Israel Day 3, Tagbha, Dan, Banyas, Conversion of Saul, & Gedara

Another Fantastic Day in Israel!  We saw & did many things today!  This morning after visiting Tagbha & recounting the feeding of the 5000 we traveled along North to Israel’s  border with Lebanon at the base of Mt. Hermon & enjoyed  the nature along the bountiful springs that form the upper Jordan River. We looked at the extent of Jesus’ ministry in this northern part of the country. We also visited the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, Banyas (Caesarea Philippi, Matt. 16), an overview of Lebanon and Syria & looked at the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus & reflected on biblical conversion. We ended the day in the Decapolis looking over the Sea of Galilee studying the Demon possessed man from the Gadarenes. Themes for the day were salvation, assimilation, and the role of Idol worship in Ancient Israel.  Please continue to pray for health & that we will all continue to grow in our faith as we see the many locations in Israel!



Lesson: The Gospel Grows Our Faith, Restores Our Soul: The Boy and Peter

John 6:1–15 (ESV)

1 After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. 3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” 15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

I. Gospel-Driven People Grow In Faith Through Action

II. Gospel-Driven People Grow In Faith Through Awareness.

III Gospel-Driven People Grow In Faith Through Acknowledgement

John 21:1–17 (ESV)

1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. 8 The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off. 9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

I. Gospel-Driven People Are Imperfect In This Life.

II. Gospel-Driven People Are Offered Restoration.

III. Gospel-Driven People Can Be Recommissioned.

Teaching time at the Tel Dan Ruins


Lesson: Idol Worship Ancient and Modern- The History of Dan

“The human heart is a factory of idols…Everyone of us is, from his mother’s womb, is an expert in inventing idols.” John Calvin

“We discover what our idols are by asking what gives our life meaning, worth, and value.” Scott Thomas

Three Categories of Idolatry:

1) Approval: I seek from someone or something other than God approval or acceptance and I derive my self-worth from the levels of approval or acceptance I receive.

2) Pleasure: I seek from someone or something other than God happiness as the desires of my flesh are pursued.

3) Comfort: I seek from someone or something other than God a sense of security as I try to control the world around me to try to avoid trouble and pain.

We all choose the things that we love the most, and the more we love them the more we choose them!

We all choose the things that we love the most, and the more we choose them the more we love them!

How do we address idols?

“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10

Six Ingredients for True Repentance by Thomas Watson:

1) Sight of sin! Luke 15:17

2) Sorrow for Sin. Psalm 38:18

3) Confession of Sin. Psalm 51, 1 John 1:9; Deut. 29:18

4) Shame for Sin. Ezra 9:6

5) Hatred of Sin. Rom. 12:9

6) Turning Away from Sin and to the Lord. Ezekiel 14:6; Joel 2:12; Prov. 28:13

Reaffirmation of the Gospel! Romans 8:1

The Gospel is the only solution to find approval, comfort, and security.

How does the Gospel address our idols?

  • God is gracious-so I don’t have to prove myself.
  • God is good-so I don’t have to look elsewhere for comfort, peace, and joy.
  • God is great-so I don’t have to be in control.

Pan Gates


Lesson: The Confession of Peter: The Reality of The Church

Problem: Roman Catholics use this passage to support their belief in the primacy of Peter, that is, that he is the rock on which the church is built. But Paul said the church is built on Christ, not Peter (1 Cor. 3:11). Is Peter the “rock” in this passage?

Solution: There are different ways to understand this passage, but none of them support the Roman Catholic view that the church is built on St. Peter, who became the first Pope—infallible in all his official pronouncements on faith and doctrine. This is evident for many reasons.

First of all, Peter was married (Matt. 8:14), and Popes do not marry. If the first Pope could marry, why later pronounce that no priest (or Pope) can marry.

Second, Peter was not infallible in his views on the Christian life. Even Paul had to rebuke him for his hypocrisy, because he was not “straightforward about the truth of the Gospel” (Gal. 2:14).

Third, the Bible clearly declares that Christ is the foundation of the Christian church, insisting that “no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11).

