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Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Consistent Integrity

Consistent Integrity

Memory Verse: Proverbs 28:6

Life Application: Integrity is better than riches.

Bible Text:

Proverbs 28:6

Daniel 1:3-4

Daniel 6:26-27

 

Integrity is being honest and just in all that you think, feel, and do. It also means sincerity; uprightness; wholeness; completeness; soundness. When we are wild about God it will show in our integrity. Our integrity will be consistent in godly character no matter where they are, or who is around or not around. We will be honest and just in all that we think, feel, and do.

Proverbs 28:6 NKJV

“Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways though he be rich.”

Daniel is a example of a person with integrity. No matter where he was or who he was around, he was always the same. He always showed godly character and remained faithful to God. As a teenager Daniel was taken to the ungodly kingdom of Babylon to become a slave. The king of Babylon wanted young men without physical defect, that were handsome, intelligent, educated, and quick to understand as his servants. Daniel met these qualifications so he was chosen to become one of the king’s servants.

Daniel 1:3-4 NKJV

“Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good -looking, gifted and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and who they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.”

Although Daniel was surrounded by ungodly people he made a decision to follow God and to remain faithful to God. God blessed Daniel for doing what was right by giving him knowledge, wisdom, and the ability to interpret dreams and visions. After a while Daniel was appointed as one of the governors in Babylon by king Nebuchadnezzar. The very night that Daniel was made a governor king Nebuchadnezzar was killed and Darius took his place as king. Daniel found favor in the new king’s sight because of his integrity, his attitude, and his ability to do his job well.

This made the other governors very angry and jealous. Together they sought a way to get rid of Daniel. All the other governors showered the king with lots of praise and adoration and worship. Then they talked the king into making a royal decree that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except the king, shall be cast into the den of lions. The proposed decree pleased the king so he signed it.

Daniel obeyed all the laws of the land, however the other governors knew that if the law of the land went against the law of the God that Daniel served he would obey his God. They also knew that Daniel prayed to his God on a regular basis, which would go against the new decree that the king had signed. When Daniel heard about the decree that the other governors had talked the king into signing he went to his house. There he went to his upper room where he prayed and gave God thanks three times a day. Daniel opened his window toward Jerusalem, like always, and knelt down on his knees and prayed to God.

The men that had plotted against Daniel were watching from outside. They knew that Daniel would continue to pray to God and they wanted to catch him in the act so that they could tell the king. Directly upon seeing Daniel pray they reported it and the king. The king was greatly troubled because he did not want to have Daniel thrown into the lion’s den. He like Daniel, but because it was a royal decree, and could not be changed, he had to order Daniel thrown into the den of lines.

Daniel was brought to the lion’s den and before being thrown into it the king told Daniel that the God that he served would deliver him from the lions. After they threw Daniel in the den a large rock was placed over the top to seal it. From the den the king went to his palace and spent the night alone, fasting and not sleeping. Early the next morning the king hurried to the den. Upon arriving at the den the king called out to Daniel. Daniel answered the king and told him that God had shut the mouths of the lions. The king was very happy and he ordered Daniel to be brought up out of the pit. Then the king commanded that the men who had accused Daniel to be brought and thrown into the lion’s den and thrown in, along with their wives and their children.

Daniel 6:26-27 NKJV

“I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, And steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, And His dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues, And He works signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”

Daniel’s life was a powerful witness to everyone around him. His integrity lead to the king recognizing that the God that Daniel served was the one true living God.

 

 

 

 

Review

1. We must be consistent in godly character no matter _____________ they are, or ________ is around or not around.

2. Daniel always showed godly _____________________ and remained faithful to God.

3. What happened to Daniel as a teenager?

4. Although Daniel was surrounded by ungodly people he made a decision to follow God and to remain _________________ to God.

5. God blessed Daniel for doing what was ______________ by giving him knowledge, wisdom, and the ability to interpret dreams and visions.

6. Daniel found favor in king Darius’ sight because of his integrity, _________ _______________, and his ability to do his job well.

7. The other governors very angry and jealous so they sought to do what?

8. Daniel obeyed all the laws of the land, however the other governors knew that if the law of the land went against the law of the God that Daniel served he would obey his ________.

9. The men that had plotted against Daniel knew that he would continue to __________ ______ _________ and they wanted to catch him in the act so that they could tell the king.

10. When the king was told that Daniel was praying to his God the king was what?

11. Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den, and the next morning when the king went to the den, what did he find?

12. Then the king commanded that the men who had accused Daniel to be brought and thrown into the lion’s den and thrown in, along with their ______________ and their ________________.

13. Daniel’s life was a powerful witness to everyone around him. His integrity lead to the king recognizing that the God that Daniel served was the _________ __________ ______________ ________.

