Monday, July 11, 2016

That’s Not Fair (Bible Study – Matthew 20)

Shop Digital Downloads

That’s Not Fair
Image Credit:  Riccardo Mion - Public Domain Image - via FreelyPhotos
Today’s lesson on fairness is taken from a sermon preached by Josh Reavis.  Josh is a pastor at North Jax Baptist Church.  These are my Bible study notes based on his sermon titled “That’s Not Fair.”

Matthew 20:1-16 (That's Not Fair)

Laborers in the Vineyard
For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place;  and to those he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ And so they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.’ When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’ But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’ So the last shall be first, and the first last.” - Matthew 20:1-16
What lessons can we learn from a story that reflects what we might feel is unfair?  Obviously, if me and you were involved in this story, we wouldn’t be happy if someone else got paid the same amount of money for doing less work.

God keeps His Word.

God has never broken His promise.    

God never promised that life would be easy or fair.  He does promise that He will be with us and that He’ll take care of us.

God is in charge.

God does not distribute by method or achievement.  His grace is the same for all of us. 

The same measure of grace is shown to the person saved at the last minute of life as the one who lived a lifetime in fellowship with God.

God is generous.

God will do what He wishes with what is His.

Instead of saying, “That’s not fair” to God, try saying:

God, if this doesn’t work out, we still love You.

God, if this doesn’t go as planned, we know You still love us.

God, is this doesn’t work out the way we want, You are still good.

“Don’t doubt in the darkness what God has shown you in the light.”
Shop Digital Downloads

Patience (Bible Study on the Book of James)

Shop Digital Downloads

Image Credit:  JESHOOTScom - CCO Public Domain Image - via Pixabay
The following are my final Bible study notes from our pastor’s study of the book of James.  Our main scripture text is taken from James 5:7-12.

Patience - James 5:7-12

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment. – James 5:7-12 
I am to be patient when:

situations are out of my control. (verse 7)

difficult people are encountered. (verse 10)

personal suffering has no explanation. (verse 11)
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. – Job 1:20
I am to be patient because:

the Lord is going to return. (verses 8-9)

the Lord rewards patience. (verse 11)
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:12
the Lord is doing real work even though it is unseen. (verse 11)
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28 
This item is available here.
I am being patient when:

I wait on God with expectancy. (verse 8)

I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. – Psalm 130:5

I wait on God quietly. (verses 9 and 12)
It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord. – Lamentations 3:26 
But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. – Micah 7:7
 You'll find all my posts about this study on the book of James here.

Money (Bible Study on the Book of James)

Shop Digital Downloads

Image Credit:  Maklay62 - CCO Public Domain Image - via Pixabay
Today’s topic from our Bible study in the book of James is “Money.”  Recently, our pastor preached a sermon series on the Book of James.  These are my Bible study notes based on his sermon.
Keep deception and lies far from me,
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion,
That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or that I not be in want and steal,
And profane the name of my God.
(Proverbs 30:8-9)

Money:  James 5:1-6

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.  James 5:1-6
Avoid the ungodly and wrong uses of money.

Don’t be a hoarder.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal. – Matthew 6:19-20  
Don’t be a cheater.
You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your towns. You shall give him his wages on his day before the sun sets, for he is poor and sets his heart on it; so that he will not cry against you to the Lord and it become sin in you. – Deuteronomy 24:14-15 
Don’t be a self-server.
Apply your heart to discipline and your ears to words of knowledge. – Proverbs 23:12  
Apply the Godly and right use of money.

How we get money:   

 Don’t obtain money dishonestly.

Make sure the method doesn’t hurt your health.
Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. – Proverbs 23:4
Make sure your method of obtaining money doesn’t hurt your family.

Make sure your method of obtaining money doesn’t hurt your testimony! 

Make sure your method of obtaining money doesn’t hurt others. “Don’t step on people’s heads while your climbing the ladder to success.”

How we guard money:

Saving money is encouraged.  It helps us prepare for the future.  This is different from hoarding. 
There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man swallows it up. – Proverbs 21:20 
How we give money:
There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and it results only in want. – Proverbs 22:24 
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal. – Matthew 6:20 
Audit yourself:

Take a look at the way you manage your money and see if you are being obedient in the scriptural principles of this message.

Final Note
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. – 1 Timothy 6:17
You'll find all my posts about this study on the book of James here.

Have you ordered my book yet?

Have you ordered my book yet?
Start reading!

Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway