Re-Created to Live in Harmony
Galatians 3:26-29; 4:1-7
February 5, 2017
In our lesson today, the people in the Galatian church had an issue. There were false teachers (Judaizers) who were trying to make them believe that placing their faith in Christ was not enough. They had to live by the law. But the apostle Paul wrote this letter to refute the idea. He wanted them to understand that nothing should divide them. They were all one in Christ. There are many things that we as believers allow to divide us (race, gender, status, etc.). If we have placed our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, there is nothing that should separate us. Amen
All Creation Praises God
January 29, 2017
God created everything in the world (angels, stars, skies, sun, moon, creatures, fire, hail, snow, clouds, hills, mountains, etc.). Everything he created is created to give him praise. He will never be without praise. We should praise him because his name is great. Amen
Praise God the Creator
Psalm 104:1-4, 24-30
January 22, 2017
We will see God as creator in this lesson. God created everything, including us. The psalmist starts off by saying God is great. For that alone we ought to give him praise. Everything he created (light, clouds wind, creatures)(v. 2-4, 24) he uses for his glory. Even the creatures he created (v.26) are solely dependent upon him (v.27-30). Since God created us, we too, are solely depended upon him. Amen
Praise God the Provider
Psalm 65:1-2, 9-13
January 15, 2017
In this lesson the psalmist finds reasons to praise God fir his provision. God is a provider and we have so much to praise him for. He praises him for providing answer to prayer (v.2) and taking care of the earth (v.9-13). Think about all God has provided for you and don’t forget to praise him. Amen
All Creation Overflows with Praise
Psalm 96:1-6, 10-13
January 8, 2017
The author says the whole earth should sing a new song to the Lord. He is worthy of praise. We are to tell the good news of salvation every day. We ought to praise him because he is creator and he reigns. Amen!
God Is Worthy Of Praise
January 1, 2017
Happy New Year! There’s no better way to start off the year than praising God. I like to think of it as complimenting Him. That’s right, even God loves to be complimented. Praise means to extend our hands to him. The author in Psalm 33 is unknown. The Psalmist says we are to praise him with the instruments and our voice. We are to praise because his Word is true. Another reason to praise him is by his spoken Word the heavens were created. The whole world should stand in awe of him for when he spoke the world began. What are some reasons you have to praise God? Maybe for letting you see another year, for putting up with you, for providing for you, etc. The list could go on. You have a reason to praise Him. So lift your hands and give him praise! Amen!
Ignoring God’s Plain Truth
Romans 1:18-23, 28-32
June 26, 2016
In our lesson today, we learn that God shows his anger because of man suppressing (holding back) the truth. God has made his truth known to man through creation, (the earth, sky, sunshine, rain, etc.) therefore, he has no excuse for not knowing God. How can we deny there is a God when we see everything he has created? Let’s not ignore God’s truth. One day we will all give in account of ourselves to God. Amen!
Assurances and Joy for the Faithful
Zephaniah 3:9-14, 20
June 19, 2016
Zephaniah prophesied to Israel about their idol worshiping. He told them God would punish them if they did not repent. But in this lesson, God offers hope to those who remain (remnant) to follow him. God said he would purify (cleanse) the speech of all people so they can worship together. Before, the people worshiped idol gods, now they will worship the true and living God. People from far away would bring their offerings to God. Have you ever did something wrong and was ashamed bearing under a load of guilt? God would even take away their guilt. The remnant of Israel would be changed. Amen!
The Day of the Lord
June 5, 2016
Zephaniah warned the people of Judah and Jerusalem that if they did not stop worshiping idol gods that the true and living God would pour out his judgment upon them. If they did not stop, the day of the Lord was sure to come. They were to humble themselves and seek the Lord while they had time. Likewise, we too must repent of our sins, humble ourselves, and seek the Lord. Amen!
May 29, 2016
In our lesson today, Jesus enters Jericho and was on his way. There was a man named Zacchaeus there who was a chief tax collector and very rich. He was not well liked because he cheated people. He wanted to see Jesus as he was passing by but was too short in stature. He couldn’t see over the crowd. So he climbed a sycamore fig tree. When Jesus passed by he looked up and called him by name to come down because he was going to be a guest at his home. This teaches us that Jesus knows our name and knows where we are. Zacchaeus came down and took Jesus to his home. Little did he know his life was about to change. The people were upset because Jesus was going to be a guest at the home of a sinner. But Jesus had a plan. In verse 8 Zacchaeus repents for cheating the people. Jesus told him salvation had come to his house. Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost. Amen!
Luke 18:1256-17; Mark 10:16
May 22, 2016
In this lesson, like any parent, there were parents who wanted their children blessed so they brought them to Jesus. Who would be better to bless them than Jesus who has everything. The disciples had a problem with this so they scolded the people. Perhaps they thought Jesus had more important things to do. But Jesus took time to bless the children (Mark 10:16). Jesus told the disciples to let the children come to him and not to stop them. The kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children. Children were important to Jesus. We must enter the kingdom of God like children (humble, trustworthy, honest, etc.). Amen!
May 15, 2016
Jesus tells a story about two men. One was self-righteous and the other righteous. The Pharisee who was the self-righteous one went to the temple to pray. He told God that he wasn’t a sinner like everyone else, he didn’t cheat, he didn’t sin, he didn’t commit adultery, and he wasn’t like the other man (tax collector). Certainly he exalted himself. When the tax collector went to the temple to pray, he told God that he was a sinner and asked him to have mercy. He showed humility. God wants us to be humble. Humbling ourselves means recognizing our worth comes from God alone. James 4:10 says if we humble ourselves before God he will exalt us. Verse 14 says the sinner (tax collector) returned home justified before God. Remember, humble yourself before God, and don’t lift yourself up. He will exalt you. Amen!
May 8, 2016
Have you ever done something for someone and they didn’t say thank you? Jesus knew how this felt. In our lesson today, he healed ten lepers and only one returned to thank him. He was on his way to Jerusalem and passed between Galilee and Samaria. There were ten lepers who cried out to him for mercy. Leprosy was a contagious skin disease. Those who had it were cut off from society. Jesus told the lepers to show themselves to the priests. The priests were ordained to heal them. As they went they were healed of their leprosy. Notice Jesus didn’t have to touch them in order for them to be healed; all they had to do was go. They had to have faith. Only one of them returned and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Samaritans were a mixed race. They didn’t get along with Jews. Jesus noticed the nine didn’t come back, only one. His faith had healed him. Never forget to tell Jesus, “thank you.” Amen!
May 1, 2016
Jesus was teaching his disciples about forgiveness. He told them they were not to cause little ones (v.2) to sin. “Little ones” did not refer to babies or children but immature and new believers. They are like children in that they are helpless and need direction. If the disciples did cause them to stumble the punishment would be severe. If a person sinned, they were to rebuke them (bring it to their attention) and if they repent, forgive them (v.3). It didn’t matter how many times they sinned, each time they were to forgive. Forgiveness is a hard thing but it must be done. When we sin and ask God for forgiveness, each time, he forgives us. The disciples thought they would need more faith to forgive so they asked Jesus to increase their faith (v.5). Jesus said that if they had faith the size of a mustard seed (little faith) they could say to a mulberry tree be uprooted and it would obey (v.6). In other words, they just needed to use the little faith they had. Then he left them with a humbling story, they should forgive because it is their duty. We too, must obey God and forgive and expect nothing in return (vs. 7-10). Amen!
A Family Reunion
April 24, 2016
In our lesson today, there was a man who had two sons. According to the Mosaic Law the older son would receive two-thirds of his father’s land, flocks, and wealth when he died, and the younger son one-third. But the younger son could not wait until his father died. He wanted his portion now. The father gave it to him and he left town. But he wasted it. It was party time! His money ran out and there was a famine in the land. He began to starve. Isn’t it funny that as long as you have money you have friends? He got a job feeding pigs. After he came to himself, he repented (v. 18), humbled himself (v. 19), and his father accepted him. Amen!
A Sound Mind
April 17, 2016
In our lesson today, Jesus and his disciples arrived in the Gerasenes, near Galilee. Jesus was met by a man with a demonic spirit. From this lesson we learn:
- When you are under the influence of a demonic spirit, you are not yourself. Verse 27 says the man was naked and lived in a graveyard.
- Demons know who Jesus is and the power and authority he has.(v.28)
- Demons have power. Verse 29 says when the man was put in chains he would break them off. But, their power is limited.
We see in verse 32 that Jesus gave the demons permission to enter into the pigs. Jesus delivers the man and he sits at Jesus’ feet (v.35)! Once we are delivered from demonic oppression, we can have a sound mind. James 4:7 says “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” To resist means to come against. We must resist anything(television shows, music, bad conversations, etc.) that will let him in. Amen!
April 3, 2016
Jesus had just finished teaching the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:17-459) and was on his way to Capernaum. There was a servant of a centurion (Roman army officer in charge of 100 soldiers) who was sick and near death. The centurion had heard of Jesus and knew if anyone could help his servant Jesus could. He sent some Jewish elders to ask Jesus to come and heal him. They pleaded the servant’s case to Jesus. The centurion said he was not worthy for Jesus to come to his house but if Jesus would just speak the word his servant would be healed. Jesus was blown away by his faith. When the officers returned to his house they found the servant completely healed. No matter what situation you’re in, if you have faith, Jesus will heal you.
March 27, 2016
In our lesson today, Jesus’ body was laid in the tomb (15:46). There were three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, who bought spices to anoint Jesus’ body after the Sabbath. According to Jewish custom, no work was to take place until after the Sabbath. These were the same women that saw Jesus crucified (15:40). The next morning on their way to the tomb they realized they had a dilemma. Who would roll away the stone? They expected Jesus to still be there. But he wasn’t. The stone had been rolled away. They were in for a big surprise. When they went in the tomb they were met by a young man clothed in a white robe, sitting on the right side. It was an angel. Of course they were afraid. The angel told them that Jesus was not there. He had risen! These women needed resurrection faith. They had proof that Jesus really was laid in the tomb. In 15:47 they saw it for themselves. They were to go and tell Jesus’ disciples and Peter that Jesus would meet them in Galilee. Peter was the one who denied Jesus three times. But Jesus still loved him. No matter how many times we mess up, Jesus still loves us. The women left the tomb and were too afraid to say anything to anyone. What about you? Do you believe Jesus was resurrected? Amen. Happy Easter!
March 6, 2016
This lesson focuses on a boy who was possessed with an evil spirit that would not let him talk. His father asked the disciples to cast out the spirit but they could not. Jesus said they were faithless (v.19). They brought the boy to Jesus and when the evil spirit saw Jesus it threw the child into a convulsion. The boy fell to the ground, foaming at the mouth. The boy had been in that condition since he was a little boy. It doesn’t matter how long we have been in our condition, if we have faith and believe, Jesus is able to heal us. The father asked Jesus to have mercy on them and help them if he could. Jesus said anything is possible if a person believes. The father said he believed and asked Jesus to help him overcome his unbelief. Jesus rebuked the evil spirit and commanded it to come out of the boy. The spirit screamed and threw the boy into another convulsion and left him (v. 26). Just when the crowd thought he was dead, Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet and he stood up. The disciples asked Jesus why they could not cast out the evil spirit. He told them that kind can be cast out only by prayer (v.29). We must have powerful faith for our situation. Amen!
The Feast of Booths
February 28, 2016
The Feast of Booths was also known as the feast of Tabernacles. It was the last of the mandatory feasts that the Israelites were to celebrate. This was a time when the Israelites were to remember how God had provided all that they needed. He provided shelter (booths) for them when they wandered in the wilderness. They were to celebrate for seven days, each year. We too must set aside time to remember all God has done for us. Amen!
February 7, 2016
In our nation we have many holidays that we celebrate. The Passover was a holiday for the Israelites to remember how God brought them out of Egyptian slavery. It was also known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread. God gave Moses specific instructions on how the celebration was to be carried out (vs. 3-6). This was the last plague God would use to free the Israelites from slavery of the pharaoh. They were to take the blood from the animal and put it on the sides and top of the doorframes of their houses. When God would pass through Egypt, if he saw the blood, their firstborn would be spared. If not, their firstborn would be killed. They had to be obedient to be spared. They were to remember the day for generations to come. Likewise, we remember the Lord’s Supper as a reminder of God’s provision of our salvation in Jesus Christ.
The Death of a Friend
January 31, 2016
Have you ever experienced grief or the loss of a friend? Jesus did. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were sisters and brother. They lived in Bethany and were friends of Jesus. Jesus really loved this family. Lazarus became ill and the family knew if anyone could do anything about it Jesus could. They told Jesus he was ill and then Lazarus died. The family was devastated. Jesus told them that the illness was for God’s glory and that their brother would rise again. God has a purpose for everything he does. Sometimes we don’t understand but it works out for the good. When Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had already been dead four days. It was an opportunity to show his power! In verse 35 we see that Jesus wept. Grief affects everyone, even Jesus. He prayed to the Father and then called Lazarus out of the tomb. Lazarus came forth. Whatever grief you are experiencing, know that it will work out for the good. Amen!
The Most Beautiful Bride
Song of Solomon 6:4-12
January 10, 2016
Everyone loves compliments! This love poem written by Solomon (David’s son) was a compliment to his bride. He consistently told her how beautiful she was. Imagine how good she felt even on her worst day. So remember the next time you’re having a day, remind yourself just how beautiful you are. After all, you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). God bless!
A Bride Worth Waiting For
January 3, 2016
The importance of today’s lesson is not what it teaches us about the ideal structure of family but it’s a study of the characters of Jacob, the father of nations of Israel, and, Laban, his uncle and father-in-law. It is also about the great love Jacob had for Rachel.
Just as Jacob used deception and trickery to receive the birthright from his brother Esau, Laban used the same deception and trickery on Jacob in marrying off his two daughters. Jacob felt betrayed by Laban. He felt he had not received what he deserved. He wanted to marry the youngest daughter (Rachel). This must have reminded him how he took his older brother Esau’s place when he deceived his father Isaac. He is reaping exactly what he gave to his brother. Jacob had fallen into the hand of someone who dealt with him the way he had dealt with others. God loved Jacob in spite of who he was and he proved that love by allowing him to reap what he had sown. If we never allow our children to face the consequences of their sins it’s no telling where they will end up in life. In spite of all the deception and questionable choices, our lesson is a love which highlights God’s grace and sovereignty among his chosen people. Our choices matter. Though we may not always make the right decisions in life it doesn’t derail God’s plan and purpose for us. Jacob was placed in a home with two wives and their handmaidens. No doubt there was conflict in the home. They were in competition with one another. He was not in love with the oldest daughter, Leah. God made her fruitful and she bore him many sons. Rachel, the youngest, was the love of his life. God worked out some good consequences in spite of Laban’s sins against Jacob and his daughters. The twelve tribes of Israel came from Jacob’s wives and their handmaidens. Leah bore Judah and Levi, ancestors of Jesus and Moses. Rachel bore Joseph who saved Israel from starvation in Egypt and who was the father of two tribes. God never gives up on us. He still uses us for his glory even though we sin. God bless & Happy New Year!
A Generous Gift
Matthew 23:2-12; Mark 12:38-44
December 27, 2015
Jesus taught his disciples about humbling themselves and giving from their hearts. The scribes (teachers of the law), and Pharisees (religious people) did not practice what they taught. In Matthew 23:2-12, they were more interested in seats of honor and looking good in front of people. Jesus went against the norm and said anyone who exalts themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted (v.12). In Mark 12:38-44, there was a widow who gave two coins in collection. Jesus said she gave more than anyone because she gave everything she had. The next time you give to God remember to do it with the right motive. Amen!
Leviticus 22:17-25, 31-33
December 13, 2015
In our lesson today, God gave Moses instructions to give Aaron (Moses’s brother), Aaron’s sons, and all of Israel when they would bring an offering to him. In Old Testament times animals were brought as an offering to atone for the people’s sins. The people were not to bring any kind of animal offering to God. God had done too much for them. After all, he brought them out of the land of Egypt. Think about all God has done for you. Remember to give him your best. Amen!
Teaching God’s Word
Acts 18:1-11, 18-21
November 29, 2015
Paul was an example of one who always took the opportunity to teach the word of God. After he left Athens he went to Corinth. This was a challenge because Corinth was a city of immorality. But that didn’t stop Paul. Even when he was opposed he continued to teach the word of God. He received encouragement from God through a vision to continue to teach because God was with him. After leaving Corinth, he went to Ephesus and taught the word of God there. We should take the opportunity to teach God’s word where ever we are. Amen!
Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens
Acts 17:1-4, 10-12, 22-25, 28
November 22, 2015
Paul and Silas are still on their second missionary journey. They journeyed through Amphipolis and Appolonia and came to Thessalonica where there was a Jewish synagogue. Paul taught the people for three Sabbath days in a row. He taught that Jesus suffered and rose from the dead. Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas along with many Greek men and women. If we are going to witness to people, we must know the word of God. The Jews were jealous and set the city in an uproar looking for Paul and Silas so they were sent to Berea. There they went to the Jewish synagogue. These people were more open minded than those in Thessalonica and they listened to their message. They searched the scriptures day by day to see if what Paul and Silas were saying was true. Many Jews, Greek women and men believed. Any time we hear the Word of God taught, we must measure what people are saying by the scriptures. When the Jews of Thessalonica heard that Paul and Silas was there preaching the word they went there to stir up the crowds. Paul was sent to Athens but Silas and Timothy stayed behind. There were some philosophers who debated with him because he was teaching about Jesus and the resurrection. Paul was very strategic in his witnessing in that he talked about something they could relate to. Likewise with us, when we are witnessing to people it is wise to talk about things they can relate to. Amen!
From Derbe to Phillippi
Acts 16:1-5, 8-15
November 15, 2015
In today’s lesson Paul is on his secondary missionary journey that began in Acts 15:40. In Derbe and Lystra, Paul enlisted a young disciple named Timothy, who would become a life-long worker in the kingdom. His mother was a Jew, but his father was Greek, with so many Jews in the region Paul had Timothy circumcised. As Paul traveled through Phrygia and Galatia, they delivered decrees from the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, and strengthened the churches.
With the guidance of the Holy Spirit they found themselves in Troas where Paul had a vision ( from the Lord) of a man from Macedonia asking for help, They concluded that the Lord was calling them to preach the gospel there; so they left Troas.The journey went from Troas to Samothrace, and then to Neopolis, and they finally arrived in Philippi. Vs.16-10 – This verse let us know as believers today, we should never be discouraged by closed door. If God closed the door: He is able to open a brand new door.
God Makes No Distinction
November 8, 2015
In our lesson today there were some men from Judea who were teaching believers that in order to be saved you must be circumcised according to the law of Moses. Of course Paul and Barnabas disagreed with them. The church decided to send Paul, Barnabas, and some other leaders to Jerusalem to talk to the apostles and elders about the question. They stopped along the way in Phoenicia and Samaria and told the believers there the good things that God was doing and how the Gentiles (non-Jews) were being converted. When they arrived in Jerusalem a group of Pharisees stood and said that Gentiles must be circumcised and follow the law of Moses to be saved. Peter stood and told of his experience and how God used him to speak the good news to the Gentiles (Acts 10:34-43) and how they were filled with the Holy Spirit. He said in v. 9 that God makes no distinction. Everyone can be saved by placing their faith in Jesus Christ. The same goes for us today. Everyone can be saved by placing their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
November 1, 2015
Did you know that prayer still works? Peter was in prison and found it out. There was a king by the name of Herod who had him arrested. Even though he was under high security (v.4), the church was praying for him (v.5), and God sent him divine intervention (angel) to set him free. It is always good to have other believers praying for you. Peter believed without a doubt that God sent the angel to deliver him from King Herod (v.11). Amen!
