Moving on to Perfection A Practical Study in the Deceptive Mind and Tools to Overcome It
R ejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Phil 4:4-9 NIV)
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection… Heb 6:1
Agenda Class 1: Questioning Our Deceptive Mind Class 2: Faith vs. Our Deceptive Mind Class 2 Class 3: Our Deceptive Mind in Interpersonal Relationships and Everyday Life Class 3 Class 4: The Deceptive Mind in Bible Characters Class 4 Class 5: The Deceptive Mind Destroyed in Christ Class 5
Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet Can judge a person or a thought that causes you emotional pain (worry, sadness, anxiety, anger, etc.) Not to turn in or share with anyone…unless you decide to do it. Judging a person is easier. We all make judgments. Try not to be kind or spiritual or politically correct.
What are we trying to accomplish? 1. Understand our real problem and how to overcome it. 2. Empower us with the tools to do so. 3. Practice these techniques. 4. Ultimately, make us live the fruit of the Spirit. 5. Move us one more step toward perfection (God).
Benefits Eliminate stress Think Biblically Improve relationships Reduce anger, fear, depression, anxiety Act with clarity Increase energy Gain peace, contentment and joy
The diabolos Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44) Strongs 1228 – Deceptive – false accuser, a liar
The Problem from Eden Death & Corruption Separation from God Physical Pain Decay The Deceptive (Lying) Mind Source of Mental & Spiritual Pain Source of Sinful Inclinations
The diabolos And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the diabolos, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? (Acts 13:10 – speaking of Barjesus) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the diabolos as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8) He that committeth sin is of the diabolos; for diabolos sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the diabolos. (1 John 3:8)
The Subtlety of the Deceptive Mind Things shouldn’t be the way that they are. God should do things differently. People shouldn’t get sick, suffer or have bad things happen. People should act differently. We have to give up the things which bring happiness for God.
The Deceptive Mind = Heart The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer. 17:9) But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man. (Matt. 15:18- 20)
The Effects of the Deceptive Mind Anger Depression Fear Worry Anxiety Body Image Issues Hatred Guilt Envy Resentment Hopelessness Despair All are key indicators that there is work to be done. All come with a story which supports our belief which is causing our pain.
The Fruit of the Spirit vs. The Fruit of the Deceptive Mind 1. Love 2. Joy 3. Peace 4. Patience 5. Kindness 6. Goodness 7. Faithfulness 8. Gentleness 9. Self-control ?
IF YOUR LIFE STINKS, IT IS BECAUSE YOUR THINKING STINKS !
You will never overcome adversity until you overcome the adversary. Our enemy is much closer than we think!
The Deceptive Mind tells us… The problem is out there. Those people/circumstances are the source of my pain. But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (Mt. 15:18-19) If… If people would just act right, I would be fine. If this thing in my past would not have happened… I have no control over any of this.
I Wish… I wish that cats barked. I wish that I didn’t have allergies. I wish that believers all got along. I wish that I was smarter. I wish my wife loved me more. When we argue with reality, we lose… but only 100% of the time. Byron Katie
Arguing With Reality: Unemployment Example Two scenarios: 1. I wish I hadn’t lost my job. 2. I lost my job, now what am I going to do about it. Accepting reality does not mean apathy. It means accepting things for what they are and acting with a clear mind.
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. (1 Peter 4:7)
What would it take to make you happy? What the Deceptive Mind tells us.
The Deceptive Mind – a blessing in a curse There is a specific thought behind all of our mental suffering. Negative emotions are “good” in that they allow us to pinpoint the cause of our suffering much in the same way that physical pain allows us to pinpoint a physical problem.
Love is… Patient Kind Does not envy Does not boast Is not proud Is not rude Is not self-seeking Does not delight in evil Rejoices with the truth Always protects Always trusts Always hopes Always perseveres Is not easily angered Keeps no record of wrongs
Storytime: Deceptive Mind Style Bible School after release of The Judaizers Approached by three different brothers from very conservative ecclesias. Wanted to talk to me What were they going to say or do? Became anxious.
