MHMBCOC W.A.R. Bible Study – Christian Family Value System Part 5c

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago

W.A.R. Bible Study

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christian Family Value System – Part 5c

Establishing Christian Responsibility to Civil Community and Governmental Society – (Motivation)

Romans 13:11-14

Paul outlines this chapter with 3 distinct markers; Law Acclimated, Love Activated and Lord Anticipated. Today, we will examine Lord Anticipated.

Lord Anticipated

The apostle is describing the life of the Christian as it should be interpreted by the world. The world should interpret the Christian as “anticipating” the return of Christ. The theological reference for this event is called eschatology. The word “eschatology” means that this age we now live in will come to an end. It defines the study of end time events or culmination of this life and transformation to God’s eternal plan. The Christian Family Value System motivates the Christian to live a life with Godly values anticipating the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This event is called the “Parousia” or the second coming of Christ. We are to be alert, attentive and anticipatory of the return of Christ. Time to the Christian is an urgent matter. The Christian Family Value System teaches us to live decent lives for all to see

Context

What is the reason for this exhortation? Paul wants the Christian to know that Jesus Christ will return sooner than we expect. Time, of course, is not so straightforward for the Christian: the “night” (see also Romans 12:2; Galatians 1:4) while far gone, is still present; the day is dawning, but is not fully present. Sin and death have been defeated in Christ, but the old age has not yet been fully set aside. Those who belong to the new age—who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ are not immune from the temptations to return to old behavior. However, Jesus compels believers to walk away from darkness with a sense of urgency and great anticipation of His return. 

Verse 11– And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. – “Knowing the time”. The “time” Paul uses is “Kairos”, which is a point of time or a period of time. KAIROS time has nothing to do with CRONOS time. CRONOS time is where we get the word chronological time as detailed by a clock or a watch. KAIROS time refers to God’s time. In this verse, time is presented as an event that one should not take lightly. The warning in this verse is that the Christian must remain alert. Hence the meaning for “awake out of sleep” and not abide in darkness. This verse is a metaphor suggesting awaking out of darkness. Night or darkness is a metaphor that refers to the world without Christ or those who are not saved. The concept of “sleep” refers to useless or sinful activity. The command is to awake out of sleep or darkness because morning (the light) is coming. This is a metaphor for the day of salvation or the nearness of the return of Jesus Christ. This verse is a warning that the return of Christ is closer than when we first believed (or closer that when we were first saved). This verse is based on the fact that the Lord is coming soon. 

Verse 12– The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. The enlightenment of the Christian is that he or she is aware or is knowledgeable of information that the world is not conscientious of. The Christian is conscience of the time; the night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore, we must live with a sense of urgency and “cast off the works of darkness” and let our little lights shine.  “Cast off” and “put on” are seen as metaphoric acts of undressing and dressing. We are to undress by taking off the dead man’s clothes of sin and putting on the living clothing of salvation in Jesus Christ. The metaphor means to take off the darkness of sin and putting on the behavior reflecting the light of salvation.

Verse 13 – Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. Six items are given to “cast off”:  rioting, drunkenness, chambering and wantonness, (Chambering and wantonness refers to sleeping around sexually and over indulgence) and not in strife and envying. NLT –Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy.

Verse 14 – But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. How do we do that? Paul answers part of the question by giving an action to go against the six indulgences in verse 13. He simply says, “Make not provision for the flesh.” “Provision” means not to give forethought or plan ahead to engage in those things. The Christian must intentionally block the six items in verse 13 out of their life and immolate Jesus Christ. NLT – Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

Biblical Text Questions

  1. What “time” is Paul making reference to?
  2. What does Paul mean when he says, “It’s high time to awake out of sleep”?
  3. Why does Paul emphasize our salvation is nearer than when we first believed? 
  4. What does Paul mean when he say the night is far spent, and the day is at hand? 
  5. How does 1 Thessalonians 5:8, Ephesians 5:11, and Ephesians 6:11apply to verse 12?
  6. How does Galatians 5:21 compare to verse 13?
  7. How does Galatians 3:27 and Romans 8:13 compare to verse 14?

Make it Plain

  1. What does eschatology mean?
  2. What does Parousia mean?
  3. How does this passage warn us to keep our eyes open?
  4. Why is it urgent that the church embrace a Christian Family Value System?
  5. Why do you suppose some people not value the study of God’s Word with all of the warnings that are given?
  6. What does a Christian Family Value System mean?

In Him!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

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MHMBCOC W.A.R. Bible Study – Christian Family Value System – Part 5a

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago

W.A.R. Bible Study

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Christian Family Value System – Part 5a

Establishing Christian Responsibility to Civil Community and Governmental Society – (Motivation)

Romans 13:1-14

“This lesson is designed to teach the members of Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago; Glorifying the Kingdom of God is motivation for how Christians represent themselves to the world.”

If respect for authority is taught in the home as a part of the Christian Family Value System, the world would have more respect for God. When parents fail to emphasize respect for authority; children will reflect insubordination publicly as a result of what has been neglected as a Christian Family Value learned from their parents.

Parents that demonstrate a lack of respect for employers, government, law enforcement or even clergy, send a clear communicated message; “Nobody can tell me what to do!” This is not the standard that God has designed for His people. God is a God of order and He commands His people to respect governmental authority and those He has placed in positions of leadership. It is imperative to establish the Christian responsibility to the civil community and those within the governmental society. This principle is implemented within the Christian Family Value System because RESPECTFUL Christian behavior in society is a reflection of the Kingdom of God.

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

Context

It was a rebellious time in Jewish history when this text was penned around 58 A.D. The Roman Government issued a decree to ban Jews from Rome because they had become rebellious towards government. Jews would not submit to governmental authorities because they felt superior. Christianity was often recognized by Rome as a sect of Jews that posed a potential threat as well. Paul knew if he wrote this letter it may fall into the hands of the Roman magistrates. He wrote this letter with the intentions that the Roman magistrates would see the transcript and know that Christians were respectful; not seditious or revolting against authority.

