Sunday School Updated

Good news! The page “Our Current Sunday School Lesson” has been updated. The new study is the next in the series. The Book of Galatians II is ready for perusal. It is, of course, in an “as is” condition. For you grammar nerds out there…eh. It’s a time thing.


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Things Above

Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

There is a Utopian ideal where no one actually has to own anything. All things are held in common. Homes, transportation devices, even the basic necessities of food and water. There is another where all people are rich, beautiful, and talented. The only problem with thinking up and implementing these ideals is that we are all people. We are human beings who, at different times of our lives have much different needs. If we were all the same, had the same moral code, had the same everything, Utopia would be possible, but probable.

But, since we are humans, we are all different. Our DNA dictates that difference. This is DNA, of course, that we have received from the federal head of the human race, Adam. In Adam, we are the same in some senses. Primarily, through Adam we are sinners. This is, indeed, why no Utopia can ever exist on this earth. Humans are cantankerous, wicked, and greedy. But, God, in His infinite wisdom, has caused it to be, that some of His creation can live in a different manner than their brothers and sisters. It is through His Son, Jesus Christ, that some are changed. Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Humans are not dead physically. But we all start out dead spiritually. God has given His Son that some, through the grace of God, should be reborn differently than most of the world. This is being born again. It is through being born again that our eyes may be turned heavenward, as it says in Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

The called of the LORD have more to look for that the commercial things of this world. People want things because they want power. Power over other people, that is. Those children of God have already given themselves to our great God. We are to be His servants doing the works He has called us to do. Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. And as servants, then, our thoughts are to be on the LORD we serve, not on the things of this earth. Heb 11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
Then, Heb 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

It is the faith that God has given o His children that makes the difference in our lives. It is through faith that we know that the things of this world have no lasting value, things as gold and silver, big houses and automobiles, fancy foods and liquors, and anything that takes our eyes off our glorious LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. I do know that I am preaching to the choir here, so to speak, but we all have friends and family that can benefit from following the LORD. If we can keep our focus on the LORD, we might just help them focus just a little harder. AMEN.

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The Wondrous Love of God

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Love is a recurrent theme in the bible, if not THE theme. God’s love radiates from every page from the creation of this universe in Genesis to the creation of the New universe in the Book of the Revelation. In fact, the bible tells us that God’s love is inescapable in Psa 139:7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
Psa 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Psa 139:9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Psa 139:10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
A question, though, comes to mind. Why would any one NOT want God’s love? Oh the answer is short but the explanation is long. Sin has driven a dark wedge between us and God’s love. But indeed, when a person allows God’s love to pursue and capture a completely different picture arises. It is the picture of a God with unconditional love. A love passes our understanding. A love that sent a Son to the cross so that the sin wedge might be removed.

Even when God’s love is placed upon His elect, we still sin. We can go, as it were, to a far country, waste our substance in riotous living join with those of the world, but then come to our senses. We can repent, turn away from the sinfulness of commerce and rejoin our Father in Heaven. But wait! God knows that we will repent and return! He watches for us, then, Luk 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Oh, what a loving God the believer has. What a sovereign God, to know all of our troubles and foibles and yet love us still.

This love is illustrated so many times by Jesus in the bible. The Prodigal son we have just looked at. In the parable of the lost sheep, Luk 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
Luk 15:5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
And the woman who has lost a coin. Luk 15:8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
Luk 15:9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
God’s love is such that towards His children that Luk 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. AMEN!

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Your Faith Garden

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The bible speaks often of the believer growing. I think we can look at this growth in two ways. First, we grow into maturity as believers much the same way a babe grows into adulthood. Second, we grow into spiritual maturity, a maturity of mind and heart, that mimics the beauty of a flower growing. The bible tells of growing in 1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: Jesus also mentions this to Nicodemus in John chapter three, saying that the believer must be born again. The analogy is quite clear and apt. just a newborn baby comes into the world knowing very little beyond crying, so a newly born again believer lacks spiritual wisdom and knowledge beyond crying out to God, “Father, Forgive me, a sinner!” God will guide us, then, in the “nurture and admonition of the LORD.”

Our second “grow” is found in this same nurture and admonition. This is so, that, as we grow, we grow in the right direction. Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: As we grow up in this world, we go to school, learn things, go to college, begin to gain wisdom, enter into the work force, use our gained knowledge to interact with people. Spiritually, growing up into Christ doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a preacher, or a missionary. It simply means to learn of the wondrous things the LORD has done for you and then telling of that to others. We really don’t have to be bible scholars to tell of our personal experience. We just have to be obedient children of the LORD and work with what He has given us. In doing this, we exercise our faith, make it stronger, so then that we can:

2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. As we grow in grace we find that wonderful ability to use the fruit of the Spirit, Love, first of all, Joy, Peace, as testimonies in our lives. None of us started out our lives knowing what we were to learn to do. We all begin as little bundles of potential. We have to learn and grow into what we become in life. The same applies to our Spiritual life. We grow in grace and knowledge of our LORD by reading our bibles, going to bible studies, and listening to good Pastors of God. We can also do as James the Apostle says, Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. Learning is sometimes not easy. Things get in our way. But, if we have a true desire to learn of God, He is patient to teach us, and soon we find those intrusions fading away. God Bless!

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Standing on the Promises

Psa 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

Do you know anyone who has had doubts in their faith? Maybe somebody you looked up to and respected confessed doubts to you. Or maybe you have had doubts yourself. If you are one of God’s children and have ever had a doubt regarding your faith, don’t worry. You are in good company.

Do you remember Jonah? God sent him to testify to the people of Nineveh about the saving power of God. Jonah thought God was crazy to want to witness to these people. Jonah hopped on a boat to run. God sent a storm and when the sailors threw him overboard God sent a whale to swallow him. Where do you think that whale took Jonah? Yes, right to the shore of Nineveh.

Jonah gave in and preached to the people there and guess what? They repented of their sins and glorified God! Jonah was elated! Wait, no he wasn’t. Jonah got mad at God for causing spiritual revival in the land of Nineveh. But Jonah wasn’t the only person in the bible to have doubts about the LORD. What about Elijah? Elijah was the prophet of God who challenged Ahab and Jezebel’s priests of Baal to a duel. 1Ki 18:24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

We know from our own studies that God indeed answered this challenge, sending fire from heaven devouring the bull, the alter of stone, all the water in the pit. A marvelous miracle in the sight of all. Yet, when the parties had retired to the king Ahab’s city of Jezreel, Ahab got word that queen Jezebel sought his life. After a fantastic display of God’s power through His prophet Elijah, Elijah ran away and hid himself.

It’s not easy, most times, for a believer to stay on the mountain top. That’s how God planned it for us. God has given His children a faith that must be exercised in the valleys where people are. On high mountain tops there are no rivers of water, there is no growing thing, there are none of God’s lost sheep. When we feel weak we should think of the LORD. Neh 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. If we have a little trouble with doubt, say a little prayer to the one who gives the strength to endure. Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

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