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August 23, 2020: The Measure of Greatness

PRINTED TEXT: Mark 10:35 45

CENTRAL TRUTH: Service to Christ and to others is the true measure of greatness.

OBJECTIVE: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to list ways in which they may serve others.

LESSON OUTLINE:

I. Greatness Desired (Mark 10:35 40)

II. Greatness Described (Mark 10:41 44)

III. Greatness Demonstrated (Mark 10:45)

2020-08-18T13:20:02+00:00August 18th, 2020|Categories: Front Page, Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: |0 Comments

Waiting for Christ’s Coming.

Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13‑18.

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (v. 14).

 

From 1955-58, my father was pastor of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in the little town of Dublin, IN. There were not many men in that church. I can only think of three. One of them was Donnie Day. This brother carried his guitar and songbook from revival to revival in our area. The song that he sang that sticks in my mind said, “Wait a little longer, please Jesus…A few more days to get our loved ones in.”

Waiting is usually not much fun, at least not for me. I often find myself counting from 1-100, over and over, while I wait – just hoping the event will happen before I finish. For me, waiting is associated with inactivity – wasted time. But Donnie Day’s song reminds us that not all waiting is time wasted. Waiting may mean the difference between a loved one being saved or lost.

But how can we redeem the time while we wait? A retired missionary from Alaska, Sis. Honeycutt had a different perspective. For her, waiting on Jesus is like a waitress “waiting” on you at a restaurant. That person’s goal is to meet all your needs as best they can so that you will have a good experience.

How are we waiting on Jesus? Counting to 100 over and over again, wishing He would hurry up? Or are we busy meeting HIS needs? (Gordon L Snider)

 

“While I am waiting on Jesus to return, I will focus my mind on pleasing Him and meeting His needs.”

2020-08-10T19:58:25+00:00August 12th, 2020|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: |0 Comments

Preparing for Christ’s Return

PRINTED TEXT: Matthew 24:32 51

CENTRAL TRUTH: All should take heed to Christ's warning and prepare for His soon return.

OBJECTIVE: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to identify things a person must do to prepare for Christ's coming.

LESSON OUTLINE:

I. The Time of His Coming (Matthew 24:32-36)

II. The Nature of His Coming (Matthew 24:37-41)

III. Be Ready for His Coming (Matthew 24:42-51)

2020-08-10T19:53:15+00:00August 10th, 2020|Categories: Front Page, Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Flee Hypocrisy

Read 1 Peter 2:1-5.

“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” (v. 2).

“I do not feed my children spoiled burgers…” Years ago, I was privileged to hear Attorney David Gibbs II illustrate the meaning of the Scripture, “Train up a child…” (Prov. 22:6a). He explained that to train a child is to reach back and touch the palette with wholesome food, because, once the palette senses the taste, it will remember it moving forward. Therefore, should spoiled meat touch the tastebuds, the partaker will instantly sense that the substance is not genuine, and will be able to reject it, thus preventing illness.

The best way to flee hypocrisy is to stay away from the company it hangs out with – malicious, envious, backbiting, disingenuous, selfish, criticizing people. Hypocrites love to add members to their cast, creating drama to deceive everyone around them. Removing oneself from their influence – in other words, “resisting the devil” – is a step that leads to spiritual growth. The sincere milk of the Word is nutritious, edifying, and whole; it is not watered down to 2% by distorting the truth.

Stay away from the drama in which Satan delights.

He’s a master at causing turmoil and strife.

Instead, search the Word – truth God wants you to know,

And feast on His promises so in wisdom you’ll grow. (R. B. Kuhn)

 

Acquire a taste for the good things of God; that’s the best way to avoid succumbing to the devil’s false food.

2020-08-03T16:21:03+00:00August 5th, 2020|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , , |0 Comments

The Sin of Hypocrisy

PRINTED TEXT: Matthew 23:25 - 37

CENTRAL TRUTH: Christ is deeply grieved when men reject Him.

OBJECTIVE: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to list reasons why hypocrisy is a sin.

LESSON OUTLINE:

I. Majoring on Minors (Matthew 23:16 22)
II. Emphasizing Externals (Matthew 23:23 28)
III. Condemned by Deity (Matthew 23:29 39)

2020-08-03T16:16:29+00:00August 3rd, 2020|Categories: Front Page, Uncategorized, Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , |0 Comments

Better in Love

Read 1 Corinthians 13:9-13.

Better in Love.

“But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away” (v. 10).

 

This week we are focusing on God’s Better Plan. The world talks and sings a lot about love. So it is very evident that love is also a part of the world’s plan. So what makes the love that is in God’s plan better than the love that is in the world’s plan? To answer that question, read back through 1 Corinthians 13 – the chapter that describes God’s plan of love.

From this chapter, we can see the superiority of God’s love first because that love never ends. God never says, “I just cannot love that person anymore.” His love “never fails.” God’s love is also superior because it is not self-centered – it “seeketh not her own.” Further, this love is not based upon a fantasy, but upon truth – “rejoiceth in truth.” Verse 7 emphasizes that God’s love motivates us to positive action in the worst of times.

