QT – Luke 1

The purpose for Luke’s Gospel was to present to the Gentiles the compassionate Jesus Christ who comes to seek & save the Lost!  Luke presents a wonderful emphasis on the individual’s response to the Lord.  Luke is the physician who appeared first in the scene with Paul in Acts 16. Luke was influenced greatly by the Apostle Paul and was a dear friend & companion.  We also see Luke present the human side of Jesus (His humanity).  Another interesting tidbit of info. is that Luke is the only NT author who is a Gentile.

Vs. 3, “Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you…”  Luke truly desired to give us as accurate of a portrayal of Jesus as best he could. While many of you know the accounts of the Gospels very well by now…let us allow the Spirit of the Lord to help us make certain we know so our lives may reflect the Gospel of our Lord Jesus! Luke opens his Gospel with an account of three visitations. The angel Gabriel visits Zacharias…what a startling message to hear that after his whole life hoping & praying for a son that God’s messenger would bring such news at Zacharias’ old age. We shouldn’t completely fault his unbelief…this is pretty amazing news to say the least. Gabriel goes onto send another message to the virgin Mary. Mary is blessed among women, but not above women. It was God’s grace, not what Mary did that found her to be chosen to carry the Son of God! But it is noteworthy to mention that Mary showed faith while Zacharias (a Godly man of many years lacked it)…this reminds us of having a child-like faith. We also see Mary visit Elizabeth and wonderful things happen at that visit.

Regarding application…Submitting. Vs. 38, “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said…” What an incredible honor it was to have been chosen to be the mother of the Messiah!  Question: How could such a young girl submit to such startling news? Answer: Faith. We obviously see the great faith of Mary when she can’t help but sing to the Lord…Mary’s song is known as “The Magnificat” (From the latin word Magnify). Mary’s song was also a picture of submission as she realized that truly all things are possible with God (Vs. 37).  Though she was favored, that also meant much suffering and grief…but this world is only temporary compared to the immensity of Eternity in Heaven!

I was very encouraged to see so many youth at TKC (Thanksgiving Korean Church…yes, we changed our name) make a committment to baptism and submit to the Lord today!  I’m so excited to see many of you baptized over Easter weekend!

QT – Job 28

Vs. 1, “There is a mine for silver and a place where gold is refined.”  Bildad, Eliphaz and Zophar were certain they were giving Job advice as valuable as gold and silver.  Even in Job’s time, human beings had already done a great many things, but they still could not understand God.  Job gives us a picture of what extent we push ourselves to find such earthly treasures, yet we do not do the same with God.

Regarding application…Wisdom.  Vs. 12, “But where can wisdom be found?  Where does understanding dwell.”  Question: Where is wisdom?  Just like having to dig for gold, wisdom is not something that can easily be found.  Question: Where do we go looking for wisdom?  We must dig deep into God’s living Word!  The old minister Charles Spurgeon once said, ““Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as the knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.”  Remember the adage…Knowing is half the battle.  Just because we may have important titles before or after our name, just because we have an impressive degree or resume doesn’t mean “Jack Squat” :P (hehehe)…Wisdom is something we must ask for just as Solomon asked for it.

QT – Job 27

Vs. 5, “I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity.”  Job would not relent in admitting he had done something horrible to bring on God’s wrath.  He was making his stance in the the courtroom of God and his three friends were his accusers.  He would not admit doing something he hadn’t done and neither would we.  God had declared Job’s righteousness, but He still hadn’t responded yet.  Job turns to those who accused him and calls for justice and shares what will happen to those who are wicked.  It’s almost like Job was saying, “You better be careful about taking the speck out of my eye when you have a log in yours.”

Regarding application…Seeking Justice.  Vs. 6, “I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity.”  There is a good lesson in this and a bad lesson.  The good part is that we see Job’s persistence and desire not to give up.  He sought justice and God would soon respond to Job.  On the other hand…we see a very proud man.  As wrong as Job’s three friends were…I don’t believe they had evil intentions.  They were as stumped as any of us would have been if we were with Job.  Surely, such tragedy had to be the hand of God (and ironically, it was…but not because of his evil ways, quite the opposite).  While Job didn’t committ any secret sin, he still is as guitly as any of us in the courtroom of God.  We are all sinners!  Let us approach the Lord with humility as we seek God’s justice both for the righteous and the wicked.

