Madagascar

No, not the movie…

Madagascar

Our first shipment of children’s clothing and school supplies sent to the orphanage in Madagascar! Very exciting… special thanks to Sharon Dowis for gathering up all the items for us.

James 1:27 (ESV)

27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Invitation to Hope in God

Hope. Without it, it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. God knows we can’t live a life of joy in this world without hope. The author of Hebrews describes hope as an anchor. What a wonderful analogy! When you are having extreme troubles with your spouse, your marriage is said to be shaky. When your business is experiencing difficult financial issues, your company is classified as shaky. Marriages end in divorce and businesses close their doors because they have no anchor. Without hope, life is shaky at best.

Today (Wednesday, March 12th, 2014) we examine a case study of Abraham. Our text, Hebrews 6:13-18, is an object lesson in hope. These next two lessons, that will complete our study of chapter 6 of Hebrews, will change your life. They give the objective reason for hope. I promise! Don’t miss them.

I invite you once again to the Patriarch Project weekly Bible study. Every Wednesday at 11:45 AM and again at 6:00 PM MST (Arizona time), we study the Bible together. We study the Word of God for one simple reason…HOPE!

Please join us in one of three ways. You can attend the Bible study in person; you can login via GoToMeeting; or you can visit our blog and watch the sessions anytime at www.patriarchproject.com.

We are located at 138 S Hamilton Place, Gilbert, AZ  85233. If you would like to attend the study via GoToMeeting, simply send an email to m.jones@patriarchproject.com and request an invitation.

 

Teaching Outline Week 13

The Joy in Responsibility

(An In-Depth Study of Hebrews)

Commentary

Got Milk?

Hebrews 5:11-14 

Outline 

The warning that the author of Hebrews has been repeating at times through the first five chapters is brought into sharp focus:

 

Issue:              Ignorant of even the basic principles of God  (verse 12)

Previous warnings:

2:1 Pay closer attention to the Word

3:1 Consider Jesus

3:8 Don’t harden your hearts

3:12 Take care, lest you have an evil heart of unbelief

4:1 Fear not entering the rest of God

4:11 Strive to enter the rest of God

4:14 Hold fast to your confession

 

Cause:                        Dull of hearing (verse 11)

Dull = Slow, sluggish (6:11-12)

Opposite of Dull is earnest, diligent

Hearing = believing (4:2)

Opposite of hearing is a rejection of the heart

Result:            Adults still living like babies (verse 13)

Milk is good (there’s nothing wrong with the milk)

Not growing by drinking milk is bad (a 20 year old baby has a disease)

Fix:                 Become mature with milk (verse 14)

Start drinking milk!

Be totally satisfied with the milk.

Receive the mind of Christ!

 

Life Application:

Discern between good and evil (Live a discerning lifestyle)

Synopsis and Homework Week 12

In the days of Jesus’ life on earth he knew his purpose. He knew the need for a prefect once-for-all sacrifice to become the source of eternal salvation to everyone who placed their faith in the Perfect One alone. He knew he was that sacrifice. He knew exactly what John the Baptist was declaring when he pointed to Jesus and cried, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

The author of Hebrews pulls back the curtain on Jesus’ earthly life and we see our worthy Savior walking daily, even minute by minute, with his Father in prayer. The weight of creation itself rested firmly on Jesus’ shoulders in this time of testing. One sin in his 33 years would send the entire salvation plan to the fiery abyss. One sin would end for all time the hope of eternity. The times of Jesus’ testing made famous in the Gospels, in the wilderness and in the garden with Satan, sometimes so overshadows his day to day life that many Christians fail to marvel at the love of our Savior to endure to the end for our sake. O how he loves us!

HOMEWORK:

The label “Christian” means to be like Christ. Many scratch their heads when thinking about his sinless life; most of the time it’s because we think of a Christ-like life as a list of do’s and don’ts. The author of Hebrews paints a much different picture. We see Jesus, with prayers and supplications, crying out to the Father for help. We see Jesus knowing without doubt that God is his only hope. We see Jesus living out his life loving righteousness and hating sin.

Read Romans 7:7 through 8:1

How did knowing the Law affect Paul? (see verses 7-11)

 

What happens to you when you try to live according to a list of do’s and don’ts?

 

Did Paul expect to live a perfect life? (see verses 15-20)

 

What did Paul love and what did Paul hate?

 

Where did Paul place his hope? (see verse 24)

Synopsis and Homework Week 11

A mentor taught me that prayer is a “wartime walkie-talkie”, not a bell to ring for the butler. I’m not calling to have my pillow fluffed, I’m asking my Leader, my General, my King instructions for battle. We have already drawn the battle lines in previous chapters. Our battle is against unbelief. We fight to trust. We meditate and pay much closer attention to the Word to believe what it says; to trust in the promises.

