BSF Prayers

Hey all!

As you know for the past several years, I’ve done Sunday prayer requests. While I love praying for you all, I have felt it wasn’t very effective.

This year, BSF is doing online prayers through their prayer wall.

Thus, instead of me doing my online prayer requests, I’ve decided to direct you all to BSF’s online prayer request page where I feel you can be prayed for by more and helped more.

Here is the link: https://bsfprayer.org/prayer-wall/

This link will be available on my sidebar as well.

I want to encourage you to submit your prayer requests on BSF’s site so that everyone around the world can pray for you.

God bless!

People of the Promised Land: Abner

Image result for abner in bible

Abner was a great general who fought most of his life for a bad king. Though he introduced David to King Saul (1 Samuel 17:55-58) and commanded David during his early campaigns, Abner ultimately followed Saul’s orders and fought against David. During the years when David’s band of outlaws was roaming the hills, Abner led the hunt to track them down. Along the way he and David won mutual respect as honorable enemies.

Even after Saul died, Abner remained loyal to the forces arrayed against David. He installed Saul’s son as king (2 Samuel 2:8) and fought a long civil war against David, knowing David was the anointed king of Israel.

Abner was loyal to Saul’s son until accused of disloyalty. Saul’s son, Ish-Bosheth, saw Abner as a threat to the throne and finally said something about it — albeit in a round-about way. He switched sides and died by treachery. Shortly after Abner’s death, Ish-bosheth was assassinated as he slept (2 Samuel 4), and David became king of the reunited kingdoms (2 Samuel 5).

Abner was a great soldier with undying loyalty to his king. He had his faults like we all do (like taking loyalty to the extreme), but Israel needed more men like Abner.

2017 BSF Start Dates for the Study of Romans

Hey all!

This post seems to have become a tradition!

Please post when (and where if you wish) BSF starts in your area.  It’s difficult to find on BSF’s site, especially for new people.  Plus, it gives us all a chance to re-connect!  I have not yet been contacted.

What’s coming up ahead here:  One more week of devotionals.  Then an introduction to the Study of Romans.  And then we begin!

God bless and have a great weekend!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 20, Day 5: Numbers 14:20-45

Summary of passage:  The Lord forgave His people as Moses asked Him too.  However, the punishment for disobedience is that none of them will see the Promised Land except Caleb.  God tells His people to turn around.  The Lord tells Moses except Caleb and Joshua all will die who grumbled against Him–He will grant their wish to die in the desert.  The children will inherit the land but only after wandering for 40 years–one year for each day the Israelites explored the land.

God struck down and killed the men who were responsible for the bad report.  The Israelites repented and went to fight anyways.  But this was disobeying God as well for He has ordered them to turn back.  They were defeated as Moses and the ark remained encamped.

Questions:

10a)  Yes.  Verse 20

b)  Nevertheless

c)  “Not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times–not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers.”  The Lord “will do the very things I heard you say:  In this desert your bodies will fall–every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.”  “Your children will be shepherds here for 40 years, suffering for your unfaithfulness.”

Basically, they will all die without entering the Promised Land and they are sentenced to wander the desert for 40 years to wait for them all to die and as punishment to their children.

11a)  No.  People today have a victim mentality and an entitlement mentality.  They deserve only good things and if something bad happens to them, it’s someone else’s fault and thus they should  be taken care of and given payment because of it.

b)  Yes.  Yes.

12a)  By punishing the instigators.  God struck down the men who reported the false report and thus were responsible for leading the others into sin.

b)  They disobeyed AGAIN by deciding to go and take the land when the Lord had already told them they were to turn around.  They were warned by Moses that the Lord was not with them, but they didn’t seem to care–they did it anyways and were defeated because of it.

Conclusions: Loved Lesson 20.  Great stories.  Great moments of people’s disobedience, God’s grace and forgiveness, and consequences of disobedience.  In Numbers 13-14, we see the whole of the Bible condensed into two chapters.  All that’s missing here is Jesus.

End Notes:  Here we see the power of prayer as God says He has forgiven the people because Moses asked.  God listens and He responds.

God recognized Caleb and rewarded him in front of all.  The people on the other hand have more work to do.

Note even Moses and Aaron is included in those who won’t enter the Promised Land.  So they knew.  I wonder what they were thinking.

No excuse will work here–the people rejected the land and now they must pay the consequences.  Even when they decided to obey, their hearts were not in it–they did not trust the Lord.  They only felt sorry for what they did.  And they paid the price.

See Psalm 95:7b-11, Psalm 106:24-27, & Nehemiah 9:16-17 for more.

They will wander only 38 years since they have already been in the desert for 2 years.

Map of Hormah and possible Route through the Desert:  https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bc/scriptures/content/english/bible-maps/images/03990_000_bible-map-2.jpg

Great map of where the Israelites are headed next:  http://fgcp.org/system/files/images/Promise-Land-Era.jpg

Close-up of Hormah:  http://www.keyway.ca/gif/hormah.gif

It’s BSF Time Again (Well, Almost!)

Hey all,

Hope everyone had a restful and relaxing summer.  We just back from a camping trip where a hummingbird got stuck in our tent.  It was so amazing to see up close just how fast those wings actually move.  God’s creations are amazing!Hummingbird

Like last year, I’m wondering start dates for you all.  I will be doing the Study of Moses (sorry to all those Revelation guinea pigs out there 😦  Will have to wait until next year.

