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

Ruth Is Loyal

ruth

Memory Verse: James 1:12

Bible Truth: While running your race remain loyal.

 

When there was a famine in the land, Elimelech took his wife, Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, to live in another country, where they would have food to eat. After a period of time Elimelech died and his two sons married Moabite women. The women’s names were Orpah and Ruth. After about ten years the two sons died. This left all three of the women widows.

Ruth 1:1-5 NKJV

“Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion—Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.”

One day, Naomi heard that the famine in Bethlehem was over. She decided to return to her homeland where she could be around relatives and friends. Naomi and her two daughter-in-laws, Orpah and Ruth, pack up and left for Bethlehem. While traveling Naomi stopped and told her daughter-in-laws to go back to their parent’s homes so that they might be able to find another husband and be happy again.

Ruth 1:6-9 NKJV

“Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread. Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each to her mother’s house. The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” So she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept”

Naomi kissed both of them good-by but they told her that they would return with her to Bethlehem. Naomi told them that it made her very sad to leave them, but that there was no reason for them to go with her. She wanted them to be happy with their own families.

Ruth 1:10-13 NKJV

“And they said to her, “Surely we will return with you to your people.” But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go—for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me!”

Orpah and Ruth began to cry. Orpah kissed Naomi good-by and she left. Ruth continued to cry and to cling to Naomi. She did not want to leave.

Ruth 1:16-17 NKJV

“But Ruth said: ‘Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you;

For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people,

And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.’ ”

When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined in her heart to stay with her she stopped asking her to leave.

Ruth 2:10-12 NKJV

“So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, ‘Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?’ And Boaz answered and said to her, ‘It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.’’

Camp Challenge

Loyal is being true and faithful to love, to a promise, to a duty, or other obligation. It is also being faithful to those in authority over you. We are to be true and faithful to God. In our Christian walk, faithfulness is staying true to God in our thoughts, words, and actions.

2 Chronicles 19:9 NKJV

“And he commanded them, saying, “Thus you shall act in the fear of the Lord, faithfully and with a loyal heart”

Ruth is a good example of loyalty. She was determined to remain loyal to Naomi no matter what. God blessed Ruth for her loyalty. Ruth found favor in the sight of man because of her love and sense of duty toward Naomi. Later, God provided a new husband (Boaz) for Ruth.

If we demonstrate our love for God by remaining loyal to Him we too will be rewarded. A crown is promised to all who are faithful. Just as Ruth firmly declared her choice to follow Naomi, we must firmly declare our choice to follow God.

James 1:12 NKJV

“Blessed is the man who endures temptations; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

Prayer Points

Ask God to help you be faithful to Him no matter what.

Ask God to help you to remain true to Him in your thoughts, words, and actions.

Ask God to help you act in the fear of the Lord.

Ask God to help you have a loyal heart.

Ask God to help you firmly declare your choice to follow Him.

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David

david Memory Verse: Psalm 51:10

Bible Truth: While running your race keep your heart pure.

King Saul had disobeyed God on many occasions which caused God to reject him as Israel’s king. This made Samuel sad. One day God asked Samuel how long was he going to be sad over it. Then God told Samuel to fill a container with oil because He was going to send him to Bethlehem to anoint someone else to be Israel’s king. God had picked out someone from a man named Jesse’s family. Samuel was concerned because he thought that King Saul would kill him if he found out. So God told Samuel to go and do what He had instructed Him to do but to take some things for a sacrifice. Then he could tell people that he had come to sacrifice to God, instead of the real reason he was there.

1 Samuel 16:1-3 NKJV
“Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” But the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.”

Samuel prepared the items that he needed and took them with him to Bethlehem. When the people in Bethlehem saw Samuel they were alarmed and asked him why he was there. Samuel told the people that he was there to sacrifice to the Lord, which was what God had instructed him to say. He invited the elders to come to the sacrifice and then he went and invited Jesse and his sons.

1 Samuel 16:4-5 NKJV

“So Samuel did what the Lord said, and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice.”

When Jesse’s family came, Samuel saw one of his sons named Eliab. Samuel thought to himself, “Surely he is the one!”

1 Samuel 16:6 NKJV

“So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!”

However, God told Samuel not to look at the outward appearance. God had not chosen Eliab. Then He told Samuel that He did not look at the outside of a person – He looked at the heart of a person instead.

1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

God was showing Samuel that how a person looks on the outside isn’t important. He shouldn’t be judged by his physical appearance. What really matters is a person’s heart attitude toward God.

Samuel was learning that God looks at what’s on the inside of a person and not at the outward appearance.

1 Samuel 16:8-10 NKJV

“So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.”

One by one Jesse’s sons were shown to Samuel. Samuel looked at all seven of them and stated that God had not chosen any of them. Then he asked Jesse if that was all his sons – did he have any more?

