W.A.R. Bible Study “I Owe God So Much” Pt.1 – Why I Love The Lord – Psalm 116:1-11

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

W.A.R. Bible Study

June 4, 2018

I Owe God So Much– Part I

Psalm 116:1-11

Why I Love the Lord

Amongst the 150 Psalms we find some of the most powerful prayers in humanity. It covers a multitude of spiritual moods and issues that relate to every aspect of life. While it is not clear who the poet of Psalm 116 is, it is categorized as one of the six Hallel of Egypt Psalms that range from Psalm 113 –116. These songs were sung or recited as a prayer publicly in the morning or in the evening after a very important meal of remembrance during the Passover. Psalm 116 is a Jewish Prayer that was used for praise and thanksgiving and recited during the Jewish Holidays. It is very possible that Jesus and his disciples sung Psalm 116 after He instituted the Lord’s Supper.

This psalm is a personal testimony of thanksgiving to God by one person who is grateful to God for a recent deliverance from death. Why does he write this Psalm? He has just stared death in the face and the experience is still fresh in his mind how God brought him out of trouble. Verses 1 through 11 reveals to us 3 things: God has heard, helped and held him!

The psalmist begins with a declaration of adoration, “I love the Lord.”He explains why he loves the Lord in the subsequent verses.

  • Verse 2:He hears me. The psalmist says, “He inclines his ear.”
  • Verses 3 – 6: He helps me. The psalmist experienced great sorrow. However, the psalmist says, “I called upon the name of the Lord”. The end of verse 6 says that he “helped me.”
  • Verses 7-11: He held me. The psalmist confirms to us that God held him up and kept him from falling during the times in his life when he was most vulnerable to affliction and betrayal.

Group Questions

  1. Why did the psalm writer depend on the Lord for help?
  2. What is the focus of the psalm writer’s praise?
  3. How had the Lord provided for the psalm writer’s needs?
  4. From what predicament did the Lord deliver the psalm writer?
  5. What accusation did the psalm writer make against his enemies?
  6. What can we learn about thankfulness from the psalm writer’s attitudes and actions?
  7. How would you like your faith to be like the psalm writer’s?
  8. What should be our response to God hearing, helping and holding us during the time of trouble?

Making It Plain

  1. How could you creatively remind yourself this week to turn to the Lord for help in times of need?
  2. What is one step you could take to renew your worship of the Lord?
  3. Why do we owe the Lord so much? Name 3 things.
  4. How can we show the Lord our love for Him? Name 3 things.
  5. How will you share you love for the Lord in MHMBC? Name 3 things.
  6. How will you share your love for the Lord in public? Name 3 things.
  7. How will you share your love for the Lord with younger generations? Name 3 things.

Because of Him!

Pastor Oscar T. Moses

Psalm 116 Image

Rights reserved by Dr. Oscar T. Moses W.A.R. Bible Study – 2018

W.A.R. Bible Study – Acts 20

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

MHMBC W.A.R. Bible Study

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Holy Spirit Empowers The Saints To Completion

Acts 20:1-36

The Big Picture: The Holy Spirit gives grace for the long haul and leaves lasting impressions!

Chapter 19 concluded with Ephesus in an uproar because the introduction of Christ to the people of Ephesus caused them to abandon their superstitious beliefs and those who stood to prophet from their bondage incited a riot. In Chapter 20 things had settled down in Ephesus and Paul continued to encourage the saints to continue the work. Paul left for Macedonia and ended up in Greece for three months and discovered there was a plot to kill him. The Jews were waiting for Paul so he changed his travel route. He wanted to be in Jerusalem for the Passover, now the best he could hope for was Pentecost. The six men mentioned that accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea were Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius, Timotheus, Tychicus and Trophimus. They carried funds (the collection to the poor saints at Rome); 3 were from Macedonia and 3 were from Asia Minor. They met in Troas.