Fourth, the only sense in which Peter had a foundational role in the church, all the other apostles shared in the same way. Peter was not unique in this respect. For Paul declared that in this sense the church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Eph. 2:20). Indeed, the early church continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine [not just Peter’s]” (Acts 2:42). Even “keys of the kingdom” given to Peter (Matt. 16:19) were also given to all the apostles (cf. Matt. 18:18).

Fifth, there is no indication that Peter was the head of the early church. When the first council was held at Jerusalem, Peter played only an introductory role (Acts 15:6–11). James seems to have a more significant position, summing up the conference and making the final pronouncement (cf. Acts 15:13–21). In any event, Peter is never referred to as the “pillar” in the church. Rather, Paul speaks of “pillars” (plural), such as, “James, Cephas, and John” (Gal. 2:9). Peter (Cephas) is not even listed first among the pillars.

Sixth, many Protestant interpreters believe that Jesus’ reference to “this rock” (Matt. 16:18) upon which His church would be built was to Peter’s solid (rock-like) testimony that Jesus was “the Christ, the son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). But even if this rock has reference to Peter (Petros, rock), which is certainly a possible interpretation, he was only a rock in the apostolic foundation of the church (Matt. 16:18), not the rock. Nor is he the only apostolic rock. Even Peter himself admitted that Christ is the chief rock (“cornerstone,” 1 Peter 2:7). And Paul notes that the other apostles are all part of the “foundation” (Eph. 2:20).

I. The Foundation of The Church Is The Person Of Christ.

II. The Formation of The Church Is The Response To Christ.

III. The Fellowship of The Church is The Community of Christ.

Ekklesia only used twice in the Gospels..Here and Matt. 18:17

IV. The Future of The Church is The Victorious Christ.

Stephen Olford writes,

Literally that should be translated, “And the gates of Hades (or the unseen world) shall not prevail against it.” The idea behind the expression “the gates of Hades” is that of death; and behind that, despair; and behind that again, sin. Neither sin, despair nor death shall prevail against the church of Christ. The reason why these three terrible and mysterious facts of the Universe cannot prevail against the church of Jesus Christ is that Jesus Himself has conquered sin, hopelessness and death. The gospel tells us that “Christ died for our sins and that he was buried,” but as the true Samson “he rose again the third day” (1 Cor. 15:3–4) and carried away the gates of hell, and so triumphed once and for all.”

Damascus Road (Runs Northwest in Picture)


Lesson: The Conversion of Paul

I. The persecution from Saul (Paul). Acts 9:1–2

ἐμπνέω ἀπειλῆς: (an idiom, literally ‘to breathe out threat’) to express dire threats—‘to threaten strongly, to make firm threats.’

In the Greek construction, the case in which these words are marks them as the cause or source of the “breathing;” breathing hard out of threatening, and murderous desire.- Vincent, M. R. (2002). Word studies in the New Testament (Ac 9:1). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Acts 9:13 (ESV) 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.

Acts 22:4 (ESV) 4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women,

Acts 22:19 (ESV) 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you.

Acts 26:10 (ESV) 10 And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them.

Acts 26:11 (ESV) 11 And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

1 Corinthians 15:9 (ESV) 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Galatians 1:13 (ESV) 13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it.

Philippians 3:6 (ESV)6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

1 Timothy 1:13 (ESV) 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief.

II. The conversion of Saul (Paul). Acts 9:3–9 (ESV)

1. God’s initiative in conversion. Acts 26:14 (ESV)

1 Corinthians 9:1 (ESV)1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord?

1 Corinthians 15:8 (ESV)8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

Galatians 1:16 (ESV)16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;

He was converted by the truth, and so are people today. There are non-genuine, spurious conversions. They pass away. But all true conversion is a result of the work of this same Jesus Christ who knows his sheep, “calls [them] by name and leads them out” (John 10:3). Christianity does not rest on a foundation of sand. It rests on the work of God, as is demonstrated in the conversion of Saul.- Boice, J. M. (1997). Acts : An expositional commentary (154). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

The story of Saul’s spiritual transformation ought to remind us never to write anyone off as being beyond the love of Christ. We may do so with relatives whom we know have heard the Word for years without response, or a sinner who has gone to a crass level of depravity, or someone who has gone into a cult or is propagating false doctrine. But Scripture is clear—God can reach anyone!