Jessie told Samuel that he had one more son. He was the youngest son and he was out in the field taking care of the sheep. Samuel told Jesse to bring that son to him, and that they would not sit down to eat until he was there with them.

1 Samuel 16:11 NKJV

“And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.”

So someone went out into the field and brought David, Jessie’s youngest son, to where Samuel and the others were. When Samuel say David, God instructed him to anoint him as the chosen king.

1 Samuel 16:12 NKJV

“So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!”

God had rejected all seven of David’s brothers and chosen David instead as the king. David was very young and to the natural eye and because of his appearance he would not have been the best choice, however God did not look at David’s outward appearance. He looked at David’s heart. In David’s heart God saw love and trust in God, a desire to please God, and a heart completely committed to God. David’s heart-attitude pleased God, and God was going to use him to lead His people.

1 Samuel 16:13 NKJV

“Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.”

Samuel took the oil that he had brought with him and he anointed David as the next king of Israel. After that Samuel went to Ramah and David returned to the field of sheep. For a period of time David continued to work in the fields taking care of the sheep while he awaited God’s time for him to become king.

Camp Challenge

God searches our hearts instead of looking at our appearances. Man looks at the outside of a person however, God looks at a person’s heart. What’s inside a persons heart is far more important and significant that their physical appearance or their natural abilities.

Psalm 7:9 NKJV

“For the righteous God tests the heart and minds.”

Everything that comes out of our mouth begins on the inside (innermost part) of us.

Matthew 12:33-37 NKJV

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings firth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

God knows everything in our hearts – every motive, desire, dream and word, even before we express it. God will search (test, examine) each person’s heart to see what is in it. He searches our hearts so that He can help us. Like David, we too should desire for God to examine our hearts (and our thoughts) and to purge us of sin so that we may have everlasting life.

Psalm 139:1-24 NKJV

“O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

You know my sitting down and my rising up;

You understand my thought afar off.

You comprehend my path and my lying down,

And are acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word on my tongue,

But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.

You have hedged me behind and before,

And laid Your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

It is high, I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend into heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the morning,

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there Your hand shall lead me,

And Your right hand shall hold me.

If I say,

‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’

Even the night shall be light about me;

Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,

But the night shines as the day;

The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

For You formed my inward parts;

You covered me in my mother’s womb.

I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are Your works,

And that my soul knows very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written,

The days fashioned for me,

When as yet there were none of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How great is the sum of them!

If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;

When I awake, I am still with You.

Oh, that You would slay the wicked O God!

Depart from me, therefore you bloodthirsty me.

For they speak against You wickedly;

Your enemies take Your name in vain.

Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?

And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?

I hate them with perfect hatred;

I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me, and know my anxieties;

And see if there is any wicked way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting.”

The Bible tells us that whatever is in the heart will come out of our mouths. It also tells us that each one of us will give an account for every idle (unfounded) word that we speak. That our words will either justify us or condemn us. God desires for us to ask Him to search our hearts. Not so that He can condemn us but to help us.

Psalm 51:10 NKJV

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Prayer Points

Ask God to search your heart.

Ask God to help you not judge people by their outward appearance.

Ask God to help you be careful with the words you speak.

Ask God to reveal to you what’s in your heart.

Ask God to purge you of sin so that you may have everlasting life.

Ask God to create in you a clean heart.

Ask God to renew a steadfast spirit within you.

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Angels and Shepherds

 angels and shepherds

Memory Verse: Luke 1:26

Life Application: God will send His angels to us.

Bible Text:

Luke 1:26-28

Luke 1:29-33

Luke 1:34-38

Luke 2:1-5

Luke 2:6-7

Luke 2:8-12

Luke 2:15-16

Luke 2:17-20

God Sent An Angel To Mary

One cold winter day long, long, ago, God sent an angel named Gabriel to appear to Mary in the city of Nazareth in Galilee. Many Bible scholars believe this was during the Feast of Dedication.

Mary was a young woman who was engaged to marry Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth. Both Mary and Joseph were of the family of King David.

Luke 1:26-28 NKJV

“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

The angel Gabriel, spoke to Mary and said, “The Lord is with you and you are greatly favored.”

Mary did not understand what the angel meant. So the angel explained, “Don’t be afraid Mary. You have favor with God. God has chosen you to have a little baby boy, the Messiah. You are to name him Jesus. He will be a king who will rule forever.”

Luke 1:29-33 NKJV

“But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

The angel told Mary that the Holy Spirit would overshadow her and place within her Jesus, the Son of God, the Light of the World. Mary gladly accepted the words of the angel because she was a faithful servant of the Lord. Then the angel disappeared.