Verse 7 is the clearest verse indicated in the New Testament that the normal meeting day of the Apostolic Church was Sunday. The scriptures do not indicate what time Paul began his sermon but he preached past midnight. It was late and no doubt some were begininng to get sleepy as evident in verses 9 and 10. As Paul preached, a young man named Eutychus fell from a third story window and died. Paul embraced Eutychus and the young man came alive. They participated in the Lord’s Supper and fellowshipped until the morning. Paul stayed in Troas longer than he anticipated so he sent others on ahead of him. He avoided a stop in Ephesus because he wanted to get to Jerusalem by the day of Pentecost.

In Verse 18 to verse 35, Paul begins a farewell sermon to the leaders of the church. Paul’s sermon has three parts: 1. His Past. 2. His Present. 3. His Future and Their Responsibility.

His Past

Paul reminded the church how he sacrificed his life for the furtherance of the gospel. In the face of constant opposition he didn’t quit. In verse 20 Paul said, “I kept back nothing!” He gave them every truth and encouragement he could to make a difference in their lives. He had a proven track record of trying to persuade people to live for Jesus Christ.

His Present

Paul told the church that at the present the Holy Spirit pressed him to go to Jerusalem. He did not know what was ahead. The Holy Spirit warned him that hard times and imprisonment were awaiting him. He is at a point in his ministry where “none of these things” move him. What matters most is finishing what God started through him. The job the Master Jesus gave him was “testifying of the Gospel of Grace” (The good news of salvation). Paul gave them his final good-bye and placed emphasis on the fact that they will not see him again.

His Future and their Responsibility

Paul warned the church that as soon as he was gone there would be constant attacks on the church. Leaders had the responsibility of guarding the church and defending the faith of the church that Jesus “purchased with His own blood.” Paul reminded them that for three years he had tried to warn them (with tears). He wanted to guard the truth so much that he was moved with compassion when he thought about false doctrine being taught. Now the responsibility was in their hands, he is commending them to the grace of God. Paul said that grace will do for them what it did for him; build them up, and give them an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. He reminded them that he was low maintenance and he made it with the skills he had. He tried to demonstrate how necessary it is to work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them and then he gave them a final parting word of wisdom, “It is better to give then to receive.” Then Paul went down on his knees, all of them kneeling with him, and prayed. There were many parting tears. With tears they bravely walked him down to the ship for departure.

How can we apply this lesson?

There is always something sentimental about departures: the shedding of tears, the embracing of bodies and the words that are shared. Paul left a lasting impression on the saints in Ephesus and he gave a strong farewell that left them encouraged. Notice a few things about Paul that we should compare to ourselves. He is…

Experiencing His Fate

There are some things that will happen to you in life because God has ordained them.

Encouraging His Friends

Paul encouraged others at a discouraging time.

Enduring His Foes

God gave him grace to endure opposition.

Embracing His Future

Paul is in the dark about the savage decapitation that awaits him. What matters to him most is that he finishes the work he started.

Why does the Holy Spirit give us grace for the long haul?

To complete ministry and leave a model that builds up others.

Text Questions

  1. What did Paul do after the uproar in Ephesus was over?
  2. Where did Paul stay for 3 months?
  3. How was Paul’s plan to sail to Syria frustrated?
  4. When did the Christians meet to break bread?
  5. What happened when Eutychus fell asleep?
  6. Why were the people comforted when they took Eutychus home?
  7. Why was Paul in a hurry to get to Jerusaem?
  8. Why did Paul expect trouble in Jerusalem?
  9. What mattered most to Paul? (Verse 24)
  10. What did Paul remind the congregation that he had not failed at?
  11. What were the future responsibilities of the Ephesian elders?
  12. How did the elders display their deep love for Paul?
  13. What saddened the group most?

 Thought: One day we will all be a memory. We have a responsibility to leave a good impression.

