Read Luke 6:39-45
“For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (v. 43).
I once heard a story about a man who was attempting to launch a homemade rocket into the sky. In his hurry to get away after lighting the fuse, he bumped the rocket, causing it to launch sideways into the church he attended, which subsequently burned to the ground. His wife, surveying the carnage, shook her head and said, “Oh, this is the worst thing you’ve ever done.” The husband replied, “Honey, you say those words to me so often that they no longer have any meaning.” In our reading today Jesus reminds us that we are to be far more critical of ourselves than we are of others. In fact, Jesus reminds us that if we are overly critical of others, we are a corrupt tree bringing forth corrupt fruit. He says that when we do this, we have a beam in our eye. Basically, we are spiritually blind and have no business trying to fix someone else’s faults. Yet, there are times when people need to be corrected. I’ve discovered that when I really want to tell someone what they are doing wrong, then I’ve almost certainly got a beam in my own eye. However, if I don’t want to correct the other person, then the Holy Spirit is probably leading me to do so. This is my own standard though, so it may not work for you. (Randy J. Bland)
Are you overly critical of those around you?
Focus Text: John 15:1-17
Central Truth: Abiding in Christ requires knowing Christ’s words.
Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to explain how abiding in Christ brings fruitfulness.
1. The Vine and Its Caretaker
2. The Vine and Its Branches
3. The Vital Connection
4. The Link of Love
I may be wrong, but I doubt that teaching Sunday school is the only thing that occupies your time. If you are like most of the lay workers in the church I know, you have got quite a bit going on besides preparing for this lesson. In the busyness of life, we can often get the job done on our own strength, and then we wonder why our ministry is not very fruitful. Take time to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as it says in John 16:13, “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” Ask Him to lead you into all truth as you lead your class members. Ask Him to be your Guide, and depend on Him to do the work you cannot do. “Holy Spirit, be my Guide. Holy Spirit, my door’s open wide. Make me to know Thy will divine; Holy Spirit, be Thou mine” (Mildred Cope).
Read Psalm 37:8-13
“But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (v. 11).
Sometimes as we look around and see what is going on in the world, we are tempted to be discouraged, and overcome with hopelessness. It seems like evil prospers. The powerful get more powerful even though they arrogantly reject God. At times we wonder — why doesn’t God do something about it? Psalm 37 is the answer to that type of thinking. David tells us that God has a plan that is bigger and longer than our ability to grasp sometimes. Though in our minds the wicked seem to never go away, from God’s perspective they are like grass on a hot summer day. As you read through the psalm, you can see how David gives us the solution for dealing with discouraging problems around us. We are to “commit our ways to God.” He tells us to trust in God; He knows what is best. David tells us to delight ourselves in God. In other words, God is in control; we aren’t. And then in verse 11, he gives us a promise, it will be those who are meek that will inherit the earth. God isn’t caught off guard by the evil. He is aware, and He is keeping track of the righteous! (Robert W. Booth)
God has a solution for all our problems!
Focus Text: Matthew 5:1-12
Central Truth: The Christian’s joy is God’s delight.
Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to contrast the world’s idea of happiness with Jesus’ principles of highest joy.
1. The Teacher and His Hearers
2. The Character that Blesses
3. Experience that Blesses
Sometimes we need to skip our Sunday school lesson and do something more important. I am not advocating that you not come prepared to teach so you just find other things to occupy your lesson time. So, do not put this down and show up unprepared. What I am saying is there may be times when you need to get out of whatever routine you are normally in and let the Holy Spirit work. If there is a pressing need in your community, a class member’s loved one is critically ill, a spiritual need is presented for either a class member or someone else, or any other need is presented, skip the lesson and pray. Nothing we can say through our lesson is more important or powerful than prayer. All too often, we do not give enough time to the things in our lives that concern us. God cares and wants us to bring our needs to Him. So change your plans. Pray.