The workings of the divine hunter are subtle and profound. As Saul set out on his bloodthirsty hunt, he, unknowingly, was the hunted. The Hound of Heaven was tracking him down just as surely as the persecutor was tracking down God’s saints. God was still at work.- Hughes, R. K. (1996). Acts : The church afire. Preaching the Word (127). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.

2. Paul’s condition before conversion.In spite of his great learning (Acts 26:24), Saul was spiritually blind (2 Cor. 3:12–18) and did not understand what the Old Testament really taught about the Messiah. Like many others of his countrymen, he stumbled over the Cross (1 Cor. 1:23) because he depended on his own righteousness and not on the righteousness of God (Rom. 9:30–10:13; Phil. 3:1–10). Many self-righteous religious people today do not see their need for a Saviour and resent it if you tell them they are sinners. -Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Ac 9:1). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

Ephesians 2:5 (ESV) 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

3. Paul’s response to conversion. (the contrast of physical and spiritual blindness) Saul rose another man: he had fallen in death, he rose in life: he had fallen in the midst of things temporal, he rose in awful consciousness of the things eternal: he had fallen a proud, intolerant, persecuting Jew; he rose a humble, broken–hearted, penitent Christian. In that moment a new element had been added to his being. Henceforth—to use his own deep and dominant expression—he was “in Christ.” God had found him; Jesus had spoken to him, and in one flash changed him from a raging Pharisee into a true disciple—from the murderer of the saints into the Apostle of the Gentiles. It was a new birth, a new creation. As we read the story of it, if we have one touch of reverence within our souls, shall we not take off our shoes from off our feet, for the place whereon we stand is holy ground?- Farrar, F. W. (1879-80). Vol. 1: The Life and Work of St. Paul. (199). London; New York [etc.: Cassell, Petter, Galpin & co

John Newton was born July 24, 1725 in London to a godly mother and an irreligious, sea-faring father. His mother died when he was six. Left mainly to himself, Newton became a debauched sailor—a miserable outcast on the coast of West Africa for two years; a slave-trading sea-captain until an epileptic seizure ended his career; a well-paid “surveyor of tides” in Liverpool; a loved pastor of two congregations in Olney and London for 43 years; a devoted husband to Mary for 40 years until she died in 1790; a personal friend to William Wilberforce, Charles Simeon, Henry Martyn, William Carey,

John Wesley, George Whitefield; and, finally, the author of the most famous hymn in the English language, Amazing Grace.[1] He died on December 21, 1807 at the age of 82.

He found a Bible and got help from Luke 11:13, which promises the Holy Spirit to those who ask. He reasoned, “If this book be true, the promise in this passage must be true likewise. I have need of that very Spirit, by which the whole was written, in order to understand it aright. He has engaged here to give that Spirit to those who ask: I must therefore pray for it; and, if it be of God, he will make good on his own word.”[17]

He spent all the rest of the voyage in deep seriousness as he read and prayed over the Scriptures. On April 8 they anchored in Ireland, and the next day the storm at sea was so violent they would have surely been sunk. Newton described what God had done in those two weeks:

Thus far I was answered, that before we arrived in Ireland, I had a satisfactory evidence in my own mind of the truth of the Gospel, as considered in itself, and of its exact suitableness to answer all my needs. . . . I stood in need of an Almighty Savior; and such a one I found described in the New Testament. Thus far the Lord had wrought a marvelous thing: I was no longer an infidel: I heartily renounced my former profaneness, and had taken up some right notions; was seriously disposed, and sincerely touched with a sense of the undeserved mercy I had received, in being brought safe through so many dangers. I was sorry for my past misspent life, and purposed an immediate reformation. I was quite freed from the habit of swearing, which seemed to have been as deeply rooted in me as a second nature. Thus, to all appearance, I was a new man.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

“I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am” – John Newton

Those transformed by the saving grace of God cannot stop speaking about it (Acts 4:20), and Saul was no exception. After a few days of fellowship with the saints, he immediately began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues. To the shocked Christians, surprised by his conversion, can be added the shocked Jews, who were expecting him to take Christians prisoner, not preach Jesus Christ in their synagogues. From the beginning he felt that courageous compulsion that later caused him to exclaim, “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” – (1 Cor. 9:16). – MacArthur, J. (1994). Acts (274). Chicago: Moody Press.