Luke 1:34-38 NKJV

“Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”

God Sent Joseph And Mary To Bethlehem

Approximately nine months later, in the fall, Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor, decided that a census should be taken throughout the land. Everyone was required to return to his ancestral home for his registration. Because Joseph and Mary were members of the family of King David, they had to go to Bethlehem in Judea.

Luke 2:1-5 NKJV

“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.”

Mary, by this time, was about ready to have her baby. But off they went to Bethlehem. After a long hard journey they arrived in Bethlehem. Bethlehem was crowed with people looking for a place to stay.

Luke 2:6-7 NKJV

“So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Mary and Joseph were so tired after their long journey. Mary was ready to have her baby. She needed a place to rest very badly. All Joseph could find was a stable behind the inn.

God Sent The Shepherds To The Manger

That night some shepherds were in the field outside the village guarding their flock of sheep. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to them and a bright light lit up the sky. The shepherds were afraid, but the angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I bring you good news. The Savior, the Lord, yes, the Messiah has been born tonight in Bethlehem. You will find Him there wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” All at one the angel was joined by many other angels.

Later that night Jesus was born. They did not have any fancy blankets, so Mary wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger.

Luke 2:8-12 NKJV

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

After the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful baby the angel told us about!” They ran all the way to the village and found baby Jesus lying in the manger. Immediately they fell on their knees before Jesus, and worshipped Him as He lay quietly on the hay.

Luke 2:15-16 NKJV

“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.”

The shepherds went out and made widely known what was told to them. They were so excited to tell everyone that they had seen the Messiah with their own eyes. All those who heard it marveled at those things which were told to them by the shepherds. Then the shepherds returned to their flocks of sheep, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told to them.

Luke 2:17-20 NKJV

“Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”

Review

1. God sent an angel named _______________ to appear to Mary.

2. Where Did Mary live?

3. Who was Mary engaged to?

4. The angel Gabriel, spoke to Mary and said what?

5. The angel told Mary that the Holy Spirit would overshadow her and place within her Jesus, the Son of God, the ____________ ______ _______ ________________.

6. Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor, decided that a ___________ should be taken throughout the land.

7. Why did Mary and Joseph have to go to Bethlehem in Judea?

8. When Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem it crowed with people looking for a __________to stay.

9. According to Luke 2:6-7, why did Mary lay Jesus in a manger?

10. That night some shepherds were in the field outside the village guarding their flock of ______________.

11. How did the shepherds react when they saw the angels?

12. What did the angel tell the shepherds?

13. Mary wrapped baby Jesus in _____________________ _______________, and laid Him in a manger.

14. After the angels returned to heaven, the ____________________ said to each other, “Come, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful baby the angel told us about!”

15. The shepherds ran all the way to the village and found baby _____________ lying in the manger.

16. When the shepherds arrive at the manger, they fell on their knees before Jesus, and ____________________ Him.

17. After seeing baby Jesus, the shepherds went out and made widely _____________what was told to them.

 

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From Reverence To Relying

from reverencing to relying

Memory Verse: Proverbs 9:10

 

Life Application: Reverence and respect of God leads to wisdom.

 

Bible Text:

Proverbs 9:10

Psalm 89:7

Proverbs 9:10

Hebrews 12:28

Psalm 33:20

Psalm 46:1

Psalm 94:17

Psalm 125:1

Psalm 118: 8-9

Hebrews 11:6

Mark 9:24

Matthew 17:20

Luke 17:6

Philippians 4:13

Proverbs 3:25-26

Proverbs1:33

Matthew 13:58

Psalm 46:1-3

 

 

The fear of the Lord means reverence and respect to God. Reverence is a feeling of great love and respect for God and His Word.

Psalm 89:7 NKJV

“God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints,

And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.”

 

Proverbs 9:10 NKJV

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,

And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

 

Hebrews 12:28 NKJV

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”

 

When we fear the Lord we will fully rely on Him. Rely means to depend or be dependent on somebody or something; to trust in somebody or something; to have faith in somebody or something; to have confidence in somebody or something. We must depend on God, trust in God, have faith in God, and place our confidence in God.

 

We Must Depend On God

Dependence means reliance on somebody or something; reliance on or trust in somebody or something for help or support.

Psalm 33:20 NKJV

“Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.”

As a Christian our reliance and trust is in God. In times of trouble it is Him that we go to for help and support. If we could not depend on God, we would truly be lost, helpless and hopeless.

Psalm 46:1 NKJV

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”

 

Psalm 94:17 NKJV

“Unless the Lord had been my help, My soul would soon have settled in silence.”

 

We Must Trust In God

Trust is a firm belief in the honesty, truthfulness, justice, or power of a person or thing. We must grow in our trust in God and in His Word. Trust also means hopeful reliance on what will happen in the future, to rely on somebody or something, to place confidence in somebody.