Trusting the Spirit
October 25, 2015
Today’s lesson continues from the events from last week’s lesson.( Acts 10). It tells the story of the conversion of Cornelius ( the Gentile, Roman officer), and his family and friends, that resulted from a meeting with Peter.
Saul Earns Credibility
October 11, 2015
Saul was one who persecuted Christians (Acts 8:3; 9:1-2). After his Damascus road experience where Jesus confronted him to change he began preaching about Jesus. Of course people were amazed. The Jews wanted to kill him but he found out and the believers helped him escape. The believers in Jerusalem were afraid of him because they remembered when he killed Christians. They didn’t believe he had changed. Barnabas stood up for him and told about his change. Once again they (Greek-speaking Jews) tried to kill him. He was sent to his hometown of Tarsus and the church grew. Amen!
The Spirit Is Not For Sale
October 4, 2015
In the lesson today there was a man by the name of Simon who practiced sorcery (magic) in Samaria. The people believed he was a god, that is, until Philip came. Philip was one of the deacons called in Acts 6:5 that served the widows in food distribution. He went to Samaria preaching the truth about Jesus and the kingdom of God. The people believed him and were baptized. Even Simon believed and was baptized. Peter and John were sent to Samaria and they laid hands on the people that they would receive the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw what they did he offered them money to buy the power. Peter told him that his money would perish with him for thinking the gift of God may be purchased with money. He told him to repent and ask for forgiveness for his heart was not right with God. He was full of jealousy. Simon asked Peter to pray for him that none of what he said would happen to him. Amen!
Remembering God’s Faithfulness
Acts 7:2-4, 8-10, 17, 33-34, 45-47, 53
In Acts 6:1-5, we see that the early church was growing but there was an internal problem. There were some believers who complained that their widows wee being neglected in the daily distribution of food. To correct the problem seven men were chosen. One of those men was Stephen. He did great wonders and signs among the people and it got him in trouble. He was accused of speaking blasphemous words against Moses, God, the temple, and the law (Acts 6:11, 13). But he was bold in his faith and stood against opposition. He began to explain to them how God was working through Abraham, Moses, the temple, and Joseph (Acts 7:2-53). Yes, it got him killed (Acts 7:58-60), but he stood anyway. Can we be as bold as Stephen and stand against all odds? Amen!
Witnessing to the Truth
Acts 5:21-29, 33-42
September 20, 2015
In Acts 4:18, Peter and John were told not to teach about Jesus. In this lesson, Peter and the apostles find themselves in the same situation. They were told not to teach about Jesus. They stood their ground and said they would obey God rather than man. This decision got them beaten but they were let go. We must make a decision to stand for Jesus although it may get us in trouble. Amen!
Sharing All Things
Acts 4:34-37; 5:1-10
September 13, 2015
In our lesson today we see that the believers were concerned about their brothers and sisters. They willingly sold their possessions and gave the money to the apostles in order that their needs would be met (4:34-37). These believers understood that everything they owned belonged to God. In chapter 5:1-10, we see that a man, Ananias, and his wife, Sapphira did the opposite. They sold their property and brought part of the money to the apostles claiming it was the full amount. Peter confronted him and told him he had lied to the Holy Spirit (5:3). Ananias paid a price for lying to the Holy Spirit. Verse 5 says he fell to the floor and died. Peter confronted Sapphira and she lied to the Holy Spirit also. In verse 2 we see that she had knowledge of what her husband was doing. Verse 10 says that she died also. We must be careful to reverence the Holy Spirit and not lie to Him. When we give we must do so with a pure heart. Amen!
Praying for One Another
September 6, 2015
Have you ever did something you thought was good and had to face opposition because of it? Peter and John did. In Acts 3, they healed a lame man. This led them in front of the Sanhedrin Council where they were told not to preach about Jesus. But as they got together and prayed things began to happen. Acts 4:31 says the temple shook, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the word of God with boldness. God wants us to stand and be bold for him. Things happen when we get together and pray. Amen!
Return to a Just God
Malachi 3: 1-10
August 30, 2015
In our lesson today God sends Malachi another prophet who was very courageous and delivered His message to the people. Malachi addresses a variety of issues, but the main complaint was that the people no longer honored or respected God. Malachi gives instruction from God of what to expect ( vs. 3:1-5)
God Demands Justice
August 23, 2015
Cyrus the king of Persia defeated Babylon and issued a decree that the Jews in captivity could return to Palestine and rebuild the temple (Ezra 1:1-3). During the reign of Darius 1, the Lord sent Zechariah the prophet to minister to the returning Jews. The people observed a fast to remember the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar at the beginning of the exile. There was only one problem. Were they really doing it from their hearts? In Zechariah 7:2-3 they sent men to ask if they should continue the fast. I’m sure they were expecting one answer. In v. 5 God asked if they were really fasting unto him. In vs. 8-10 we see that God was more concerned about their heart and not their religious performance. He (God) wanted them to treat people right, care about the helpless, and not have any evil in their heart against their brother. God called out to them through the prophets but they did not listen (vs.11-12). Their hearts were hard. Their ancestors brought God’s wrath upon them by hardening their hearts. God does not want our religious ritual but our hearts. Amen
A Call for Repentance
August 16, 2015
In our society today everyone wants to be accepted in following the crowds, in the community, schools, churches, sports. (etc). This acceptance may sometimes put pressure on us to join in even when we know they are doing wrong. In schools there are bullies, and in communities there are groups who harm everyone as a whole. Our actions affects people, and sometimes we have to stand up and take responsibility for our own actions and sins.
A Choice to Be Just
August 9, 2015
God gave Jeremiah, the prophet, a message for the people of Judah. He wanted them to amend (change) their ways. The people thought because the temple was in their city that they were safe. God wanted true worship. They had a choice to make. If they would change their ways God would allow them to stay in the land. God even gave them an example. He told them to go to the city of Shiloh and see how he destroyed it because of the people’s wickedness. Just like he destroyed Shiloh he would destroy the temple of Judah. Amen!
Our Redeemer Comes
August 2, 2015
God used the prophet Isaiah to speak to the nation of Israel. God was displeased to find there was no justice. Verse 15 says that truth was lacking. In other words they were lying and that was sin. There was no one to stand up so God armed himself for battle and intervened. We also live in a world of evil and injustice. Just like God stood up for Israel he will stand up for us. The redeemer (Jesus) would buy back everyone in Israel who repented of their sins. God wants us to repent of the evil and injustice in our lives. He promised that his spirit would not leave the people of Israel. He is faithful to his word. Amen!
God Shows Clemency
Micah 7: 14-20
July 26, 2015
What is Clemency? It means mercy, to forgive, to treat others with favor, kindness, and compassion. When it comes down to showing what clemency really means there is none like God.
In today’s lesson the prophet Micah points out the awesomeness and power of God’s mercy toward His people.
Justice, Love, and Humility
July 19, 2015
Have you ever had someone hold something against you and you wondered what you did to deserve it? This is how God felt about the people of Israel. He asks them in verse 3 what he did to them. After all, he had done so much for them. He brought them out of Egypt, redeemed them from slavery, and gave them leaders to guide them into the promise land. He even protected them when their enemy, Balak, wanted to curse them (v.5). He also took care of them when they were in Shittim and Gilgal. They (Israel) thought they could please God with offerings of calves, rams, and rivers of oil. They were even willing to sacrifice their firstborn children to pay for their sins. But God required justice (doing what was right), mercy, and humility (recognizing their dependence upon him). Amen!
No Tolerance for Corrupt Leaders and Prophets
July 12, 2015
In this lesson, Micah had a message from God to the leaders of Judah. Like some of America’s leaders today, they were corrupt. He first spoke to the prophets that were leading God’s people astray. True prophets are God’s messengers. These prophets were using their gift to get what they wanted. They promised peace to those who gave them food and declared war on those that didn’t (v.5). God said there would come a time when they would not have a vision from him (v.6). They would be put to shame. Micah was different. He was filled with power, with the spirit of the Lord, justice and strength. He was a true prophet. Then he spoke to the leaders. Rulers gave judgment for a bribe, priest taught for a price, and prophets gave messages for money (v. 11). Because of it Jerusalem would be destroyed. Amen!
No Rest for the Wicked
July 5, 2015
In our lesson this week we are introduced to the prophet Micah, who God chose to prophesy His judgement on Israel and Judah. Micah’s name means “Who is like God”. Micah was spiritually empowered by God to deliver His message.
God Will Never Forget
Amos 8: 1-6, 9-10
June 28, 2015
Have you ever thought you were getting away with doing wrong, or, been treated unjustly and think God has forgotten about you? Just in case you have, God reminds us in this lesson that he never forgets. The people of Israel had done wrong over and over again, and God was going to bring it to an end. He gave Amos a vision of summer (ripe) fruit so that Israel could understand they were ripe for punishment (v.s.1-2). This would be a time of mourning (V.3). The people were oppressing the poor and needy (vs.4). They didn’t stop there. Their worship was hypocritical and they even cheated the people (vs.5-6). It would be a dark time for them (vs.9-10). In fact, God said in v. 7 that he would not forget their deeds. The next time you think you are getting away with doing wrong, remember God won’t forget.
Rebuked for Selfishness
June 21, 2015
In this week’s lesson Amos is talking to the rich leader’s in Israel. They were worshiping, tithing, and offering sacrifices to God, but they were selfish, greedy, prideful, and taking advantage of the poor. They were proud of their wealth, but never gave any thought to use their wealth to help someone in need.
God Is Not Fooled
Amos 5:14-15, 18-27
June 14, 2015
The Israelites had been oppressing the poor and Amos tells them how to get right with God. They were to hate evil and do good. Because they were God’s chosen people they thought the day of the Lord would be a good time for them. Amos warns them that it would be a day of darkness and not light. God was not fooled by the feast days of Israel (Passover, Pentecost, and Feast of Tabernacles). In fact he said he hate their feast days. He would not accept their offerings or worship. God wanted to see justice and right living. God reminded them that even when they were in the wilderness 40 years they worshiped idol gods. Since they were so far from God they would be exiled to a land beyond Damascus (far away from their homeland). God knows the very intent of our heart. He does not want us to come before him with false pretenses and hypocritical worship. We must have a clean heart.
Judgment on Israel and Judah
June 7, 2015
Amos was a shepherd and fig grower from Judah (southern kingdom). His hometown was Tekoa. In this lesson he prophesies to Israel and Judah. Judah had sinned again and again and this time God would not revoke his punishment. They rejected the law of the Lord. Because of it, God said he would send fire upon Judah and the palaces of Jerusalem would be destroyed. Israel too had sinned again and again. Like Judah, their sin would not go unpunished. They sold the righteous for silver and the poor for a pair of sandals, father and son slept with the same woman, they would take clothes from the people who owed them money and lay on them in front of pagan altars, and, buy wine with the money received from fines and charges they leveled against the poor. These people not only sinned against man but they also sinned against God. As a nation and individually we must repent of our sins because God will not let our sins go unpunished.
The Greatest Gift is Love
I Corinthians 13:1-13
May 31, 2015
In today’s lesson Paul is writing to the church in Corinth about using their spiritual gifts without love , and he gives them a proper understanding of God’s kind of love. He writes to them in the first person making his statements personal and powerful. He includes himself to his readers.
Gift of Languages
Acts 2:1-7, 12: 1 Corinthians 14:13-19
May 24, 2015
In Acts 1:8, Jesus told the disciples that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit in order that they would be witnesses in Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. In Acts 2, we see that the Holy Spirit comes. It was the day of Pentecost and they were about to have the experience of their lives. Pentecost was a festival of thanksgiving for harvested crops. There were people there from every nation. While they were all in one place the Holy Spirit manifested himself like the roaring of a mighty wind and flames of tongues fell on each of them. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in another language. The people of other nations were amazed to hear them (disciples) speaking in their language. They asked each other would could it mean. Even today, the gospel is spread so everyone understands. In 1 Corinthians 14:13-19, the apostle Paul addresses the issue of speaking in tongues. There were some in the Corinthian church that were misusing this gift. They were placing it superior over other gifts. Paul began teaching them that if they speak in tongues they should also pray for the ability to interpret. Our gifts are not to be used as a showcase but to build up the body of Christ.
Coworkers with the Truth
May 3, 2015
In this lesson John writes a letter to his friend, Gaius, commending him for how he has conducted himself as a believer. Gaius was one who cared for those traveling, preaching and teaching the Word. He would probably give them a place to stay and something to eat. John was really happy to hear that he was living in the truth. Of course there was one (Diotrephes) who opposed what he did. He would not help anyone nor did he want to see the work of God go forth. We live in a selfish, “all about me”, society. God wants us to show our love by helping someone else.
Watch Out for Deceivers!
April 26, 2015
In our lesson today, John warns against deceivers. A deceiver is an imposter, misleader, or wanderer. During this time false teachers had infiltrated the church. They strongly believed that Jesus did not come in the flesh. We must not believe everything people say, but, weigh it against the Word of God. In other words, what does the Word of God say about thus and so. Deceivers may talk and look good so we must be on guard. They may try and make us wander away from the truth. In v. 10 John said we should not even let a person into our home who does not teach the truth. So we should guard against any religion that does not teach the truth of God’s Word. Watch out for deceivers. Amen!
Trust In God’s Love
1 John 4:13-21, 1 John 5:1-5
April 19, 2015
If you were asked the question:do you believe God loves you, your response would probably be yes. The real questions comes next. Do you love God, and how often do you tell Him that you love Him?
In this week’s lesson John encourages us to believe God’s love and love Him in return. John tells us how God shows His love for us. John shows how God demonstrated His love toward us by sending His only son ( Jesus) into the world that we might live through Him. God loved us before we love ourselves. God is love and everyone who loves God is born with His love and knows Him, and anyone who doesn’t love does not know God. – John tells us that if God loved us, we ought to love one another, and even though no one has ever seen God and we say we love Him; we should be able to love one another who we see everyday.
Today as believers we have an assurance of God’s love for us because:
1. The Holy Spirit in our lives proves that we belong to God, and it reveals the gospel so we can be a witness to the world.
2. We can trust the love of God who lives within us, and we have no reason to fear judgement.
3. If we truly love God, we will love one another.
We are to encourage one another today as John has encouraged us in this lesson to:
1, Abide in God.
2. Confess our sins
3. Live in God’s love and forgiveness.
How do we we begin to do these things if we haven’t already? We start by handing God our hate and anger, confessing our need for forgiveness, and for His Spirit to change us and our feelings. God is the only one who can change us, so we hand over each day all that we are; ( our fears and frustrations, as well as our faith allowing Him to do His loving will in us.)
Let’s continue to pray and love one another like God loves us.
Love One Another
1 John 3:11-24
April 12, 2015
But I just don’t like them! Have you ever said or thought those words? We all have. We use the famous, “I love them but I just don’t like them.” Or perhaps you’ve been hurt so badly that you don’t think God wants you to love others. In this society loving others take a back seat. Whatever the case, yes, God intends for you to love. We are commanded to love one another. It’s amazing that love is equated with murder (1 John 3:12-15). Love is the acid test of our Christianity. John says that we must not hate one another and have compassion in our heart. Let’s prove that we are Christians by our love. Amen!
1 Corinthians 15:1-11, 20-22
April 5, 2015
This is the time of year when we celebrate the resurrection (getting out of the grave) of Jesus Christ. There were some Christians who did not believe in resurrection. Paul (the author of 1 Corinthians) reminded them that what he taught them about the resurrection was sure (guaranteed). He even had witnesses. He started off talking about the foundation of it: Christ died, was buried, and rose again. This was all in accordance with the scriptures. Christ is the first to be raised and never die again. (v.20). We have the assurance that since Christ was resurrected, we too, will come back with him. Without the resurrection we could not celebrate Easter. Do you believe in the resurrection? Happy Easter!
The One Who Comes
March 29, 2015
In today’s lesson Jesus is preparing and presenting Himself for His entry into Jerusalem. Jesus sends two of His disciples with instructions to look for a donkey ( or colt) tied up by a house. Jesus instructs them what to say to the owner when asked about taking the donkey. The answer to give was: The Lord has need of it.” The disciples were obedient and followed Jesus’s instructions without questioning it.This showed trust and belief in Him. Obedience and trust is a key component in following Jesus.
Jesus purpose in riding into Jerusalem was to make public His claim as the Messiah and King of Israel in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy. His coming in on a donkey ( or colt) was a fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9.
When Jesus told the disciples to get the donkey and what to tell the owner; He referred to Himself as The Lord proclaiming who He was.
By riding into Jerusalem on the donkey ( or colt), Jesus fulfilled an ancient prophecy in Zechariah 9:9.Throwing cloaks and palm branches in the path of Jesus entry showed how the people recognized Jesus was the promised Messiah.
The people cried out Hosanna ( means save now) despite what Jesus had foretold about His mission. The people were looking for the Messiah for the wrong reason.
The crowd refused to see Jesus as He truly was, placing their personal needs and desires on Him.
People today still expect Jesus to do things He never promised to do. Jesus came to save us from sin and its consequences, to reconcile us to God, and give us a new status as children of God so we can have eternal life.
Who is Jesus to you? Is He someone you want to satisfy your selfish wants and goals, or is He Lord and Master who gave up His life to save you from your sins.
When we give praise and honor to Jesus remember He is the one who saves. There’s no need to look for another. He’s the One!!!!!
Receive the Holy spirit
March 22, 2015
In John 20:1-18, Jesus was resurrected. On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and found that Jesus was not there. In the following verses (19-23), we can learn:
- Jesus will appear to us in the midst of our fears. In v. 19, the disciples were found behind locked doors, the same day at evening, (when Mary went to the tomb) because they were afraid of the Jews. Yet, Jesus appeared to them.
- Jesus will speak peace to us in the midst of our situation. (v.19)
- Jesus will reveal himself to us. (v.20)
- Jesus will give us the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill our mission. (vs.21-23)The Spirit of Truth
March 15, 2015
Can you imagine having someone with you all the time, and being there for you,to lead and guide you through life, and suddenly they tell you they would be leaving. How would you feel?
In today’s lesson the disciples learned that Jesus would be leaving them. Jesus let’s them know that they will have to prepare for some things that they would certainly encounter. ( persecution, struggles in the synagogue, even death.) The trials and tribulations are coming.
The disciples felt sadness and a deep lost. Jesus explains why he didn’t reveal these things to them before; because He was with them. The time had come for Him to leave and return to His Father (God).
Jesus explains to the disciples that His leaving would be a good thing. It would result in the Holy Spirit coming down to them (16:7), and it would do two things:
1. Convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment..
2. The Holy Spirit would lead and guide them into all truth glorifying , and repeating Jesus teachings to His people.
This is good news for us today as well. Jesus will never leave us comfortless. He had to leave , but He sent the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us as believers no matter what comes us against us. The Holy Spirit will always speak the truth, and gives us wisdom and strength that will lead and guide us to remember to do what please God.
Jesus told His disciples about His coming suffering and death, but He didn’t tell them everything. He knew that they couldn’t handle it. Jesus always has our best interest in His hands.
Let’s continue to pray for one another, and stay connected to God’s word so we can know when the Holy Spirit is speaking to us .
Be Blessed!!!!!Jesus Promises An Advocate
March 8, 2015
The focus of this lesson is on the” HOLY SPIRIT ” . We are reminded that the Holy Spirit is real. When we go into prayer it is the Holy Spirit that we should pray through to reach the most highest power of God. In the verses of John 14-15, there are clear instructions to utilize the Holy Spirit as an advocate to the Father , who teaches us all things. In other words it is only through the Holy Spirit that God can move on our behalf. Our story about Valencia and her school counselor is the perfect example of how to make your request known through the Holy Spirit. There is no replacement for the power of the Holy Spirit. When that power is made available all things become clear and then and only then should we move and make decisions.
