Event Recap

 

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



Adult SS Lesson – Redeeming the Time, When Do We Start?

 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Eph 5:16

            Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Col. 4:5

            Last week’s lesson dealt with redeeming the time. This week’s lesson answers two questions:

I. WHEN DO WE START? NOW!

            “Say not ye, There are yet four months, & then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, & look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”-John 4:35. Now is the time! While there is time, there is opportunity-& we must not waste the time nor the opportunity. 

            “What l tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: & what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.”-Matt. 10:27.   We have heard from the Lord! We know what to do. We cannot be silent. Find a housetop & shout it! 

            When this pandemic ends, lets use what ever time God allows us to “Redeem the Time” this year & do better than ever before! Let’s not be lethargic! Let’s run the race excitedly & fervently. Let’s LET’S DO “BETTER” THIS YEAR!

            “Beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, & things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.’-Heb. 6:9. The word “better” occurs a number of times in the Book of Hebrews.

            The Book of Proverbs also uses “better” with frequency.

For instance, it says in Proverbs 8 that “wisdom is better… “than rubies”; “better than gold”; “than choice silver”(vss. 11, 19). Chapter 12 says, “He that is despised…is better than he that honoureth himself” (vs. 9).  We can learn a great deal from an of these verses, but some of them get really interesting. Consider, for example:

            1. Proverbs 15:16: “Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure & trouble therewith.” A lot of folks start wanting the better things, the better life, the better way, etc.; & so they go chasing the world & forget who God is. We are better served to give ourselves in full devotion to the Lord whether or not we ever have two nickels at the same time. No amount of “treasure” is “better” for you if you choose the world’s way to acquire it.

            “Better” it is to walk with God, though your treasures be little, than to compromise yourself for gain.

            2. Proverbs 15:17: “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox & hatred therewith.”

You would be better off if you never had another hamburger or steak, just a feast of herbs (vegetables) with love in full vogue, than to eat big & well where hatred is.

            3. Proverbs 16:32: “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; & he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”

            Many Christians pride themselves on their hot temper & don’t realize how carnal it was. It is much better for you to keep your cool & refrain from outbursts of anger.  Consider these other blessings of the better things. A morsel of bread with quietness is better than a feast with strife (17:1).   An honest poor man is better than a fool with perverse lips (19:1).   A poor man is better than a liar (vs. 22).    It is better to be exalted after humbling oneself than to be abased after exalting oneself (Luke 18:14).

It is better to go in the building & sit in the back & be called up to the seat of honor than to go in & assume the seat of honor & be asked to move to the back (14:10).

            An “open rebuke is better than secret love.” Sometimes it is better to go ahead & speak up because of the situation (Prov. 27:5).    A near neighbor is better than a far-off brother (27:10).   A righteous poor man is better than a wicked rich man (28:6).

            There are twenty of these “this is better than that” verses in Proverbs alone. Oh, how precious their truths & how valuable their teaching to us!

            The text in Hebrews says that some of their folks had not been performing as well as Christians should (6:9). Apparently, they had not understood the weight of the expectations that were upon them as Christians. So, in effect, the verse says, “I’m expecting better things Of you.”

            If you were a not-so-good Christian before, you can be a better Christian this coming year. Indeed you should be a better Christian. Let’s apply these Proverbs which I have noted here. In order to make up whatever we were lacking last year, we can deliberately aim to be decisively better this year.

            There’s a saying that goes, “Though I may not now be all l should be, I do thank God I’m not what I used to be & I know that I am not yet all I will be.”  So we have come a ways already, but we still have mountains to climb. It may not be easy, but it is right. The terrain may be rugged, but the path that takes us to the top is worth all the effort.

            This verse says, “Beloved, we are persuaded better things of you.” That’s a noble aim, a proper goal & one that all of us ought to be pondering-to be better Christians today than we were yesterday. Surely we could serve the Lord a little better today than we did yesterday. To set such goals as Christians would be entirely worthy & every bit appropriate for what we ought to do.

 

II. HOW DO I START?

            How will we spend the days, the hours, & every precious minutes of the remaining time God gives us. As we reflect on where we have been & what has happened in 2020, it is a year we will never forget. Already the year has given us highs & lows, sorrows & joys, successes & failures.

            As you think of the days you have spent, hopefully you will not have a lot of foolish regrets or lingering anxiety over the things you did not do that you know you should have done. But whatever has been the past, let’s consider the moment where we are now & glance out toward the horizon for the start of the rest od the year. Consider these great texts:

            “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, & in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.’-     II Cor. 6:2.

            “As the Holy Ghost saith, To day…hear his voice.”-   Heb 3:7

            “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, & continue there a year, & buy & sell, & get gain.”-      Jas. 4:13.

            It is a time for a fresh start. We need to see it as God’s refreshing us with opportunity. Such privilege should be quickly claimed & not squandered. May I offer these additional suggestions about how we may handle it wisely.

            1. Give God His proper place in your life! Acknowledge Him. Defer to Him. Trust Him. Receive His Word as true. Let Him guide your steps every moment, every day.

            2. Receive Christ as Saviour! If you are not already saved, then don’t delay. Confess yourself a helpless, Hell bound sinner & by faith receive the crucified & risen Christ as your Saviour.

            3. Get into a good church! You need a church because it is part of God’s provision for you. Don’t argue with God on this; agree with Him. The church will afford you a place to learn, grow & serve. You will be blessed & you will be a blessing-if you get into a good, Bible-believing, Christ-exalting, soul-winning, separated, fundamental church. Soon, your good church will be open for you Sunday morning, Sunday evening & for a midweek service too. Don’t miss! Be there!

           4. Pray each day! Prayer is the vehicle of communication that our Heavenly Father gave us so we could talk to Him. He wants to hear from each of His children. We need to speak to Him often every day.

           5. Read your Bible! When you want God to talk to you, read the Bible. It is His Word. He has already said what we need to hear. Quit looking elsewhere for the voice of God. His Book, the Bible, is His written voice. Read it.

            6. Keep close family ties! You should make much of your family. Love them. Spend time with them. Give yourself to them. If your family is not up to par, regroup your priorities & give yourself to them.

            7. Keep yourself clean! Read Exodus 20. That’s God’s moral law, ten statements of God’s declared values. Read the Book of Proverbs. There you will find roughly another one thousand principles of truth which are God-given rules to govern our behavior. Read the Epistles of the New Testament. They are loaded with a wide array of absolute truths, heavenly wisdom & distinctive principles to direct our steps.

            8. Be forgiving! If people have hurt you or in some fashion done you harm, get over it! Forgive them. Get it right with them & then go on with your life.

            9. Be loving! If you are harsh, rough, uncouth, razor-tongued, self-centered & insensitive to others, shame on you. You cannot do those things & be the Christian you should be. Learn to love & show it 

           10. Be generous! Quit your fretting over what you have corning to you & do something for somebody else. Don’t do the minimum; be generous. Don’t be stingy; give with enthusiasm!

            11. Tithe! If you make one dollar or a million, tithe! The tithe may be in your hands, but it doesn’t belong to you. It has simply been entrusted to you to see if you will honor the Lord. When Sunday comes, tithe!

            12. Win souls! If you look at our Lord’s Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20), how can you not see & understand the task He has entrusted to us? In a dark world, lost in sin, we are the ambassadors of Light. If we fail to go after sinners with the Gospel, we have failed at our greatest task.

