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May 12, 2021: Peter’s Powerful Testimony

Read Acts 2:22-38.

 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (v. 36).

   Peter's testimony led to this comment, just four verses later: "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." This message reverberates throughout twenty-first-century society. The world continues to crucify Jesus, rejecting his lordship, deity, and salvation. But does this mean we should keep silent, for fear of being misunderstood, maligned, or even persecuted? I think not. Look what happened when Peter was faithful to proclaim a warning. Yes, many took his message to heart and turned to the Christ of Calvary.

I am a teacher. Yes, all those aptitude tests diagnose me as "creator/teacher," so I really could not avoid having spent nearly forty-five years in the classroom – from elementary through college. Teachers tend to be persistent, especially when trying to ensure their pupils have learned, not just listened to a lecture, participated in a learning activity, or completed an assignment. We watch for signs that the learning outcomes have been achieved. We even list them with this preface: "By the end of this course, you should be able to…" Can you imagine how Peter must have felt when his faithful teaching/testimony resulted in positive outcomes?

Open your mouth and let God's Spirit speak through you,

Then stand back and rejoice in amazement at what He will do. (R. B. Kuhn)

Proclaim HIS message without hesitation, with confidence…always.

2021-05-10T16:23:10+00:00May 12th, 2021|Categories: Opening the Word|0 Comments

May 16, 2021: A Powerful Testimony

FOCUS TEXT: Acts 26:19-29

CENTRAL TRUTH: A Christian should take advantage of every opportunity to witness for Christ.

OBJECTIVE: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to identify the elements which make Christian testimony both credible and powerful.

LESSON OUTLINE:

I. An Accusation (Acts 25:1-27)

II. A Witness (Acts 26:1-23)

III. A Rejection (Acts 26:24-32)

2021-05-10T16:17:10+00:00May 10th, 2021|Categories: Front Page, Lesson Highlights|0 Comments

May 5, 2021: Witnessing Through Trouble

Read Luke 21:10-16.

"For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist" (v. 15).

     Most of us look at trouble as all bad. We avoid it if possible. Paul was warned not to go to Jerusalem. Agabus prophesied (Acts 21:11) that Paul would be bound and imprisoned when he went to Jerusalem. Paul said he was "ready… to die... for the name of the Lord Jesus." He went, was arrested, witnessed to Jews, Gentiles, high ranking officials, and prison guards. He was ill-treated and later died for his testimony. Eternity will reveal millions perhaps who will be in heaven because of his witness those last days of his life as a prisoner. Paul said he suffered the loss of everything and counted those things but rubbish that he might win Christ.
Savanye found Christ as Savior in one of our churches in Haiti. A bitter enemy put a machete to Savanye's throat, demanded him to renounce the church, the pastor, and the president of Haiti. Savanye boldly refused and remained faithful! God delivered him. He serves cheerfully and faithfully today
Many have been turned to Christ simply because someone "lived it." The statement is made: "I want what that person has!" (Mark J. Surbrook)

Life is a series of attitudes and adjustments.
Adjustments depend on attitudes.
Our attitudes determine our measure of usefulness,
our measure of peace, and the destiny of souls.
                                                                                    — Karl Paulo

2021-05-03T13:55:53+00:00May 5th, 2021|Categories: Opening the Word|0 Comments

May 9, 2021: A Positive Defense

FOCUS TEXT: Acts 24:10-21

CENTRAL TRUTH: To be effective, a Christian's witness must be based upon their own experience and knowledge of Christ.

OBJECTIVE: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to list scripture references that ill help us give an answer for our hope in Christ.

LESSON OUTLINE:

I. A False Accusation (Acts 24:1-9)

II. A Bold Defense (Acts 24:10-21)

III. A Deferred Judgment (Acts 24:22-27)

2021-05-03T01:28:00+00:00May 4th, 2021|Categories: Front Page, Lesson Highlights|0 Comments

April 28, 2021: Riot and Rebellion Against Truth

Read Acts 19:30-41. 

 "But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians" (v. 34).

    Mob mentality is not a new concept! There are a couple of characteristics of this phenomenon seen both in our text and our society. First, it leaves those in its grasp much less inclined to think logically and independently. Second, it creates the illusion that the smaller group is the enemy. Mob mentality was active in the Ephesus of our text and is often seen in the protests that take place in American cities.

But before we condemn those who give us to such reasonless actions, let's remember that church history is full of examples when people who called themselves the church committed atrocities and justified them either with misused Bible texts or church governing rules. Even in Jesus' day, the Sanhedrin declared, "We have a law, and by our law, he ought to die" (John 19:7).

It is easy when someone upsets the "status quo" for mob mentality to take over, and for the larger group to take actions that are neither necessary nor logical or biblical. The church should stand against sin, but it should also stand against mob mentality!