BE Blessed!The Lamb of God
March 1, 2015
Prior to this short passage taking place, John informed the religious leaders that he was not The Messiah. He said that he would be arriving soon. Who would have thought He would arrive a day later. During the baptism of Jesus,John the Baptist witnessed a great spectacle. The Holy Spirit gently covered Jesus. This was a sign to John that Jesus was and is our Savior.
Just as John saw this awesome miracle, we must not take light of our first Sunday tradition of baptizing new believers. This is a public sign of their inward decision to change their heart and life. So, as we witness this symbol, let us reflect on how God’s gentle spirit places Himself in us to change us all forever.Clothed and Ready
February 22, 2015
In this lesson Paul encourages the Ephesian believers to be strong in the Lord. They were to be strong because of the battle they would face in their lives. Likewise, we too are faced with a daily battle. Just as a soldier would not go into battle without his armor on, we have armor to put on. Our battle is not against one another. There are evil forces behind our battle (principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places).
The armor we must put on to fight this battle:
1) belt of truth-to fight the lies of the enemy
2) breastplate of righteousness-to protect our heart from the assault of the enemy
3) feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (shoes)-ready to spread the gospel
4) shield of faith-to protect us and stop all the fiery darts of the wicked one
5) helmet of salvation-to protect our mind
6) sword of the Spirit-this is the word of God. We must use the Word to attack the enemy.
In verse 18, Paul says that we must pray at all times, be alert, be persistent, and pray for all believers. He (Paul) asked that the Ephesian believers would pray for him that he would continue to speak boldly for God. At this time, Paul was in prison.
We have a real enemy but if we put on our armor we will win the battle!Serving the Least
Matthew 25: 31-46
February 15, 2015
Our lesson this week focus on the believers and unbelievers who survived the tribulation period, and it also applies to us today.After the tribulation period was completed the judgment began. The Son of man ( Jesus) makes His return ( His second coming) in all His glory with holy angels with Him. (vs.25).
In Matthew 25:32-33: Jesus separates mankind and judges them as individuals to determine who will enter into the kingdom. This lets us know today that everyone will have to give an account of their own stewardship.In the lesson Jesus represents the shepherd ( who is the King of Kings), who separates the sheep and the goats. If you are a sheep and placed on the right hand side; you are blessed with a place of honor in the kingdom. If you are a goat; you are placed on the left hand side and have no place in the kingdom (cursed).Today’s lesson shows us ways to prepare ourselves for Jesus’s second coming, the separation, and the judgment:
1. Be ready and prepared for His second coming.
2. Make sure you have a right relationship with the true and living God.3. Show mercy, compassion, and love for people that are in need ( no matter who they are) , by doing what you can to help them meet their needs. (ex. food, clothing, water, shelter, sickness, in prison), Realize when you are meeting their needs Jesus is pleased because you are doing it unto Him.
4. When you see someone in need no matter who it is; take a second to look at them and see Jesus needing help, and whatever we do unto the least of them we do it unto Him.
Challenge yourself this week to make a difference in someones life you don’t know. Reach out with love and compassion in some way. Jesus will be so pleased.
Be Blessed !!!!Serving Neighbors, Serving God
February 8, 2015
This lesson focuses on how we should recognize, according to Luke,the compassion that Jesus teaches us to have. We are to serve not only the people in our immediate families, but also those around us.
Our focus story is a great example of the compassion Jesus expects of all of us. It challenges us to become more neighborly. Luke 10:27 tells us in order to inherit the earth we must “Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your heart and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. ” If we follow the word of the Lord. We can’t help but love our neighbor.
Daniel 1:5,8-17; Matthew 6:16-18
Get Plugged Into God
February 1, 2015
Have you ever encountered someone that is doing something for God but has to let the world know about it? For example, he or she is going on a mission trip so now they have to tell everyone. Or, he or she gave something to someone in need so he or she now shares this with everyone they speak to that day. Well, these types of sacrifices are nearly pointless. They are being done for the praises and accolades of men, not Christ.
In this lesson, Daniel, with the help of the chief official, secretly changes the diet of he and ten other men. Because the food they were given violated their Jewish restrictions. The end result allows the chief official to see God work for himself. The men looked healthier than the men eating the king’s diet. And it brought Daniel closer to God. Keep this in mind, when you do something for the Lord, it is to better your relationship with him and others; not to place your piety on display.
We Pray for One Another
January 25, 2015
In this lesson James tells us what we should do in different situations. He tells us that:
1)If we are facing hardships or sufferings, we should pray. People handle their sufferings in different ways, drinking, anger, revenge, withdrawal, etc. But prayer is the answer for all of our dilemmas. Even if we are happy, we should give God praise.<
2)If we are sick, we should call on the elders (the spiritually mature) of the church to pray for us. We all need someone else to pray for us. We should remember that it is God that does the healing.
3)We should confess our sins to each other in order that we may be healed. Have you ever heard the old saying that confession is good for the soul? Well, according to James it is. Sometimes, the sickness can be caused by sin. James says the prayer of a righteous man avails much. This does not mean that the righteous person is perfect but that he desires God’s will.
So remember to have faith, pray, and watch God work.
Jesus Intercedes for Us
Hebrews 4:14,15,16, – 5:1-10
January 18, 2015
Today’s lesson come from the book of Hebrews. Jesus is presented as more than a teacher or prophet. We see Jesus as the Son of God; who has completed His earthly ministry, and claim s His position at the right hand of God. Jesus is the superior High Priest because He lived on earth as a human being, suffered, and died for us, and He never sinned. ( 1 Peter 1:18-19) Now we have an advocate who intercedes ( go between us and God) constantly on our behalf.
Family, friends, and other support groups can comfort, and help us sometimes in dealing with life’s challenges, but they have limitations. When it comes to sin, our salvation, and promises from God; we need Jesus. He is our chief High Priest and Intercessor.
There are three things we must do as Jesus is interceding with God on our behalf:
1. We must confess and repent of our sins.
2. Stay faithful and hopeful.
3. Continue to praise and give thanks to God for loving us and giving a High Pries ( Jesus) who understands, and accepts us, despite our failures and imperfection.
Jesus Prays For His Disciples
January 11, 2015
This lesson emphasizes how Jesus was about to go and meet the Father. He knew that he was about to go so he prayed for his disciples that he was leaving here on earth. He prayed for their protection and that they would be unified. Jesus still prays for us today (Romans 8:34).
A Model for Prayer
January 4, 2015
So many people are intimidated by prayer. We don’t know what to pray for, how to pray, or what to do after we pray. This text gives us instruction from Jesus himself. It begins with disciples asking Jesus how to pray. He responds by giving them a model of what to pray for and how to pray. The next concern is what to do after we pray. We should diligently seek God, not the “yes” or “no” response to our prayer.
In Awe of Christ’s Power
December 28, 2014
In our lesson today, the disciples experience Jesus’ power in different ways. They first experience it when Jesus fed 5,000 people plus women and children with two fish and five loaves. (Matthew 14:15-21) They experienced his power again when they were in trouble, fighting the winds and waves while they were in the boat (v.24). Jesus would not leave them alone to fight, even if it meant walking on water to help them (v.25). In verses 35-36, people experienced his healing power. To stand in awe of Christ’s power is to know he has the ability to intervene in our situation. Even today, Jesus still shows us his power. As we prepare to embark on another year, 2015, make it a priority to connect with Jesus and experience his power. Happy New Year!
Glory to God in the Highest
Luke 2: 8-20
Today’s lesson focus on Jesus birth. That’s good news that everyone should want to hear about.
God used an angel to prepare shepherds to announce the long awaited arrival of the Savior, the Messiah, yes Jesus.
He used Shepherds watching over sheep to bring the good news of Jesus’ birth.
In Luke 2:8-9, these verses lets us know that God reaches out to the lowliest of people like shepherds, who were looked down on by society to announce a very important message of Jesus’ birth.
In Luke 2: 10-12 – The angel told the shepherds to fear not; they come with good tidings of great joy which is for all people, and for everyone this day in the city of David a Savior is born in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes. By choosing to be born in a stable Jesus demonstrated humility, and that’s how we should humble ourselves in the same manner.
In Luke 2:13-14 – A host of angels came together giving God the highest praise for peace, love, salvation for everyone. We should always give God the highest praise.<
The shepherds believed and received the message of Jesus birth, and wanted to seek Him more. They glorified and praise God for the good news of the Savior birth. Mary had her own personal feelings and thoughts about the process that God chose her to give birth to the Savior. God is so amazing. When we begin to believe and received all the wonderful things about Jesus, we will want to witness and worship him more.
Jesus is our Savior. He’s the good news of salvation for all people. He’s our gift from God. When we celebrate Christmas; remember to thank God for loving us so much that He sent Jesus to save us.
Merry Christmas and God Bless!!!!!!!
Make a Joyful Noise
December 14, 2014
In Psalm 95 we are invited to worship God. When we take a look around we may feel we have little to worship about. But this is not a suggestion; rather it is something we must do. Psalm 95 is similar to the book of Numbers where the Israelites were on their journey to the Promised Land. If anybody had reason to worship God it was them. After all, he had done much for them. We too have so much to praise and worship God about. The author, David, says that we must: 1) Shout joyfully. We must be glad to come into his presence and worship him. 2) Come joyfully singing praise to him. We must do this because God is a great God and King above all gods. The Israelites had neighbors who worshiped other gods. They sometimes worshiped other gods. But God is above anyone else. There is no comparison. Because everything belongs to him we must humble ourselves (bow down and kneel) before him. And lastly, he watches over us. That’s reason enough to praise and worship him!
Worship Christ’s Majesty
December 7, 2014
It’s the time of year again where we are bombarded with advertisements via cell phone, computer, texts, tweets, ipad, television, newspaper, and so much more. It’s the talk of Christmas. As we prepare for this season, let’s not forget the real reason to worship. To worship Christ’s majesty is to worship his greatness. He is great and greatly to be praised! We should worship him because:
(l)God speaks through Him. In times past God spoke to our ancestors through his prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, etc.). But in these days he speaks through the Son. (v.2)
(2)He has an inheritance. An inheritance is something given to you. Whatever the Father has, he has. He is heir of all things (v.2)
(3)He is creator. He created the universe. (v.2)
(4)He is the brightness of God’s glory and expresses his character. He’s just like his Father. (v.3)
(5)He cleanses us from sin. (v. 3)
(6)He is superior to the angels and has a name greater than their name. (v.4) Angels are God’s messengers. God never called the angels his son. (v.5) Angels worship the Son. (v.6). They are used to serve God. (v.7).
(7)His throne endures forever and ever.
(8)He loves justice and hate evil. He is anointed and has the oil of gladness.
So in the rush of this season, take time to worship Christ the Savior. He is worthy of our worship!
Let Zion Rejoice
Isaiah 52:1-2, 7-12, Psalm 33
November 30, 2014
Have you ever found yourself in a situation that seem hopeless, and you couldn’t find any reason to rejoice about anything? You may have wondered if you would ever get through this ordeal, or would it ever happen at all. ( ex. health issues, finance problems, martial problems etc.) So, what’s to rejoice about.
In today’s lesson Isaiah give a message of hope to the people in exile. God reminds us through Isaiah that no matter what our situation or where we are in life’s challenges we must remember to:
1. Don’t fall asleep spiritually, and continue in sin.
2. Wake up and receive, and celebrate who you are in Christ ,and the things He is doing for you.
In today’s lesson we are reminded even when we are going through suffering and trials in our lives; we must remember who we are in Christ, and there is always reasons to rejoice and praise God because:
1.The Gospel is the good news that we have gained access by faith into His grace. ( Romans 5: 2, 5, 10, 11)
2. We are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession that we may declare the praise of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light. ( I Peter 2:9)
3. The battle for our souls was fought and won at the cross. Peace has been declared. ( Romans 5:1)
Today’s lesson also reminds us to always remember God’s presence in our lives through everything we go through, and thank Him for the gospel ( good news) of peace, goodness, deliverance, restoration, salvation, that we experience everyday through Him.
Remember: Our God Reigns Everyday!!!!!!
November 23, 2014
In this week’s lesson, God gives Ezekiel a vision of land. The Israelites were in Babylonian captivity. In Genesis 13:14-17; 15:17-21, God promised Abraham and his descendants the land of Palestine for an inheritance. They had lost their inheritance because of sin and disobedience. God promises to restore their inheritance and I’m sure that was good news. He gives Ezekiel specific instructions on how to divide the land. They were not only to divide it among themselves but also include outsiders (foreigners) (v.22). They had been foreigners in the past. We learn that God keeps his promises and works for the good of all.
A Transforming Stream
November 16, 2014
Can you imagine what life would be without water? There would be no life. Everything would dry up and die. It’s a vital source of life and health.
This week’s lesson focuses on a river flowing from the temple the prophet Ezekiel has been touring through God’s vision.
It flowed from the east of the temple, and rushed down into the waters of the Dead Sea.
The river represents Jesus the living water, and a symbol of God’s presence and blessings. Everywhere the stream bought life. The sea was made fresh, and when fisherman cast their nets it was filled with fish. Jesus is the living water that provides the blessings, and waters, the seeds planted in trees to produce good fruits, and provides healing inside of us as well.
Four Steps we take in experiencing God’s living waters in our lives:
1. Whenever we began to learn about Jesus, we might start off slow in ankle-deep waters. We might be trying to find our way. We make some changes in our lives, but we are still not aware of all he can do, and who He is. We are trying to find our way.
2. When we step from ankle deep to knee deep waters with God. We begin to grow in our relationship with Him. ( We pray more, we mediate and study the word more, we serve more) We begin to grow.
3. When we get from ankle-deep to waist deep with God. We begin to learn more about our personal purpose with Him. ( We share our time, talents, skills, finances, and help others in their spiritual journey with Jesus. We become Givers.
4. When the river rushes over our heads it takes us wherever it wants. Then we have to surrender and depend fully on God, and the Spirit of God. We realize just who God is. It’s all in God’s hands.
The Altar, A Sign of Hope
November 9, 2014
This Sunday school lesson focuses on seeking a place of peace. Ezekiel 43:13-21 tells how the altar was to be built. Very precise instructions were given on how to build the altar. An altar is a sacred place where you go to reconnect with the Lord. A place of peace and quiet. You can pray for others, ask for forgiveness, or, just talk with the Lord. As long as there is a place that is used for atonement and renewal.
Be blessed !!
God’s Divine Glory Returns
November 2, 2014
Ezekiel was a prophet who was called to speak to the nation of Israel because they rebelled against God (Ezekiel 2). In Ezekiel 11:23 it says that God’s glory (presence) departed from Israel. In chapter 43 we see that the glory of God returned. If the people of Israel were going to experience God’s glory they had to put away their sins. Likewise, if we are going to experience God’s glory we must put away our sins. God’s temple must be holy.
October 26, 2014
Our lesson this week is near the end of the book of Job. Job’s friends have spoken to Job about his situation and their thoughts. Job continues to speak of his innocence.
Three things happens with Job in this lessons:
1. Job Repents: (vs. 42:1-6) Job confesses his mistakes, loses his pride, and no longer demands answers of why he’s going through all of his suffering. Because of Job’s personal experience with God, he no longer has to rely on what others say about him. He looks at God with eyes of faith and a new understanding, and begin to know who God really is.
2. God Rebukes: (vs.42:7-9) God turned His attention to Job’s three friends: Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. God was angry with them because they misrepresented him even more than Job. They tried to speak on God’s behalf, and it was incorrect. (This let’s is know today that when we speak for God, be sure you are correct and represent Him in the right way.) Whenever God corrects us He always gives us another chance to get it right. God gave Job’s three friends a chance to redeem themselves. They had to offer an animal sacrifice for their sins, and Job had to pray for them , and then God would accept Job’s prayer on their behalf. By being obedient their actions would admit to Job that he was right and they was wrong.
3. God Restores: ( vs.42:10-17) God did not accuse Job as his friends did. He noted that Job had not sinned in what he said. ( vs.42:8). God still did not answer all the questions that Job asked; instead He established the fact that He is God. After the sacrifices made by Job’s friends, God poured out blessings on Job. He restored his fortunes again, and gave him twice as much as he had before.
The final chapter of Job teaches us today that:
a. We must never think that we fully understand God.
b. We may know about God, and still not know God.
God is just in all things, and He will rebuke and restore us in His own time.
Let’s continue to pray and uplift one another, and keep the faith.
Job 24:1, 9-12,19-25
October 19, 2014
Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to good people? In this lesson, Job looks around at all the wicked things people do(using children to pay a debt, exploiting the poor). He felt like the righteous cry out to God but he did not hear them. He thought the wicked was getting away with what they were doing. But he comes to a conclusion in vs. 22-25 that judgment for the wicked is certain.
Even So, My Redeemer Lives
October 12, 2014
This lesson is the focus on how to pray a listening prayer. The bible tells a story of how Job went to God even in his distress. Job lost his family, home, and all he owned. In spite of his situation he continued to pray and request the presence of God. When we pray to God we must emulate Job’s faith and trust in God. We must pray openly with expectation. God’s love is real. When we talk to God, sit in silence and expect to hear his voice. It will change your life and how you respond to scripture. After praying always give him thanks. A listening prayer, what a blessing.
Habakkuk 2:1-5, 3:17-19
October 5, 2014
This week’s lesson focus on Habakkuk , another one of God’s messengers. God warned the people of Judah that they would be punished for their sins and disobedience. Habakkuk had a hard time in understanding how God could use Babylon ( a wicked nation) more evil than the people of Judah.
Habakkuk went directly to God with his questions ( complaint, concerns).
1. How long Lord must I call for help, and you don’t answer?
2. Why are you tolerating wrongdoing, and keeping silent while the wicked are getting away with everything?
It’s alright to question God about your concerns about things you don’t understand. He wants us to come to him for direction and answers. Sometimes we have to wait to hear from God.When God delay in responding to us,it doesn’t mean He’s denying us of an answer.
In Chapter 2:1-5: God answers Habakkuk. He gives him instructions to write down the revelation, and make it plain and clear so everyone could understand. God explained that the wicked will not go unpunished. He doesn’t tolerate sin from anyone. He has an appointed time that he will deal with it. Habakkuk received God’s answer, and realize the power God has over all things and situations. This showed the faith and trust he had in God.
In Chapter 3:17-19: Habakkuk begins to pray and worship God instead of complain. He begins to speak of all the wonderful things God has done, is doing, and will do for His people. He decided to look past his circumstances of injustice, and the trials he was going through, and just stayed faithful, rejoiced, and trusted God.
This is what God is telling us today from this lesson:
God has an appointed time that he will deal with all sin and wickedness.
God wants us to come to him with our questions and concerns,and he wants us wait on His answer.
While we are waiting and going through the tough times and struggles, stay faithful,keep praying, and give Him some praise.
God is saying : ” I see, I hear, and I will answer.
Rejoice and trust in the Lord: He will see you through.!!!!!!
September 28, 2014
In this lesson, Jeremiah is still in prison and God speaks to him for the second time. He invites Jeremiah to call on him and he will show him great and mighty things that he doesn’t know. Jeremiah had many questions about his future. God promised him that he would restore Jerusalem but since he was in prison he was probably wondering how all these things would happen. Likewise, we may have many questions about our future and God invites us to do the same. If we call on him he will show us things about our future also.
A New Future
Jeremiah 32: 2-9,14-15
September 21, 2014
Have you ever been told to do something, and you just couldn’t see how you could do what you were told because of your circumstances?
