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Sunday school lesson – July 26, 2020

A Man Called Peter

John 21:15-17

Note Verse 15— “So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter.”

Keep the following in mind:

Three times Peter denied Jesus. The first time he pretended not to know Jesus. The second time he denied being a follower of Jesus. The third time, Peter said of Jesus, “I don’t know Him. I don’t know of what you are speaking.”

In today’s text— take note of a conversation between Jesus and Peter. In Verse 15, Jesus said, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” Note the focus is on Peter to whom the question is asked.

Didn’t Jesus know whether or not Peter loved Him? Yes, He knew, but He needed to bring their entire relationship out into the open. What did Jesus mean by this question, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” He may have meant, “Do you love me more than these boats and your fishing?” “Are you willing to give it all up and devote your life to preaching the Gospel?” or “Do you love me more than these others love me?” or “Peter, after all that has happened, after all you denied me thrice, do you think your heart is better than the hearts of these others?”

Peter needed to know that his way had been sinful. He needed to be humble to become a faithful and fruitful servant.

Listen to Peter’s answer in Verses 15-17. “Yes, Lord, he said, you know that I love you.”, and Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Take care of my sheep. The word “love” here is stronger than the one used before and the word for “feed” means “shepherd my sheep.”

1) Peter was to feed the sheep on the Word.

2) Peter was to nurture, discipline, and develop them.

How does this apply to you and me?

In the church, the newer and weaker Christians are to be fed the Word. As they grow, they are to eat stronger food and develop stronger Christian character.

3) Verse 17

“Simon, son of John, lovest thou me?” Peter grieved. Three times, he is called upon to confess his love for Jesus. Peter was touched to the quick. Now he was deeply filled with sorrow and He had remembered the way he had denied Jesus. “Lord thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee.” Lord, I remember how I treated you, and I am deeply sorrowful. Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

Peter had been forgiven and restored to a place of usefulness, and that leads us to one final question.

Do you love, Jesus? Oh, yes, I love Him.

You and I cannot possibly love Him without wanting to do something for Him.

Do you love, Jesus? Peter did.


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Wednesday thoughts – July 22, 2020

When I Follow my Way

Hosea 11:7

Are there consequences to following my way? Yes

When I follow my way instead of God’s way, what happens to me?

I. I get slothful in God’s business.

I have to be pushed, prodded, pulled, and begged to get me to do God’s work. Note the on-word letter “I”. Very seldom do you hear or see someone who says I want to do God’s work. What does the Bible say about a lazy or slothful man? (Proverbs 10:4-5) Are you slothful in God’s business?

II. When I follow my way, I am not fervent in the spirit.

Are you at the boiling point in your desire to please God? At 211 degrees water is hot. At 212 degrees water boils, and water boiling produces steam, and steam can power a locomotive.

In the book of Romans 12:11, Paul instructs the believers of Rome to not be slothful in business, but to be fervent in spirit and serving the Lord.

Is that a description of your life? Hosea said, “My people are determined to turn from me, even though they call me God most high.”

III. When I follow my way, I am not in service for the Lord.

Instead, I am in service for me. My heart is full of ingratitude. I am unfaithful to God. I want to call God most high, but I want to serve Him on my terms when it may be convenient or beneficial to me. Most of the time I really do not want a close walk with God— because a close walk demands commitment.

Some say, “I want to follow my way and God’s way at the same time. That is impossible. It is no wonder that 1 John 2:15 gives this warning. Yes— I want to call God most high and yet follow my way. My way gives evidence of a backslidden heart. What is the evidence of a backslidden heart?

A) A lack of spiritual enjoyment

B) A fault-finding critical spirit

C) When secret, private prayer is regarded as a duty instead of a privilege.

D) Worldly things delight me more than spiritual things.

I want to call God Most High— yet follow my way. The consequences for a man with a backslidden heart are:

A) He will not control his tongue.

B) He will be full of his own care.

C) Selfishness ruins his life.

D) He will be filled with his own lust.

E) He will be full of his own troubles.

F) When one is backslidden, he is not at peace with himself.

Yes, I want to call God, Most-High, yet follow my own ways. This will not work.


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Sunday school lesson – 7/19/2020

Psalm 46

The content of Psalm 46 fits the time in which we live. It is also a Psalm that fits each of us personally. This is what we need in a sinful and war-torn world. The dominant note throughout this Psalm is victory for God’s people in the day of trouble. This Psalm is a song for all Israel, for all who are the truly chosen of God, called to be His people. The peace of God that passes all understanding should keep the hearts and minds of all who rest in God. If indeed the Lord is our refuge and strength, we are entitled to seek after a spirit that will bear us above the dreads of common men. Yes, Psalm 46— is a victory Psalm.

