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It is all about the Object of our faith.
Key Bible Verses: So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me. " Matthew 14: 29-30
This title became a popular corporate mantra over the last decade. Two thousand years ago, it held a different meaning we would do well to rediscover.
Key Bible Verse: “...He must increase and I must decrease.” John 3: 30
John lost his head because of his singular devotion to Christ.
Key Bible Verse(s): "The king was distressed, but...he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. " Matthew 14: 9-11
It takes a man of great conviction to be so sure of God's calling that he preaches a hard message no one wants to hear...
Key Bible Verse: "In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3: 1-2;
Key Bible Verse(s): "Now when (the three wise men) had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.” So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt..." Matthew 2: 13-14
"Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when (Jesus) became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast" Luke 2: 41-42
Key Bible Verse(s): Even before the angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph, he had already decided to do right by his betrothed...
"And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly." Matthew 1: 19
Reforming is a "living" process.
Key Bible Verse: "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2: 20
Conforming is a "dying" process.
Key Bible References: "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son." Romans 8: 29
"that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death." Philippians 3: 10
Key Bible Verses: "...mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12: 15b
"...always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence" 1 Peter 3: 15
Key Bible Verses: "Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation..." Hebrews 2: 1-3
As I prayed for the families of the nine victims of the recent tragic helicopeter accident, the Holy Spirit impressed upon me to use this week to speak biblical truth into the lives of poeple on both sides of the Cross - addressing the hard questions.
Key Bible Verses: "I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world." John 17: 15-18
Bible References: "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want." Psalm 23: 1 ( a song of peace and contentment in the LORD)
"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions." Psalm 51: 1 (a prayer of repentance)
Bible References: "God called to (Moses) from the midst of the (burning) bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am...Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh?" Exodus 3: 4, 11
Psalm 90 - The Psalm of Moses the man of God
Key Bible Verse; "It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples."" Luke 11: 1
Key Bible Verses: "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Philippians 2: 5 - 8
Key Bible Verse(s): "...sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;" 1 Peter 3: 15
Key Bible Verse: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2: 8-9
Bible References: Ephesians 2: 1 - 10
Perhaps most Protestant Christians have no idea what this is or even that these books exist. It can take a huge investment of time to study this subject, long debated among theologians and church leaders for centuries. Hope this brief snippet of insight helps provide a cursory level of understanding and stirs you to look deeper.
We learned much about the God of the Bible from His character to expectations of His men. We learned a great deal about many of these men and relationships with God through their successes and failures. Now we look in the mirror and ask: What did I learn about myself (my relationship with God)?
We have completed our time in the Old Testament looking into the lives of more than three dozen men in more than 100 episodes. What did you learn about their lives and relationships with God through their successes and failures?
Bible References: "Then God said..." (Genesis 1); "Then the Lord God commanded (Adam) saying..." (Genesis 2: 16); "Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets," (Hebrews 1: 1)
Key Bible Verses:
John the Baptist is coming. Malachi 3: 1a
Jesus Messiah is right behind him: Malachi 3: 1b - 3
The Great Day of Judgment awaits: Malachi 4: 1
Final words of hope to the faithful believers: Malachi 4: 2
Key Verse(s): "Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit...Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. “For I hate divorce,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, " Malachi 2: 14-16
Key Bible Verse: "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?' says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name..." Malachi 1: 6 (also 2: 7-8)
This week we focus on one of the greatest leaders in the Bible. God did not call him out as He did Moses and others. This man saw (and felt) a great need and took it to God.
Key Verse: "O Lord, I beseech You, may Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and the prayer of Your servants who delight to revere Your name, and make Your servant successful today and grant him compassion before this man." Now I was the cupbearer to the king. Nehemiah 1: 11
Key Verse: Ezra 8: 22 "For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, "The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him."
Bible References: Ezra 8: 1 - 32
This is perhaps the most beloved of all children's Bible stories (and men who have child-like faith). We close the book of Daniel with one more amazing demonstration of the faith of a man of God in and through deadly circumstances brought on by the betrayal of jealous men.
Bible References: Daniel 6: 1 - 28
IMHO, this is the greatest "faith in action" testimony in all of the Bible. Hanniah, Mishael, and Azariah (aka Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) were men of great faith who possessed an even greater understanding of their God.