In our lesson today Jeremiah was given a word of prophecy (prediction of the future) from God. This was a time when Jerusalem would be taken in captivity. Zedekiah the king of Judah put Jeremiah in prison because he delivered the prophecy from God. Zedekiah ask Jeremiah a question: ” Why do you prophesy as you do? Have you ever been asked a question about: “Why do you serve God as you do? Do you have an answer? Jeremiah delivered a message that the King didn’t want to hear.
The word of God came to Jeremiah again instructing him to buy the land from his cousin Hanamel when he comes to sell it to him. Just as God said, Jeremiah’s cousin came to him. This gave him confirmation that he was hearing from the right person -God. The instructions from God was a sign of God’s power.It showed Jeremiah as well as us today, if we trust, believe, keep the faith, and obey God’s word He will all be there for us. It doesn’t matter what our circumstances are; God will give us hope in an unhopeful situation, and be there to restore us back to Him for a new future.
“Build your confidence in what God says, not in the words of others”.
September 14, 2014
This weeks lesson focuses on discovering God making a new promise. If God renews his covenant, there should be no reason we can not have joy in our relationship with him. Jeremiah 31:33 tells us that he will put his law in our minds and write it on our hearts. He also says he will be our God and we will be his people. WHAT A PROMISE. It is our responsibility to honor our part in our relationship as he renews the promise. We can only obtain spiritual growth through this promise and relationship with God. When we have joy in that we can share our faith easier and be a living vessel for others .
A Vision of the Future
September 7, 2014
Jeremiah was an Old Testament prophet. At the time of this lesson, the nation of Israel was split, Israel to the north, and Judah to the south. Because of the continuous sin of Israel, (worshiping idols) they were in captivity in Babylon. Yes, he punished them for their sins.
Since God loved them so much he would not leave them in that condition. He gave Jeremiah a message for them that they would be restored. He had a future for them. When is the last time you took a look at your future? Remember, no matter how it looks, trust God that what he promises will come to pass.
A Community Shares Its Resources
2 Corinthians 8: 1-14
August 31, 2014
In today’s lesson Paul encouraged the Corinthians to give generously and help one another when there is a need. He used the Macedonian Church as an example of giving to help someone else even when you are having hard times yourself. They gave what they had willingly and cheerfully. When we give with that type of attitude God is pleased.<
Titus encouraged the Corinthians to not lose their desire to give, give what you promised, and do it with a loving heart. As believers today do we lose our desire in giving? Do we start and stop in our giving? Do we give with a willing and cheerful heart? God blesses us so much, and the best example we can pattern our lives by is Jesus. He gave up so much for us,and He gives us so much back ( love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, blessings, etc.).
When we give to people, churches, communities always give your best by:
1. Thanking God for blessing you with having enough to give.
2. Always pray for the people who will receive your gift.
3. Always trust that God is able to return what you give away.
4. Keep praising God for using you to bless others.
Lets continue to pray for one another that our hearts and gifts reflects the grace of God.
Remember: You cannot out give God, but try to do it anyway!!!
An Appeal for Reconciliation
2 Corinthians 6:1-13;7:2-4
August 24, 2014
Reconciliation is defined as the act of causing two people or groups to become friendly again after an argument or disagreement. The apostle Paul and the Corinthians had a strained relationship. He faced opposition from several groups within the Corinthian church. There was a problem that needed to be settled. With so many things going on in our world on a state, national, and local level, there need to be reconciliation.
1) Paul begins by saying that “today is the day of salvation” (v.2). The time to experience salvation and be reconciled to God is now. Once we are reconciled to him, then we can extend that same reconciliation to others.
2) We are to be good examples. In v. 3 Paul said their lives were not bad examples. He knew it would be a hindrance to the gospel.
3) We must be willing to open our hearts to others (vs. 11-13; 7:2-4). We must do those things that will cause reconciliation (love one another-vs.12)
Treasure in Clay Jars
2 Corinthians 4:2-15
August 17, 2014
In today’s lesson Paul let the people in Corinth know that God’s word stands on its own. Paul was a preacher, teacher, and servant for God. Paul makes it clear that his obedience to God, and his desire to be a positive influence to God’s people is why he has to speak boldly the truth of God’s word. Paul explains who he is not:
a. I’m not dishonest -( I tell the truth)
b. I’m not walking in craftiness – ( I’m not a hypocrite)
c. I’m not handling God’s word deceitfully – ( I’m not trying to trick anyone, for my gain)
God is pleased when we can boldly speak the truth to others when we are representing Him.
In vs 3-4: Paul let us know about hidden gospel. If the gospel is hidden, it’s hid to the people who are lost in darkness and are under the control of the god of this world( satan).Satan’s job is to keep us blinded in the darkness and not receive the light of God’s word.
In vs.5- Paul continues to explain about the gospel. When we teach, preach, or witness to someone; don’t go around preaching or ministering about yourself. He says just preach Jesus Christ is Lord, and we all are just servants, and let the word of God do its work.
In vs. 6-7 – Paul references us today to fragile clay jars, plain, just ordinary, but the clay jar has the ability to hold some precious things inside ( treasure). God’s word lights up the treasure inside if us, and we are able to do extra-ordinary things. God has put some special treasures in all of us; we just have to open up our hearts and invite God to come in so we can receive them.
The power of God ‘s word will help us get through some tough and difficult challenges, suffering, and pain. When the trials knock us down; we will keeping believing. Even when our bodies begin to shut down; we know that Jesus will never leave us or forsake us. The light of God’s word gives us hope.
The lesson today let’s us know that God has the ability to raise the dead, extend grace and mercy to others through us, and whatever suffering we are going through here on earth He’s there for us. Keep the faith, trust, stay obedient , because nothing compares to the glory of God that He has for us.
!!! Stay Faithful – It’s all worth it.
A Community Forgives
2 Corinthians 1:23-24;2:1-11
August 10, 2014
This weeks lesson is taken from 2 Corinthians 2:10. It focuses on FORGIVENESS. We must realize that forgiveness is never for the other person , but for us. We will not see the kingdom of God if we do not forgive. Corinthians tells us that anyone we forgive God forgives also. He tells us to reaffirm our love for others as he has done for us. Also to stand the test and be obedient . What a word! Forgiveness is a must in the lives of all who love him.
Be blessed !
Consolation Granted Through Prayer
2 Corinthians 1:3-11
August 3, 2014
This is Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church. He focuses on how he made through his troubled times. If we apply these principles we can make it also.
1) We must recognize that trouble will come (John 16:33). If we take a look at the news we will see that trouble is all around us. But God has not left us alone to deal with our troubles.
2) God is merciful and the source of our comfort. Comfort may come in the form of strength, encouragement, and hope. God comforts us so we may comfort others. Have you ever been in a situation that you thought you wouldn’t live through? We see in v. 8 that Paul experienced this. In verse 9 he says that they expected to die. Sometimes we may feel overwhelmed by our trouble, but God will see us through if we trust him.
3) We must pray for one another during our times of trouble.
Seek the Good of Others
1 Corinthians 14:13-26
July 27, 2014
In our lesson today we will learn that the Corinthians placed a great emphasis on speaking in tongues. Paul taught in v. 4 that though tongues build up one self, prophesy (teaching, telling the future) builds up the church. Even though tongues is a spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:10) we ought to be more concerned about building up the body of Christ. We must take others into consideration. Let’s remember to use our spiritual gifts to build up the body and seek the good of others.
I Corinthians 10:9-22
July 20, 2014
In verse 13-17, Paul lets us know in today’s society we face many temptations ( tests). Temptation is everywhere ( ex. billboards, television, social media, movie theaters, peer pressure), and it looks good to be a part of it. There are times we have to decide to do the right thing or the wrong thing. That’s why it is so important that we stay connected to God and His word.
In the lesson today Paul lets the people of Corinth know that they should not be afraid to face the tests they were going through, because God will always be with them, and keep His promises. This also applies to us today as well. For every test or temptation there will be a way out, and It’s up to us to make the right choice.
We all will be tempted at some point in our lives. In I Corinthians 10:13- it lets us know that the tests we face will not be anything that others have not already gone through. Even Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by satan (Matthew 4:11). The devil tries to tempt us when we are at our weakness point and win us over.
Paul lets us know that there is a price to pay if we give in to temptation. The end result is sin that affects not only us but others as well, and our connection to God is disconnected. We lose access to Him for strength and directions to overcome.
In verse -16-22. Paul reminds the Corinthians about the Lord’s Supper and what it means to God. It’s a symbol of unity and His purpose for us. This is very important to Him. God is not please when we try to eat at His table and the devil table. Do not test God. We are not strong enough.
Let’s pray for one another to avoid temptation, to make important decisions, stay faithful to God’s word; so that we can overcome satan and his temptations, and gain eternal life.
Watch What You Ear
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
July 13, 2014
This weeks lesson comes from 1 Corinthians 8:1-13. Paul demonstrates his spiritual Christian freedom by being the example. He writes that a more mature Christian would do a better job avoiding behavior that may hurt Christ. He advises not indulging in this behavior . We must understand what Paul is saying that we should not tempt others with the wrong foods. We should respect others and not be a stumbling block to someone who is trying to become a better person. Support the agreements others have made with God!
Glorify God with Your Body”
I Corinthians 6: 12-20
July 6, 2014
In this week’s lesson Paul is again focusing on the believers in Corinth. They were living by their own laws, and even justifying their behavior with an “anything goes” type of attitude. Because of this the church was in chaos. The Corinthians were behaving in ways that didn’t honor God. Everyone acted as if there were no laws, and even made up their own laws. They did whatever they wanted to do-no matter whom they hurt. They treated sex as an appetite to be satisfied, and not as a gift to be cherished and used carefully. (vs.13) Paul told the Corinthians that any sexual activity outside of marriage was sinful, and engaging in that type of sin effects the unity and purity of the entire body of Christ. In other words it effects not only you, but God and others as well. In today’s society many people believe they can do whatever they want with their bodies without consequences. But our bodies were created so we can serve and worship God, and to be used for His purpose. In (vs. 19) Paul let’s us know our bodies is a temple of the Holy Spirit in us, and we have this because of God, and that’s why our bodies are not our own – they belong to God- not us. Let’s remember if we harm our physical bodies, it can also affect us spiritually. Be Blessed!!!!!
A Call to Unity
1 Corinthians 1:10-17
June 29, 2014
Paul was a devout Jew who founded the church at Corinth. After leaving the church, they began arguing and divisions arose. He wrote this letter to clear up confusion. Some believers had their favorite leader whom they followed (v.12). This can even happen in our churches today. But Paul told them Christ was not divided. He encouraged them to be of the same mind and purpose (v.10). To be united does not mean everyone will agree on the same thing, however, it does mean we must agree on what truly matters which is Jesus Christ. Let’s put our differences aside and follow Christ. Hope for a New Day Haggai 2:23, Zechariah 4:1-3, 6-14 June 22,2014 The lesson this week is the last that focuses on rebuilding the temple. God uses two prophets Haggai and Zechariah for one mission to encourage His people to stay faithful and hopeful in completing the temple. In vs. 2:23 – God sends Haggai with a message to Zerubbabel of His promise that He would move heaven and earth ( Haggai 2:21-22) to accomplish His plan and honor him in the rebuilding of the temple. God promised to give them what they needed, be there for them, and honor Zerubbabel. He wanted them to return and finish the work He called them to do. This let us know today that God chooses us, and it’s up to us to serve Him and fulfill His purpose for our lives.In vs.4:1-3 – Zechariah is awakened by an angel with the fifth of eight visions granted to him by God. He sees a candlestick all in gold, with a bowl on top, seven lamps, seven pipes on top, two olive trees by it on the right and left side of the bowl. Through the vision God shows the trees represent the high priest ( Joshua) and the leader (Zerubbabel) of His people to complete the temple. These verses let’s us know that God will come to us with instructions even when we are asleep, and when that happens; we should response by getting up and being attentive to what God will reveal to us by His Spirit. In vs. 6-9 – God’s message for us is: As leaders and people we can’t complete anything on our own. We must have the power of the Spirit from God to work through the mountains ( challenges, road blocks,) that we may encounter. This lets us know today that: If we find ourselves facing frustrations and challenges chances are we may not be in tuned in God’s plan, and we’re failing to depend on His Spirit. Whenever God gives us a job to; He will always provide what we need by His Spirit to carry out His will. In vs. 10-14 – God speaks to His people about humble beginnings. It shows us how God sometimes uses small things for His purpose. Even the small things that we do for God are important. It doesn’t matter how small things may seem ; if they are done for God, and God is in the things that we do, then the little things become great things. So keep doing the things or whatever job that God has given you to do, and pray that God gets all the glory. Remember: Little is much if God is in it.!!!!!Be Blessed
Live Pure Lives
June 15, 2014
In today’s lesson, we learn that it all started in Haggai 1:2, when the Israelites said it was not time to rebuild God’s house. They eventually accepted the challenge and got to work. Here we learn that the first decision they made not to rebuild, would have lasting effects. Because of it they would have lack. In Haggai 2:14, he said that everything the people touch was defiled because of their sin. God is more interested in us living pure (clean) lives. Sin has consequences. We must be careful not to walk in rebellion. Always think about the decisions you make for they affect the rest of your life.
Trust God’s Promises
June 8, 2014
This week’s lesson was on knowing God’s promises when you do good works . In Haggai 1:12, 2:1-9 God told the Israelites to rebuild the temple. Even though the people thought the temple could not be rebuilt they obeyed God and got to work . We must demonstrate the same faith in all that God requires us to do. It is a way of serving God. Any problem or things that seem impossible, can be accomplished . Just pray and trust in God. He never fails. He is always with us. Be Blessed !
Obey the Lord Haggai 1:1-11 June 01, 2014 Have you ever started a project, and was so excited about completing it; but once you started and began to run into problems you stopped? You may have lost interest, made excuses why you couldn’t finish, and just decided to put it aside until you had time for it later. In our lesson today that’s what happened to God’s people.. God gave them a task (job), to rebuild His temple. They started out excited about rebuilding and couldn’t wait to get started. In two years they completed the laying of the foundation. When problems and difficulties arose, they lost their excitement and interest, and put God’s work aside. They began to focus on building nice homes for themselves, and forgot about God’s temple. Sixteen years God’s temple was left uncompleted. ( An example of this today is when we first give our life to God, and join the church. We are excited and want to do everything. When problems arise we sometimes lose interest and stop working for God and start focus on ourselves.) God sent His prophet Haggai to tell them He wasn’t satisfied with their excuses for not completing His work. God calls them out and tell His people to ” consider their ways” Think about what you are doing? “you wear clothes, but you are still cold.” “you plant,but the harvest is little.” “you eat , but you are still hungry.” “you make money, but it disappears like you have holes in your pockets.” “How’s is it working out for you.” “Consider your ways” “Who are you putting first?” God is still speaking to us today, and He calling us out to reminding us to stop making excuses and get busy doing the things that He has for us to do. The things concerning God should always come first, and if we obey and trust Him, everything we need will be provided for. He will take care of us when the difficult times comes. Let’s continue to pray and encourage one another to make God our first priority in our lives. The Greatest Commandment Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Mark 12:28-34 May 25, 2014 In today’s lesson, we will understand that we are to display love to God and others. 1) In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Moses told the Israelites that the greatest commandment is to love God with all of their being (heart, soul, and mind). 2) We are to love others as we love ourselves. (Leviticus 19:18; Mark 12:31) Remember, we are to love God because he first loved us. Jesus’ Teaching on the Law Matthew 15:1-11,15-20 May 18, 2014 Today’s lesson focuses on the a confrontation Jesus had with the scribes and Pharisees over the cleanness laws of the old covenant. God revealed His laws by teaching in Galilee. A group of religious leader ( scribes & Pharisees) heard about Jesus’ teachings and miracles, and came to see for themselves. They accused Jesus’ disciples of not washing their hands before eating.(Exodus 30:18-21). They said they were not following the rules that they taught the people. The leaders concerns were focused more with the disciples following the rules rather that God’s law. Jesus used the situation to ask a question and to teach about God’s law. (vs.3). 1. Jesus reminded the leader’s that God told them to honor their parents. ( Exodus 20:12, Ephesians: 6-2), but they told the people to give money to the temple ( church), instead of helping their father and mother.(vs.4). 2. Jesus told the leaders about being hypocrites (people pretending to be something they’re not). The leaders only pretended to obey God. Their words said that they obeyed God, but they did not serve God with their hearts. 3. Jesus taught to the crowd of people (vs. 10-11). He told them that the things you do and say will tell others what kind of person you are inside. The leaders wanted to focus on the disciples not washing their hands, but could not see the things that they were doing. Hand washing is important so you don’t get sick, but Jesus wanted the people to see that this did not make them right with God. The food you eat will not cause your heart to be evil either. The evil in your heart will produce sin. These teachings are still helpful for us today to realize that we may be able to say all the right things, but if our hearts are not right, then it will show up in the things we do and say. If we say we are following and serving God, then God will always know if it’s true or if we are just pretending. Let’s remember to honor our parents, serve God with all our heart, and not be pretenders. Be Blessed!!!!! Jesus’Mission on Earth Luke 4:14-21 May 11, 2014 This lesson is focused on our gifts that are God given and how we execute those gifts with his grace and mercy . The bible uses Luke to illustrate how Jesus used his calling to teach in the synagogues to proclaim Gods word to the poor and prisoners . He assured them that hearing the scripture would fulfill their needs. If the bible says it, then we are to believe whole hearted. He is able to do all things. We need to recognize what gifts he has placed in each of us and explore how we can use those gifts to give him all the glory and honor. He has a purpose for all of us. Be blessed!!!!
Jesus Resist Temptation Deuteronomy 6:12-16; Matthew 4:4-11 May 4, 2014 Temptation is everywhere. There are many opportunities to yield to temptation. Maybe this week you were tempted to skip school, lie to your parents, cheat on an exam, tell someone off, or, steal. Did you pass the test? It doesn’t always come in a neatly wrapped package. It becomes sin when we yield to it. Did you know that Jesus was tempted? In Matthew 4:1, it says that the Spirit led Jesus away to be tempted of the devil. Yes, that’s right, the Spirit led him. One of the ways we will learn obedience is by God placing us in certain situations. The enemy tempted Jesus three times and each time he was victorious (Matthew 4:4-11). What temptations are you faced with? The next time you’re tempted, know that you can be victorious.
The Third Day Hosea 6:1-3; Luke 24:1-12 April 20, 2014 It’s the time of year again when we celebrate Christ’s resurrection. The angels reminded the grieving women that Jesus told the disciples in Luke 9:22-23, that all of this would happen. Yet, when the women went to tell the eleven disciples what they witnessed, (Jesus’ body being missing) they thought it was a fairy tale and did not believe them. There are still people today that no matter what we tell them about Christ’s resurrection, they do not believe. Peter went to check out the story for himself and was amazed. What would our life be like if Christ would not have gotten out of the grave? Today, I’m glad he arose because that means we can live again. Let’s celebrate the risen Lord. Happy Easter!
Triumphant and Victorious Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:1-11 March 30, 2014 In Zechariah 9:9, Zechariah prophesied about the coming king (Jesus). Israel asked God for a king but their king would lead them further and further away from God (1 Samuel 8). Zechariah says that the king he prophesied about would be just, righteous and humble (Zechariah 9:9). The prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 21:1-11. As Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people praised him with their hosannas and blessings. Some even wanted to know who he was and others said he was a prophet. Still today, people are asking who he is. Some find it hard to believe that he is God in the flesh, the Messiah, and soon coming King. The question remains, who is Jesus to you?