Paul cleverly sides with the authority and supports government rights to deal with those who are of any disturbance to the peace and protection of the land. Paul’s intent was to give Godly principles or rules for getting along in an ungodly world with minimal distractions. Paul emphasized how respectful Christian exchanges with the government and neighbors impacts the choices we make in every day life.

Christians must realize the motivation behind their actions is to represent the Kingdom of God in a fallen world. Paul climaxed chapter 12 by saying, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” … because vengeance belongs to the Lord. In chapter 13, Paul goes a step further with Christian conduct. He shifts the focus of his teaching from chapter 12, how we should interact with one another as Christians to how we should interact with the world in chapter 13. By the “world” I am suggesting people that are not Christian. He outlines this chapter with 3 distinct markers; Law Acclimated, Love Activated and Lord Anticipated. Today, I want to deal with Law Acclimated in verses 1-7.

Law Acclimated

Verse 1Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. –  Every believer (soul) is to have proper respect for those in authority for God permitted them to be in the position.  God often claims and asserts that He sets up one, and puts down another – Daniel 2:21 (KJV)And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:

Verse 2 – Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. – God shall reward them that recklessly rebel against those in position of authority. Note: Let me be clear that we are to obey God rather than the laws of man. However, our deportment and the way we interact with the world should represent God and not stoop to levels of debauchery. There are instances in scripture when civil disobedience was mandated. In the Old Testament Daniel was told not to pray. However, Daniel knew that his strength, direction, forgiveness and his relationship with the Lord was connected to his prayer life, so Daniel prayed. This passage is talking about those who seek confusion and overlook the execution of the law.

Verse 3For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: The NLT2 says: “For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you.” Note: When you live without boundaries you bring negative attention to yourself. If you want respect, you have to give respect.

Verse 4For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. NLT2: “The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good (whether they are good or not. God has a purpose – my insert – OTM) But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.”

Verse 5Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. What does this mean? Behave rightly so that you will avoid punishment and know at the end of the day, you did the right thing in your heart and mind.

Verse 6For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. NLT2 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do.”

Verse 7Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. NLT2“Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.”

Thought #1

The Civil Rights Movement was birthed out of the evil thoughts of government officials. However, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not create a platform of disrespect in response. His motivation was constructed on the fact that his response would represent the Kingdom of God. God condones Civil Disobedience that honors His word. Civil disobedience is the refusal to comply with laws that opposed righteousness in a peaceful manner; respectfully.

Bible Questions

  1. Why should Christians remain respectful to those in authority even if they disagree with their policies or ideologies?
  2. How does a Christian respond to those in authority that call for an abandonment of God’s Word?
  3. Explain verse 3.
  4. Why should Christians not be afraid of those in authority?
  5. How does verses 6-7 show a Christian’s respect for God?

Thought #2

How we behave in this world should reflect what we value in the Kingdom of God. There may be times when those in authority may act out of evil but our response should represent the Kingdom of God. When you are cursing people out, causing anarchy and division, confusion and chaos, plotting ways to overthrow leadership, trying to discredit people you are not representing God’s Kingdom. You are representing Satan’s kingdom.

Life Application Questions

  1. Why do you think this lesson was implemented as a part of our Christian Family Value System?
  2. What is the Christian motivation in being respectful to those in authority?
  3. How does our response to authority honor God?
  4. How should the Christian respond to crooked police officers?
  5. How can a Christian Family Value System have a positive effect on a community?
  6. How can the absence of a Christian Family Value System cause property value to go down?
  7. Why is it important to show respect at all times?
  8. How does a Christian Family Value System represent the Kingdom of God on earth?

 

Because of Him!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

 

Romans 13-1-7 Pic.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MHMBCOC W.A.R. Bible Study – Christian Family Value System – Part 4b

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago

W.A.R. Bible Study

November 12, 2019

Christian Family Value System – Part 4b

Establishing Christian Responsibility to God’s Church – (Maturation)

What is my responsibility as a member of Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago? One of the mantras of my life is “clear expectations”. When expectations are clear confusion is minimalized. Today, I want to teach about what is clearly expected by God of every member of the Church. The pastor has a responsibility to teach. However, I want to be clear that members of the church share vital responsibilities also. Church members often hold the belief that the pastor is solely responsible for the health of the church but this belief is not biblical.

The critical question is; What are the biblical responsibilities of the members of the church and how should these responsibilities be imparted as a Christian Family Value? It is fundamental that we are clear on this question because our responsibility to God’s Church constitutes our values as Christians. Our overall responsibility to God’s Church is maturation. We have a responsibility to mature in the faith as believers. However, maturation comes as a result of what one does over a given period of time.

Lesson #4b

Group Study Questions 

How do the following attributes define our responsibilities to the church?

  1. Prayer (Acts 1:14, 24, Acts 2:42, Acts 3:1, Acts 4:23-31, Acts 12:5)
  2. Presence (Acts 2:42, Romans 10:17, Hebrews 10:25, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Corinthians 14:1, Ephesians 4:11-13)
  3. Providing (Proverbs 3:9-10, Malachi 3:8, 2 Corinthians 9:7, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Luke 6:38, 1 Timothy 6:10)
  4. Protection (Romans 16:17, Ephesians 4:29, 1 Corinthians 11:18, 1 Corinthians 10:2, Acts 8:3, Acts 12:1, 3 John 1:10
  5. Pardoning (Romans 3:23, Matthew 6:14-15, Matthew 5:23-24, Matthew 18:15, Matthew 18:21-22, Matthew 18:34-35.)
  6. Praise (Acts 2:47, Hebrews 2:12, Psalm 68:26, Psalm 150:1-6, Psalm 95:1-11, Psalm 107:1-2, James 5:13, Psalm 100:1-5, Psalm 34:1-2)
  7. Promotion (Psalm 66:16, Psalm 40:9-10, Revelation 12:11, 2 Timothy 1:8, Romans 1:16, Acts 11:22, Acts 15:4, Acts 18:22, Ephesians 3:21, 1 Corinthians 14:12, Ephesians 3:10)
  8. Pedagogy (Teaching through storytelling – Mark 5:19, 1 John 5:10, Proverbs 9:9, Proverbs 22:6, Proverbs 1:7, Psalm 107:1-2, 1 John 5:5-8, Revelation 12:11)
  9. Participation (Matthew 28:19-20, 1 Corinthians 3:9, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Proverbs 16:3, Proverbs 27:17, Matthew 18:20, Colossians 3:23, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27)
  10. Persevering (James 1:12, Galatians 6:9, Roman 5:3-5, Hebrews 12:1, 1 Chronicles 16:11, Hebrews 10:36, 1 Timothy 2:12, Matthew 24:13, Romans 12:12, Revelation 3:11)

What is your response to the following statements?