I. Victory over the things that continually pursue us

God is our refuge. (Verse 1) Nothing on the face of this planet has the power to separate us from Him. God is our refuge in Jesus Christ.

II. Victory over the things that contribute to our weakness

“God is our refuge and strength.” (Verse 1) There are many things that tend to weaken these lives of ours even after we have been born again. Discouragements, fears, doubts will come our way. Let our soul within us declare that God is our refuge.

III. Victory over the things that clamor to trouble us

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Verse 1) He is always at hand when we need Him. How true it is, “Man is born into trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” Job 5:7 Yes, in all the trouble you and I face, God is a present help.

IV. Victory over conditions that frighten us.

(Verse 2) “Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the seas.” Yes, perilous times are upon us, tragedy is stalking the world; men’s hearts are failing them for fear. -(Verse 4) “There is a river.” That river is God. His streams make our heart glad.

V. Victory over things that contemplate our destruction

The annihilation of destructive forces is the theme of Psalm 46:6-11. God still rules in the Heavens and on earth. “He madeth wars to cease unto the end of the earth.” (Verse 9)

The secret of victory is set forth in Verse 10, “Be still and know that I am God.” What a wonderful God we have. Read Psalm 46 over and over until you realize its great meaning for yourself. As you reflect on Psalm 46, note five great gifts that God gives us in times of overwhelming trouble.

A) God refreshes us in the midst of our trouble. (Verse 4) Because of his unfailing love, He offers us cool, rejuvenating waters of peace and joy. We must drink of these waters by fellowshipping with Him through prayer and meditation of His Word.

B) Whatever happens in our lives, we can rest securely because God lives within us. (Verse 5) In the same way that God’s presence literally dwelled in the city of Jerusalem, God resides within the believer today through His Holy Spirit. In an unstable world, we can feel perfectly stable because of His presence within us.

C) God has given us a third great gift to sustain us in time of trouble, the hope of a bright tomorrow. (Verse 5) Our dark, mighty trial will not last forever. The sun will rise in God’s timing, our season of suffering will end, and we will bask in the joy of God’s eternal day.

D) God has given us the record of His past faithfulness to strengthen us for our present challenges. (Verse 6) In His inspired Word, God has preserved the long history of His faithfulness to His people.

Names some times in your life when you have personally seen the faithfulness of God.

E) God will send His angels to protect and assist us in times of trouble. (Verse 7) As angels came and ministered to Jesus when He was tempted, God’s heavenly host are constantly at hand to minister to us. The author of Hebrews instructed us to always be hospitable to strangers, for we never know when we might be entertaining an angel. (Hebrews 13:2) Oh, how our Father loves us that we would utilize His army of angels— Heavenly beings far more powerful than we are— to serve us as we travel through this life.

Yes, Psalm 46— fits the time in which you and I live.


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Wednesday thoughts – 7/15/2020

When one grows a garden— that individual will be confronted with many snares. These snares include weeds, morning glories, nut grass, Bermuda grass, corm worms, tomato worms, blights, fungus, too much water, drought, and even a dull hoe. When one is a believer, there are those snares that hinder one’s spiritual walk.

What are some of those snares that you face?

A) Discouragement

Moses was discouraged. Numbers 11:14-15 -“I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me, and if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favor in thy sight, and let me not see my wretchedness.”

Discouragement is a snare the devil uses to beat down the Christian. Thank God that Satan in the end is the loser.

B) Disbelief in the promises of God

Oh, how we need to remember that God said He would never leave us nor forsake us. Yes, we need to remember that in the end, Jesus Christ will reign and He, not man, will be in charge.

Disbelief is a snare that Satan uses to tear down the believer. Thank God our victory is in Jesus Christ.

C) Discrediting the Bible

The Bible is just not another book. It is God’s divine Word to Man. You and I live in a time when the Bible is ignored, neglected, and discredited. Oh, how we need a revival of confidence and faith in the Bible.

Discrediting the Bible is a snare that Satan uses to beat down and discourage the believer. Thank God that the Bible was written by men who were inspired by the Holy Ghost. Yes, it will stand and never change through the pages of history.

D) Desecration of the Lord’s Day

Oh, how we need a blood transfusion that will abandon the amusement and recreation of the Lord’s day. It is only then that people will have a little time to stop and think about God. America has gone the limit of desecrating the Lord’s day.