Be Blessed!!! Control Your Speech James 3:1-12 February 23, 2014 James teaches believers in his day to watch what they say. He says the tongue is a little member but if we don’t keep it in check it can cause destruction. As believers we must be careful and ask the Holy Spirit to help us control our tongue. I am reminded of a song that the junior choir of the church that I grew up in use to sing: “Oh be careful little tongue what you say, Oh be careful little tongue what you say, For the Father up above is looking down on us, Oh be careful little tongue what you say.” So the next time you get ready to say something be sure it is not gossip and won’t cause destruction. Show Your Faith by Your Works James 2:14-26 February 16, 2014 Have you ever heard the saying “Talk is Cheap”? This is the same thing that the Apostle James is trying to teach in today’s lesson. What is faith? (Hebrews 11:1 – believing and trusting in God). What is works? ( putting your faith into action with good deeds). Faith and works are inseparable, you can’t have one without the other. Just saying you have faith is not enough. You have to have good works and acts in ways that pleases God. So if you see someone hungry, then do what you can to feed them. If you know people who need clothing, then provide them with something to wear. Praying for them is good and you should do that, but you should also do what you can to help them meet their needs. Our faith in God produces good works. James gives two examples in vs. 20-26. 1.Abraham was a man of great faith,father of the nation of Israel, his actions of sacrificing his son Isaac showed his trust and belief in God. (Genesis 22:1-8). 2. Rahab ( a harlot, prostitute, a Gentile woman) helped to hide and protect two spies when the Jews were trying to take over the city of Jericho. (Joshua 2). Her actions showed that she believed in the true God. Our faith is alive when we have good works. Just like our bodies die when we have no spirit, the same happens when faith has no works. If there is no good works then faith is dead. Let’s continue to pray for one another that we show our faith by what we do, and not what we say. Be Blessed! Treat Everyone Equally James 2:1-13 February 9, 2014 This weeks lesson focuses on “Loving your Neighbor.” We are challenged to not show favoritism but show the love of Jesus everywhere we go. This also extends to showing favoritism to certain portions of the bible so that it benefits us. The Lord we serve NEVER shows favoritism . Our bible verse comes from James 2:1-13. It tells us to never discriminate between people because of status and never have evil thoughts of those we look down upon. It shows sin. So join us this Sunday to see what happens to Jaylen and mom in their visit to a local restaurant. Be Blessed Hear and Do the Word James 1:9-17 February 2, 2014 James, the half-brother of Jesus, gave Christian Jews practical advice. They were being persecuted because of their faith in Christ. As believers, we too, must live by this same advice. 1)The first thing James says is that we are to be quick to hear. We must always be ready and willing to hear the word of God. We must be slow to speak. With humility we must be a good listener. We must be slow to get angry. It is not a sin to become angry. Jesus himself got angry, but we must not let our emotions get out of control. James says that anger doesn’t produce the righteousness God desires. 2)We must not conform to the world’s way of living (filth and evil) but accept the word of God that is able to save our souls. 3)We must not just be hearers of the word, but doers also. It is not enough to go to church but we must put into practice what we hear. If we do not become doers, we are fooling ourselves. In v. 25, James says that the word is the perfect law that sets us free, and if we do it we will be blessed. 4)We must learn to keep our tongue in check. If not, we are fooling ourselves and our religion is worthless. To be religious in God’s eyes is to care for those who are helpless and not become like the world. Amen!
Jesus Teaches Compassion for the Poor Luke 16:19-31 January 26, 2014 In this week’s lesson Jesus lets us know again how compassionate He is about the poor, and how He expects us to have that same compassion for the less fortunate. He introduces a parable about a selfish rich man that had everything on earth that he could ever want (ex. fine clothes, the best foods,etc.), but didn’t share it with a suffering poor man ( named Lazarus). In vs. 21: Lazarus asked for just the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table and he refused to give it to him. His selfishness on earth caused him to miss heaven . God always make provisions for His people, and when He blesses us; He commands us to share with people that are in need.
Jesus Is Presented In The Temple Luke 2:25-37 December 29, 2013
Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple for dedication after he had been circumcised in keeping with the law. There was a man there by the name of Simeon. Have you ever waited for God’s promises? Simeon waited for God to fulfill his promise. He was full of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit revealed to him that he wouldn’t die until he had seen Christ. How awesome it would be to be filled with the Holy Spirit and have him tell us things. Simeon was so full of the Spirit that when Mary and Joseph entered the temple he knew who the baby was. He took Jesus in his arms and began to prophesy about his life. Anna, the prophetess, was a widow. She never left the temple and fasted day and night. She talked to everyone about redemption.
Zacharias Prophesies about His Son John Luke 1:57-58; 67-79 December 15, 2013
In this lesson today, Zacharias, the priest, was married to Elizabeth. She was the relative of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In her old age the unthinkable happened. She was going to have a son and name him John. Because of her husband’s unbelief when told by the angel Gabriel what would happen he became mute. When the baby was born God loosed his tongue and he began praising God. When Elizabeth had the baby people came from all over to rejoice with her. Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and began to prophesy. To prophesy means to tell of future events. In verse 76, Zacharias prophesied that his son John would be a prophet and prepare the way for the Lord. How much better would your life be if you begin to speak things into your own life? What about if parents begin to speak into the lives of their children? In this holiday season, make a new pledge to speak into your own life and the life of someone else. Merry Christmas!
Beginning of the Tabernacle
November 24, 2013
It has been one year since the institution of the Passover. God speaks to Moses about building the Tabernacle. The tabernacle was a temporary dwelling place where the Israelites could always feel God’s presence. We are blessed with God’s presence every time we go before him. God gave Moses specific instructions for building the tabernacle and he carried it out to the smallest detail. God’s glory and presence filled the tabernacle.
Beginning of Freedom
November 17, 2013
Have you ever been in a situation and thought there was no way out? Well, the Israelites were in that situation. As they continued their journey, the Egyptian army pursued them in battle. As they looked back, they saw the Egyptians getting closer and they began to complain to Moses that they were better off in Egypt. I imagine they realized their new freedom from Egypt would not be easy. That’s how life is. A new beginning is never easy because the enemy is always pursuing us, trying to get us to turn back. We must persevere and go forward. God fought the battle for the Israelites and handled their enemies (Egyptians). He will do the same for you and I.
Genesis 28:1,10-22 October 27, 2013 Jacob was the second born son of Isaac and Rebekah. He had a twin brother by the name of Esau. When Jacob traveled toward Haran, he was running for his life from his brother. He had tricked his brother by stealing his birthright, and, he stole his blessing from his father. His brother was angry and wanted to kill him. A birthright was a special honor given to the firstborn son. It included a double portion of the family inheritance along with the honor of one day becoming the family’s leader. When he arrived at a good place to rest, he dreamt of a stairway that reached from earth to heaven. There were angels going up and down. God was protecting him in spite of his wrongdoing. The Lord was at the top of the ladder. He told Jacob that the ground he was lying on belonged to him and his descendants. All the families of the earth would be blessed through him. The Lord would be with him and would not leave him until he had finished giving him everything he promised. This must have blown Jacob’s mind. Have you ever messed up only to realize that God still blessed you? Jacob realized that he had been in the presence of God. The next morning he made a memorial and anointed it with oil. He made a vow to God. He said if the Lord protected and provided for him, then the Lord would be his God. The memorial would be a place for worshiping God and he would give God a tenth of everything he gave him. When God blesses us, it makes us want to give back to him.
A Blessing for Ishmael and Isaac Genesis 21: 13,14,17-21, 26:2-5, 12-13 October 20. 2013
The events in this week’s lesson focus on the results of the mistakes that Abraham and Sarah made by thinking that they could help God keep His promise. They could not see having a son in their old age and they became impatient waiting on God. They thought they could provide God with a solution. There solution would be for Abraham to conceive a child with Hagar ( the Egyptian slave girl) The result of that conception was a son Ishmael ( means God hears). Then later on Sarah had the son that God promised name Isaac. Sarah was upset because of the relationship between the two boys and Hagar. Sarah asked Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away. This was a hard decision for Abraham to make, but God steps in and tells him to do what Sarah asked. God made a promise to bless Ishmael because he was Abraham’s son. Abraham was obedient to God even though it caused him hurt and pain . God also made provisions and protected Hagar and Ishmael in the time of need. He enabled Hagar to open her eyes to see a well of water that was already there. Sometimes when we are experiencing hard times, we need to ask God to show us the solution that He has already provided. (vs.19). God promises to Isaac came with conditions and warnings to be obedient to His word. (26:2). By obeying God Isaac would be blessed and the same promise God gave to Abraham would be given to Isaac. God kept his promise to Ishmael and Isaac, and God still keeps His promise to us today. He’s a promise keeper and he has his own set time when those promises will happen. God does not need our help to make these promises happen. Let’s continue to pray for one another to keep the faith, be obedience, and patience to receive the promise that God has for us. Be Blessed!!!
Our Promised Gift Genesis 17:15 October 13, 2013
This week’s lesson is devoted to God’s Promises. God always honors his promises. It may not be in our time but he guarantees his children when we practice Faith that he will deliver . In our “Reality Check” , we are reminded of a time when we doubt God, however,if we stand on his promise,all things will work out.
A Promise of Land Genesis 15:7-21 October 6, 2013
In Genesis 12:7, God told Abram that he would possess the land of Canaan. Like many of us when God promises us something, he needed confirmation. He asked God how he could be sure he would possess it. In verses 9-11, God used animals. Why this strange analogy? In Abram’s day when two parties entered into a promise they would kill an animal, divide it in two, and arrange the halves so that the covenanting parties could walk between the body of the animal. God’s Word (the bible) is full of his promises. Did you realize that God knows your future? He showed Abram the future of his descendants while he slept (vs. 12-16). Though they had received a promise from God they would still have to walk through difficulty. It was all a part of God’s plan. But God was in complete and total control. In verses 17-21, God sent Abram a sign that the promise would be fulfilled. It was a done deal. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says all the promises of God are yes and amen. He will make good on it. If you have received a promise from God, hold on to it. Maybe in the midst of waiting for your promise, your life is filled with disappointments, fears, and questions. Remember, Numbers 23:19 says. “God is not a human being, that he should lie, or a mortal, that he should change his mind. Has he promised, and he will not do it? Has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (New Revised Standard Version)
God Scatters the Nations Genesis 11: 1-9 September 29, 2013
What does it mean to be prideful? To be prideful mean that you think you are better or more important than others, and think you don’t need anyone not even God. Pride is what made God unhappy with the people of Babel in our lesson today. Our lesson takes place after Noah’s family was saved from the flood, and God told them to replenish the earth, be fruitful, and multiply. The whole earth spoke one language, they became skilled in construction and decided to build a city and a tower that would reach heaven. They wanted to make a name for themselves and prevent their city from being scattered. Their arrogance, rebellion and pride took over, they were only thinking of themselves and their own abilities and achievements, instead of honoring and giving the glory to God. (vs. 1-4). In verses 5-9: God steps in and takes over their plans. He confuses the languages causing them to speak different languages and scatters the people of the city all over the face of the earth. Today’s lesson let’s us know four things to remember: 1. God is pleased when we come together in unity and we are tuned into His will (11: 1-2) 2. We should never start to do anything without putting God first and ourselves last. (11: 3-4) 3. Whatever you attempt to accomplish ask yourself: ” Will God look down and approve of what I’m doing”? (11: 5-6) 4. Be thankful when God steps in to redirect you in the path He has for you. (11:7-9) Let’s pray for one another, and remember that trying to alter God’s plans has no hope for success. In all situations listen for God’s voice. Believe and Trust God!!!!
An Everlasting Covenant Genesis 9:8-17 September 22, 2013
Have you ever considered the fact that God keeps his promises? Well he does. In our lesson today he promised Noah that never again would the earth be destroyed by a flood. The rainbow is his promise that it would never happen again. Isn’t it funny that we still see rainbows today, in 2013! That means God is still keeping his promise. God’s Word (the bible) is full of promises. So, next time you see a rainbow, go ahead and admire the beautiful colors, but don’t forget that God is a promise keeper.
Knowledge of Good and Evil Genesis 3: 8-17 September 15, 2013
Have you ever been deceived (tricked) by someone? Have you ever made a bad choice and regretted it later on? Do you know what it’s like to fall into temptation, and do something that you shouldn’t have done? All these things happens in our lesson today. Today’s lesson focus on the choices, the fall, and the consequences of Adam and the woman (later name Eve) caused by their disobedience to God. God gave Adam and Eve responsibilities within the Garden of Eden. He told Adam: “Eat freely of every tree in the garden EXCEPT the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (2:16-17). Eva made a choice to believe the serpent (snake) and ate from the forbidden tree. Adam made a choice to eat the fruit from Eva. When we make bad choices we will have to suffer the consequences of our choices. Because of their disobedience God put judgment on each one of them. (vs. 14-17) It doesn’t matter who tempts us into sin we are still the sinner, and with that comes consequences. When we sin and make bad choices, it pleases God when we confess our faults, and don’t blame someone else. Just as God gave judgment on Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, he will also give judgment on us for sin and disobedience to His word. God loves us so much that even when we mess up and we have to suffer the consequences for our choices, He will still cover us and have our backs. We have to trust that God and those that He has put in place to care for us are directing us to make wise decisions for our benefit.Believe and Trust God!!!!
Responsibility In Relationships Genesis 2:18-25 September 8, 2013
This lesson focuses on how God created human companionship. We are to recognize that God makes it possible to have active roles in loving relationships. The practice of companionship and having good relationships should always include and honor God. In Genesis he tells us that it is not good for man to live alone. So God created some very special gifts. Man, woman, wild animals,and all the birds to name a few. We are to embrace his goodness and be grateful for all relationships. Our lesson also focuses on waiting for that very special mate to be intimate with. If we rush into responsibilities that were created for us later in life, relationships suffer. So Gods plan for marriage, sex, and all relationships are better. Wait for the gift of a true relationship. Be blessed!
God Creates Psalm 104:5-9;24-30 September 1, 2013
When you look at the world, do you realize that it was God who created everything? John 1:3 says that everything came into existence because of Him. In this lesson, we see God as being creative. His voice is so powerful that even the waters obey (v.7). He is in absolute control of everything. God created the creatures in the sea. He not only created them but he provides for them also (v.27). They are totally dependent upon Him. In Matthew 6:25-33, Jesus says that if he provides for the birds of the air, he’ll provide for us. What an awesome God!
Sabbath Reforms Nehemiah 13:15-22 August 25, 2013
This weeks lesson focuses on how Nehemiah observed the disregard the people had for the Sabbath (no work, a time of rest) day, and the actions he took to correct the situation. When Nehemiah saw the men of Judah and the foreign merchants working, selling, and transporting goods on the Sabbath day; he rebuked (corrected) them. (vs.15) He went straight to the source of the problem “the nobles of Judah and corrected and reminded them how past leaders neglected the Sabbath and suffered the wrath (anger) of God. Nehemiah took a stand to correct the problem: 1. He shut everything down with authority and leadership. 2. He ordered the gates of the city to be locked and not to be opened until after the Sabbath ended. 3. He gave orders that foreign merchants could not camp outside the gates and the walls of the city on the Sabbath. 4. He ordered the Levites to purify (cleanse) themselves and post guards to make sure his orders were carried out even if arrests had to be made. Nehemiah showed great leadership by correcting the problem and recognizing he wasn’t going to go against God’s commandments. After restoring the Sabbath, he asked God to remember him and have compassion on him. Let’s continue to pray for one another to honor God everyday and keep the Sabbath day holy to reflect on God’s daily goodness and blessings in our lives.
Dedication Of the Wall Nehemiah 12:27-36,38,43 August 18, 2013
In Nehemiah 1:3, Nehemiah found out that the walls were broken down and the gates destroyed by fire. Though he faced much opposition, the walls were rebuilt. Now that the walls were rebuilt, they would dedicate it unto God. To dedicate is to consecrate for God’s service. They were grateful for the rebuilding of the walls. What is it in your life that you can dedicate to God (your time, gifts, or maybe even yourself)? They invited everyone back to celebrate who helped in the process. This was a holy celebration so they purified (cleansed) themselves to go before God. Even the wives and children participated in the celebration and they all had great joy. Be joyful for what God has allowed you to accomplish.
The Confession Nehemiah 9:2, 6-7, 9-10, 30-36 August 11, 2013
This lesson is a simple explanation of what it truly means to REPENT. We must first confess our sins before God and commit to never do these things again . Our bible passage reminds us of how the Israelites confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. It also tells us how ,with his spirit, God is patient, and gives us many chances to confess out sins . Confession is good for the soul. Confess your sins today ! Be Blessed!!
Festival of Booths Nehemiah 8:13-18 August 4, 2013
This weeks lesson is about a celebration called the Festival of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles. This was a celebration of the Jewish holiday that lasted a week, that celebrated the end of their exile and wilderness experience. The festival was a celebration during which God’s law was read to His people every day. This study of God’s law placed a responsibility for knowing God’s word to family leaders in guiding their household, and leaders to understand and teach God’s word. We have the same responsibility today in studying, obeying, teaching, ministering, and guiding our households in the knowledge of God’s word. God commanded the Israelites to live in booths ( huts, shelter) made of certain items such as ( branches from olive oil, myrtle, palm, wild olive, and leafy trees) so they would always remember the time when they didn’t have a permanent home, and how God provided and kept them. They didn’t wait or ask questions they responded quickly in total obedience. Today we should always remember where God has brought us from and respond to His word in obedience. When we celebrate God’s blessings in our lives; let’s remember the importance of understanding God’s word so that we can know how to receive and respond in ways that pleases God. Let continue to pray and encourage one another to celebrate God’s blessings with great joy every day!!!
Gifts for the Temple Ezra 8:24-30 July 28, 2013
Have you ever had something of great value? How did you treat it? Ezra was in charge of caring for the gifts for the temple. He selected leaders he could trust to see to it that they get there carefully. The gifts and leaders were set apart as holy unto the Lord. This teaches us that whatever we give to God is holy (our time, gifts, money, etc.). We must guard it with all our heart.
Fasting and Praying Ezra 8:21-23 July 21, 2013
In today’s lesson Ezra and his people was on a journey to Jerusalem. He knew the journey would be dangerous and anything could happen. Ezra was concerned about God’s people, and he needed assurance of God’s presence and protection. In vs. 21 – He proclaimed a fast (to go without food) to prepare them for the journey. He wanted all the people united as a group and to humble themselves before God, and ask Him for a safe journey for themselves, their children, and their possessions. Being humble before God shows our spiritual dependence, and that we acknowledge by faith that God is in total control of everything in our lives. We can’t do anything by ourselves, but God can do all things. He’s in control of every situation. Instead of asking the King for soldiers and horsemen for protection; Ezra and the people humbled themselves and began fasting and praying to God. This showed how he total depended on God and not man to get him through his situation. When we are going through certain situations and trials in our lives that takes us down paths that are uncertain we must remember to:
- Come to God in humility and depend on Him 100%. Fast, Pray, and be very clear about what you want God to do for you.
- Ask God for guidance and protection.
- Trust and believe that God is faithful and will answer prayers.
- Fasting and Praying puts us in the best possible position for a breakthrough in our day to day lives.
Remember God is Faithful!!!
Dedication of the Temple Ezra 6:13-22 July 14, 2013
Our lesson focuses on understanding the celebration of ALL that God blesses us with. We are reminded in Ezra 6:13 that the people of King Darius’ reign resumed the building of the temple in Jerusalem.They didn’t stop until it was complete. They also rendered offerings for their sins in response to a better relationship with God. They clearly understood that this was a blessing from God! We all should give thanks for the many works that God freely gives. Be blessed!
