God’s Patient Blessing: Truth

There are people like David, whom God continued to honor, in spite of his sins. David wasn’t perfect, but there was something about David’s life that God continued to honor and hold as a standard of dependency on God and humility.  Then there are people, like Pharoah, that God uses to show how dumb people can be and how powerful He is.  Then people are in the spectrum in between and there is a spectrum of how much He blesses people, like Israel going into the land. Israel didn’t obey the Lord completely, so we read in Judges that God draws a line, Continue reading

Blessings: God owns our days

Blessings: God owns our days

A week ago I had the privilege to minister to a dear member of our church in the hospital.  I just kneel  by the bed (as long as my knees hold out or unless there is a handy chair) and listen to the person who might be struggling or suffering.  I have known this dear sister for twenty years.  She lost her husband a year and a half ago and I know she has missed him greatly.  She is ready to move north to be close to one of her children, but this sped up the process. Now she is already north until her unit opens up in the home close by to her daughter.

While I was at the hospital, I remembered a waitress who had tended to the same table at the same restaurant for the last ten years. The men always went there for breakfast after Men’s Prayer.  She had not been at Cracker Barrel very much in the last year as she had battled cancer in her lungs.  The week before one of the other waitresses informed me the cancer had spread to her bones and she was struggling.  Fortunately, I remembered her and I went to see her. 

Some of her family was present and she looked pretty well.  I spoke with her husband for twenty minutes in the hallway and found out he was a spiritual man wanting to lead his family.  As we went in to see her, I read from Psalm 91 and spoke of God as a strong refuge.  He would protect.  We needed to trust Him.

The next Thursday, right after prayer meeting, we went over to Cracker Barrel and one of the other waitresses lit up.  She was so excited to see us, but I could immediately tell something was wrong.  I asked, “Is she okay?”  Shesaid, “She died Sunday afternoon at two o’clock.”  We hugged and she asked that I be ready to do a memorial service. 

As I ate breakfast that day, I could only think of the great Psalm 90 Moses wrote. Moses wrote, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Ps. 90:12) Friends are you ready to see your Creator.  None of us knows how many days we have.  Some will have a warning through a lingering disease, but many of us may see our last view of earth on the way home.  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, what He did for you on the cross and you will be saved.  Ask if you have any questions about salvation.

Q & A:Overcoming Difficult Relationships for Him

This contains considerations for suggested answers to the questions for the message given March 3 as titled above.  The full insert is given first and then the questions are repeated with suggested answers so that you can begin to expand how you might give answers to the questions.  Do not be superficial in answering the questions.  Think deeply and you will benefit richly.

Overcoming Difficult Relationships for Him

Romans 12:9-21

 
How do you deal with difficult relationships?

1)      Let Jesus replace pain with blessing Rom. 12:14-21

2)      Let Jesus help you to disciple him/her/them to the truth  2 Tim. 2:24-26
3)      Let Jesus bless through you, whom you can   1 Pet. 3:8-12
      ·         Jesus said it best Luke 6:27-28
      ·         Gen. 50:15-21

Jesus will right every wrong,
so you can choose to be a blessing!

·         God has called us to be a blessing.  Return no evil, give of yourself to bless
·         Trust the authority of the Word by faith to forgive and bless.  If you are struggling with pain over many months, have you forgiven and asked God to use you to bless the offender?

Message Based Discussion Questions

1)      Why does merely talking about Christianity often muster up negative images and angry reactions?

Digging Deeper:

2)      What was David’s response to his soldier who told him the Lord had given his enemy into his hand in 1 Sam. 24:1-10? ____________________.  How is David’s response different than way the world thinks?  What are the circumstances in 1 Sam. 26:7-16? 

3)      With whom did Moses get counsel in the conflict with Korah, Dathan and Abiram (Num. 16:1-33)? _____________ .   How would you classify Moses’ anger (Num. 16:15)?  How does this compare with the principles taught in the message?

Making application of the message to life:

4)      How does God want you to deal with sins against you in the past?

5)      What aspects of forgiveness have you struggled the most in the past?

6)      If you have hindered relationships, what does God want you to do based on the message passages?

Good thought, hurt you not, gossip never, friends forever.

 

Message Based Discussion Questions

1)      Why does merely talking about Christianity often muster up negative images and angry reactions?

a)      We’ve seen bad things happen from Christians in the past.

b)      We’ve seen Christians being judgmental toward others

c)      We’ve seen Christians being good at pointing out sin, but doing the same thing – hypocrisy.

d)     We’ve seen Christians live one way on Sunday, but another during the week.

e)      We’ve grown up under domineering parents that forced Jesus down our throats, and it didn’t seem to make sense.

f)       People don’t like the light of God’s truth. People of the darkness would rather run from the light.

g)      People don’t want to be convicted of their sins.

h)      The hurt or pain caused by people resonates within and our flesh and emotions want to react.

i)        People may be hardened in their sin, so they react at anything related to Christianity.

j)        Crusades and wars in the name of “God.”