  1. Christian growth is based off of our interactions with other people outside but mainly inside the church.
  2. Every confessing Christian has a responsibility to be a part of the movement that Christ died for.
  3. The Church is the vehicle in which true believers find expression for their love of Christ.

Explain the following:

Worship, Evangelism, Fellowship, Discipleship and Stewardship

Because of Him!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

Christian Family Value Pic Part 4b

 

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MHMBCOC W.A.R. Bible Study – Christian Family Value System – “The Responsibilities of Church Membership”

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago

W.A.R. Bible Study

November 5, 2019

Christian Family Value System – Part 4a

Establishing Christian Responsibility to God’s Church – (Maturation)

One of the mantras of my life is “clear expectations”. When expectations are clear confusion is minimalized. Today, I want to teach about what is clearly expected by God of every member of the Church. The pastor has a responsibility to teach. However, I want to be clear that members of the church share vital responsibilities also. Church members often hold the belief that the pastor is solely responsible for the health of the church but this belief is not biblical.

The critical question is; What are the biblical responsibilities of the members of the church and how should these responsibilities be imparted as a Christian Family Value? It is fundamental that we are clear on this question because our responsibility to God’s Church constitutes our values as Christians.

Our overall responsibility to God’s Church is maturation. We have a responsibility to mature in the faith as believers. However, maturation comes as a result of what one does over a given period of time. Today’s lesson depicts a continuous lifestyle of the Christians that made up the early church. Their responsible, continuous lifestyle resulted in a growing and maturing church. Spiritual maturation is a core principle in establishing a Christian Family Value System.

Context

Acts Chapter 2 is the Birth of the Church. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirited descended upon the believers in an upper room. They began to speak other languages that they had never spoken before. The people were amazed that Galileans were speaking foreign languages. Some thought they were drunk but Peter explained in the church’s first sermon. He reminded them of the prophet Joel saying in Acts 2:17-21- And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Peter’s sermon caused a reaction. They were pricked in their hearts and asked Peter, “What shall we do?” (Verse 37). Peter made an appeal to those who were present saying, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Peter’s appeal was that they would be saved. That day 3,000 people joined the church and birthed a Christian movement. However, the movement was not intended to cease because verse 42 says, “And they continued steadfastly.” What does “continued steadfastly” mean? “Proskartereo” is the word rendered for “continued”. This word means to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a specific thing. It means to continue all the time in a place, to persevere and not to faint. The early Church Christians valued the Church and they also valued their responsibility to the Church. The following verses outline their responsibilities:

  • Verse 42 – They were continuous steadfastly in the TRUTH: The Apostles Doctrine, the TIE: Fellowship, the TABLE: Breaking of Bread and the THRONE:
  • Verse 43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. Because of the commanding display of power and miracles rendered through the Holy Spirit there was a deep reverence for God. The apostles were empowered with special gifts to establish the foundation of the infant church.
  • Verse 44And all that believed were together, and had all things common; They believers joined themselves together because they embraced similar values.
  • Verse 45And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. They made sacrifices for the common good and goals of the church and each member was deemed necessary to be healthy.
  • Verse 46And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. The temple was apart of their daily concern and existence. Fellowshipping with other believers became essential to the success of the church.
  • Verse 47 – Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. The early Church had a clear understanding that all blessings were attributed to God and God alone was worthy of public adoration and thanksgiving. Because the infant church valued these principles, God responded daily with souls being saved.

Questions

  1. What is meant by the apostle’s doctrine, fellowship, table and throne?
  2. Why did fear come upon every soul?
  3. Why were many signs and wonders done by the apostles?
  4. What does verse mean “They were together and had all things in common”?
  5. What is the significance of verse 45?
  6. Why is “one accord” essential in verse 46?
  7. What does, breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart mean?
  8. Why do you think it is important the writer describes the church “praising God and having favor with all people?”
  9. How does the Lord respond to what the people valued and took responsibility to do?

Group Study Questions

How do the following attributes define our responsibilities to the church?

Prayer (Acts 1:14, 24, Acts 2:42, Acts 3:1, Acts 4:23-31, Acts 12:5)

Presence (Acts 2:42, Romans 10:17, Hebrews 10:25, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Corinthians 14:1, Ephesians 4:11-13)

Providing (Proverbs 3:9-10, Malachi 3:8, 2 Corinthians 9:7, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Luke 6:38, 1 Timothy 6:10)

Protection (Romans 16:17, Ephesians 4:29, 1 Corinthians 11:18, 1 Corinthians 10:2, Acts 8:3, Acts 12:1, 3 John 1:10

Praise (Acts 2:47, Hebrews 2:12, Psalm 68:26, Psalm 150:1-6, Psalm 95:1-11, James 5:13, Psalm 100:1-5, Psalm 34:1-2)

Promotion (Psalm 66:16, Psalm 40:9-10, Revelation 12:11, 2 Timothy 1:8, Romans 1:16, Acts 11:22, Acts 15:4, Acts 18:22, Ephesians 3:21, 1 Corinthians 14:12, Ephesians 3:10)

What is your response to the following statements?