 

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Sitting At The Feet Of Jesus

sitting at the feet of jesus

Memory Verse: Luke 10:39

 

Life Application: Jesus desires for an intimate relationship with us.

 

Bible Text:

Luke 10:38-42

Matthew 26:6-13

Mark 14:3-9

 

 

As Jesus and His disciples were traveling they stopped in Bethany. Bethany was the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. One day Martha invited Jesus and His disciples to eat and rest at their house.

Luke 10:38 NKJV

“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.”

Martha began to prepare the meal. She was very busy cooking and making sure that Jesus and His disciples had everything she thought they needed. Martha was working very hard.

While Martha was busy working, Jesus and His disciples were sitting in another room talking. Martha felt that she needed help with the work, so she looked for her sister, Mary. She found Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to His every word.

Luke 10:39 NKJV

“And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.”

Mary was “soaking up” the presence of the Lord. Mary’s spirit recognized who Jesus was, and her spirit longed to be in His presence. Mary understood Jesus’ passion for her and for all people. She too, had a passion for Him- a passion just to sit in His presence. Mary was hungry for God!

When you have a passion for someone, you have a very strong feeling for them. You have a strong love and desire for that person.

God desires to be the object of our love, our desires, our passion. He is looking for people with a passion, not people who are “perfect” in works. God longs for you to be passionate for Him. For who He is, not for what He can do for you or for what you can do for Him.

Luke 10:40 NKJV

“……Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

Martha asked Jesus didn’t He care that Mary was not helping her work. Jesus responded to Martha’s complaining by telling her that only one thing is important and Mary had chosen it. Jesus also told Martha that He would not take the most important thing (worship) away from Mary.

Luke 10:41-42 NKJV

“And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about

many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Works must come out of love and intimacy, not duty. What you do out of duty will not be remembered forever. Choosing to worship God will be remembered forever.

If you understand the amount of God’s love, you will better love Him and out of that love service will come. Loving God is not the same as working for Him. You must not get so involved with “work” (serving others) that you forget the reason you were created – to have a relationship with God, the very creator of the entire universe! You must chose to live a life of intimacy. Works without intimacy will “burn” you out. You must work with God, not for God.

During the last week of Jesus’ life, He and His disciples went through Bethany where a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Lazarus was sitting with Jesus. At some point during the dinner Mary came in with a large jar of perfume. She kneeled down at the feet of Jesus and anointed His feet with the perfume. Then she wiped His feet with her hair.

Matthew 26:6-13 NKJV

“And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.” But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.
Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

 

Mark 14:3-9 NKJV

“And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.
But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted?
For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.
But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.
For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.
She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.
Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

Mary knew who Jesus was. She longed to worship Him and be in His presence. Mary did not care what the people at the dinner thought. She did not care what her sister or her brother thought. She was desperate for Jesus’ presence. Mary did not care what it cost her (the perfume was worth a lot of money.) She did not let pride get in the way. Nothing mattered but worshiping her Lord. Mary truly surrendered everything to Jesus, out of her love for Him.

Judas was upset because he thought Mary had wasted the perfume. Judas, although he was with Jesus all the time, did not really know Jesus. Judas did not see Jesus for who He was: the King of kings and the Lord of Lords, our Savior, our Lover and our best friend!

Like Mary we must get rid of our pride and forget about what people will say about us. If you want to be in the presence of Jesus you must put a relationship with Him above all else.

Just as the perfume (that Mary anointed Jesus with) was, so is our worship to God. True worship is a sweet smelling incense (sacrifice) to God.

God loves us and He enjoys our company. God delights in us. Our worship draws us closer to each other. If you worship God with all your heart You Will Get God’s Attention! God’s presence is what it’s all about!

 

 

Review

1. Bethany was the home of _________________, Martha, and Mary.

2. Who invited Jesus to eat at their home?

 

 

3. Who was Martha’s sister?

 

4. While Martha was busy cooking and serving, what was Mary doing?

 

5. Mary’s ____________ recognized who Jesus was, and her spirit longed to be in His presence.

 

6. Are you hungry for God?

If so, how does your life show it?

 

 

7. When you have a passion for someone, you have a strong ___________ and ________________ for that person.

 

8. God is looking for people with a passion, not people who are “perfect” in works. What does passion mean?

 

 

9. How did Jesus respond to Martha’s complaint about Mary?

 

10. According to Jesus’ comment to Martha, what is the most important thing?

 

11. Works must come out of love and intimacy, not ____________.

 

12. Is loving God the same as working for Him?

 

13. Why was man created?

 

 

14. Mary truly surrendered everything to Jesus, out of her love for Him. Have you surrendered everything to Jesus?

15. Who was upset at Mary anointing Jesus?

 

16. If you want to be in the presence of Jesus you must put a _____________________________ with Him above all else.

 

17. God loves us and He _____________ our company.

 

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God’s Word In Our Heart

god's word in our hearts

 

Memory Verse: Psalm 119:11

 

Life Application: We need to hide God’s Word in our heart.