Psalm 125:1 NKJV

“Those who trust in the Lord

Are like Mount Zion,

Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.”

When we place our trust in God we will not be shaken or moved by anything. The world around us may seem to be falling apart, but we can rest assured that it will not harm us. God is our protection and our strength. He is our refuge and our fortress. As Christians we must grow and develop a firm belief in God’s honesty, truthfulness, justice, and power. We must also grow in our trust in God’s Word.

Psalm 118:8-9  NKJV

“It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in princes.”

 

We Must Have Faith In God

When we believe we accept something as true or real in such a way that it affects what we think and how we live. In order to please God we must believe without a question what He says about Himself and what He will do. This belief is often referred to as faith. Faith is belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof .

Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

There may be times in our lives, no matter how much faith we think we have, that we are nagged by doubt and have a sense of hopelessness. Like the father in Mark 9:24, we should ask God to help us with our unbelief. Each new trial that we face is an opportunity for our faith to grow.

Mark 9:24 NKJV

“Immediately the Father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’ ”

If we have even a small amount of faith anything is possible. Jesus compared a mustard seed to faith.

Matthew 17:20 NKJV

“So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from hereto there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.’ ”

 

Luke 17:6 NKJV

“So the Lord said, ‘If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.’ ”

God can use all the things that we go through to show us something special about Him and to draw us, and others, closer to Himself. During our hard times and our trials we must never stop believing in God. Wonderful and miraculous things can be done with even the smallest amount of faith. We must believe without a question what God says about Himself and what He can and will do.

Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He has done everything and given us everything necessary for us to live in victory. When we keep our eyes on Jesus and all that He has given us and done for us we can live victorious lives.

 

We Must Place Our Confidence In God And His Word

Confidence is a firm (strong) belief or trust (faith) and boldness. We must grow in our trust (faith) and boldness.

Philippians 4:13 NKJV

“I can do all things through Christ who strengths me.”

The only way a Christian can endure the criticism or hardships that they may face is to be confident in the Word of God and Jesus Christ. We must be unshakable in our faith and entrust every aspect of our lives to God. When we do we can be confident that He will take care of us.

Proverbs 3:25-26 NKJV

“Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.”

It is important to study and obey God’s Word. If we will meditate on it day and night, and observe to do according to all that is written in it then God would make our way prosperous, and we will have good success. God will be with us and give us direction no matter where we go. God speaks to us in His Word, assuring us of His protection, care, provisions, and presence.

Meditate means to engage in deep and serious thought, or to reflect upon.

Reflect means to think about carefully, ponder, or deliberate.

Deliberate means to think over carefully before hand or ahead of time.

There were many situations in life that we face, but as we obey God and meditated on His Word, we do not have to fear, worry or be anxious about anything. Today we are faced with many situations and things that could cause us to be fearful, especially if we do not know Jesus as our personal Savior. We can use God’s Word to overcome our worries or fears. We must meditate on God’s Word and obey it.

Proverbs1:33 NKJV

“But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,

And will be secure, without fear of evil.”

Jesus has power over everything, and while He was here on earth, He gave each of His believers the authority to use His name, however we must have confidence in God and His Word.

 

Fear, Doubt, and Unbelief

Matthew 13:58 NKJV

“Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”

It is possible to hinder and block the miracle working power of God by having fear, doubt, and unbelief. When faced with situations we must look to Jesus with hope and faith. Fear should never be our first response. Faith in God and His Word will release God’s power for us in any and all situations.

Even when everything around us seems to be going wrong we must keep our faith in God and remember that He is our refuge, strength, and help.

Psalm 46:1-3 NKJV

“God is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear,

Even though the earth be removed,

And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though its waters roar and be troubled,

Though the mountains shake with its swelling.”

 

 

 

Review

1. The fear of the Lord means reverence and _______________ to God.

2. What is reverence for God?

 

3. When we ______________ the Lord we will fully rely on Him.

4. What does rely mean?

.

5. We must _______________ on God, trust in God, have _____________ in God, and place our _____________________ in God.

6. What does dependence mean?

 

7. As a Christian our reliance and trust is in ______________.

8. Give examples of times that you depended or relied on God.

 

9. In times of trouble if we could not depend on God what would it be like?

.

10. What does trust mean?

 

 

11. God is our _________________, strength, refuge and fortress.

12. Faith is belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without _____________ _____________.

13. Each new trial that we face is an opportunity for our __________ to grow.

14. God can use all the things that we go through to show us something special about Him and to ____________ _______, and others, closer to Himself.

15. What is confidence?

.