Group Discussion Questions

  1. How do you want to be remembered?
  2. Will you be a good memory?
  3. Who have you trained to carry on your ministry?
  4. How many times have you quit?
  5. How do you keep from quitting?
  6. Can you continue to be faithful even when you know harm lies ahead?
  7. How has false doctrine entered the church?
  8. Why do you feel so many accept what the bible does not confirm?

None of these things!!!!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

acts-20-pic-bible-study-war

 

 

The Urgency of Now – Pt. 5

The Danger of “One Day”

Proverbs 6:6-11

Some sermons are harder to preach than others because some sermons, more than others, force me to make changes in my life. This message is no exception because it forces me to work on an area in my life that needs immediate attention and improvement; procrastination. I move quickly to say we all struggle with some form of procrastination. Whether it is paying bills on time, following through with health challenges, filling out the new job application or the application to get back in school, or ending a toxic relationship that has lingered too long, we all have said, “I’ll do it one day.” The next thing you know, in the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “We are faced with the fact my friends that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.”

30 years ago there was essentially no research done on procrastination. Today researchers have established finding that lead to why people procrastinate. In 2007 Piers Steel a psychologist at the University of Calgary published a review of almost 800 studies on procrastination and discovered four main reasons:

  1. Low confidence in succeeding – A fear of failure
  2. Task averseness – The task seems to hard
  3. Distractibility and impulsiveness – Things that pull you away from completing the task
  4. Having goals and rewards to far off in the future – What you dream of doing seems too far away

One person rightly said, “Procrastination never won a race, received a promotion or changed the outcome of any situation.” It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will transform the negative cycle of procrastination in our lives.

Proverbs is the second book of the third section called “Writings” in the Old Testament. It is not purely a collection but considered a “collection of collections” relating to a pattern of life. The book of Proverbs raises questions about values, moral conduct and the meaning of life. Overall it appears to be a book of instructions that father is writing to his son. In this passage a father is instructing his son not to be lazy or a procrastinator. He requests his son to contemplate the ways of the ant. The ant is a very industrious creature that lends to life lessons on the urgency of now and the dangers of procrastination.

The ant collects food at the proper season. They provide food for the summer and collect it in the harvest for their consumption. There is no other insect quite as industrious as the ant, not even the bee. The ant labors with purpose to ensure that it has proper provisions for itself and its young. The ant collects food for lean times. One commentator sums up the ant in this regard, “Spring, summer, and fall, they are relentless in their labor; and their conduct affords a bright example to men.”

The author shifts the lesson to offer reprimand to the procrastinator. “How long will you just lay around and do nothing? When are you going to get out of bed? You take a nap here and a nap there. You take a day off here and there, sit back and take it easy. You can look forward to a fatalistic future; a dirt-poor life and poverty will be your permanent houseguest.” What is the author teaching us in the passage about procrastination?

Disappointing days are certainly walking your way: “Four different Hebrew words are used in the 11 references in Proverbs, all bearing the idea of being in need of the necessities of life, although a distinction is made between being in want and being in extreme want.” The word “travelleth” means to walk “to.” It may not surface all at once but it is certain to come with slow, sure and approaching steps.

Disappointment will come with irresistible force and you will become the victim of an unprepared fight: This passage suggest that “want” will ascend upon you with swiftness and overtake you as a swift traveller approaches one who is walking slow or as a man with a gun upon an unarmed man. The unarmed man, unprepared man surrenders to the man with the weapon.

Life Application

There are some things in life that need our immediate attention. Your health, both spiritual and physical requires immediate attention. We are quick to say “one day” I will get in shape. How many times have you said, “I’m going back to school? I’m going to take care of my last will and testament and make final plans for my family.”

What are the perils of Procrastination?

  • Procrastination causes mental stress without pursuing closure. It gives you plenty to worry about without getting anything done.
  • Procrastination places you further away from a conclusion. Time waits for no one.
  • Procrastination sets the stage for a catastrophe.

How do you avoid Procrastination?