Epictetus (Greek Philosopher) “We are disturbed not by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens.” “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”
Byron Katie Severely depressed in her 30s Discovered “The Work” – a series of questions to challenge our thoughts Wrote Loving What Is
Four Questions 1. Is it true? 2. Can you absolutely know that it is true? 3. How do you feel when you think that thought? 4. Who would you be without that thought? Turn it around!
Is it true? Is it absolutely true? How do you feel when you think that thought? Who would you be without that thought? Turn it around. What saith the Lord?
Using the Four Questions to Challenge the Deceptive Mind 1. I am angry at my critics because I am being criticized unfairly and being lied about. 2. I want my critics to follow Matt. 18, not be so hypercritical, gets their facts straight and stop lying/slandering. 3. They shouldn’t lie, hate, slander, conspire, gossip.
Using the Four Questions to Challenge the Deceptive Mind 4. I need my critics to act brotherly, act in accordance with Scripture. 5. My critics are immature, petty, dishonest, fault-finders, unforgiving, mean and unloving. 6. I don’t ever want to experience their lies and meanness.
They Should/They Shouldn’t Biblical Becomes: “I shouldn’t lie” Reality People lie all the time. Example: People Shouldn’t Lie
Benefits of Doing the Work Stopped expecting brethren to be different than they always have been. Grew in areas where I needed it. Forgiveness Loving my enemies Accepting criticism
I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. (Ps. 16:8,9)
Psalm 118:4-7 NIV Let those who fear the LORD say: "His love endures forever." In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. The LORD is with me ; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The LORD is with me; he is my helper.
If you were God for a day, what would you change?
The Lesson of Habakkuk Habakkuk: Why do the (Jewish) wicked prosper? God: I will punish the wicked with the Babylonians. Habakkuk: They are worse than us. God: You do your job and let me do mine.
The Lesson of Habakkuk God: But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. (2:20) Habakkuk: Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (3:17-18)
Psalm 23 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me ; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:4-7 NIV)
Review The man wanted the situation God put him in (reality) to be different that it actually is. His thought made him stressed. Options 1) He gets better. If so, he has spent his time stressed needlessly. 2) He dies. If so, why would he want to spend his last days stressed?
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Pr 3:5)
Three Kinds of Business My Business My own thoughts, my behavior, right here, right now Your Business Your thoughts, your actions God’s Business The past, the future, judgment We suffer when we are not in our own business.
Staying in Your Own Business Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (Matt. 7:1-5)
Faith that God Knows What Is Best This is what the LORD says - your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 'I am the LORD your God who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. (Isaiah 48:17 - 18)
God Is Reality We know that all things work together for good to them that love God. (Rom. 8:28) This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118:24) No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Heb. 12:11 NIV)
We convince ourselves that life will be better once we are married, have a baby, then another. Then we get frustrated because our children are not old enough, and that all will be well when they are older. Then we are frustrated because they reach adolescence and we must deal with them. Surely we’ll be happier when they grow out of the teen years. We tell ourselves our life will be better when our spouse gets his/her act together, when we have a nicer car, when we can take a vacation, when we finally retire. The truth is that there is no better time to be happy than right now. If not, then when? Your life will always be full of challenges. It is better to admit as much and to decide to be happy in spite of it all.
For the longest time, it seemed that life was about to start. Real life. But there was always some obstacle along the way, an ordeal to get through, some work to be finished, some time to be given, a bill to be paid. Then life would start. I finally came to understand that those obstacles were life. That point of view helped me see that there isn’t any road to happiness. Happiness IS the road. So, enjoy every moment. Stop waiting for school to end, for a return to school, to lose ten pounds, to gain ten pounds, for work to begin, to get married, for Friday evening, for Sunday morning, waiting for a new car, for your mortgage to be paid off, for spring, for summer, for fall, for winter, for the first or the fifteenth of the month, for your song to be played on the radio, to die, to be reborn… before deciding to be happy.