16. Why is it important to study and obey God’s Word?

 

 

17. Faith in God and His Word will ______________ God’s power for us in any and all situations.

 

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Seeds

seeds

Memory Verse: Galatians 6:7

 

Life Application: We will reap what we sow.

 

Bible Text:

Galatians 6:7-9

1 John 1:9

2 Samuel 12:13-14

Luke 8:5-18

Matthew 13:24-30

Matthew 13:37-43

 

Sowing and Reaping

Galatians 6:7-9 NKJV

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

When a person sows seeds of sin / corruption the seed will produce something. Whatever type of seed we sow in our lives will bring a harvest. God designed every seed to produce after its own kind. That which is sown will produce what is sown. In the natural when we plant a seed of corn we harvest, or reap, corn.

We mislead ourselves when we think that it doesn’t matter what we sow. Sooner or later every person reaps what they have sown. All our choices have consequences and all the seeds that we sow ( good and bad) produce something. Sowing bad seeds and then praying for a crop failure is not Biblical.

1 John 1:9 NKJV

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

When we ask God for forgiveness He forgives us and we no longer have to pay the penalty for our sins. However, that doesn’t mean that the consequences of our sins suddenly disappear. David is an example of this. He committed the sin of adultery and murder, then he confessed the sin to God and God forgave him. However, David still had to face the consequences of his sin. But he still had to reap the harvest of his sinful actions.

2 Samuel 12:13-14 NKJV

“So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”

 

The Parable of the Seeds

There are four types of people that hear God’s Word. In the Parable of the Seeds each of these are described.

 

Luke 8:5-18 NKJV

““A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?” And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’ “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”

1. The seeds that fall by the wayside represent people who hear the Word, then the devil comes and takes away the Word out of their hearts, because he doesn’t want them to believe and be saved.

2. The seeds that fall on the rocks represent people, who when they hear the Word receive the word with joy, but they do not have any roots. They believe for a while, but in time of temptation fall away.

3. The seeds that fell among thorns represent people who hear the Word but are choked with cares of life, riches, and pleasures of life. They never mature.

4. The seeds that fell on the good ground represent people who hear the Word with a good heart, keep it and bear fruit. These people act upon what they hear.

 

Wheat and Tares

Matthew 13:24-30 NKJV

“Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ ”

In the parable of the wheat and tares, there are two sowers (one good and one bad), two kinds of seed (one good and one bad), and two harvests (one good and one bad). The field in this parable is the world.

The land owner sowed good seed (wheat) in his field, but while he and his servants were asleep an enemy sowed bad seed (tares) in the same field. The servants were told to let the tares grow until the time of harvest. If they pulled up the tares during the growing process it could hurt the wheat.
While growing the wheat and tares looked the same. However, as the final fruit began to appear the workers could tell the difference. The grain of the wheat was a golden color but the tares were almost black. Farmers weed out tears just before the wheat harvest because they are poisonous. They had to be removed before grinding the wheat

Matthew 13:37-43 NKJV

“He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

There are both true and false believers in the world (and church). Instead of removing false believers from the world (or church), Jesus allows them to remain until His return. If the false believers are removed it could hurt the immature believers while they are growing. At Jesus’ return, angels will separate the true from false believers.

 

 

 

 

Review

1. A _______________moral or religious story: a short simple story about something from everyday life intended to teach, or illustrate, a moral or religious lesson, or important truth about God.

2. Who taught in parables?

 

3. The seeds that fall by the wayside represent people who hear the Word, then the devil comes and ___________ ________ ______ _________ ________ ____ __________ ____________, because he doesn’t want them to believe and be saved.

4. The seeds that fall on the rocks represent people, who when they hear the Word receive the word with joy, but they do not have any __________. They believe for a while, but in time of temptation fall away.

5. The seeds that fell among thorns represent people who hear the Word but are choked with cares of life, riches, and pleasures of life. They never _____________.

6. The seeds that fell on the good ground represent people who hear the Word with a good heart, keep it and ________ __________. These people act upon what they hear.

7. In the parable of the wheat and tares, there are two ____________ (one good and one bad), two kinds of ________ (one good and one bad), and two ______________ (one good and one bad).

8. What does the field in the parable of the wheat and tares represent?

 

9. What happened while the land owner and his servants were asleep?

 

10. The servants were told to let the tares grow until the time of ________.

11. If tares are pulled up during the growing process it could do what?

 

12. There are both ________ and __________ believers in the world.

13. Instead of removing false believers from the world, Jesus allows them to remain until His ____________.

14. If the false believers were removed it could __________ the immature believers while they are growing.

15. When Jesus returns what will happen?

 

16. All seeds __________________ something.

17. God designed every _________ to produce after its own kind.

18. Sooner or later every person ____________ what they have sown.

 

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Entire, Undivided, and Unimpaired

Entire, Undivided, and Unimpaired

Memory Verse: Psalm 119:10

 

Life Application: We should love and seek God with our whole heart.

