Archives For Bible Studies

Bible studies from God’s holy word.

Welcome back to the new series, Livin’ the ‘Tudes here on ZachMalott.com! I am excited about this series that will also be developed into a book and Bible study. I hope that you will discover great meaning that you have never before seen in Jesus’ first recorded sermon in the New Testament. If you are just now discovering this series, here is a link to PART 1 that I hope you will take the time to read. The beatitudes are sequential. We will spend some time in each beatitude and relish the many facets of this finely-cut diamond that was cut by the trusting and faithful hand of Jesus Christ Himself and found in God’s word beginning at Matthew 5:3-10.

“Do you have a clear picture of the beatitudes and what they represent?  You CAN!”

We left off last week with the question of, “Why?” Why does mankind, in varying degrees, seem to gravitate towards the things that the Holy Bible, the word of God, calls sin? From a true, Christian worldview, the answer is simple. Mankind is fallen, meaning he has fell from grace, he turned away from his creator to follow his own ways. The Christian knows that this first occurred in the Garden of Eden when Eve, then Adam, first sinned (putting themselves first above God) and brought all mankind into the position of an enemy against God Himself. There it is. This is the answer of why: disobedience and lost fellowship with God.

Enter Jesus.

We can look at Jeremiah 31:31-34 and see where the new covenant was prophesied. We can then look at Hebrews 8. Click on the link and read it. Let God’s own words tell you about the new covenant that replaces the old. Let God’s word allow you understand who Jesus is. Then let us proceed to discover the path called The Way. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). If you are not a Christian, if you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, the Son of God, and you want to know Him and live for eternity with Him, CLICK HERE.

If you are a Christian and have a personal relationship with Jesus, you know that you have eternal life. Is your life being lived in obedience to God? Are you putting God first in your life? Do you know you CAN live out the Christian life that Jesus first described in the beatitudes? You CAN walk the walk that He modeled for us as he walked about during the 3 ½ years of His earthly ministry!  Do you have a clear picture of the beatitudes and what they represent?  You CAN!

Be here next week and find out!

Next week, we will delve into the first of the beatitudes. We will examine it and delve into the true meaning and context of the original language to see what the words really mean. We will pray together before we begin for Holy Spirit guidance and we will pray again after we end our study. In fellowship and love we will begin a journey that was granted us in Scripture in the first century by Jesus Christ, the living Son of Almighty God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

“Father God, please bless this study of your word and let the Holy Spirit reveal the truths of your word and plant the seeds that lead to a righteous walk of an obedient and faithful servant of Christ Jesus.  It is in the name of Jesus Christ we pray, amen.”

Will you join me?

Blessings,

Zach

Hello and welcome back!

I’m excited today! I want to share that excitement with YOU! Share what, you ask? I was reading in 2 Kings this morning and I had just turned to 2 Kings 6 and began reading about the floating axe head.

If you are not familiar with this passage of Scripture, please read it HERE.

If you remember, Elisha took on Elijah’s position after he had been taken up to heaven in a chariot. Elisha was then blessed with a double portion of the Holy Spirit.

In 2 Kings 6, Elisha was busily training new profits in prophet school when one of his students mentioned the fact that the quarters they were training and living in was just too crowded.

The student suggested the he and the rest of the prophets-in-training go to the river and each cut a beam from which a new dwelling place could be constructed for them to live and train.

Elisha said, “Sounds like a plan, go to it!”

We all know what happens next. One student’s iron axe head flies off the handle and lands in the river. It rapidly sinks to the bottom as iron has a tendency to do when it falls into water.

“Do You Examine Your Spiritual Walk With Christ Daily?”

What happens next is what God gave to me this morning to give to you!

What do we do when we lose our cutting edge in serving Jesus?