III. The Transformation of the Gospel. Acts 9:20–22 (ESV)

Principles for Spiritual Transformation (Conversion):

1. It is immediate. εὐθέως: a point of time immediately subsequent to a previous point of time.

2. It is verifiable. “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?”.

John 15:8 (ESV)

8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

3. It is progressive. “But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.”

Sunset over the Sea of Galilee- Jesus Casts Demons Into The Pigs


Lesson: The Gospel Is Our Strength For Spiritual Battle

I. Gospel-Driven People Recognize Christ As Lord Over Darkness.

Luke 8:26–39 (ESV)

26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” 29 For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) 30 Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. 32 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned. 34 When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 36 And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. 37 Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. 38

The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.

II. Gospel-Driven People Put On Christ As Their Armor

Ephesians 6:10–20 (ESV)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

III. Gospel-Driven People Realize The Reality Of Warfare And Resist.

1 Peter 5:5–11 (ESV)

5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

James 4:1–8 (ESV)

1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

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Israel Day 2: Antipatris, Caeserea, Mt. Caramel/Jezreel Valley, Nazarath

We had a great 2nd day here in Israel.  Everyone is doing well &  adjusting to the “jet -lag”.  We visited several key places & continued our “Gospel Driven” theme by continuing to look at the life of Paul while in Antipatris (Acts 23) & Caeserea (Acts 12).  At Mt Caramel/Jezeel Valley we looked at the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18).  We closed the day by journeying to Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus, & looking at the Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25).  The Lord is already teaching our team many things & it is our prayer that he continues to show and use us in a mighty way this week!

Lesson: “Tell Your Story” – Acts 26:1-29

Acts Purpose Statement: The unstoppable ministry of Jesus continues By the power of the Spirit through the witness of God’s people.

I. A Gospel-Driven Life Has A Story to Tell

II. A Gospel-Driven Life Encounters Opposition.

II. A Gospel-Driven Life seems Insane to the World. 

III. A Gospel-Driven Life is Convincing

Fortress Ruins site at Antipatris (Acts 23)


Lesson: The Gospel Driven Life- Paul

Gospel-Centered People-They are driven by a love for Jesus and his work on our behalf. Gospel-centered people are focused on Jesus His Finished work, His Present Work, and His Future Work. Joe Thorn

 Outline of Acts 23:

A. The Council for Paul (Acts 23:1–11)

B. The Conspiracy Against Paul (Acts 23:12–22)

C. The Cartage of Paul (Acts 23:23–35)

I. A Gospel-Driven Life will Persevere. (1-5)

II. A Gospel-Driven Life is Perceptive. (6-11)

III. A Gospel-Driven Life experiences Persecution. (12-22)

IV. A Gospel-Driven Life is Preposterous. (23-35)

preposterous- contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous.Two centurions, each commanding a hundred men, were assigned to the task. In addition, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen were also assigned to the task force. This constituted a small army, a rather formidable force just to protect one man. But the commander was taking no chances. He knew the Jews well enough to suspect that the conspiracy against Paul might be extensive.-Wade, J. W. (1987). Acts: Unlocking the Scriptures for You. Standard Bible Studies (245). Cincinnati, OH: Standard.

