Monday, February 11, 2008

Weird TLC and Last Week's Class Notes

So, I don't watch much TV at all. I watch American Idol, Life Today, and decorating shows when I do watch. I don't like to sit down long enough to watch TV, but occasionally when Disney Channel isnt on, I will listen to a program while I am doing household chores. Lately, I have noticed a very, dare I say, 'queer' pattern on The Learning Channel. It seems that they are trying (and very hard I might add) to incorporate gay couples on all of their shows. I have seen several shows recently where 'gay partners' are redecorating their homes, looking for vacation homes, or where lesbian couples have undergone in-vitro to have a baby and want to tell the world by going on "A Baby Story". I haven't seen a gay version of a "Wedding Stroy", but I am sure it's only because I don't watch that show anyway. What is up with that?

I, personally, am growing very tired of being bombarded by homosexuality at every turn. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah? Remember Abraham asking God to spare everyone if he could find just 10 righteous people left? Remember the wild men knocking on Lot's door asking to have sex with the men (angels) who had come to visit and Lot offering his virgin daughters instead? There was no such thing as TV in Lot's day, but if there had been, I bet gay couples could have been seen parading their sin on the small screen for all to see. Times have changed, but people haven't. I feel like I am living in the days of Lot OR better yet in the days of Noah........

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left". Matthew 24:36-40

I just realized I forgot to post last week's class notes (from a Bible study class I am leading at church). I don't know if any of you really want to read them, but posting them here ensures that I won't lose them. If you do read them, remember they are just my notes to remind me of what I want to say - they aren't all complete thoughts and some things may not make complete sense outside of the classroom setting.

Fourth Week Notes

Last we talked about the question: “Am I using God for what I want Him to give me or do I really desire to get close to Him?”

I think our relationship with God hinges on that very question.

By that I mean that people who just want the benefits that come with being a child of God are not going to care if they truly KNOW God, KNOW His character, KNOW His will…….There are people who are truly saved (people who admit they are sinners, believe Jesus is God’s son who died for them, and confess their sins, ask Jesus into their heart, etc. etc. etc.) but never grown in their relationship with God.

I was saved at the age of 14 and I hate to think of the years I wasted not growing in my relationship with Jesus.

There are so many people (young people, old people) who are saved and baptized in the church and then forgotten. As a church, we need to make discipling these people a priority.

If you are not growing in God, you are growing away from God - it is like a tug of war - the world on one side and our relationship with God on the other - if we are not in the word, the world will win every time because the word is what keeps us from giving in to our sin nature
John 16:14 says, He (Holy Spirit) will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.

The Holy Spirits goal is to bring glory to the Father and the Son by revealing the Father’s thoughts concerning us.

God the Father wants us to know Him and He wants to share Himself with us.

We can learn the nature of God or the attributes of God by studying His Word.

List some of the attributes of God . Hint: top of page 70 Exodus 34:6-7 and MalachI 3:6-7

Does knowing these characteristics of God make it easier for you to obey Him?

It should. Knowing He has our best interest at heart, knowing He is compassionate, slow to anger, forgiving, just, etc. etc….it should make us more willing and quick to obey what He tells us.

When a person doesn’t understand these things about God, they are less willing to obey…….

How did you come to know personally that God is forgiving, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love?

On page 70, she tells of a time in college when she was not walking with the Lord. She talks about the guilt that she experienced from her time of ‘straying’.
I daresay there is not one person in this class that has not experienced guilt from a time of past sin. There are people who are so laden with guilt from their pasts they are paralyzed by it.
This is another area where we need to be in the Word in order to know whether God is speaking to us or whether satan is condemning us for our past sins.

Have someone read I Corinthians 13:4-8

If we know God’s love is patient, kind, not envious, doesn’t boast , not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, doesn’t delight in evil, rejoices with truth, protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres then we should be able to easily distinguish God’s voice from satan’s

The voice that tells you that your past sin disqualifies you from doing great things for God or from being called by God or used by Him is the voice of satan because satan keeps all your wrongs recorded and he loves to play them back to you

Romans 8:1 tells us “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus“

So, either the Bible is true or it isn’t. You have to decide if you believe what God has said or not.