Let’s look at three things in 2 Kings 6:1-6 for a solution:

The young prophet student lost his ax head making him unable to complete God’s work. Have you ever lost something that made you unable to carry on with your normal routine? I have. I once lost my car keys. It took me over 3 hours to get another one made and get on with my routine. I also once lost my wallet. Not only did I lose the money and credit cards, I had to take the time to cancel the cards and send off for another SS card, driver’s license, etc. I also had to borrow $20 from a close friend until I could get to the bank for more cash. When we lose our cutting edge for carrying out our obligations to God’s kingdom, we become worthless in pursuing God’s work.

We must identify the exact spot where we lost our cutting edge. Pray in Jesus’ name for help in remembering when you first list the cutting edge and what was happening. Elisha asked the young student, “Where did it fall?” The best way to find something is to remember where you last had it. Did I begin to lose my cutting edge when I quit attending Sunday School? Did I lose it when I started missing church? Maybe I lost it when I thought I didn’t have time to read my Bible daily? Could it be I have allowed sin to dilute my relationship with God? Have I become complacent in my Christian walk?

When we pray and God points out where we lost our cutting edge, we must do our part to retrieve it! Elisha raised the iron axe head through the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t put it back on the handle. He told the young student to reach out and get it. We must do the same when the Holy Spirit answers our prayer and points out where it was that we lost our cutting edge. God wants you, like the young prophet student, to do your part in recovering your cutting edge for kingdom work!

What if the young student had regularly checked the security of his axe head to the handle?

Do you self-inspect your spiritual walk with Christ regularly?

We are told to do a self-examination to discover our spiritual “fitness” when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Why not do it at the end of each day? If we discover our axe head getting loose, we can tighten it before it falls off and we will not have gaps in our obedience to Christ.

Summary:

Admit you have lost your cutting edge.
Pray for guidance to discover the exact place you lost it (and what was happening at the time.
When God raises it up, reach out and put your cutting edge (axe head) back on the handle and serve Christ!

The 1st Beatitude holds the answer to the question, “Do you examine (self-inspect) your walk with Christ regularly? I’m beginning a series on the beatitudes on my blog beginning next week.

The beatitudes are the key to Walking in the Way of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION:ARE YOU LIVIN’ THE ‘TUDES?

PLEASE SHARE DANGER! WHEN DID YOU LAST EXAMINE YOURSELF? (All Christians need a refresher course from time to time)

Second Installment:  God’s Call

Hello and welcome back!

ABRAHAM’S CALL

Abraham was living in Ur at the time of God’s call.  He didn’t accept the idolatry that was taking place all around him.  Abraham was a man, according to historical Jewish tradition accounts, under persecution for his stand for morality.

What we do know for fact is that God called Abraham as recorded in Acts 7:2-3 (NIV):  2  To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran.  3 ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’”

Can you see the shadow of things to come in this call God gave to Abraham?  Think on it: this first voice pointing to many such calls throughout the history of God’s people.

“When God calls us, he doesn’t always answer the question, ‘Why, Lord?'”

This same voice called to Matthew who left his position during the course of his work and followed Jesus.  This same voice called out to Peter to leave the nets and follow Him.

The voice that Abraham heard that day was a voice that is a call to separate – to abandon the known and to walk into the unknown.

This was a call to walk a different path.

Such calls from God prepare the called one to grow.  Leaving everything known behind and obediently following God’s call forces the called one to become responsible, to pay attention to his surroundings, to expand his understanding without relying on other’s to do it for him.

YOUR PERSONAL CALL

Has God called you to action?  Has He given you a direction that He wants you to follow?

When God calls, be an Abraham.  Do not deny God.  When god calls, you may need to leave everything you know behind but God never calls without He leads the way to the destination.  To be a person who walks with God and not with the world, you have to follow His lead in order to be in fellowship with Him.

What does answering God’s call and following Him look like?