The greater our trust, the greater our confidence. The greater our confidence, the more we find ourselves before the Throne of Grace. The more we find ourselves before the Throne of Grace, the more help we receive to fight the battle. The pattern is clear. We don’t strive to do, we strive to believe. The doing comes from resting in the promises.

My help comes from a sympathetic High Priest. I am understood. My leader has been tested in every way that I am tested. I fail often, He never fails. Yet He has pity on me. I don’t arrive to find a mostly annoyed perfectionist when in need of help. I always find the perfect source of help. So, I come with confidence.

HOMEWORK:

Read Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus earthly ministry began with testing. It is the plan from the beginning. Being fully human (and also fully divine) there must be proof that Jesus is the sinless once for all sacrifice for the sin of the world. Notice that the first thing Jesus did, before the accuser was engaged, was fasted and prayed for forty days.

 

The detail of Jesus’ prayer and fasting is not stated in Scripture. However, based on what we have been encouraged to do by the author of Hebrews, what do you think the focus of Jesus’ prayer was to the Father in those forty days?

 

What did Jesus use to do battle with his accuser?

 

 

Teaching Outline Week 7

The Joy in Responsibility

(An In-Depth Study of Hebrews) 

Commentary

Don’t Be Like Those Guys

Hebrews 3:7-19

Outline

Reminder from verses 1-6: 
Jesus is greater than Moses
               Jesus made Moses
               Jesus is God           
               Jesus is the Son and Heir 
Verse 6… 
We are His household IF,
               We hold fast in Hope. 
Therefore, (picking up in verse 7) 
               Don’t be like those who didn’t enter the Promise land. 
Psalm 95:8-11 (Used as a call to worship in the days of worship at the Temple)
               Verse 7 – 11:
                               These people:
a.       Heard the voice of God
b.      Was motivated to follow
c.       Saw God’s mighty works
d.      Had unbelieving hearts
e.       Didn’t make it in the end 
LIFE APPLICATION: 
Living daily in Christ is all important. 
Without the Bible we drift away from God. 
Do not treat the Grace of God with contempt. 
Do not try to fix your behavior, just fall in love with Jesus!

 

New Year’s Resolutions

I heard a statistic regarding the average American and new years resolutions…only 8% of us keep any one of the resolutions on our list. In other words, if you have 10 resolutions there is only an 8% chance you will keep even 1 of the 10. If you have ever wondered why depression is so wide spread in our culture, look no further than your list of abandoned resolutions.

The problem with New Year’s resolutions is they call for “external change” and give no regard to the power by which external change takes place. May I suggest that unless your heart change, external change is not sustainable.

I know of no other agent of change for the heart and soul of a person than the Word of God. That said, I offer the only list of resolutions necessary:

  1. May I love and adore the Word of God and the portrait of Jesus Christ it paints.
  2. May my adoration of Jesus be manifest to the world around me.

Please join us as we continue our study of the book of Hebrews this Wednesday; 11:45am and 6:00pm.

Teaching Outline Week 6

The Joy in Responsibility

(An In-Depth Study of Hebrews) 

Commentary

Consider Jesus

(Christmas Edition)

Hebrews 3:1-6

Outline

Verse 1:

Consider Jesus, the faithful Apostle and High Priest

Let’s take a look at a favorite Christmas hymn: O, Come All Ye Faithful!

O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, 
        O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem. 
        Come and behold him, born the King of angels; 
Refrain:
        O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him, 
        O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord. 
O come all ye faithful: Hebrews 2:16-17 Jesus was first faithful and makes a way for us to join the faithful! 
Joyful and triumphant: Hebrews 2:14-15 No longer slaves to death and sin. 
O come ye: Hebrews 3:1 Consider this Jesus! 
Behold him, born the King of angels: Hebrews 1:13 Jesus, reigning victorious King  
And now the refrain: O come let us adore him 
ADORE: 
               Shepherds (Luke Chapter 2:20) 
                               Smell like manure, not incense 
               Magi (Matthew Chapter 2:10-11)
                               More like wicked wizards than kindly kings 
ACKNOWLEDGE: 
               Roman King (Matthew Chapter 2:3)
                               Wanted Jesus dead. 
               Jewish Religious Elite (Matthew Chapter 2:4)
                               Really wanted Jesus dead! 
LIFE APPLICATION: 
This Christmas, do you adore Jesus or simply acknowledge him? (Hebrews 2:1)