Happiness is a voyage, not a destination. There is no better time to be happy than… NOW! There is no better time to be happy than… NOW! Live and enjoy the moment. -Author unknown
Psalm 19 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. God is bigger than our problems.
Big God vs. Little God Theory Big God Theory Emphasis on the "Omnis" All-knowing All-powerful Ever present God is involved in the details Little God Theory God set up a system that runs essentially by itself via laws God doesn't "sweat the small stuff" "Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing" (Isa. 40:15).
Christadelphian Deism There is such a thing as chance, as distinct from what God does. The Bible declares this (Eccles. 11:11) and the experience of every day teaches it. Every moment teems with the incidents of chance. The whirl of a cloud of dust before the windy gust coming round the corner of the house illustrates the point. God has control of all chance; but all chance is not controlled. It is controlled when His purpose requires it. His purpose does not require Him to decide which shells every or any child on the sea- shore shall pick up and throw away, unless the incident be a link in the purpose being worked out, and then the hand of the child will be guided. This illustration touches a great fact which it is important to see clearly. (Robert Roberts, Ways of Providence)
Chance A pagan idea 1 Sam 6:9 – Philistines Is. 65:11 “But as for you who forsake the LORD and forget my holy mountain, who spread a table for Fortune and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny” No Biblical proof Ecc. 9:11 is mistranslated But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster. (KJV “evil occurent”) No hint of randomness in Hebrew
Why Do We Care? The Implications God's Promises: God will not test us beyond what we are able to bear. (1 Cor. 10:13) If chance occurs, perhaps we can be tested beyond what we are able to bear (to which God could say He had nothing to do with it). And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Ro 8:28) Becomes meaningless if we remove “all” and replace with “most”, “some” or “many.” Who or what do you trust in? God or yourself? God or luck?
God testifies to His involvement And yet, Someone knows how many hairs are on your head, and not even a single sparrow dies apart from His will! (Mt 10:29 -31) The LORD works out everything for his own ends— even the wicked for a day of disaster. (Prov. 16:4 NIV) Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime; it is the LORD who makes the storm clouds. He gives showers of rain to men, and plants of the field to everyone. (Zech. 10:1 NIV) Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? (Job 38:35)
Which do you say? Do you tell God about your big problems or tell your problems about your big God? No problem is bigger than God unless we believe it is? Joshua & Caleb
Fickled Faith Elijah defeats prophets of Baal Had no proof that God would do what He did, but Elijah believed Then…he fled Jezebel….why? Magnify God and not your problems
Summary of How This Works 1. We experience pain. 2. We inquire inwardly to find the lie. 3. We find the truth. 4. We choose to believe the truth (or the joyful delusion). 5. We experience the fruit of the Spirit.
Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. (Ps. 112:1,7-8)
The Deceptive Mind, Interpersonal Relationships and Everyday Life Class 3
Psalm 118:4-7 NIV Let those who fear the LORD say: "His love endures forever." In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The LORD is with me; he is my helper.
My Irritation at My Ecclesia 1. Who angers, irritates, saddens, or frustrates you, and why? I am frustrated with my ecclesia because when I was repeatedly attacked and maligned by brethren in a local ecclesia, they did little to stand up for me.
My Irritation at My Ecclesia 2. How do you want them to change? What do you want them to do? I want my ecclesia to stand up for me and do what is right. I want them to stop equating placation with peace-making.
My Irritation at My Ecclesia 3. What is it that they should or shouldn't do, be, think, or feel? My ecclesia shouldn’t think that watching idly as a member of their ecclesia is publicly pummeled is doing God’s will or somebody else’s job.
My Irritation at My Ecclesia 4. What do they need to do in order for you to be happy? I need my ecclesia to stick up for me unless they think I am wrong. They either need to rebuke me for what I am doing or rebuke them for what they are doing. Stop watching from the sidelines and get in the game.
