Children’s SS Lesson – Pray to God

“Pray to God!”

If you’re having trouble with your homework, who might you ask for help? If you hurt yourself while playing outside, who might you ask for help? If you are hungry and need a snack, who might you ask for help? When we need help, we ask others for help. We all need help with things at different times. Did you know God is also willing and able to help you when you have problems in life? You can pray and ask Him for help! Say with me, “Pray to God!”
Have you ever heard news that made you really sad or that you worried about. Maybe your parents got a phone call about someone being hurt or sick. Or maybe you heard something on the TV or internet about something bad happening somewhere in the world. Hearing bad news can be very scary. Do you remember from the last lesson what bad news the Jewish people heard?  Haman had made a law that all the Jews were to be killed on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month.

In every province the Jews fasted (stopped eating) and wept after they read this law. Many showed their sorrow by wearing sackcloth—clothing made of rough fabric—and covering themselves in ashes. This was often how people who were very sad would dress. That way other people would know they were very sad. The Jews knew the law could never be changed.

As Mordecai read the decree, he felt very sad for his people. He stood outside the king’s gate and showed how upset he was by crying out loudly, covering himself in ashes, and wearing sackcloth. 
 

In the palace, Queen Esther’s servants told her that Mordecai was outside the king’s gate dressed in sackcloth and crying loudly. She wondered why he was wearing sackcloth and sent a servant to give him some clothes and find out what happened.

But Mordecai refused the clothes. When Esther found out, she was very concerned. She sent Hatach (HAY-tak), a trusted servant to find out what was wrong with Mordecai.

Mordecai explained the new law to Hatach and handed him a copy of the decree that had been posted in the city. “Take this to the queen,” Mordecai urged. “Tell her that she must go to the king and beg for the lives of her people!”

Hatach returned to Queen Esther and handed her the copy of the law. He told her exactly what Mordecai had said.

Now Esther knew the great danger she and her people were in. But Mordecai was asking her to go to the king. That would be dangerous too! The law in Persia stated that if anyone—even the queen—went before the king uninvited, the king could have that person immediately put to death unless the king held out his golden scepter—a special rod that showed his power. The king had not asked Esther to come to him for the past month.

This was a problem for Esther. Either she could die going to the king, or her people would certainly die if she didn’t. Esther needed help.

When you need help in your life, do you worry about what you should do? All of us face hard things at some point. Maybe you’re starting a new after-school activity and you worry the kids won’t like you. Maybe you are scared about getting hurt or dying. Or maybe you have a decision to make about which sport to play and you aren’t sure what to do. Sometimes you can get worried, afraid, or even angry when troubles happen in your life. But if Jesus is your Savior, you can pray to God and trust Him to help you. Tell Him what troubles you’re facing and trust Him to help you.

 “Pray to God!”  Our memory verse talks about this. (Quote Philippians 4:6) You don’t have to worry or be afraid when you trust God. God loves you and wants to help you.

Esther and her people needed help. Trouble could come if she went to the king. But if she didn’t go to the king, her people would die.

“You must give Mordecai this message,” she said. “If I go to the king without being called, I could be put to death. And he has not called for me for thirty days.” Hatach hurried out to deliver the message to Mordecai. Stand up and hurry in place like Hatach did. Maybe he was out of breath when he got there.

Mordecai looked at Hatach and said, “You must take this message to Queen Esther: Do not think that because you are the queen and live in the palace, you will escape when all the rest of God’s people are killed. If you do not speak up for your people, they will be saved in some other way but you and your father’s family will be destroyed.”

Mordecai trusted that God is sovereign—He was in control! Mordecai trusted God to protect His people. He knew God had made a promise to the Jews.

God would always protect His people. He promised that through the Jews, a Savior would come into the world. The Bible tells us that God kept His promise. Many years after this story took place, God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, into the world to die on a cross for your sins—for all the ways you break God’s laws. No one had to teach you how to be mean, swear, or steal. You were born wanting to sin. You deserve to be punished—separated from God both now and forever. But Jesus was perfect—He had no sin of His own. He didn’t have to die for sin. But He was willing to die because He loves you! (Read Romans 5:8.) Even though you are a sinner, God showed His love to you by sending Jesus, the Savior. Jesus was beaten and bruised. Blood came from His hands and feet as they nailed Him to the cross. Jesus took the punishment you deserve. After He died, they took His body from the cross. He was buried, but He didn’t stay dead. On the third day He came alive again! Now He’s in Heaven, ruling as King. God kept His promise to send a Savior through the Jewish people. He would protect His people.
 

Mordecai knew God had made a promise. He trusted that God is sovereign and would protect His people, even if Esther did not help.

Mordecai gave Hatach one more message for the queen. (Read Esther 4:14b.) Mordecai believed God had arranged everything so Esther could be queen at just this time and help her people. 

Hatach returned to Queen Esther and told her all that Mordecai had said. Now Esther knew what she must do. She said to Hatach, “Tell Mordecai to gather all the Jews in Shushan and tell them to fast. Tell them to do this for three days and nights. My maids and I will fast too.” Count to three with me. That’s how many days the Jews would not eat any food! Would you be hungry if you didn’t eat for three days?

In asking the Jews to fast, Esther was asking them to completely rely on God for His help. In that culture, fasting and prayer usually went together. When the Jews fasted and prayed, they were looking forward to God’s answer! Esther knew she and her people couldn’t face their trouble alone. They needed God’s help.

You don’t need to face your troubles alone, either. If you know Jesus as your Savior, you can pray to God and trust Him to help you. Maybe you worry about being liked, are scared about getting hurt or dying, or you have a difficult decision to make. When troubles happen, don’t be afraid or worried.

 
 
 
 

Say with me, “Pray to God!”  God wants you to bring your worries to Him in prayer. Remember that you belong to Him and He loves to hear your prayers. Instead of being worried or afraid, tell God about that trouble in your life. Ask Him to help you and trust Him to answer you. While you wait for His answer, you can do what our memory verse says and thank God for how He will answer and for what He has already done for you. God will help you in His perfect time and way. The verse after Philippians 4:6 says, (read Philippians 4:7). God will give you peace even in the midst of your trouble. Because God knows everything, He knows the best way to help even if it’s not what you expect. No matter how God chooses to answer your prayer, you can pray to God and trust Him to help you. You don’t have to face your troubles alone. 

Esther knew that she and her people couldn’t face their trouble alone. They needed God’s help. She sent Hatach to tell Mordecai to gather the Jews and have them fast for three days.

Esther said, “After the three days of fasting, I will go before the king, even though I could be killed. If I die, I die!”

Hatach took Esther’s message to Mordecai. What relief Mordecai must have felt, knowing that Esther would stand up for her people! He hurried off to spread the message among the Jews. Esther had called for their help and the Jews did what she asked. But Esther and the other Jews’ hope was not in what they said or did. Their hope was in God.

God is your only hope too. If you know the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you can pray to God and trust Him to help you. Whatever trouble you face this week, will you remember to pray to God? When trouble comes, think about our memory verse. (Philippians 4:6) Remember you belong to God and He loves to hear your prayers. Tell God about your trouble. Ask Him to help you and trust that He’ll help you in His perfect time and way. The Bible says, (read Philippians 4:7). After you pray to God, God will give you peace even in the midst of your trouble. He may solve the problem right away or He might ask you to wait and trust in Him. You can thank Him for answering you even while you wait for the answer.
 
Let’s all write down something that is troubling us. Each day this week, will you tell God about your trouble and ask Him to help you? When God answers your prayer, remember it, so when we come back together, you can tell us about it so we can thank God together.
 

Copyright © 2019 Child Evangelism Fellowship Inc. All rights reserved.



Kids SS Lesson – God Gives Courage!

 “Heroes and Villains”
Who’s your favorite superhero or hero? Do you know who the villain or bad guy is that fights against that superhero?In stories, superheroes have special powers they use to fight against villains who cause trouble. These stories are fun but they aren’t true. In reality there is someone greater than any superhero. He is the only one who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and in control of everything. Who is this strongest hero of all?
God is! When others cause trouble and try to get you to do the wrong thing, God can give you courage to obey and honor Him. Today we will hear about a villain who planned to hurt God’s people. Did someone have the courage to stand against him?

“God gives courage!”

Have you ever been scared to do the right thing?  It can be hard to stand up to a bully, show kindness to someone who is mean, or refuse to follow friends who want to do bad things. Sometimes it can be scary to do the right thing even though you know you need to. That’s why you need courage—the ability to overcome your fear and do what you know is right. God is strong and mighty. When you know Him as your Savior, He gives His strength to you so you can have courage to do the right thing. Say with me, “God gives courage!”

Some people write down things they want to remember in a special book. But can you imagine writing something in your journal that would save the lives of thousands of people? Long ago many kings had people write down in record books the important things that happened during their reign. The Bible tells about a time when God used a record book to do an amazing thing!