QT – Job 26

Vs. 2, “How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble!”  Job is definitely using “sarcasm” as he responds to Bildad.  As we read, Bildad was insulting and discouraging and Job is letting him know his frustration.  Yet, in his frustration…Job turns to the Lord and acknowledges His awesome power (vs. 12).  Job’s extent of understanding truly testifies that surely Job knew God well and understood God’s glory in His creation.  Yet, seeing God’s evident creation was just the outer fringe (vs. 14) of what God was about.

Regarding application…Things Unseen.  Vs. 14, “And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him.”  Even in the midst of his struggles, Job was well aware of the unseen world.  He might not have fully understood God, but he knew that there was much more than meets the eye.  Sometimes we tend to get tunnel vision and forget that God is bigger than any of our trials that we have.  I implore each of you to not grow discouraged when life brings its obstacles.  God’s grace & mercy is at work in ways we cannot fathom.  While the enemy may surround us on all sides…don’t ever forget, Satan is defeated!!!  Sometimes, I think we get too scared of the enemy and his tactics.  But if we fix our eyes upon Jesus and put on the full armor of God…We will triumph in the Lord!!!  Pray for each other that we will depend fully on the Lord and be inspired to live this Christian life because of His great love for us.

QT – Job 25

Vs. 1, “Then Bildad the Shuhite replied.”  We come to Bildad’s final response to Job and it’s a short one.  Remember, Bildad is clinging on to the old traditional ways and make final ditch effort to get Job to confess his sins that brought upon his calamities.  Since God finds no one righteousess (vs. 4)…Job is obviously in the wrong.  Brothers & Sisters…don’t be fooled by Bildad’s lofty words, for He assumed he knew God.  While much of what Bildad said was true, they certainly did not come from the Lord.

Regarding application…Twisted Truth.  Vs. 4, “How then can a man be righteous before God?…”  Yes, this statement is true, there is nothing we can do to be righteous before God.  But Bildad did not know the whole truth, for Jesus’ blood would cover our sins so we could come before God righteous (II Corinthians 5:21).  We must be very careful when we share and encourage people with God’s Word.  The more we know the Bible, the better we can be to encourage others.  Remember, Satan does everything he can to twist God’s Word for his evil intentions.  Be on your guard and don’t allow the enemey to blow out your flame of fire we carry in this darkened world.

QT – Job 24

Vs. 25, “If this is not so, who can prove me false and reduce my words to nothing.”  Job spends this whole chapter responding to his friends why he disagrees on their assertion that God punishes the wicked swiftly.  Job shares many examples of the unjust and how they seemingly thrive in their sinful ways.  Job is not denying that God doesn’t deal with evil, but rather sharing another example why his friends are wrong in their thinking.  Job gives us a vivid picture of greedy men who steal the lands of others and brought upon oppression to the victims (vs. 1-11).  We also are reminded of sins such as murder and adultery that grow rampant (vs. 12-17).  And lastly, Job shares the hope for justice upon these sinners (vs. 18-25).

Regarding application…Looking to Others.  Vs. 1, “Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment?  Why must those who know him look in vain for such days.”  Job’s friends were approaching all of this with their own subjective point of view.  But Job reminds them of the suffeing of others and how they are affected by the sinners who always seem to get away with it.  Often, when we are going through tough times we can fall into a “self-pity” mode and don’t have the ability to be sensitive to others.  But Job looks past his own struggles to realize there are many just like him who perhaps have even suffered more than him.  I remember when I spent a month at Jefferson Hospital (I told the CTC Youth group of this recently) when I was a teenager.  I was so lost in my own sorrows, but when I stepped away from this world and saw the sufferings of others…I couldn’t help but try to reach out to them too.  When I looked to others, I realized that the world doesn’t just revolve around me.  But the bigger lesson in all of this is twofold.  #1, God will heal us and #2, God will bring justice to this world!

QT – Job 23

Vs. 3, “If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling.”  I am reminded of Jesus’ words when He told us “Seek and You will find.”  Job is still fervently seeking the Lord…and we will later read how God does answer Him.  Remember…God’s timing doesn’t always happen when we want it to.  Job lays his request directly to God because at this point, he realizes his friends are not going to be that source of encouragement. 

