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Righteous Through Christ

Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (v. 30).

Combining paint with small hands can be disastrous, but it was Father’s Day. We had an interesting craft we were going to make for all the fathers, so here we sat around a table wearing great big paint shirts to protect fancy church clothes and dripping bright paint into little glass jars. As small hands wiped at excess paint and spilled colors onto the table, the teacher doubted her wisdom. This project was a mess! Another version of these verses says, “God chose what the world considers low-class and low-life — what is considered to be nothing — to reduce what is considered to be something to nothing.” Parents can look at a smudged, mixed-up gift and see only the small hands responsible for it. They ignore the odd color choices and understand the learning process. Fathers know how silly that picture holder might look on the desk at work, yet still display it happily because of the one whose effort created it. Aren’t you glad our Heavenly Father views our lives the same way? He sees and blesses us not based on our own works but on the righteousness Jesus gives us. He will not reward us with heavenly homes because of what we earn but because of what Jesus offers us. (Michelle D. Avery)

Lord, thank you for your wonderful gifts!

2019-01-16T10:00:33+00:00January 16th, 2019|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The Life of the Christian

Focus Text: Philippians 3:7-21

Central Truth: The Christian life is characterized by a desire to follow Christ’s example in all things.

Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to name some areas of life in which they should follow Christ.

Lesson Outline
1. The Commitment
2. The Course
3. The Condemnation
4. The Conquest

2019-01-14T10:00:54+00:00January 14th, 2019|Categories: Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Coffee/Hot Tea/Mints

When you go to another person’s house, they often ask if you would like something to drink. It must be on the list of hospitality rules. We can help make our classrooms more inviting by offering water, coffee, or tea. Our little church talked about installing a water fountain, but that was an expense that still would not make our country water taste good. Someone brilliantly thought of buying one of those hot/cold water dispensers. So now all we have to do is buy the big water jugs and paper cups. There is always fresh coffee brewing in our classroom and a little bowl of mints. It is nice to have those little things available because it makes everyone feel more at home. And there are some people who just need their morning coffee to stay awake. You might be surprised who brings their own coffee cup to church and leaves it there to use every week.

2019-01-11T10:00:19+00:00January 11th, 2019|Categories: Teacher Helps|Tags: , |0 Comments

A Woman Forgiven

Read Luke 7:36-50

“And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven” (v. 48).

The happenings in this account seem to be suspect from the very beginning. A Pharisee invites Jesus to eat in his house, a woman known by reputation to be a sinner enters in and is allowed to make a scene. The purpose of Simon the Pharisee now becomes evident. He wanted to see if Jesus could indeed see the heart of humanity. In his arrogance, he didn’t believe that any man who was holy and knew of sin would allow himself to be touched by it. Sin, however, could not take away the holiness of the Son of God. Women were often seen as being of very little importance in the society of that day. Jesus time after time in His ministry went out of His way to lift them up. The woman in this story is a prime example. Her sorrow over sin and faith in Christ for forgiveness was considered equal to that of any man. Jesus saw the heart condition, not the physical appearance nor community reputation. This heart condition is what He honored then and still honors today. Jesus was known as the friend of sinners. Do we dare to have that reputation also? (Tim J. Brubeck)

Ruined sinners to reclaim, Hallelujah, what a Savior! — Philip P. Bliss

Lord, help me to see the soul and not the sin.

2019-01-09T10:00:05+00:00January 9th, 2019|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Quarterly Fellowship

This past year our church started having a family game night every third week of the month. We get together with our board games and finger foods and hang out together. It is nothing fancy. We don’t put a lot of effort into the food. We just get together and fellowship. It has been fun to get to better know some of the people I have attended church with for several years. And while we have not had anyone start coming to church because of it, we have had people come to the game night who do not regularly go to our church. You can do this with your Sunday school class, too. It does not have to look like what we do. It could be a breakfast, barbeque picnic at a park, eating out, etc. Whatever you do, do not make it stressful. Emphasize having fun together, and set it on a schedule so everyone knows when to come.

