Abraham, the Father of Faith, is mentioned more times in the New Testament than any other Old Testament character. Abraham teaches; "What is faith, and how to demonstrate it." Abraham is an example through a four-step process, the four alters Abraham built, as his faith matured and developed. The fourth altar was the most significant. There Abraham demonstrated his total trust in God and that God was entirely first in his life.
Esau and Jacob provide insights into God's call and grace over mankind. Jacob was born grabbing; he grabbed his twin brother's birthright and deceived their father into giving him the blessing. Jacob's life is a journey of hardship and deception that led him to God's amazing grace. He was blessed not because he had grabbed, but because of God's grace and mercy. God gave Jacob a new name "Israel" because he wanted Jacob to see his true identity in grace.
Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, mistreated and went through difficult circumstances, yet he never lost his faith in God. His loving response, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Joseph teaches us about the providence of God and confirms what Romans 8:28 declares that there is no situation so bad God cannot redeem it and bring good from it.
The book of Exodus is an illustration of deliverance, or salvation of God's people and the life of Moses is one great illustration of how to be a deliverer. God taught Moses humility in order to use him as a deliverer for His people. We learn from God through Moses, "It is the plan of God to use the power of God in the people of God to accomplish the purposes of God, according to the plan of God."
Learn the keys to obeying the call of God upon your life and of effective leadership. The most important skill and talent is availability. God prepared Moses for leadership by teaching him four spiritual truths: "I am not, but He is." "I cannot, but He can." "I do not want to, but He does." And "I did not but He did." We too need to learn to apply these spiritual secrets to be instruments God can use.
God's power is displayed throughout the book of Exodus. The confrontation between Moses and Pharaoh parallels what Satan tries to do to us today. Satan, like Pharaoh, does not mind people being religious as long as they do not leave "Egypt" or "go too far," or include their children, or their possessions in worshiping. Learn how deliverance from sin takes a series of miracles that parallel the ones God performed when he delivered the Israelites from Egypt.
In this lesson we take an in-depth look at the purpose of the Ten Commandments and each individual commandment, and how Jesus interpreted and applied them to the lives of those around Him. The Ten Commandments were written on two tablets. Four of them govern our relationship with God, and six govern our relationships with people. As we obey all of the commandments, we must be careful to obey them in spirit as well as by the letter.
The book of Leviticus is a difficult book to understand. In this lesson we will gain insight into the symbolism surrounding the Tent of Worship and how each symbol was placed there to help God's people understand their relationship to Him and the coming Messiah, and the work He would accomplish on the cross of Calvary. Every article of furniture pointed to the promised Redeemer - Jesus the Christ.
The tabernacle in the wilderness was a place where God dwelled and where sinners could come to be forgiven and reconciled to Him. The Bible says our bodies are the temple of God. We have to understand the first Hebrew temple in order to understand what God is doing presently within us. That former temple teaches us about worship, about Jesus, and the miracle Christians live with every day: Christ is in us.
Leviticus, this priest's manual, explains how all the operations of the Levite Priesthood were to teach the people of God about holiness and sanctification in serving the Lord. The heart of the book is found in chapters 11-22, where the sanctification of God's people is explained. The tent of worship and the priests who officiated there were God's statement to the whole world that the chosen people of God were a holy people because their God was holy.
Jesus begins by teaching His disciples eight attitudes called, the "beatitudes," or "blessed attitudes," because each one is introduced by the word "blessed." Jesus is promising to bless the disciple who has each of these attitudes. This word "blessed" can actually mean "happy," "spiritually prosperous," or "in a state of grace." Each attitude also includes a promise that describes the form in which this blessing will come into the life of that disciple.
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the key teachings of the Bible. Jesus preached this sermon on a mountaintop in Galilee when He challenged people who professed to be His disciples to be strategically placed between the love of God and the pain of the hurting people in the world. He challenged His disciples to partner with Him and be conduits of His love. He concluded His sermon with a call to commitment. It changed the lives of many who heard it.
The word "mercy" means "unconditional love." When David writes in Psalm 23:6 that mercy will follow him all the days of his life, the word he uses for "follow" actually means "pursue." God's unconditional love will pursue David all of his life. This is the kind of love for others that we must have too, if we are to be like God.
Many people think Jesus was contradicting the Old Testament in these verses, but He was only confronting the teaching of the religious leaders. He was telling His disciples: "Everything I am teaching you is found in the Word of God, but what I am teaching is in direct conflict with what your religious leaders have been teaching you."
Believers sometimes have the misguided opinion that their faith is weak if they show signs of mourning. This beatitude not only supports mourning it links it to a blessing. Mourning a loss is normal and there are things God wants us to learn from the loss. We must let God use our mourning to move us in three ways. First, mourning helps us ask the right questions about life. Second, it helps us to seek God's answers. Third, it also helps us to accept the blessing God has provided including our salvation.
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