In comparison, the world’s love often ends, is often selfish, is based upon feeling rather than truth, and often turns to hate when circumstances change.

God never met a person He could not love! He has a better plan! (GLS)

 

Make my love like yours, dear Lord,

Unending, selfless, and true,

So that when others see my love,

They will quickly think of You. (GLS)

2020-04-24T14:36:50+00:00April 29th, 2020|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , |0 Comments

May 3, 2020: A Better Plan

Focus Text: Hebrews 9:11-14, 19-28

 

Central Truth: Only through Christ's atonement can we obtain eternal redemption.

 

Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to explain the superiority of Christ's atonement over that of the Old Testament system of atonement.

 

LESSON OUTLINE:

 

I. A Better Priest (Hebrews 9:11-14)

 

II. A Better Promise (Hebrews 9:15-21)

 

III. A Better Provision (Hebrews 9:22-28)

2020-04-24T14:14:55+00:00April 27th, 2020|Categories: Front Page, Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , |0 Comments

April 26, 2020: A Better Covenant

Focus Text: Hebrews 8:1-13

Central Truth: When the Word is written in our hearts, it enables us to fulfill God's will.

Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to compare and contrast the Old Covenant with the New Covenant.

Lesson Outline:

I. The Minister of the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:1-7)

II. The Ministry of the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:8, 9)

III. The Meaning of the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:10-13)

2020-04-24T14:05:28+00:00April 24th, 2020|Categories: Front Page, Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , |0 Comments

April 19, 2020: Faith When Facing the Impossible

Focus Text: Luke 24:13-29

Central Truth: Christ is the complete fulfillment of the prophetic scriptures.

Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to explain the historical evidence concerning the resurrection of Christ.

Lesson Outline:

I. Revealed Through the Word (Luke 24:13-27)

II. Revealed Through Communion (Luke 24:28-45)

2020-04-18T14:15:52+00:00April 18th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

“Be Still and Know That I Am God!”

          I suppose every Christian, in this time of unprecedented social upheaval (Unprecedented in our lifetimes!), has a verse to which they turn for comfort and strength. For some of us, the place is Psalm 46:8-11. The keynote of the passage is v. 10: "Be still and know that I am God."

          When I was a fifth grader (Please note – the year was 1962!), each school day began with a time of "opening exercises." My teacher had a little book of poems from which we read each morning. Although 1962 was long ago, one of those poems still is sealed to my mind.

The world today is going so fast,

I can't keep up; I am traveling half-masked.

I think I will go east, and I find I have gone west.

I am hurrying so fast to keep up with the rest.

They're hurrying here, and hurrying there;

Not sure where they are going, and they don't much care!

 

          In the rural world, where I find my greatest delight, we call it "chasing our tail" – creating lots of activity, for little or no purpose. And if that was the case in 1962, how much more has been true in more recent times! Sports, music, school activities, church activities, political activism, professional activities, texting, social media, electronic communication – that is life! Or is it? Evidently God does not think so! For on the seventh day, God rested (Gen 2:1). The Creator God found it necessary to hit the "pause button" – to take time to reflect.

          The world has defied God in many ways, and the church has rightfully decried many of them. Sadly, however, the church has joined the world in defying God's call to rest – to "be still and know that I am God." And I cannot help but wonder if the current change of pace isn't, in part, God's way of getting His people to do by decree what they refused to do by choice – "be still."

          Please do not misunderstand. I do not know whether God sent this virus, or, like with Job, allowed it. I also do not know what God's purpose is in this current crisis. I just know He has one! And I am quite sure that His purpose involves His people as well as the world. And it doesn't seem His people are taking very kindly to what He is doing! One dear brother mentioned that his wife is not taking very well to this idea of cooking at home! I hear others decry this loss of freedom. Yes, change is difficult to accept, especially when we seem to have little choice!

          In commenting on Psalm 46:10, Charles Spurgeon makes this interesting observation. "Either by terror or by love God will subdue all hearts to himself." The cross showed His love. And in a smaller way, COVID-19 shows His terror. He is the Sovereign God, so COVID-19 did not take Him by surprise.

          Let's go back to Psalm 46:8, where the psalmist talks about a part of the work of God being "what desolations he hath made in the earth." Verse 9 talks about God's ability to stop war by bringing desolation. It is in that context that God, through the psalmist, calls upon his people to "be still and know that I am God."

          Job too faced desolation, and, to be sure, that desolation did not cause him to be still! In fact, Job became quite vocal – maybe like us – in his protesting the desolation in his life. Until, that is, God appeared in chapter 38. And when God gets done with dealing with Job's faulty theology, Job finally acknowledges that he should have not talked so much.

Therefore, have I uttered that I understood not;

things too wonderful for me, which I knew not (Job 42:3).

          As stated earlier, none of us know for sure what God is doing through this pandemic. And we should learn from Job that, when God brings desolation, whether by decree or permission, we need to learn silence. Spurgeon refers to it as "expressive silence."

          The modern church world is not very good at "silent praise." Maybe God is trying to teach us something new! Psalm 46 is an excellent place to learn what that "something new" might be!

2020-04-08T14:57:59+00:00April 8th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments
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