 

Bible Text:

Psalm 119:11

Psalm 119:105

Proverbs 6:23

Ephesians 5:8-14

1 John 1:5-7

Galatians

John 3:18-21

John 5:24

John 6:40

Ephesians 5:8

 

 

God’s Word is described as light and as a guide for living. Light is a brightness that enables us to see. Light is also something that brings understanding or shows the way. It gives us instructions on how to live as a child of God. It was given to us by God for our own good – not to hurt us, but to help us.

Psalm 119:11 NKJV

“Your word I have hidden in my heart,

That I might not sin against You.”

Psalm 119:105 NKJV

“Your word is a lamp to my feet

And a light to my path.”

The Bible Is Our Guide / Instruction Book

Proverbs 6:23 NKJV

“For the commandment is a lamp,

And the law a light;

Reproofs of instruction are the way of life”

God’s Word is a guide book for living. It gives us understanding and guidance. It enables us to see the path that we are on as well as the path that we should be on. It shows us all that is in store for us as well as the pitfalls and snares that the enemy tries to place in our path.

God’s Word should be our constant companion, always in our minds and hearts giving instructions and directions. When we are not living up to God’s standards the Bible will shine a light on were we need to change. Even when it gives us words of rebuke it shows us how to change and offers words of hope, encouragement and love.

 

Walk In The Light

As a Christian we are instructed to walk in the light.

Ephesians 5:8-14 NKJV

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things that are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says:

‘Awake, you who sleep,

Arise from the dead,

And Christ will give you light.’ ”

The Light Of Christ Will Change Us

1 John 1:5 – 7 NKJV

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior our position changes. We were once in darkness, evil, but at salvation we become righteous and full of light through Christ Jesus. We were spiritually dead but are made spiritually alive.

God expects our walk to change since our position changed. We must walk worthy of the Lord and the forgiveness that we received. There is no darkness or evil in God. If we truly want fellowship with God we can’t have any in us either. We must have God’s standards and God’s morals. When we hide God’s Word in our heart it will keep us from sinning against God.

John 3:18-21 NKJV

“He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

As we allow God to shine a light into our life it will change us. The Light of Jesus Christ was sent to this world by God the Father so that not none would be lost and that all would receive eternal life. If we believe in Jesus and His name we are not condemned and we receive life instead of judgment.

John 5:24 NKJV

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

 

John 6:40 NKJV

“And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

 

Jesus Is The Light Of The World

Jesus is the Light of the World. Jesus is the only way to God. Those that do not believe in Jesus or His name are condemned and they will receive judgment. God sent His Son, Jesus, to this world to light the way to Himself. Throughout history and in this present age, people offer many excuses for not accepting Jesus as their Savior and the Lord of their life. The excuses they give are an attempt to hide what is really in their heart. Deep in their heart they do not want to accept Jesus as the Lord of their life. They do not want the light of Jesus to shine in them because if it does it will show them for what they really are – a sinner that does not want to change and who does not want to draw closer to God.

We must never forget that the Light of Jesus Christ reveals sin and enables us to see ourselves as we really are and as God sees us. The true believer, however, welcomes the light of Jesus shining in them. The light will help people see what they need to do in order to draw closer to God.

Ephesians 5:8 NKJV

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light”

When we accept Jesus as our Savior we are changed. We were once children of darkness and sin but, we become children of the light and righteousness.

Our new life must reflect that change in us in every area of our lives. We must allow God to light our way.

Just as God lights our way, we too should be a light for others. Our lives are a message to everyone we come in contact with. We are to let our light shine everywhere we go. In life people listen more to what we do than what we say.

Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Through you others will see Jesus. You will either brighten their world or you will darken it by your behavior, your thoughts, your words, and your actions. You have an effect on those around you.

 

 

 

 

 

Review

1. God’s Word is known as the ________________________

2. The Bible is a __________________ and a guide for living.

3. The Bible was given to _________________ us, not hurt us.

4. The Bible enables us to see

* the _________________ that we are on

* the path that we _____________________ be on

* what’s in store for __________.

