We learn much from the power of sin in King Davids life. Like black velvet against which a jeweler displays his diamonds, sins dark penalty, power, and price make the three facts of salvation shine brighter. First, Jesus Christ has removed the penalty of sin. Second, the Holy Spirit is more powerful than the power of sin. The third fact of salvation is that in the sight of God the stains of sin are washed away by forgiveness.
The history books of Kings and Chronicles tell us about what resulted from Israel not wanting God to be their king. In these books, we will find awesome warnings in the lives of the wicked kings, and we find great examples in the lives of godly prophets like Elijah and Elisha. In 1 Kings, we learn about the division of that human kingdom. In 2 Kings, we learn the details of their sad captivities and Gods grace and patience.
We will learn valuable lessons from Israels history that will give hope and encourage endurance, especially when encountering spiritual failures. In spite of the nations idolatry, God was very patient with His people. Every time the work of God ran into an obstacle, God raised up a prophet. Being Gods instrument to remove obstacles that blocked the work of God was a chief role or function of the prophets.
The books of Chronicles cover the same period of history that the books of Samuel and Kings cover. Chronicles means Things Omitted. The books spotlight Gods divine perspective on Hebrew history and the kings who were instrumental in bringing about revival, restoration, and reformation. The key to understanding the Chronicles is this: Gods ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts.
The first return from the Babylonian captivity was to rebuild the temple under Ezras leadership. Ezra is a great example of godly leadership and this lesson explains how and why God uses a man like Ezra. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah, along with Esther, are known as the post-captivity history books. Ezra and Nehemiah are very similar books. They both teach principles of leadership and of doing Gods work in Gods way.
The book of Ezra teaches us that many times adversities are the sign of approval that the work of God is being carried out. But Ezras message is not about being defeated or distracted by opposition. There are many principles we learn from Ezra, and they can be summed up: 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.
The book of Nehemiah shows us seven practical principles of leadership to do Gods work. Nehemiah demonstrated great strength, commitment, understanding, focus, courage, perseverance and complete dedication to doing Gods work Gods way. These principles from the life of Nehemiah show us how to be available for Gods use, because 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.
See God through the life of Esther, the story of a Hebrew woman who married a Gentile and saved the Jewish people from genocide, preserving the ancestry of the Messiah. One of the most important themes of Esther is Gods sovereign care over the lives of His people, even when our circumstances are painful or difficult and how He causes all things to work for the good for those called according to His purposes.
Gods Word includes five poetry books, also known as wisdom books or the writings: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. In these books, God speaks to the hearts of His people when they are suffering (Job), worshipping (Psalms), coping with the decisions of daily life (Proverbs), doubting (Ecclesiastes), and expressing the intimacies of marriage (Song of Solomon). Gods desire is for us to be changed from the inside out.
The Book and life of Job gives us a great perspective on how to face our own suffering and trials. Gods people have always suffered. Life is difficult and perplexing, and becoming a Christian does not take us out of our troubles. But God has a message for us when our hearts are hurting: Pain and suffering are inevitable, but misery is optional. That is the message of the book of Job.
Jesus made two important statements: He has come to fulfill the Law of God, not destroy it, and the righteousness of those who follow Him should be greater even than the righteousness of the religious teachers of His time. Jesus says that to be part of His solution, His disciples have to know Gods Word and apply His teaching in their relationships: brothers and adversaries. Jesus teaches that we can control our passions before they influence us to disobey God.
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 theme of Philippians is Living in Christ through fellowship. Let this mind be in you. Paul emphasizes the importance of humility in the fellowship of believers and to consider others higher than ourselves. He teaches that we can and should know and fulfill Gods good and perfect will for our lives. Paul also said, This one thing I do, I forget the things that are behind and I reach forward to those things which are ahead.
Jesus taught His disciples how to pray with a prayer we often call The Lords Prayer. But this prayer really should be called the Disciples Prayer because Jesus never prayed it Himself. He said this is how we should pray. Jesus tells us to pray in a place where we can shut the door and be alone, where there is no one to impress but God.
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 Gods answers. Third, it also helps us to accept the blessing God has provided including our salvation.