Desecration of the Lord’s day is a snare that Satan uses the in the believer’s life. The Lord’s day has not been cancelled. If I am to grow as a believer, I must stop and worship God. There is no substitute.

E) Discounting of public and private praying

Where are the churches with the Holy Ghost prayer meetings today? The world has more pull and power in the average life of professing believers than does the Holy Ghost.

Thought: There will be less straying when there is more praying.

Yes, just as there are snares to gardening that must be tended, there are also snares in the believer’s life that must be eradicated.


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Sunday school lesson – July 12

The Biblical Way to Conquer Trials and Temptations James 1:5-12

What is the worst trial you face right now?

What is the worst temptation with which you deal?

Is there an escape? Yes.

Is there a way to overcome a trial or temptation? Yes.

The Bible has the answer.

I. Ask wisdom of God. (Verses 5-8)

Wisdom means far more than just knowledge.

Wisdom means far more than just being intellectual.

Millions of us are knowledgeable— with heads full of facts, but when we cope with life’s trials and temptations— we need more than knowledge. We need wisdom. We need to know what to do with the trial and how to do it.

Note: Verse 5- “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, that giveth to all men liberally.” Why?

God loves us— we are His children, and He wants to meet our every need. He will give us wisdom to conquer the trials and temptations of life.

Read- Luke 21:15, James 3:17, and Proverbs 3:13-14

Note: Verse 5 again. We must ask. Read Verses 5-6. We must ask in faith and not waiver.

What does the Bible say about the person who waivers in faith? First, that person is like a wave on the sea driven by the wind tossed to and fro. Second, a person whose faith waivers will not receive anything- Note Verse 7. Third, the person who waivers in faith is a double-minded person— unstable in all his ways. He believes and he disbelieves. He begins then backs up, then begins again.

Folks, this is the reason that so many people receive so little from God.

How can a believer conquer trials and temptations?

II. He must rejoice in his status in life

Read James 1:9-11

It does not matter if we are rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy, cripple or sound, you and I are to rejoice in the Lord.

Read Verse 9. The believer of lowly status is to rejoice in the Lord. Why?

Because he is poor— No. Because he is crippled— No. Because he is unhealthy— No.

We are to rejoice in Christ regardless of the circumstances. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 reminds us of our future regardless of circumstances here.

Read 2 Timothy 2:12

Read James 1:10- The rich man is to rejoice in that he is made low by God. Being rich means nothing to God. It does not matter one bit if you die rich. It will not change your destiny or the fact that you are dead.

Note: If you are rich, materially, you are to use that to help meet the needs of the following— starving, impoverished, diseased, homeless, sinful, and dying. That would please God.

Note Verses: James:1-10-11, 1 Peter 1:24, and Psalm 103:14-16

III. How can a believer conquer trials and temptations?

Read James 1:12- Remember the reward for enduring— a crown of life.

That one who endures temptations will be blessed here and now with spiritual satisfaction, inner assurance, and confidence.

That man is described in Luke 6:48 and James 5:11.

Note Verse 12 again. The crown of life will be received.

Note Revelation 2:10.

The word “crown”— rewards offered to the saved for faithfulness.

It is not an instrument through which to be saved. Why?

Salvation is by grace through faith— not of works.

Yes, you and I can conquer trials and temptations of life if:

A) We ask for wisdom.

B) We rejoice in the status of life in which we are.

C) We remember the reward of faithfulness.


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Wednesday thoughts – July 8, 2020

Many years ago, The Masters Family recorded an old blue grass song that talked about Heaven. I encourage you to think about the lyrics of this song:

“In childhood I heard of a Heaven

I wondered if it could be true,

That there were sweet mansions eternal

Up there somewhere beyond the blue.

I wondered if people really go there

Then one day sweet, Jesus came in,

Then I got a vision of Heaven

My soul through all Heaven would spend.

Chorus:

Heaven, happy home above

Heaven, land of peace and love

Oh, it made me feel like traveling on

Heaven (Eternal)

Heaven (Supernal)

I’m so glad it’s real.

Then I’ve got acquainted with Jesus

My soul’s overflowing with love,

My heart like the Savior is broken

For friends who will win that home above.

Then a voice from the hills of Judea

Still ringing words of sweet relief,

A world of attractions don’t thrill me

My soul has a change of belief.”

 

I want to go to Heaven because:

I. Heaven is my hope

A) Is it really there? Jesus says it is.

B) Matthew 5:12

II. Heaven is my haven

A) A place of refuge or rest, a sanctuary

B) Heaven is a haven free of trouble. Revelation 21:3-4 & 8

C) Heaven is a haven where there is rest. Revelation 14:11-13

III. Heaven is my home

A) We are strangers here.