My Irritation at My Ecclesia 5. What do you think of them? Make a list. My ecclesia is filled with genuinely nice people. If they have a fault, it is apathy and lack of doing in the middle age group. The default gear tends to be neutral.
My Irritation at My Ecclesia 6. What is it that you don't want to experience with that person again? I don't ever want to find myself being attacked and looking hopelessly for support from my ecclesia only to find them trying to work some misguided compromise solution with my attackers.
Four Questions on People 1. Is it true? 2. Can you absolutely know that it is true? 3. How do you feel when you think that thought? 4. Who would you be without that thought? Turn it around!
My Irritation at My Ecclesia 3. What is it that they should or shouldn't do, be, think, or feel? My ecclesia shouldn’t think that watching idly as a member of their ecclesia is publicly pummeled is doing God’s will or somebody else’s job. They should think that because they honestly do think that. I am in their business when I get upset at how they act.
My Irritation at My Ecclesia 5. What do you think of them? Make a list. My ecclesia is filled with genuinely nice people. If they have a fault, it is apathy and lack of doing in the middle age group. The default gear tends to be neutral. Turnaround: I should not be apathetic and lack in doing. My ecclesia is doing their job.
Forgiveness For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matt. 6:14-15)
How God Forgives Us Ps 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
God Forgets? Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
The Deceptive Mind and Forgiveness “They didn’t repent.” Assumes they get the benefit of your forgiveness. Assumes forgiveness means no appropriate discipline. “They shouldn’t have done what they did.” Unless you invent a time machine, it IS DONE.
The Deceptive Mind and Forgiveness “Forgiveness means apathy.” “I’ll forgive after it is dealt with properly.” From which position are we best able to judge righteously? Anger Love
Reasons for Matt. 18 Forgive first! If you are still angry, upset, grieved, etc. you need to get the beam out of your own eye first. The point is to recover your brother. Get your facts straight. Seldom done right!
The Deceptive Mind & Worry So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt. 6:31-34 NIV)
Worry What if I lose my job? Then I can’t pay my mortgage. Then I’ll lose my house. Then I’ll be out on the street. Then I’ll die. We are all mentally ill. It is just a matter of degrees. (Bro. Ken Roth)
The Turnaround What if I get a promotion? What if I lose my job? Then God will provide me a better job with more money and less hours. Then I can have more time for the Lord’s work. Then I’ll be able to help so many people.
Choosing the Joyful Delusion Choice of two beliefs…. One belief upsets you One makes you happy Both are made up
Whatif by Shel Silverstein Last night, while I lay thinking here, some Whatifs crawled inside my ear and pranced and partied all night long and sang their same old Whatif song: Whatif I'm dumb in school? Whatif they've closed the swimming pool? Whatif I get beat up? Whatif there's poison in my cup? Whatif I start to cry? Whatif I get sick and die? Whatif I flunk that test? Whatif green hair grows on my chest? Whatif nobody likes me? Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don't grow tall? Whatif my head starts getting smaller? Whatif the fish won't bite? Whatif the wind tears up my kite? Whatif they start a war? Whatif my parents get divorced? Whatif the bus is late? Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight? Whatif I tear my pants? Whatif I never learn to dance? Everything seems well, and then the nighttime Whatifs strike again!
One Day at a Time Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt. 6:34) An anxious heart weighs a man down…. (Prov. 12:25 NIV) We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28)
Fret Not… Ps 37:1 A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. Ps 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Pr 24:19 Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked.
God Had Already Revealed This Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner. (Ecc. 5:10-13 NIV)
Four Questions on Worry 1. Is it true? 2. Can you absolutely know that it is true? 3. How do you feel when you think that thought? 4. Who would you be without that thought? Turn it around!
