24 hours. Could it have been? – yes. Could it have been more or less time? – yes. We think of time as a fixed dimension despite our own knowledge that it is not (time slows down as an object approaches the speed of light)

7.   Why the earth? As a home for mankind. Why all creation? As a home for the earth. Why mankind? Because He is majestic and loving and chose to.

8. spoke, saw, eternal (he was before the creation)

Journal:

The bigger question isn’t whether a day is 24 hours or what elements constitute heaven and earth.  The big question is why is Genesis 1 in the bible at all.  I mean, why did God tell his creation about how He created everything and the order of that creation.  We aren’t on a need to know basis.  It has no impact on any persons daily life (at least not that I can discern) to know that birds came before horses.  Frankly, it would have sufficed and been accurate to say, “I’m God, I created everything, period.”  But He chose to break it down for us.  I think in large part He did it not so that we would concentrate of the beginning of the paragraphs (God said and it was so) but instead on the end when He saw that it was good.  We either don’t see that or we forget it.  We look at the waters and see them as wet, vast, deep, a bit scary, but we don’t normally see them as “good.”  For each element of creation God wants to ensure we know (1) He is in it and created it and (2) in His eyes (the only unfiltered eyes that exist), it is good.  When you fill your eyes with seeing God and goodness in all creation rather than inanimate blobs of matter, it changes your viewpoint and changes your heart.  Then, we you recognize that God made this “good” comment about each part of creation up until man, when He saw that it was “very good”  it changes your eyes and your viewpoint to the heart of God

BSF Genesis: Week 1, Day 2

Today’s scriptures

Questions:

3.
a.  God’s name appears 31 times. He created, said, saw, called, made, set, blessed. He conversed with man (alone). God was active, engaged, sensory (with human senses) and master (whatever he said happened).
b.  God is the creator. He spoke and it became so. Everything was His plan and purpose and everything occurred by and through His will

4.  It was good – except for man, where it was very good.

5.
a.

  • made by His power, founded by his wisdom
  • God made the world and everything in it, He gives life
  • since creation God’s qualities are clear in His creation

b.This message and my belief about the Earth’s origin are the same. God was in it and God did it.  So many scientists are tripped up today because they start with a bias that the story as stated in the bible must be false.  However, every revelation of science confirms the order of the story of God creating as outlined in Genesis. The more we try to disprove the more faith is required. Creation is not a repeatable experiment that can be duplicated, it is a historical fact, supported by the evidence of everything that was made.

Journal:

First:  In the entire bible, God spends exactly 1 chapter telling the story of all creation.  Immediately, in chapter 2 He moves to a discussion of His relationship with man.  We think of ourselves as miniscule dots in comparison to the enormity of the universe.  God considers the creation of the universe as miniscule in comparison to His love of us.

Second:  Let’s face it, if you or I were going to write a creation story, we would be right in the middle of it.  We would be created first, then we would do this, that and the other thing.  I would put animals on land before flying animals, seems easier to crawl than fly.  But here is what is interesting.  I wasn’t there.  God was.  And, the more we learn and observe and study the more we reinforce God’s record of what happened.  We sometimes get so big headed thinking we know everything, then there is a discovery like dark matter and we find that the entire scope of everything we know and understand makes up only 4% of what is really out there.  It is difficult to not be in awe of creation and to see it as unbelievably beyond comprehension.  It is, but God is bigger!

BSF Genesis: Week 0 – Lecture

What is Mr. C? (btw: Mr. C is my co-leader this year).  He is a man.  He is a BSF leader.  He is a father.  He is a follower of Christ.  All of these are true, but they don’t paint a very clear or complete portrait of Mr C.  To really get to know him, you would want a lot more information.  You would want to go all the way back to his childhood, to the very beginning.  You would want to know stories about his friendships and about the times and people who hurt him or let him down.  You would want to have some genealogy about his family, like what they did, how they lived, what they felt and believed.  You might want to hear songs that he liked, poetry.  You might want to hear his own words.

You see, that is what the bible is.  You can say it is a book or collection of books, because it is.  You could say it contains laws and direction.  But it is so much more.  The bible is the way that God has chosen to reveal himself to mankind.  It is the actual inspired word of God, told through the writing of humans, because that is how we can commune with God.  As God is eternal, so is His word.  It is stories about God, just as we would tell stories to learn about anyone else.  It is a tale of joy and a tale of sadness.  It is a book of poetry, history, prophecy, parable, law and above all, it is a book of grace.  It is a book with amazing joy, sadness and then redemption fulfilled at great cost.

The bible is God’s word.  God didn’t recite it word for word, but don’t mistake that they are His words.  In spirit He guided and inspired the authors to record, without error, these words so that we can become closer to God.  The written word is on the same level or authority as if God had spoken it (in a loud booming God voice) to you or me directly.  It deserves the same reverence, not in a lock it in a glass case and worship the ink and page, but in a way that requires our time and attention and effort to commune with.  The bible contains the knowledge we need to walk the path we are to take in our lives.  You can call it an instruction manual, a light, but most importantly, it is a gift.

God desires to commune and communicate with His people.  Did you realize that christianity is the only world religion that doesn’t have a “divine” language?  You don’t have to speak hebrew to read about God.  You don’t have to read ancient arabic.  The bible has been translated into over 2,530 different languages – almost every written language in the word so that every person can read, study and get to know the word of God and thus, know God.

How are you showing respect for the word of God in your daily life?  How are you showing just how thankful you are that God chose to let us get to know Him, that he cared that much?  Are you hungy and thirsty for the word?  Me, too!