            13. Be grateful! Stop thinking about your rights & what you don’t have. Breathe & thank God! Look at the plusses rather than the minuses. Be appreciative of small things. Express your gratitude to those around you. Pray to God your thanks for salvation, blessings & Heaven too! Don’t be an unbearable ingrate!

            14. Keep your standards! (personal holiness; personal code of conduct) In the culture of the twenty-first century, the appetites of the flesh are unleashed, undisciplined & unrestrained. Even in Christian circles the “have it my own way” philosophy has become a major matter. You & I should not flinch in doing the unusual when we know it’s right. Your standards will define you to the world, as will the lack of them. So go get a haircut, groom yourself neatly, dress yourself in gender-specific attire, leave off the smoking, drinking, gluttony (ouch!), etc.

            15. Sing! In the shower, in the car or walking alone, let your heart resonate openly in song. You don’t have to be good at it when you’re alone.

After a while, if your song is consistent with your life, you might try the choir too. You’re saved, thus you’re forgiven; so sing! You’re Heaven bound, so sing!

            16. Take time to play! You & your family ought to take regular time to play together. In the front or backyard, in your basement or at the kitchen table, take time to play together. Shut off the tube & the computer so you can enjoy one another. Play is not an unspiritual thing. It will do you & your family good.

            17. Pay your debts! Whoa! What’s this? Rein in your reckless spending. If you have debts, make the payments on time every time. Don’t foul up your testimony by piling up bad debts. Renegotiate or refinance if need be, but don’t let your debts spoil your reputation.

            18. Stop being a grump! Some Christians use their sour spirit to intimidate the people around them. They do it so everybody will give in to them & let them have their way. It is not a good thing; & if you are prone to do it, you should start today to end your stormy behavior.  Put on a happy face & then ask the Lord to help you feel it way down deep.

            19. Quietly listen! Some of the people around you would appreciate it if you would use your ears once in a while. If you are a motor-mouth, you are likely hurting yourself & the people closest to you. So give your vocal apparatus a rest & let your ears be employed. We will all enjoy you so much more if you will just stop the chatter & listen really closely.

            20. Show discouragement the door! While you’re at it, give an exit to defeat, depression, despondency & the like. Claim God’s provisions of goodness & mercy & give no quarter to the deadbeats of discouragement, etc.

            21.Get up early every morning! Get out of the bed. Thank God for the sunrise (it’s always low in the sky just to the east of your house). Get up; get going. The past is past. Don’t cry over yesterday’s spilled milk.

Be ready to be used of God this day. So go ahead, get up as early as is practical for you. There’s much to be done & today is the day to do it.

 

III. CONCLUSION

OPPORTUNITY ABOUNDS

            You and I should expect this rest of this year to be the best that we’ve ever had.

Somebody ought to thump our ears if we expect to coast through!

            Better than ever! Yes, indeed! The Lord is worthy of a better effort. Let’s shake off our failures,

our apathy & whatever else has caused us to fan short.

Let’s go for the “better things” this time!



Children’s Lesson 4/26/2020

“Jesus is God—listen to Him!”
 There are people, movies, books, and many other things telling us what we should do and how we should live. How do we know which voices to listen to? Jesus is the best one for us to listen to and obey because He is perfect and never makes mistakes. Say with me, “Jesus is God—listen to Him!” We listen to Jesus by reading the Bible and doing what it says. Sometimes we might feel like doing things our way instead of the way God says in the Bible, but God knows everything—of course He knows better than we do and we should listen to Him.
 
Even when Jesus lived on Earth, people had many ideas about who He was. Many people thought Jesus must be a great Bible hero from the past who had come back to life. But that’s not who Jesus is. One day the disciples talked with Jesus about the wrong ideas people had about Him. Then Jesus asked, (read Matthew 16:15). He was asking the disciples who they thought He was. The disciples had been getting to know Jesus for over two years! What had they seen or heard that would help them know who Jesus is? What was special about His birth? What miracles had He done?
 
 
 
 
 
A disciple named Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter saw that Jesus isn’t just a wise teacher, a great prophet, or a good person. He is the Savior God promised and He is God’s own Son!
Jesus is the one true God. There are not lots of different gods—there is only one God who exists in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Though it’s hard to understand, the Bible teaches all three (hold up three fingers) persons are one (hold up one finger) God. This three in one God is the great Creator King of all things. The whole universe belongs to Him because He made it and holds it together. He has no beginning and no end. (Read Jeremiah 10:10a.) He is the one true God. Everybody hold up one finger and say, “One true God!” (Do with children.) The one true God made you and loves you very much. His love is perfect and powerful because He is perfect and powerful. Jesus is the one true God. Who did Peter say Jesus is?  Peter was right! Jesus is the promised Savior and the Son of God! God helped Peter understand the truth about who Jesus is. By this time Jesus had spent about two years with the disciples helping them learn who He is. Now He knew it was time to prepare them for what was going to happen next. He taught His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem to suffer, be killed, and then be raised from the dead on the third day. This plan was hard for the disciples to understand. In fact, Peter began to argue with Jesus. “This will never happen to you!” he said. But Jesus wouldn’t change His mind. “You’re thinking about what you want instead of what God wants,” He replied. Jesus knew that Peter and many other people hoped Jesus would make Himself a powerful king and set them free from their enemies. They wanted Jesus to make them powerful and important. But God’s plan was for Jesus to die and rise again to save people from sin.
 
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit made a plan before the world was even created. Jesus is God the Son and He was there working with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit to create all things. He knew all people would sin and become separated from Him. Sin is anything you do that is against God. You and I are born knowing how to sin. The Bible says, (read Isaiah 53:6a). God knew people would want to keep on sinning by doing things like lying, stealing, and complaining. Jesus, God the Son, knew the punishment for sin would be death and separation from God. That’s a terrible punishment but He chose to take it! This was God’s plan—the reason Jesus came to Earth. This plan didn’t make sense to Peter and the other disciples. They had many different ideas about what Jesus should do, but they needed to trust Jesus and believe God’s plan was best.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 “Jesus is God—listen to Him!”
 
 
 
About a week after Jesus had explained His plan to the disciples, He walked up a mountain with Peter, James, and John. Let’s pretend to walk up the mountain with Jesus. While they were on the mountain, something amazing happened! (Read Matthew 17:2-3.)
 
Suddenly Jesus’ face and clothes began to shine! Staring at Him would have hurt your eyes—that’s how bright He was! He was showing His glory—the power and greatness that only God has. Moses and Elijah, two men who had served God hundreds and hundreds of years earlier, appeared and spoke with Jesus. You can read about Moses and Elijah in the Old Testament part of the Bible. These men were some of the most famous people in the whole Bible. What do you think they were talking about?  They were talking about Jesus’ plan to suffer and die. Even way back when Moses and Elijah had been alive, this had already been part of God’s plan to save people from sin.
 
God’s plan to save people from sin is Jesus. Jesus is God! He has always been and always will be. Even before He was born as a baby on Earth about 2,000 years ago, He lived in Heaven with God the Father. Even though Jesus is the perfect and powerful Son of God, He chose to come to Earth as a human baby, to live a perfect life, and to suffer and die for your sin long before you were even born. Jesus didn’t deserve to be punished for sin because He never sinned, but He chose to take the horrible punishment for your sin by bleeding and dying on a cross. (Read Isaiah 53:6b.) Jesus, the God of power and glory, came to die for all sin. Jesus also knew what would happen after He died. Do you know what happened? He came back to life! Hundreds of people saw Him before He went back to Heaven, where He is alive today. Someday Jesus will return to get rid of all bad things forever! He will make a New Heaven and a New Earth and will rule forever as King over all! Jesus is God’s plan so you can be saved from sin.
 