 

Bible Text:

Deuteronomy 6:5

Psalm 9:1

Psalm 111:1

Hosea 10:1-2

Psalm 119:10

Psalm 119:10

Psalm 119:2

Psalm 24:3-5

Psalm 66:18

Matthew 5:8

 

People 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. God desire for us to love, worship, obey, and serve Him with our whole heart. A whole heart is an entire heart, an undivided heart, and an unimpaired heart.

Entire Heart

One definition of whole is entire. An entire heart is one that leaves nothing left out. Without a question God absolutely must have every part of our heart. He desires to be close to us. Things or people will not draw us closer to God.

* We are to love God with our entire heart.

Deuteronomy 6:5 NKJV

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

* We are to praise and worship God with our entire heart.

Psalm 9:1 NKJV

“I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.”

 

Psalm 111:1 NKJV

“Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.”

 

Undivided Heart

A second definition of whole is undivided. An undivided heart is one that is in agreement with God and of one mind with Him. 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. Our hearts cannot long for God and the world at the same time.

Hosea 10:1-2 NKJV

“Israel empties his vine; He brings forth fruit for himself. According to the multitude of his fruit He has increased the altars; According to the bounty of his land They have embellished his sacred pillars. Their heart is divided; Now they are held guilty. He will break down their altars; He will ruin their sacred pillars.”

God had blessed Israel with many things. Instead of being thankful they failed to express or feel gratitude for all that God had done for them. Instead of worshipping God they turned to idolatry. The Israelites were untrustworthy and hypocritical. The people claimed to worship God, but their actions said something different. Their hearts longed for the things of the world more than they did God.

God want you to long for Him, and Him alone, and to seek Him with your whole heart.

Psalm 119:10 NKJV

“With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!”

 

Psalm 119:2

“Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!”

 

Unimpaired Heart

A third definition of whole is unimpaired. An unimpaired heart is a heart not marred by sin. God is holy and does not tolerate sin (impurities). When God created man (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.

* If you have sin in your heart God will not bless you.

Psalm 24:3-5 NKJV

“Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

* If you have sin in your heart God will not hear your prayers.

Psalm 66:18 NKJV

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.”

* If you have sin in your heart, you will not see God, however if you are pure in heart you will.

Matthew 5:8 NKJV

“Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.”

 

 

 

 

Review

1. People look everywhere for ___________.

2. Some people try to fill the part of themselves that only ________ can fill.

3. God desire for us to love, _______________, obey, and _____________ Him with our whole

 

4. What is a whole heart?

 

5. An entire heart is one that leaves ________________ left out.

6. Things or _____________ will not draw us closer to God.

7. We are to ________ God with our entire heart.

8. We are to ____________ and ______________ God with our entire heart.

9. An undivided heart is one that is in _________________ with God and of one mind with Him.

10. The world, or the things of the world, can not fill the _______________ that belongs to God.

11. Our hearts cannot long for God and the world at the _____________ time.

12. God wants you to long for Him, and Him alone, and to seek Him with your ____________ heart.

13. An unimpaired heart is a heart not marred by _________.

14. God is holy and does not ________________ sin (impurities).

15. We can have forgiveness when we _______________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

 

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Set Apart and Devoted

set apart and devoted

 

Memory Verse: Matthew 6:19-21

 

Life Application: What’s most important to us will show in our lives.

 

Bible Text:

James 1:8

Matthew 6:19-21

Luke 2:36-38

 

 

Devotion means deep, steady affection; loyalty; faithfulness; the act of being devoted or devout. Devote means set apart for some person or purpose; give up. It emphasizes giving up seriously to a single purpose, shutting out everything else. When we are wild about God it will show in our devotion to Him. Devotion to God involves all aspects of our life, wherever we are and whatever we’re doing- in public or in private. God desires for us to be single-minded. If we are double-minded we will be unstable, even in our devotion to God.

James 1:8 NKJV

“He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

Anything can take our attention away from God, both good and bad things. Good activities, including church programs, schedules, and campaigns, as well as bad circumstances, such as worry, fear, sickness and tragedy, can distract us from God. Anything that we allow to crowd out our time with God separates us from intimacy with Him. How we spend our time gives us a good idea of what things are the most important to us.

Matthew 6:19-21

“Lay not up for yourself treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

These verses tell us not to store up treasure on earth, but to store up treasure in heaven. It tells us that where our treasures are there our hearts will be also. We must not let ourselves become distracted by things or people in our love and devotion to God. Anna is an example of a person that was devoted to God and to ministering to Him. She was an elderly prophetess, maybe around 106 years old. She lived in Jerusalem. Anna was married for seven years when her husband died. The Bible tells us that Anna stayed in the temple day and night worshipping God. She spent all her time praying and fasting. She spent her time ministering to God.

