301 assignment 4.1
1. I think Jacob was one of those leaders who went through life just like a lot of people. A very intelligent, strong man and yet a man who relied on himself like so many of us do. When running away after stealing his brothers birthright, (Gen.27:24) God spoke to his heart, which started a change in his thinking. After being deceived himself by Laban (Gen 29:22-24) Jacob stays until God gives him permission to leave. As he was on his way home, God got a hold of him for good, and blessed him by changing his name to Israel. Instead of God seeking Jacob, Jacob was seeking God and not making a move without God’s approval. Jacob’s life shows a life of service, sometimes for selfish reasons, but ending up serving God through family, community, and establishing the twelve tribes as God had promised him. Ways I can learn from Jacob is to let God have full control of everything in my life, from handling what God has blessed me with to how I interact with other people, individually and socially. Gen. 28:15 says that God is with us, will watch over us, and will never leave us. That’s about the best insurance policy I have ever run across.
2. Abraham of course is another great example of learning to trust God instead of taking matters into your own hands. He learned that God will make good on his promises in his time, not ours. He learned to put all his trust and faith in the Lord when Sarah did become pregnant and gave them a son, just as God had promised. Abraham story shows that he was respected by others, would defend his family in any situation. He practiced hospitality to others, and showed amazing trust in God after God told him to sacrifice the son that God had promised him. For God to stop him in the act tells me that Abraham was fully obedient without any doubts. What a testimony that is, what an encouragement to me to put my total faith in the Lord, and not rely on my own way of thinking or doing things. When God calls me to do something I must rely on him even though it seems impossible. I call it a God-sized project.
3. Joseph is another amazing story about a man that was very confident to the point of arrogant. A trait that got him sold into slavery by his own brothers at a young age. (Gen.37:28) God used those circumstances to humble Joseph while in slavery. His integrity by doing the right thing landed him in prison, (Gen.39:19) but God used that time to build up Josephs character preparing him for the role he was going to play to rescue his family from disaster. (Gen. 42) When his confidence was guided towards God, he prospered in everything he did, and did nothing unless it was to glorify God. What I learn from Joseph is that it is how we respond to events and circumstances that matters, not so much the circumstance itself. God can use any situation for good, and to achieve his purpose.
4. Matthew came to my mind while thinking about this assignment. Here we have a tax collector, who is a Jew, and what we know about him is that Jesus just said “Follow me.” (Matt. 9:9) Matthew immediately got up and followed him. Like Paul they both were despised by the Jews but yet unlike Paul I feel Matthew was just listening to Jesus talk, and through faith left a business he could not go back to. What a great testimony that is. God used Matthew’s skills as a writer/historian to give accounts of Jesus’ life we otherwise wouldn’t know about, and to clarify the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies mainly for the Jewish audiences of that time. Like Paul and so many others God will give us skills and experiences even before we are able to respond to him. We need to recognize what skills/gifts we have, and to use them in whatever way will glorify God.
5. Peter is a profound example. Jesus’ first words to Simon Peter were “Come, follow me” (Matt. 4:18). His last words to Peter were “You must follow me” (John 21:22). What a testimony that God could take such an impulsive person and tell him that he will be the rock upon which he will build his church (Matt. 16:17). What comes to my mind is when Peter denied Christ three times, (Matt: 26: 69-75) until the time when Jesus appeared to them after they went back to fishing. We all fail sometimes, but it is better to be a follower who sometimes fails than one who fails to follow. All these events in Peters life were preparing him to be a leader in the new church, and the proof of that is his speech on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-39), to taking the Gospel to Gentiles (Acts 10). No matter what my past is, or what has happened, God can use it to further his kingdom if we would just let him.
God can take a misfit bunch of ordinary people and make them a nation through Abraham. God can take a misfit bunch of ordinary people and make them the Apostles that start his church. What can he do in our life, Jesus told Peter to “Follow me.” Don’t worry about how God treats or uses other people, be passionate about how God can use your own gifts to bring glory to him, and further his kingdom. It’s not about us, it’s about a man that walked this earth, was crucified, buried, and rose again, and is sitting at the right hand of God interceding for each and every one of us. He deserves our full attention.
I would like to share one last thing that I think sums it all up. My wife and I were listening to a sermon from a speaker that we like to listen to each week. He told a story that really hit me this morning about the Apostle Paul. In about 56 AD he wrote to the Corinthians, about twenty years after his conversion, and said in 1 Cor. 15:9 “For I am the least of the apostles and do not deserve to be called an apostle”. This is about 20 years after he was saved. Approximately seven years later he wrote to the Ephesians in Eph. 3:8 “Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given to me.” Two years later and one year before his death he wrote to Timothy and said in 1 Tim 1:15 “Crist Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst.” What an example of how one of the great leaders and how his life progressed in his spiritual thinking.