If you allow satan to condemn you because of past sins, then you do not truly believe God’s word ---which brings about another sin - unbelief.

Jesus told the woman caught in adultery “I do not condemn you either - go and sin no more”.

This is what He tells us - go and sin no more. He doesn’t want us to dwell on our past, but to go and sin no more.

I believe that God allows us to reflect on times of past sin so that we remember how dark those times were and so that we will never want to go back to those times

In her other study, He Speaks to Me, she calls it having your own personal Schechem. Remember back in Genesis when God told Abram to leave everything and take his wife and all his stuff and go to Canaan. God had to get Abram out of his old lifestyle and away from the evil and idols of his native country so that He could do great things through Abram. Abram was an idol worshipper who turned into a God worshipper. On the way to Canaan Abram stopped to make camp at Schechem and the Lord appeared to him there. Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord. Later, Joshua gathered the people at Schechem and challenged them to give up their idols and turn to the Lord.

By having your own personal Shechem, I mean that there may be a emotional, mental or physical state from your past that God brings you back to in order to get your attention - a place He revealed Himself to you…….a place where you turned from your sin and turned back to Him
I believe He allows us to remember those places, but not because He wants to condemn us, but to remind us of what He delivered us from and also to remind us to continue serving Him

What is your personal Shechem?

Day 3 talks about God’s peace.

Colossians 3:15 says Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.

“Let Peace Rule” - I think this is key in discerning if you are truly walking with the Lord.
In my observation, carnal Christians tend to allow circumstances to rule instead of the peace of Christ.

Do you let peace rule or is there always chaos in your life?

Now, I am not saying that a Christians life will always be peaceful and stress free, but someone who truly believes will not live their life in a state of constant alarm and panic.

Do you know anyone who professes to be a Christian, but shows no signs of peace in their heart because they let circumstances rule?

On page 75, she says “When we know the Holy Spirit is leading us in a particular direction, to go against that leading is, in essence, to reject the leading of the Holy Spirit and sin against God”
I kind of disagree with her here, because going against the Holy Spirit’s leading is not ‘in essence’ a sin against God - IT IS DEFINITELY a sin against God.

A simple example of this is when the Spirit tells us to witness to someone and we let our fear stop us - - we are sinning against God by ignoring His voice AND by not fulfilling the Great Commission, not to mention the fact that we are also missing out on the blessing of leading someone to faith in Christ

Day 4 is all about Truth on page 76

Last week I told you about a friend who married a non-believer and always tries to justify her decsion………

Have you ever tried to justify something you knew was contrary to God’s word?

Earlier we talked about the attributes of God and how the Holy Spirits primary goal is to bring glory to the Father

Is it easy for us to mistake satan’s voice for God’s?

Should it be?

We should know by the ‘tone of the talk’. God’s tone is love and satans is guilt and condemnation.
We cannot justify sin because of ‘misunderstanding’ what God is saying to us.
We may misunderstand a word from God spoken to our spirit, but the Bible will not contradict what God is saying -

On page 77, what are some of the things you put that misrepresent God’s truth? (ex. I don’t need to be part of a local church (Hebrews 10:25)

Everything we do must be passed through the filter of the Holy Spirit and the Word. The more acquainted we are with God’s word, the more accurately and often we will be able to hear Him speak.

How many of you believe we are living in the last days?

One of the signs of us living in the end times is the falling away of the church.

There are so many church denominations today that are falling away from the truth of God’s word.

There are churches who are ordaining homosexual women as pastors and condoning homosexual relationships - even “marrying” gay couples

There are churches who used to believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God who now say that the stories in the Bible are not necessarily all true.

I could go on and on with examples, but my point is this: We live in an evil world. We have so many false ideologies coming at us from all angles, if we don’t know what we believe and what the Word says, it would be easy for us to fall victim to false doctrine.