  1. Christian growth is based off of our interaction with other people.
  2. Every confessing Christian should be a part of the movement that Christ died for.
  3. The Church is the vehicle in which true believers find expression for their love of Christ.

NOTE: Next week we will address how the following topics relate to a Christian Family Values System and what is the Christians responsibility to the Church.

Worship, Evangelism, Fellowship, Discipleship and Stewardship

In Him,

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

Christian Family Value Responsibility Pic

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MHMBCOC W.A.R. Bible Study – Christian Family Values – Part 3

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

MHMBCOC – W.A.R. Bible Study

Tuesday, September 29, 2019

Christian Family Values – Part III

Establishing Christian Responsibility and Accountability Within the Home

Ephesians 6-1-4

This week I read a post earlier from this year published on January 19, 2018. The article was titled, “Too Young To Kill, Too Young To Die – Robert “Yummy” Sandifer.” It was written by Emily Thompson. It was the story of a young African American boy here in Chicago that not only was a murderer by the age of 11 but was killed at 11-years old.

11-year-old Robert Sandifer earned the nickname “Yummy” because of his love for cookies. Although he was only 11-years old, “Yummy” he was not the average child. He was born in 1983, his mother was arrested over 30 times for prostituting and his father spent most of Yummy’s short life behind bars. Before the age of 2, he was already known to the Department of Children and Family Services. By the age of 8, Yummy had given up on school and resorted to a life of crime. He soon began to steal cars and break into houses. During his short life, he was charged with 23 felonies and 5 misdemeanors. He was a member of a gang at 8 years old. The gang became his family because he, (one of his friends said) didn’t have love at home.

On 28 August, 1994 Yummy accidentally killed a 14-year-old girl shooting at someone else. It was in September of 1994 that his lifeless body was found in a far Southside underpass executed. He was wearing a sweatshirt with a cartoon character on the front. Yummy’s short and violent life became a symbol of not only the gang problem in America along with the fault of the child services and juvenile justice system but it also represented the picture of a broken family and a broken home.

Yummy’s Story is a reminder and a warning of what could happen when there are no boundaries in the home. It is also a reminder that children need parents that will set limits and boundaries that their children will not become rebellious. Finally, it is a reminder and a warning that parents and children must have a Christian Family Value System that they may know what is expected of them as it relates to the accountability and responsibility in the Lord.

Context

In Ephesians 6 Paul deals with Christian relationships as it pertains to the home. Here, he describes the relational life of parents and children. In this passage, the Apostle gives clear instructions for responsibility and accountability that fosters the relationship within the Christian family home. The apostle begins with the responsibility and accountability as it relates to children and their relationship towards their parents. He gives two directives for children and two directives for parents.

Verse 1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. This word obey means to stand under. It means “to be under another’s authority.” In the Lord expresses the motivation in which obedience to take place, it means obedience to the Lord. For this is right means this is one of the basic moral laws of life.

Verse 2-3 – The Apostle adds motivation for obedient children. He says it is not only important to obey, but to obey in such a way as to honor your father and your mother (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

It is possible to obey without honoring if you have the wrong attitude. Verse 2-3 is a directive for children honor their father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) The promise means that obedience with the right attitude will be a blessing to the child. Not only is this a spiritual law but by natural law we should render obedience and honor to them from whom we have life.

Verse 4And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The word translated Fathers is in the masculine tense and could be translated Parents because it includes both the father and the mother. “Provoke them not to wrath.” The word for wrath here means rebel. Bring them up means to provide nurturing for them. The word nurture means to discipline, chasten or correct them. Admonition means training by words, a mild rebuke of admonishment or correction. Of the Lord means bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Thought

“The basic difference between responsibility and accountability is that the former is assumed whereas the latter is imposed. While responsibility is understood as an obligation to perform a particular task, accountability denotes answerability, for the completion of the task assigned by the senior.” – KEY DIFFERENCES

Questions

  1. What are the two directives given to children?
  2. Why is it mandatory that children obey their parents?
  3. Why does it please the Lord when children obey their parents?
  4. What does it mean to honor your father and mother?
  5. What was the first commandment with promise?
  6. What does “provoke not your children to wrath” mean?
  7. How should parents raise their children?

Life Application Questions

  1. What do you think went wrong in Yummy’s Life?
  2. What could have helped his life turn out different?
  3. Why do you think children disobey their parents?
  4. Name ways that a child dishonors his or her parents?
  5. How does a parent provoke a child to wrath?
  6. How should a parent discipline a child?
  7. How can a parent be too soft on a child?
  8. How can a parent be too hard on a child?
  9. Why do you think so many in the coming generation are leaving the church?
  10. How does this lesson pertain to establishing Christian Family Values in your home?
  11. Do you think the bible is outdated?

In Him!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

 

Praying Black Family

 

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MHMBCOC W.A.R. Bible Study 5 People #4

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago

 W.A.R. Bible Study

5 People You Need in Your Life – Lesson #4

“People That Correct You!” 

 “The Need for A Nathan”

2 Samuel 12:1-14

A true friend dares to let you know your mistake rather than agreeing with you over what is wrong (unknown)

Taking correction can be a hard pill to swallow. However, correction is crucial to our spiritual development. Over the past 17 years, as a pastor, I have been corrected by church members, family, friends and foes and it’s not easy. However, I have noticed a pattern in the lives of those who receive correction and those who do not.

Throughout my 17 years serving as Pastor of the Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago I have encountered people that will not receive correction; especially from me. The irony comes in the fact that whenever correction was given it was some adjustment that needed to be made to enhance one’s relationship with God, i.e., increasing one’s prayer life, giving God more time, studying God’s Word or forgiveness. As a consequence, I became the recipient of their rebellion and the activities in their life seemed to be infused with a rebelliousness across the landscape. They were not only rebellious towards my leadership but their rebelliousness surfaced on their jobs, in family and was connected to their immediate circle of friends.

On the other hand, I have witnessed lives that have been transformed, given vision and experience the Grace of God on amazing levels because they embraced a posture of humility that was open to correction. Receiving scriptural insights and applying them has reset the narrative for their lives.