Not only is this God’s word, but it is also how God reveals His divine purpose and plan.  So, since there is a master plan for how everything and everybody and all time is going to be and work and do, wouldn’t you want to know about it?  You see, God isn’t just a creator and builder, who designed and created everything, put it in motion and then just sat back and let it go.  He is a God of action.  That is one of the reasons we pray.  God is alive and listening.  He is active and moving.  He wants us to see Him, understand Him and, in reflection, understand His plan for our lives.

It is said that God’s main purpose is to glorify Himself.  Sometimes this is mis-understood and people think God needs us to tell Him how great He is.  Like we have something that God needs.  But it doesn’t mean that.  Think of it this way, a lightbulb’s main purpose is to show how bright it shines.  Glory is what God is, just as light is what a lightbulb is – OK, on a much bigger scale, but you get the point.

Do you believe that God has a purpose and a plan?  Do you believe that He has a will?  Do you believe that the God who created everything, knows everything, knows every blade of grass, every molecule, a God who is alive and active and listening and participating and communing…  Do you believe He just might have a thought or two in the fashion of a plan for your life?  Do ya’ think, then, that it might be a good idea to read and study the book where He wrote that down?  Just saying!

We start our study this year in the same book that God chose to start, Genesis, a book of beginnings.  Genesis tells us about the beginning of everything: at a universally large scale, as in, the universe, and on a subatomic scale as in the time that he spoke mass and matter into being (the heavens and the earth).  God could have chosen to reveal all kinds of details about timelines, and specifics about the way that He created, but He chooses to tell us the story in the matter that means the most to us, in a very human and personal way.  He spoke.  He saw.  These are human actions and God wants to reveal Himself to us in the language we all can see and speak.  Genesis tells about how we began with God and how we were given choice and made the wrong one (sound familiar to your own life?)  Genesis tells about things like rebellion, judgment, justice and, right from the very start, it begins the promise of redemption and reconciliation.  God tells us about Himself through the stories and interactions of His friends and the people He calls family, His peeps (as in they will be my people and I will be their God).

At some point in your life you will ask the question: How did I get here?  It may be at a time of incredible high, where you want to reflect on all the blessings.  It may be at a terrible low point.  It may be at a time that you just feel last or lonely or one where you are thankful and joyful.  Here is what I can tell you.  I know where the answer to that question is.  It is right here, in these words.  You see, everything we need to know about how we got here, physically, mentally, metaphysically, chronologically, spiritually, legally, purposefully, economically and redemptively – it is all here.  Where should we start?  How about: In the beginning God…

Getting Started in Genesis

I am very excited to get back into BSF this year and the structure it provides.  I am also very excited about the “kinder and gentler” structure of BSF.  We see this right off the bat in the childrens program.  In years past there was a heavy focus on going over guidelines the first night.  This year we jump right into fellowship and interactive discussions about the bible, Genesis, the BSF study, etc.  Later in the first night we discuss, together, standards that we (leaders and students together) want to have for the class this year.  There is involvement, input, engagement and participation right from the start.

Most importantly, I am very excited about studying Genesis.  God’s word is so amazing.  There is a depth and richness in it that seems to flower the more I mature.  There is truly a beauty that, while there on the surface, becomes even more beautiful as we look deeper.  It is good.

My plan is to post as I did last year (although with a bit more regularity and simplicity).  I would like to do my lesson daily and post my lecture notes each week

BSF Acts: Week 24, Day 5: Ephesians 5:22–6:9

Questions:

12. At the center is love, and not just any love, but the love like Christ had to sacrifice all for those He loved.  Christ became fully man.  A man invests himself fully in his wife, holding nothing back.  This isn’t 50/50 it is “all in”

13. How often my first thought is “I want them to” or “I need them to” whether at home, work or even church.  When my focus is on receiving I cannot be focused on giving or loving.

Thoughts:

There is a very significant call to husbands in these verses.  I think, too often, people get stuck on the wives submit to your husbands line.  But the expectation and call that is placed on husbands is hugely significant, and goes hand in hand with this statement to wives.  Verses 25 and 26 state, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy…” This isn’t a theoretical I would be willing to die for my wife sentiment.  (I would catch a grenade for you, fall on a blade for you – sorry, broke into song there for a minute.)  This is a decision to love so much that you step down from every right and honor that might be due to you for the purpose of loving and serving and building up another to make her holy, clean, without stain or wrinkle.  It is not, what would you do, but what have you done and what are you willing to do every day.  As a husband, how much of your time and life is focused on yourself.  If we choose to marry we are judged by the holiness of our household.

Do men know how to love like that?  Only through Christ and only through examples of God-fearing men in the church.  This is not something promoted by society, culture or schools.  But it is what is right and true.

I love my wife and I find that my love for her grows deeper the more I learn of the bible.  I can see so many ways that God is working in her life and it is easier and more natural for me to give thanks for the blessings I see flowing through her even more so than in my own life.

And Paul doesn’t stop with husbands and wives.  He included instructions for children and parents, particularly fathers:  Don’t exasperate your children.  What an interesting verb: Irritate intensely; infuriate.  How do fathers irritate and infuriate their children?  how do they fail them? When they fail to “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”  Children want to do what is right, but how do they learn and know – only when the parents provide opportunities for them to learn.

The same principles apply in those we work with.  Never forget, we all report to the same boss, the same Lord and master and He does not play favorites because of any earthly positions.