* the ______________________ and snares of the enemy

5. We should allow the Bible to give us instructions and _____________________________.

6. The Bible will shine a light on what needs to ______________________.

7. The Bible gives us words of

* r ____________________

* h _____________

* e ________________________________

* l ______________

8. When we receive Jesus as our Savior we become spiritually _____________________.

9. God expects our walk to ___________________.

10. We must have God’s _________________________ and God’s _____________________.

11. Jesus is the ____________________ of the ____________________.

12. The ___________________ way to God is through _____________________.

13. When the light of Jesus shines on people it will show them as they ____________________ are.

14. The Light of Jesus Christ reveals ____________.

15. The Light of Jesus Christ enables us to see ourselves as we really are and as ___________ sees us.

16. The _________________ believer welcomes the light of Jesus shining in them.

17. The Bible will show us what we need to do in order to draw ______________________ to God.

 

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Parables Of Forgiveness

Memory Verse: 2 Peter 3:9

 

Life Application: God desires for everyone to repent.

 

Bible Text:

Matthew 18:12-14

Luke 15:3-7

Luke 15:8-10

Luke 15:11-32

John 1:9

Psalm 119:11

Psalm 119:105

2 Peter 3:9

Parables

Sometimes it is hard to get others to understand what you are trying to say. Not everyone has experienced the same things you have. Because God is so awesome and greater than anything we could understand, He had to find a way to tell us everything we need to know about Him. Many times God uses something we see and understand to explain or illustrate spiritual or invisible principals.

A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly or spiritual meaning. At times Jesus taught in parables. Jesus said He used parables to hide the truth from those who don’t want to listen. He used parables to communicate truth to those who already believed in Him.

Parables can also give us a glimpse of what heaven is like and what future things God has planned for us that we otherwise might not be able to understand.

Three wonderful parables concerning the lost are “The Story Of The Prodigal Son“, “The Lost Sheep“, and “The Lost Coin.”

 

The Lost Sheep

Throughout his ministry Jesus was often criticized for socializing with sinners. On one of these occasions Jesus told the parable of the lost sheep.

Matthew 18:12-14 NKJV           

“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

Luke 15:3-7 NKJV          

“So He spoke this parable to them, saying: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”

In this parable a shepherd is out in the fields with one hundred of his sheep. While there one of his sheep stays away from the others. Knowing that the sheep was in great danger due to being separated from the others, the shepherd leaves his ninety-nine sheep where they are and goes out to search for the lost one. Knowing the value of each and every sheep and that a sheep apart from its shepherd is defenseless and in grave danger, the shepherd searches and searches for the one who strayed away.

When the shepherd finally finds the missing sheep he is overcome with joy. Instead of criticizing or reprimanding the sheep for straying, the shepherd lifts the sheep onto his shoulders and takes it back to the others. Due to the weight of the sheep this would not have been an easy effort, however the shepherd did not mind because he was so happy. He gladly bore the discomfort and the pain because of his heart of compassion. Upon returning home, he tells his friends what happened and he invites them to celebrate with him over the return on the one sheep that strayed away.

The Parable Of The Lost Coin

Luke 15:8-10 NKJV           

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

In the parable of the lost coin, a woman has ten coins and she looses one in the house. She lights a lamp and begins to search for the coin. She was very diligent in her search. She swept the entire house in her efforts to find the coin. She was very careful to look underneath things and in the dark corners. The woman valued the coin and she was willing to search until she found it. She was very, very happy when she finally found it.

The Parable Of The Prodigal Son

Luke 15:11-32 NKJV           

“Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’ “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

The parable of the prodigal son is one of the most well-known stories of Jesus. Prodigal mean extravagantly wasteful, spendthrift or extravagant to a degree bordering on recklessness.

In this parable, Jesus told a story of a man who had two sons. The younger son asks his father to give him his inheritance early. Normally a son would receive his inheritance at the time of his father’s death. The fact that the younger brother wanted his money early showed a rebellious heart and a disregard for his father’s authority.

Once received, the son promptly sets off on a long journey to a far away land and begins to waste his fortune on wild, sinful, and reckless living. After a period of time his money runs out and a severe famine hits the country. The son finds himself in very bad circumstances.

Eventually he is so desperate he takes a job feeding pigs. To Jewish people pigs were unclean animals. They were not even allowed to touch them. He is so hungry that even the pigs food looked good to him. One day the prodigal son begins to think of home, where even his father’s hired hands ate better than him in this foreign country.

Finally the young man comes to his senses. He decides to return to his father and ask for forgiveness and mercy.

As the young son is walking back on his father’s property, the father sees him and runs out to hug him. The father who had been watching and waiting, receives his son back with open arms of compassion. He is overjoyed by the return of his lost son. Immediately the father turns to his servants and asks them to prepare a giant feast in celebration in his son’s return.

Meanwhile, the older son is in the fields working. When he returns he discovers a party going on to celebrate his brother’s return. The older brother becomes so angry over the celebration that he won’t even go in the house. The father wanted his older son to celebrate with them so he went outside to try to convince him to come in, however the older son still refused to come in.