Luke 2:36-37 NKJV

“Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”

Anna was in the temple when Joseph and Mary brought baby Jesus to present to the Lord. When she saw Jesus, she immediately gave thanks to God. She physically saw what God had already shown her in the spirit.

The dictionary tells us that devotion means having a strong attachment or attraction to a person or cause. To be devoted is to be dedicated, to be completely applied to some activity, purpose, or person. To have devotion to someone or something means you won’t allow anything to distract you from doing what needs to be done.

Anna was devoted to worshiping God. She had a strong affection for God, and completely dedicated her whole life to ministering to Him through prayer and worship. She didn’t let anything distract her from her purpose. Her purpose was worshiping God and she knew it. Fulfilling her purpose brought great joy and blessings to her. God showed Anna His secret, who the Redeemer was, because of her intimate relationship with Him.

Luke 2:38 NKJV

“And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”

First and most importantly we should be devoted to God. Nothing should ever distract us. We should be devoted to knowing Him, obeying Him. and to living a life that is pleasing to Him. We should not be lukewarm concerning our devotion to God and to the things of God.

Like Anna, during our times of intimacy with God, He will whisper secrets, mysteries and revelations into our ear. When we draw close to God, we begin to experience peace and joy that we can’t find anywhere else. When we fill ourselves up with God’s purpose, to worship Him, our souls will find a special delight.

 

 

 

 

Review

1. Devotion to God involves _________ ________________ of our life, wherever we are and whatever we’re doing- in public or in private.

2. What can take our attention away from God?

 

3. How we spend our time gives us a good idea of what things are the most ___________________ to us.

4. The Bible tells us that Anna stayed in the temple day and night ___________________ God.

5. Anna was in the temple when Joseph and Mary brought baby _____________ to present to the Lord.

6. What did Anna do when she saw baby Jesus?

 

7. To have devotion to someone or something means you won’t allow anything to ________________ you from doing what needs to be done.

8. We should be devoted to knowing God, obeying God. and to ______________ ___ __________ that is pleasing to God.

9. We should not be ___________________ concerning our devotion to God and to the things of God.

 

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Following Jesus

FOLLOWER OF CHRIST

Memory Verse: Luke 9:62

 

Life Application: Don’t look back in you walk with Jesus.

 

Bible Text

Luke 9:57-62

Genesis 19:14-17

Genesis 19:26

Hebrews 12:1-3

Luke 3:8-9

John 3:16-18

 

 

We must never look back in our walk with Christ. No matter what happens we must determine in our hearts that we will follow Jesus and bear fruits of repentance.

 

Following Jesus Is Not Always Comfortable.

Comfortable means relaxed, feeling comfort or ease, without problem, and with enough of something to stave off worry.

Luke 9:57-58 NKJV

“Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

This person had not really thought about what it would cost him. He got caught up in the excitement of everything going on around him and said that he wanted to follow Jesus, however his heart was not really committed. When problems, hard times and trials came this person would not have been able to endure. Following Jesus will cost a person and it is not without problems. However, there is a great reward for those who commit to it.

 

Following Jesus Is Not Always Convenient.

Convenient means making life easier, useful or suitable, because it makes things easier and does not involve much effort or trouble.

Luke 9:59-60 NKJV

“Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”

Jesus gave this person an invitation to follow Him. This person knew that it would cost him to follow Jesus, but he allowed other concerns to come before God. It was not convenient for him to follow Jesus at that moment. He wanted to do something else first. Following Jesus is not always convenient and it takes effort.

 

Following Jesus Is Not For The Distracted.

Distracted means preoccupied, showing a lack of concentration, anxious, or unable to think clearly or act sensibly.

Luke 9:61-62 NKJV

“And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

This person said they would follow Jesus but they were distracted by people. If we want to follow Jesus we must focus on Him and what He has set before us. We cannot allow our focus to be on things of the world or become preoccupied with the things of this world.

Lot’s wife was distracted by what she was leaving behind. When Lot’s wife looked back it implied that she was reluctant to leave what was behind.

Genesis 19:14-17 NKJV

“So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking. When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”

 

Genesis 19:26 NKJV

“But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

As a person is plowing they focus their eyes on a point at the end of the field and steadily move toward it. They do not focus on what is behind them. If a person tries to plow while looking over their shoulder their rows would be crooked and it would be difficult to work in the field.

Luke 9:62 NKJV

“But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

 

Following Jesus Takes Commitment.

According to Luke 9:62, God is serious about our commitment to follow Him.