This is the great plan Moses and Elijah were talking about with Jesus. The disciples were amazed when they saw what was happening. They had heard amazing stories about Moses and Elijah that had happened hundreds of years earlier. But now these two Old Testament heroes from long ago were right in front of them talking with Jesus
 
When Peter saw what was happening, he didn’t want it to stop. He thought of a plan to make this moment last and started to explain his plan to Jesus. But something awesome interrupted him! (Read Matthew 17:5). God the Father told the disciples who Jesus was—the Son of God. He wanted them to listen to Jesus and obey Him. The disciples didn’t understand why Jesus had to suffer and die, but they needed to learn to listen to God and obey Him.
You need to listen to God and obey Him too. If you have believed on Jesus as your Savior from sin, honor Jesus as God by doing what He says. Today God speaks to His children through His Word, the Bible. As you read the Bible, God the Holy Spirit helps you know and understand what God wants you to learn. It’s really exciting when you know God is speaking to you.
 
Say with me, “Jesus is God—listen to Him!”  But it isn’t enough to hear God’s Word or know what it says. God tells His children to listen and obey. (Read James 1:22.) When you obey God you are trusting Jesus as the ruler of your life. Maybe you forgot to study for a test and your friend offers to give you the answers. It isn’t enough to know that cheating is wrong. You need to listen to what God says and say no to sin. We work really hard to memorize Bible verses here. Does anyone remember the memory verse from last week? I’m proud of you for knowing the verse by heart, but that isn’t enough. That verse tells you to forgive people who have hurt you. You need to obey what God says in His Word. You need to remember to listen to what God says and obey Him.
 
The disciples needed to learn this too. They thought they knew exactly what Jesus should do. They wanted Him to follow their plans to make their nation great and powerful, but God the Father spoke to these disciples out loud to remind them to listen to Jesus and do what He said.
 
Say with me, “Jesus is God—listen to Him!”
 
The disciples had never seen anything like this! They felt so little and helpless compared to the God of power and glory that they all fell down on their faces. Can you pretend to hide your face and shiver with fear?  Jesus had let them see the power and glory of God!
 
CONCLUSION
They were terrified, but Jesus touched them and told them to get up. They looked up and saw that they were alone with Jesus again. Peter, James, and John never forgot what happened that day. Jesus showed them the power and glory of God! Not long after that, Jesus died and rose again just like He said He would. After this happened, God’s plan made more sense to the disciples. They finally understood that Jesus, the God of power and glory, had come to Earth to make the way for people to be saved from sin.
Free Coloring Sheet: Lesson 5 Printable


Adult Lesson – Redeem The Time

REDEEM THE TIME

            For a lot of folks the monotony of the day-to-day grind is total boredom. They will face the new year with a “been-there-done-that” attitude. They have no vision, little energy & no excitement.

            But with a world of more than seven billion living souls & millions of them perishing every year, we must not allow the spirit of lethargy to take lodging with us! We must not give comfort to indifference! We must not sluggishly & selfishly pass the time mired in defeat.

            In so many ways we live in a dark day, but the light of the Gospel still shines. It is a strong, piercing, illuminating light. It destroys the darkness every place it is sent. As Christians we are not helpless & we are not without mandate. Now is the time God has given to us, & frankly, we must not foolishly squander it.

            We are challenged by the word we have from the Lord to ‘redeem the time’:

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil”. Eph 5:16.

“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” Col. 4:5.

            The dynamics of this theme require us to make full use, wise use, of the time afforded. We are not guaranteed another year. Who knows if we will have full menu of 365 twenty-four-hour days. Should the Lord tarry His coming, for however long He gives us, we should make every one of the days a day of ministry & service unto the Lord.

            Surely right now is an excellent time to “push the reset button” & get a fresh start. Here are some suggestions to you:

 

I. EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD “REDEEM THE TIME”

            Every blood-bought, born-again son & daughter of the living God should personally & individually make heartfelt resolves for the new year.

 

1. Dedicate yourself afresh to a daily walk with the Lord.

            Pray, read your Bible, live by biblical concepts & practice godly principles. As you keep your heart open & attuned to the Lord, you should ask Him to guide your every step. Determine that you will stay in fellowship with the Lord as you go about your daily business.

 

2. Read your Bible in its entirety.

            You can do that & you can do it this year.  Get & use a daily Bible-reading calendar. They are a very handy way to set a schedule & keep a record of what you’ve done. You’ll be blessed by systematically & daily walking through the Bible.

 

3. Commit yourself to three services a week.

            It never fails! When a Christian gets fully serious about making his life count for the Lord, he/she start showing up at church Sunday morning, Sunday night, & for the midweek service. Building everything around your local church is neither new nor novel. It is an old- fashioned plan that produces good results. It’s still the way to go. It will undoubtedly be necessary to cull out other time thieves in your schedule. Trim & trim some more until you can make time for church.

            Although we cannot assemble during the Corona Virus with stay at home & social distancing requirements, we can still worship via livestream.  Soon, we hope to be able to safely assemble to worship & serve God.

 

4. Attend special meetings.

            When your church has revival, Bible conference, etc., make adjustments to your normal schedule & be there. These special events will add a dimension of blessing to your life. So many Christians hear of these opportunities but keep passing them up for lesser causes. This is the year to start taking full advantage of these big meetings!

            Again, although we cannot assemble during the Corona Virus with stay at home & social distancing requirements, we can still attend many services via livestream.  Soon, we hope to be able to safely assemble to worship & serve God.

 

5. Give yourself to soul winning.

            Take the soul winners’ training your church offers. Become a part of the team of soul winners who actively go soul winning every week. You’ll be amazed at how God can use you-& you’ll be further amazed at what blessing comes to the soul winner himself.

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; & he that winneth souls is wise.’-Prov. 11:30.

 

6. Go ahead & tithe!

            You really can’t afford not to tithe. If you’ve been trying to manage your business without this obedience to God, don’t be surprised at your STRESS. Rearrange your finances & put your obligation (tithe) to God at the top of the list.

If you’ve neglected this during the past year, some may be able to write a check now & catch up before the end

of December? Even if you can’t do that, start right tithing right now & keep it up every week.

 

7. Stop rehearsing past hurts & failures.

            If you are nursing some old wound, give it up! Let it go. The past is past. You have today & with God’s help you can make it beautiful. But by all means, don’t let some ugly thing from yesterday steal the joys of today & the hopes for tomorrow. Clean out the attic of your mind-& stop rehearsing the trash of the past. As you enter the coming year look up (to the Lord) & look forward (to the future).

 

8. Share the vision of your pastor.

            You’ll do well to find out the dream your pastor has for your church & for reaching your area for Christ. Let yourself in on that vision. Dream with him. Invest yourself in bringing that dream to reality. Walk side by side with the pastor. Work with him. Stand by him.

 

9. Keep your spirit warm & excited.

            If you fall prey to the Devil’s snare in becoming a critic & a crank, you are going to lose a lot that is important. Don’t let yourself become the judge & jury of everybody close to you. You don’t want to be treated that way, so don’t you do it to others.