Conclusion

The parable of the prodigal son is a wonderful picture of the great love of God towards us. Just like the father in the parable was able to see the younger son when he was still a long way off, God is watch for the lost to return to Him and receive His mercy and compassion. God seeks after us and reaches out to us. When we come to Him in humility, He washes away all our sins and wrongdoings.

When the son took a job feeding pigs it showed that he had fallen as low as he could possibly go. Like this son, some rebellious and sinful people must hit rock bottom before they come to their senses and recognize their sin.

To God, each and every person that is away from His is viewed as lost. One meaning of lost is unable to find the way to a place. Our sin causes us to stray away from God and become lost. Just like the shepherd in the parable, God considers each and every one us valuable. God has a heart of compassion and it is not His desire that any perish. He has sent the Holy Spirit to search for the lost and to draw them to God through Jesus Christ. Like God the Father, Jesus loves the lost. It was that great love that led Him to sacrifice His life on the cross to take our punishment for our sin.

Heaven rejoices when a sinner repents and is restored to a right relationship with God.

In the parable of the lost coin the woman has ten coins in her house when she looses one of them. The ten coins could represent people that have accepted Jesus as their Savior – they are “in the house” of God. However, one of these people fall into sin and becomes lost (separated) from God. They need to be found.

It is possible that after accepting Jesus as their Savior, a person can walk away from their relationship with God by returning to a lifestyle of sin. This is referred to as backsliding. The person is still loved by God and He desires for them to he found and restored unto Him. Like the woman in the story, God shines a light into the situation by the power of the Holy Spirit and through His Word.

Jesus provides the light for sinners to be found.

John 1:9 NKJV             

“That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”

Psalm 119:11 NKJV          

“Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”

Psalm 119:105 NKJV            

“Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path”

The person, though in sin, is still valuable to God and He will do whatever He has to do in order for them to return to the other valuable coins in His house.

Upon finding the coin the woman calls her friends and neighbors in order to share the good news. When a sinner is restored to fellowship with God, whether it is the first time or the one hundredth, it is a cause for rejoicing.

 

2 Peter 3:9 NKJV                

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

God is always seeking sinners, those in the world and those sitting in the church, and rejoices when they are found. He is not content for any person to be separated from Him.

 

Review

1. Many times God uses something we see and understand to explain or illustrate _____________ or invisible principals.

2. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly or spiritual ______________________.

3.Jesus said He used parables to ___________ ________ ____________ from those who don’t want to listen.

4. Jesus also used parables to communicate _________________ to those who already believed in Him.

5. Throughout his ministry Jesus was often criticized for __________________________with sinners.

6. How many sheep did the shepherd have out in the field?

 

7. How many sheep strayed away from the shepherd?

 

8. Was the sheep in any danger when it strayed away from the shepherd?

 

9. Are we in any danger when we stray away from Jesus, the Great Shepherd?

 

10.What does the shepherd do when he realizes that one of his sheep is missing?

 

11. Were are the sheep valuable to the shepherd?

 

12. What did the shepherd do when he finds the lost sheep?

13. Upon returning home what did the shepherd do?

14. In the parable of the lost coin a woman has ____________ coins.

15. How many coins did the woman loose in the house?

 

16. In her search for the lost coin, what is the first thing that she did?
17. The woman was very _______________________________________ in her search.

18. What does diligent mean?

19. The woman was very ____________________________ to look underneath things and in the dark corners.

20. The woman ______________________ the coin and she was willing to search until she found it.

21. Are “lost” people valuable to God?

 

22. What was the woman’s response when she found the lost coin?

23. What does prodigal mean?

24. How many sons were in this story?

 

25. What did the younger son ask for?

 

26. What did the younger brother’s request show?

27. Once received, the son promptly sets off on a long journey to a far away land and begins to __________________

his fortune on wild, sinful, and reckless living.

28. After a period of time a severe _________________________ hits the country.

29. After his money runs out the son is so desperate he takes a job __________________ __________________.

30. How did the Jewish people feel about pigs?

31. What did the pigs have that the son desired?

32. When the younger son comes to his senses, what did he decided to do?

33. When the father sees his son coming down the road, what does he do?

34 . Immediately the father turns to his servants and asks them to prepare a great feast in _____________________

of his son’s return.

35. Where was the older son when the younger one returned home?

 

36. When the older son returns he discovers a party going on to celebrate his brother’s ____________________.

37. Was the older brother happy and overjoyed at his brother’s return?

 

38. How did the older brother show his anger over his brother’s return and the celebration?

39. What did the father do when he heard that the older son would not come in and join the celebration?

40. Did the older son ever join them inside and celebrate with them?

41. The parable of the prodigal son is a wonderful picture of the great ____________________ of God towards us.

42. God is watching for the lost to return to Him and receive His _______________ and _____________________.

43. When we approach God in _______________________, He washes away all our sins and wrongdoings.

44. What does humility mean?

45. When the son took a job feeding pigs it showed what?

46. Like this son, some rebellious and sinful people must hit _______________ ___________________before they

come to their senses and recognize their sin.