Ruins from the Herod’s Palace at the Caesarea


Lesson: Gospel Centered People Put Off Pride- Herod (Acts 12:19-23)

I. A Person of Pride. 

II. The Punishment for Pride. 

Principles for Putting Off Pride:

1. Realize pride is deceptive.

2. Cultivate accountability that calls for repentance.

James 5:16 (ESV)16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

3. Realize neglecting the Body of Christ (Church) is prideful opposition to God. (Heb 10:25, Acts 12:24) Hebrews 10:25 (ESV)

25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

But the Bible says the local church is important. God has entrusted local churches with godly leaders who teach us His Word and care for our souls (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:1–8; 1 Tim. 3:1–13; 5:17; Titus 1:5–9). God has united us together in local churches to keep one another from sinning and straying from Christ (Gal. 6:1–5; Matt. 18:15–20). God has commanded us to gather together in local assemblies where we preach God’s Word, celebrate the Lord’s Supper, baptize new believers, and pray for and encourage one another (Acts 2:42; Heb. 10:24–25). Then we scatter to care for believers and to share the gospel with unbelievers (Acts 2:43–47). Clearly, being a disciple and making 

disciples involves committing your life to a local church where you are joined together with other believers under biblical leadership to grow in the likeness of Christ and to express the love of Christ to the world around you. – Francis Chan

4. Recognize pride invites God’s judgment

James 4:6 (ESV) 6. But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” opposes-to oppose someone, involving not only a psychological attitude but also a corresponding behavior—‘to oppose, to be hostile toward, to show hostility

Mt. Caramel/Jezreel Valley


Lesson: Gospel-Driven Faith- Elijah  1 Kings 18:20–40 (ESV)

1. Gospel-Driven People Reject Compromise.

2. Gospel-Driven People Have Conviction.  

Hebrews 11:1–3 (ESV) – 1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

3. Gospel-Driven People Live Courageously

4. Gospel-Driven People Reflect Confidence.



Lesson: The Man of Jubilee: Jesus

I. The Year of Jubilee in Leviticus.  Leviticus 25:10 (ESV)

The Year of Jubilee Meant:

1. You get back all land that belonged to your family that was sold.

2. All the slaves and people who had sold themselves to try and take care of their families were set free.

3. Any debt that you had that was outstanding was marked off as paid in full and completely forgiven.

4. You had to rest and trust God for provision. The world spins because of God, not us! Leviticus 25:18–21 (ESV)

18 “Therefore you shall do my statutes and keep my rules and perform them, and then you will dwell in the land securely. 19 The land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and dwell in it securely. 20 And if you say, ‘What shall we eat in the seventh year, if we may not sow or gather in our crop?’ 21 I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, so that it will produce a crop sufficient for three years.

II. The Year of Jubilee in Isaiah. Isaiah 61:1–3 (ESV)

1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

III. The Man of Jubiliee in Luke.  Luke 4:16–21 (ESV)

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Lessons From The Man of Jubilee:

1. Gospel-Driven People Model Christ As The Man of Jubilee.  (We Give Others What They Don’t Deserve/cancel debt, free slaves, give back land)

2. Gospel-Driven People Recognize Christ As The Man of Jubilee. 

3. Gospel-Driven People Worship Christ As The Man of Jubilee. (who cancels debts, free slaves, and gives back life!)

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Israel Day One: Joppa



Greetings from Israel!

We arrived late yesterday after delay’s and a long flight, but the team is well and we started of our arrival with an immediate teaching stop at the old city of Joppa. We looked at two very important stories from the word of God concerning the great commission. 

Our theme on this years trip is to be “Gospel Driven”. We don’t want to leave Israel with more head knowledge, geographic insight, and just the experience; we want to pray for gospel transformation! Our prayer is to take what we experience, see, and learn and be more driven to live a gospel-centered life than ever before. 

Here is the challenge we are using concerning being Gospel-Driven: “

“The gospel-centered life is a life where a Christian experiences a growing personal reliance on the gospel that protects him from depending on his own religious performance and being seduced and overwhelmed by idols….Gospel-Centered People-They are driven by a love for Jesus and his work on our behalf. Gospel-centered people are focused on Jesus His Finished work, His Present Work, and His Future Work.”- Joe Thorn


We concluded our long day of travel with an overview of the Mediterranean Sea and a challenge from the life of Jonah and Peter about being “Gospel-Driven”. Here are our notes and pictures. 