"Let God have full control over everything in my life." RESOUNDING WORDS. It makes me think what any church building would look like if every member committed to this. Wow.
"God will make good on His timing and not ours." Another great statement. The best way I illustrate this is by stealing from C.S. Lewis. "Think of a timeline. Think of a timeline on a piece of paper and all the events listed on it. That is how we perceive time. Now think of the piece of paper and all the area around the timeline. That is how God perceives time." I paraphrased that but I think you will get the idea. And of course being an old history teacher that resonates with me!!!!
"Like Paul and so many others God will give us skills and experiences even before we are able to respond to him." Ephesians 2:10
The part I love the most about your post is the last paragraph. I would have never thought and still don't think because of my sin that I am worthy to what God has called me to do but at the same time I am thankful that He has put this into motion in my life. His master blueprint in my life has made some amazing changes and I can't thank Him enough. He is a God of miracles and He has certainly created a miracle in my life and family. Thanks Kim. KEEP IT UP.
1. 2 Chronicles 1:10-12 - 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”
Solomon had spiritual formation through this submission to God. He knew God was the only one who could lead his people. Solomon knew he had nothing to offer as king of Gods people so he asked God for knowledge and wisdom. Solomon denied his flesh and God gave him what he needed to lead his people and then he blessed him with riches as well. I think there is value and transformation in knowing God is supreme. being able to put yourself aside and let God reign is sometime a difficult thing to do. I really like to be in control of things but it is not my strength or knowledge by which Gods work is done. It is through my submission, in relationship with him that he reveals his will and knowledge. So i want to be humble and submitted to him. always leaning and relying on his strength and wisdom and knowledge.
2. Paul reached a level of contentment in his life that I want to achieve. He had experienced many thing on his journeys. He was even stoned for preaching the gospel and tossed out side the city but he gets up and heads back into the city. He was imprisoned many times but he just ministered to whoever he was in contact with. Paul didn't care about his circumstances. He cared about people hearing the gospel and he was content with what ever happened to him because he was going to use it to preach the gospel. Some days I'm really good at this other days I get overwhelmed and have to remind myself that God has this and is in control. Romans 8:28 says 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. He works in ALL things for the good of those who love him. Even the things that are bad or not pleasant. Paul Knew that and was content in his life knowing God was in control. That is a place I want to be.Through spiritual formation in his relationship with Christ. Acts 14:19-20, 2 Corintians 11:23-28, Acts 16:23-34
3.Zacchaeus is a story told in Luke chapter 19. Zacchaeus was a tax collector and he would come to your home and collect but if you crowd not pay the he would take stuff. His position of authority gave him the power to steal from people as part of his job collecting. He would take a little extra and keep it for himself. He was not well liked he was a thief. when Jesus came to town Zacchaeus wanted to see him but being a short man he could not so he climbed a sycamore tree and Jesus looked up and called him by name telling him to come down because I'm gonna stay at your house today. Zacchaeus came down and gladly welcomed the Lord. The crowd mocked him saying he has gone to be the guest of a sinner. Zacchaeus stood up and said here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor and if I have cheated anybody out of anything I will give them back four time the amount. Jesus said salvation's come to this house because this man,too, is a son of Abraham. Spiritual formation happened when Zacchaeus accepted the Lord and committed to make right what he had done wrong. We are going to make mistakes and making amends is a great place to let the light of Christ shine. I wonder the impact this made on people when he gave half of his possessions to the poor and repaid four times what he had taken. I believe actions speak louder than words. We will live out what we believe in our hearts. Zacchaeus confessed to doing wrong and set it right. I believe this is something we should do as christians. I know their are hurts I have caused that I cant fix or make right and that hurts me. Luke 19:1-10
4.Daniels Prayer life is something we all could pay attention to. the value he has for his communication with God was so known that people conspired to make prayer illegal knowing that Daniel would Pray so that he could be arrested giving grounds for the conspiring men to get rid of Daniel. But God honored him and protected him. Daniel was thrown in the lions den and was not harmed at all. I want to value my communication with God that much. Value my relationship and to be bold knowing without a doubt that God will care for me. Daniels confidence in God was amazing. No matter what Daniel was not going to falter. Daniel 6:4-10, 6:16, 6:20-22,6:25-28
5. King David had a life full of spiritual formation. From being a shepherd boy to defeating Goliath, becoming a warrior to becoming king. God gave to David and he took away. David followed God’s will and he pursued his own will. It was a great picture of a real life relationship with God. David messed up and made mistakes and God disciplined him for that and he suffered consequences. David confided in God and turned to him as his father. Davids life shows me we are not perfect. Our actions may carry consequences but if we honor God and stay inside his will we are blessed. David experienced growing pains in discipline but he also experienced God’s love and blessings. Over his life he experienced real relationship with God. He writes about this relationship in the book of Psalms showing his wisdom gained through his lifelong relationship with the Father. Davids life is encouraging and it is just nice to see the real life relationship that i believe everyone can relate to. There is so much there you could study for a long time. His relationship is something that i can relate to and i know that my relationship looks the way David’s did a lot of times. I am forever thankful for the grace that Jesus provides and David did not have. So I am blessed beyond measure. The Father son relationship is portrayed in Davids life very well and I relate to that. 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, Psalms, 1 Kings ch1 & 2, 1 Chronicles.
