Feb. 22, 2023: Spiritual Vision

Read 2 Corinthians 3:12-18.

Spiritual Vision
"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (v. 18).

Probably everyone who reads this has visited one of the stores, which is a part of the world’s largest retailer, but not everybody has had the privilege to be greeted by Wesley. His radiant smile shines beautifully from his brown face. It is very evident that his smile is backed by internal joy. He’s the brightest spot in the store and he does his best to brighten the day of every shopper he greets.
In today’s text, Paul speaks of the transforming power of the glory of the Lord. He declares, what we already know, that those who spend time with God reflect His image and glory.
How do we do that? When we read and study God’s Word, we should not be driven by a desire to have fodder to win spiritual arguments, to find support for doubtful behavior, or to merely say we read our daily quota. We should let God speak through His Word. Time spent in His Word is transforming! As well, other means of grace are transformative. Without question, meeting humbly before God in prayer beautifies the believer, as does the outflow of joy from a praise-filled life. (Lonnie Witt)
Tho’ like others, you’re not gifted, You can shine;
Every cloud can soon be lifted, You can shine;
Jesus promised grace to aid you, You can shine;
Trusting all to Him who made you, You can shine.

When your heart with love is glowing, You will shine;
When His love you’re daily showing, You will shine;
When this saddened world is brightened, By the rays of light divine,
If you really have the blessing, You will shine.
--– Charles Tillman

God help me to walk with you in obedience,
so my countenance bears witness of God’s glory.

2023-02-22T14:52:47+00:00February 22nd, 2023|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , |0 Comments

Feb. 26, 2023: The Gift of Sight

FOCUS TEXT: Mark 10:46-52; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

KEY VERSE: Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole (Mark 10:52).

CENTRAL TRUTH: The compassionate Christ ministers to the needs of men.


I. A Pitiful Cry (Mark 10:46-48)

II. A Gracious Response (Mark 10:49-52)

III. A Glorious Light (2 Corinthians 4:3-6)

2023-02-21T18:33:41+00:00February 21st, 2023|Categories: Front Page, Lesson Highlights, Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , |0 Comments

Feb. 15, 2023: Christ’s Concern

Read John 11:31-37.

“When Jesus, therefore, saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.”

(v. 33),

   Jesus turns sorrow into JOY! Two-word scriptures? Quickly we answer, “Jesus wept.” Because “Jesus wept” we can “Rejoice evermore” (1 Thess. 5:16). This Thessalonians scripture is a perfect two-word synonym for JOY.
God’s people have a history of leaving ripples of joy. Think about the relief and joy Moses caused when he used his staff to divide the Red Sea. Vicious, pursuing Pharaoh along with his supercharged and competent army were swallowed by the seething sea. Instead of a watery tomb, the Israelites experienced a tidal wave of joy.
   Can you imagine the joy experienced by the Shunamite mother when her dead son sneezed seven times? Usually, sneezing brings concerns of Illness; in this case, it brought immense joy. When dressmaker Dorcas was brought back to life, the whole village let out a relieved sigh! Dorcas was a joy broadcaster using her creative designs to provide much-needed clothing for the poor.
Sowing seeds of joy among others will minimize idle time to dwell on troubles. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine…” is not just a dreamy, idyllic phrase. Laughter has been proven to increase oxygen intake and lower blood pressure. Once again, the Bible is supported by scientific evidence. Exodus decreed handwashing; now medical science has agreed it is good for our health. God handed us a manual for our trek to heaven. His Holy Word has not left out even the minutest details for a joyful journey! In the wake of your travels, leave behind smiles and joy. (Beverly Tatum)
Joyful news to all mankind,
Jesus is mighty to save;
All who seek shall surely find
Jesus is mighty to save.
--- Charles Coller

It takes 72 muscles to frown — only 14 to smile!

2023-02-15T20:56:29+00:00February 15th, 2023|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , |0 Comments

Feb. 19, 2023: The Giver of Life

FOCUS TEXT: John 11:31-44

KEY VERSE: I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (John 11:25).

CENTRAL TRUTH: Jesus is our source of life.


I. Great Need (John 11:1-19)

II. Great Perplexity (John 11:20-37)

III. Great Victory (John 11:38-44)

2023-02-13T17:49:12+00:00February 13th, 2023|Categories: Front Page, Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , |0 Comments

Feb. 12, 2023: Faith Rewarded

FOCUS TEXT: John 4:43-54

KEY VERSE: Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is (Jeremiah 17:7).

CENTRAL TRUTH: Great things await those who trust Christ.


I. Faith Challenged (John 4:43-48)

II. Faith Exhibited (John 4:49, 50)

III. Faith Rewarded (John 4:51-54)

2023-02-06T19:07:47+00:00February 6th, 2023|Categories: Front Page, Lesson Highlights, Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , |0 Comments

Feb. 1, 2023: Calmed by the Word

Read Joshua 1:1-5.

"Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people,

unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel" (v. 2).