One night, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. Do you remember who Mordecai was?  He was Queen Esther’s cousin who had helped raise her. That night at the gate Mordecai heard two guards planning to kill the king. He knew he must warn the king so he told Queen Esther about the two guards who wanted to kill the king.

When Esther received Mordecai’s message, she immediately sent word to the king that Mordecai had uncovered a plot against him. The king had the two guards arrested. They were found guilty and sentenced to death. God was in control of this situation. Do you remember what word we use when we talk about God being in control

We use the word sovereign. God made sure that Mordecai was in the right place at the right time to hear the plot and save the king’s life.

The entire account, including Mordecai’s name, was written down in the king’s record books by his scribes (special writers who worked for the king). The king had no idea that writing this down would save people’s lives. But God is sovereign—He is in control—and in the next few weeks we’re going to learn how God used this.

Sometime later King Ahasuerus promoted one of his officers named Haman (HAY-mun) to second in command of the empire. Haman was a very proud and wealthy man and now he was also one of the most powerful men in the kingdom. When the king promoted Haman, he ordered all the royal officials working in the gate to bow to Haman and show respect to him. Haman must have enjoyed coming and going through the gate while all the king’s officials bowed low before him. Everyone stand up and walk in place like Haman with your head held high. Haman didn’t notice that one official didn’t bow—Mordecai.

But the other officials noticed. “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” they asked.

“Because I am a Jew,” Mordecai replied. He knew the history of Haman’s people, who had treated the Jews terribly. We don’t know exactly why Mordecai refused to bow to Haman. He had a choice to make, and in that moment he made the choice that he felt was right and honoring to God and to his people, the Jews.

Do you choose to do what is right and honoring to God? Every day you will have opportunities to do things that will honor God or that will not honor God. If you have believed on the Lord Jesus as your Savior, God will give you courage to honor Him.

“God gives courage!” You may be at school or in your neighborhood when another kid is being bullied or needs help. Will you help even though you might be made fun of or bullied too? Maybe a friend invites you to do something fun but it’s the same time as church or Good News Club. Will you honor God with your choice? It may be hard for you to clean your room without being told or be kind to your siblings without your mom reminding you. In those times, where can you go to know what God wants you to do? God has given you His Word, the Bible, so you can know what He says is right and wrong. This is how God helps you know the right thing to do. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy but God says, (read Joshua 1:9a). God tells you to have courage. Courage is overcoming your fear by choosing to do what is right even though you are afraid. You can honor God every day by courageously obeying His Word even when it is easier to say or do nothing, or when others around you are not following God. Trust God to help you choose what is right and honoring to Him.

 
 

Mordecai chose what he thought was right and honoring to God and refused to bow before Haman. Every day the other officials urged Mordecai to bow to Haman but Mordecai refused.

Some of the officials told Haman about this man who refused to bow. How do you think Haman felt when he heard this? 

Proud Haman was angry that anyone would refuse to bow to him. He was powerful enough to make life hard for Mordecai.

Haman saw Mordecai standing while all the other officials bowed low to the ground. Haman was angry! He remembered the officials telling him that Mordecai refused to bow because he was a Jew—one of God’s people. Haman knew there were many of God’s people in the kingdom of Persia. Hatred grew in his heart toward all of them. I’ll destroy this Mordecai and all of his people! Haman thought to himself.

Haman is not the only person who has wanted to destroy God’s people. God’s enemy, Satan, has used many people throughout history to try to destroy the Jews. But nothing could stop God’s plan to use the Jews as part of His great rescue plan to save people from sin.

Thousands of years before Haman and Mordecai were even born, God said He would use the Jews to bring the Promised Savior into the world. Many years later Jesus, God the Son, was born as a Jew to save people from sin. All people are born wanting to sin and disobey God. You sin when you disobey God in what you think, say, or do. When you are unkind or hate others because they are different from you, you sin. God created and loves all people. He calls hatred and unkindness sin. Your sin separates you from God now, and if you die with your sin, you’ll be separated from God forever. But God made you and loves you. He made a way for you to be saved from sin. (Read 1 John 4:14.) God sent His only Son, Jesus, to be the Savior. Jesus was born on Earth, lived a perfect life, and when He was an adult He willingly bled and died on a cross to pay for your sin and mine. Jesus’ life, death, and coming alive again are what make it possible for you to no longer be separated from God. Jesus is alive in Heaven today, ruling over all. He fulfilled God’s plan to use the Jews to bring the Promised Savior into the world.

Nothing could stop God from using the Jews as part of His great rescue plan. But this didn’t stop Satan from using Haman to try to destroy the Jews.

Haman gathered his advisors to help him choose the best day to carry out his evil plan. The Bible says that they “cast lots,” which is like throwing dice or drawing straws.

The day that was chosen was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month—one year away. Haman superstitiously believed that fate or chance had decided the date. He didn’t realize that it was not fate but God who was controlling these events.

Mordecai’s choice to stand for his beliefs seemed to bring about a terrible situation for the Jews.

 

God is sovereign and is always working, sometimes in unseen ways, for His people’s good.
Do you think God is at work today for the good of His people, even for your good? It may be hard to trust God, especially in the midst of hard times, but if you have believed on Jesus as your Savior, God will give you courage to honor Him. It takes courage to speak up for those who are being bullied, or go to church or Good News Club when it’s easier not to, or even to do what’s right when no one is watching. But God is with you and will help you! (Read Psalm 31:24.) God will give your heart courage to do what is right even when it’s hard or you’re afraid.
 

 Trust God to help you choose what is right and honoring to Him. Here are three things to help you. First, remember who God is—He is strong and He can give you His strength to do what is right. Second, spend time reading God’s Word every day so you can learn what God says is right and wrong. Third, acknowledge God as the greatest authority you should obey. When you acknowledge God in the things you do in your life, He will help you be wise and do, say, and think things that honor Him. You can also say Proverbs 3:5-6 to yourself every day or write it out and put it somewhere you will see it. You could even put it beside your bed to look at every morning and evening to remind you. God is always with you. When you acknowledge Him, you are admitting He is God and you need His help. God is working, perhaps in unseen ways, for your good.

God was working in unseen ways for the good of His people, the Jews, even though Mordecai’s choice seemed to have put them in a terrible situation.

Haman believed that fate had decided the date that the Jews would be destroyed. He now had to see the king and make his plan official. Haman told King Ahasuerus he should kill a group of people in the kingdom. Haman even offered the king millions of dollars’ worth of silver to pay the men who would kill these people.

King Ahasuerus didn’t ask any questions or want more information. He trusted Haman.

“Do what you want,” he said, handing his signet ring to Haman. The king’s ring was pressed into clay or soft wax to put the royal seal on official documents, making them law. Now Haman had authority to make whatever law he wished.
Haman had the king’s scribes write his new law. The law stated that on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, all Jews throughout the kingdom would be destroyed—men, women, and children—and all that they owned would be taken away. Copies of the law were made in the languages of the people and sealed with the king’s ring, making it a law that could never be changed. Messengers took the copies and hurried throughout the kingdom to make the law known. Let’s pretend to be messengers and ride out to the kingdom. 

The official decree of death to all Jews went out to every province in the empire!

The people of Shushan were confused when they read the terrible words of the law. They couldn’t imagine what the Jews had done to deserve such severe punishment. It may have seemed like God had abandoned His people—but He had not! God was still in control and was caring for them even in this terrible situation.

You may find that honoring God is not always easy. But if you have believed on Jesus as your Savior, God will give you courage to honor Him. Trust God to help you choose what is right and honoring to Him. Remember these three things to help you. First, remember who God is—He is strong and He can give you His strength to do what is right. Second, spend time reading God’s Word every day so you can learn what God says is right and wrong. You can post our memory verses somewhere to help you remember what God says. Third, acknowledge God as the greatest authority you should obey. When you acknowledge God in the things you do in your life, He will help you be wise and do, say, and think things that honor Him. He will help you acknowledge Him in your life as you read the Bible and know Him more. He will help you speak up for those who are bullied, go to church or Good News Club even when it’s not easy, or do the right thing even when no one else is watching. God is strong and will give you His strength to honor Him. (Read Psalm 31:24.) God will give you His courage as you trust Him!
Will you honor God this week? You can do that with confidence, knowing He is working, perhaps in unseen ways, for your good.
 

Copyright © 1999, 2019 Child Evangelism Fellowship Inc.



Adult SS Lesson – Discord

VII. Proverbs 6:16-19   Soweth Discord (The Actions)

Prov 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, & hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, & he that soweth discord among brethren.

19…he that soweth discord among brethren.