Church Near The Traditional Site of Simon The Tanner (Acts 10)



1. II Chron 2:16-Port through which Hiram would float cedar for construction of Solomon’s Temple.

2. Ezra 3:7-Zerubabel and Jeshua received cedar from Lebanon for rebuilding of the Temple.

3. Jonah 1:3-Jonah fled from Jaffa to Tarshish.

4. Acts 9:32-43-Near Lod where Peter healed Aeneas, and later scene of his healing of Tabitha.

5. Acts 10:5, 6, 23, 45-Scene of Peter’s vision at the home of Simon the Tanner, place of his visit by messengers of Cornelius who brought Peter to Caesarea.

6. Acts 11:12-Six brothers from Jaffa accompanied Peter as he accounted for himself at church meeting in Jerusalem.

Teaching Time Overlooking The Mediterranean


 Lesson: The Mission of The Gospel: The Contrast of Peter and Jonah

 Jonah 1:1–3 (ESV)

1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

Jonah 3:1–2 (ESV)

1 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.”

Jonah 3:4–6 (ESV)

4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. 6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

Acts 10:34–43 (ESV)

34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

1. Gospel-Driven People Recognize The Mission of the Gospel is Purposeful.

2. Gospel-Driven People Realize The Mission of the Gospel Must be Obeyed. 

Roy Zuck writes, “When God calls His servants to carry out these decisions and be instruments of His grace to sinful men, they must obey, realizing that they too have experienced His mercy both corporately and individually.”

3. Gospel Driven People Understands The Mission of the Gospel Breaks Barriers

4. Gospel Driven People Believe The Mission of the Gospel is Powerful.

Matthew 12:40 (ESV)

40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

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2013 Reading God’s Story At Lifepoint Church


This year at Lifepoint Church we are reading through George Guthrie’s, “Reading God’s Story”. This is a Chronological Daily Reading Bible. I will be preaching sermons on Sunday that will come from the previous weeks reading.

You can purchase the Bible at Amazon here.

You can follow along free at You Version here. (This is downloadable app that will send you daily reminders;)

What an opportunity to discipline yourself to be in the Word of God this year. Check out the Lifepoint Church Web page for audio sermons and opportunities to be involved in Men’s and Women’s Discipleship groups at

Posted in Family, Leadership, Preaching, SOAP Devotions, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Family Shepherding- Corporate Worship as a Spiritual Discipline (Part 2)

Two months ago we began implementing Corporate Family Worship on the last Sunday of the month. (We already cancel age-graded ministries on the last Wednesday Night of the month for Family Worship.) Specifically, this is where our Kindergarden-6th grade worship alongside their parents in Corporate Worship. Personally, this is a good balance that allows us to practice family corporate worship and age graded ministries side by side.

Here are a couple of reasons for Family Worship:

1. It promotes biblical discipleship in the home (Family Shepherding).

2. It engages families in discipline of corporate worship.

3. It helps balance the drift churches have to become program oriented.

Here are the notes from my Sermon, “Implementing Family Worship: Corporate Worship as a Spiritual Discipline”

Ground Rules:

1. Identity trumps Your Past.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Un-resolved guilt and shame will paralyze you.

2. Family Shepherding is not Optional.
Deuteronomy 6:4–9 (ESV)
4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Head of House Must Lead (Engaging and Participating- Not A Philosophy Issue)

How Sinner’s Implement Family Discipleship (Corporate Worship)

I. Recognize Corporate Worship is A Spiritual Discipline.

Spiritual Disciplines are those personal and corporate disciplines that promote spiritual growth. They are the habits of devotion and experiential Christianity that have been practiced by the people of God since Biblical times. -Donald Whitney- Spiritual Disciplines for The Christian Life

Church hitchhikers have a telling vocabulary: “I go to” or “I attend,” but never “I belong to” or “I am a member.”

 Personally, the doctrine of the Church ought to tell us that we are part of the grandest institution the universe has ever known, and that we are tragically diminished by non-participation in Christ’s Body. Correspondingly, the Church is diminished by our nonparticipation as well. You and I need the Church! The Scriptures are most explicit regarding this: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).

Men, on the most elementary level, you do not have to go to church to be a Christian. You do not have to go home to be married either. But in both cases if you do not, you will have a very poor relationship.

If the grand and great doctrine of the Church tells us anything, it tells us that whoever you are and however busy you may be (whether U.S. President, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a Fortune 500 business executive, or leader of a parachurch organization), the Church must be at the very center of your life. Church hitchhiking is an aberration! And so is mild commitment.