Bible References: Daniel 3: 1 - 4: 3
Key Verse: O Lord, I have become a laughingstock...everyone mocks me." (from Jeremiah 20: 7)
Chameleon Christian or obedient man of God like Jeremiah...no matter what the cost.
Bible References: Jeremiah 20, 37, 38
Isaiah responded, "Here am I. Send me." Now it was Jeremiah's turn and he did not disappoint. He had not idea the severity of this call and what lay ahead. But he apparently believed strongly in the One Who called him.
Bible References: Jeremiah 1: 4 - 19
This is never a good idea. But it particularly bad (and stupid) when the signs come from God Himself.
Bible References: I refer you to all the key verses from this "prophet" part of the MITB series. Each includes just a few of the many warnings God gave because He loved His people so much.
That was just part of Isaiah's humble response when his eyes beheld God Incarnate on His throne in all of His glory. He followed that with, "I am a man of unclean lips". Listen and learn more from this great man of God.
Bible References: Isaiah 6: 1 -13
The fact that God told Hosea to marry a whore is mind-blowing for some. The fact that her name was Gomer makes many in our culture today chuckle. But God was never more serious about His message and intentions - then and now.
Bible References: Hosea 1: 2-3; read all of chapter 4
That title provides an overview of the first "major" prophet's book. The theme remains consistent because that is the nature of God. We are going to hit the high and low points as we move swiftly thru this long book of prophecy. As always, look for what the Holy Spirit has for you to apply at each stop along the way.
Bible References: Isaiah 1 - 66
"...yet you have not returned to Me." Thru Amos - a fig farmer not a prophet, God called out His people and gave them more chances to repent and turn back to Him. He does the same for us. Most of Judah chose not to repent and seek forgiveness. How did you respond?
Bible References: Amos 4: 6,8,9,10,11; 7: 14
Key Verse: "And rend your hearts and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil." Joel 2: 13
In three short chapters, Joel prophesied of devastation to come because of the people's sin and how they could avoid it, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the judgment "day of the Lord", and His mercy for those who return to Him.
The Jordan River is one of the most important locations in biblical history. The events and crossings that took place over and in it changed history and our lives forever. At some point, the Lord will lead you to your "Jordan". The question will be, will you trust Him to cross over?
Bible References: 2 Kings 2: 6-15; Joshua 3: 1-17; Matthew 3: 13-17
Just as it was in the days of Joshua and Elijah, the power of God is on display today through the Holy Spirit in the lives men of faith who believe He is....
Bible References: 2 Kings 2: 4-5; Joshua 5: 13 - 6: 1 - 27; Hebrews 11: 6
Loneliness is epidemic in our country despite all the "social media". God asked me to remind you His presence is always available IF we choose to enter into it.
Bible References: 2 Kings 2: 2-3; Genesis 28: 10 - 22
God is deeply committed to the "man preparation" business. As He did throughout Scripture, His desire is to prepare us for His work. The question is are we letting Him?
Bible References: 2 Kings 2: 1; Joshua 5: 2-9
In all the Bible, I do not think there is a wider swing of emotions - the high experienced from God's awesome display of power over Baal to fear and the depths of depression and a death wish. My dear brothers, pay close attention to this episode and share it widely.
Bible References: 1 Kings 19: 1 - 21
After three years of drought and the accompanying hardships, God told Elijah to come out of hiding and stand before the king that sought to kill him. God was about to demonstrate His power (again) for one reason - remind His people Who He is and Whose they are (or were).
Bible References: 1 Kings 18: 1-40
No prophet or preacher wants his first words from God to be telling "His people" they are about to enter a long, crippling - even deadly - drought. Elijah was faithful to obey God and bring this bad news. Just as we saw with Jonah, God often used nature to bring about His punishment and discipline to get their attention and try to bring repentance.
Bible References: ! Kings 17: 1 - 6
Resentment is an unbecoming condition of the heart in any man of God, especially a prophet. Why would Jonah be angry that God forgave the repentant people of Nineveh and spared them and the city? God gets to the heart of the matter.
Bible References: Jonah 3: 1 - 4: 11
Israel, now a divided nation, was guilty of allowing pagan people and nations to infiltrate their society and destroy their godly heritage and culture. Sound familiar? The Lord is giving us a much needed wake-up call.