This experience has taught me a valuable lesson that people that rebel against spiritual leadership because of spiritual correction are really rebellious towards God. When correction is given accurately and scriptural and resisted it is a spiritual issue. People with spiritual issues resist Godly change that could make their lives better. They have a problem with authority; especially Godly authority. Spiritual leadership is not the issue. The issue is rebellion against God.

I have learned that I cannot give correction and not receive it. Everyone has an opinion but God has a way of sending people into our lives that are sensitive and saturated in scripture to help point out our wrongs so that we can make them right. Everyone needs someone that can correct them.

Rev. T. A. Smith is a friend sent from God in my life. We met around 2009 through divine circumstances. It was meant for us to be friends. Rev. Smith holds no punches. He is a straight shooter that has a strong biblical worldview. Our conversations are not idle. We joke and laugh but the basis of our conversations are substantive. We deal with the “open wounds” of ministry in our conversations. It has been through these conversations that I have been convicted by the Word of God to change a pattern of thought, or adjust a line of reasoning that would be detrimental to me or my ministry. Although he is younger than I, his correction has been received because of his straightforwardness, sensitivity and knowledge of the scriptures. Thank you Rev. T.A. Smith for being a friend that corrects me.

Context

God sent Nathan, a friend of King David, to correct him. David being the most powerful man in Israel had his way with another man’s wife, Bathsheba. After he discovered Bathsheba was pregnant with his child he had her husband killed in an attempt to cover the sin. The whole situation left a path of destruction. David became convicted of his sin but did not repent. God sent Nathan, his friend, to correct David.

Nathan approached David and shared a story of a rich man who had many sheep but he killed a poor man’s one little ewe lamb to feed an out of town traveler. When David heard the story he became angry and said this man shall surely die and then he must restore the lamb four-fold because he had no pity. It was then that Nathan said to David, “You are the man!” It was then that David repented unto the Lord and said, “I have sinned against the Lord!” Nathan said, “The Lord has put away thy sin and thou shall not die.”

Questions

  1. How did Nathan’s correction allow David to see the destructive path he was on?
  2. How does the following scripture apply? Proverbs 15:32
  3. How did Nathan’s correction show David the divine path to take?
  4. How does the following scripture apply? Proverbs 9:9
  5. When giving correction why is there a need to be sensitive to the person’s situation and how does Proverbs 14:12apply?
  6. When giving correction why should it be saturated by scripture?

Group Discussion on Biblical Principles

Read the following scriptures and discuss how they apply to the need for correction.

  • Proverbs 15:32
  • Proverbs 9:9
  • Proverbs 1:5
  • Proverbs 19:20
  • Proverbs 28:26
  • Proverbs 4:13

Group Discussion Questions on Correction

  1. Why is it so hard to receive correction?
  2. How do we know when correction is from God?
  3. How can we be blinded to our wrongs?
  4. Why is correction needed?
  5. How would you correct a friend?
  6. Why is timing so important when correcting someone?
  7. Why are the scriptures critical to correction?
  8. Why is sensitivity critical to correction?
  9. How can correction hurt or help a friendship?

In Him!

 

5 People #4 Pic.jpg

 

Dr. Oscar T. Moses 

 

 

 

 

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MHMBCOC W.A.R. Bible Study 5 People

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

MHMBCOC – W.A.R. Bible Study

5 People You Need in Your Life – Lesson #3

“People That Celebrate You!”-  A Heart Touched by God

1 Samuel 10:26

One of the most important decisions you’ll ever make is who you’ll allow access into your life. We encounter different people that play different roles. We must learn how to adjustto the people we encounter. Let me be clear… There are Haters. Haters want to knock you down a notch and to do it they will launch a smeer campaign to discredit you, diminsish you, disapprove of your every move. They monitor your success and prevent it if they can. They are assigned by Satan to create tension in your life. There are Tolerators. Tolerators endure you. They do not hate you, the chemistry is not there but your paths cross by obligation. Individual obligations bring the relationship together. They tolerate you because they do not want their true feelings exposed. They will not affirm you. You may continue to invite yourself along to outings because they will not tell you not to come. They are too busy to answer your text or phone calls. Then there are Celebrators. Celebrators identify you as special and created for a larger purpose. They bring out the absolute best in you and push you towards it. They love you for who you are; short, tall or whatever package you came in. Robert Ingall said, “We rise by lifting others.” Celebrators rise because they are always lifting others up to help them rise.This lesson is designed to teach this truth; the people that Celebrate you, their hearts have been touched by God and they have been assigned to:

  1. Appreciate what you bring to the table; that is your personal contribution.
  2. Respect who you are; that is your undeniable character.
  3. Encourage what you do; that is your individual conduct.

How do you handle life when you are unsure of yourself and the people you expect to celebrate you are merely tolerating you? What do you do when the volume of your haters voice has been turned up to assassinate your character, besmirch your reputation and others merely tolerate you? Such was the case in this biblical account found in 1 Samuel 10. In this passage the Word of God teaches us how God will touch the hearts of some people to affirm and celebrate you when others hate and tolerate you.

Context

King Saul quickly discovered that the annointing of God did not come without resistance. Saul wasannointed by God to be the first king of Israel. The Prophet Samuel called all of the people of Israel before the LORD at Mizpah.  The people wanted a king and God obliged them. From the tribe of Benjamin God chose Saul, the son of Kish. At the inaguration  ceremony of Saul he could not be found for he hid. The people prayed to God and the Lord revealed where Saul was and brought him out. There he was, their first king, King Saul. King Saul stood among the people looking valiant. He stood  head taller than any of the others. Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the man the LORD has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.”Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!”Then Samuel explained to the people the regulations of the kingship. He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the LORD. When this was done Samuel dismissed the people, each to his own home. Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men who would support him and encourage him. The text describes these men as those whose hearts God had touched. However, there were those who did not percieve the new king in the same light. They were troublemakers the NIV says, or scoundrels the NLT2 says. King James describes them as the Children of Belial. They said in verse
27, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept his peace.