 

            Introduction: We finish our seven series closing with the seventh item the Lord hates, one who “soweth discord among brethren”. As already stated, the purpose of these seven warnings for us is to strive to honor the Lord, not participate or practice what gets under His skin. God wants us to live the life He wants, not glorifying ourselves. While we go astray, we must remember God alone has the ability to save us. Like Job we claim, “He (God) will deliver you from six troubles; in seven no evil shall touch you.” (Job 5:19). Let’s take a look at the problem, “sowing discord”…

 

The Problem: Sowing Discord

  • Explanation: The Hebrew word discord (Medan) is the same word “strife” meaning a lack of harmony between persons (often in marriage) where a difference of opinion leading to war. Discord is an inharmonious combination of tones (think music) leading to conflict, arguments & quarreling from one to another.
  • Illustration: Think of it like this… One man gets nothing but discord out of a piano but another gets harmony (have me play then Becky). Discord or harmony, no one claims it’s the piano fault but more the person. Life is like that as God is not at fault, man is.
  • Application: 3 “Sowed Seeds” of Discord… Which one do you sow?

            o A Seed of Bitterness – A seed of bitterness is ultimately hostility (to others). Bitter men have profound grief that acts on the mind like poison in the body.

He holds on to fury, takes offense, refuses reconciliation & strikes out in anger.

  • Let all bitterness, & wrath, & anger, & clamour, & evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: Eph 4:31

            o A Seed of Anger – While anger is not always a sin (righteous anger), it becomes sin when motivated by pride (the first thing God hates). Unrighteous, angry people let their anger linger. They attack the problem/person using destructive words & poison speech, holding a grudge & keep things inside.

  • Be ye angry & sin not, let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Eph. 4:26

            o A Seed of Distrust – Distrust is essentially taking eyes off the Lord looking to our own strength & confidence instead of that which comes from the Lord & His Word. One who sows a seed of discord using distrust will push others to put their faith in the world over faith in God’s Word. God hates that!

  • “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15
  • These actions don’t come from the Spirit but “the works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19), which we are called to wrestle against.

            Transition: While salvation takes away the penalty of sin, it doesn’t take away the “sinful nature” or fight against the flesh (that which still clings to us while still in this life). The sinful nature demands a daily fight, leaving behind the old man & developing the new man walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:16-25). Christians are called to crucify the sinful nature with its passion & desires, to keep in step with the Spirit. How do we do that?

Solution: Three ways to sow harmony over discord.
 

            #1: Embrace the Fight Against Bitterness

  • Explanation: We must make sure “bitter roots” aren’t growing in our hearts causing us to fall short of God’s grace. God’s desire is we live in love, joy, peace, & holiness – not bitterness. As believers we’re called to watch diligently, being on guard against the grave peril of bitterness fighting it in a few ways. Leaving bitterness means we forgive. A lack of forgiveness is why we hold onto bitterness. We must face that we are unwilling as in tension there is growth.
  • Illustration: In the parable of the man who was forgiven a great debt (Matt. 18:24-35), the forgiven man immediately demands payment from someone who owes him a fraction of what he himself owed. Though he was shown mercy & grace, he was unwilling to extend it even in a small way which lead to sowing discord.
  • Application: An unforgiving spirit has eyes on themselves not the Lord. When we tell God, “Someone should pay for this.” He says, “I did…” God knows what’s going on. He knows our thoughts & how others hurt us. He was there. One of the hardest things we ever do is pray for those who have hurt us; but it opens the door of our heart, so that God can come melt icy resentment that is there.

            o “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10

 

            #2: Embrace the Fight Against Anger

  • Explanation: We biblically handle anger by returning good for evil (Gen. 50:21 & Rom. 12:21), converting anger into love. That is, we can change our feelings toward others by changing how we choose to act towards them – communicating to solve the problem.
  • Illustration: “Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal & career success.” Paul J. Meyer
  • Application: Four basic rules of communication shared in Eph. 4:15, 25-32.

            o Honestly Speak (Ephesians 4:15, 25) – People can’t read minds. Speak in love!

            o Stay Current (Ephesians 4:26-27) – What bothers us can’t build up or we will lose the ability to control ourselves. Deal with it now before blowing up!

            o Attack Problems, Not People (Ephesians 4:29 & 31) – Remember the importance of keeping the volume of our voices low (Proverbs 15:1).

            o Act, don’t react (Ephesians 4:31-32) – The first impulse is often a sinful one (31). Count to ten, reflecting on the godly way to respond (32) to remind yourself how to solve the problem & not create a bigger one.

            #3: Embrace the Fight Against Distrust

  • Explanation: While men can & will let us down, Christ is the sure foundation. Isaiah tells us this is what the Sovereign Lord says, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste..” (Isaiah 28:16) Jesus is the solid rock – our only hope of security (Matt. 7:24).

            o We must keep our eyes on Christ! • Illustration: “Ye cannot serve two masters…” Matt. 6:24

  • Application: The reason for distrust is occupation with self or an “it’s all about me” mentality. God’s work can’t be done in a prideful heart but only in one who will be humbled. We must recognize that while man let’s us down, God “shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”. (Philippians 4:19). If you struggle with feelings of insecurity, never forget God’s promise…

            o “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee..” Isaiah 26:3

 

            Conclusion: The author of Hebrews closes our series well when he says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher (perfecter) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2). We MUST “…lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…)(Heb. 12:1). When we do, we shall not stumble or do the things God hates as long as we fix our eyes upon Jesus.



Adult SS Lesson – Dirty Feet

Dirty Feet  Proverbs 6:18

Pro 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,   19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

            “6:18 … feet that be swift in running to mischief…”

 

            Interesting Statement: The average person takes 18,000 steps a day, walking about 65,000 miles in a lifetime. More important than how far we travel is where we allow our feet to travel…

 

            Introduction: In John 13, Jesus grabs a cloth and attempts to wash His disciples feet. Boldly Peter refuses to let Jesus wash his feet. Later, Peter asks Jesus to wash not  just his feet but his whole body. Jesus knew Peter loved Him (accepted Him) and thus was already internally clean but his feet come had contact with dusty, worldly roads and still needed to be washed…. With our feet we either honor Jesus Christ (Matt. 8:22) fleeing from evil (1 Cor. 6:18) or “walk in the counsel of the wicked” running to immortality. Christians cleansed by Jesus blood have been transformed by the Gospel but are still liable to the corruption of every-day life depending where they allow their feet to take them. We have to evaluate where we walk, contemplating if it’s in line with Jesus and His Word or pulling us away from the life He ultimately wants…

 

            #1: God Hates “feet that be swift in running to mischief” (“Dirty Feet” – Isaiah 53:6; John 13)

  • Explanation: Isaiah says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him (Jesus Christ) the iniquity of us all.”

                                                                                    Isaiah 53:6

            The first step in spiritual “bathing” (purify our body) is confession and belief in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9 – Salvation).  In acceptance of the Gospel we’re clean and covered but our “feet” day after day contact the sinful world, rejecting or accepting it.  How can you know you have “feet that be swift in running to mischief”” or “dirty feet”? Ask yourself…

            o Have I Failed to Accept Christ? – Jesus said to Peter (John 13) if He did not wash his feet then Peter would “have no part with Him. Failure to accept Jesus Christ meant having permanent “dirty feet” (associated with the world).

  • Ill… Some sick people unable to take a bath unless another helps. We are unable to take a spiritual bath without Jesus Christ. The heart can only be cleansed by confession and belief in Jesus blood. You done this?

            o Have I Failed to Listen to (apply) God’s Word? – After acceptance we continue to be transformed through application of God’s Word (Bible). Mary sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to Him. “Feet that run to evil” have no regard for God’s Word. They are un disciplined, going wherever they want (gossip circles, porn sites, etc.).

  • Ill. Biker tells his feet where to go and how fast to go. He does not listen to his feet his feet listen to him. We are listen to God’s Word, not ourselves!

            o Have I Failed to Think? — Dirty feet come when we do not contemplate (think). Proverbs tells us, “give careful thought to the paths for our feet”. (Proverbs 4:26)

  • Ill. Fireman goes quickly to rescue but doesn’t get burned as he has disciplined his thoughts. Failure to think correctly means failure to walk correctly.
  • Application: Jesus insists on not only saving us but also washing our feet daily! That’s why he did it with the disciples and still does every day if we call (called forgiveness). Two options…

            o Run to Our Own Desires – Failure to continue to enlist forgiveness, running too many times to evil, often allows God to give us up to our own paths and habits so we can see the true errors of our ways (passive wrath).

  • “God gave them over in the sinful desires…” Rom1:24

            o Run to God’s Desires – The man that seeks the Lord knows he will not only be forgiven but also purified from all unrighteousness.

