Bayside Woodland

a Bayside church in Woodland, CA

Bible Study Blog for Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October 30th, 2012 in Pastor's Blog

Psalms 135-136; 1Corinthians 12

These psalms are awesome reminders to thank the Lord for answered prayers…even many years after the fact! Who knows how many generations had lived between the time of Moses and the author of these psalms. And the Jews were still thanking God for delivering their ancestors from the Egyptians!

Sometimes I find it challenging to summarize Bible verses…but not Psalm 136! “His faithful love endures forever” is repeated after every line– a total of 26 times! This shows that the author isn’t just thanking God for ancient answers to prayer. He’s thanking God for who He is, not just what He does. If you’ve ever had trouble thanking God like I have, try this some time! Thank God for his faithful, eternal love. Even when our circumstances change, He is constant.

Bible Study Blog for Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29th, 2012 in Pastor's Blog

Psalms 132-134; 1Corinthians 11:17-34

It’s very humbling to consider how fortunate we are to participate in the Lord’s Supper. Before Jesus lived, how many generations of people lived without knowing about this promised Savior to come? According to my Bible, over 2,500 years went by between Adam and Jesus. That’s a long time!

Isn’t it also incredible to think that when we eat the bread and drink the cup, we’re celebrating the Savior of the world?! Verse 26 is powerful. Jesus came to earth, died for our sins, and rose from the dead once and for all time. Over 2,500 years of human beings never had the joy of “announcing” our Savior like we do today. So let’s praise God for the hope that we have…when we participate in the Lord’s Supper and as we go about our daily lives.

Bible Study Blog for Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 28th, 2012 in Pastor's Blog

Psalms 129-131; 1 Corinthians 11:1-16

 

OPPRESSION hurts. Unfair pressure and persecution tempt us to hit back. But there’s a better response to oppression:

“But the LORD is righteous; He has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.”

Psalm 129 invites us to take our oppressors to Him. God always sets things right. He always vindicates. God invites us to resist taking our vindication into our own hands. Instead, take your oppressors to God – and though their oppression may stand temporarily – when the time is right God will soundly vindicate you and shame those who shame you.

Is somebody messing with you? Tell God on them – then, watch out!

See you Tomorrow!

Bible Study Blog for Saturday, October 27, 2012

October 27th, 2012 in Pastor's Blog

Psalms 126-128; 1 Corinthians 10:19-33

RICK NELSON had a hit song called “Garden Party” with the lyric: “You see, you can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself.”

 It’s true that you can’t please everyone. And “pleasing yourself” seems a logical alternative. But there’s another, way better option.

Paul describes it this way:

“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  

Paul says “Look – live for yourself and your stuff – and it all dies with you. Live for the Glory of the eternal God – and what you do will last forever.” Life isn’t simply a choice between pleasing others and pleasing yourself. There’s eternal stuff to live for. Living to Please God will take you on adventure that never ends.

Have a fantastic day!

Bible Study Blog for Friday, October 26, 2012

October 26th, 2012 in Pastor's Blog

Psalms 123-125; 1 Corinthians 10:1-18

 

As a kid growing up in San Bernardino before the days of thick smog – I used to love playing outside – where no matter which direction you looked, you were surrounded by mountains. Big mountains – 6,000-10,000 feet high. Crestline to the North, Mt. San Bernardino to the East, Mt. San Jacinto to the South, and Mt. Baldy to the West… Jerusalem has a similar topography – mountains in all directions. And today God uses those surrounding mountains to describe Himself:

“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.”

It’s incredibly comforting to understand that no matter what happens today, I’m surrounded by God: His love, power, wisdom, and grace. It doesn’t matter which direction I look – He’s there. Even on a smoggy day when I can’t make out the horizon – His all-encompassing presence is as majestic and immovable as those huge, surrounding mountains…

Have a Blessed day!

Bible Study Blog for Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 25th, 2012 in Pastor's Blog

Psalms 120-122; 1 Corinthians 9

 

FREEDOM. It’s a core tenet and a core value of our nation. “Land of the free…” It’s burned into our consciousness from our first day of kindergarten: “With liberty and justice for all…” It’s a spiritual value of every Christian: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”

So WHAT is more important than our FREEDOM? And WHEN is it right to relinquish our FREEDOM for the greater thing? Today’s Scripture answers that question:

“Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible… I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.”

Paul was a Roman citizen and a follower of Jesus Christ. He knew that freedom is precious. He knew that freedom shouldn’t be surrendered thoughtlessly. But here he says, “Look – there’s a time to set aside your rights. Serving others creates opportunities to introduce people to Christ. That’s worth relinquishing your freedom. That’s worth serving others for.” Thoughts?

