The Convictions of the Biblical Man
Pastor Brady spoke tonight about Biblical Leadership. We remember that the Biblical leader is a "man who is grounded in sound Biblical convictions that affects him in such a way that his Character, Convictions, and Conduct are held captive by the Truth of God's Word". Our theology will grab our lives and constrain us.
"It is Impossible to overstate how your Beliefs shape your Life"
Imagine a man who is frustrated as he tries to make His children obey. He is frustrated because his child will not obey. He tries and tries, working with all his might but nothing seems to change. What beliefs is the father using as he is coming at his child? Through his actions he is showing that he believes that the child's behavior can be changed by coercion or force or begging etc. Imagine he changes his beliefs and comes to his child with a belief that his child is dead in sins and needs to be pointed to the gospel. Once the father understands the wickedness of his child's heart he comes at his child in a different way. Instead of forcing obedience (which he can never do) the father lovingly disciplines and prays for his childs heart because it is evidencing unbelief in the childs heart.
2 Corinthians 11 - Paul is a great example of biblical leadership. His confidence in God in the face of suffering allows him to say "I know whom I have believed in...that He will guard what I've entrusted to Him". Paul's beliefs effect how he stands under pressure.
Job is another example. In the face of losing all his possessions and children in a single day, he states " The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away". Wow, what conviction and confidence in God's Sovereignty. His theology shaped his life and allowed him to trust even when all seemed hopeless.
How can I Cultivate Biblical convictions?
1 Timothy 4:6
If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished by the words of the faith and the good teaching that you have followed. But have nothing to do with irreverent and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness, for the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. In fact, we labor and strive for this, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of everyone, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Let no one despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, give your attention to public reading, exhortation, and teaching. Do not neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.
1 Timothy 4:6-16 HCSB
When the 10 disciples heard this, they became indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life — a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:24-28 HCSB
Leadership is Servanthood
Leadership found in the Bible is servanthood. Just as Jesus didn't come to be served but to serve - believers are to do the same. 1 Timothy gives us qualities that every leader should follow. Proper nourishment on Gods Truth is vital to be a strong believer. This is seen in the physical realm, if you do not give your body a consistent and steady diet you will have a body that is incompetent and weak. Spiritual development is the same. 1 Timothy 4:6 tells us to be nourished on the faith and sound doctrine. To be a leader you must feed yourself.
How do we Feed Ourselves?
We Christians are funny. We treat Sunday teaching as something that is secondary to our "personal" devotions. While I don't discount personal devotions I simply point out the need to eat when when fed. It would be like going through the buffet line and tossing the food in the trash so you can eat at home. It is absurd, but is how many of us treat teaching we receive on Sunday. I encourage you to feed Sunday Morning, Evening and Wednesday. Treat the truth on Sunday as important and vital. Use that truth to nourish yourself every week. A largely overlooked aspect of evangelical Christians is the proclamation of Gods Word. Take the food that you have been given on Sunday, meditate on it, reread the main passages, and watch how you'll grow in godliness.
Timothy is an example of applying and following Gods Truth that has a direct effect: stability. Believers should be people who have stability in life because they know how to nourish themselves on God's Truth. Our world is full of fickle, indecisive people looking for the next thing.
Hebrews tells us that the key to maturity is not just learning doctrine but Practice. Maturity is never what a person knows but what a person does.
Look over your life this week. How committed to God's truth are you? Do you actively seek Him as He speaks to you each week? If yes, how is that truth changing you? Are your convictions shaped by God or your opinion?
Pastor Glidden talked today about the importance of God's Truth. God's servants are:
By examining our hearts, if we have these qualities and desires, the next step is to identify with the local church through Baptism and Membership. Paul and Barnabas, teachers at Antioch, were sent from Antioch (Acts 13:1-3) to minister and share the gospel. God has chosen His Truth to be taught in the local Church. If God is so invested in the church, shouldn't you be as well?
Listen/Download January 14,2018 message here.
Anthony Brenchley | Deacon
Joshua 8 Notes
We have been studying the Book of Joshua and have seen how God has used Joshua to further the Ministry of Moses. Joshua came on the scene and although very loyal to God, he still struggled with fearfulness about the huge task he was undertaking. In so many ways we learned that our lives are like Joshua. We need God's presence and person as we go through our many challenges in life and we need his provision. Joshua learned this first hand but also had to learn some hard lessons about trusting in God even though the Israelite's were defeated (battle of Ai).
Today we are going to study from Joshua chapter 8. If I could summarize this study it is a study of defeat, strategy and mountains. Mt. Gerazim and Mt. Ebal were the famous mountains and are a picture of the type of worship we give God. Mt Gerazim represents man-made, legalistic religion and Mt. Ebal represents true worship through faith in God.