  • “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 Jn 1:9

 

            #2: God Loves Feet That Rush to Godliness (Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:5; 12:1-2; James 1:22)

  • Explanation: The gospel is given, not just to be known and believed, but also to be obeyed. It is not a system of ideas, but more a rule of practice. Jesus died for my sin (and yours) and thus it is my opportunity (not obligation) to honor Him through (1) confession then (2) obedience. Obedience strengthens faith allowing our feet to flee from evil and rush to godliness. How can we have feet that rush to Godliness?

            o Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ! – Paul (and Isaiah) said those who bring the good news possess true, beautiful feet. (Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:15)

  • Ill. Reiteration is best way to remember and understand. Those communicating the Gospel constantly keep their feet clean, as it’s constant remembrance of Jesus Christ cleansing! Do you do this?

            o Listen (and apply) God’s Word! – James tells us that we are not to merely “listen to the word… do what it says.” (James 1:22) We sit at the Lord’s feet and then run (with our feet) to do what it says! We discipline ourselves to flee from evil.

  • Ill. When we run our feet do what we want us to go – it’s automatic. So it is when we continually implement God’s Word in our lives. Train your feet to do what’s right one step at a time.

            o Think! ¬– Paul talked about being a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1-2) transformed through the renewing of the mind. Contemplate what you are doing and if it is truly honoring to the Lord. Ask, “Is what I’m about to do truly going to bring honor and glory to the Lord?”

  • Ill. Little kids – “Are you sure you want to do that?” Remember, failure to think correctly means failure to walk correctly.
  • Application: If we already know Christ in our lives then it’s our responsibility to have feet that rush to Godliness (that which is good). Ways to have feet that rush to Godliness…

 

            o Hate Apathy and Reject Passivity –Be more than one who looks from the sidelines, get in the game!

  • “Be strong, and let us show ourselves courageous for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God.” (2 Samuel 10:7)

            o Stand Out – Verbally call sin… sin (in accordance with God’s Word). Fear God, not man while speaking the truth in love.

  • “Always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you… with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15)

            o Stand Strong – Don’t give up or give in when you are attacked or criticized.

  • “They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 1:18-19)
  • “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 15:58)

            o Serve – Seek first (with your feet) God’s Kingdom, glory and righteousness. Live for a greater reward by serving with your feet. Like hands that find evil when idle, so feet get dirty when they fail to serve…

  • “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

 

            Conclusion: Where are you with Jesus? Do you need to invite Him in for the first time or back for forgiveness and washing your feet that have been in contact with the world?



Adult SS Lesson – The Heart

               IV. The Heart –  Proverbs 6:18  

      These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, & hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, & he that soweth discord among brethren.       Prov 6:16

      “6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations”

Interesting Statement: The heart is the engine of human existence – the most important organ of the body. Without the heart, man cannot survive as the heart pumps blood carrying oxygen to all parts of the body for strength & circulation. Heart disease kills millions every year. We only have one heart (unless transplanted); there is no back up plan for heart failure.

 

      Introduction: The Bible speaks of the human heart almost 300 times – not as a blood pumping muscle but for the spiritual side of humanity. The Bible tells us the heart is connected to the mind, will, & understanding & should be guarded against evil. Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9)

      Sin has permanently affected our hearts. However, God knows the secrets of the heart (Psa 44:21), searches the heart (Jer 17:10), gives a proper solution (Jesus Christ) for the sinful heart, & demands we turn from ourselves to serving God with a whole heart & willing mind (1 Chron 28:9).

    Lets think about two questions…

 

#1: Is My Heart “Beating” Against the Lord?

      The Hebrew word “heart” speaks of the inner man, his mind & thoughts. The sinful heart (that one without Christ) purposely “devises” wicked plans as all six things in Prov. 6 that God hates come from this heart. A heart that devises wicked plans is set on (1) fulfilling its own path, (2) pleasing itself & (3) fulfilling its own desires.

      Proverbs 19 says this kind of heart rages against the Lord & leads to ruin (Prov. 19:3), as God hates evil in the heart against another. (Zech. 8:17)

 

      Illustration: OT examples of how this played out…

• Rebecca (Gen. 27:5-29) – Used deception against Esau so that Jacob would get the blessing (stuff).

• Jezebel (1 Kings 21:1-16) –Naboth had field next to King Ahab. Ahab tried to buy the land from Naboth who couldn’t sell as God’s law had forbidden it. Jezebel plotted Naboth’s death to get the land for Ahab.

• Jonadab & Ammon (2 Sam. 13:1-15) – Amnon was in love with Tamar (half sister) & devised wicked plans with Jonadab, so he could have her.

• Haman (Esther 7:3-6) – Plotted to kill the Jews.                   

• All of these things (& many more) started in the divisive heart & God HATED it!

 

      • Application: The consequence of a heart that plots wicked plans is worth considering…

      • A Life of Sadness – Those that devise (plot) evil are dishonest. There is no peace. Only those in line with the Lord have true joy. (Pro 12:20)  

      *A Life of Brokenness – Proverbs says that a man with a heart that plots evil is one who will have “calamity come suddenly… he will be broken with no healing.” (Pro 6:14-15)

      • A Life Apart from Christ – Luke 1:51 tells us God has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart….Rom 1:24 “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:”

      • Examples: Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-6); Wheat & the Tares (Matt. 13:24-30)

 

      Transition: We are to not be this way! Paul says “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought (there’s the heart!) to the obedience of Christ;…” 2 Cor 5:10  In other words, we are to have a heart that beats for the Lord!

 

 

#2: Is My Heart “Beating” for the Lord?

      • Explanation: When we confess & receive Jesus, we turn our sinful hearts over to His control. Paul says, “Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”                                  2 Cor 3:16-18

      A heart against the Lord cannot see or reflect the Lord. When a heart (all our mind & thoughts) is given to the Lord, the veil (sin) is removed & we can see God’s love for us & know how to love Him in return. While most have us have done this, our question is how do we keep our heart beating for the Lord?

 

      David’s Advice – David said, “But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.  Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.”       Psa 38:13-15

      David refused to do evil & trust in the Lord (in all times). He knew God was in control. He refused to repay evil for evil & ignored it! Do we do that?

 

      Nehemiah’s Advice – Nehemiah did two things…

      • He Prayed – “Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: (Neh. 4:4)

      • He Kept on Doing God’s Work – “So built we the wall; …: for the people had a mind to work.” (Neh. 4:6)

      Nehemiah refused to compromise to those with an evil heart & remained working for the Lord! (Neh. 6:2 3) • Do you do that?

      • Illustration: Whose influence are we following? The worlds or the Word’s? A heart that beats for the Lord refuses to repay evil (for evil), refuses to delight in evil, & refuses to scheme evil things in his (or her) heart.

      • Application: A heart that keeps beating for the Lord is a heart that does a few things…

     It Forgives Offenses – “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.”           Lev 19:18

Lack of forgiving only hardens the heart more…

· “I can forgive, but I cannot forget,’ is only another way of saying, ‘I will not forgive.” Henry Ward Beecher

 

      It Trusts God Will Fix – “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Rom 12:19

      An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind… Christians don’t have to plan revenge (evil), when we have a Protector who always does what is right!

 

      It Looks & Rises Above – “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint..” Isa 40:30-31 Taking the high road is a Godly road…

 

      Conclusion: Others don’t know the true status of your heart, only God does. Psalm 94.11 says, “The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity…”

      While we may have others fooled, we can never fool the Lord! Be honest! What is the status of your heart? Is it beating against or for the Lord? Is it set on pleasing only yourself & what you desire to accomplish or is it set on pleasing the Lord for all He has accomplished through you?



Children’s Lesson – Pray To God

“Pray to God!”

If you’re having trouble with your homework, who might you ask for help? If you hurt yourself while playing outside, who might you ask for help? If you are hungry and need a snack, who might you ask for help?When we need help, we ask others for help. We all need help with things at different times. Did you know God is also willing and able to help you when you have problems in life? You can pray and ask Him for help! Say with me, “Pray to God!”

Have you ever heard news that made you really sad or that you worried about.  Maybe your parents got a phone call about someone being hurt or sick. Or maybe you heard something on the TV or internet about something bad happening somewhere in the world. Hearing bad news can be very scary. Does anyone remember from last week what bad news the Jewish people heard?  Haman had made a law that all the Jews were to be killed on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month.

In every province the Jews fasted (stopped eating) and wept after they read this law. Many showed their sorrow by wearing sackcloth—clothing made of rough fabric—and covering themselves in ashes. This was often how people who were very sad would dress. That way other people would know they were very sad. The Jews knew the law could never be changed.

As Mordecai read the decree, he felt very sad for his people. He stood outside the king’s gate and showed how upset he was by crying out loudly, covering himself in ashes, and wearing sackcloth. Can you act like you are really upset?

In the palace, Queen Esther’s servants told her that Mordecai was outside the king’s gate dressed in sackcloth and crying loudly. She wondered why he was wearing sackcloth and sent a servant to give him some clothes and find out what happened.