When we ‘hide His word in our hearts” we don’t have to ‘look up’ the answers when faced with difficult decisions or situations
When we “hide His word in our hearts” we can witness and contend for our faith when the opportunity arises
When we read/study the Bible we know the ’tone’ of what God is saying to us so that we are more equipped to share or defend out faith

For example, “What do you say to someone who says you shouldn’t be eating bacon because the Bible says that pork is forbidden? (We don’t live under that law - we live under grace) How did you know that? You studied the Bible enough to find it out!


Earen said...

And unfortunately I don't think TV or our world in general is going to get any better...end times! On one hand I get like you & get very discouraged & don't like my family getting bombarded with that stuff...on the other hand I'm excited that the Lord's return is coming soon!

By the way, you are so sweet in your comment on my blog today! I've loved your friendship too....I can't wait to be neighbors!! Hugs!

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Amen on the whole TLC thing! I've been having those same thoughts! Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!!!

And I LOVE reading your notes...

Thanks for posting them.

How are the eyes?

BethAnne said...

Well, Stephanie, since you asked.....the *E-es* are burning, itching and I am sitting on my hands to keep from scratching them out. This is the weirdest thing I have ever seen/felt. Things like this only happen to me (or at least it seems that way). I dont get the flu - I get weird ailments like Bell's Palsy and freaky *E-e* disease. Go figure!

Renee said...

I like how you are not afraid to boldy state what you believe. We should all be so quick to stand up for what is right.

I echo Earen's thoughts. It is discouraging, but there is hope in this discouragement...being with Jesus!!

Is there anything you can do for your 'E's'? Is it still an allergic reaction? I have been praying for you, and hope that they feel better soon!

Abby said...

you rock just rock :)

Fran said...

Yeah...TLC is annoying to me....

And, I love your notes. Thanks for posting.

Hope them eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes are much better today. HA!

Alana said...

I was just thinking that last night as I was watching TV. Enough already!!!!

Linda said...

I feel your pain about the TV shows. You can't escape it. It was so difficult trying to explain to my kids when they were little.

NYC said...

Yes, it seems like all of the shows on TV are featuring homosexual couples. It's crazy!

How are your eyes? Better, I hope.

Rochelle said...

AMEN!! We may not know the day or the hour... but we can know the season! He's coming soon!!

Kelly S. said...

I totally agree on the TV. I've even had to censor the Food network with my girls....what in the world??? well that about says it "the world". They can even make cooking seen risque.

I thought Earen & Renee's comments were interesting. This was just addressed in our last Stepping Up lesson. Mama Beth said discouragement is so simple and sneaky and that Satan will use anything, no matter how insignifiacant, to discourage us. TV is definitley synthesizing us to his agenda.

ok now I am convicted.......I need to protect my eyes, eyes, eyes!!! hehe

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, I really don't miss American television!

That sure seems like a great study----how's the class discussion coming along? I'll be praying for those who are in your class.

Mama P said...

Don't hate me, but I like Oprah. I don't think everyone has Christian viewpoints, and that's okay. It takes more than one person to make a world up - gay, straight - whatever that might be. Love is the answer. I am not going to fight you on this - you obviously believe in it, and I admire your passion, and those that read this blog. But for me? I don't buy it. If my son grew up to be gay, I would never not love him, or tell him "it's okay, just don't practice the expression of your love". I can't do that.

Joanne said...

I was just as annoyed with TLC. But I think where the world is confused is that they think that Christians are just being hateful towards the gay community. It is the gay community that is trying very hard to force us to accept their homosexuality as 'normal' and if they push it on the world, the world is going to say, 'No, I don't believe this is normal.' If they push their beliefs that their lifesytle is normal on a Christian, they are going to hear a Christian say, "God says it is a sin." But also...God says that lying, stealing, covetting, and adultary is also a sin. If my child comes home one day and tells me he is gay, I will be hurt. But as Christians we should be just as hurt if our children are liars and covetous. We should be just as disgusted with TV shows like Desperate Housewives as we are with TLC. Christians need to not be hypocritical about these thing.

Paul and I were just talking about this the other day. "If our child told us they were gay, would they be allowed in our home." The answer was yes. We would have to show this child our love. There can be no repentance without a relationship first.

Christ said it is easy to love those who love you, but the test comes when we love those who are hard for us to love.

Thanks for this great post.

Blessings, Joanne