God grant me the faith of Abraham, humility of Moses, the strength of Samson, the wisdom of Solomon, the spirit of Elijah, the heart of David, AND THE LOVE OF JESUS. I'm sure you have heard that a time or two but your awesome response just made me think of it. Great job BALDY!!!
yeah i have heard that but i wish i would have thought of that before this assignment. lol
Paul is the first transformation that comes to mind. We first read about Saul when he is a young man that was a witness to the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58). After the stoning of Stephen, Saul began to destroy the church putting both men and women in jail. Saul was the road to Damascus with a letter to arrest anyone he found to be a follower of Jesus. This is where the glory of Jesus fell upon Saul and he became a believer (Acts 9:1-19). Saul started to preach the word boldly. But the people would not trust him because of his past. They feared that Saul was going to arrest them and take them off to prison. In Acts 13:9 is the first time Saul is called Paul. Paul went on three missionary journeys and converted thousands of people from the law of the Old Testament to accepting of Jesus’s blood for the forgiveness of their sins. Paul also wrote several letters to different church that has now become part of the New Testament. Paul was arrested several time and was even stoned but he never quit preaching the word of God to everyone he came in contact with. Paul spoke the word of God boldly. How effective would we be if we spoke the word of God boldly to the people that God has put on our hearts?
Zacchaeus was a tax collector and a thief. He would go to people’s homes to collect their taxes and if they could not pay the tax he would take thing they owned to pay the tax and would take extra and keep it for himself. He was not well like because his position of authority gave him permission to be a thief. One day while Jesus was traveling through Jericho, Zacchaeus want to see who Jesus was but could not see over the crowd so he ran head and climbed a tree so he could see. Jesus looked up at him and told him to come down that he was going to stay at his house today. Zacchaeus came down and gladly welcomed the lord to his home. People mocked him saying he is going to be a guest of a sinner. Zacchaeus told everyone that he would give the poor half of his possessions, and if I have cheated anyone, he would give back four times. Jesus said that salvation has come to this house today. Zacchaeus accepted his mistakes and started to make amends for them. Our action speaks louder than our words I wonder what people would think when we accepted our mistakes and started to make amends for them. Luke 19: 1-10
Matthew was a Jewish tax collector but he was not liked because of his position of authority. Matthew was sitting in his Tax collectors booth when Jesus walked by and said “Follow me” (Matthew 9:9). Matthew did not know who Jesus was, but he followed Him on faith knowing that once he left he could not return to his business. Jesus went on to Matthews’s house for dinner and here is where he said (Matthew 12, 13) 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” This is one statement that has stuck with me. Jesus wants us to come to Him just as we are, and he will mold us to what He wants us to be. He wants us to take the word to everyone not just who we want to be seen with. God used Matthew’s skills as a writer and his knowledge of the law to give written testimony to who Jesus was and that He fulfilled the prophecy of the Old Testament. If I could use the skills that God has given me and follow Him with the faith of Matthew, I wonder what I could do for God.
Simon Peter was fishing with his brother Andrew when Jesus said to them,” Follow me and I will teach you to fish for people” (Matthew 4:19). They immediately left their nets and followed Jesus. While they were in Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked, “who do you say I am,” and Simon Peter answered “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”(Matthew 16:16). Jesus called him Peter not Simon Peter for the first time and told him that,” on this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). Then when Jesus was arrested Peter denied him three times (Matthew 26: 69-75) just as Jesus told him he would (Matthew 26:34), and Peter went back fishing. Jesus appeared to Peter after He was resurrected and told him you must follow me (John 21:22). Peter then went on to be the disciple he was called to be. He preached on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-39) and took the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10). I learned from Peter that we sometimes fail in what God has for us but just as Jesus called Peter back just like He leads us back to where He wants us. However we have to surrender our lives to Him just as Peter finally did.