Joshua is reassured (8:1-2)
Joshua is told not to be discouraged, which is understandable. He was told by God to conquer the land and then was defeated by a very insignificant force. Joshua 7:7 says "Oh Lord God..why did You ever bring these people across the Jordan to hand us over to the Amorites for our destruction? If only we had been content to remain on the other side of the Jordan!" - Clearly Joshua is discouraged but God once again reassures him like He did previously (Joshua 1:9).
God is so good and tells Joshua to go ahead and attack Ai. Israel was previously defeated by Ai because of Achan's sin, but now that had been dealt with and Joshua is free to move forward in victory. It is interesting to note the report given by the spies in 7:3, it seems that the Israelite's were underestimating their role as they conquer the land. They had to put forth effort and have a strategy to defeat the enemy.
When Israel entered Jericho, God strictly forbade them from taking anything for themselves (Joshua 6:18-19) because these items were set apart for destruction. God never gave this same command when they went into Ai. God actually tells them to take the plunder for themselves, specifically the spoil and livestock. For what reason God set the spoils apart for destruction from Jericho is unknown but possibly is related to Jericho being the firstfruits of the land. God specifically told the Israelites that the firstfruits, firstborn men and firstborn animals were His. Nevertheless, the sad tale of Jericho is that Achan broke the law of God and suffered for it. If he had only waited on God's timing, he would have been able to have his spoil from the land. The path of obedience and faith is always best.
It seems that Joshua wasn't going to take any risks when defeating Ai. God led the people to victory through a military strategy which cause the people to ambush their enemies and burn the city. Notice here that Joshua didn't take just a few men. Joshua took 3 squads. One for the first attack, one for ambush and one to block the path of help and kill the remaining enemies. After the men were defeated the Israelites marched into the city, killed everyone and then took their spoil.
Why didn't Joshua keep with the conquest while his people were on their path of victory. One could imagine the morale boost that was felt because of Ai's defeat. However, as we've seen everywhere in Joshua, God is the one that leads the people to victory and if God is not with the people they cannot stand against their enemies. God commanded the people to worship God on Mt. Ebal when they came across the Jordan and they didn't forget to obey Him.
According to Joshua 8:33-34, half of the people stood in front of Mt. Ebal and half in front of Mt. Gerazim. This is a picture of obedience and faith. As Joshua read the word of Moses to the children of Israel read Deuteronomy 27 blessings and curses. Those in front of Mt. Ebal read the blessings, those in front of Gerazim read the curses.
One could imagine the excitement as the Israelite's were reciting blessings and curses over themselves. God is calling them to renew their commitment that they had made to him previously. They renewed this covenant and they knew the Law of God that they were to follow. They identified the blessings with worship of the true God as the people before Mt. Ebal and they identified the curses with disobedience to God while standing in front of Mt. Gerazim. This is interesting because mountains come up in John 4 as Jesus talks to a Samaritan woman:
What was the purpose of this talk? Jesus, who is God and worthy to be truly worshiped is calling a Samaritan woman to Him by offering her living water. The scene is full of hope and excitement but see how she responds:
I always thought it was weird that she brought up mountains in reference to this offer by Jesus. Truly, Jesus offering her life but he does it through convicting her of her sin. This woman might be trying to distract Jesus and take him off course because of her adultery (which she would have known from the Ten Commandments) but she might have been doing something more. She was remembering a tradition that all Israelites remembered - back to the days of Joshua when the Israelites identified different mountains with how they worshiped and the blessing and curses that came from them. Jesus then states that the Samaritans worship what they do not know (false worship) and that true worship and salvation comes from the Jews. He then says that the mountain doesn't matter because the avenue of salvation will come from faith through Himself when true worshipers will worship in spirit and truth.
Obedience of God in Joshua 8 was the pivotal point and led the people to victory. After they defeated Ai they then worshiped God and renewed their covenant.
*In what ways am I trying to worship God on my own? Am I doing it "my way" or His?
*In what ways do I need to repent for disobedience so that God can lead me to victory in my personal life?
*Much of this lesson was taken from https://bible.org/seriespage/7-victory-ai-joshua-81-35
Operation Christmas Child is a ministry that GBC normally participates in. This year, GBC took it a step further and became a drop location for the Southern Johnson County Area. It was a great success as we had over 100 boxes shipped to little girls and boys around the world. Vickie Fish headed up this ministry and was super encouraged by the results of the ministry. Merry Christmas!
Guest Speaker Pastor Matthew Glidden referenced this video November 29, 2015. Watch it, be inspired to be a witness in your context.