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:4-7 NIV)
Potential Pitfalls in Christadelphianism to Living Victoriously in Christ (Over?) Emphasis on Future KOG Quote on Facebook: “Sometimes the wickedness of human nature and the sadness and suffering in the world are so overwhelming...when I feel like that, I just pray and pray for the kingdom to come. Its the only solution!” Tendency to think our this life in negative terms “Probation” The world is evil
Paul’s Goading “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” A six foot spear For prodding oxen to do the right thing – one of many ox analogies Not needed for obedient oxen Are we goaded?
How does God work in our lives? Bible is plain-spoken about what God wants from us. One of the ways he corrects us is goading. Not helpful to speculate on other people’s goading. Very helpful to examine our own goading.
How do we react? Paul obviously didn’t react the way Christ wanted. How do we react? Blow it off? Complain about it? Play the blame game? See the opportunity to improve?
Rejoicing in Trials And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (Heb 12:5-7) Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations. (1 Peter 1:6)
Reticular Activating System Our brain’s filter between the conscious and the subconscious You can program it
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Php 4:8)
The Deceptive Mind in Bible Characters Class 4
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matt. 28:18-20)
Have you ever thought… If I only had more money, power, sex appeal, intelligence….then I would… OR If I only had a simpler life, then I would…
Give me neither poverty nor riches -- Feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, "Who is the LORD?" Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God." (Prov 30:8b-9)
Solomon Had It All Wealth Carnal Pleasures Power Sexual Gratification Wisdom Family Connections Creative/Artistic Abilities Fame
His goal was to find meaning “under the sun”…where did he search? I devoted myself to study. (1:13 NIV) I will test you with pleasure. (2:1 NIV) I undertook great projects. (2:4 NIV) I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. (2:8 NIV) I acquired… a harem. (2:8 NIV) I became greater by far than anyone. (2:9 NIV)
His Goal Was to Find Meaning “Under the Sun” The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." 1:1-2 NIV) Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. (2:11 NIV) So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. (2:17 NIV) Man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. (3:18 NIV)
I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men: God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil. (6:1-2 NIV)
Love Life…All of It 1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. 9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.
The Lesson 1. A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God. (2:24 NIV) 2. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. (3:12-13 NIV) 3. So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. (3:22 NIV)
The Lesson 4. Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart. (5:18-20)
The Lesson 5. I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun. (8:15 NIV) 6. Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun— all your meaningless days. (9:7-9)
The Lesson (with the big asterisk!) 7. However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. But let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything to come is meaningless. Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment. * (11:8,9 NIV)
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. (7:14 NIV)
Take Aways from Solomon We need to dismiss the “If I only…” You can have everything and still have nothing Enjoy your life within the context of godliness True joy under the sun is realized when we operate above the sun
Job Lost It All Wealth Power Family Health Standing in the Community
I’m Kind of a Big Deal 7,000 sheep 3,000 camels 500 yoke of oxen 500 she-donkeys “and many servants besides.” (Job 1:3 NJB) "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.”
The Sabaeans swept down on them and carried them off, and put the servants to the sword: I alone have escaped to tell you. (v. 15) “The fire of God”, he said, “has fallen from heaven and burnt the sheep and shepherds to ashes: I alone have escaped to tell you.” (v. 16) “The Chaldeans,” he said, “three bands of them, have raided the camels and made off with them, and put the servants to the sword: I alone have escaped to tell you.” “Your sons and daughters”, he said, “were eating and drinking at their eldest brother’s house, when suddenly from the desert a gale sprang up, and it battered all four corners of the house which fell in on the young people. They are dead: I alone have escaped to tell you.”