Temple Restored Ezra 3:8-13 July 7, 2013
As we study this lesson, let’s take a look at our own lives and see what lessons we can learn. The Jews had sinned against God, yet, he was good to them. He brought them out of captivity to their homeland and allowed them to rebuild the temple. What are some things we can learn? 1) God is still calling leaders today who are willing to take on the task. In verse 8, God used Zerrubabbel (governor of Jerusalem), and Jeshua (high priest) to lead the way in the rebuilding of the temple. They even appointed the Levites (men) from 20 years old and up as overseers of the work. God’s kingdom is in need of servants. 2) Our response to God for all he has done in our lives should be praise and thanksgiving. He alone is worthy of all our praise (vs. 9-13). When the foundation was laid they began to praise God. In verse 12 we see that they were so overcome with emotion that the older priest, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first temple, wept aloud when they saw the new temple’s foundation. 3) God is a Restorer. To restore means to give back. What is it in your life that you need God to restore? Maybe it’s a relationship between you and another, your character, or, your integrity. Whatever it is, trust and believe God to do it. Then remember to give God praise.
Joyful Worship Restored Ezra 3: 1-7 June 30, 2013
Today’s lesson focus on the Israelites returning home, and what happen when they got there. The Israelites was taken from their homes to Babylon, because they had disobeyed God. They did not follow the agreement (Covenant) they made with Him. After many years in captivity in Babylon they repented. They were sorry for their sins and disobedience to God..They asked for forgiveness, and planned to obey God’s covenant once they got back home. “Now God could help them.” The Israelites returned home, reunited with each other, and celebrated by building an Altar to God because they knew it was God who rescued them. Their celebration was all about praising and worshiping God for his presence, his protection, and restoration. They celebrated with a festival that marked the remembrance that they were no longer lost and separated from God. In today’s lesson it let’s us know that: 1. When God comes in our life and rescue us from sin; we should remember what he’s done, and give him some praise and worship for his grace and mercy. 2. Disobedience separates us from God presence and protection. Obedience restores us back to God through repentance. 3. It is important to praise and worship God from your heart, and recognize God and the place where his presence dwells. Remember, God gives us reasons to celebrate Him everyday!!!!!
The Glorious New Creation Isaiah 65:17-25 June 23, 2013
Isaiah encourages the people by telling them about their future. Although they had sinned and rebelled against God in the past, God would do a new thing. He would create a new heaven and a new earth (v. 17). It would be so glorious that the people would not even remember their past life nor would it come to mind (v. 17). There would be no crying, pain, or death in the new city. There would be longevity of life and answered prayers. Even the animals would get along with one another (v.15). In Revelation 21:1, John also saw a new heaven and new earth. Only those whose names are written in the book of life will be there. Have you made preparations to be there? Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If not, accept him today by faith (Romans 10:9).
True Celebration Isaiah 29:9-16a, NIV June 16, 2013
This weeks lesson focuses on the sincere and true praise God rightly deserves. It reminds us that it is a DANGEROUS act to pretend or falsify our praise. In the book of Isaiah verse 13, The Lord says that “people draw near me with their mouth and lips but their hearts are far from me and they only have fear of me that they were taught by man.” The true and most significant praise that God desires should be from the heart. He knows our heart before we even feel so it does not profit us to praise him with a false heart but a real relationship with him will reveal the truth. Pay attention to your heart. Praise and honor him with your whole heart. Be Blessed!!
Give Thanks Isaiah 12:1-6 June 9, 2013
In last week’s lesson Isaiah answered the call from God to be His messenger to tell the people of Israel not to be afraid, because God would help them in the time of trouble. In today’s lesson God wanted to help His chosen people who were being beat up by other nations because of their disobedience to Him. God was angry with them for their disobedience; but He looked on them with love and compassion, and He wasn’t upset with them anymore. God’s love and compassion were the reason why His people would give Him thanks and praise. In our church praise and worship service we sing a song that says: “I just want to thank you For ever, and ever, and ever For all you done for me Blessings and Glory, and Honor They all belong to you Thank you Jesus For Blessing me.” We should continue to sing, praise, shout to God, and thank Him for all things. In our personal and public praise; Remember God wants us to: 1. Thank Him for Forgiving us. 2. Praise Him for being our Savior. 3. Trust in Him and not be afraid. 4. Tell others how great He is.
Trust God, Don’t worry, Be Thankful!!!!!
Holy, Holy, Holy Isaiah 6:1-8 June 2, 2013
Have you ever wondered would it be like to be in God’s presence? Isaiah, the prophet, had this experience. He had a vision. When he was in the presence of God he experienced:
1) God’s Holiness We must recognize that God is holy (perfect, without sin, set apart). His name should not be just another household item. In Isaiah 6:2, it says that the seraphs (angels) recognized God was holy and covered their faces. They could not look upon Him. They covered their feet in humble submission to Him, and flew to serve Him. 2) He Realized His Sinfulness Whenever we are in God’s presence, spending time with him, we will realize how sinful we are. In Isaiah 6:5, he confessed that he was a man of unclean lips and he dwelt in the midst of people of unclean lips. One of the angels took coal from the altar and touched his lips. This symbolized God’s cleansing and forgiveness. God wants to do the same for us. He wants to touch us in the areas of our lives that we need cleansing but we must allow him. 3) Received the Call After Isaiah was cleansed and forgiven he was ready to be used of God. In Isaiah 6:8 he says, “Here am I, send me.” In vs. 9-13, God told him to go and gave him the message.
Hope in the Day of the Lord 2 Peter 3:1-15 May 26, 2013
In today’s lesson the Apostle Peter writes his second letter to his friends and believers in the church to remind them of some things. He wanted them to remember what they had learned, and was taught about God’s word and His promises. Peter wanted the believers to understand that a time would come when false teacher’s (called scoffers) will say that Jesus will not return and he doesn’t keep his promises. Peter reminds the believers that when this happens they should: (a.) Stand on God’s word, and remember He is in control of all things. (b.) As believers be patient, and don’t lose hope while waiting on Jesus to return. (c.) Keep believing the true word of God and live everyday to please Him.
As believers today we must also patiently wait on Jesus return and remember that God keeps every promise. ( He’s a promise keeper). The reason God is so patient and merciful with us is because He wants to give everyone a chance to be saved. This is one example of how God’s shows us how much he loves us. He gives us time to repent and change our sinful ways. Let continue to encourage one another of the promises of God’s word and spread the good news, so we can stand firm on our faith in the last days.
Hope Through Stewardship 1 Peter 4:1-11 May 19, 2013
In this lesson, Peter encourages the Christians of his day to take their christianity to a new level. Many had faced persecution. In 1 Peter 3:18, he tells of Christ’s suffering. His suffering brought us salvation. We too must be ready to suffer for Christ’s sake. This will bring him glory. Regardless of what others say, we must live as the new people that we are. He also encouraged them to be sober (have sound judgment), prayerful, and love one another. They were told to be hospitable. When was the last time you brought someone a meal or gave them a place to stay? We must minister to one another by using the gifts God has given us. This will bring him glory. Amen!
Promoted to Lead 2 Peter 1:4-14 5-12-2013
This weeks lesson focuses on leading a more fruitful life. As believers we must be reminded of the Fruits of the Spirit, goodness, knowledge, self control, endurance, godliness,mutual affection, and love. If we exercise our fruits we will be empowered to live more effective lives. More fruitful lives. Peter reminds us that if we follow God’s law we are PROMISED a more fruitful life. Step into your promotion!! God has your back!!!
A Living Hope 1 Peter 1:3-12 May 5, 2013
Do you know what “hope means? Hope is something that we expect in the future. Hope is something that we look forward to. In this week’s lesson Peter writes to the Christian believers in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. These believers was suffering because of their faith in God. They were being persecuted, arrested, and they even faced death. Peter reminded them about the suffering (the hard times) they were going through would not last forever. In God’s eyes the suffering was a test of their faith. Can we remain faithful to God when we are going through hard times or do we just give up? Peter told them because of God’s grace and Jesus death and resurrection they have a living hope. All the suffering, trials, and hard times the believers was going through, Peter encouraged them not to give up, remain faithful, and keep hoping to the end.
As believers today, the lesson let’s us know that: 1. When times are hard and things get rough we must not give up on believing in Jesus. (Keep the Faith). 2. We are part of God’s family as believers in Christ. 3. We should praise and thank God for the future that awaits us in Heaven Let’s continue to encourage and pray for one another to remain faithful and hopeful to receive the promises of God. It will all be worth it in the end.
Hope Comes From God’s Grace 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3; 9-17 April 28, 2013
In last week’s lesson, the Thessalonian Christians had lost hope in the Second Coming. Many of their loved ones died before Christ returned. They thought they missed Christ’s coming. Paul wrote to them and told them they needed to have hope because Christ would bring their loved ones back with him when he returned. This week, he answers the misunderstanding concerning the timing of the events of the end times. There were rumors that the day of the Lord had already begun. He tells them in verse 2 not to be shaken by what they hear about the day of the Lord. Likewise with us, we may hear many rumors or predictions about the day of the Lord. But there are certain events that will occur first. We too must stand firm and hold on to the truth of God’s Word.
Living with Hope 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – 5: 1-11 April 21, 2013
In this week’s lesson Paul informs the believers in Thessalonica how to remain hopeful until Jesus returns. The believers was eager for Jesus to return, but some worried that their family members who had died missed the chance for Christ return. Paul assured them that would not happen. He explained to them about the day of the Lord, that’s when Christ returns to earth to bring back his believers. When Jesus comes in the clouds to gather His church the ones who died,who believed in Him, will rise first, and the ones who are still living will rise up together to meet Him in the air. (vs. 13-17) This information is a source of comfort and encouragement to us for our love ones that has passed on. Paul continues to remind the Thessalonians that no one knows when Jesus will return, so until that time comes they must be alert, awake, prepared, ready, and expect His return at any time. Paul’s message is for us today as well. Let’s continue to live for Jesus until His return, and offer hope, comfort, and encouragement to one another.
The Holy Spirit Comes!! April 14, 2013 Acts 2:1-13
The lesson is focused on understanding that God wants all people to know his love. Appreciate the value of living by faith , and commit to a closer walk with God. Our Scripture reading comes from the book of Acts 2:1-13. The Focal verse tells us that “The Day of Pentecost” came and the Jewish community marked this day the very beginning of the Christian church. It was described as a “Sound from Heaven”. All were amazed . Some even speaking in other tongues. All this came from the Holy Spirit. This tells us that we all have the opportunity to share a special relationship with God and the Holy Spirit. The Holy spirit dwells in us if only we are committed believers and we can allow the Holy spirit to do the work God intended for each of us. Listen to the Holy spirit and allow it to be your guide. Be blessed!!!
The Lord Appears Luke 24:36-53 April 7, 2013
While the disciples talked about the events of Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus suddenly appeared. They were startled and frightened. Jesus told them he would die and be resurrected on the third day but they still doubted. He showed them his hands and feet. He asked for food and ate it while they watched. Jesus can also appear In our situations. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit. He knew they would need power to proclaim his Word to all nations. He led them to Bethany and while blessing them, he began to ascend to heaven. They continuously praised and worshiped him.
The Lord Has Risen Indeed Luke 24:13-21, 28-35 March 31, 2013
The lesson this week is very powerful, and it restores our hope and faith in God. Have you ever experienced a lost, and it brought you so much grief and sadness that you lost all hope, just wanted to give up? In today’s lesson Jesus opens the eyes of two followers he encounters on the road to Emmaus. The two followers talked to each other about Jesus’ death and burial, but not about his resurrection. They discussed his good deeds and how his death affected their lives and situation. They was hoping he was the Messiah that would rescue them, and give them peace. For them it was over; Jesus is dead. Jesus appeared to them, but they couldn’t recognize Him. (vs.16) When we are caught up in our own situation and circumstances, we can’t see clearly what God has for us. Jesus used scripture (The Word) to explain to them his mission as the Messiah. Their joy was restored when Jesus stayed and broke bread with them. When they recognized it was Jesus, they couldn’t keep it to themselves. They wanted to share the good news that Jesus is alive with others. When we look past our disappointments and look to our hope in Jesus’ resurrection it frees us of the things we are going through. Let’s continue to keep our eyes focused on Jesus, and pray, encourage, and share the good news with someone to remain hopeful: God is always with us.
The Lord’s Supper Luke 22:14-30 March 24, 2013
Imagine being invited to supper and Jesus is the host. Jesus is about to go to the cross and has supper with his disciples. Only this meal did not consist of steak. Verse 19 says he took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. It symbolized his body and he said we must do it to remember him. He did the same with the cup and said it was the new covenant in his blood. In old testament times, the blood of animals were sacrificed for forgiveness of sin. But animal blood did not in itself remove sin. Only God can forgive sin. Animal sacrifices had to be repeated day after day and year after year. Jesus instituted a a new covenant between man and God. Under the new covenant, Jesus would die in the place of sinners. His blood would remove our sins. Even the one who would betray Jesus was at the supper. They tried to figure out who it was. Wouldn’t you know, an argument started. They argued about who was the greatest. Jesus told them the leader that serves is the greatest. The next time you take the Lord’s Supper, remember him by eating the bread and drinking of the cup. Have a servant’s heart.
Gabriel’s Interpretation Daniel 8:19-26 March 17, 2013
Have you ever been in a situation where you couldn’t resolve a problem, and you didn’t know which way to turn? Did you ask someone for help or did you try to handle it yourself; or just gave up? In today’s lesson Daniel finds himself in need of some help. He was not too proud to accept the help he needed. Daniel had a vision (dream) of a Ram, a Goat, and a Horn.He had visions before and interpreted them with no problem. He could not see clearly the interpretation of this vision, so God sent him some help in the form of the angel Gabriel. Gabriel helped Daniel understand that the vision was about the end of time. It’s about a King who raises himself up against the Prince of princes (God), and brings God’s anger, wrath, and destruction. The interpretation tells us that before the end of time there will be an evil king who arise and resist God, persecute God’s people and even appear to succeed. There will be tough times ahead. It tells us the success of the evil horn happens in order to fulfill God’s purpose. In the end God will destroy this wicked one and reward the righteous. The interpretation of this vision encourages us today by letting us know:
- God knows what the future holds and wants us to be warned and prepared.
- Our future is in God’s hands and that suffering must precede glory.
- We may be going through tough times and feeling hopeless but just remember to keep the faith in God.
- All we need to know is that God is always in control of every situation and He holds our future in his hands.
Let’s continue to pray, keep the faith, encourage, and help one another to trust in God for all things.
Daniel’s Prayer Daniel 9:4b-14 March 10, 2013
This weeks lesson tells us when things go wrong we have a tendency to run from God instead of running to him. The focus is also to know that God recognizes that we all sin, but we must always rise above that and TRUST in God to forgive us and always call on him in times where we need him most. Those times may be during a difficult test, a new job, a renewed friendship and even when we find ourselves in trouble with the law. Daniel demonstrated his faith and belief in God by going to God on behalf of the Israelites. Although they were practicing everything that went against God, Daniel overlooked them and prayed for them to God in spite of. We MUST learn to pray to God at ALL times for the big and little tribulations we go through. If we constantly keep our eyes on God we will see (like Daniel) him do the work and we are not to place our faith in the world or ungodly things Be Blessed!!!
Daniel’s Vision Of Change Daniel 7:9-14 March 3, 2013
Imagine being a teenager and suddenly you are carried away from your home to a foreign country against your will. You are taken away from your family, most of your friends, and from the land in which you were born and grew up as a child. Nothing is familiar. The language, the countryside, the people, the food, everything is different. This is what happened to Daniel when he was taken captive to the land of Babylon. In Daniel 7:1-8, Daniel had a vision and described what he saw. In vs. 9-14, the vision continues and Daniel saw God (Ancient One) taking his rightful place as judge. It was as if it was a courtroom setting. The enemy thought he had prevailed. Verse 13 says Daniel saw someone coming like a son of man with the clouds of heaven. The son of man is Jesus. Verse 14 says he was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all nations of the world. His rule is eternal. His kingdom will never be destroyed.
Spiritual Disciplines for New Life Colossians 4:2-6 February 24, 2013
In today’s society there are so many distractions in our lives that prayer may become part time or last on our schedule of things to do. In this week’s lesson Paul reminds us of the importance of prayer and maintaining communication not just with God, but with each other and those who don’t know God yet. Our prayer life must be continual ( pray all the time), and be watchful and sensitive to God’s will.We should thank God for all he has done and is about to do in our lives. (vs.2). Paul was in prison, but he requested prayer for his ministry. He wanted the believers to pray that God would give him opportunities to witness and share the gospel clearly. We should always keep our Pastor, Ministers, and Leaders of the church in our prayers for the same purpose. (vs.3-4). Paul gives examples of how to walk in wisdom toward people that don’t know God yet. When you witness to someone about God: a. Pray first. b. Bring out the best in them in your conversation. c. Don’t put them down. d. When you speak the message of God to others; speak with love and kindness in your words. Let’s continue to be faithful in prayer and encourage one another. There is power in prayer.
Clothed With Christ Colossians 3:5-17 February 17, 2013
In this lesson, Paul gives the Colossian believers, as well as us, a list of sins they were to put to death. They were to put to death sexual immorality (fornication, adultery, pornography, homosexuality), impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, lying, anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, dirty language. He said they should put it to death or no longer engage in these things because they don’t fit who they are. This was their old nature. He said they once did them when they were in the world. But now that they are new people in Christ these sins no longer fit. Paul said to do them would bring the wrath of God. Before we can put on anything new we must take off the old. The new nature we must put on includes: tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, love, and peace. ”Putting off and putting on” is a daily decision we must make. We must remember that we are representatives of Christ.
Pressure to Pass Colossians 2:6-15 February 10, 2013
Paul encourages us as believers to be rooted and edified in Christ. He warns against philosophies of the world that don’t respect Christ. In our reality check we see a young man that is struggling with what the world would expect and what God would expect. We MUST stay focuses on what God would do in times of decision making. In CHRIST we have been brought to fullness. Through him we can do all things. Philippians 4:13 tells us this. We must learn to rely on him in all situations. Be Blessed!!!
The Supremacy of Jesus Christ Colossians 1:15-20 February 3, 2013
This weeks lesson focuses on Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Paul wanted them to see that Jesus is more important than anyone or anything, and there in no one with more power than Jesus. God existed before anything else, and he holds all creations together.. He made us and he holds us together. Jesus is the holding power of everything that is good in our lives. Sometimes it is difficult for us to fully understand who God is, but Jesus came to teach us, to show us, and help us understand who he is. That’s why we should always stay focus on Jesus and make him our first priority in our lives. When you think about Jesus ask yourself: 1. How important is he? 2. What does Jesus mean to me? Is he first or last on my list of priorities? God is so Awesome. He loves us so much, and he wants to be first in our lives. Let’s continue to pray for one another and stay focused on Jesus, There is no one like him.
Stand Firm Philippians 3:12;4:1 January 27. 2013
Our lesson comes from the book of Philippians 3:12-4:1. It teaches us to stand firm and run the race. Paul was given the awesome task of bringing the name of Jesus to the Gentiles, kings, and Jews,although the Lord sent Ananias to pray with him he expected the task to be carried out no matter how difficult. We all have a different task at different times in life but if we stand firm we can clearly hear his voice and confuse the enemy. We must strive to finish the task and be grateful God chooses us to carry out his work. Be blessed!!!