47. When we refer to someone as being lost, what do we mean?

48. God has sent the Holy Spirit to search for the lost and to draw them to God through ___________________ _________________.

49. It was Jesus’ great love for us that led Him to ___________________________ His life on the cross to take

our punishment for our sin.

50. What happens in heaven when someone is “found”?

51. It is possible that after accepting Jesus as their Savior, a person can walk away from their relationship with God by returning to a ______________________ ___________ _______________.

52. When a person turns their back on God and walks away from Him, the person is still _______________ by God.

53. According to Psalm 119:11, why is it important to hide God’s Word in your heart?

54. According to Psalm 119:105, what is God’s Word to us?

55. When a person is in sin, God and He will do _______________ He has to do in order for them to return to Him.

56. When a sinner is restored to fellowship with God, whether it is the first time or the one hundredth, it is a cause for ________________________________________.

57. According to 2 Peter 3:9, what does God desire?

58. God is always _____________________________ sinners, those in the world and those sitting in the church.

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God and Love

god and love

Memory Verse: 1 John 4:7-8

Bible Truth: Love comes from God.

 

Bible Text:

1 John 4:7-8

Matthew 7:21-23

Song of Solomon 5:2-6

Revelation 2:4-5

Looking For Love

One of the greatest love stories is found in the Song of Solomon. In this book, we see a woman who is looking for her beloved. She wanted to find her true love so she asked everyone she could where he was. Sometimes people are a lot like her – they look everywhere for love. Some people turn to anything or anyone for what the world calls love. They try to fill the part of themselves that only God can fill.

True Love Is Found In Jesus

We must not look to the world for love. God created within each of us a place or spot that only He can fill with His love. The world, or the things of the world, can not fill the place that belongs to God. Trying to fill this spot with other things, or people, only bring heartache and sadness. The world doesn’t know where to find true love. True love is found only in Jesus. The Bible even tells us that God is love.

1 John 4:7-8 NKJV

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

Intimacy With Jesus

Many people know the name of Jesus, but they do not know Him in an intimate way. Things or people will not draw us closer to an intimate relationship with Jesus.

Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ”

Jesus never had spiritual intimacy with these people. These people were doing many wonderful things; they were casting out demons, prophesying, and performing wonders (miracles). But they were not intimate with Jesus.

Open The Door For Jesus To Come In

Jesus Christ desires so much to have an intimate relationship with each person. In many lives Jesus is standing at the door longing for them to get up out of their sleepiness and let Him come in an have an intimate relationship with them.

Song of Solomon 5:2 NKJV

“I sleep, but my heart is awake; It is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, ‘Open for me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one; for my head is covered with dew. My locks with the drops of the night.”

How long was her beloved standing outside the door and wooing her to open the door and let him in? It sounds like he was out there in the dark for a long enough period of time for the dew to cover his head and his hair to be wet from the moisture in the night air.

How long has our lover, Jesus Christ, been standing outside our hearts knocking and saying, “Awake my beloved one, my dove, my perfect one. Open the door to me.” ?

Plans And Agendas

Some people want a relationship with God, but they want it on their terms, by their plans and within their agendas.

Song of Solomon 5:4-5 NKJV

“My beloved put his hand by the latch of the door, and my heart yearned for him. I arose to open for my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the lock.”

The woman finally hears her lover. She awakes out of her sleep, puts on a large amount of perfume, then goes to the door. Just like the woman, how many times have we stopped on our way to open the door to do something else?

How many times have we put other things before a relationship with God?

By the time the woman got around to opening the door her lover was gone.

Song of Solomon 5:6 NKJV

“I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had turned away and was gone. My heart leaped up when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave no answer.”

If you haven’t opened the door of your heart to Jesus and an intimate relationship with Him, by the time you get around to it will it be too late?

God’s Way Or No Way

God is holy and does not tolerate sin (impurities). When God created man and woman, they were pure. When sin entered the world man’s purity and innocence was lost. God had intended for us to be pure always, but because of sin we no longer were.

We are all born into sin – we have all sinned and been made impure. But, if we accept Jesus and His gift of salvation, He makes us pure again. Through salvation, we can have an intimate relationship with God again.

Return To Your First Love

Jesus desires for us to draw close to Him and to have an intimate relationship with Him. When you repent and begin to draw closer to Jesus, He will draw closer to you. As Christians we are the Bride of Christ and our Bridegroom desires to look upon us.