Digging Deeper:

2)      What was David’s response to his soldier who told him the Lord had given his enemy into his hand in 1 Sam. 24:1-10?_He wouldn’t kill Saul__.  How is David’s response different than way the world thinks?  What are the circumstances in 1 Sam. 26:7-16? 

a)      David told his men he would not kill Saul, but he did cut off the corner of the robe.  His conscience bothered him and he repented. 

i)        David restrained his men from killing Saul in a vulnerable situation.

ii)      David chose not to get even or strike out.

iii)    David was controlled and trusted in the Lord’s actions.

iv)    David recognized the Lord’s will for Saul’s life.  The Lord did not direct David to kill Saul, even though he could have.

v)      David confronted Saul, but would not take personal vengeance. 

vi)    David ran from trouble as Saul pursued him.  That was a wise move, because Saul was bent on killing him.  David didn’t want to confront the Lord’s anointed.  If Saul was the Lord’s anointed, then the Lord would deal with Saul.  It was not David’s right to touch him.  That’s takes discernment!  That’s how believers should look at those who offend them.  Give a wide berth to let the Lord do His own divine discipline on the offender.

b)      David approaches Saul in the night with Abishai.  Abishai wanted to kill Saul, David said no.  Saul was still God’s anointed.

i)        David had an easy opportunity to kill Saul and leave in the night before the other soldiers found out.

ii)      David took the spear and jug, to let Saul know he could have caused harm, but didn’t, to show Saul he was not the enemy. 

iii)    David rebuked Saul’s chief of staff, because Abishai was a leader.

iv)    David blessed Saul, so Saul could have the opportunity for repentance, but Saul refused to repent.
3)      With whom did Moses get counsel in the conflict with Korah, Dathan and Abiram (Num. 16:1-33)? __God___ .   How would you classify Moses’ anger (Num. 16:15)?  How does this compare with the principles taught in the message?

a)      Moses ‘anger was righteous indignation.  He willingly declared his innocence, by not seeking his personal agenda or revenge.  Moses’ anger was not how they treated him, but how they treated the one God appointed to lead the people.  The rebellion of Dathan and Abiram was really a rebellion against God, so Moses’ anger was appropriate.

b)      There is a time when correction must be made.  God acts in love to correct a rebellious son (Heb. 12:5-6).  Moses went to the Lord, instead of taking matters into his own hand.  He let the Lord take revenge if there was going to be vengeance. 

i)        Blessing from Moses had to include the entire people, because Moses was the leader of the entire people.  It would be wrong for Moses to just be nice to Dathan and Abiram.  Moses was responsible for what happened to all the people.  Dathan and Abiram’s rebellion would bring God’s discipline upon all the people, so Moses, as leader, had to act on behalf of all of them.

ii)      Never confuse a biblical stand against evil with being nice.  The blessing is from God’s perspective, not what an offender may want or desire.  The blessing should be what is best for the person if the person was humble.  The blessing should be love according to what is good for the person as much as possible.  But if the person acts wickedly the blessing may be to step aside so God can impose divine discipline as He did in this case.

 
Making application of the message to life:

4)      How does God want you to deal with sins against you in the past?

a)      He wants me to forgive and send the penalty to Him.  He is just and will deal with it in wisdom.

b)      He wants me to choose to be ready to bless.  I need to let Jesus replace the pain with the action of blessing another. 

c)      He wants me to be His servant and ready to rebuke in humility is necessary. 

d)     He wants me to be ready to reach out to the person in spite of their evil actions.  Those “reach out” actions are to bless the person, not get even or make miserable in any way.

e)      He wants me to not nurture the bad feelings I may have had from the offense.

f)       He wants me to continue to consider how to bless, until the pain goes away and divine enablement becomes supreme 2 Pet. 1:3-4.

5)      What aspects of forgiveness have you struggled the most in the past?

a)      The feelings of past pain, nurtured to become bigger than the problem.

b)      Desire to seek revenge, rather than giving it to the Lord.

c)      Desire to get even without anyone knowing something was done.

d)     Not trusting God to act against the person to make up for the pain the person has caused.

e)      Not wanting to be available to bless or disciple to the truth.

f)       Not wanting to become united in thinking with one mind.

g)      Taking back the pain and thinking about it, rather than letting it go.

h)      Keeping track of the hurt in some kind of a list.

i)        Comparing the hurt he caused as greater than the hurt I might have caused…..

 

6)      If you have hindered relationships, what does God want you to do based on the message passages?

a)      Forgive and then seek to bless.

b)      As appropriate, to seek restoration of the relationship.

c)      DO actions of blessing, rather than just thinking about it.

d)     Taking action to bless by going out of my way, rather than avoiding the person.

e)      Not turning my eyes away from the person, but going to the person and greeting them and making appropriate concern.

f)       As far as it is possible with me, to be at peace with others Rom. 12:18.

g)      If it is the government who abuses its power over years and years, then stand up to it.  First help it see the wrong it is doing.  Then help it by giving plenty of opportunities to repent, that is, change what it is doing.