Gaining in Jesus Christ Philippians 3:7-11 January 20, 2013
In today’s lesson, the apostle Paul really wanted to know Christ. As a matter of fact he said in verse 7 that he count all things as dung (worthless, no value) because of what Christ did. All of his impressive credentials were worthless when compared with knowing Christ. He knew that his righteousness was by faith in Christ and by nothing he did. (Ephesians 2:8-9). Paul wanted to experience the power of Christ and suffer with him. As believers we must be willing to suffer for Christ’s sake. Although Paul was in prison, he knew that he would experience the resurrection of Christ. What are you willing to lose for Christ sake? Whatever it is, don’t count it a loss, you will gain a more intimate relationship with Christ.
Jesus’ Humility and Exaltation Philippians 2:5-11 January 13, 2013
We live in a society where everybody wants to make a name for themselves. If you don’t believe it check out the latest television reality show. But what do you do when you’re overlooked for a job promotion? Didn’t get the raise you so rightfully deserved? Or, all of your hard work and efforts are going unnoticed? Do you try to get your own way and push your way through? James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.”(NRSV). Humbling ourselves means recognizing that our worth comes from God alone. In today’s lesson, Paul urges the Philippian believers to be unified. He tells them to have the same mind or attitude. Jesus is our greatest example of humility. He knew who he was. Even though he was God and had the right to cling to that, he didn’t use it to his own advantage. He became a servant and was born of a human being. He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on the cross. Because he humbled himself, God exalted him, meaning he gave him the highest position, and gave him the greatest name ever. All creation will admit that he is God and bow at his feet. It is for the glory of the Father. So remember, the next time you think God has forgotten about you, just humble yourself and watch God work.
Proclaiming Christ Philippians 1:15-26 January 6, 2013
In this weeks lesson Paul is still in prison. While under house arrest, he could not visit the Christians in the different churches he had started; so he wrote letters to the church at Philippi. Paul gives us examples of how to proclaim Christ in our lives today. 1. Paul trusted in God despite his suffering and imprisonment. It did not matter what happen to him just as long as Christ was glorified and the Gospel was shared with others. 2. Paul knew that there were others preaching the gospel with love for Christ, and others out of envy and strife. Despite the reason he rejoiced because people were still hearing the word and being saved. Paul was happy that people were hearing the good news about Jesus. 3. While Paul was alive, he served Christ. He was committed to preaching the gospel to as many people as he could. he believed that Christ would be exalted by his preaching.He believed that when he died Christ would still be exalted. 4. Paul had a rough life and he suffered through difficult circumstances. He knew that others were praying for him.and that gave him joy and hope. He believed when he died he would go to heaven, but he also knew that it was important to keep living so that he could keep helping and teaching others about Jesus. Paul is a good example for us to follow today. Trust in God, Rejoice, Share, Pray, Believe, Serve the Lord and use every chance that is given to us to tell others about Jesus as long as we are alive.
Christ’s Love for the Church Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4 December 30, 2012
God wants us to see the type of love he has for the church. He uses the family as an example.Paul, the writer of Ephesians, says that we must submit ourselves to one another out of reverence for Christ. The word “submit” means to voluntarily cooperate. It is not having a slave mentality nor lying down yourself as a doormat. Every entity of the family must submit: 1) Wives-submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Respect and honor his leadership in the household. He is the spiritual leader of the home. A Christ-honoring husband will not take advantage of his role, and a wise and Christ-honoring wife will not try to undermine her husband’s leadership. 2) Husbands-love your wives as Christ love the church and gave himself for it. His love should be self-sacrificing and unselfish. He should want the best for his wife. 3) Children-obey your parents for this is right. To obey means to do as one is told, to honor means to respect and love. Children are to obey while under their parents care, but the responsibility to honor parents is for life. Parents should act in love, treating their children as Jesus treats the people he love. As the world see how we submit to one another, they will see the love Christ has for his people.
Live in the Light John 1:1-5; Ephesians 51-14 December 23, 2012
John wrote to believers every where, both Jews and non-Jews (Gentiles). He reminds us in John 1:1-5 that: 1) God (the Word) was here before anything ever existed. 2) God created everything. 3) God is light and overcomes darkness. Darkness represents evil and wickedness.
We like to imitate many things in this world, especially those who are famous. Ephesians 5:1 says we are to imitate our Father, God. We are no longer children of darkness and so we must live as children of the light. As children of the light we must do those things pleasing to God.
Unity in the Body of Christ Ephesians 4:1-16 December 16, 2012
Our Lesson comes from Ephesians 4:1-16 The focus Believers walking in their calling. We all have gifts, some have the gifts of decorating, to sing, dance, and to speak the word of God, but we are all called to one hope, One Lord one faith and baptism. His gifts that he has adorned on us will work for his purpose for each of us. We have to, study the word and share our spiritual gifts according to HIS purpose. If you are asking “What is my calling?” The best way to find out is to go to God and study his word daily. His answer may amaze you. The young lady in our story Lynette surprised her friends with her gift. On Sunday during Sunday school you may be surprised too. Be sure to read the Focus verse “There is one body and one spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, on baptism” Ephesians 4:4-5 Be Blessed!!!
One in Jesus Christ Ephesians 2: 11-22 December 9, 2012
Do you remember what it was like for you when you didn’t have God in your life? What changes did you make when God came into your life? Have you ever separated yourself from people because of their race, religion, or where they came from? In today’s lesson Paul addresses the church in Ephesus. There was division between the Jews and Gentiles. The Jews felt they were closer to God, because they already knew him through scripture and religious ceremonies. The Gentiles was considered far away, because they knew little of nothing about God. Paul reminds them to remember how they were before they knew anything about God. They were hopeless, in sin, and on the road to destruction. He reminds them that it is because of God’s love, grace and mercy that he sent his son Jesus to die on the cross to forgive us our sins, and adopts us into his family. Jesus is the peace that tears down walls of division and separation, and we are able to become one body in Christ. We must remember that as believers: 1. We are all members of God’s family. 2. We are no longer strangers and outsiders. 3. Every believer is part of God’s church. 4. We are one in Christ. Let us continue to pray and encourage one another as one body in Christ. God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, the Holy Spirit, All three are One.
Spiritual Blessings In Jesus Christ Ephesians 1:3-14 December 2, 2012
Have you ever stop to think that God has given you benefits? If you have ever held a job of any kind, more than likely you had benefits. The benefits God gives, he gives to us freely. We don’t have to work for them. He does it because he loves us. In today’s lesson, Paul teaches the church at Ephesus about their benefits in Christ. Christ also wants us to understand and know the benefits we have in him. Some of the benefits we have in him are:
1) We are chosen. We are not saved because we deserve it. Salvation depends totally on God. 2) We are predestined. We were actually in God’s thoughts beforehand. 3) We are adopted. 4) We are redeemed. Redeemed means to set free from imprisonment or slavery for a ransom. Jesus paid a price (his blood) to release us from slavery of sin. 5) We have forgiveness of sin. 6) We are accepted. 7) We have an inheritance. 8) We are sealed with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s seal that we belong to him and his guarantee that he will do what he has promised. Look at all God has given you and I when we become his children! The next time you are tempted to live beneath your means, remember what your Father has given you.
Paul Evangelizes in Rome Acts 28:23-31 November 25, 2012
In this weeks lesson Paul arrives in Rome, and God is still working things out for his good. Paul is still a prisoner, but he has his own rented house, people are coming to him to be ministered to while under house arrest. When we obey God’s will for our lives he works things out for us in spite of our circumstances. Paul ministers to a large crowd of people from morning to evening. Some believed the things he spoke of and some did not believe. (vs. 23&24). Everyone will not alway beleive when you tell them about Jesus. The word of God will sometimes draw people to God or drive them away. Do not get discouraged if someone does not beleive. As beleivers God wants us to spread the good news about him so everyone will have an opportunity to know him. Some Youths today have a difficult time telling others about Jesus. They may be afraid what others will say or just afraid to step out and just do it. Pray and ask God for guidance, courage, and confidence to step out on faith to tell someone about him. If God has done something for you; he wants you to turn your personal experience with him into an opportunity to witness to someone. By doing this we give God all the glory. Paul didn’t let his circumstances stop his commitment to stay faithful to God. Let’s cotinue to pray for one another to stay faithful to God’s will in spite of our own circumstances, and be a witness for God.
Three Friends Acts 28:1-10 November 18, 2012
This weeks lesson is based on Paul’s experience on the island Malta. He was looked upon as an outsider or someone the islanders didn’t quite trust. After his experience with the snake they then viewed him as a god. This lesson teaches us three things. 1. Taking risk requires us to show our faith toward God. 2. Always be ready to minister to others at all times. 3.Treat everyone with love and respect no matter what they look like or the background. Paul was determined to spread the love of Jesus Christ, he did not allow what others thought of him ti stand in the way. We must have this same courageous attitude in Christ!!! We too must be on a mission !!!
Paul Sails For Rome Acts 27:1-2,33-44 November 11, 2012
After being arrested by the Jews, Paul makes a request to defend his cause to Caesar and sail to Rome. Well on their way, the unimaginable happens, they encounter a storm. This was not supposed to happen! Have you ever experienced everything going well in your life and out of no where things begin to hit you from every angle? This is what Paul and the other prisoners experienced. But because of Paul’s faith, he was able to remain calm and endure. Here are a few things we can learn from Paul:
1) When going through the storm, be able to receive instruction. In verses 9-11, Paul warned the centurion of danger, but he wouldn’t listen. Always be able to receive wise counsel. 2) There are times you will have to go through the storm, but know it is for yoor good. In verses 21-26, Paul told them that even though they had to go through the storm, none of them would lose their lives. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (NRSV) 3) Have faith in God
Paul Before King Agrippa Acts 26:19-32 November 4, 2012
This lesson is about Paul being arrested by the Jews. They claimed he taught against their people and the law, and, defiled the temple. Paul made his defense to Felix, the Caesarean governor, and, then Festus who succeeded Felix. After much examination, they could find no fault with Paul. He later stood before King Agrippa. Paul told his testimony to King Agrippa.
Here are some things we can learn from Paul: 1) When given an opportunity to share our testimony, be bold. 2) Stand up for Christ even when under pressure. 3) Tell the truth. Don’t change your testimony.
New Again Acts 8:26-9 October 28, 2012
This lesson this week focuses on the ability of Christians to share the gospel with all. This means that no matter what race, creed, or background we come from we should be able to be open with all people even if they look or behave differently than us. Our Scripture tells us that the Lord spoke to Phillip and told him to leave Jerusalem and go to Gaza. Phillip was able to preach the word and create an understanding of the word for the Ethiopian. God calls all of us to help others. He wants us to share his word across cultures and generations. Learn more about Phillip and the Ethiopian on Sunday October 28th as we study the Sunday school lesson that will allow us to seek God, look for the good in every individual, and embrace differences in others. Be Blessed!!!
Simon Wants to Buy Power Acts 8:9-24 October 21, 2012
In today’s society everything is for sale. If you have the money it’s nothing you want you can’t buy. People often use their money to buy power to gain positions, bribery, or to be admired by people. In our lesson today we are introduced to a man name Simon who wanted to buy something that will never be for sale. Simon practiced sorcery (magic) and did amazing things among the people of Samaria for a long time. He made a tremendous impact from the children to the adults. They listen to whatever he said, and in doing so, they reached the wrong conclusion: They considered him “the great power of God”. It was because of the magic Simon performed that the people listen and he was the center of attention. Magic comes from Satan, Miracles comes from God. God will always send someone to speak for him. In verse 12, Phillip came to Samaria spreading good news about the kingdom of God, and focusing on Jesus as the Messiah. People were healed, demons were casted out ( Acts 8:6,7,13). People believed, and children and adults were baptized. When you have faith and believe in Jesus miracles (not magic) happens that only comes from the power of God.Simon also believed and was baptized and began following Phillip. Simon’s motives for following Phillip was for his own selfish gain. What are your motives for coming to church and following Jesus? When the Apostle heard that the people of Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to pray that the true Believers would receive the Holy Spirit, and they lay hands on the people, and they received. (vs. 14) How effective we are in our ministry comes only through the power of the Holy Spirit. When Simon offered Peter money to buy the power to lay hands on the people so they would receive the Holy Spirit, he was correct. Peter didn’t wait to correct Simon. He corrected him quickly and came down on hard with a warning of what would happen to him and his money (vs. 20). Simon’s heart was not right with God. We can not receive what God has for us if our heart is full of sin. God is so merciful and does not want any of us to perish, so he gives us an opportunity to change from our sins by repenting, praying, and asking for forgiveness. The power of God can not be bought at any price. It’s not for sale, it’s a free gift from God. Whatever gift God gives us we must remember to use it for the glory and honor of him.
Stephen’s Martyrdom Acts 7:51-8:1a October 14, 2012
Last week we were taught that Christians are to be courageous. That brings me to my first question, How courageous are you? Are you willing to get teased? Mocked? Judged? Abandoned? Beat? Mudered? In this weeks lesson we witness Stephen being a martyr for Christ. He is taken in front of a court and given the opportunity to plead his case. But, as you read his defense you notice he is only pointing out the obvious, so why would his peers become angry? At that time, similar to the present time, people were still unwilling to believe that Christ was the Messiah. The difference is martyrdom is rare now, as opposed to its popularity shortly after Christ’s death. In verses 1-50, we see Stephen simply informing them of their history; His promise to Abraham, His favor towards Jacob, their deliverance from Egypt, and their 40 years of living in wilderness. All of that was said for him to try and explain to them that God dwells wherever His people are. Stephen wanted their eyes to be opened and he wanted them to take the constraints off of God. He ends by calling them uncircumcised in hearts and ears. This was a direct blow at their egos. Jewish men were to be circumcised as an outward symbol of their allegiance to Christ. It was an order given to Abraham by Christ. Stephen telling them this was his way of showing them their hearts are not with Christ, only their outward appearance. Stephen was dragged into the city and stoned to death. As he is being murdered, Stephen humbly and graciously asks God to not hold their actions against them. So my next question is this, after being persecuted for following Christ could you give them grace and ask God to forgive them? Or would you leave them in the dark or their disbelief?
Courage Has No Age Limit Acts 6:8-15, 7:1-2a October 7, 2012
Today’s lesson surrounds the topic of courage. Deuteronomy 31:6 reads “ Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”(KJV) In Acts 6:8-15 Stephen shows us how courageous he is when it comes to spreading God’s word to the Jews, Christians and those who opposed Christ. Stephen shows us just how important it is that we be not afraid to speak of God’s greatness, but do it without ceasing. 1. Let God do God. If God puts something on your heart to do, then go for it. He will NEVER put anything on you that you cannot bear. Everything God does in our lives is what’s best for us and what he sees fit for our lives. Stephen believed in the power that God blessed him with, therefore he used it in the way that God intended by doing great things for people, no matter the way they treated him. He wasn’t afraid to let God work through him. Have the courage to let God move in your spirit, he ALWAYS has your best interest at heart. 2. NEVER be afraid to speak on God’s greatness. In today’s society, specifically the youthful generation, we are afraid to speak of our heavenly father because of the fear of being judged, teased, or not excepted. Stephen spoke on Jesus’ greatness to many people, and many people did not care for Stephen nor his sermons. Stephen did not let what other people think stop him from doing God’s work. Matthew 10:33 reads “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in Heaven.” (KJV). Never let the thoughts of others stop you from expressing your love for God. Have the courage to give God praise wherever and whenever. 3. HAVE COURAGE. You can do anything through Christ, whom strengthens you. Just pray and ask God for the COURAGE to push forward and fulfill his will.
Faith Requires Mutual Love Hebrews 13:1-3;1 Corinthians 13:1-13 September 30, 2012
In today’s lesson, the issue of love is addressed. 1 John 3:18 says, Little children, let us love not in word or speech, but in truth and action (NRSV). In Hebrews 13:1-3, the author tells us how to put our love to action. He says we must: 1) Continue to love. He knew that it was a possibility for love to stop. 2) Show hospitality. Inviting someone to our homes and making them feel at home is another way to show our love. When is the last time you invited someone for a meal? Whether it was to your home or took them out for a meal? 3) Remember those in prison. Our love for those in prison ought to be so strong until we feel what they feel. The apostle Paul also addresses love in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. It is important to understand that the Corinthian Christians were fascinated and flourished with spiritual gifts. But they were lacking in one thing, that being love. Without love, our spiritual gifts are useless. Genuine love must be the motivating factor behind everything we do. It is not the romantic or brotherly type love, but it is the God-type love we are required to have. God desires that we love one another. 1 John 4:11 says, Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another (NRSV). His love requires that we hang in there with others and love them no matter what they do to us. We can only do this with God’s love. We love because he first loved us. It does take work, but it can be done. Let’s strive to not let our love for others grow cold. Let’s get back to loving one another. Love is the greatest because it will last forever.
Faith Inspires Gratitude Hebrews 12:18-29 September 23, 2012
1) There’s a better way to live. At this time, the Israelites camped at Mt. Sinai. Mt. Sinai was the place where God was preparing the nation to receive his ten commandments. This was known as the Mosaic Covenant (old covenant). Not even an animal could touch the mountain unless he fell dead (Exodus 19:18-21). There was fire, gloom, and whirlwind. There was a loud blast that caused the people to tremble. They begged God to stop speaking. This was a time of fear. We can have a better life because we don’t have to live under the old covenant. We must get rid of our old lifestyle in order to live in the new. We must do things that are pleasing to God. 2) Under the new covenant, we can have a relationship with God. We don’t need Moses to go up the mountain for us. We have free access to God. Simply put, we can go to God for ourselves (Hebrews 4:16, Hebrews 6:19+20, Hebrews 7:25, Hebrews 10:19-21). As Christians, our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20, Revelation 3:5. Revelation 13:8). 3) Be part of an unshakable kingdom. God will shake this world and it will come apart completely (Mark 13:31; 2 Peter 3:7). Things on earth will be destroyed (the earth, universe, animals, people). Only what belongs to God’s kingdom will be unshakable. Those who follow Christ are part of this unshakable kingdom. 4) Be thankful and worship God with holy fear. Worship him everyday, not just on Sunday.
Faith Is Endurance Hebrews 12: 1-11 September 16, 2012
We all go through situations, struggles with sin, hardships, and disappointments in our every day life. Today’s lesson focus on how to endure the struggles in our lives to continue our christian race. Endurance and faith in God keeps us moving forward no matter what bumps we encounter in our lives. If we compare our journey to Jesus journey; there is no comparison. He endured struggles all the way to the cross for our sins. It’s very important to keep our eyes on Jesus, and keep the faith, because if we take our eyes off of him; it allows sin to come in and we get off track. Sin will entangle us, weigh us down, and we can not move forward. Parents who love their children, and want the best for them will disciple (correct) them when they are disobedient. God will also discipline us because we are his children, and he loves us, and wants to put us back on the right track for our spiritual good. Let’s pray for one another to keep the faith to endure hardships, reject sin, and keep our eyes on Jesus so we can move forward and make it across the finish line. We are running God’s race not our own. We must always keep him in our sight.
Faith Is Assurance Hebrews 11:1-3,6; Psalm 46:1-3,8-11 September 9, 2012
In this lesson, Jewish Christians had become faithless. They were being persecuted and considered leaving Christianity and returning to Judaism. This lesson was written to encourage them to stand by faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (NLT). In other words, what we hope for has not yet materialized but we believe it will happen. At times all of us struggle with our faith, or, have weak faith. James 1:6-7 says, But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord (NRSV). So how does faith come? Romans 10:17 says, So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ (NRSV). It we are going to please God we must have faith. It takes faith even to know God (v.6). We cannot see God, but we must believe that he exists. We also must believe that God is our refuge (shelter) and that he will take care of us. There is so much busyness in our everyday lives. Psalm 46:10 says, Be still and know that he is God. There are times we can’t recognize God nor his works because we are too busy. We can trust God because he is our fortress.
