Thursday, September 27, 2012

Join us next week...

Please join us on Wednesday October 3rd as we look deeper into Chapter 2 Joseph: Because God Meant It For Good of Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Enoch: The Man Who Walked With God

(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 1 of Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur.  Please know that we what all "learn" from a study may be different.  Therefore, we ask for you all to share your thoughts and feeling on this chapter as well.)

Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.  - Genesis 5:24

This week, we are introduced to our first hero, Enoch.  Why is Enoch an unlikely hero in the Bible?  What characteristics did he have to make him a hero?  What can we learn from Enoch to implement into our own lives?

Here are the main points that John MacArthur wrote which touched me the most in Chapter 1.  (Please note that these are only a few of the amazing thought provoking points that the author has made.  Therefore it is important for you to read the entire chapter.  What is listed below are the statements that made me think the most.  I'm sure that someone else was touched by things I did not mention.  I encourage you to share in the comments section below this post.)

*  Enoch is rightly regarded as a hero for the same reason: he stood strong over a long period of time. (p.2)
*  Even in the midst of a corrupt and perverse civilization (one so wicked the Lord determined to destroy it in the Flood), Enoch refused to compromise.  At time, he undoubtedly felt alone-as if the entire world were against him.  Yet he remained true to the Lord.  (p. 3)
*  Though Enoch's experiences were remarkable and unique, he still sets a compelling example for us to follow:  one of unwavering faith and uncompromising obedience.  (p. 4)
*  ...he stood against the corruption of his culture and walked with God for three centuries.  (p. 5)
*  Even so, he was able to demonstrate enduring righteousness-not because he was sinless but because he drew on divine resources.  (p. 6)
*  Thus, Enoch's righteous walk should not intimidate us.  Rather, as a witness to the life of faith (Hebrews 12:1), his example ought to motivate us to greater faithfulness and deeper resolve in our own walk with the Lord.  (p. 6)
*  Scripture, where this theme is reiterated and expanded, reveals that walking with God includes at least three component parts.  It begins with forgiveness from sin, consists of faith in the Lord, and results in fruits of righteousness.  (p. 8)
*  During his life, Enoch was characterized by intimate fellowship with God, personal integrity, and faithful preaching.  But it is his dramatic, death-free exit that sets Enoch apart.  (p. 18)
*  In the midst of a wicked generation, Enoch fellowshipped with God constantly.  For three centuries, he resisted the world's corruption, sought the Lord diligently, and lived in obedience to Him.  (p. 19)
*  In the end, God honored Enoch to show His pleasure with such faithful virtue.  (p. 19)

Enoch lived a very God-pleasing life.  How did he stay faithful and committed to God in a world that was falling apart?  He walked with God.  He constantly turned to God with everything in his life.  We can still do the same thing in today's world.  A world filled with confusion, corruption, anger, and worry.  We can live our lives like Enoch did by walking with God.

I'm sure you have days like I do.  You know, the ones were "autism" is at it's peak in your home.  The days when you felt like everything was getting so much better and in a blink of an eye, it all comes crashing down.  You feel overwhelmed.  You feel hopeless.  You feel alone.  It's in these moments that we have to turn to God.  We have to "walk with God".  We must have faith in God.  I think that's the one thing that I learned about Enoch that touched me the most.  No matter what was going on around him he trusted in God.  The only way we can do this is if we are constantly walking with Him.  Praying, talking to Him, reading His Word.  He is there with us and will help us through it all.  We just have to seek Him.

So, in the moments when you don't know what to do, you feel overwhelmed or completely alone, just stop what you are doing and find God.  Pray to Him and give Him your struggles and let Him comfort you and show you what to do next.  It's amazing what happens when you walk with God and have faith in Him.

John MacArthur writes on page 19:

As with all heroes of the faith listed in Hebrews 11, Enoch's life is notable not because of what he did, but because of how God's glory and greatness were displayed through him.  

We can all live a life like Enoch' where God's glory and greatness shines through us.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Intro to Twelve Unlikely Heroes

Before we begin this study, I think it important that we introduce the book and the author.  I know a lot of you are probably overwhelmed with back to school/back to home schooling as well as end of the summer plans.  Therefore, I wanted to give you all another week to get prepared for this study. (Myself as well.)   I don't want to rush this study.   We may have a few weeks here and there when we take two weeks to do a chapter.  Let's begin with the introduction.

John MacArthur, author of Twelve Unlikely Heroes, writes on page XI of the introduction:

"Even though the word hero does not occur in the New Testament, believers often refer to the biblical saints (such as those listed in Hebrews 11) as the "heroes of the faith."  They are regarded as heroes for two primary reasons:  they believed in the Lord, not just for salvation but for every aspect of life; and they acted on that faith, choosing to honor Him even when it was difficult to do so.  When their circumstances seemed impossible, they depended on God's wisdom and strength rather than their own.  And they kept their eyes on Him, choosing to trust in His promises rather than pursue the passing pleasures of sin."  -John MacArthur p. xi

John MacArthur is also quick to point out that the "Hero behind the heroes is always the Lord."  On page XIII he writes:

"Their legacy of faithfulness ultimately directs our attention heavenward, to the Source of their wisdom and strength-namely the Lord Himself.  My prayer for you, as you read this book, is that you will fix your eyes firmly on Him (cf. Hebrews 12:2)-recognizing, along with all the heroes of the faith, that those who put their trust in Him will never be disappointed.  (Romans 10:11).  -John MacArthur p XIII

I am very excited to begin this study with you.  I am believing that God is really going to grab ahold of our hearts through these "heroes" and teach us how we can trust in Him not only during our good moments but our challenging moments with autism as well.  Sometimes life gives us challenges that seem to hard for us to overcome.  I pray that through this study, we will all learn how to trust in Him and bring glory to Him even when the moments seem so overwhelming.

"For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.  But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put shame the things which are mighty."  - 1 Corinthians 1:26-27

Join me on Wednesday September 19th as we see how God used Enoch as one of his twelve unlikely heroes.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur

I'm so excited to announce that our next study will be Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur.  Please join us on Wednesday September 12th as we discuss Chapter 1.