Men, honestly, are you a hitchhiker, kind of a “free agent” looking for a tentative place on the roster, here for a season, there for another? If so, you will never attain to your full spiritual manhood, nor will your family reach its spiritual maturity.

Men, at the end of the twentieth century both the Church and the lost world need men who practice the discipline of Church. – Kent Hughes- Disciplines of a Godly Man

“The church is not an audience of spectators; we are a fellowship of disciple-makers.”- David Platt

II. Model Devotion In The Essentials of Corporate Shepherding.

Colossians 3:12–16 (ESV)
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

1. See you love Others. (Genuine Relationships)
14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

2. See you love the Word.
16a Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom,

3. See you participate in Worship.
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

16b singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

4. See you respond to the Spirit.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.



Posted in Family, Leadership

Has God Forgotten You?

This week’s CBD Devotion was out of Psalm 77, a Psalm of Asaph. I was reminded after reading this passage about a situation with my 2 year old son, Jeremiah. Just recently on a family vacation Jeremiah was trying to hide from me in a clothing store. I responded by hiding from him, always keeping him in view. It only took a few moments for him to come to the realization that he was not hiding, but had been lost and forgotten. His reaction was priceless! Once he saw me, he ran to my leg and squeezed it. I responded, “Jeremiah stay close to me.” I had not forgotten or lost Jeremiah, I knew exactly where he was, even when he thought I had lost him. This is great background as we think about how the Chief Musician Asaph must have felt in writing Psalm 77.

Background on Asaph

1 Chronicles 6:39 (ESV)
39 and his brother Asaph, who stood on his right hand, namely, Asaph the son of Berechiah, son of Shimea,
1 Chronicles 16:4–5 (ESV)
4 Then he appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the LORD, to invoke, to thank, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel. 5 Asaph was the chief, and second to him were Zechariah, Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel, who were to play harps and lyres; Asaph was to sound the cymbals,

 I. The Picture of Darkness. (1-9)Psalm 77:1–9 (ESV)

1 I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. 2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. 3 When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah 4 You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 5 I consider the days of old, the years long ago. 6 I said, “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” Then my spirit made a diligent search: 7 “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? 8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah

It isn’t a sin to question God, for both David and Jesus asked the Lord the same question (22:1; Matt. 27:46), but it is a sin to demand an immediate answer or to suggest that God needs our counsel (Rom. 11:33–36). Asaph asked six questions, all of which dealt with the very character and attributes of God.
1. Has He rejected us? No! He is faithful to His Word (Lam. 3:31–33).

Lamentations 3:31–33 (ESV)
31 For the Lord will not cast off forever, 32 but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; 33 for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men.

2. Will He ever again show favor to Israel? Yes! (Ps. 30:5. Isa. 60:10)

Psalm 30:5 (ESV)
5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Isaiah 60:10 (ESV)
10 Foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you; for in my wrath I struck you, but in my favor I have had mercy on you.

3. Has His unfailing love vanished forever? No! (Jer. 31:3)

Jeremiah 31:3 (ESV)
3 the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

4. Have His promises failed? No! (1 Kings 8:56)

1 Kings 8:56 (ESV)56 “Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.

5. Has He forgotten to be gracious? No! (Isa. 49:14–18)

Isaiah 49:14–18 (ESV)
14 But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” 15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. 16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. 17 Your builders make haste; your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you. 18 Lift up your eyes around and see; they all gather, they come to you. As I live, declares the LORD, you shall put them all on as an ornament; you shall bind them on as a bride does.

6. Is He so angry, He has shut up His compassions? No! (Lam. 3:22–24)

Lamentations 3:22–24 (ESV)
22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

It has well been said that we should never doubt in the darkness what God had told us in the light, but Asaph was about to do so. No matter what His hand is doing in our lives, His heart has not changed. He still loves us and always will.

Wiersbe, W. W. (2004). Be worshipful (1st ed.). “Be” Commentary Series (250–251). Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries.

