01.5 BSF Matthew: Week 1, Day 5

Today’s Scripture

My Journal

Honor and obedience.

We live in a culture that is so dishonorable and so disobedient that I don’t think we fully have a grasp of the situation and times of Mary and Joseph.

In their day and culture, honor was everything.  There was no corporate names to hide behind, no “spin”, no SBA loans or Government Backed loans.  Who you were and what your name stood equated to your ability to earn a living.  Without honor, you had no credit in the community.  Without credit and trust in the community you had no income, no food, no shelter, no life.

When Mary turned up pregnant, Joseph was within rights to have her publicly humiliated, even to have her stoned.  But being a righteous man he thought to divorce her quietly, so hopefully she could have some sort of life.  The thought of marrying her would have been unthinkable.

But, then the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph.  And what does he do?  When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded.  period.  No prenups, no discussion, nothing – he just obeyed.

Doing what I or those around me thinks is the right or best thing to do does not require obedience.  Joseph’s obedience was tested in a way we have a hard time imagining.  Again, he didn’t do it with his own will or might.  He didn’t do it with his own thought.  He just did it (sorry, Nike).

What if we woke each day with the obedience in mind to do what the Lord commands of us this day?  What could God do with me with that?

As I look back, the times of greatest joy have not been when I have gotten my way, but when I trusted and followed God into areas of obedience that I did not think I was “the right person” to do or that I didn’t have strengths or skillsets or sometimes even desire to do.  But waking up and doing what God commands is a really powerful and joyful trip!

My Answers

9.
a.
i. He will crush your head and you will strike His heel
ii. Sceptor will not depart from Judah nor ruler’s staff from between his feet
iii. You are my son, today I have become your father
iv. Sign: virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel
v. For to us a child is born…

b. Matt 1: 23 = Isaiah 7:14

10.
a.vs 24: When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded

b. Accepting call to be a Children’s Leader in BSF.  I did not have a passion for babysitting other’s children and thought I would be better with adults, but accepted the calling God had for me.  The blessings have been amazing!!

11.
a. This was huge – honor was everything in the community.  This was life or death for Mary.

b. They alone gained the honor of loving and caring for the Christ child and living with God every day.  Not since Adam and Eve had there been such intimacy with the Lord

c. Submission to take risks for the Lord always yields amazing rewards.  Disobedience never does.

BSF Genesis: Week 10, Day 2

Today’s Scripture

Questions:

3.
a.
All of man’s needs, wants and desires were provided by God, focused on community – Not good to for man to be alone so God created companionship and community

b.
God’s first words following the fall of man was a promise of the coming of Christ to defeat Satan
4.
Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. The ancients were commended for it. Faith in the person of Jesus is the equal to faith and trust in God’s love for His creation from His word for all time

5
a.
Gave first and best. Gave sacrificially. Lord looked on Abel and his offering with favor. Revealed a trust and love of God

b.
Heb 11:5 – By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death

c.
Walk with God daily. Trust in him. Have faith. Give sacrificially (not holding back). Open your heart for God to see (He knows what is in it anyway)

My Daily Journal:

At first I was trying to figure out where BSF was going with the lesson this week.  But I think the overarching point that is being looked at is the character of these great men of the bible that we have studied so far.  Abel and Enoch.  And, most importantly within it, that their character was built squarely on faith.

For me the image that stuck with me came in the last answer.  I’ve prayed many times for an open heart to receive God’s word.  I’ve prayed it for myself, for my kids and family, for my church, for the children in Sunday school and BSF.  And, every time I’ve prayed it I had the image of an open vessel, something to catch what God wanted to pour out on me or them.

That is not a bad image, but I saw a different one today.  Today I thought about the fact that the scriptures say God looked at Abel and his offering.  It isn’t that God just looked at the offering, but first and foremost, he looked at Abel and what the offering was saying about him.  The visual idea that came to me was the image of pulling out my wallet and opening it up wide, allowing whoever is with me to take whatever they choose.  From a monetary standpoint it is saying, here is everything that I have, no secrets, no hidden pockets, full disclosure, you see everything as much or little as there is and I am offering it to you to take freely, please.  When I read that about Abel, that is the image I saw of him with his heart to God.

That’s what Abel and Enoch did.  They opened their hearts to God like that open wallet.  This is all that I have, not bragging, not shame, just full open disclosure in complete trust, eyes closed, no caveats, just trust.

But here is the interesting thing.  God already knows what is in our heart (and wallet for that matter).  So the act of opening it up is for us, not for God.

So why hide it?  Well, shame, lack of trust, wrongful pride, holding back — you name the sin condition.  And how does that work out?  Well Cain held back, that didn’t go so well, and if that isn’t clear enough there is the story about Ananias and Sapphira.

That’s convicting enough for me.  When I now think of opening my heart – I’m planning to open it wide.