Luke 9:62 NKJV

“But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

We must be loyal, devoted and dedicated to Him. We cannot follow and serve Him just when it’s easy or when we feel like it. As we follow Jesus we must focus our eyes on Him and steadily move in His direction. We must not focus on what is behind us. No matter what happens or comes our way we must look to Jesus.

Hebrews 12:1-3 NKJV

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”

 

Fruits Of Repentance Are Vital.

We must bear fruits of repentance if we desire to make heaven our home. Repentance is a daily, not a one time, experience. When we truly repent and are saved we will see sin the way that God does. We will have a change of heart and direction. Repentance is a turning from sin to God; changing my mind concerning sin, God, and myself.

Luke 3:8-9 NKJV

“Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

If we do not bear good fruit (fruit of repentance) we will eventually be cast into eternal darkness (the lake of fire) and away from the presence of God. It is not God’s desire that any perish but that all come to repentance.

John 3:16-18 NKJV

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 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.”

 

 

 

Review

1. Some people get caught up in the excitement of everything going on around them and say that they want to follow Jesus, however their ___________ was not really committed.

2. Following Jesus will __________ a person and it is not without problems.

3.There is a great _____________ for those who commit to following Jesus.

 

4. Some people allow other ________________ to come before God.

5. Following Jesus is not always convenient and it takes ____________.

6. If we want to follow Jesus we must ____________ on Him and what He has set before us.

7. We cannot allow our focus to be on things of the ____________ or become preoccupied with the things of this world.

8. As a person is plowing they focus their eyes on a point at the end of the field and steadily move ____________ it.

9. A person plowing does not focus on what is ____________ them.

10. What happens If a person tries to plow while looking over their shoulder?

11. God is serious about our ____________________ to follow Him.

12. We must be loyal, devoted and dedicated to __________.

13. We cannot follow and serve God just when it’s ________ or when we feel like it.

14. As we follow Jesus we must focus our eyes on Him and steadily move in His ______________.

15. We must not focus on what is ____________ us.

16. No matter what happens or comes our way we must look to ____________.

 

 

 

 

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Follower Of Christ

FOLLOWING JESUS

Memory Verse: 1 Corinthians 11:1 NKJV

 

Life Application: I must adopt Jesus’ behavior.

 

Bible Text:

Matthew 16:24-26

Matthew 16:26

Mark 8:34-36

 

A follower can be described in several different ways. It is a supporter or admirer of a person (cause or activity). somebody who comes or travels after somebody, a servant (attendant or subordinate) accompanying an important person, or somebody that imitates someone else.

To be a follower of Jesus we must support His teachings, follow His path (follow His example) and imitate Him. We must adopt His behavior. Adopting Jesus’ behavior is a choice that we must make. We must decide in our heart that we will assume His attitude and His way of behaving. Then we should ask the Holy Spirit to help us in walking out our decision each and every day.

Matthew 16:24-26 NKJV

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Each person that chooses to be a follower of Christ must take up their cross, give their life to Jesus, and put aside their goals and ambitions.

 

Take up your cross.

Everyone has their own cross to bear. Each follower has been called to do something for the kingdom of God. God doesn’t call everyone to do the same thing, so each one must do what God has called them to.

Matthew 16:24 NKJV

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

 

Give your life to Jesus.

The only way to gain true life is to give Jesus your whole life – body, soul, and spirit. We must not seek our own way.

Matthew 16: 25 NKJV

“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

 

Put aside your goals and ambitions.

Obtaining worldly possessions must not be your priority in this life. You must make Jesus the first priority of your life, and desire what God wants for your life.

Matthew 16:26 NKJV

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

We cannot take anything into eternity with us. All the worldly treasures that a person may acquire in this world will not help a person when they die.

Mark 8:34-36 NKJV

“When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 

 

Review

1. What does “take up your cross” mean to you personally?

 

2. To be a follower of Jesus we must support His teachings, follow His path and ____________________ Him.

3. Believers must __________________ Jesus’ behavior.

4. How have you had to make a choice concerning adopting Jesus’ behavior ?

 

5. The _______________  _________________  will help us in following Jesus.

6. According to Matthew 16:24-26, what must a person do who desires to follow Christ?

 

7. What does “deny yourself” mean to you personally?

 

8. Each person that chooses to be a follower of Christ must take ______ ____________ ____________, give their life to Jesus, and put aside __________ ___________ and ambitions.

9. . Each follower has been called to do ___________________ for the kingdom of God.

10. Does God call everyone to do the same thing?

 

11. How can a person gain true life?

 

 

12. Obtaining worldly possessions must not be your __________________in this life.

13. What does priority mean?

 

14. What will happen to all the worldly treasures that a person acquires in this world when they die?

 

 

15. Do you think there is anything worth losing your soul over?

 

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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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