Daniel was a young man taken from his home land to be used in the king’s service. Daniel refused to defile himself by eating or drinking the king’s food and wine but asked for vegetables to eat and water to drink. Daniel continued to pray to God and never worshiped any other gods. The king had found favor on Daniel because of his ability to interrupt dreams. When the king was tricked into issuing a decree that stated anyone who prayed to anything except the king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. (Daniel 6:7). Daniel went to his room and prayed to God knowing that it was now illegal to pray to anyone but the king. For this Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den, and he spent the night with the lions but was not harmed. (Daniel 6:20-22). Then the king issues a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel (Daniel 6:26-28). I learned from Daniel that his prayer life never changed, no matter what his circumstance were. We all can learn from that.
Very good work again. I love how God used ordinary messed up people to do his works. That gives us hope.
It was not the fact that Daniel had a change of heart it was the fact that he did not change to the world views even in the face of death.
1. Matthew was a dishonest tax collector driven by greed, until Jesus chose him as a disciple. Despite his sinful past, Matthew was uniquely qualified to be a disciple. He was an accurate record keeper and keen observer of people. He captured the smallest details. When Jesus said follow me he just got up and went. Matthew is a great example of how Jesus can use anyone for his mission. He left his sinful past behind when called to. I am working hard to hear the call when He wants me to move and I try to be like Matthew and go.
2. Saul or as he became later Paul started life as a man that had brutal violence, and the relentless persecution of the early church. Until he met Jesus on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:1-22. This is the turning point for him. He reached a great level in leading others that I can only pray for at this time. he is also an example of how God can change anyone no matter where they are in life as long as you hear the calling and do something with it. Much like the ministry I am in people may have thought Paul was not worthy of a second chance but that is for God to decide much like the people I get to be around in Preferred Family. You just never know who the next Pastor is going to be or come from.
3. Abraham started out as Abram when Jesus told him to leave his homeland and go to the land that He would show him.( Genesis 12:1-3) He was 75 years old when he got the calling. when Abram was 99 years old God changed his name to Abraham and also told him in a vision he would have three sons.In one of his test God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Issac. When Abraham prepared for this as God told him to God came to him again and stopped him. That is true faith in God. Now I know God will never tell me to sacrifice my kids I can take his obedience in to my life. Listen for what he wants and see where he is working and go without question.
4. Moses was another great leader that went though some trying times. When he was born it was a time that the Egyptian Pharaoh ordered to have all the newborn Hebrew boys to be killed in order to reduce the population of the Israelites. His mother put him on the bank and the Pharaohs Daughter found and adopted Moses. He grew up in a royal home and stayed there until he killed an Egyptian slave master (Exodus 2:12). He then fled and that is when he had his encounter with God in the burning bush. In Exodus 3 It is the story of the burning bush and when God first told Moses to go back and save the Israelites he was hesitant that he could not do this. God told him he could because He would be with him. Moses did go back and after many trials he was able to bring them out of Egypt because God was with him. I need to remember that when I do something for the Kingdom God will be there and yes there will be times of persecution but God will always be there.
5. Elijah, a prophet of God whose name means “my God is the Lord,” Because Elijah was at times bold and decisive and at other times fearful and tentative, we have much to learn from him. In 1 Kings we see Elijah when he appears and challenges Ahab. God came to Elijah at this time and warned him to run and hide and he will be feed by ravens. Which Elijah command and he was fed and drank from the brook until it dried up. He goes on to face the false Prophets of Baal and wins with God at his side (1 Kings 18). However, in spite of victory and provisions from the LORD that he receives, Elijah enters a period of wavering faith and depression (1 Kings 19:1-18). After hearing Ahab's wife wanted to kill him he hides in caves and feels alone. Then once again God came to him after a great wind, an earthquake, and then fire Elijah finally started to listen for God it was then he heard God soft whisper. Many times I get so caught up in listening to others I lose the ability to hear God whisper to me and to let me know he is still here. I have to keep my eyes on the Lord no matter the circumstances.
It is so interesting how God never chooses the most qualified person in our eyes but in the end God chose the best person to complete His task and that person always says i could never do this without God.