But Mordecai refused the clothes. When Esther found out, she was very concerned. She sent Hatach (HAY-tak), a trusted servant to find out what was wrong with Mordecai.

Mordecai explained the new law to Hatach and handed him a copy of the decree that had been posted in the city. “Take this to the queen,” Mordecai urged. “Tell her that she must go to the king and beg for the lives of her people!”

Hatach returned to Queen Esther and handed her the copy of the law. He told her exactly what Mordecai had said.

Esther read the words of the new law. Let’s all pretend to open a scroll and read it. 

Now Esther knew the great danger she and her people were in. But Mordecai was asking her to go to the king. That would be dangerous too! The law in Persia stated that if anyone—even the queen—went before the king uninvited, the king could have that person immediately put to death unless the king held out his golden scepter—a special rod that showed his power. The king had not asked Esther to come to him for the past month.

This was a problem for Esther. Either she could die going to the king, or her people would certainly die if she didn’t. Esther needed help.

When you need help in your life, do you worry about what you should do? All of us face hard things at some point. Maybe you’re starting a new after-school activity and you worry the kids won’t like you. Maybe you are scared about getting hurt or dying. Or maybe you have a decision to make about which sport to play and you aren’t sure what to do. Sometimes you can get worried, afraid, or even angry when troubles happen in your life. But if Jesus is your Savior, you can pray to God and trust Him to help you. Tell Him what troubles you’re facing and trust Him to help you.
 

“Pray to God!” Our memory verse talks about this. Read Philippians 4:6

 You don’t have to worry or be afraid when you trust God. God loves you and wants to help you.

Esther and her people needed help. Trouble could come if she went to the king. But if she didn’t go to the king, her people would die.

“You must give Mordecai this message,” she said. “If I go to the king without being called, I could be put to death. And he has not called for me for thirty days.” Hatach hurried out to deliver the message to Mordecai. Stand up and hurry in place like Hatach did. Maybe he was out of breath when he got there.

Mordecai looked at Hatach and said, “You must take this message to Queen Esther: Do not think that because you are the queen and live in the palace, you will escape when all the rest of God’s people are killed. If you do not speak up for your people, they will be saved in some other way but you and your father’s family will be destroyed.”

Mordecai trusted that God is sovereign—He was in control! Mordecai trusted God to protect His people. He knew God had made a promise to the Jews.

God would always protect His people. He promised that through the Jews, a Savior would come into the world. The Bible tells us that God kept His promise. Many years after this story took place, God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, into the world to die on a cross for your sins—for all the ways you break God’s laws. No one had to teach you how to be mean, swear, or steal. You were born wanting to sin. You deserve to be punished—separated from God both now and forever. But Jesus was perfect—He had no sin of His own. He didn’t have to die for sin. But He was willing to die because He loves you! (Read Romans 5:8.) Even though you are a sinner, God showed His love to you by sending Jesus, the Savior. Jesus was beaten and bruised. Blood came from His hands and feet as they nailed Him to the cross. Jesus took the punishment you deserve. After He died, they took His body from the cross. He was buried, but He didn’t stay dead. On the third day He came alive again! Now He’s in Heaven, ruling as King. God kept His promise to send a Savior through the Jewish people. He would protect His people.

Mordecai knew God had made a promise. He trusted that God is sovereign and would protect His people, even if Esther did not help.

Mordecai gave Hatach one more message for the queen. (Read Esther 4:14b.) Mordecai believed God had arranged everything so Esther could be queen at just this time and help her people.

Hatach returned to Queen Esther and told her all that Mordecai had said. Now Esther knew what she must do. She said to Hatach, “Tell Mordecai to gather all the Jews in Shushan and tell them to fast. Tell them to do this for three days and nights. My maids and I will fast too.” Count to three with me.  That’s how many days the Jews would not eat any food! Would you be hungry if you didn’t eat for three days? 

In asking the Jews to fast, Esther was asking them to completely rely on God for His help. In that culture, fasting and prayer usually went together. When the Jews fasted and prayed, they were looking forward to God’s answer! Esther knew she and her people couldn’t face their trouble alone. They needed God’s help.

You don’t need to face your troubles alone, either. If you know Jesus as your Savior, you can pray to God and trust Him to help you. Maybe you worry about being liked, are scared about getting hurt or dying, or you have a difficult decision to make. When troubles happen, don’t be afraid or worried.
Say with me, “Pray to God!” Let’s say our memory verse together. (Philippians 4:6) God wants you to bring your worries to Him in prayer. Remember that you belong to Him and He loves to hear your prayers. Instead of being worried or afraid, tell God about that trouble in your life. Ask Him to help you and trust Him to answer you. While you wait for His answer, you can do what our memory verse says and thank God for how He will answer and for what He has already done for you. God will help you in His perfect time and way. The verse after Philippians 4:6 says, (read Philippians 4:7). God will give you peace even in the midst of your trouble. Because God knows everything, He knows the best way to help even if it’s not what you expect. No matter how God chooses to answer your prayer, you can pray to God and trust Him to help you. You don’t have to face your troubles alone.
 
 
Esther knew that she and her people couldn’t face their trouble alone. They needed God’s help. She sent Hatach to tell Mordecai to gather the Jews and have them fast for three days.
Esther said, “After the three days of fasting, I will go before the king, even though I could be killed. If I die, I die!”

Hatach took Esther’s message to Mordecai. What relief Mordecai must have felt, knowing that Esther would stand up for her people! He hurried off to spread the message among the Jews. Esther had called for their help and the Jews did what she asked. But Esther and the other Jews’ hope was not in what they said or did. Their hope was in God.

God is your only hope too. If you know the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you can pray to God and trust Him to help you. Whatever trouble you face this week, will you remember to pray to God? When trouble comes, think about our memory verse. (read Philippians 4:6) Remember you belong to God and He loves to hear your prayers. Tell God about your trouble. Ask Him to help you and trust that He’ll help you in His perfect time and way. The Bible says, (read Philippians 4:7). After you pray to God, God will give you peace even in the midst of your trouble. He may solve the problem right away or He might ask you to wait and trust in Him. You can thank Him for answering you even while you wait for the answer.
 
“Pray to God!”  When you get home today, write down something that is troubling you. Each day this week, will you tell God about your trouble and ask Him to help you?

Copyright © 2019 Child Evangelism Fellowship Inc. All rights reserved



Children’s Lesson – God Gives Courage

“God gives courage!”

Have you ever been scared to do the right thing? It can be hard
to stand up to a bully, show kindness to someone who is mean, or refuse to follow friends who want to do bad things. Sometimes it can be scary to do the right thing even though you know you need to. That’s why you need courage—the ability to overcome your fear and do what you know is right. God is strong and mighty. When you know Him as your Savior, He gives His strength to you so you can have courage to do the right thing. Say with me, “God gives courage!”

Some people write down things they want to remember in a special book. But can you imagine writing something in your journal that would save the lives of thousands of people? Long ago many kings had people write down in record books the important things that happened during their reign. The Bible tells about a time when God used a record book to do an amazing thing!
One night, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. Do you remember who Mordecai was? He was Queen Esther’s cousin who had helped raise her. That night at the gate Mordecai heard two guards planning to kill the king. He knew he must warn the king so he told Queen Esther about the two guards who wanted to kill the king.When Esther received Mordecai’s message, she immediately sent word to the king that Mordecai had uncovered a plot against him. The king had the two guards arrested. They were found guilty and sentenced to death. God was in control of this situation. Do you remember what word we use when we talk about God being in control?
We use the word sovereign. God made sure that Mordecai was in the right place at the right time to hear the plot and save the king’s life.
The entire account, including Mordecai’s name, was written down in the king’s record books by his scribes (special writers who worked for the king). Let’s take a pretend pen and use it to write down what Mordecai did in the record book. The king had no idea that writing this down would save people’s lives. But God is sovereign—He is in control—and in the next few weeks we’re going to learn how God used this.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sometime later King Ahasuerus promoted one of his officers named Haman (HAY-mun) to second in command of the empire. Haman was a very proud and wealthy man and now he was also one of the most powerful men in the kingdom. When the king promoted Haman, he ordered all the royal officials working in the gate to bow to Haman and show respect to him. Haman must have enjoyed coming and going through the gate while all the king’s officials bowed low before him. Everyone stand up and walk in place like Haman with your head held high.  Haman didn’t notice that one official didn’t bow—Mordecai.
 
 
 

But the other officials noticed. “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” they asked.

“Because I am a Jew,” Mordecai replied. He knew the history of Haman’s people, who had treated the Jews terribly. We don’t know exactly why Mordecai refused to bow to Haman. He had a choice to make, and in that moment he made the choice that he felt was right and honoring to God and to his people, the Jews.