1.       There are trials and difficulties.

Following God means giving up yourself.  In other words, you may need to leave familiar surroundings.  You may have to say goodbye to family and friends.  You may be required to give up a secure material lifestyle to follow Him.  Following the Lord can at times be isolated from friends and loved once we are on God’s path for us.  Although we are expectant of unbelievable riches in heaven, the here and now can be rough.  To sum it up, seven words from the mouth of Jesus says it all in the garden, “Not my but Your will be done.”\

2.       It always proves to be for our own good.

Sheltered and surrounded by family can lead to weakness.  Strength develops when we find ourselves alone and in different surroundings.  We can discover how to handle responsibility.  Learning to trust God rather than self comes from being helpless and alone.  Total trust in Jesus grows faith.  When we release our grip upon the material world, we open the door to spiritual growth.  The world benefits too when we begin, through faith, to be salt and light to a spiritually dead world.

3.       The call comes with a promise.

When God calls us, he doesn’t answer the question, “Why, Lord?”  He may not give reasons for His call but he always gives a promise.  The promise is easily understood while the reason might be beyond our comprehension.  Let’s look at a call (command) and a promise (God’s promises are a guarantee): John 11:25-26 (NIV) 25  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26  and whoever lives and believes in me will never die…”  We can see the call being to believe and the promise to be never dying.

The promise is always greater than the price of the calling.  This is because He who guarantees is our Almighty Father in heaven.  Glory to His name!

(…to be continued)

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION:  Are you fulfilling God’s call on your life?

First Installment: Out of Darkness and Into the Light.

Hello and welcome back!

It’s great that you are here!  We are beginning a brand new post series!  This series will consist of several postings that deal with the life of the Friend of God, Abraham, the patriarch.

The importance of the life of Abraham in both the Old and New Testament is indisputable.  Without knowledge of this patriarch of the Hebrew nation, a great hole will be left in the Christian’s Scriptural understanding.

This is the purpose of this post series.  These mini-lessons will enlighten you about Abraham, the father of the great Hebrew nation of Israel.

Many passages in Scripture would be less likely to be understood without this knowledge.

Around 2,000 years before Christ appeared on the scene, in the city of Ur, Abraham first came into contact with God.

Abraham’s descendants sprang from Shem, lived in this flourishing land of fertile growth.

The beautiful expanse of sky in that region provided the best viewing for the wonders of the heavens.  This may be a possible reason they worshiped the heavenly bodies with a form of religion that wrapped around idols and a form of licentiousness that occurs when a people is out of obedience and community with God.

Through this one man, Abraham, God began the process of reconciliation between Himself and the human race, as he had done after the flood through Moses.

He separated Abraham and some of His relatives and sent the away from the place they called home towards a land they had never seen but that God promised to them if they remained in obedience to Him.

This happening occurred around 400 years after the flood.

The Hamites (descendants of Ham, son of Noah) were already in the land when the Shemites (the people descended from Shem, Abraham’s linage).

They settled where their patriarch, Terah, decided which was in the excellent pasture lands on the outskirts of Ur.

The detrimental effects of a people lowering their standards when confronted by a culture without morality created the slow but steady deterioration of the Shemites, Abraham’s people.  Their children who were brought up in these morally-challenged circumstances lost their moral compass.  The result was the gradual decay of the Shemite religion resulting in following the ways of the Hamites into idolatry.

Abraham grew up in this idolatrous culture of the Hamites and that cultures constant dilution of Abraham’s familial household.  Tradition shows that Abraham resisted the idolatrous lifestyle and the licentious behavior of this culture.

He came through the trials and tribulations of this culture and was chosen to be separated from this culture in order to call Abraham to leave the homeland of his youth and to follow Him to a promised land, to be set apart as God’s holy people.

Abraham was alone in his struggle to refrain from the morality and idol worship around him.  Grow in your determination to resist the modern cultural debased morality in which you find yourself, Christian!  It is a lonely walk but one in which God Himself walks with us, even when we cannot feel Him beside us.

Even in the lonely valley of this 21st century decadence – you reside, attend church, and work for a living.   Stand strong and uncompromising in the temptations of this morally-debased society.

God will see your faithfulness and will bring you out of the pit and you will be a light to those around you that reflect the true nature of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Like Abraham, God will lead you out of darkness and into the light.

Next Post: God’s Call to Follow

(…to be continued)

**These post on the life of Abraham will be found in the Bible study category**.

Until next time!