Why did people react this way? He has alienated my brothers from me, my relatives take care to avoid me, my intimate friends have gone away and the guests in my house have forgotten me. My slave-girls regard me as an intruder, a stranger as far as they are concerned. My servant does not answer when I call him, I am obliged to beg favours from him! My breath is unbearable to my wife, my stench to my own brothers. Even the children look down on me, whenever I stand up, they start jeering at me. All my dearest friends recoil from me in horror: those I loved best have turned against me. (Job 19:13-19 NJB)
Why did people react this way? Children of scoundrels, worse, nameless people, the very outcasts of society! And these are the ones who now make up songs about me and use me as a byword! Filled with disgust, they keep their distance, on seeing me, they spit without restraint. And since God has loosened my bow-string and afflicted me, they too throw off the bridle in my presence. Their brats surge forward on my right, to see when I am having a little peace, and advance on me with threatening strides. They cut off all means of escape seizing the chance to destroy me, and no one stops them. (Job 30:8-13 NJB)
Remember Job For your example, brothers, in patiently putting up with persecution, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name; remember it is those who had perseverance that we say are the blessed ones. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and understood the Lord’s purpose, realising that the Lord is kind and compassionate. (James 5:10-11)
All of this came from God “The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” (1:18 NIV) “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (1:21-22 NIV) “You incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” (2:3 NIV) “Surely, O God, you have worn me out; you have devastated my entire household.” (Job 16:7)
The Deceiver Speaks Satan: "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face." (Job 1:9-11 NIV) Job’s Wife: His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" (2:9 NIV)
The Deceiver Speaks Job: "Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb? (3:11 NIV) Bildad: “When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.” (8:4 NIV) Job: “God assails me and tears me in his anger and gnashes his teeth at me; my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.” (16:9 NIV)
The Deceiver Speaks Eliphaz: "Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins endless? You demanded security from your brothers for no reason; you stripped men of their clothing, leaving them naked. You gave no water to the weary and you withheld food from the hungry, though you were a powerful man, owning land— an honored man, living on it. And you sent widows away empty-handed and broke the strength of the fatherless. That is why snares are all around you, why sudden peril terrifies you, (22:5-10 NIV)
Take Aways from Job God was working to save the three friends through Job’s suffering He was also refining Job God is right! We need to trust that God knows what he is doing – especially in the face of severe trial!
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Phil 4:4-9 NIV)
The Deceptive Mind Destroyed in Christ Class 5
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
Christ Had the Deceptive Mind Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. (Heb. 2:14) And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (Mark 14:36) And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts. (Mark 3:5)
It Tried to Tell Him Lies If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down. All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. The Pinnacle of the Temple
An Example to Follow For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. (1 Peter 2:21) If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Matt. 16:24)
What was God trying to say? Matthew 21:33-39 John 1 – “the word” made flesh Heb. 1:1-2
Who has the problem? Running from God Don’t believe God Don’t obey God How do we fix it?
3 Levels of Spiritual Love 1. “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” 2. “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” 3. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
God and Christ are not against us! For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (v. 18) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (vvs. 31-37)
Summary: Listening to God, not the Deceptive Mind We say: "It's impossible" God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27) We say: "I'm too tired" God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30) We say: "Nobody really loves me" God says: I love you (John 3:1 6 & John 3:34 ) We say: "I can't go on" God says: My grace is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9 & Psalm 91:15) We say: "I can't figure things out" God says: I will direct your steps (Prov. 3:5- 6) We say: "I can't do it" God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13) We say: "I'm not able" God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8) Courtesy of Sis. Jen Vortriede
Summary: Listening to God, not the Deceptive Mind We say: "It's not worth it" God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28 ) We say: "I can't forgive myself" God says: I forgive you (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1) We say: "I can't manage" God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19) We say: "I'm afraid" God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7) We say: "I'm always worried and frustrated" God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Pet 5:7) We say: "I'm not smart enough" God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30, James 1:5) We say: "I feel all alone" God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Heb. 13:5) Courtesy of Sis. Jen Vortriede
Did we accomplish? 1. Understand our real problem and how to overcome it. 2. Empower us with the tools to do so. 3. Practice these techniques. 4. Ultimately, make us live better, happier, more productive, more righteous lives. 5. Move us one more step toward perfection (God).
The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. (1 Thess. 5:23-24)