            Learn the good songs of the Faith & sing them every day. Be patient with the faults of your fellow Christians. Stay upbeat even when things go awry. Keep the joys of the Lord flooding your soul & flowing out through your countenance. Stay sweet & keep your spirit & attitude excited!

 

10. Trust the Lord.

            You can’t foresee every shadow that will fall across your path. You can’t stop trouble from camping in your neighborhood-but you can trust God. No matter what, you can trust Him. He never leaves you nor forsakes you. When darkness engulfs you, trust Him. When the burdens grow heavy, trust Him. When you don’t know the answers & you can’t explain the circumstances, trust Him.

Just keep on trusting!



Children’s Lesson 4/19/20

 “Thank God—Jesus gives hope!” 
 
Have you ever felt left out? Perhaps you weren’t chosen to be on a team during a game because you’re not a fast runner. Maybe you are not able to eat cake at a friend’s birthday party because you have food allergies. Perhaps no one plays with you at recess and you feel lonely. It hurts to be left out, doesn’t it? Can you imagine what it would feel like to be left out of everything? There was a man we read about in the Bible who may have felt that way.
 
 
 
his man lived in an area of Israel called Samaria. The people from Samaria are called Samaritans. The Jews treated the Samaritans this way. They had been enemies for hundreds of years. Jews would even take the long way around Samaria to avoid the Samaritans. They thought God didn’t care about the Samaritans. Many Jews thought they were the only ones God had a plan for. They didn’t understand how powerful God’s love is. The Jews would often treat anyone who wasn’t a Jew badly—especially Samaritans. Life as a Samaritan was not easy but then it got even worse for this man. Parts of his skin began to look strange. He had a horrible skin disease. He wanted to get rid of it! What do you think he did?  Perhaps he washed it and scrubbed it with soap. He probably tried bandaging it and putting medicine on it. Maybe he even went to a doctor for help. Can you pretend to do these things? 
He hoped it would get better but it didn’t. It only got worse! He had a horrible disease called leprosy. Oh no! Having leprosy meant he would be left out of everything! The law said people with leprosy could not live with other people. They had to leave their homes and families. Whenever other people came near, they had to shout, “Unclean! Unclean!” This would warn others to stay away. Shout, “Unclean!” with me. Many people with leprosy never got better—the disease just got worse and worse until they died. The Samaritan man must have felt hopeless. He couldn’t do anything to save himself from this horrible problem.
Did you know you also have a horrible problem you can’t get rid of on your own? It’s not a sickness or a disease—it’s a problem all people are born with. God calls it sin. Sin is going against God. Being mean to other people, cheating in school, and saying mean things to others are just a few ways we go against God. Sin is your worst problem because it causes separation from God forever in a terrible place of punishment. (Read Isaiah 59:2a.) He wants to warn you that your sin will separate you from His friendship forever. You can’t do anything to take care of your sin problem on your own. That sounds pretty hopeless. What a terrible problem! The Samaritan man was also born with this terrible problem of sin and now he had leprosy too. How sad and hopeless he must have felt. Then the Samaritan man heard about Jesus and His great power!
 
 
One day Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem and passed by Samaria. Who do you think Jesus met? (Allow response.) Listen to what the Bible says. (Read Luke 17:12.) Jesus met ten people with leprosy. People with leprosy sometimes lived together in groups to keep each other company and help each other. The Samaritan was one of these ten men. Did Jesus care about this Samaritan man? Yes, Jesus did care!
Jesus cares for you too. He is God, the Creator of all people and He loves all of them. Different skin colors, languages, and countries were all God’s idea. He made each of you with different favorite foods and different abilities. God is so creative! We are all one of a kind. Even identical twins have many differences—including different fingerprints. No matter what you look like, where you are from, or what you have done, God loves you! He is perfect and His love for you and for all people is perfect. Let’s see what the Bible says about God’s love. (Read Psalm 107:1.) God’s love is forever! His love is so big and so powerful we can’t completely understand it. He cares about all people, including you. God also cared about the Samaritan man and the men who were with him. Because of their leprosy, these ten men stayed away from Jesus. But they began to shout to Him, (read Luke 17:13b). They begged Jesus for mercy. Can you shout, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” and wave your arms?
 
Jesus looked at the lepers and told them to go show themselves to the priests. This is what they were supposed to do if they thought their leprosy was gone. The priests would make sure they were really healed. Jesus was offering a way for all of them, even the Samaritan, to be healed. He was their only hope!
Jesus is also your only hope. He is the only one who could do what God said had to be done to pay for sin. Jesus is the perfect Son of God, but He willingly took the punishment you deserve. Evil men took Jesus away and beat Him. He was bruised and whipped even though He had done nothing wrong. (Read Isaiah 53:5a.) Jesus was nailed to a cross, where He bled and died. Then He came back to life to prove He has the power to save you from sin and give you eternal life with God. Because of what He did, you don’t have to face the punishment for sin! Hundreds of people saw Jesus after He came back to life. Then after 40 days He went back to Heaven. Today He is in Heaven being honored as King over all! Jesus has power to save you from sin. You don’t have to feel hopeless about your sin. Because Jesus rose from the dead, you can have hope!
The people with leprosy didn’t have to feel hopeless either. Jesus was there! He didn’t ignore them or run away from them like other people would have. He told them to go show themselves to the priests. As they went, they were all healed! Let’s all stand up and run in place, pretending to hurry to the priests! As you run in place, look at the person next to you and say, “I’m healed!”  But the Samaritan man was the only one who went back to thank Jesus. When he saw he was healed, he turned back, loudly praising God.
Say with me, “Thank God—Jesus gives hope!”  God changed him completely and gave him hope. He returned to Jesus and thanked Him for what He had done. Have you thanked God for what He’s done for you? If you have already trusted Jesus to save you from sin, thank God for what He has done for you. He saved you from sin, changed you on the inside, and gave you hope. That’s the best thing anyone could ever do for you. And He keeps doing things to show He cares for you. You are now His child and you can talk to Him each day. You can know He will hear and answer you. He will never stop loving you!  Take time every day to thank God for His great love that never fails. God has saved you from sin and given you hope. Say with me, “Thank God—Jesus gives hope!”  You can thank God for what He’s done for you.
The Samaritan thanked Jesus for what He had done for him, but no one else came back. He healed ten. Jesus said, (read Luke 17:17-18). Only the Samaritan returned to thank Jesus. He knew he had done nothing to save himself from leprosy—Jesus did it all! Jesus gave him hope no one else could give. The Samaritan praised God and fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him. Jesus said to the man, (read Luke 17:19). Faith is when you believe something so strongly you do something about it. The Samaritan had faith that Jesus could heal him. He must have also had faith that Jesus could save him from his sin, because Jesus told him his faith had made him whole!
 
 
Jesus showed His power and glory by first healing the man’s leprosy then saving him from the hopelessness of sin. Jesus was showing people that God offers love and hope to everyone!
 
After this miracle, Jesus continued on His way to Jerusalem where He knew He would be killed to make a way for all people to be saved from their sin.
Jesus made the way for you to be saved from the hopelessness of sin. He did this by dying on the cross and rising again. The Bible says, (read Romans 10:13). “Whosoever” includes you! You can be saved. To be saved means to receive new life with God that starts now and lasts forever. To call on the name of the Lord means you are willing to believe that Jesus completely took your punishment and that by dying and coming alive again, He is the only way you can be saved from your sin.
 