Do you choose to do what is right and honoring to God? Every day you will have opportunities to do things that will honor God or that will not honor God. If you have believed on the Lord Jesus as your Savior, God will give you courage to honor Him.

 

 

 “God gives courage!” You may be at school or in your neighborhood when another kid is being bullied or needs help. Will you help even though you might be made fun of or bullied too? Maybe a friend invites you to do something fun but it’s the same time as church or Good News Club. Will you honor God with your choice? It may be hard for you to clean your room without being told or be kind to your siblings without your mom reminding you. In those times, where can you go to know what God wants you to do?  God has given you His Word, the Bible, so you can know what He says is right and wrong. This is how God helps you know the right thing to do. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy but God says, (read Joshua 1:9a). God tells you to have courage. Courage is overcoming your fear by choosing to do what is right even though you are afraid. You can honor God every day by courageously obeying His Word even when it is easier to say or do nothing, or when others around you are not following God. Trust God to help you choose what is right and honoring to Him.

Mordecai chose what he thought was right and honoring to God and refused to bow before Haman. Every day the other officials urged Mordecai to bow to Haman but Mordecai refused.

Some of the officials told Haman about this man who refused to bow. How do you think Haman felt when he heard this?  Proud Haman was angry that anyone would refuse to bow to him. He was powerful enough to make life hard for Mordecai.

Haman saw Mordecai standing while all the other officials bowed low to the ground. Haman was angry! He remembered the officials telling him that Mordecai refused to bow because he was a Jew—one of God’s people. Haman knew there were many of God’s people in the kingdom of Persia. Hatred grew in his heart toward all of them. I’ll destroy this Mordecai and all of his people! Haman thought to himself.

Haman is not the only person who has wanted to destroy God’s people. God’s enemy, Satan, has used many people throughout history to try to destroy the Jews. But nothing could stop God’s plan to use the Jews as part of His great rescue plan to save people from sin.

Thousands of years before Haman and Mordecai were even born, God said He would use the Jews to bring the Promised Savior into the world. Many years later Jesus, God the Son, was born as a Jew to save people from sin. All people are born wanting to sin and disobey God. You sin when you disobey God in what you think, say, or do. When you are unkind or hate others because they are different from you, you sin. God created and loves all people. He calls hatred and unkindness sin. Your sin separates you from God now, and if you die with your sin, you’ll be separated from God forever. But God made you and loves you. He made a way for you to be saved from sin. (Read 1 John 4:14.) God sent His only Son, Jesus, to be the Savior. Jesus was born on Earth, lived a perfect life, and when He was an adult He willingly bled and died on a cross to pay for your sin and mine. Jesus’ life, death, and coming alive again are what make it possible for you to no longer be separated from God. Jesus is alive in Heaven today, ruling over all. He fulfilled God’s plan to use the Jews to bring the Promised Savior into the world.

Nothing could stop God from using the Jews as part of His great rescue plan. But this didn’t stop Satan from using Haman to try to destroy the Jews.

Haman gathered his advisors to help him choose the best day to carry out his evil plan. The Bible says that they “cast lots,” which is like throwing dice or drawing straws.

The day that was chosen was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month—one year away. Haman superstitiously believed that fate or chance had decided the date. He didn’t realize that it was not fate but God who was controlling these events.

Mordecai’s choice to stand for his beliefs seemed to bring about a terrible situation for the Jews.

God is sovereign and is always working, sometimes in unseen ways, for His people’s good.Do you think God is at work today for the good of His people, even for your good? It may be hard to trust God, especially in the midst of hard times, but if you have believed on Jesus as your Savior, God will give you courage to honor Him. It takes courage to speak up for those who are being bullied, or go to church or Good News Club when it’s easier not to, or even to do what’s right when no one is watching. But God is with you and will help you! (Read Psalm 31:24.) God will give your heart courage to do what is right even when it’s hard or you’re afraid.  

 “God gives courage!” Trust God to help you choose what is right and honoring to Him. Here are three things to help you. First, remember who God is—He is strong and He can give you His strength to do what is right. Second, spend time reading God’s Word every day so you can learn what God says is right and wrong. Third, acknowledge God as the greatest authority you should obey. When you acknowledge God in the things you do in your life, He will help you be wise and do, say, and think things that honor Him. Let’s say our memory verses together. (Quote Proverbs 3:5-6 with children.) You can also say Proverbs 3:5-6 to yourself every day or write it out and put it somewhere you will see it. You could even put it beside your bed to look at every morning and evening to remind you. God is always with you. When you acknowledge Him, you are admitting He is God and you need His help. God is working, perhaps in unseen ways, for your good.

God was working in unseen ways for the good of His people, the Jews, even though Mordecai’s choice seemed to have put them in a terrible situation.

Haman believed that fate had decided the date that the Jews would be destroyed. He now had to see the king and make his plan official. Haman told King Ahasuerus he should kill a group of people in the kingdom. Haman even offered the king millions of dollars’ worth of silver to pay the men who would kill these people.

King Ahasuerus didn’t ask any questions or want more information. He trusted Haman.

“Do what you want,” he said, handing his signet ring to Haman. The king’s ring was pressed into clay or soft wax to put the royal seal on official documents, making them law. Now Haman had authority to make whatever law he wished.

Haman had the king’s scribes write his new law. The law stated that on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, all Jews throughout the kingdom would be destroyed—men, women, and children—and all that they owned would be taken away. Copies of the law were made in the languages of the people and sealed with the king’s ring, making it a law that could never be changed. Messengers took the copies and hurried throughout the kingdom to make the law known. Let’s pretend to be messengers and ride out to the kingdom.

 

Now stand up and say loudly, “Hear the king’s message!”

The official decree of death to all Jews went out to every province in the empire!

The people of Shushan were confused when they read the terrible words of the law. They couldn’t imagine what the Jews had done to deserve such severe punishment. It may have seemed like God had abandoned His people—but He had not! God was still in control and was caring for them even in this terrible situation.

You may find that honoring God is not always easy. But if you have believed on Jesus as your Savior, God will give you courage to honor Him. Trust God to help you choose what is right and honoring to Him. Remember these three things to help you. First, remember who God is—He is strong and He can give you His strength to do what is right. Second, spend time reading God’s Word every day so you can learn what God says is right and wrong. You can post our memory verses somewhere to help you remember what God says. Third, acknowledge God as the greatest authority you should obey. When you acknowledge God in the things you do in your life, He will help you be wise and do, say, and think things that honor Him. He will help you acknowledge Him in your life as you read the Bible and know Him more. He will help you speak up for those who are bullied, go to church or Good News Club even when it’s not easy, or do the right thing even when no one else is watching. God is strong and will give you His strength to honor Him. (Read Psalm 31:24.) God will give you His courage as you trust Him!
 
“God gives courage!”  Will you honor God this week? You can do that with confidence, knowing He is working, perhaps in unseen ways, for your good.
 

Copyright © 2019 Child Evangelism Fellowship Inc. All rights reserved.



Adult SS Lesson – Seven Things God Hates

III. Seven Things God Hates

Proverbs 6:16-19

 

III. Hands that Shed Innocent Blood

Prov 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, & hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, & he that soweth discord among brethren.

            Interesting Statement: According to the FBI. Roughly 45 people are murdered a day (not including suicides). That is a staggering statistic.

            Proverbs 6:17 says God hates “hands that shed innocent blood”, a reference to murder. Murder refers to intentionally killing someone… taking a life of someone who has not committed a crime. Those “hands that shed innocent blood” are defiled, deserving to die by the laws of God or men. They destroy God’s image & are like the devil; he was a murderer from the beginning. As Christians we must cling to three things as we study this text…

 

#1: We Must Love (Honor) Life

            The reason God hates “hands that shed innocent blood” is because God is the creator of life, not death. God loves life as He is the “living” God (Jer 10:10) who gives life & breath to all…

Gen 2:7  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, & breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; & man became a living soul.

            Life is sacred, not because man is special, but because God created it & defends it. Do we love life like God loves life? Do we defend life because God loves life. Think about that for a moment…                              Isaiah 42:5     Acts 17:25    

                                   

#2: We Must Obey (Submit to) God’s Word

            Our creator God loves life. HE  demands punishment for murder (“hands that shed innocent blood”) because this comes from the devil. Satan was a murderer from the beginning & so are the devils children. Where do we get that?

            After the flood, God established a new covenant with Noah (perhaps because people might believe God didn’t value life). In that covenant there was responsibilities (laws) for man &

promises from God. The Noah covenant demonstrated how much God holds life to be sacred, ensured stability & order of the world. People, through this covenant, would learn human law was necessary for the stability of life & that wickedness should not go unpunished.  This is the beginning of human government established by God.