  1. Remind yourself of the consequences. What will happen if you never address what you are supposed to do?
  2. React to the circumstances: Do something each day that moves you closer to the desired results.
  3. Remove distractors: not developers. There are some things in life that distract and pull our attention away from what we are supposed to do. There are some things we feel are too hard but will develop us. If God calls you to a task He will make sure you benefit from the task.
  4. Reward yourself: Celebrate each victory. No premature celebrations.

In this month that celebrates Black History I am thankful that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not a procrastinator. He did more in 39 years than most will accomplish in a lifetime. At the Riverside Church, one year before he died King said, “Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life can leave you standing bare, naked and dejected with lost opportunity. There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance and neglect. Omar Khayyam is right. ‘The moving finger writes and having writ moves on.’”

Why put off tomorrow what you can do today? Commit to move forward. Start now. Remember the words of Goethe: Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back — concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

Do it Now!!!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

Urgency Pt. 5 Pic

Your Life Is Calling You!

The Urgency of Now – Part 2

Your Life Is Calling You

Esther 4-14

In 1986 “Jo Jo Dancer Your Life Is Calling” became a silver screen sensation. Richard Pryor played the role of Jo Jo Dancer, a popular stand-up comic who lived life recklessly. Although he achieved success in comedy he hasn’t found happiness. There was something missing. He eventually burned himself severely while freebasing cocaine. In a timely manner, the film hit the silver screen after Pryor, in an attempt to commit suicide, sets himself on fire.

In the movie, Jo Jo Dancer is laying in a hospital room in intensive care, in a coma after the freebasing incident. From his deep comatose thoughts emerge memories of his life. He reflects growing up in a brothel and struggling to beat the odds to make a name for himself as a famous standup comedian. What he thought was success lead to a destructive lifestyle that literally ruined him spiritually and prevented him from being the person God intended him to be. His spirit man attempted to convince his past persona to end the cycle of destruction and embrace a new life that would bring new possibilities. He began to ponder why he existed and if he wanted to go on living.

In a May 02, 1986 article in the Chicago Tribune the late Gene Siskel wrote these words: “Good movies can take us to faraway places; great movies usually take us inside the human mind. “Jo Jo Dancer“ is a great confessional movie. Richard Pryor stands before us and says with humor, pathos and probably painful embarrassment: Here is where I came from, here is what I went through, here is where I went wrong, and here is how I hope to go right.”

There comes a time in all of our lives when “life comes calling.” Put simply, every event in life is preparation for God’s ultimate purpose for your life and He calls you forth to take a stand at His appropriated time.” How do you handle life when life comes calling for you?

The story of Esther is a biblical case study of what to do when your life comes calling for you. Esther was beautiful but a poor orphan raised by her older cousin Mordecai. It appeared as though the odds were stacked against her. One day the King of Persia made a decree that he wanted a new Queen and he chose Esther not knowing she was a Jew. The King’s right hand man Haman was an egotistical sociopath that convinced the King to issue a decree that all Jews would be exterminated on a certain date. Esther’s cousin Mordecai found out of the plan’s for a Jewish Holocaust. Mordecai sent a letter to Esther, who was now the Queen, to beseech her intercession on behalf of her people but Esther’s response was non-affirming. Esther had two concerns: She did not want to be discovered by her husband to be a Jew and to approach the throne about the matter without an invitation would mean instant death, even though she was his wife. Mordecai sent a second letter to Esther not as delicate. Mordecai said it was only a matter of time before she was found out to be a Jew and would be killed. This was an opportunity for her to “do something” to save her people. Mordecai closed his letter placing this thought on Esther’s mind. “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”

Esther called for a fast among the Jews and her handmaidens and sent this message to Mordecai, “If I perish let me perish but I am going to see the king.”

What’s the lesson?

  1. Everyone Was Created to Have a Problem Solving Moment in Life
  2. There Comes A Time In Life When A Problem Calls You Out
  3. The Problem Will Be Solved With You Or Without You
  4. Whatever Problem Solving Moment You Were Created For Is Worth Dying For

How do you respond when your life is calling you?