Adult Lesson – Dealing With Discouragement

DEALING WITH DISCOURAGEMENT

Phillipians 4:10-13

 In 1 Corinthians 9:11-18, Paul wrote that he didn’t accept gifts from the Corinthian church because he didn’t want to be accused of preaching only to get money. But Paul maintained that it was a church’s responsibility to support God’s ministers (1 Corinthians 9:14). He accepted the Philippians’ gift because they gave it willingly & because he was in need.       

 4:11   I have learned… therewith to be content—Paul knew how to be content whether he had plenty or not. The secret was focusing on Christ for strength. Do we have great needs, or are we discontented because we don’t have what we want?

 4:12 Paul was content because he could see life from God’s point of view. He focused on Christ & on what he was called to do.

 4: 13 I can do all things—Christ supplies resources necessary to complete what He asks us to do. Galatians 2:20;  1 Timothy 1:12  We will face troubles, pressures, & trials. As we walk with Him, Christ will strengthen us. We can do anything God sets before us to do.   Revelation 3:7-8

 

NINE PRINCIPLES FOR DEALING WITH DISCOURAGEMENT

 

  1. REMOVE ALL GUILT BY REPENTANCE & CONFESSION

A guilty conscience is a warning signal God placed inside us that goes off when we do wrong. The worst thing we can do is eliminate the guilty feelings without eliminating the cause. A tender conscience makes us aware of our sin so we can ask God’s forgiveness & then correct our behavior.  1 Timothy 1:19; 4:1-2 

 Each time we deliberately ignore our conscience, we are hardening our heart. As we study & pray, God will speak to us thru our conscience. Ask God for forgiveness of our daily sins—the sooner we repent, the sooner our fellowship & peace are restored. Be specific—name your sins. 1 John 1:9

Regret over doing wrong is not true repentance. True Repentance involves obedience & changing our behavior.  Many Christians are plagued by guilt.  Either they don’t understand what salvation is or they have not repented.

The absence of guilt isn’t always a barometer of whether we are doing right. Because we can deny reality, we cannot measure obedience by our feelings. Instead, we must compare what we do with God’s standards for living. Jeremiah 17:9-10

 

  1. ATTACK YOUR PROBLEM WITH THE WORD OF GOD

Biblical counseling is applying the Word of God to life’s problems. (Bitterness or an unforgiving spirit— Hebrews 12:15 )

  1. ENCOURAGE YOUR HEART IN THE LORDLearn how to encourage yourself by communing with God. The Bible is a love letter from a Father to His children. 1 Samuel 30:6    Psalms 55, 35, 51, 32, 69, 38

 

  1. REMOVE YOURSELF FROM FEARFUL PEOPLE.

Critical, negative thinking is contagious.  What is dragging your spirit down?  Is it the people you hang around?    Deuteronomy 20:8  Galatians 5:7

 
  1. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT KIND OF PEOPLE

Surround yourself with people who are experienced, wise, & faithful….people who will lift you up, not drag you down.    Proverbs 27:17

 

  1. AVOID MAJOR DECISIONS IN TIMES OF DISCOURAGEMENT

Decide ahead of time what you are going to do. Do not get give in to discouragement. Keep your focus on Jesus.   1 Corinthians 15:58

 

  1. OVERCOME YOUR PRIDE & SHARE YOUR DISCOURAGEMENT WITH OTHERS

 Christ has made it possible for us to go directly to God for forgiveness. There are still occasions to confess our faults to each other:  

            (a) If we have sinned against an individual, ask him or her to forgive us.

     (b) Discuss your situation with someoneWHO WILL PRAY FOR YOU! James 5:16-18 

Galatians 6:1-5

V1  Overtaken in a fault—captured by a character flaw or besetting sin.   Fault refers to a character flaw or moral weakness. Sin refers to a willful action of disobedience.  When asking for prayer, don’t give a lot of unnecessary sinful details.

BALANCE –Don’t allow your mind to be polluted or discouraged by allowing them to go into too many details.  Watch out for bitter or critical spirits. Don’t become polluted.

 

  1. FOCUS ON YOUR POSITION IN CHRIST. Heb 12:1-44: 1 a great cloud of witnesses is the people described in Hebrews 11—heroes of the faith in Heaven.  We do not struggle alone, & we are not the first to struggle with the problems we face.
 

The Christian life involves hard work. It requires us to give up whatever endangers our relationship with God, to run patiently, & to struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit.

These Hebrew Christians were facing difficult times of persecution, but none of them had yet died for their faith. Because they were still alive, the writer urged them to

continue to run their race. Just as Christ did not give up, neither should they.  Without Christ, we would have no hope at all.  1 Corinthians 15:58

  1. DISCOVER HOW GOD CAN USE  THIS SITUATION FOR GOOD.  ROMANS 8:28

  God will turn your sorrow into joy if you let HIM work in your life.  God allows us to go through testings:        

  1. A) to show us our weaknesses; &
  2. B) to prepare us for greater service later on. 


“Jesus is the Savior!”

Jesus did many amazing things while He was on Earth—so many, in fact, that the Bible says they are innumerable (John 21:25). Jesus did not come just to show He is the great physician. He did not come just to show He is the provider. Jesus came to make a way for you to be with Him. He came to tear the veil of the Holy of Holies so you can enter into God’s presence.
“Jesus is the Savior!” What would you do if you had unlimited power?  Jesus is the God of power and glory. He has limitless power and could have done anything He wanted to. But instead of using His power to show off or make Himself famous, He chose to use His power to save people from sin. Say with me, “Jesus is the Savior!”  When Jesus did awesome things, people were very impressed. He could have easily become a famous king or the most popular person on Earth. But that’s not why He came to Earth. He came to save people from sin. Say with me, “Jesus is the Savior!”
Jesus was so amazing that many people wanted to see Him, but Jesus and His disciples had been very busy and they were tired. Can you pretend to be tired?  They needed to rest but so many people were coming and going they couldn’t rest or even eat. Jesus knew His disciples needed some rest so He told them to come with Him.
Jesus was so amazing that many people wanted to see Him, but Jesus and His disciples had been very busy and they were tired. Can you pretend to be tired? They needed to rest but so many people were coming and going they couldn’t rest or even eat. Jesus knew His disciples needed some rest so He told them to come with Him.
No, thousands of people followed them. They were still not able to rest. How would that make you feel if you were very tired? Instead of being angry or annoyed because the people wouldn’t let Him rest, Jesus cared for the people. He knew they needed help so He began teaching them. He taught for a long time.
Finally the disciples came to Jesus and told Him it was late and the people were hungry. (Read Mark 6:35-36.) Jesus told the disciples to give the people something to eat. Perhaps the disciples quickly talked together to figure out how to do this. Let’s imagine what they might have said.
If you have trusted Jesus as your Savior, God wants you to trust Him for everything. When you trust God, you believe He is who He says He is. You believe He will do what He says He will do. God might teach you to trust Him by letting you go through hard times or by helping you do something very difficult. Maybe you will pray about something for a very long time and never get to see the answer to your prayer. These things are not easy but they help you learn to trust God. They teach you that you are not in control. They give you the opportunity to watch God do things you cannot do. The Bible says, (read 2 Samuel 22:31). You can trust that God’s way is perfect and He knows what He is doing. You can look to Him as your refuge. God often answers our prayers in ways we don’t expect. Sometimes He uses other people. If you are going through a difficult time, talk to an adult you trust about it. God might use that person to help, but even if He doesn’t, you can still trust God. Ask God to help you learn to trust Him.
 