            While OT law commanded the death penalty for murder & other crimes, we must remember that where there is another law. There is the Law of love (enter grace & mercy in the  NT).

            God shows mercy when the death penalty was due (David committed adultery & murder but God did not demand his life be taken.        2 Sam11:1-5, 14-17; 12:13

            New Testament: Although every sin we commit should result in the death (“the wages of sin is death” Rom 6:23), God demonstrated His love for us in not condemning us (Rom 5:8).

Illustration:

            Is Jesus against capital punishment? Absolutely NOT! Remember the story when the Pharisees caught the woman in adultery. They asked Jesus if she should be stoned. Jesus replied, “… He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”    John 8:7

            At that moment, Jesus was not rejecting capital punishment but instead exposed the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. The Pharisees tried to trick Jesus into breaking OT law. They did not care about the woman or her sin (after all, where was the man caught in adultery as well?)

 

Application:

            God instituted capital punishment (death) for those that “shed innocent blood” & Jesus supported capital punishment in  instances where it was necessary.   He also stressed the importance of mercy & grace.  John 8

            Paul also recognized the power of God’s law but also stressed the government responsibility under God’s Word to institute capital punishment where appropriate. Therefore, two conclusions on obeying God’s Word…

 

  

            Conclusion #1: Remember God’s Word is Our Ultimate Authority (2 Peter 1:20-21)

            God (in the OT) instituted capital punishment. It is human pride to think that we can institute a higher standard. God’s perfect standard is the standard, demanding punishment for “hands that shed innocent blood”. However, God, in His infinite love now offers mercy & grace for the transgressions of the law as they are covered & forgiven under the blood of Christ.

 

            Conclusion #2: Remember Governmental Rule is Under God’s Law (Romans 13)

            We recognize that God has given established government the authority to determine when capital punishment (death) is due (Gen 9:6; Rom13:1-7). It is the government’s responsibility to punish criminals. As a Christian, I am to be merciful personally. That is not the governments job.

            When “hands that shed innocent blood” are prosecuted to the extent of the law (God’s & man’s under God’s), Christians should never fight against the government’s right to execute the perpetrators.

            All that is to say, we too obey God’s Word & law under God’s Word, hating “hands that shed innocent blood”…

 

The Finality & Implications of Death

            What is death & why is it so important to understand in light of Proverbs 6:17? Death is two fold.

            (1) Physical – Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body; &

            (2) Spiritual – Spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God.

            Both deaths are a result of sin. Romans states, “for the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 3:23) & thus the whole world is subject to death, because all have sinned. “By one man sin entered the world, & death by sin, & so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12).

            God warned Adam that the penalty for disobedience was death as He said, “thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:17) When Adam disobeyed he experienced immediate spiritual death, which caused him to hide from Lord God among the trees of the garden (Gen 3:8) & later a physical death. Gen 5:5

 

Illustration:

            Jesus being our example also experienced physical death (Matt. 27:50). However the difference from Him & Adam was that Adam died because he was a sinner. Jesus had never sinned nut chose to die as a substitute for sinners (Heb. 2:9). He showed His power over death by rising from the dead on the third day (Matt. 28; Rev. 1:18). Because of Christ, death is a defeated foe for those that believe!

 

Application:

            For the unsaved, life before death is the last resort to accept God’s offer of salvation.  Death ushers us into eternity. For the saved, we enter the presence of Christ: (“to be present with Christ” 2 Cor 5:8). For the unsaved, they go to a place of punishment (Hell) until the final judgment.  Which side are you on?                                                                   Revelation 20:13-14



God’s Plans Are Good – Children’s SS Lesson

Raise your hand if you’ve ever gone to a party. What kinds of things did you do at the party? Touch your nose if you had cake. Touch your ears if you played games. Touch your head if your friend opened presents. Put your hands on your hips if the party lasted six months! slide It probably didn’t last six months, did it? The Bible tells us about a party that lasted six whole months. What a party!
King Ahasuerus (ah-has-you-EH-rus) was king of the Persian Empire—one of the largest empires in the world. He and his beautiful queen, Vashti (VASH-tie), lived in a grand palace in the capital city of Shushan (SHOO-shan).
 
 
 
 
 
 
After King Ahasuerus had been king for three years, he decided to have a celebration for his princes and other leaders who worked for him. For six months he showed them his riches—gold, silver, precious jewels, and other expensive items—to impress them. Then at the end of the six months the king had another party that lasted for seven days. Everyone in Shushan was invited. Some of them were probably Israelites. The Israelites, also known as the Jews, were God’s chosen people. They were in Shushan far from their home in Israel because many of them had turned away from God to worship idols (false gods). God had allowed Israel’s enemies to capture them and take them away from their homes. The people of Israel had sinned against God.
 
You also sin against God by turning from His way and going your own way. You were born wanting to do wrong things like getting angry and pouting when you can’t have your own way or disobeying your parents and teachers. God says, (read Romans 6:23). The punishment you deserve for your sin is death— separation from God forever—because He is holy (without sin). But God, who created you, also loves you! He sent His only Son, the Lord Jesus, to take the punishment for your sin and mine. As God had planned, His perfect Son bled and died for you. (Read 1 John 1:7b.) It is through Jesus’ death that our sins are forgiven. Jesus willingly took your place when He gave His life’s blood so you could be made clean from your sin. Jesus was buried, but on the third day He came alive from the dead! He is alive in Heaven today, ruling as Lord over all. Because of what Jesus did, you can have your sin forgiven. You sin against God by turning from God’s way.
The people of Israel had sinned against God. Because they turned away from Him and worshipped idols, God allowed their enemies to capture them and take them to Persia. Many of them lived and worked in Shushan. Now all the men in Shushan were enjoying a grand banquet with the king. Queen Vashti and the women were also having their own party in another part of the palace.  Then on the seventh day the king had an idea—he would show off his beautiful queen! “Bring Vashti to me!” the king commanded
 
How do you think the queen felt when she heard the king’s command? 
 
The queen refused. The king’s servants returned and told Ahasuerus that Queen Vashti refused to come. The king was furious!
 
The king gathered his most trusted advisors and asked them, “What should I do about the queen because she has disobeyed?” His advisors suggested that he make a new law, banishing Queen Vashti forever. A law in Persia could never be changed—not even by the king. King Ahasuerus liked the idea and sent messengers all over the empire to tell about the new law. People all over the kingdom must have been surprised to hear that Vashti would no longer be queen.
After a few years, the king wasn’t angry at Vashti anymore and wished he hadn’t banished her. The king’s advisors told him it was time to find a new queen. “Let the most beautiful, unmarried, young women from throughout the kingdom be brought to the palace,” they said, “and let the king choose the one that pleases him. She will be queen instead of Vashti.” The king liked this idea. He told his officers to find the most beautiful women and bring them to the palace.
 
Esther was a beautiful, young woman who lived in Shushan. She lived with her older cousin Mordecai, who had raised her since her parents had died when she was a little girl. Esther was one of the beautiful, unmarried women who was taken to the palace. Before she was taken to the palace, Mordecai told Esther not to tell anyone she was Jewish. What a big change for Esther! We don’t know if she was excited or afraid. How would you feel if you were Esther? 
 
Why did God allow this to happen in her life? What was God doing?
Maybe sometimes you wonder what God is doing in your life. Many changes can happen in families—a parent might lose a job, a grandparent may die, or a brother or sister may become very sick. You don’t understand what God is doing or why He allows these things to happen. But if you have believed on Jesus as Savior, God wants you to trust His plans are best. (Read Isaiah 55:8.) You can never know all that God knows. God’s thoughts and plans are great because God is great. Let’s consider why God is so great. God is sovereign—He is in control of all things. He is all-powerful—He created the whole world, including you! He knows everything and nothing surprises Him. He knows about lost jobs, sickness, and even death. God knows what is happening to you and your family. God is love and He cares about what you think and how you feel. He wants to help you.
 
 
 “God’s plans are good!” God wants you to trust His plans are best even when you don’t understand what is happening. Sometimes things happen in life that don’t make sense. That’s what happened to Esther. She didn’t know why God was allowing this to happen.
 
 
 
 
 
After months of preparation, she would meet the king. If he chose her, she would remain in the palace as the queen. If he did not choose her, she would go to live in a different part of the palace with the rest of the women the king did not choose. She would live there the rest of her life, never to return home, get married, or have a family of her own. This was probably all very scary to Esther. She must have wondered what would happen to her. God’s plan seemed hard to understand. But God knew what was happening to Esther and His plans for her were best. God caused the king’s servant to like Esther best of all. He gave her the best of everything! For a whole year the servants prepared Esther and the other women by softening their skin with sweet-smelling lotions and oils, perfuming their hair, dressing them in beautiful robes, and giving them sparkling jewels to wear. Esther had never been treated like this before! She remembered her promise to Mordecai. (Read Esther 2:10-11.) Esther had kept it a secret that she was a Jew. Because Mordecai was one of the king’s servants, he was able to visit the palace every day and find out how Esther was doing. Although Esther didn’t understand all that was happening, God provided others near her to encourage her. Esther waited and wondered as one by one the women went to King Ahasuerus. Finally it was Esther’s turn. Although Esther was probably nervous and maybe even afraid as she went to meet the king, she could trust God’s plans are best.
 