Bible References: These stories are found in the books of 1 Kings 15- 22; 2 Kings 1 - 25; 2 Chronicles 13 - 36
Based on where we left King David, it is hard to understand how he was the ONLY man in the Bible with this amazing description. Listen and learn.
Bible References: 2 Samuel 7; 1 Samuel 13: 14; Acts 13: 22; Psalm 51
Bad decisions and errors in judgement impact kings and famous men perhaps even more than the rest of us. God is willing to forgive our sins, but the consequences can follow and plague us for many years. Here is a synopsis of those of mighty King David, great man of God.
Bible References: 2 Samuel 11 13
Most experts agree David was 15 or younger when he took on this giant warrior because the real soldiers ran away in fear. David could not stand that fact that anyone would mock the name of the LORD his God. O that we would have that same courage today.
Bible References: 1 Samuel 17: 1 - 54
David's entry into biblical HIStory is an inflection point of a sort. We are going to dwell on his life for a while because so much parallels our own. Yet, despite all the issues, he is the only man God ever called "a man after My own Heart" - a title we all seek.
Bible References: 1 Samuel 16: 1 - 14
As we examine the lives of men in the Bible, it’s important to look at their successes and failures and examine our hearts in light of those lest we fall on our own swords like King Saul.
Bible References: 1 Samuel 10: 8, 13: 1-14
Can you think of any sadder words than to have God say He regrets having chosen you? That is exactly what He said twice about having allowed Saul to become king over His people.
Bible References: 1 Samuel 8: 18; 15: 11, 35
Throughout biblical history, God was King and Lord over His chosen people. We know He guided, protected, and provided for them always. The people of Israel had sunk so low, they demanded that Samuel anoint a human king over them like the other nations had.
Bible References: 1 Samuel 8: 1-22
So desperate for a child, Hannah promised God she would give him back to His full time service. That is how, Samuel, the last judge and first prophet of Israel came on the scene. His most famous line should find its way to our lips also..."Speak Lord, for your servant is listening."
Bible References: I Samuel 1: 9-28; 3: 1-22
While the book of Ruth is well-known as the story of Ruth, a Moabite woman, and Naomi, an older Jewish widow, it comes together when God introduces His man, Boaz, to redeem what would have otherwise been a sad ending of two poor women. It is a picture of Christ and us.
Bible References: Ruth 1: 1 - 4: 22
You have to be in my age bracket to remember this comical song, but I could not resist the opportunity to use that title even though it was grammatically incorrect. During the hundreds of years after Joshua before God finally relented and gave Israel a king, He used "judges" to manage the disobedient people. The last verse lets us know how that period went. "... all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes "
Bible References: Judges 3 - 21: 25
Despite his great leadership and legacy, after Joshua went Home to be with the Lord, the Israelites fell back into idolatry and disobedience, forgetting all the LORD God had done for them.
Bible References: Judges 2: 1-23
At the end of his incredible life as a man of God, Joshua made sure he used his waning days well. He challenged the nation of Israel to remember all God had done for them and commit to keep their side of the covenant with God.
Bible References: Deuteronomy 31: 23; Joshua 24: 1-28
Moses was an amazing leader, and we can learn a lot about those skills by studying his life. More than that, he had the closest relationship with God of any man in the Bible (not Jesus, of course). Studying that is the greater effort.
Bible References: Deuteronomy 34: 10-12
From Genesis 3 through the book of Revelation, we read of the anger of God for which He makes no apology. God hates sin. It is a good thing to focus on the love of God, but very foolish to ignore His anger. As men of God, we must study His Word to learn what it takes to remove it.
Bible References: Exodus 32; 1-14; Numbers 20: 1-13; Deuteronomy 32: 46-52
In my study, I found it interesting that only our Bible headings call the "ten words" or "decalogue" the Ten Commandments. Thousands of years later, Jesus fulfilled, not destroyed, them.
Bible References: Exodus 20; Matthew 5: 17-20
This infamous story of the twelve spies being sent to scout out the Promised Land is not recorded in Exodus - rather Numbers and Deuteronomy. We see a clear failure of leadership as Moses listened to the ten fearful men instead of the two faithful ones.
Bible References: Numbers 13-14; Deuteronomy 1: 19-46
Moses has found favor with God beyond any of his fathers. How? God tells Moses His name - I AM from which we get our words Yahweh and Jehovah. God is about relationships...with Moses and you and me.