 
Jesus wanted to teach the disciples to trust Him. He had a plan! He thanked God for the food they did have and began to divide it up for the people. How much food did they start with? How many people do you think that would feed? Five loaves and two fish certainly wasn’t enough to feed this huge, hungry crowd of over 5,000! But Jesus told the disciples to give the food to the people. 
They gave food to thousands of people, but the food didn’t run out! They continued to pass out food while everyone ate until they were full. Then Jesus told the disciples to gather the leftovers. Pretend to hand your leftover food back to the disciples. (Do with children.) There was enough leftover food to fill 12 baskets! Jesus fed thousands of people and they ended up with way more food than they started with. Jesus did a miracle! He could do this because He is God and He has the same great power as God the Father.  
 
Read Psalm 147:5. God is so great that we can’t even measure or understand how powerful and wise He is!  God is stronger than we can imagine. That’s why God is able to do things we can’t explain. God made you and loves you very much. He has given you the Bible so you can know Him and enjoy being with Him forever. God’s home is perfect just like He is, and He wants you to be there with Him. God is so great no one else can completely understand or measure how wise and powerful He is. Jesus showed God’s great power when He fed the crowd. The huge crowd couldn’t explain how Jesus did this miracle, but over 5,000 people had seen it and eaten the food He gave them. The people believed Jesus had great power. They wanted Him to do more things for them.
 
 
 
The people thought if Jesus could feed all of them, He could also fix all the problems in their country. They wanted to force Jesus to be their king. They wanted to be saved from the problems in their country, but Jesus had come to save them from their biggest problem of all—their sin. 
 
Sin is thinking, saying, or doing things your way instead of God’s way. Making up stories to make yourself look good or complaining about not getting your own way are sins. Planning to get even with someone else is also a sin—even if they were mean to you first. Do you remember when sin entered the world?  Ever since the very first people sinned, all people have been born wanting to sin against God. (Read Romans 5:12.)
Sin is a huge problem because it keeps you from having a relationship with God. It keeps you from ever knowing the goodness of a friendship with God. God wants you to know how terrible your sin is and that He is the only one who can save you. Sin is the most terrible problem in the world!
The people weren’t focused on their problem of sin. Instead they thought Jesus should fix the problems with their country.

 

 

They found Jesus in Capernaum (kuh-PURR-nay-um) and hoped He would continue to feed them. Jesus knew what they wanted but He knew what they really needed was to be saved from their sin.
“Jesus is the Savior!”
Jesus came to make the way for you to have eternal life too! There is no way you can save yourself from sin. Jesus is God and He is the only way you can be saved.
Jesus told them they were too worried about getting more food. What they really needed was someone who could give them eternal life. Jesus told them amazing things about Himself to help them understand that He was the one who could give them what they really needed. Jesus said, (read John 6:38). He was telling them He had come from Heaven to complete God’s plan to save people. God’s plan wasn’t to make sure they had lots of food but to make a way for them to have everlasting life. Jesus told them, (read John 6:40). Jesus was saying that He is the Son of God who came to make a way for them to have eternal life.
Because Jesus is God, He never sinned. He had no sin of His own to be punished for, but He willingly took the punishment for your sin. Jesus gave His life’s blood for you when He suffered and died on the cross. Now you don’t have to be separated from God. (Read Ephesians 2:13.) Because Jesus bled and died, you can come near to God; you can have eternal life with Him! Jesus said He had power to save people from sin and give them eternal life. He proved this by coming back to life. Only God’s power could do that! Hundreds of people saw Jesus alive before He left Earth to return to Heaven. Today Jesus is the King in Heaven and He has power to save you from sin and give you eternal life with God.
 
 
Jesus told the people He had come from Heaven to give eternal life. But that wasn’t what they wanted to hear. Many of the people stopped following Jesus that day. (Read John 6:66.) Jesus asked the 12 disciples if they were going to stop following Him too.
 
The disciples still had a lot to learn about Jesus, but they were beginning to realize that Jesus didn’t just come to feed people. He was showing His power and glory to help people believe He had the power to save them from sin and give them eternal life.
 
Jesus came to make the way for you to have eternal life!
 
 
Copyright © 2019 Child Evangelism Fellowship Inc. All rights reserved


Adult Lesson for 4/12/20

DECISIONS DECISIONS

PURITY CHECK-UP

1) When was the last time you made a crude joke or laughed at one?                     

2) When was the last time you sat thru a sexual scene on TV & didn’t change the channel?

3) When you look at someone of the opposite sex, does the way you look at them make them uncomfortable?

  1. Do you have off colored words in your vocabulary?
  2. Do you go to places of entertainment where the sexual atmosphere is thick & you are not troubled by   it?    
  3. Do you read books & magazines with immoral stories or pictures? 
  4. Married: Are you attracted to someone who is not your spouse?

          Single: Are you attracted to someone who is not Christian?  

  1. How different is your entertainment from people who are not Christians?   
  2. Do people feel free to be off-colored around you? 
  3. What do you frequently do for entertainment that you would not do if Christ was standing next to you?

 

DECISIONS DECISIONS

      Sociologists say we make 200 decisions everyday. Many of the decisions we make are routine & easy.  Some decisions are overwhelming. Have you ever been overwhelmed with decisions & paralyzed by fear of messing up?

      If the Bible specifically speaks to an issue, that settles it!   1 Thess 4:3-7

            1 Corinthians 10 encourages us to make God honoring decisions.  It gives us a framework of questions to run our decisions through. In areas where the Bible is silent, here are questions to help us when making decisions: 1 Cor 10:23-33

     

 

1) IS IT HELPFUL?            1 Cor 10:23

      We have a lot of freedom in Christ. We are saved by grace.  But exercising my freedom is not always helpful.

It is not always helpful doing what we want—even though we can. It is not necessarily wrong, but neither is it helpful. We avoid a heap of trouble when we make a decision if we ask ourselves is it helpful for me…   Just because something is allowable doesn’t mean it is helpful or beneficial.                                                                                                 Gal 5:13
 

2) IS IT CONSTRUCTIVE ?           1 Cor10:23b

      Does it build others up? If I do this, will it leave them better off?      Gal 5:13-14    1 Cor 8:9        1 Peter 2:15-16

 

3) IS IT AN INVESTMENT IN OTHERS?             1 Cor 10:24

      Seek the good & well-being of others.  Does my course of action seek the good, the betterment, the blessing of my neighbor? Or is it purely selfish & detrimental to my neighbor’s good.

      Where would all of us be if others had not taken an interest in us. Everybody in this building owes something to someone.  We are to do good to others even if it cost us something. If it cost me something, where does that leave me?? It leaves you BLESSED.  While we are seeking the good of others, GOD Himself is seeking our good. God will bless us with increased faith, joy, peace, & love.   When we invest in others, God will feel so much nearer to us. Decisions based on helping others will always bring us a blessing.

 

4) IS IT OKAY?  1 Cor 10:25-29

      10:25-26 These verses deal with specific problems. It was a common practice for the pagan priests to take the meat from animal sacrifices & take it to the markets for retail sale. Some believers were bothered by the fact that they might be purchasing meat which had been offered to idols.              Paul said to buy the meat & ask no questions about its source, for the earth with all its creatures & provisions is the Lord’s. Animals were created by God for man.  If there is a wrong, it was committed by the idol worshippers, not by the believer who uses the animal as God purposed.