  1. Stop Making Excuses: 2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
  2. Use What You Got: 1 Peter 4:10 – As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
  3. Do The Right Thing: Psalm 37:3 – Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
  4. Give your life back to God: Romans 12:1- I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

What is life requiring of you?

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

blog pic

Hope For Hard Times

HOPE FOR HARD TIMES
Living With Certainty in an Uncertain World
Philippians 4:4-7

Talk about uncertainty… The Apostle Paul did not know what to expect from day to day… but he was at peace. While in prison and scheduled for execution Paul wrote this letter. Yet, he wrote it as though he did not have a worry in the world. What was his secret? How did he remain certain and peaceful when things seemed to unravel at the seems? In the following verses Paul gave us his secret for obtaining peace and being certain in times of uncertainty.

Verse 4
Make A Choice To Rejoice

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say rejoice.” Life can be challenging and make us unhappy but the Word of God does not command us to be happy. There are several commands to rejoice. The apostle is so adamant about it that he says it twice. The believer is not to rejoice at “distant intervals” or during church worship but at every moment of our lives. What do we rejoice over? We must rejoice over the fact that God is in control of our lives no matter how out of control life may appear. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Therefore, our joy is enveloped in the exaltation that God is certain in an uncertain world and we can have joy in life’s painful and uncertain situations. What Paul has discovered is that your attitude will determine your altitude. Attitude is the eye of your soul. Your attitude determines how you view life. If your attitude is negative, you will see life negatively. If your attitude is positive, you will see life positively. If you have a thankful attitude, you will find something to be thankful for.

Verse 5
Show Some Will Power

          “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” There should be visible signs of joy in your life that others can see even in times of uncertainty. The word moderation means restraint on passions. It means that which is fit or suitable or to govern your appetite or refrain from excessive eating or drinking, it meant to restrain ones temper and to live a life that can be an example of what a Christian should look and live like. It takes will power to let others see that you are at peace and not pulling out your hair at the first sign of trouble. “For the Lord is at hand,” suggests that we should live as though God is coming back today. This phrase gives the idea that we should be on our best behavior because we don’t want the Lord Jesus to come and we are not prepared to stand before Him.

Verse 6
Pray About Everything With Thanksgiving

          “Be careful for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” The word “careful” means to be anxious. Some translations read, “Be anxious about nothing.” It does not mean that we should not be concerned about worldly matters or the things that are important to us, i.e., family, finances or health. It means don’t worry. The apostle says, “by prayer and supplication.” The word supplication is a stronger word than prayer. It is a mode of prayer that derives from a sense of need or want. It is when we say; “Lord I need you to do this for me!” The apostle said we should do it with thanksgiving. One can always find something to be thankful for when one prays. In other words, show some gratitude when you pray. Let your request be made known unto God. Tell Him what your wants and concerns are not as though you are telling Him something that He does not know. He requires that we come and express them to Him.

Verse 7
The Results

Here it is! Paul tells us the results of doing these three things in verse 7: “And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” The peace Paul talks about is felt when we are not worrying. It is a peace that passeth all understanding. That is, man can’t conceive how you have obtained it. It is the peace of the highest possible kind. God has a peace which is nowhere else known. It’s crazy peace! It’s the kind of peace where people think you must be crazy. The kind of peace where people will look at you and know it’s nothing but God. It’s the kind of peace that makes you smile in the midst of the storm. It’s the kind of peace that keeps you smiling when other folk are crying. It’s the kind of peace that allows you to go home and sleep at night. IT shall keep your hearts and minds. The word “keep” is a military term, and means that the mind would be guarded as a camp or castle is. The text is saying that God’s peace will keep your hearts from heaviness and your minds from a meltdown!

Here is the clause in the contract: It is only found in Christ Jesus. This is why Jesus said in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Final Thought: “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you plenty to do but it doesn’t take you any where.”

Peace,

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

,black-woman-looking-out-HOPE