Big Hill Christian Church

1150 Goggins Lane, Richmond, KY

Big Hill Bible Studies
30 April 2018
 
Psalm 118:24
 
"This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."   (NASB)
 
Each day this week I thought we could take a look to a verse that could help us set the tone for that day.  Since Mondays seem to be the hardest for most folks, I thought this verse may help our perspective in knowing the LORD made Mondays too.
 
If you tend to view Monday as the first obstacle of the work week, open your Bible and read Psalm 118.  This psalm is subtitled "Thanksgiving for the LORD's Saving Goodness" in my NASB.  It begins with another familiar passage, "Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting."  It would seem those two passages should get our week off to the proper start.  God has made this Monday, and I am going to rejoice in it and thank Him for his eternal loving kindness to me. 
 
Now here is the challenge.  It is not enough just to read this passage, close your Bible and go back to the Monday morning blues.  You have to live the passage.  This is what I mean by "live the passage."  Start off by finding things that God has done to show you He made the day.  Open your blinds and look at the sunrise.  The Weather Channel says Monday morning is to be cool and clear.  Breathe the fresh air - thank God you are able to do that.  Get a cup of coffee and thank Him for caffeine.  Tell your family you love them.  Call a friend and wish them a good day.  Drive a different way to work and notice the changes you've been missing every morning.  Set the tone.  Turn on a Christian radio station and sing along - loudly (hopefully the car pool will join in).  Spend the day looking for evidence that "this is the day which the LORD has made" and rejoice in them when you find them.  If it works for you I believe you will have an impact on those around you.  Let them know you are celebrating Monday, because the Lord has given you the day to be glad in.  Let me know how it goes for you today.      
 
Stand Firm,
Jim
Big Hill Bible Studies
27 April 2018
 
This Sunday's sermon is titled, "Just As I Am."  The scripture text is taken from Matthew 14:13-33 and John 6:1-21.  This covers the account of Jesus feeding the 5,000.  It also records Jesus walking on the water to the disciples caught in a storm.  I believe in looking to these two passages we will be able to see ourselves "just as we are."  Whether we are following Jesus for what He can do for us, feeling all alone in a storm,  wondering if we see Him, pleading for His help as we are sinking, or sitting back and watching others step out on faith wishing we could do the same, I believe we are able to see ourselves and the need we have to come to Him.
 
The song "Just As I Am" was written by Charlotte Elliott in 1834.  She was an invalid who battled with self worth for a long period of her life.  She wrote this song and called it the "Formula to her faith."  There are six verses to this song that are filled with descriptions of our lives.  I'm sure we all have sung this song multiple times, but as you go back and recall the words, consider your life and the battles you may be going through.  Think of the love He has for you and His desire to have you come to Him.  Realize the promise He has given to give you rest, never leave or forsake you, hear your prayers, come and abide in your heart.  The fifth verse of this old hymn is my favorite.  It talks of His willingness to accept us, forgive us, and give us rest.  It goes to explain that we believe the promise and come to Him.  It's my prayer that you consider the truth in His promise that we can come just as we are and when we do we will never be the same.  His love and power will make us new, heal our brokenness and give a joy and peace that will last forever.  Why would we choose to live a life of limitation when He has all we need?
 
Read these passages and look up the words to the hymn.  Come worship with us Sunday.  Bring yourself just as you are and be prepared to leave a new creation in Christ.   
 
Stand Firm,
Jim
Big Hill Bible Studies
26 April 2018
 
1 Timothy 4:16
 
"Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you."                                                              -  1 Timothy 4:16 (NASB)
 
Paul is writing here to his "son" Timothy and giving him some sage advice.  This is good for us to hear as well.  Let's take a hard look to Paul's words and see how they apply to our lives today.
 
How closely do we watch ourselves and what we teach?  Do we even realize what we are doing?  When you respond to hate, to criticism, or even to an attack on your faith - do you see your response being weighed by those who are looking to see how a Christian responds?  Do we have love in our heart or bitterness on our tongue?
 
Proverbs 1:7 teaches, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."  Do we see the opportunities to exercise that in our everyday life?  As you go about your day today, try to keep track of how many times you are placed in "teaching situations" that may affect those around you?  "Pay close attention" to how you approach, handle, and respond to life's ups and downs.  Realize you are "preaching the gospel" in every situation you encounter.  Make the most of the opportunities and realize the Lord provides.  Be consistent in your stands and watch others.  Look to the Lord for guidance, knowledge, and wisdom, then apply what He provides and watch your relationship to Him grow stronger and closer.  Share that strength in love and unity, realizing your salvation is secure and those around will see it for what it is - eternal.   
 
Stand Firm,
Jim
Big Hill Bible Studies
24 April 2018
 
John 3:16-17
 
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."
 
Verse 16 is amazing in and of itself - God loves us so much the He sent His only Son, so we could have the opportunity to believe in Him and have eternal life.  Verse 17 continues to prove to us that He loves us.  Jesus was sent not only for us to believe in Him, but to save us from the sinful nature we are born into.  The Father sent the Son to us, not to judge us for who we are, but to deliver us from it and make us new in Him.  What else could He possibly do for us?  
 
Why do we find it so hard to accept His offer to us?  Is there something more we want?  There isn't anything more we need.  What is keeping you from accepting the love of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, as your Savior?  If you have already accepted Him, who do you know that needs to?  Are you able to explain to them what this means to you? 
 
Consider your life without Christ.  Now rejoice in the fact you have Him.  Go tell someone.  Let me know what you think. 
      
Stand Firm,
Jim
Big Hill Bible Studies
24 April 2018
 
John 3:16-17
 
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not sent the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."                                                                     -  John 3:16-17 (NASB)
 
Let's continue our study of John 3:16-17 by picking up where we left of yesterday.  We covered, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him. . ."  Today, I'd like to address the rest of verse 16, "shall not perish, but have eternal life."
 
If you are reading from a King James Version of Scripture, John 3:16 states, " . . .that whosoever believeth in him should not perish. . ."  The same is true if you read the ESV.  This brings up the question does "should" and "shall" mean the same thing?  No, they do not.  "Should" indicates a conditional situation, while "shall" indicates a certainty.  When you go to the original Greek you will find neither "should" nor "shall" is used.  The translation reads, "All believing in him not perish but have without end life."  Did the translators put these in just for the sentence to flow?  Some commentators speak of the absolute negative "ook" use of the word "may" which speaks of a qualified person.  They contend this indicates "should" is the proper word to use.
 
When in doubt, dig.  Scripture will not contradict itself.  Let's look to a few other scripture references for help.  And to be extra cautious, I'll quote all these passages from the KJV.
 
Acts 15:11 >  "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved."
Acts 16:31 >  "And they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved, and thy house."
Romans 10:9 >  "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
Ephesians 1:13-14 >  "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
 
In each of these passages I see a certainty of salvation in belief.  The belief in God's love and His grace.  The belief in His Son, sent to show the Father's love and atone for our sins by the shedding of His blood to cover them.  The belief in His conquering of death and promise of an eternity spent with Him.  It seems to me the promise is sealed.  I can not find a passage that supports a conditional salvation for the believer.  We cannot earn our salvation, see 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5, and Ephesians 2:8.  It does not make sense to me that if I call on the name of the Lord, believe in Him as my Lord and Savior, and live a life of obedience to His commands because I love Him that my salvation would still  be conditional.  Let me know what  you think.    
 
Stand Firm,
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Jim
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