See you Tomorrow!

Bible Study Blog for Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October 24th, 2012 in Pastor's Blog

Psalms 119:89-176; 1 Corinthians 8

Psalm 119 shows us how we should see ourselves and approach God. First, we look at God’s character and recognize that we’re only living and breathing because of His Word. We only know Him because He tells us how to have character like His. It’s by following His commandments and trusting in His faithfulness to give us joy as we follow the instructions. That is a short list of instructions, but we’re not wired to handle it unless we’ve come to know Him by accepting His grace and forgiveness for the lifetime of sins we’ve committed against Him.

1 Corinthians 8 has been a misunderstood block of text and sometimes a misused one, too. The point is that we should consider our brother’s weakness before we accommodate ourselves by exercising our own liberty. The best description I’ve seen relates to someone who, in the presence of an alcoholic, takes a single drink of whiskey without feeling tempted to finish the whole quart and thereby leads an alcoholic brother to return to his self-destructive ways. The text is not being followed if one abstains from taking a drink because he is in the presence of the preacher and wants to appear holy to him. The improper motive in such a case is maintaining hypocrisy rather than saving a brother from temptation. Let’s resolve today to help our brothers avoid temptations, but to be consistent both in the church and in the community. Life is simpler when our conscience is clear and we’re right with God.

Bible Study Blog for Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 23rd, 2012 in Pastor's Blog

Psalms 119:1-88; 1 Corinthians 7:20-40

In these Psalms, I particularly like the Q&A that the inspired writer laid out with, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Thy Word.” Good advice, but even better advice follows where the Psalmist encourages us to memorize His Word so that it’s always before us when we are tempted to sin. He also advises us to stand fast in faith when we’re faced with Godless men (we’re also called to stand fast against the atheistic mindset of the Humanist religion which today is the primary source of opposition for us who hold the Christian faith.) Blessing God for afflictions isn’t a normal reaction (I’m usually whining, “Why me, God?”) but the Psalmist saw affliction as a learning opportunity. Paul picks up that theme again in 1 Ths 5:18, “…give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God…for you.”

This passage continues the “advice column” to the Corinthians about exercising the satisfaction with our place in the world. The important thing is that we focus on our relationship with Christ and recognize that real freedom comes when we become slaves to Him. Even in today’s culture we’ll find our greatest joy as we surrender to be a slave to Him on His terms and give ourselves over to Him. That is a simple instruction to give, but impossible one to work out in our daily lives unless we are full of the Holy Spirit and He is helping us to overcome the sin nature we are born with.

Bible Study Blog for Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22nd, 2012 in Pastor's Blog

Psalms 116-118; 1 Corinthians 7:1-19

The Psalmist here confesses that his love for God comes as a natural consequence of God’s demonstration of His love for him. The Psalmist especially encourages me when he concludes by saying that God preserves the simple. God’s Way in us is based solely and simply on trust in Him because of Who He is and what He has done for us. Complex ideas like a chess match are entertaining to our minds, but God’s plan is more like checkers, namely, simply believe in Me and be saved or try to do it your own way and be lost. Even I can understand that.

These verses in Corinthians lay out guidelines. For example, “…it is good for a man not to touch a woman…” appears to be good advice about keeping our mind on the higher calling that God has on our lives while avoiding distractions to lust, that we’re later advised to flee (c.f. 2 Tim 2:22.) The advice to stay contented in our present circumstances flows through the rest of the chapter, namely, if single, don’t be consumed about the hunt for a mate, but if married, don’t be looking for a way out. The thrust of this text is instructive to us about avoiding distractions from our high calling to serve Him.

Bible Study Blog for Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 21st, 2012 in Pastor's Blog

Psalms 113-115; 1 Corinthians 6

 

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory,  because of your love and faithfulness.”

 It’s important to keep GLORY where it belongs. The original source of love and faithfulness is worthy of glory. But when we experience love from each other, it’s important to remember it didn’t start with us. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love, because He first loved us.”  The one who deserves glory for initiating love – is God. And when we experience faithfulness from each other, it’s important to remember it didn’t start with us, either. 2 Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” The one who deserves glory for unwavering faithfulness – is God.

 In fact, James 1:17 says, Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.”   Translation: Everything worthy of glory comes from one place: God. Therefore, God alone is worthy of glory. And it’s not a good idea to steal what belongs to God.

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory,  because of your love and faithfulness.”

 Have a Great day!




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