      10:27-29  Paul addressed the problem of Christians being invited to social events by unbelievers. If a non-Christian invites you to dinner & you feel like going, go ahead & enjoy yourself.

      On the other hand, if he went out of his way to tell you that this or that was sacrificed to a god or goddess, don’t eat! You don’t want to send mixed messages to him about who you are worshiping.

     

5) IS IT HARMFUL?   1 Cor 10:28-29                     

If it is physically harmful, don’t do it.1 Cor 6:12  Heb 12:1    

If it is spiritually harmful for you, don’t do it.

If it is spiritually harmful for someone else, don’t do it.

 

6) DOES IT GLORIFY GOD?  1 Cor10:29-31

      We are to live for God’s glory, even if it means sacrificing something we enjoy.

      Paul anticipates an argument in vv. 29-30.   “Why should my strong conscience be judged by a brother’s weak conscience?”

      The answer is: regardless of what we do, be it eating or drinking, we must do it for God’s glory & not just to please ourselves.                      Rom 14:21; 15:1

      Humanly speaking, it may seem wrong for a strong Christian to bow to a weaker brother, but this is what glorifies God. Causing a weaker brother to stumble into sin would disgrace the church & the name of Christ. The stronger should always bow to the needs of the weaker.

 

7) IS IT OFFENSIVE?  1 Cor10:31-32

      Is it generally pleasing to others? Does it make a good impression on others or does it make us look like jerks? Don’t be offensive on purpose.    1 Pet 2:19-21

 

SUMMARY

Test 1: Does it violate Scripture. If it does, the answer is NO!                   

Test 2: Is the thing or act expedient & edifying?  It may be lawful, legitimate, & allowed…;  but is it                            expedient, beneficial, helpful, & useful?… Does it edify & build up? Is it constructive?

        Test 3: Does the thing or act seek the welfare of others?

        Test 4: Is it courteous & kind?

        Test 5: Does the thing or act violate MY conscience?

        Test 6: Does it hurt the conscience of another person?                       

8) No believer should participate in an activity

  • that would violate his/her conscience.        
  • that would identify him as a worldly person.    1 Thess 5:21-22
  • that would unnecessarily harm others. 

             The point of this passage is clear: if partaking of any activity or if participating in any function or activity offends a weaker Christian, then we are not to partake or participate. The weaker Christian’s conscience & life are far more important than any food or drink or any social event or activity. This is the test that controls all the others. Even if our own conscience is not bothered, we are to act for the sake of others. We are not to do things if they offend others—no matter how lawful & legitimate & acceptable they are.                                               1 Cor 8:13



Childrens Lesson 4/5/2020

TRUST JESUS – HE IS ALL POWERFUL! 
 
 
 
After a long, tiring day of teaching, Jesus told His disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee with Him in a boat. 
 
 
Here is a picture of the Sea of Galilee where they were rowing. It’s still there. It’s a real place! The Bible isn’t a book of made up stories. It tells about things that really happened. Do you see these mountains by the sea? The cold air blowing down from these mountains can sometimes start powerful storms. That’s exactly what happened when Jesus and His disciples were in the boat. (Read Mark 4:37a.) Several of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen—they knew a lot about the sea. They would have known what to do in a storm, but this storm was a really bad one! Let’s try to imagine what it may have been like.
Do situations around you sometimes make you afraid? Many times problems that are out of your control come your way. Perhaps you’re moving to a new school and you’re afraid you won’t be able to make new friends. Maybe someone you love is sick and there’s nothing you can do to help. When problems come, you might become worried and afraid. You might even forget Jesus can help you. But if you know Jesus as your Savior, you can trust Him to always do what’s best for you, even when you are afraid. The Bible says we can expect to have problems in our lives. Jesus said, (read John 16:33). That means hard times will come but you don’t have to be afraid. Jesus is the all-powerful God. You can trust Him!
 
 
Say with me, “Trust Jesus—He’s all powerful!” He knows about your problems and how scary they can be. But Jesus is with you to help you. He is more powerful than the problems of this world. Jesus wants you to trust Him when situations around you make you afraid.
 
 
 
The disciples were very afraid when they were caught in the huge storm. They tried their best to row through the storm but nothing worked! The disciples were rowing and rowing and bailing and bailing. They looked around them and were so afraid. But not everyone in the boat was afraid. In fact, one person was sound asleep in the back of the boat. It was Jesus.
 
 
 
He wasn’t afraid at all. (Read Mark 4:38.) The disciples woke Him up and told Him they were going to die. They shouted, “Save us, Lord! Don’t you care if we die?” Let’s all jump up and shout, “Save us, Lord!” (Do with children.) The disciples forgot to trust Jesus. Did He care if they died? Yes, He did, because He loved them.
He loves you, too. Jesus is God’s Son who came to save you. But Jesus didn’t come to save you from a storm. He came to save you from your sin. Everyone in the world has sinned. Sin is anything you do, say, or think that goes against God. Because of sin you are born without a relationship (friendship) with God. He is holy. That means God is completely good in every way. He cannot sin or have a relationship with people who have not received forgiveness for their sins. But God loves you so much He did something special to save you. (Read Romans 5:8.) Jesus came to Earth as a baby, grew up, and died on the cross to take away your sin. He rose again on the third day to show His great power over sin. If you trust Jesus to take away your sin, you will be part of God’s family and have a friendship with Him that lasts forever! Jesus did all this because He is God’s Son—the only one who can save you from sin. He did it because He loves you. He loved the disciples and He cared what happened to them. The disciples were in a very scary situation and they forgot to trust Jesus. After the disciples woke Him up, Jesus did something that seemed crazy. 
 
 
 
 
He stood up and said, “Peace! Be still.” He was talking to the storm! 
Jesus has power to work in your life, too. If you know the Lord Jesus as your Savior, trust that God has the power to do what’s best for you. Maybe when you have a problem, you try to fix it on your own. You think, I can take care of this. Or maybe you expect other people to help you. God may use you or someone else to help in a problem, but He wants you to ask Him first. After you talk to God, it is good to also talk to an adult you trust. God won’t always make the problem stop but He will always be there to help you. There may be things He wants you to learn. He can help you make friends in a new school. He will help you trust Him when someone you love is sick. Whatever He chooses to do, He promises to be with you, help you, and do what’s best for you. He will give you His peace even in hard times. The Bible says, (read Psalm 46:1). God is your place of safety and strength in times of trouble. You can memorize Bible verses that help you trust Him. Ask Him to help you know the right thing to do. Then be sure to thank Him when He does! Jesus is always there to help you. Jesus is the all powerful God. You can trust Him!
 
 
 
 
Jesus has power over the wind and the waves. What do you think happened when Jesus talked to the storm?
Immediately the storm was still. The wind that was blowing was now gone. The waves that were crashing were now perfectly still. Jesus calmed the storm with only His words!
 
 
 
The disciples were amazed! How did Jesus do this? Even the wind and the waves obeyed His voice! (Read Mark 4:41.) The disciples saw God’s power to save them. Some of them didn’t understand that Jesus is God’s Son so they were afraid. They wondered who Jesus was. When Jesus calmed the storm, He was showing the disciples He is almighty God, who had power to care for them. (Read Mark 4:40.) Jesus was telling the disciples they should’ve trusted Him. Jesus was in control the whole time but the disciples let their fear get in the way of trusting God. Through this storm God was teaching the disciples to trust Him. Only He has power to create and command the things He has made. After they made it safely to the other side of the sea, the disciples continued to follow Jesus. They saw Him do many more miracles to show He had the power and glory of God. They were learning to trust Him to do what was best.
 