Regarding application…Daily Word.  Vs. 12, “I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.”  One thing is for certain…we all eat food daily to supply our bodies the nourishment we need…likewise, how much more spiritually should we eat daily.  Before Job was tested by God, he turned to the Lord daily and even in the midst of his struggles…Job still values God’s living Word!  Doing our Q.T.’s will not mean we will be immune from the trials of this world.  But when the troubles come, we will be better prepared to go through the storm.  There are going to be times when we are not going to understand why we go through certain situations in our lives.  There will be times when we are not going to understand the Bible or what God is trying to teach us.  But God’s Daily Word cannot be learned just by reading…God teaches us His Word by the events in our lives.  It is experience that helped Michael Jordan win six NBA titles, his talent alone in his first 6 years in the NBA did not help him win a championship.  Let’s practice His Daily Word each day in God’s Gym so we will b ready to take on the Giants of this life!

QT – Job 22

Vs. 1, “Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied…”  Eliphaz rounds out the three friends as they all seem to agree that Job must have done something horribly wrong.  Eliphaz’s accusations border on the ridiculous as he accuses Job of being a sinner (vs. 1-11), hiding his sins (vs. 12-20), and finally he should repent of his sins (vs. 21-30).  While we all have sin in our lives…Job was not guilty such heartless tactics that Eliphaz shared. 

Regarding application…Enemies Lies.  Vs. 5, “Is not your wickedness great?  Are not your sins endless?”  Satan himself could not have lied to Job any better.  When tough times come, the enemy wants nothing more than to see his lies affect us negatively.  When I nearly flunked out of high school and than my first semester of college, the enemy was ever present finding ways for me to be discouraged.  My own friends from high school were not exactly the scholarly type, so they would find plenty of ways to scorn education.  I worried that I was a failure in life and there was no point in me even trying to better myself.  But the truth of His words rang true in my heart.  “Adam, your life does not belong to you.”  If I would completely surrender my life to Him, He would surely find a way for me to be successful and better my life so I could share His love. 

It was a great day @ CTC church as our Youth Group had our first Sunday service in our new building!  Let’s remember that we are chosen Ambassadors of Christ called to share His light to the people who walk in darkness.

QT – Job 21

Vs. 7, “Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power.”  Bildad & Zophar argued that the wicked perish and suffer in this world, but Job countered that he saw otherwise.  But if we base it on that premise, Jesus should have been the chief of sinners.  It is difficult to see some people propser so well and have no regards for the Lord.  Perhaps that’s why the Robin Hood story is so endearing to us (I heard Russell Crowe is starring in the next iteration of Robin Hood). 

Regarding application…Wrong Assumptions.  Vs. 34, “So how can you console me with your nonsense? Nothing is left of your answers but falsehood.”  Job’s friends made wrong assumptions of him.  But, I realize that I too am guilty.  It’s easy to think we have a person figured out…it takes work to take the time to get to know people.  Don’t judge a book by it’s cover…we need to look on the inside of people.  Last night at Bible Study, we talked about how we put up different masks/faces in this world we live in.  No wonder why people make wrong assumptions of our lives.  There are times when I have to hire new employees at the bank.  My job is to assume things about candidates to make the best decisions.  There was one Personal Banker we hired at my bank and I definitely felt wary of his abilities.  Now, he is one of the highest producing Personal Bankers in my district!  That was an assumption I was glad I was wrong at.  Let’s have an open heart that is slow to judge and quick to learn!

QT – Job 20

Vs. 1, “Then Zophar the Naamathite replied.”  Now Zophar takes his turn to chime in and responds in similar fashion to what Bildad stated earlier.  Zophar doesn’t pull any punches here as he uses graphic statements to explain what happens to evil people.  Once again, what Zophar is stating is a bit of an exaggeration and certainly does not directly apply to Job himelf. 

Regarding application…Discouraging Words.  Vs. 22, “In the midst of his plenty, distress will overtake him; the full force of misery will come upon him.”  How incredibly frustrating for Job to hear Zophar try to strike fear in his heart with such threatening words!  While putting the fear of God in our hearts is not necessarily a bad thing, it should not be the only thing we use to turn someone back to God.  I found myself really being inspired to use encouraging words this week especially at work.  Going from a mountaintop (recent retreat) experience back into the valley and into a secular work environment I really found myelf more sensitive to my co-workers around me.  Let’s make every effort to encourage rather than discourage.

Speaking of the oppostite of discourage, it was an awesome Friday night Praise & Bible study @ CTC.  We definitely still had the fire of God aflame in our hearts!  Praise God!