Faith Calls for Perseverance Hebrews 10:19-31 September 2, 2012
Being able to go to God for yourself is an awesome privilege, a privilege not given to believers before Christ died. Before Christ, a priest would go to the Holy of Holies once a year and made sacrifices for sins of the believers behind a veil. He was the only person permitted to go in this area because it signified the presence of God. After Jesus’ crucifixion, the veil was torn. This allowed believers to go to God for themselves. The writer requests that his readers share love and encouragement with one another and continue to physically be there for one another as well. Willfully disregarding God’s word has dire consequences and as believers we are expected to make life changes once we hear The Word of God.
God Promised to be With Us/Broken Promises Ezekiel 34:23-31 August 26, 2012
The focus of the lesson is that even though man may disappoint us over and over again. We can lean and depend on God‘s promise to never leave us or forsake us. The scripture Ezekiel 34:23 says it best. I will place over them one shepherd, my son David, and he will tend them; he will be their shepherd.” We must carry this promise in our hearts when we are placed in situations that require us to do so. Remember “GOD HAS YOUR BACK!”
God Promised a Righteous Branch Jeremiah 23:1-6, 33:14-17 August 19, 2012
In today’s lesson God tells the prophet Jeremiah to warn the political, religious leaders, and the people about his punishment on them if they did not repent and turn back to him. God sent Jeremiah to the southern kingdom of Judah. He faced difficult challenges seeing conditions go from bad to worse. The leaders were called shepherds and they failed to lead God’s people in the right direction. The behavior of the leaders was not pleasing to God. They were selfish, arrogant, and unjust. They did not care about God’s people, and was not teaching them God’s laws and the importance of obeying them. The leaders (shepherds) disobeyed God, robbed God’s people spiritually and materially, and led them to worship idol gods. This behavior eventually led to their destruction. God labeled the behavior of Israel’s leaders as more than “unjust” God called their actions “evil”. The leaders did the opposite of what God expected of them and what the people needed from them. We are God’s people and the sheep of HIS pasture. When God puts leaders over his people they are held responsible and accountable for those he has put in their care. We belong to God, and if we abuse the leadership position over his people, we are accountable to God. God will never stand for his people to be treated unjust; he will remove the unjust and send Godly leader that are wise, honest, and just to all of his people. God is a promise keeper. He promised he would send a righteous branch that would sprout from the lineage of David. Jesus is that righteous branch. God looks for leaders who will love HIS people and want the best for them instead of themselves. Leaders who follow biblical principles and pray for guidance are the best shepherds of those they are leading. When we lead with Godly ways those we serve grow as well as ourselves. We should give thanks to God for Jesus, the only fully wise, just, and righteous leader. What can you do to be more wise, just, and righteous (fair, honest) in your leadership? Let’s pray for our leaders and one another to let Jesus lead us to be good shepherds.
God Promised A Righteous Lord Isaiah 9:2-7 August 12, 2012
In today’s lesson, Israel had once again sinned against God. Because of their sin, they were living in a state of spiritual darkness and things did not look good for them. They were oppressed by the Assyrians. John 3:19-21 says that people love darkness rather than light for their deeds were evil. People who live in darkness (want to do their own thing) are without a saviour and in need of the light. Jesus is the light. God loved his people and would not leave them in their present condition. He would set them free and restore them. The light that would come into the world, would come in the form of a child. He would not be any child, but he would be the saviour of the world, a just and righteous ruler. If you are living in a state of spiritual darkness, why not come to the marvelous light. Jesus wants to restore and set you free!
Praise for God’s Justice Psalm 146:1-10 August 5, 2012
When do you give praise? During a sports event towards your favorite player for performing well? When one of your friends for does well in school? Or not at all? While it is great to give praise to others, we should also make it a point to praise God. The psalmist makes it very known that his praise and trust belong to our everlasting and all knowing God. The God who’s makes us His priority, who always cares for and provides for us. When it is common to place focus on the temporary things of life, be sure to instill your hope and praise in the One True and Everlasting God.
Studying the Law II Chronicles 19:4-11 July 29, 2012
The lesson focuses on God’s power to be the ultimate judge in all situations. We are accountable to him. Jehosaphat did not rely on himself to jude the people of Judah. He set in place a plan for the people to return to God themselves to see the true example of authority. That is only in God. We must have in each of us the “FEAR” of God so that we know that He will be the ultimate judge in what we do. He will be fair and just in his judgement. II Chronicles Verse 6 says “And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do; for ye judge is not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgement. We must always trust in him .
A King Acts on a Widows Behalf II Kings 8:1-6 July 22, 2012
God will always protect you and make provisions for you if u abide to His will. The widow cared for Elisha everytime he was traveling through her town. In chapter 4 of this book we see Elisha brought her son back to life and increased her faith. This enabled a great relationship to come about. So, when Elisha told her to leave she could trust that it was God. When she returned 7 years later she learned her house and land were taken. She approached the king with her petition and he restored her belongings. God protected her from famine and brought everything back to her in his time. Sometimes God is trying to remove things from our lives and we have to trust that is it for our good. During those times we must learn to cope with change and mature.
Solomon Judges with Wisdom and Justice I Kings 3:16-28, II Chronicles 9:8 July 15, 2012
Our lesson focus this week on King Solomon settling a dispute between two women. These women was labeled as prostitutes (women of low status), and they were looked down upon by everyone. King Solomon demonstrates the gift of true wisdom given to him by God, and shows how everyone deserves fair and just treatment. King Solomon consented to hear their case. These two women lived together, they each had a baby (vs. 17). In the middle of the night , one of the babies died as one of the women accidentally smothered the child in her sleep. The claim that is now brought before the King Solomon is one of deception (trickery, a lie). The charge is that the dead child has been switched for the living one. Each woman claims that the baby is hers. If you were the judge, what decision would you render? King Solomon declares his intentions to kill the child and to divide its body equally between the two women. (vs 25). One woman agrees to this brutal arrangements. The other does not. He uses this as a point of testing the two women to reveal the true mother. The true mother showed her motherly love for her child by crying out for of her child, and agreed to give up the baby so he might live. King Solomon demonstrated the true wisdom God had given him. God was the source of King Solomon’s insightful wisdom. God is the source of our wisdom, and if we lack wisdom we should ask God, and he will give it to us. (James 1:5) Wisdom brings justice and compassion to surface. What can you do to have Godly wisdom to make fair and just decisions? This week continue to pray and ask God for a right relationship with him, so you can make wise decisions.
David Embodies God’s Justice II Samuel 23:1-7, I Chronicles 18:14 July 8, 2012
Have you ever been told that the bible is just a book written by people and alters according to whomever chooses to change it? Well, that’s completely false! In this lesson, David shows us that all word is inspired by God and no one else. He was aware that all the psalms he wrote were inspired by God. He later goes on to say that he is aware all he wants will not be fulfilled through him, but God’s promise will prevail. And it did, through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Samuel Administers Justice 1 Samuel 7:3-11;15-17 July 1, 2012
Samuel was the son of Elkanah and Hannah. He served as prophet, priest, and judge. In this lesson, Israel and the Philistines were at war. The Philistines were winning, and Israel concluded they needed help. They used the Ark of the Covenant as their shield (1 Samuel 4:3). One of the things the Ark of the Covenant contained was the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses. It was captured by the Philistines and moved from place to place. The Israelites thought the Ark of the Covenant was their source of power and began to use it as their “good luck charm”. Their focus was misplaced. They should’ve looked to God. What is it that you’re looking to for help other than God? When Samuel spoke to the Israelites, they realized the error of their ways, and knew if they wanted to experience deliverance, there would be some things required of them. First, Samuel told them they must repent of the idol gods they worshiped (1 Samuel 7:3). Next, he prayed on their behalf (1 Samuel 7:5). And lastly, they fasted (1 Samuel 7:6). Did God hear their prayer? Yes. He threw their enemies into confusion (1 Samuel 7:10). They received victory. If we desire God’s deliverance in our lives, we too must get serious and turn from our wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14). We can have the victory!
The Heart Of The Law Deuteronomy 10:12-22; 16:18-20 June 24, 2012
Moses lets the children of Israel know that there are some things required of them. They were to: 1)Fear God (awe, reverence), 2)Live according to his will, 3)Love him, and, 4)Obey him. Isn’t it funny that God requires the same thing of us today. Moses reminded the children of Israel that God chose them as the objects of his love (Deuteronomy 10:15). Because of God’s love he shows no partiality and is just. The same love God shows to us, we too, must extend that same love to others. 1 John 4:7 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (NRSV). 1 John 4:11-“Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.” (NRSV). God loves us and wants us to love one another. Let’s make an effort to love one another.
Celebrate Jubilee Leviticus: 25: 8-12, 25,35-36,39-40,47-48, 55 June 17, 2012
In this week’s lesson Moses gives Israel choices that they must make if they truly honor God, and his concern for the land and people. A year of Jubilee was celebrated once every fifty years. During this time the land was given a rest from planting and reaping., slaves were released from bondage, property restored to its original owner, and debts were cancelled. The poor was taken care of and was given an opportunity for a fresh start. The year of Jubilee was filled with joy and hope for the people. What are somethings that may be keeping us in bondage that we need to ask God to help us release? How can we be a blessing to someone that’s less fortunate than we are so that they can make a fresh start? God wants us to treat people like we want to be treated, help the poor, and obey his word. Whatever we are going through God is there for us and He is still making provisions for us today in our lives today. God is fair, honest, and just with everyone, and He requires us to be the same way in our choices in dealing with each other. Honor God first and make the right decision in our choices.
Living as God’s Just People Leviticus 19:9-18, 33-37 June 10, 2012
God has set standards for living to Christians. It is our responsibility to seek out what those standards are and apply them to our lives. This lesson deals with subjects as small as honesty and as great as swearing in God’s name. We should all take time out to learn these standards. This enables us to provide justice and love to all men.
Rules For Just Living Exodus 23:1-9 June 3, 2012
In today’s society, everyone seeks some sort of justice. The word justice means conformity to moral rightness in action or attitude. It includes how to treat everyone, whether good or bad. When we think of practicing justice, our judicial system’s final word is the federal supreme court. Regardless of what laws we may make and what we may or may not believe, the final word comes from a source much higher than the court. In today’s lesson, we find that God wants us to live by His Word. That means to make His Word a part of our life and to be mindful of the way we interact with each other. We should live in a manner in which we treat each other in a just and fair way. God gave rules such as, no gossiping, no lying, stand up for what’s right, and etc. So, the next time you have /are given an opportunity to show justice, remember, God’s Word is the final authority.
The Way, The Truth, and The Life John 14:1-14 May 27, 2012
The way, the truth, and the life… What does this mean to you? As believers in Christ, we know that Jesus is The way, not a way, not one way on a list of many. He’s the only way to receive salvation, have your sins forgiven, and have heaven as your eternal home. Jesus is also The truth. God’s word is completely true, Jesus ‘ actions and words are the truth. We are taught His ways and beliefs in order that we might emulate them so others can see His truth. Once, you truly commit your life to Christ you will learn, appreciate, and accept the life He has to offer. Go His way and learn His truths and He will provide you with life.
The Resurrection and The Life John 11:17-27 May 20, 2012
Have you ever had a situation in your life where you needed Jesus to come immediately? This was the case of Mary and Martha. Their brother, Lazarus, was ill. Jesus really loved this family. When he heard that Lazarus was ill he didn’t immediately rush over. John 11:6 says he stayed where he was two more days. What would you say if I told you everything Jesus does is for your good and his glory? When Jesus did get to Bethany, Lazarus had already been dead four days. But it wasn’t too late. It was the perfect time for Jesus to show his power. He delayed his coming in order that Mary, Martha, and others, would believe. Jesus does the same thing in our lives. Though he is well aware of our situation, he works everything out for the good (Romans 8:28). The next time you need an immediate answer, don’t panic, just know that Jesus is well aware of the situation and is working it out for the good.
The Good Shepherd John 10:7-18 May 13, 2012
Jesus uses the analogy of the shepherd/sheep relationship to teach the Pharisees. A shepherd is one who tends to the sheep. He is one who is willing to risk his life for the sheep. He know the sheep and the sheep know him. Sheep need a shepherd. John 10:11 says that Jesus is the good shepherd. He’s not just any kind of shepherd. As the good shepherd, he protects the sheep, knows them, and cares for them. He wants us to live life to the fullest.We can be one of Jesus’ sheep if we come in to the sheepfold by way of salvation. John 10:9 says that if we come in through Jesus, we will be saved. He is the only way to salvation. If you are not in Jesus’ sheepfold, why not get to know the good shepherd.
The Bread of Life John 6: 22-35 May 6, 2012
In this weeks lesson Jesus is on the move again. After miraculously feeding five thousand people (vs.1-15), Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee walking on the water. The crowd who had been fed with the five loaves of bread and two fish came by land the next day to search for Jesus. What are your reasons for wanting to have Jesus in your life? Why do you want a relationship with Jesus? Is it for physical, material, or spiritual gain? The crowd was only seeking Jesus for more bread (a meal) and more healing.Jesus explained to them that bread is eaten to satisfy our physical hunger and sustains us only for awhile, but he is the bread of life and if we come and believe in him we will never be hungry or thirsty. Jesus is the true bread of life that supplies all our needs. He is the source, the giver, and the sustainer of all life. He is the true bread of life sent by God from heaven. He wants us to get to know him on a personal level, and abide in him. If we come to him and believe we will never be hungry or thirsty. Let’s pray that we seek Jesus for a right relationship with him, and to give us a spiritual life in our daily walk with him.
Healing the Blind Man John 9:1-17 April 29, 2012
When you notice someone in need what do you do? Ignore them? Pray for them? Talk about them? Say thank God that’s not me? Or, do you help them? Jesus noticed a blind man as He was passing by and took it upon Himself to heal this man. As Christians we are to do the same, become an active part in someone’s healing process. While praying is good, we are not supposed to sit and passively watch someone go through a trial, we are obligated to assist in any way we can. The disciples, as many others, had a faulty mind set. They believed that this man was blind due to a sin of himself or one of his ancestors. Jesus taught them in verse 3 that he was blind in order that God could work in his life. We often think that we are suffering because we must’ve done something wrong. That isn’t always the case. Sometimes God is trying to show you His power in order that you may trust in Him and increase your faith in His power. So, take this challenge…..if you see someone in need, help them.
Woman Of Samaria John 4:7-15;23-26;28-30 April 22, 2012
Jesus who had faced opposition by the Pharisees, leaves Judea and travels to Galilee. He went through Samaria and came to a city called Sychar. He was tired from his journey and sits by a well. There, a Samaritan woman came to draw water from the well. It was noon time, the hottest part of the day. Jesus asked her for a drink and she was surprised. She was surprised because: 1) Samaritans were a mixed race, 2) No respectable Jewish man talked to a Samaritan woman, 3) She had a bad reputation. Did you know that Jesus loves you so much he is willing to break down all barriers to get to you? This is what he did for the Samaritan woman. He wanted to meet her deepest need. He wanted to give her living water, something that would satisfy her the rest of her life. There is no relationship, sex, money, or material things that can satisfy us like Jesus can. Those things might satisfy for a little while, but what Jesus gives is everlasting. His love is great and extends to all people. This living water is still available today. Let him give you water so that you will never thirst again.
Cleansing the Temple John 2:13-22 April 15, 2012
In this week’s lesson, Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. When he arrived at the temple, there were lots of people and business was booming. Unfortunately, people had gotten greedy and things got out of control. Those who had gone to worship God could not do so because of the flourishing business. The money changers charged high exchange rates, prices for the sacrificial animals were at an all time high, and Jesus was angry. He got so angry he scattered their money, overturned tables, and, ran the people out of the temple. God does not want us using his house, the church, for personal gain. He wants us to be people of integrity and not take advantage of other people. Whenever we enter God’s house, we must focus on worshiping Him. Why do you go to church? Do you have the right attitude about worship? Make sure you are not making a mockery of God’s house. Attend church to worship God.
The Living Word John 20:1-10, 19-20 April 8, 2012
Mary Magdalene, Peter, John, and several different followers went to Jesus’ grave and discovered the empty tomb on the first day of the week. The stone was removed from the entrance of the tomb. They saw only the empty stripes of linen which Jesus’ body had been wrapped in. The disciples returned to where they were staying in fear and lock the doors. Jesus followers were confused, afraid and sad. When they discovered his body was missing, but when the resurrected Jesus appeared to them they rejoiced. The fact that Jesus rose from the dead, still brings joy, hope, and confidence to us today. Jesus suffered, and died for our sins. Today as we celebrate Easter; let’s remember Jesus’ victory over death, his resurrection which gives eternal life to everyone who believes in him. Jesus is the living word, and his word lives in us. Let’s spread the good news. “He’s Alive!”
Jesus Testifies to the Truth John 18:28-37 April 1, 2012
In this week’s lesson Jesus stands trial before Pilate (the Roman Governor). The Jews took Jesus to Pilate to be condemned and they wanted him to go along with them. Jesus suffered for the world, and he testified to the truth before each of his accusers. Is Jesus a King? Yes Jesus is a King, and his kingdom is a kingdom of truth not of this world. When we accept that Jesus is the one sent from God and we tell others about him, we are walking in truth. When we face challenges in our life, and go through tough situations; we should stay faithful, believe, and stand firm on the truth of God’s word. Jesus was a witness for the truth. Let’s follow his example.
God’s Word Saves John 3:11-21 March 25, 2012
In today’s lesson, there was a man named Nicodemus. He was a Pharisee, religious leader, and member of the Sanhedrin Council. Although he had seen Jesus’ miracles, he did not understand what it meant to be born again. He asked Jesus how could a man be born again when he is old. (John 3:5) Jesus told him in order to enter into the kingdom of God he must be born of water and Spirit. Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it. (John 3:17) Does God still save today? Yes, whoever calls upon him shall be saved.
The Wedding at Cana John 2:1-12 March 18, 2012
Do you believe in miracles? This lesson illustrates the very first miracle Jesus performed, turning water into wine, so as to not embarrass the bride’s father. It was customary at that time for the bride’s family to provide food and drinks for the entire duration of the celebration. Jesus assisted the father by quietly performing this miracle in order that the celebration may continue. Jesus is still performing miracles today, people are being healed spiritually and physically, people are being saved, relationships are being mended, and despite the economic decline people are still helping each other out. Let’s try and open our eyes to miracles performed every day.
The Word Became Flesh John 1:1-14 March 11, 2012
Have you ever thought about God existing before the world began? In John 1:1, John says in the beginning the Word already existed. And not only was he preexisting, he created everything, including you and I. I want you to imagine walking around in a dark room. Bumped in to anything? That’s how it is when we live in darkness (sin). John says God is light. He has come to shine his light on us and our situation. John 1:14 says. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” Since God became human (flesh), he understands everything we deal with. Why not make a decision today to come out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Wisdom’s Part in Creation Proverbs 8:22-35 March 4, 2012
Today’s lesson focuses on God’s wisdom in creation, and in our lives. Wisdom comes from God and has always existed. God’s wisdom guided the creation of the world, the heavens, and established the order of existence. God knows every detail of our lives. He’s happy in giving us wisdom to know him more. As we begin to know God more, we begin to walk in wisdom. We begin to pray, hear instructions, keep his ways, seeking him, and receiving the blessings he has for us. Let’s pray and ask God for godly wisdom.
Fruits of Redemption Galatians 5:22-26:6:1-10 February 26, 2012
Paul has just told the Galatian church that they are free from the law. They should use their freedom to serve one another in love. In other words, they should live by the Holy Spirit. God wants us to be full of his Spirit. The Spirit produces fruit, such as, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. Fruit takes time to grow and must be cultivated. Why not ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit. He wants to produce good fruit in you.