2019-01-04T10:00:53+00:00January 4th, 2019|Categories: Teacher Helps|Tags: , , |0 Comments

A Lost Son Restored

Read Luke 15:11-24

“But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet” (v. 22).

In the final drama in this chapter of “lost things,” Jesus introduces a new element into the narrative. This element is the active role of the runaway boy and the matter of intentionality. Obviously, the sheep was just a stupid animal that wandered off and became lost. There are people, likewise, who wander away and become lost. The coin was an inanimate object that, perhaps, experienced a sudden fall from a pocket into an unseen corner. Unfortunately, there are people who become lost through a sudden moral fall. The son, however, had consciously and deliberately rebelled against the “established order” of the home and marched off to “do his own thing” which was both wasteful and, if the elder brother’s accusation be true, wanton as well. When the money ran out, so did his “friends” and he experienced ruin and, doubtless, ridicule. After his epiphany in the pig pen, he had to move intentionally to change his circumstances. The result was a reunion with the father, a reunion in which there was no rebuke or recrimination, only great rejoicing. What a glimpse into the infinite love of our Father! It all began with the resolution, “I will arise and go to my father!” (Michael R. Williams)

Are you praying for a lost child? God can awaken the lost — even in a pigpen.

2019-01-02T10:00:16+00:00January 2nd, 2019|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Ask for Help

There are times in every person’s life when we just need to ask for help. If you are a parent with children still at home, you may be rushing from this event to that or just staying up all night with a teething baby. You may be caring for an elderly parent or going to a Saturday birthday party for your grandchildren. Maybe you want to go visit your children and worship with them one Sunday. We all have events in our lives that require our attention and make it harder to be ready to teach Sunday school with our eyes open. If you are feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, do not be afraid to ask someone else to teach. If you do not have an assistant Sunday school teacher, ask someone else in the class. Try to give them at least a week to prepare, and realize that your class will make it without you.

2018-12-28T10:00:21+00:00December 28th, 2018|Categories: Teacher Helps|Tags: , , |0 Comments

God’s Command to Repent

Read Acts 17:29-31

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (v. 30).

Waxing eloquent, Paul stands to speak on Mars Hill to the worshipers of the “unknown god.” Definitely a God-moment, he senses the yearning from the religious leaders’ hearts. Given the opportunity of a lifetime to describe WHO the unknown god truly is, the message he delivers is completely relevant today. We must all repent! Notice that wink is in the past tense. This is the day of salvation; God is not only a merciful Father, but will soon be the Judge of all the earth. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for our souls through a torturous death at Calvary. Not sparing the life of His only Son, God will not continue to “wink” or overlook sin. We must repent! Think of the benefits we receive when we are truly repentant before God. Peace for today and everlasting life just ahead! Sharing the good news of salvation through holy living is a command for every believer. God wants a loving relationship with us and reveals His abundance through extended mercy, delivery from seemingly impossible troubles, and peace derived from total forgiveness. He is not a mysterious being locked away in the clouds, but an understanding and compassionate Father. He buries our sins in the sea of His forgetfulness. As we prepare for a new year, ask God for forgiveness and cleansing. Share your Savior with the world in which you live. Let Him be your guide as He leads you to new opportunities. Grasp His hand and NEVER let go! (Beverly K. Tatum)

With Him, my soul’s eternal Guide, What can I wish or want beside?
In life or death, my song shall be, My loving Savior leadeth me.
He leadeth me, He leadeth me, Let this my theme of rapture be!
He leadeth me; He leadeth me, My Savior’s guiding hand I see. — Fanny Crosby

“I know not the way God leads me, but well do I know my Guide” (Martin Luther).

2018-12-26T10:00:12+00:00December 26th, 2018|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , , , |0 Comments
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