B) It is a place prepared. John 14:2

C) It is where my treasure is. Matthew 6:19-21

D) It is where my father is. Revelation 21:5-7
 

Yes— Heaven is Eternal.

Yes— Heaven is Supernal.

I’m so glad it’s real.


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Sunday school lesson – July 5, 2020

Will Thou be Made Whole?
John 5:1-16

In John 5:1-16, we find a beautiful account of God’s grace. A little boy was asked the following question: “My son, have you found Jesus?” Looking up this is what he said, “Sir, I didn’t know He was lost, but I was, and He found me.” Read Verse 1.

Note the background of today’s text:

  • Jesus had turned water into wine showing that salvation is through the Word.
  • Jesus had healed the nobleman’s son showing that salvation is by faith.
  • Jesus had healed a man who had been sick for 38 years showing that salvation is by grace.

After this there was a feast of the Jews and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. One might say, “What feast?”. The Bible does not say. Some speculate it to be the feast of the Passover, and Jesus in accordance with the law, went down to be a part of the feast. Read Verse 2. As Jesus walked into Jerusalem, He came by the pool of Bethesda. The word “bethesdia” means mercy or grace. The words “sheep market”— where the lambs were slain— was close to this pool of mercy. Jesus the greater lamb, the Lamb of God walks by this pool. One day, He will be slain upon a cross and right there we find mercy and grace.

Thought: We do not find forgiveness in baptismal waters, or church membership, or in a good life; but we do find forgiveness as we come to the Lamb of Calvary. Have you considered the words of the old hymn, “Mercy there was great and grace was free, pardon there was multiplied for me, there my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.”

Read Verses 2-3. We are told five things about these sick people that were typical of Israel in that day and typical of the sinner today.

A) They were impotent (without power). Israel had the law, but not the power to keep it. The sinner knows what is right, but he has no power to live rightly.

B) They were blind— so blind that they did not recognize the Messiah. Sinners are blind to their own sin and their need of a Savior.

C) They were at a halt. They could not walk. Israel was lame, and unwilling to walk in God’s way. The sinner today is a moral cripple.

D) They were withered. Their hands were paralyzed, and they were incapacitated to work for God. The sinner today does nothing for God.

E) They were waiting. They were waiting for the promised Messiah, yet He was right in their midst. The sinner is watching today and instead of trusting Christ as the Holy Spirit beckons— he is waiting for death to slip up on him and carry him into a Christ-less eternity.

Read Verses 3-6. We are not told what disease this man had. We are told that He had been sick for 38 years. He could not walk and was paralyzed. How long had he been at the pool? We do not know. He was a typical picture of a poor, helpless sinner.

Note Verse 6. The question is asked, “Wit thou be made whole?”

Read Verse 7. The impotent man answered, “Sir, I have no man when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.”

Thought: The law had help for the one who needed it the least. The strong could always get into the water first, but the more helpless, the more sinful, and the more wretched were less likely to avail themselves of the privileges the law could offer him.

Note: Verse 7 again. Here is Jesus— the creator of the world, the one who made man, the one who could do everything for this man, yet this sick man is looking to the pool for help instead of Christ. This sounds like today— some look to what Christ has done for their salvation and others look to themselves and their works. Some say, He has done it all, and others say I must do something. Some say Jesus paid it all, and others say, I must pay my way to Heaven.

Read Verse 8. Jesus did not say, “I will put you in the pool.” He did say, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk.” Jesus would do the rest.

Thought: Does man have to respond to the call of Jesus to be saved? Always.

Read Verse 9. What did the man do? Read Verses 10-16. The Jews asked the man that had been cured this question, “What was the name of the man who did this?” The man answered, “I did not know his name, but I do know this. For 38 years I was crippled and He healed me.”

Thought: A new convert today may not know all there is to know about Jesus, but he can say, “Once I was lost, but now I am found. Once I was blind, but now I can see.”

Read Verse 14. This cripple was healed. Note where he went. He went to the House of God. There are those today who say they love Jesus— but never go to God’s house. A true believer will say, “He built the church for me— I will serve and worship Him through the church.”

Read Verse 14. “Thou are made whole, sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee.”

Read Verse 15. The man departed and told the Jews it was Jesus who had made him whole.

Conclusion: Jesus asked a man who been sick for 38 years, “Will thou be made whole?”. He is asking the sinner today the same question. Yes, salvation is by grace. Have you asked the question, “Wilt thou be made whole?”


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