Group Discussion

  1. How does the following statements relate to this passage?
    1. (Verse 26) When God Annoints You For An Assignment He Will Send Assignment Assistance –
    2. (Verse 27) When God Annoints You For An Assignment Satan Will Send Assignment Assassins
    3. Why do you feel it is difficult for some people to support others?
    4. How does God touch the hearts of people that celebrate you?

How does the following statements help us adjust to being placed in a similar situation as Saul?

  • Remain True to Who God Made You to Be
  • Accept The Fact the Some People Won’t Like You and Never Will
  • Appreciate The People Whose Heart God Has Touched
  • Know When to Hold Your Peace

Group Discussion on Biblical Passages

Read the following passages and discuss the significance of how they relate to this lesson.

  • Proverbs 17:17 (KJV) –
  • Proverbs 15:13 (KJV) –
  • Proverbs 12:25 (KJV) –
  • Romans 12:15 (KJV) –
  • Philippians 2:14-18 (KJV) –
  • John 13:34-35 (KJV) –

Group Discussion Questions

  1. Why do some people find it hard to celebrate others accomplishments?
  2. How does celebrating accomplishments of others demonstrate faith?
  3. Why does God allow people to discourage our accomplishments?
  4. Name a time when your good intentions were misunderstood and no one encouraged you.
  5. Name a time when your approval of someone was rejected by others.
  6. Why is it best not to respond to your critics?
  7. Name 3 ways you can be a friend that celebrates others.

Group Exercise

  1. Each person is to describe 1 characteristic of each person in the group that celebrates them.
  2. Discuss why do you think it is important to celebrate those in leadership?
  3. This Sunday make it your duty to celebrate someone who may be going through a difficult time.

In Him!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

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Christian Mother’s Love Beyond the Grave

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

MHMBCOC

May 12, 2019

Matthew 20:20-23

 

Context

In this passage Jesus reminded the disciples of His death burial and resurrection. There is a theme that reoccurs pertaining to the kingdom. The kingdom of God was one of Jesus’ most talked about topics, but it’s hardly a well-grasped concept for believers today. If you asked a group of people to define it, you would probably get a variety of answers. “The Kingdom of God transcends time and space.” It is Gods will in heaven being fulfilled in the hearts of men on earth. “Kingdom” means that there is a King somewhere. The Kingdom of God is where His subjects acquiesce to the will, way, word and wishes of God. It is a place where there is peace, love joy and happiness.

All of the talk about the future kingdom excited the disciples. Immediately, they began “bucking” for position in the future world to come. In Chapter 18 they began inquiring to Jesus about who would be the “greatest in the kingdom”?

In chapter 20, all of the talk about the kingdom and God’s throne became a promotional perk for the disciples. They wanted to be their, in plush position, because they were with Jesus when he got His mission off of the ground. They wanted preferential treatment. They wanted status and prestige. This is how we enter into this text. The disciples wanted fame and notability so much that they would go through great lengths to get it. Some scholars believe that this text is two brothers exploiting their mother as a pawn to gain leverage on their eternal reward. So much so, that they would use their mother to help their eternal influence.

Tell me what you think.  All of this talk about the future glory of the kingdomwas enough to make the disciples ecstatic, so much so that they would engage their mother, as a means of influence to give them status. I tell you, a mother’s love goes a long way!

I have seen mothers lie for their kids, pay money for their kids, end marriages for their kids…. Momma will even put her life and reputation on the line for her kids. Such was the case in our text.

Jesus had been talking about the kingdom, it’s splendor and its prestige and His time of death was drawing near. Imagination suggests, that two of his disciples, James and John had ambition to have seats of honor in the kingdom. One wanted to be Vice-President and the other wanted to be Secretary of State. So pehaps they put their momma up to the arduous task of trying to persuade Jesus on their behalf. Are we clear? So by the time of the text they have already expressed to their momma their hearts desire and any good momma wanted the best for her kids. Lets Fast forward.

As Jesus and the 12 made their way up to Jerusalem, Jesus once again reminded the disciples that he would be severely persecuted, killed, buried but on the third day He would be resurrected from the dead. It was about that time that the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, brought them to Jesus, worshipping himand respectfully asked a favor. Her name is Salome. Jesus asked her, “What is your request?” She said without blinking, “Give your word that these two sons of mine will be awarded the highest places of honor in your kingdom, one at your right hand, one at your left hand.” Jesus responded, “You have no idea what you’re asking.” And he said to James and John, “Are you capable of drinking the cup that I’m about to drink?” They said, “Sure, why not?” Jesus said, “Come to think of it, you are going to drink my cup. But as to awarding places of honor, that’s not my business. My Father is taking care of that.”

In the earlier part of this chapter Jesus had just taught the disciples that heaven is Gods business… and here comes James and Johns mother asking Jesus for seating privileges. Before we get down on Salome let’s look at the good qualities about her.

Her Demonstration

Number one, verse 20 says she came to Jesus with her sons and worshipped Him. She was a mother that understood that Jesus was worthy of worship. Mothers there should be times when your child sees that you have a relationship with God. They should see you praying sometimes. Salome demonstrated worship before the Lord but she also demonstrates worship before her children. This mother had no problem with worshipping Jesus while her children saw her. You wonder why church is so dry and cold sometimes? Not enough mothers worshipping in front of their children and therefore, the children think that worship is strange. They need to see the visibility of your faith in Jesus. The lesson today is… your children will deem important what you deem important. If prayer, bible study, coming to church, honoring Godly leadership, and praising God is not important to you; it will not be important to them. How you act in front of your child is an investment. I’m tired if seeing mothers out in the street with head rags and shower caps on with skin tight stretch pants so tight you can see every dimple in their behinds, smoking a blunt and cursing like a sailor. You wonder why youth have no respect today? It’s because a childs first teacher is their parents.