II. The Picture of Decision (10-12)
Psalm 77:10–12 (ESV)
10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.” 11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. 12 I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.

Truth vs. Feelings

Decisions reveal your depth (Theology and Doctrine)

We don’t make decisions for what God does or does not do, but who God is!

Deliverance and victory may not be immediate my friend, but they are inevitable if you are in Christ. Don’t trust your feelings or circumstance, trust in Christ.

III. The Picture of Declaration (13-20)
Psalm 77:13–20 (ESV)
13 Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? 14 You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. 15 You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah 16 When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. 17 The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side. 18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook. 19 Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. 20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Asaph’s Response To Darkness:

He looked Up! (13-15)
He looked Back! (16-20)

Truth To Live By

1. God does not forget or lose those He has redeemed!

John 10:28–29 (ESV)
28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Article 5 Grace (BFM)
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

2. God is NOT Finished with You Yet!

Philippians 1:6 (ESV)
6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Posted in Leadership, SOAP Devotions

Family Shepherding- Corporate Worship as a Spiritual Discipline (Part 1)

A few weeks ago we began implementing Corporate Family Worship on the last Sunday of the month. (We already cancel age-graded ministries on the last Wednesday Night of the month for Family Worship.) Specifically, this is where our Kindergarden-6th grade worship alongside their parents in Corporate Worship. Personally, this is a good balance that allows us to practice family corporate worship and age graded ministries side by side.

Here are a couple of reasons for Family Worship:

1. It promotes biblical discipleship in the home (Family Shepherding).

2. It engages families in discipline of corporate worship.

3. It helps balance the drift churches have to become program oriented.

Included here in Part 1 are the notes from the Family Devotion time and schedule from our first Sunday Family Worship Service. I will post the essentials of Corporate Shepherding in Part 2.

This will probable generate more questions than answers so feel free to email me if I can offer more explanation

Order of Worship:

Worship Through Song (15 min)

Family Devotion (15 min)

Dismiss (kindergarden-2)

Worship (10 min)

Sermon (30 min)

Invitation/Response (5 min)

Family Devotion Notes: (At the end of the Family Devotion time during our service, heads of households lead their family in reading and response)

Ephesians 6:1–4 (ESV)
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

I. Instruction to  Children. (1-3)

Ephesians 6:1–4 (ESV)
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

Obey has to do with action, and honor has to do with attitude. “Obedience is doing exactly what God say’s, when He say’s it, with the right heart attitude.”

a. God’s desire’s is obedience.

1 Samuel 15:22 (ESV) 22 And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

1 John 2:3 (ESV) 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

b. God’s desire is honor.

Honor is the attitude behind the act. The act is obedience, and honor is the attitude. Remember that an act without the proper attitude is hypocrisy. If you do what your parents tell you to do but you hate it and you’re unwilling and nasty about it, then you’re a hypocrite. If you do what your parents tell you to do but you’re bitter, fearful, reluctant, and selfish, that’s not the right spirit. God is after the attitude much more than He’s after the act, because if the attitude is right, the act will follow. But a right act with a wrong attitude is nothing but hypocrisy.

c. God’s promise for obedience.

Exodus 20:12 (ESV)
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

II.Instruction to Parents. (4)

The Warning:

4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21 (ESV) 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

How do your provoke your Children?
1. Overprotection (mothering or smothering)
2. Favoritism (blended homes)
3. Pushing Achievement (vicarious living)
4. Discouragement
5. Failure to allow for Childishness
6. Neglect
7. Withdrawing love
8. Cruel Physical Punishment

The Command:

a. The principle of diligence. “Bring Up”
To bring up children is a scriptural phrase that implies a serious responsibility for their spiritual, moral, mental, and physical well-being. This is a very encompassing term. In fact, in Ephesians 5:29, when Paul was speaking to the same group of people, he said: “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it.” The word nourish there is the same word for “to bring up.”

b. The principle of discipline.
Nurture means correction. It is the same word used in Hebrews 12:6, where the writer says, “For whom the Lord loves He chastens.” Nurture and chasten are the same word. So the Bible says there are times when we need to discipline our children. We need to chasten them.

Posted in Family, Leadership, Preaching