The one big idea: Grace is the act of free an unmerited favor that flows from God’s chesed (unfailing) love and finds its highest expression in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
1. Since only God’s grace enables me to do anything at all, I must always guard against thinking too highly of myself or my accomplishments.
2. It is a great tragedy when people presume upon God’s grace to the point where they despise it even as they seek it. May this never be true of us.
2. Repentance is a divine demand and forgiveness is given only because of divine grace not because of human sorrow.
Danger for God’s people can come from outside and from inside the covenant community.
1. When we fail to honor those who are instruments of God’s grace in our lives, we demean the giver of that grace.
2. Church leadership is a calling, not a convenience. We are to choose the best as defined by God, not just the available .
3. God will, at the right time, cause evil to destroy itself before it can destroy His people.
The character of the people is reflected in the character of the leaders they choose.
Judges 7:24 – 8:32
The one big idea:
As Christians, we must never forget that God stands behind every achievement in our vocation and our personal holiness.
1. I must never let my concern for status or my pursuit of security undermine the unity and energy of the church.
2. Every failure to recognize God as the source of our being and the fount that enables our good works is due to the sin of pride.
3. No amount of human folly can ever undo God’s promise of eternal life to His elect.
The one big idea:
Weak is not in the way we look or how we feel, weak is what we are. God wants us to recognize this truth because He uses servants not heroes in His redeeming work.
1. Weak is what we are and God will not use us in His work until we recognize our weakness.
2. God delights in my weakness because He is glorified when He gives me strength to stand for Him in every situation.
3. It is not our hand that saves us but the hand that was pierced by nails.
Proverbs 31: 10-31, Ruth 1-4
The one big idea: This is a portrait of the woman every man should desire to marry. Here we see how and why the godly woman brings honor to her husband, her family herself, and her God.
1. The Proverbs 31 woman is wisdom. The wise woman develops these traits which bring blessing and praise to her husband, her family herself, and her God.
2. The blessings promised in Proverbs 31 require the self-sacrificing efforts of both the husband and wife.
3. In Proverbs 31, God is gently steering every woman to the truth of the Gospel and the hope that is promised in Christ.
Judges 6: 1-40
The one big idea: In difficult times, often God’s only offer is “I will be with you.” It may not be the response we want, but it’s always sufficient for our needs.
1. God allows our trials and the consequences of sin to afflict us so we can see His mercy in the proper light.
2. I can believe God’s promise to be with me because it is the foundation for His eternal praise, glory, and honor.
3. The only reasonable response to God’s act of saving me is a full commitment to Christ in every are of my life.
God allows affliction to teach me to trust Him and learn to find comfort in knowing He will always deliver me.
God is Sovereign and His will is always done, yet He gives us the privilege of playing an important part in that work.
We sing to remind ourselves that regardless of the time or trials we face God will preserve us until we are finally home with Him forever.
1. Sin cannot be controlled or morality established by external means. The only solution to sine is change from within.
2. Sin has the unimaginable power to enslave. Only God as the sovereign warrior is able to defeat sin’s power and free His people.
3. The final expression of God as a warrior is found in the perfect obedience of Jesus, even unto death, to crush the power of sin forever.
God often chooses to work in strange ways to show us that His ways are not our ways.
1. In these Old Testament stories, and in our daily lives, we must focus on the salvation God brings, not on the method He chooses.
2. Because we cannot fully grasp the heights of God’s holiness, we will always fail to see the true depths of our sin.
3. Jesus Christ is the final Judge whom God raised up to deliver His people fully and finally from the power of sin.
Judges 3:7-11 Throughout Judges, when Israel ‘cried out’ to the Lord, it doesn’t necessarily mean they cried out form repentance. Yet God was faithful to deliver them from the oppression He had brought upon them. 1. God’s wrath expressed in consequences for sin shows His steadfast love that will not allow His people to remain…