"Lord, help me not to condemn anyone today simply because my group does!

Help me instead to exercise righteous judgment" (John 7:24). (Gordon L. Snider)

2021-04-26T14:59:58+00:00April 28th, 2021|Categories: Opening the Word|0 Comments

May 2, 2021: Results of Revival

FOCUS TEXT: Acts 19:1-12, 18-20

CENTRAL TRUTH: The preaching of the Word of God in faith and power leads to repentance, regeneration, and revival.

OBJECTIVE: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to list the basic elements of revival.

LESSON OUTLINE:

I. Receiving the Spirit (Acts 19:1-7)

II. Experiencing Revival (Acts 19:8-12)

III. Demonstrating Repentance (Acts 19:13-20)

2021-04-26T14:52:52+00:00April 26th, 2021|Categories: Front Page, Lesson Highlights|Tags: , , |0 Comments

April 21, 2021: Faithfulness in Teaching the Word

Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-9.

           “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” (v. 9).

   “You’re an awesome gardener! These are gorgeous!” my friend gushed over the dahlias, roses, and celosia I had brought her. I hesitated to accept the compliment as I felt I honestly didn’t deserve the praise. I’m an amateur at this gardening thing. I experiment each year, and much of my garden’s success is almost accidental. I can only take credit for purchasing, planting, and watering. Sometimes I overwater. Sometimes I forget to water. Sometimes I prune too much. Sometimes the light isn’t right. Sometimes even my best efforts fail to save a plant. All I can do is try. I cannot force a plant to grow. So, when something blooms beautifully, I get quite excited!
   Watching plants grow and flowers bloom is deeply moving. It is a reminder of the principles mentioned in today’s Scripture reading. Ministry is a lot like gardening. When trying to reach others for Christ, there is a little we can do and a lot that is in God’s hands. But if I quit doing my part – if I quit “watering my flowers” – and quit preparing for my Sunday school class, quit interacting with my neighbors, etc., I am guaranteed failure. God asks me to do my part…all I can do. Then, when combined with the “sunshine” of His love, He multiplies my efforts and the results can be truly beautiful! (Shawna J. Wright)

                                        We must work hand-in-hand with God to reach and teach souls.

2021-04-19T14:24:19+00:00April 21st, 2021|Categories: Opening the Word|0 Comments

April 25: Daily Faithfulness

FOCUS TEXT: Acts 18:1-17

CENTRAL TRUTH: Christians should not let opposition hinder their witnessing for Christ.

OBJECTIVE: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to identify ways they can test their faithfulness to Christ.

LESSON OUTLINE:

I. Faithfulness in Labor (Acts 18:1-4)

II. Faithfulness in Witnessing (Acts 18:5-11)

III. Faithfulness in Trials (Acts 18:12-17)

2021-04-19T14:08:53+00:00April 19th, 2021|Categories: Front Page, Lesson Highlights|0 Comments

April 14, 2021: Glory of the True God

Read 1 Kings 8:22-30.

"And he said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart" (v. 23).

The theme is woven throughout Scripture: God is faithful and merciful. After God promised Abraham and Sarah innumerable descendants, Abraham broke faith by having a son through Hagar. Yet, God was faithful to grant him the "child of promise" through Sarah. After God established a covenant with the descendents of Abraham, Israel again and again broke that covenant by worshiping other gods. Yet, God mercifully called them into repentance through the judges and prophets. When God promised a never-ending rule of the family line of David, He kept that promise. Although many in the royal line would break that covenant resulting in the exile of the Israelites, God established an unending kingdom in the person of Jesus, whose earthly mother descended from the line of David. In this act of faithfulness, God has shown mercy not just to the covenant breakers of the past, but also to all humanity, including you and me.

God remains faithful and merciful. "Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations" (Deuteronomy 7:9). (Lyle A.W)

"God is faithful, ever faithful;

He will surely keep his word;

To the uttermost faithful filling

Ev'ry promise I have heard."

-Eliza Hewitt 

We can trust our covenant-keeping God.

2021-04-12T00:44:12+00:00April 14th, 2021|Categories: Opening the Word|0 Comments

April 18, 2021: The One True God

FOCUS TEXT: Acts 17:22-34

CENTRAL TRUTH: There is one God, the supreme Creator; to Him all people must give an account someday.

OBJECTIVE: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to give scriptural proofs for our belief in the one true God.

LESSON OUTLINE:

I. A Curious Question (Acts 17:15-21)

II. A Clear Answer (Acts 17:22-31)

III. A Crucial Decision (Acts 17:32-34

2021-04-12T00:31:37+00:00April 12th, 2021|Categories: Front Page, Lesson Highlights|0 Comments

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