Today people seek inner peace through various means: self-actualization, positive thinking exercises, transcendental meditation, the practice of non-attachment, finding an inner light, chakras (spiritual powerpoint), seeking a spiritual guide, and using crystals, herbs, and so forth. The problem for those using these methods is that the result is never completely satisfying and quickly disappears. Besides these, Satan has many other options for those foolish enough to use them.
The Word of God, however, has a calming effect on troubled souls who look to God for peace of heart and mind. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled.” This suggests that we have control over whether our heart is troubled or not. Jesus is telling us not to allow it to become troubled.
The question we face then is, “How do I exercise control over my spirit, so it is not troubled?" A foundational truth that must be accepted for this to be possible is understanding that peace is not the absence of trouble. True inner peace is only found in the presence of God. Peace comes from knowing that circumstances are temporary and that God is eternal. Peace comes from exercising faith in the character of the eternal God and His Word. Therefore we choose peace rather than fear or worry. In faith, we lean upon God and His promises instead of leaning on our own ingenuity. (Gayle Woods)

True inner peace is only found in the presence of God.

2023-02-01T20:29:13+00:00February 1st, 2023|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Jan. 29, 2023: God’s Word for Today

I remember as a child reading about the life of Abraham Lincoln. The story recounted the time when his oldest son, Bobby, was bitten by a rabid dog. After reading the story, I imagined that every dog I encountered might be inflicted with rabies. Now imagine what people must have thought when they saw a wild demoniac roaming about the tombs. This is not just a scary nighttime story that teenagers tell around a campfire. The authorities had attempted many times to bind him in chains (today we would try handcuffs), but he always broke the chains into pieces! Attempts had been made to tame him, to reason with him, and to domesticate him. Not only had others tried to help him, but he had tried to help himself. He cried and even attempted suicide, but the evil in him seemed unstoppable and incurable until Jesus appeared. Our need to see God’s power over evil spirits is addressed in this lesson. There are many people who believe that God and Satan are equal forces, but this story makes it plain that God’s power is infinitely greater.

Discussion: *Why do you think people struggle to accept or believe in Jesus’ power over evil?
Discussion: What do Legion’s actions tell us about Jesus?

Discussion: How can the Church demonstrate such decisive power over sin so that people will be drawn to God?
Discussion: *Why does freedom from evil draw people to Jesus? Furthermore, why are some people fearful of God’s power over evil?
Discussion: What do you think keeps people from embracing Jesus as Sovereign over the powers of evil?

Discussion: How does God use us as His witnesses?
Discussion: How important is it for our own communities — people who knew our old lives — to see the power of God changing us? What does this accomplish that a stranger cannot accomplish?
Discussion: How did Jesus equip this man to be an effective witness for Him?


2023-01-23T18:02:12+00:00January 27th, 2023|Categories: God's Word for Today|Tags: , |0 Comments

Jan. 29, 2023: The Demoniac Released

FOCUS TEXT: Mark 5:1-15, 19, 20

KEY VERSE: Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee (Mark 5:19).

CENTRAL TRUTH: Christ has power to deliver those bound by Satan.


I. The Picture of a Demoniac (Mark 5:1-9)

II. Delivering the Demoniac (Mark 5:10-15)

III. Instructing a Follower (Mark 5:19, 20)

2023-01-23T17:40:09+00:00January 23rd, 2023|Categories: Lesson Highlights, Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , |0 Comments

Jan. 18, 2023: The Lord Gives Sight

Read John 9:1-7.

“And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is, by interpretation, Sent.)

He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing” (v. 7).


   There is no promise in Scripture that God will remove all our trials. After all, God is the Creator of the Universe – all-wise, all-seeing, all-knowing…but NOT a vending machine. We glean from today’s passage that God does what He does for reasons more important than our comfort. He desires to build character and prepare us for the next life, not to grant us ease in this one. God acts in ways that best bring glory to Himself, not us. Sometimes the “sight” He gives is the ability to see Him above our circumstances.

That said, while on earth, Jesus did choose to provide physical healing for many. In today’s reading, yet another man’s sight was restored. Jesus did not just hand this man his healing, though. The afflicted man was given instructions. He obeyed, and only then did he receive his sight.

I take from this account two thought-provoking insights. One is that when we ask for healing, we should also make sure we are living in line with God’s Word. Obedience is one of God’s “love languages,” so to speak. Is your will aligned with His?

A second point is that Jesus handled each situation differently. He did not use mud on every blind person’s eyes. My story will not look like your story. God is God. His methods are His business; obedience is mine. Of one thing, I am sure – ALL healing comes from Him! (Shawna Wright)


"It is truly wonderful what the Lord has done!

Glory to His name!"

--- Barney E. Warren

2023-01-16T20:58:10+00:00January 18th, 2023|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , |0 Comments

Jan. 22, 2023: The Blind See

FOCUS TEXT: John 9:1-17

KEY VERSE: One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see (John 9:25).

CENTRAL TRUTH: Faith in Christ brings understanding to the spiritually blind.


I. Preparation for the Miracle (John 9:1-5)

II. Performance of the Miracle (John 9:6, 7)

III. Proclamation of the Miracle (John 9:8-34)

2023-01-16T20:49:50+00:00January 16th, 2023|Categories: Front Page, Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , |0 Comments
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