The Expectation

            She desired something from the Lord and Jesus asked her, “What do you want?” Her desire (EXPECTATION) was that her sons would be elevated when they got to the kingdom. She wanted them to have a place of honor in the kingdom. Every mother should want her child to be close to Jesus.

The Discussion

A discussion began. Jesus turned to the sons and asked them,“Can you drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”They responded, “We can do that.”They had no idea that they could not withstand one drop of what was in Jesus’ cup. All the sins of the world were in that cup. He concluded this passage by saying, “Come to think of it, you are going to drink my cup. But as to awarding places of honor, that’s not my business. My Father is taking care of that.” They both would suffer before they got to the kingdom but their suffering would pale in comparison to Jesus’ suffering. James would be killed and John would be banished to a lonely island. God has the final say as to who will sit by Jesus.

The point is she wanted the best eternity for her children. She loved them beyond the grave. There is some mother here today or mother figure. This passage teaches us how a mother makes an investment in her child.

The question is; What is a good investment for a parent to make for their child; stocks and bonds, top schools of academia; Ivy League or the sophisticated “Black Bourgeoisie” HBCU’s? What about piano lessons, dance lessons, or art lessons that can assist in future career choices; or a 529 plan that helps college students pay off tuition debt or braces to invest in a beautiful smile. Most good parents want the best investment for their children. An investment is made with the idea of a positive future return. You don’t get the benefit of an investment now but you get it later. An investment does not benefit you right away but one day it pays off.

I have seen little babies with diamonds, $200.00 gym shoes, wearing Gucci, Prada and other name brand items but that’s not an investment; that’s an asinine expense. My point this morning is this: Every investment mentioned heretofore and some not mentioned will do a child good as long as they are alive but when they are dead none of those assets will matter; no amount of money, education, skill training or business smarts will matter when the child is dead. The only investment a parent can make that matters after death is salvation.

The question for mother’s today is do you love your child beyond the grave because if you do you would be willing to invest in your child’s salvation. What we need today are godly mothers that love their children beyond the grave; that will not just love their children to death but will love them to eternal life.

Here’s the walk away points.

  1. Mothers Don’t Hide Your Faith (Demonstration)(Don’t be ashamed to worship). Her Faith in Jesus Was Visible:Salome had a relationship with Jesus that was transparent. She worshipped Jesus.
  2. Have Eternal Expectations for Your Children (Expectations)– There was a time when mother’s had higher expectations for their children concerning their relationship with Christ. I came from a generation where church was not an option it was mandatory. I came from a generation where parents told their children who Jesus was in hopes that they would establish a relationship with them. Even when I went off to college, no matter how late I burned the midnight oil, I could not sleep on Sunday mornings comfortably because my mother expected for me to get up and tell the Lord “thank you” in the House of the Lord not by watching a television program or Facebook.
  3. Love Them Beyond the Grave (Motivation)– She may have been out of line but she was concerned about their eternity. Her love motivated her to want them to get to heaven. Eternal love is sacrificial love. She did not ask for her seat but for her children -– Mother loved them even though they might have urged her to make the request to come before Jesus and just ask; even though they were egotistical, self centered, arrogant. She loved them even when no one else could stand them. This momma demonstrates that she has some interest in her children’s eternal security. What a tragedy it would be for momma to get to heaven and not see her children! She has compassion. (I want to leave the text for a minute with a casual caveat.)  Compassion does not erase Correction.As a matter of fact they go hand in hand. There are some mothers that raise their daughters and love their sons. If you really love your child you must correct them when they are wrong. I come from the school where my mother said, “Wherever you show out I’m going to let you have it right there.”Proverbs 13:24says, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”

Why does this matter? Because…

Your Life’s Demonstration Influences Your Childs Eternal Destination

Don’t miss calvary in this text. Jesus’s death was a demonstrationof love. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that we may have eternal life. We don’t deserve it. Its because of the grace of God. Calvary brought with it expectations.It brought us the hope of holding on in hard times. Calvary brought with it motivation.Jesus loved us beyond the grave. He rose on the third day morning with all power in His hands and because He got up one day we will get up too. Mother, one day we will sit in heavenly places. You don’t have to worry about whether your child sits on the right our left. Here it is! Make sure you get in and your children get in. If you get there before they do tell them don’t look for you on the right or left, that’s up to God.

 

In Him!

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Dr. Oscar T. Moses

 

W.A.R. Bible Study – 5 People You Need In Your Life

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago

 W.A.R. Bible Study

5 People You Need in Your Life – Lesson #2

“People That Comfort You!” 

The Refreshing Friend

2 Timothy 1:15-18

Opener

During a difficult season of ministry, I felt totally misunderstood by my peers. Alone. Life was happening in “real time.” I had to make some unpopular decision concerning my role in different ministerial organization that I had previously been apart of. Needless to say, there are times when other ministers can be the most judgmental and even “black ball” you in a “spiritual way.” As a consequence, many ministers or persons in leadership suffer in silence. However, God has a way of sending the right person, to say the right thing, at the right time. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

Tired of feeling the mire of ministry and being perceived and not understood, I felt the need to share my feelings and reasons why I made some of the previous ministry decisions with someone. I could not just talk to anyone, they had to be someone who God has led me to. One night I called Rev. Jimmy Burnside, a man whom I hold in high esteem. Rev. Burnside holds no punches. He speaks unpopular truths with love despite who agrees or disagrees. I consider him a father in ministry.

I was not sure how he would respond to my reasoning but I called anyway. He answered and listened thoroughly. For the first time, I shared my concerns, concerning my recent ministry adjustments with someone who I knew would be a confidant.

When I finished speaking he said these words: “Oscar, I know you to be a man of integrity. I know you to be a person that is serious about his walk with God that will do what’s right with the Spirit of Christ and love. I know if you have made a decision it has been based on prayer and seeking God’s will and I know you to be a person to do the right thing.” When he finished speaking, I felt a breath of fresh air. My countenance was lifted and I was encouraged to hold on to my faith because I knew things would eventually get better. Thank you Rev. Jimmy Burnside for being a friend that comforts.