If you have believed on Jesus as your Savior, God wants you to trust His plans are best. You may never understand why God lets hard things happen in your life. When your mom or dad lose their job, your grandparent dies, or your brother or sister become very sick, you can trust God.
 
 
He is sovereign, all-powerful, and all-knowing. God’s thoughts and plans for you may not make sense at the time. But because He loves you and cares about what you are feeling, you can trust His plans are good and right.
 
Say with me, “God’s plans are good!” (Say with children.) Whenever you don’t understand what God is doing, remember to say and pray. Say Proverbs 3:5. (Quote Proverbs 3:5 with children.) And pray to God. Thank Him that He loves you and knows all about what is happening to you, and ask Him to help. You can also talk to an adult you trust. Sometimes God uses other people to help us when hard things happen. God wants you to trust His plans are best, even when you don’t understand.
 
Although Esther was probably nervous and afraid as she went to meet the king, she could trust that God’s plans are best. She went to the king and the Bible says he loved Esther more than all the others!
 
The king chose Esther to be the new queen!
He placed the sparkling crown on her head. She was now Queen Esther! King Ahasuerus invited his officials and servants to a banquet in Esther’s honor. God planned for the king to choose Esther as queen. This amazing true story of God’s sovereignty and love is not over yet! Actually, the book of Esther is the only book in the whole Bible (hold up Bible) that doesn’t even mention God’s name!
 
 
But as we learn more about Esther, we will see God’s sovereignty—His control over everything that happened. God was working out His plan, but at this point in our story Esther did not know what would happen next.
 
You cannot know what will happen next in your life, but you can trust God no matter what. If you have believed on the Lord Jesus as your Savior, God wants you to trust His plans are best.
 
Whenever you don’t understand what God is doing, remember to say and pray. Say Proverbs 3:5. And pray to God. Thank Him that He loves you and knows all about what is happening to you and ask Him to help. Remember you can talk to an adult you trust about any hard thing you are going through. God can use them to help. When you get home, draw a picture of a hard thing you’re facing. After you draw the picture, tell God what you drew and thank Him that you can trust Him. Every time you think of the hard situation you drew, say this week’s memory verse and pray to God. Thank Him that He loves you and knows all about what you drew, and ask Him to help. Will you remember to trust God’s plans are best?

 
 
MEMORY VERSE
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
Proverbs 3:5
 
 
Copyright © 2019 Child Evangelism Fellowship Inc. All rights reserved.


Adult Sunday School Lesson 5/10/20

  1. Haughty Eyes  –  Proverbs  6:12-19

      Interesting Statement: “The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.” Jerome

      Introduction: Proverbs six outlines a “six/seven” pattern of crooked actions – six actions the Lord hates, & the seventh  being an abomination. The purpose of this numerical pattern is to bring us to an understanding of what truly gets under the Lord’s skin. While these serve as a warning for us in our striving to honor the Lord, we must remember that whenever a warning is issued, a way to be restored follows as God alone has the ability to save us.  Remember what He told Job, “He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.” (Job 5:19). Let’s take a look at the first, the “haughty eyes” (also known as a “proud look”).

      6:12-15 Sometimes, an evil person is easy to identify. At other times, we must be careful. 2 Thessalonians 2:7 mentions a ‘mystery of iniquity’. The evil man in verses 12-15 is dangerous because his evil plan is secret. His signals are small, but these signals might help us to identify him. Matt 7:15-20 explains how to identify evil people. We must look for the results of these people’s actions. (Matt 7:18) If we see a poisonous tree, its fruit is poisonous. If we see a good tree (for example, an apple tree), its fruit is good.                                                            

      Consider the actions of the man in Proverbs 6:12-15. In verse 12, he speaks false words. Such behavior is not good. It warns us about the man’s true character. In verse 14, he starts arguments. This man’s behavior is evil. We should not trust him. We cannot see that the man is plotting an evil plan in his heart (vs 14). However, we can already hear his arguments. We can hear his false words. The results of his actions are wrong. He is like the bad tree in Matt 7:18. The man’s actions are evil, so his plan will also be evil.

     Prov 6:16-19 lists seven crooked actions that God opposes. Put them together & they make God sick! God is trying to show us what really gets under the Lord’s skin. These verses serve as a warning for us in our striving to honor the Lord. Let’s take a look at the first,  a “proud look”.

 

I: The Problem – “Haughty Eyes” (Pro 6:16a)

17 A proud look, means “haughty”. Literally “eyes of loftiness”. 

Pro 30:13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! & their eyelids are lifted up.  God hates this. Some other things we know about those with “a proud look” 

Three Things about Pride

      1) It was the first sin – Pride was the first sin committed by Satan & then again by Eve. Our flesh thinks we are greater than God & do not need His help.

2) It is an action – The prideful look down on others, categorizing them as unworthy, not my equal. “a proud look”  fails to see that another can receive the same grace offered by God through the death & resurrection of Christ. Because of these actions, God, “resists the proud”.     James 4:6

3) It can be seen – The pride of the heart is evident in the eyes or by the looks of a man through traits like rudeness, arrogance, discourtesy & self-importance.

  • Application: Psa 101:5; Pro 21:4
How do I tell if I struggle with pride?
 
 

Ask yourself these six questions:

 

4). Do I only see or find only the faults in others?

The prideful fail to see their own faults, looking to the faults of others to feel better about themselves.  “The humble Christian sees so much evil in his own that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts.” Jonathan Edwards    Matt 7:3 

 

5) Am I unkind in my Spirit?–The prideful internally speak of others with dislike, annoyance, aggravation & judgment. That internal talk multiplies pride.    2 Cor 10:5

6). Am I superficial? – Superficial means, “what exists on the surface”. The Pharisees were motivated by the praise of men.—not God. 

Jesus said three times in Matt 6:2, 5, 16 that “Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

 

7). Am I defensive? – The prideful are knocked off balance & defensive when challenged. Their desire for praise from people is greater than gaining godliness.

 

8) Do I crave attention?–The prideful seek the praise & attention that comes from men, not God.   Jn 12:43

 

9). Do I neglect others? – The prideful look to their own needs, words, & wants rather than others – ignoring the weak, inconvenient, & unattractive. (Phil 2:4) Ask yourself, “Is there any seed of truth in these questions?” Perhaps more of us struggle with pride than we thought! What do we do?                                         Psa 139:23-24          Jer 17:9-10

 

      It’s easy to take that quiz & fail. Instead of simply throwing in the towel, ask God to search you as He alone knows the heart & thoughts & can lead us to a way that is everlasting. If the Spirit is identifying these traits then move from diagnosis to remedy. Get the cure for overcoming pride.

 

II: The Remedy (Cure) – Humility

      The opposite of pride is humility. Paul listed humility as one of three virtues that enhance the Christian’s walk with God. Eph 4:2 In Greek culture, humility was thought of as a vice only practiced by slaves.

Four things we know about humility…

10) God hears the prayers of the humble – 2 Chron 7:14

 

11) Humility is for our own good & saves us – (of the Israelites in the wilderness.)  Deut 8:16 Psa18:27

 

12) Humility preserves life & gives wisdom – Psa 147:6   Prov 11:2

 

13) Humility welcomes the care of God & shows us how to care for others –     Isaiah 66:2    Phil 2:1–11

  • As servants to righteousness (Rom 6:18) it would do us well to embrace what the world has excluded…
  • Illustration: “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” -Augustine
  • Application: How can I be humble? A few closing thoughts…

 

      14) Submit – The start of humility is submitting (1) to the Lord (Roms 10:9) & (2) His Word (Pro 30:5) . Refusing to submit to the Lord keeps ourselves on the throne, not God.

 

      15) Pray – Pray through the six questions revealing pride. Pray the prayer of repentance & ask for restoration & help.

 

      16) Outline & Enlist – Outline your shortcomings (not others) & develop a tangible plan (accountability, time in the Word & prayer, etc.) The prideful believe they can do it on their own but the humble have a plan!     1 Peter 5:5

 

      17) Watch – 1Cor 16:13 “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” Watch means we make sure that we aren’t falling back into our old routines or habits! Daily checking yourselves to see where you’re going in the right direction!

 

      18) Serve – Jesus is the definition of humility. Mark 10:45

 

      Conclusion: “Pride makes us artificial & humility makes us real.”

– Thomas Merton