Zach

Question:  What do you think of this new post series?

Hello and welcome back!

My wife, Rhonda, asked me to say hello to you so here it is:

Rhonda: “Hello everyone!  Enjoy your study!”

Thank you, dear.  Ok, let’s get started!

I pray that all is well in your life as we begin this next look into the parables of Jesus.

Today, we are going to take a look at the overall, Big Picture of the parable.  In other words, each parable that Jesus tells reveals the Big Picture and that picture was, is, and always will be The Kingdom of Heaven!

You may be thinking, “What?  Every parable that Jesus tells that is recorded in God’s holy word, the Bible, is talking about the kingdom of heaven?”

Yes it is — the kingdom and what it consists of.

“This study reveals to the children of God the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven that the great prophets longed to see and understand but were not allowed to see during their earthly lives.”

Sometimes the kingdom of heaven is referred to as the kingdom of God.  They are both the same thing.  There is only one kingdom; it is God’s kingdom in heaven.  Matthew makes this quite plain:

He answered them, ‘Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, but it has not been given to them’” [emphasis mine].

~ Matthew 13:11 (HCSB)

The reason that we are also studying the beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount along with Jesus’ parables is because the kingdom of heaven is also the big picture there also; in fact, Jesus’ whole 3 ½ year ministry was about the kingdom of God!

Within the big picture of the kingdom of God we also find three close-up snap shots.  These three snapshots are as follows:

The Character of the Kingdom of God

The main parables that reflect this character of the kingdom are:

  •  The Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32).
  • The Leaven (Matthew 13:33).
  • The Hidden Treasure (Matthew 13:44).
  • The Pearl of Great Price (Matthew 13:45-46).

The King’s Character presents a snapshot within the big picture of the kingdom of Jesus Himself:

  •  The Vineyard Workers (Matthew 20:1-16).
  • The Prodigal (Lost) Son (Luke 15:11-32)

Character of the Subjects of God’s kingdom is referring to the individuals that make up the body of Christ in the church:

  • The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).
  • The Persistent Widow (Luke 18:1-8).

In this study, we are not eliminating the other parables.  What we are doing is showing the parables that point out these three snap shots and the obvious parables that represent them; all within the main big picture of the kingdom of God.

The other parables of Jesus also represent one or more of these three, close up snapshots of The kingdom’s character, the king’s character, and the subjects of the kingdom’s character.  All of the parables will be covered in this study!

This study reveals to the children of God the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven that the great prophets longed to see and understand but were not allowed to see during their earthly lives.

You have that privilege because you are resting in Jesus because you have been saved and adopted into the kingdom ( if not, please consider accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior).

Take a look at Matthew 13:11 and Matthew 13:35 below:

He answered them, ‘Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, but it has not been given to them’” (emphasis mine; those who are not true followers).

~ Matthew 13:11 (HCSB)

Now look at Matthew 13:35 below:

“…so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled: I will open My mouth in parables; I will declare things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”

~ Matthew 13:35 (HCSB)

This scripturally proves that until this time in the history of God’s creation these truths have never been revealed even to God’s chosen people.  They were not even revealed even to Abraham, Moses, David, all the way up until the ministry of Christ Jesus began that gave birth to the Church Age.

Before you begin this study of the parables of Jesus Christ, please consider the following Scripture verses:

“Then He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.’”

~ Mark 16:15-16 (HCSB)

Are you saved?  Have you received Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?  He is the only way to the Father and eternal life.  There are two paths; one leads to God and forgiveness for sin while the other leads to eternal damnation in the lake of eternal fire.

Please consider, “If you were to die today, do you know where you will spend eternity?”

That’s it for this post!  I have enjoyed sharing this time with you.

Next post, we will begin our study by painting a Word Picture of the kingdom of heaven!

I pray blessings on you and look forward to seeing you soon next post!

Until next time…

Zach

QUESTION:  Do You Know Jesus As Your Personal Lord And Savior?  Do You Know That You Are Going To Heaven?