Bible References: Exodus 5, 6
Here we begin perhaps the most unusual and difficult to understand exchanges in the Bible - God and Satan, a once mighty angel cast out of Heaven.
Bible References: Job 1: 2 - 2: 10; Key verses Job 1: 21 and 2: 10
A barren fig tree and temple full of people doing everything but worshipping God raised the ire of Jesus. He also interjected a great lesson on faith.
Bible References: Matthew 21: 12-17, 18-19; Mark 11: 12-14, 15-19, 20-21
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Bible Reference: Genesis 41-47
Read these chapters if you want to experience some of the most amazing acts of God - His protection and provision - and greatest leadership skills ever demonstrated.
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Bible References: Genesis 33
Jacob was very afraid as he contemplated moving his people and possessions thru the land of Esau, his estranged brother. God again intervened because...
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Bible References: Genesis 32: 22-29
Amazing story. Unusual results to say the least. But the humbling of Jacob is in full swing. God will do whatever it takes to get our attention.
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Bible References: Genesis 25: 19-34; 27: 1-44
How can a man who was such a liar and deceiver become the father of God's chosen people? This is very hard to understand. But when I put it in the context of God saved us and uses men like us to represent Christ, it gets easier.
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Bible Reference: Genesis 26: 1-33
Most men are stunned when they read about Abraham telling someone his wife was his sister to save his neck. Get ready to be even more stunned when you read his son, Isaac, did the same thing.
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Bible Reference: Genesis 16, 21, 25
Christians need to know and understand this better. Abraham was the father of Ishmael and Jehovah God was God over all as He is today. But far down the line, things went awry.
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Bible Reference: Genesis 16: 1-15
Understanding the story of Ishmael, Abraham's first son, is important. God made promises to his mother and kept them. Did not bode well for the nation of Israel.
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One of the most famous stories in the Bible in which we are introduced to this very special name of God. Not only did God stop Abraham from sacrificing his son, He provided the sacrifice...sound familiar?
Bible Reference: Genesis 22: 9-14
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Imagine waiting 25 years on God's fulfilled promise - a son, covenant heir to build His nation. Then imagine, some years later, God told you to make a burnt offering, and, by the way, your son is the sacrifice. How would you have responded?
Bible Reference: Genesis 22: 1-14
Hard to imagine this man from a completely pagan culture not only hearing but obeying the voice of God he did not know. We know Him and still struggle with that!
Bible References: Genesis 12: 1-4; Hebrews 11: 8-12
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Moses lists the lineages of Noah's sons to help us understand how God repopulated the entire world after the worldwide (not local) flood. You can read his account in the reference below. Seemingly out of nowhere, God spoke to Abram ( a pagan) and called him out in a way that changed history forever...
Genesis 11: 26 - 12: 4
Hard to understand sometimes why God put up with men throughout our early history. Despite His provision and protection "the thoughts of man were evil continually". Hmmm, that sounds like today!
Bible references: Genesis 8: 20- 11: 25
Great encouragement and security were Noah's simply by doing what God told him to - regardless of how crazy it seemed. He offers the same protection to us, and we do not have to build an ark to get it. Listen and learn how.
Bible references: Gen 7: 9-16 (NIV)
God demanded just one thing from mankind. While Noah was not perfect, he demonstrated this more than any other man before or after.
Bible References: Genesis 6: 13-22 (emphasis v22)
From Adam to Noah is just ten generations. Yet God became so disgusted with the humankind of His creation, He decided to destroy them and start over - except for Noah and his family.
Bible References: Genesis 5, 6: 1-9
"Where are the facts?", demand skeptics and Bible antagonists as we stake our claims that Adam and Noah were real men. Either Jesus, the prophets, Peter, and Paul are serious liars OR ...
Bible references: Matthew 19: 4-5, 24: 37-39; Luke 3: 23-38; Romans 5: 12-12; 1 Peter 3: 20, 2 Peter 2: 5 (there are many more)
Despite his failings for which he is so well known, Adam must have done some things right after he and Eve were escorted out of Paradise into the "real world". Read more about this in Genesis 4. www.desperatemen.org
This new series features "famous and infamous" men in the Bible whose mistakes, failures, and successes were made known to us to (1) help us better understand our God and (2) apply what we learn to our lives.