Revelation 2:4-5 NKJV

“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first work, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-unless you repent.”

Our Bridegroom is calling each one of us to return to Him. To return to our first love. He desires for our hearts to burn with love and anticipation for Him. As this world begins to draw to a close, can you hear, “Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me?”

God is a God of restoration. He desires to forgive and to restore us to a right relationship.

Does your heart yearn for your Bridegroom?

We live in a world that is filled with sin, and it is possible to allow sin to come in and make us impure. God desires that we live in purity, and He will give us the power to do so. That power comes from the Holy Spirit.

Until we get to heaven, we will be faced with the temptation to sin. But remember that God’s plan for your life is for you to be pure – free from blemish or stain.

If you have failed at maintaining your purity, you can go to God, in true repentance and ask Him to forgive you.

God will forgive you of  your sin when you are honesty sorry that you have sinned, and ask Him for forgiveness.

Remember, there is a difference in being sorry you were caught in sin and being sorry that you sinned against a holy God.

Review

1. One of the greatest love stories is found in the ________ ____ ______________.

2. Sometimes people look _____________________ for love.

3. Some people try to fill the part of themselves that only _______ can fill.

4. God created within each of us a place or spot that only He can fill with His __________.

5. True love is found only in ___________.

6. According to 1 John 4:7-8, who is love?

 

7. Many people know the name of Jesus, but they do not know Him in an ______________ way.

8. Will things or people draw us closer to an intimate relationship with Jesus?

 

9. In Matthew 7:21-23, why was the person told to depart?

 

10. Jesus desires so much to have an intimate ______________________ with each person.

11. Some people want a relationship with God, but they want it on their ___________, by their plans and within their agendas.

12. Have there been times in our lives that we have put other things before a relationship with God?

 

13. God is _________ and does not tolerate sin.

14. When God created man and woman they were _________.

15. When ______ entered the world man’s purity and innocence was lost.

16. We are all ________ into sin – we have all sinned and been made impure.

17. If we accept Jesus and His gift of _________________, He makes us pure again.

18. When you repent and begin to draw closer to Jesus, He will draw _____________ to you.

19. As Christians we are the __________ of Christ and our Bridegroom desires to look upon us.

20. We live in a world that is filled with sin, and it is possible to allow ______ to come in and make us impure.

21. Where does the power to live in purity come from?

 

22. If we have failed at maintaining our purity, we can go to God, in true repentance and ask Him to _______________ us.

23. Is there a difference in being sorry you were caught in sin and being sorry that you sinned against a holy God?

 

 

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One House, One Owner

 

ONE HOUSE, ONE OWNER

Memory Verse: James 1:14

 

Life Application: We are drawn into sinful behavior because of our own desires.

 

 

 

Bible Text:

 

2 Timothy 1:7

 

James 1:13-14

 

Matthew 17:14-18

 

Luke 8:27-33

 

John 8:42-44

 

Psalm 17:4

 

Colossians 2:15

 

Luke 10:17-20

 

Exodus 20:4

 

Psalms 37:23

 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

1 Corinthians 3:16

 

Romans 8:9-11

 

Luke 4:33-35

 

II Corinthians 6:14-16

 

Ephesians 4:27

 

1 Peter 5:8-9

 

 

 

 

 

We have only to look around at the world in which we live to know that Jesus will be returning soon. Satan knows it too. Since he knows that his time is short, he, along with the other fallen angels (demons), are working very hard. They have invaded our homes, schools, government, churches, television / movies, music, literature. Their mission is to kill, steal, and destroy. Satan hates God, therefore he hates you because God loves you.

 

Today there is a lot of discussion concerning demon oppression, demon possession, the occult, and the supernatural.

 

Demon oppression involves a demon attacking a person spiritually. Demons will try to cause a person to worry or fear. The Bible is very clear about where worry and fear come from – they do not come from God.

 

2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”

 

Sometimes, a demon might encourage someone into sinful behavior. However, more often than not, we are drawn into sinful behavior because of our own desires.

 

James 1:13-14 NKJV “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

 

Demon possession involves a demon having direct and complete control over a person’s thoughts and actions. There are several accounts of Jesus rebuking demons (evil spirits) that were possessing people in the Bible.

 

Matthew 17:14-18 NKJV “And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.”

 

In the above passage the disciples were trying to heal the boy of a disease, but in reality the boy was possessed, not sick.

 

Luke 8:27-33 NKJV “And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness. Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss. Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.”

 

Some important truths to remember are: Satan and the other fallen angels (demons) do not have power over a Christian, Jesus has already triumphed over Satan and the other fallen angels (demons), Christians are God’s possession, the Holy Spirit will not live with Satan, and keep the door to Satan closed.