Say with me, “Trust Jesus—He’s all powerful!” (Say with children.) If you have trusted Jesus as your Savior from sin, you can trust God to do what is best even if He doesn’t do things the way you want. Whatever happens, God will be there to help you. The Bible says, (read Psalm 46:1). Remember, you can memorize Bible verses like the one I just read to remind you to trust Jesus. You can also pray and ask God to help you know the right thing to do and thank Him when He does. Jesus is always there to help. This week will you trust Jesus in the good situations and the bad? You can write about a time you needed to trust God and tell us about it next week.
 
Copyright © 2015, 2019 Child Evangelism Fellowship Inc. All rights reserved


Adult Lesson 4/5/2020

THINGS CHRISTIANS SHOULD KNOW–HOW TO LIVE WISELY

            There are some things every Christian should know concerning our personal lives.                                               Phil 4:1–9

I. HOW TO BREAK A BAD HABIT

1. Create a strong desire to break the habit.

            Realize the consequences of continuing on in our bad habit & think on the blessings of making on new & better habits. Pro 12:5

 

2. Promptly make the break.

            If we have a strong desire to break a habit & do not promptly carry out this desire, it will get easier & easier to ignore the desire to change. We should create the desire to make the break, determine to make the break, & then promptly make the break.

 

3. Completely make the break.

            To taper off in breaking a bad habit only prolongs the agony. Connected to breaking the habit. The only rational way to quit a habit is to quit a habit.

 

4. Pray for strength to hold out.

            Some habits require supernatural strength to overcome.  1 Cor 10:13

 

5. Don’t flirt with temptation.

            Pharaoh told the Jews they could go worship—but don’t go far (Exo 8). But if we are not to fall, we must flee lusts & temptations.                                                                                           1 Tim 6:11-12

 

6. Replace old habits with new habits—The Law of Replacement.

            Some always looking for the quick fix. We’ve got to be willing to change the foundation to create long term results, & changing the foundation requires replacing those patterns.  The Law of Replacement requires replacing things that are not helping us achieve with the things that will help us.       Matt 12:43-45 

            Letting go is not always easy – we have lots of reason for emotional attachmentsbut it is vital when we want to go somewhere we’ve never been.

            High Focus, Low Attachment –We have to be willing to replace what’s not working. Keep a high focus on your purpose, values, authenticity, passions & God’s Word. Make everything else is replaceable, so that there’s a low attachment to the details.

            Clarity – We must be clear about our purpose, values, goals, etc…  With clarity, we gain the emotional leverage needed to “test & tweak” – figuring out what to replace in order to build that solid foundation.

            A mentor may help us deal with emotional attachments & lack of clarity. 

 

7. Areas to Review for Replacement

A. FRIENDS & FAMILY–Are they pulling you down or lifting you up? 

B.        PHYSICAL  ENVIRONMENT–Your physical space, such as your workspace.  It’s either productive or unproductive. 

C.        BELIEFS– Most people’s beliefs are really dictating their results.  So, it’s important to replace any beliefs that are faulty & holding you back.

D.        GOALS– It’s important to know what you DO want, not what you DON’T want.  We must fully commit to achieve our goals.   

E.        THOUGHTS –Pay attention to your head talk & the words you use.                                                                                                  Phil 4:8

F.        ENTERTAINMENT & HOBBIES—Replace bad entertainment choices with good, spiritual choices.

 

8. Make no exceptions to practice the new habit until it is firmly established.

            Don’t take any days off. Every time we make an exception, our resolve weakens.

 

II. How To Live Each day Wisely

9. How to begin each day

A. WAKE UP.                        B. GET UP                C. DRESS UP 

D. LOOK UP. Pray               E. FILL UP.

 

10. How to get the most out of each day.

            A. Organize the day’s activities.Make plans.

 Organize your day so you can get the maximum work done.

           B. Do the essential things.

        Focus us what God wants accomplished today.

            C. Work hard. Work diligently & persistently. Eccl 9:10

 

            D. Pray periodically during the day. Things go better when we pause periodically to pray.           

            E. Change activities. Be flexible.

            F. Utilize spare moments.

            G. Take a complete rest sometime during the day.

 

11. Watch out for sniper attacks.

            After seven days, watch out for cravings. If we hold out, these attacks will lessen in intensity & frequency.

 

III. HOW TO CLOSE A DAY

            A. Review the days activities.

            B. Put away all wrath.                                              Eph 4:26

            C. Repent of all known sin committed that day & make amends if necessary.        

            D. Go to bed with a clear conscience.

 

IV. HOW TO TEST OUR FAITH FOR GENUINESS

12. Do we have a BELIEVING faith?      Jn 2:23-25

            Believing faith believes God’s testimony about His Son & the work of His Son. A non-believing faith will not save us.     

 

13. Do we have a CONTINUING faith?  Jn 8:30-59

            Continuing faith does not burn up in trials & tests but continues on.

 

14. Do we have a confessing faith?

            A confessing faith is not ashamed to openly confess Christ as Saviour. A faith that will not openly confess Christ is not a saving faith.                                                          Mk 8:38          Jn 12:42-43

 

15. Do we have a WORKING faith?                   James 2:14-26

            A working faith produces fruits of righteousness.

 

16. Do we have an obeying faith?                     Lk 6:46

            An obeying faith obeys Christ’s commands.

 

V. HOW TO RESPOND TO 3 ENEMIES OF CHRIST

The Bible teaches that Christians have 3 enemies:  the world, the flesh, & the devil. How do we fight these enemies?   1 Jn 2:15-17

17.  REPLACE the things of the world.  We should be so preoccupied with heavenly things that we have little or no room worldly temptations.    Matt 6:19-34  Jn 6:27  2 Cor 4:17-18   Col 3:1-2

18.       FLEE the lusts of the flesh. 1 Tim 6:11  2 Tim 2:22

            We should quickly remove ourselves from situations which tempts us.        

 

19. STAND against Satan.           Eph 6:10        1 Pet 5:8

  Stand against the attacks of the devil & resist him by the Word of God. Matt 4:3-11

 

VI. HOW TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION

20. Be on guard against temptation.

            We should always be on guard against temptations, but especially after great victories.                                       1 Cor 10:12

 

21. Purpose not to fall during temptation.      Dan 1:8

            Many times, we know in advance when temptation is coming. Before the temptation arrives, think on the consequences of giving in to temptation & on the rewards of resisting. Purpose in your heart that you will not yield when temptation comes.    

 

22. Pray for help during temptation.

            Christ prayed for victory to overcome temptation. So should we.                                                                    Matt 26:36-46

 

23. Send Jesus to answer Satan’s knock of temptation.                When confronted by temptation—& you cannot flee—ask Christ to intercede in the battle with Satan.Jude 9-10  James 4:4

 

24. Keep Your Mind Clean.                                  Job 31:1

 

25. Establish an Accountability Partner.         Heb 10:24-25

 

26. View Others with Godly Eyes.   Psa 101:3        1 Tim 5:1, 2

 

27. Avoid Temptation .                                          Rom 13:14