I’m SUPER excited as I’ll be taking on an expanded volunteer role with BSF (and, no, not a group leader, although maybe one day).

Just leave your start date below as a comment.

Thanks and have a fantastic, blessed week!

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 29, Day 3: John 20:1-18; Luke 24:12-32

Summary of passages:  John 20:1-18:  Mary Magdalene returns to Jesus’ tomb early on the first day of the week and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.  She ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple (John) that Jesus had loved and told them that Jesus’ body had been taken.

Peter and the other disciple run to Jesus’ tomb to investigate and saw strips of linen lying in the tomb and the burial cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head.  The disciples returned home but Mary stood outside the tomb crying.  She looked in the tomb and saw two angels in white seater where Jesus’ body had been.  They asked her why she was crying and she answered because Jesus’ body was stolen and she doesn’t know where it is.

Jesus appeared at that moment.  He asked her the same thing and she does not recognize him until he utters her name.  He told her to go and tell his brothers that he will be returning to his Father and she did.

Luke 24:12-32:  Being told by the women that Jesus had arisen, Peter ran to the tomb to see for himself since he didn’t believe them.  He saw the strips of linen in Jesus’ tomb but still wondered what had happened.

On the road to Emmaus that same day, two of Jesus’ followers were wondering what was going on.  Jesus appeared to them but they did not recognize him.  He asked them what they were speaking about.  Cleopas said he must be a stranger if he doesn’t know recent events.  They recounted the story of how Jesus had been crucified and how his body was now missing and how the women had said he is risen from the dead.

Jesus called them foolish not to understand the prophets so he began with Moses and explained all the Scriptures concerning himself.  They invited him to stay with them overnight.  He blessed the bread and then they recognized him and Jesus disappeared.

Questions:

6)  “The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.”  The fact that the strips of linen and cloth were neatly arranged discounted the grave robbery theory as robbers have no concern for neatness and would have hurriedly stripped off the linen to get to what lay beneath.

7a)  As intimate as sheep who know their master’s voice like Mary who instantly recognized him when he spoke her name.  The caregiver for all of their needs and whom they implicitly trust, obey, and follow.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This whole study has impressed upon me the importance of doing His calling for my life on this earth.  How not to give up on that in the face of adversity.

8a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The importance of understanding the Scriptures and the prophecies of the Old Testament.  The importance of listening to Jesus when he does explain them to you.  And the importance of sharing those lessons learned with others as Jesus himself did.  How we should pray to see Jesus in our midst.  How we should pray for our hearts to be set aflame by him.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I try to explain to my kids the meanings and the intricacies of the Bible in terms they will understand.  And I try to explain to you all as well what I understand.  I pray to see Jesus and have him guide my heart and I pray this for others and my kids as well.  I teach them he is there and we can see him with grace and love.

Conclusions:  Don’t like reading John in the middle of the chapter.  Read more for further understanding.  Who amongst us wouldn’t have wanted to have been on that road to Emmaus to hear Jesus explain the Old Testament?  Wow!  What a gift!  Can you imagine the power of Jesus uttering your name and you instantly recognize him?  I want to hear my name spoken from his lips!

Overall, filler lesson since Matthew was not mentioned at all with a lot of personal questions.  Important?  Yes.  For we all must learn to recognize Jesus’ voice in our lives and understand the connections of the Old and New Testaments.

End Notes:  Cleopas could very well be the husband of “Mary the wife of Clopas” who stood faithfully by Jesus’ cross as he died (John 19:25).

John and Peter do not understand what they see because they have forgotten Jesus’ words.  They only know something amazing has happened.

Note Mary is NOT afraid when the angels appear to her here.  This is one of the few places in the Bible when someone is not afraid when angels appear to man.  Her grief is such that their presence does not affect her.

Mary plans to carry Jesus away when she finds him.  How she would accomplish this remains a mystery but her devotion is such she only is focused on finding Jesus.

Mary is already clinging to Jesus when he tells her to not hold onto him.  This tells us he definitely has a tangible, physical body.

Note Jesus’ distinction between “my father” and “your father”.  He is differentiating himself from us as he should since he is our lord as well.

If someone had fabricated this story, would they make a woman the first to see Jesus?  No. Women were nothing in first century AD.  This speaks to the Truth of God’s Word.

Jesus knew the 2 men on the road to Emmaus were sad when they shouldn’t be.  Hence, he wanted them to understand what had truly happened.  Amazing God’s care for the lost!

Jesus encourages them to tell him things even though he already knows them.  As God wants us to do always.

Jesus called them foolish for not believing the testimony of others.  It was a heart problem as so often it is with us.

We should pray that Jesus opens our eyes to see him who walks by our side every day.  Then, as these two men did, we will see him and understand.  Their hearts were set aflame by Jesus’ words. What our prayer should be every day:  to be on fire for Jesus!

Map of Emmaus with great re-telling and famous accompanying artwork:  http://www.jesus-story.net/emmaus.htm

Cleopas:  What we know is basically what the Bible tells us of him.  He is never mentioned again outside of this story.  More information HERE if interested.