 

I. Satan and the other fallen angels (demons) do not have power over a Christian.

 

Satan works in the sons of disobedience, not in Christians, and will continue to do so until he is bound by God. Satan is a deceiver, a destroyer, and the father of lies. He will lie to us and try lead us into sin.

 

John 8:42-44 NKJV “Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”

 

If we allow Satan, he will deceive us and lead us to destruction.

 

Psalm 17:4 NKJV “Concerning the works of men, By the word of Your lips, I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer.”

 

We have a free will, and the choice is ours as to if we will listen to Satan’s lies or resist them. The Holy Spirit has been given to us and He is able to keep us from falling into the enemy’s lies and schemes, however we must allow Him (the Holy Spirit) total access into our lives.

 

II. Jesus has already triumphed over Satan and the other fallen angels (demons).

 

The fate of Satan (devil) and the other fallen angels (demons) is already sealed. However, they will be allowed to continue to roam free until the appointed time when they will be bound by God.

 

Colossians 2:15 NKJV “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

 

All demons are subject to Jesus – they must obey Him.

 

Luke 10:17-20 NKJV “ Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

 

 

 

III. Christians are God’s possession.

 

Possession of something can be described as something owned, held or controlled. A Christian is owned by God. Christians are the sole property of God. God does not share ownership or have joint custody. God tells us that He is a jealous God. One definition of jealous is possessively watchful. What God possess, He will not share.

 

Exodus 20:4 NKJV “…For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…”

 

A Christian’s future is held by God. The steps of a righteous man are ordered by God. God sustains and protects His children. Not only does God save us, but He has the power to keep us also.

 

Psalms 37:23 NKJV “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.”

 

A Christian is controlled by God. God has power and authority over Christians. Satan does not have the right or power to enforce rules or give orders to a believer.

 

IV. the holy spirit will not live with satan.

 

When a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in them.

 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 3:16 NKJV “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

 

 

Romans 8:9-11 NKJV “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

 

Demons cannot dwell in the same house with the Holy Spirit. Throughout the Bible were are given examples of demons fleeing when they encounter Jesus. They could not stay where He was.

 

Luke 4:33-35 NKJV “Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.”

 

Light and dark do not mix. Light always rules over darkness. The Holy Spirit is light and Satan is the dark. They will not live or abide in the same house.

 

II Corinthians 6:14-16 NKJV “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”

 

 

 

V. Keep the door to Satan closed – Don’t open the door.

 

A Christian must not open the door for Satan to have access into their life. Certain things must be avoided. Don’t give Satan an opportunity into your life. He will use every opportunity he can to gain a foothold in your life.

 

Ephesians 4:27 NKJV “nor give place to the devil”

 

 

1 Peter 5:8-9 NKJV “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

 

A foothold mean a firm base for progress. It is a secure starting position from which further advances can be made. In other words, if you allow Satan a starting position in your life, you make it easier for him to make further advances in your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review

 

1. Why does Satan hate you?

 

2. Demon oppression involves a demon attacking a person ________________________.

 

3. Where do worry and fear come from?

 

4. More often than not, we are drawn into sinful behavior because of our own ___________________________.

 

5. Some important truths to remember are:

 

* Satan and the other fallen angels (demons) do not have ___________________ over a Christian.

 

* Jesus has already __________________________ over Satan and the other fallen angels (demons).

 

* Christians are _____________________ possession.

 

* The Holy Spirit will not ______________________ with Satan.

 

* We need to keep the _______________________ to Satan closed.

 

6. Satan works in the sons of _____________________________, not in Christians.

 

7. Satan is a deceiver, a destroyer, and the __________________________ of lies.

 

8. We have a free will. What does that mean?

 

9. Who has been given to us to keep us from falling into the enemy’s lies and schemes?

 

10. All demons are subject to Jesus – they must ________________________ Him.

 

11. God is a jealous God. What does that mean?

 

12. The steps of a _________________________________ man are ordered by God.

 

13. When a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, the _________________ ___________________ comes to dwell in them.

 

14. Demons cannot ___________________ in the same house with the Holy Spirit.

 

15. The Holy Spirit and Satan will not live or ___________________ in the same house.

 

16. What does a foothold mean?

 

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Pine Comb Bird

100_7271        100_7272

Need:

pine comb

glue

wiggly eyes

orange felt

small piece of cardboard

feathers

Luke 12:24 NKJV

“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?”

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Ice-Cream In A Bag

 

100_7315         100_7316

 

Items needed:

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup milk or half & half

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoons rock salt

1 pint-size plastic food storage bag (zipper style)

1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag (zipper style)

Ice cubes

 

 

Directions:

Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.

Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt.

Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it.

Shake until the mixture is ice cream (usually 5 – 10 minutes)

Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open it carefully.

 

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