Context

This is the last letter that Paul wrote to Timothy before his death by Nero in Rome. Paul admonished Timothy not to be ashamed of the Gospel even when others were ashamed of him for preaching the gospel. He chides Timothy not to be ashamed of him, a prisoner of the Lord in verse 8. Paul was alone and needed a friend to comfort him.

Paul reminded Timothy of those who abandoned him in Asia. He mentioned two men named Phygellus and Hermogenes. However, there was one “somebody” who comforted, refreshed him and encouraged him. His name was Onesiphorus. Onesiphorus’ name means, “bringing profit.” He is one of the “unsung heroes” in the bible. His name is mentioned one other time in chapter 4:19. What we know of him is that Paul asked the Lord to give mercy to his house because he did (4) things for me when the chips were down; he oft refreshed me, was not ashamed of my chain, he sought me out very diligently, and found me and he ministered unto me.Onesiphorus was a friend that comforted Paul.

Thought Questions

  • Why do we need people to refresh us?
  • Why do we need people that are not ashamed of us?
  • Why do we need people to seek us out when we are down trodden?
  • Why do we need people to comfort us?
  • How do the following scriptures apply? Proverbs 16:28, Proverbs 20:19, Proverbs 17:17, Proverbs 18:13 and Galatians 6:2
  • How does the Holy Spirit Comfort us according to John 14:26-27?

Group Discussion on Biblical Passages

 Read the following passages and discuss the importance of being comforted and the significance of being a person that comforts others.

  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-6
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:14

Group Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think some people deserted Paul?
  2. What did Onesiphorus do for Paul?
  3. What did Paul want the Lord to do for Onesiphorus?
  4. How did Paul respond for his need to be comforted with Timothy?
  5. Who do you pray for daily?
  6. Why is it important to comfort those who have been outcast?
  7. How can you refresh someone going through a difficult time?
  8. Why should we not assume that everyone is doing well?
  9. How does it feel to need comfort and not receive it?
  10. When others cannot comfort you what should you do?
  11. How does God comfort the afflicted?

Because of Him!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

5 People #2 Comfort

 

 

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MHMBCOC W.A.R. Bible Study – 5 People You Need In Your Life – Part 1

 

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago

 W.A.R. Bible Study 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

5 People You Need in Your Life

“People That Challenge You!”

Lesson #1

 Opener

I have always been up for a good challenge. It just seems to be apart of my nature. But the challenges I have taken on in life fit into the “ordinary” challenge category. Playing high school football was an ordinary challenge. Becoming a member of a fraternity was an ordinary challenge. Completing 21 weeks in the Chicago Police Academy was an ordinary challenge. Completing my Masters Degree was an ordinary challenge. Becoming a pastor was an ordinary challenge. Completing my Doctors of Ministry Degree was an ordinary challenge and writing two books was an ordinary challenge. However, God has a way of sending people in your life to redefine the lens of how we view ordinary challenges and consider the “extraordinary” challenges in life.

I met Richard Wilford somewhere around the year 2006. We are the same age, exactly 16 days apart. He is a pastor, as I am. We immediately connected and would give each other encouragement on our sermonic thought process and matching what the old timers would call “mother wit” i.e., “common sense.”  We both were challenged leading a small congregation. However, around 2014 Richard’s son De’Angelo was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer and succumbed to the cancer in 2017. Richard, a single father, reset the narrative of his life and used his pain to grow. He is living in the “extraordinary.” Within the last four years he has authored four books, working on the fifth book, has recorded a gospel CD, jumped out of airplanes, ministers to countless people and at the age of 52 is training for the Iron Man Contest.

His discipline and vision intrigues me to do more than “ordinary” with the one life I have to live. Richard has rubbed off on me and I am resetting the narrative of my own life goals and ministry to expand and reach more people for Jesus Christ. Thank you Richard for rubbing off on me and being a friend that challenges me.

Who’s Rubbing Off On You?

Proverbs 27:17

The metaphor of steel rubbing against steel in the first line is applied in the second line to the abrasion or friction necessary for growth in one’s own relationships.

The first line is an old proverb: Iron sharpens iron. The image is of metal being used to sharpen a sword or a farming implement. The imagery of steel rubbing against steel in the first line is applied in the second line to a relationship between friends: As iron sharpens iron, so [literally] one friend sharpens another. When iron is rubbed against another piece of iron it shapes and sharpens it. Likewise people can help each other improve by their thinking, actions and relationships. The bottom line is people rub off the good and bad on you.

The text ends with, “So a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” The Hebrew word for countenance is pāneh, which means to “turn the face” to brighten the face. One translation says to place favor upon. Here it is! The sharpening friend literally turns the company or conversation of his friend. He adds to his wit and his wisdom, character and influence. You maintain the cutting edge.

Thought#1– If You Are The Smartest One In Your Group – Its Time To Find Some New Friends. We need people to challenge us to do better.

Group Discussion on Biblical Principles

Read and discuss the following biblical passage and discuss how God challenge us to make us our best selves and sharper.

  • Matthew 5:13-16
  • Matthew 5:6
  • 2 Timothy 2:15
  • Ephesians 4:14-16
  • Luke 6:28

Group Discussion Questions

  1. Explain the effects that Proverbs 27:17 have on friendship.
  2. Give an example of how you and another person sharpen one another.
  3. What role does another person’s influence play on our success or failures?
  4. Give an example of how someone can negatively rub off on a person.
  5. Why is it necessary to have friends that challenge you beyond the ordinary?
  6. Why is constructive criticism good for one’s growth?
  7. Why is it necessary to have someone you are accountable to with your faith?
  8. Why do you think people are afraid to be challenged?
  9. How have your friends challenged you to become a better person?
  10. Name 3 reasons why Christians should respectfully challenge one another?
  11. How would you like this lesson to affect your life?

 

Because of Him!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

 

5 People Image #1

 

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